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IRRESPONSIBLE TAX CUTS AND DEMOCRACY

November 2, 2014

IRRESPONSIBLE TAX CUTS AND DEMOCRACY

Per Grover Norquist, all tax increases are irresponsible. He has managed to obtain the signatures of many members of Congress on a pledge not to vote for a raise in taxes (with the unspoken but well known promise that if they break the pledge they will be looking at a primary opponent at the next election and that their campaign funding sources will dry up under pressure from Norquist and his no-tax freaks). It must be nice to know what is going to happen next year, ten years from now, or even tomorrow. If only the future could be so neatly known and packaged in advance as it is by Norquist’s demands of the electorally fearful members of Congress, who meekly submit to his bullying. If only. . .

I have written before about how Norquist (an unindicted old friend and cohort of Jack Abramoff, convicted swindler) has assumed the role of a modern-day Nostradamus. I am back to discuss such a never-tax medieval view oblivious and uncaring of its consequences once again, and why now? Why now is because of several public concerns which are ignored by Norquist and his no-tax proponents, chief of which are increasing poverty and expanding wage inequality among tens of millions of Americans in this country, and that’s not ten years from now – it is now, and unless more aggregate demand (read an end or at least a tempering of wage inequality) is forthcoming soon and our economic malaise in our wake, then it is clear as day that we will have to increase taxes and that it would be irresponsible not to do so. The alternative is to see millions of our homeless and poverty stricken urban Americans in a Calcutta-like environment in dire need of modern day Mother Teresa(s), having been ignored by the ruling class who look but don’t see or feel what is going on with their fellow Americans who are sleeping on the sidewalks and in their cars, or if they do, don’t care.

New billionaires have almost doubled in number since the “end” of the Great Recession (end for whom?) while millions of Americans since then find themselves cast into poverty and/or having less purchasing power due to wage inequality (which is made worse by the erosion of price inflation on their already meager wages – if they even have jobs in this day and age of outsourcing and robotizing). With our increasing population and a cost of living headed up and the purchasing power of median family wages headed down, it will not only be the poor who are adversely affected. Those who inhabit the investment economy will find their bottom lines negatively affected as well as American consumers do not have the wherewithal to purchase their goods and services, as we are seeing come true lately (which helped trigger a 460 point drop in the Dow a few weeks ago).

Given such a scenario, it is plain that we have a choice to make in economic philosophy. We can either continue on the present road of austerity (no raise in taxes per Norquist, reduction in social services costs, resistance to minimum wage increase proposals, tax reduction for the rich and corporate class etc.), or we can embrace Keynesianism (government stimulus, greatly increased employment, expanded revenues to government to pay for such investment stimuli, better wages due to booming demand in the marketplace etc.). The choice is ours to make, and in my opinion, stripped of Norquistian logic and pretended ideology that maintains the status quo, it is a clear one.

We are led to believe by daily propaganda from the financial press, congressional sellouts, corporate hacks and bullies on the order of Norquist that such a “socialistic” plan spells disaster, is un-American, rewards the lazy etc. My response: How is your plan doing? Tell me why your plan that as played out is yielding thousands of new billionaires and millions of newly impoverished Americans on the latter’s way to bankruptcy court at one and the same time. Tell me how and why that could or should happen at one and the same time and in the same economy, and tell me how that has the earmarks of a fair economy in which its rewards are equitably distributed. I await your explanation(s).

Are we so mesmerized by the daily propaganda of those who are profiting by the current “system” (if it is one) just how brutally it really works out to be in the daily lives of millions of America’s so-called “underclass,” Americans who have been shut out of their fair share of the wealth created by their participation as producers and consumers in this American economy? Should such Americans be impoverished yet further by “policies” designed to maintain the present system’s embrace of wage inequality, no-tax regimes etc.? How much longer must fair-minded Americans put up with knowing how their contributions and that of their fellow Americans past and present have been skimmed off the top by the corporate and investment class before doing something about it? Our most precious asset, our democracy, depends upon the answer to that question.

Does anybody see a chronic and ongoing imbalance in how our politicians have arranged and are arranging an economic system such as the one we now have while pretending it is good policy? I do, and I will vote against any politician of any party who favors austerity as a cover for maintenance of the status quo and (ultimately) destruction of our democracy. Our democracy, I hope, is not for sale.    GERALD   E

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