The facts are lost in the current debate on the default crisis. It really is not difficult to understand the chart on the left. Former President George W. Bush expanded government, despite the conservative ideal of smaller government, and did nothing to pay for the new expenditures. Instead he lowered taxes – the revenue the federal government uses to pay for itself.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost more than President Obama’s new spending. Yet, there was no war tax or shared sacrifice when we invaded two countries under Bush.
Instead we have a debate akin to “what have you done for me lately?” thinking. Little to nothing in the debate addresses real problems such as income inequality or quality jobs for America’s middle class.
Republicans and some conservative Democrats are focused on spending just for the sake of focusing on spending. They want the quick soundbite saying they cut federal spending. Meanwhile they are protecting billionaires and big corporations’ tax breaks and subsidies.
We need to let them know they are elected to represent and serve the people and not the rich political contributors or their far right ideology.
We sent them there to fix the economy. Not to destroy it once again by defaulting on America’s debt. Republicans need to stop playing politics in these negotiations and vote for a clean bill to do what is right for the American people.
If they don’t want to do what is right in voting for a clean bill then here is my proposal. End the wars, cut defense spending (especially programs the pentagon doesn’t even want), put taxes back at Clinton era levels, tax dividends like income (because it is), get rid of the loopholes written in the tax code, end subsidies for large corporations.
While we are at it we could address policy issues affecting the working poor and the middle class but that might cause a brain hemorrhage for some.
Sadly, I do not have the ears of D.C. insiders or powerbrokers. But here is what they need to take into consideration.
Nearly nine in ten Americans do not want cuts to Medicare and more than 75% don’t want cuts to Social Security or Medicaid. This is not to mention that Social Security cannot legally add anything to the deficit.
As for taxes on the wealthiest Americans and oil and gas companies – 75% also support increasing taxes.
Americans are right in this regard. It is time for our elected leaders to listen to them. The current ideas on the table are catastrophic for millions of Americans. Defaulting on our debt or massive cuts to key safety net programs. Both are unacceptable and yet they are being treated like the only two options possible like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Photo taken by Jeremy Brooks
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