Friday, May 13, 2011

Musing ashore ...

Largely such musings tend to be about the state of our world and our society.  Lately, we have been extremely riled up about the absolute failure of Republicans to live up to their campaign promises of 2010: "jobs, jobs, jobs" and by attacking Democrats on Medicare "death panels" their implicit promise to seniors that they would "protect Medicare."  So, what do we see instead?

Nothing at all about "jobs," a budgetary plan on which virtually all the Republicans in Congress approved that would turn Medicare into a voucher system and essentially end it within a decade or so, all out attacks on women (via women's health issues) by trying to kill any funding for Planned Parenthood, at the state level, an all-out assault on public employee unions and workers' rights, and atop it all a blatant attempt to protect the wealthy and corporate America by condemning any thought of tax increases (or elimination of corporate tax breaks) by screaming "the deficit, the deficit, the deficit" over and over again.

Of course the problem with the deficit is that most of it is a result of Bush's tax breaks, the two wars he launched without funding them, and the Medicare drug plan which also wasn't funded.  Then the deficit was exacerbated by the economic meltdown (caused ultimately by the long-term effort of Republicans to deregulate everything in sight), which led to government spending to stop the economy from tanking completely.  Just take a look at the deficit projection:

Now, you might note that the TARP and Fannie and Freddie "bailouts" have largely been repaid and, along with the recovery measures (Obama's stimulus spending), add little to the next decade projection.  But not at all so with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the economic downturn and, worse still, the Bush tax cuts.

The Republican mantra to reduce spending in non-defense and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is not going to solve this problem.  It depends entirely on blind faith in the growth of the American economy, and since we've outsourced almost all our manufacturing and other high-wage work, any growth by American corporations is going to go outside the country anyway.  The days of growing bigger and bigger are at an end, to be replaced with small gains but nothing to solve these problems.

Therefore, there is only one answer.  Get rid of the Bush tax cuts ... on everyone ... raise the marginal tax rates up into the 40% range for people in the top 1% to 2% income range, restructure corporate taxes by eliminating all the tax breaks and setting the rate at a flat 20% to 25% that also includes revenues earned overseas.  At the same time, take a large knife to the Pentagon budget and adopt a universal public option health care system.

Well, that's what we've been musing about, and I'll tell you, as we watch the ideologues who have captured some of our state governments (Rick Scott in Florida, Scott Walker in Wisconsin ... hey, what's with the Scotts?) and are after unions, the environment and doing everything possible to support the wealthy and large business community, we are about ready to go sailing again.


Blogger GW said...

Write more about boats! :)

5:43 PM  

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