Monday, September 19, 2011

Well, appeasement hasn’t worked…

Over the weekend I heard that President Obama would reveal his plan to reduce long-term deficits. It includes a repeal of the Bush era tax breaks for folks making over $250,000 per year…and it also includes some tax-based changes to increase the likelihood that the rich will pay the same percent in taxes as the masses.

Twas telling that a gang of conservative minions is already out there fussing about Class War.

The Obama administration is spinning against that label hard…

…but, after a year spent watching conservatives and their tea adoring allies attack the elements of society that serve the rest of us in order to protect the overflowing pocketbooks of the few, I welcome a discussion of Class War.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Shall we?

Wealthy folks have used their considerable influence within government to manipulate tax code in their favor for decades.

We the people have been told all manner of bullshit lies about how that get-out-of-paying-your-fair-share manipulation is good for us, as if we’re serfs and the wealthy are old school nobility that exist to save us from own ignorant selves.

I’m old enough to remember trickle down economics in practice…and how that anemic trickle never seemed to make it down to the majority.

So yes...what the heck...let’s talk about Class War.

Let’s talk about using the weapons of government to attack organized labor.

Let’s talk about holding our economy hostage through Debt Ceiling political theater so that effective social programs get slashed while the wealthy feast.

Let’s talk about taking a hostile posture toward Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security…all programs that benefit the majority of Americans…because working to preserve these programs would require actually sharing sacrifice rather than just talking about sharing sacrifice.

Let’s talk about the percent of tax most Americans pay as compared to the percent of tax all the folks who live in [insert wealthy gated-for-fear-of-the-unwashed-masses suburb near you here] pay.

Pause…sip more coffee…continue.

President Obama’s proposal isn’t the launch of a new Class War.

We the people have been fighting this war since this nation was founded and citizen rights were determined by land ownership, gender, and race.

Millions of Americans are unemployed and a huge percent of Americans are under-employed.

14.5% of American households are food insecure.

Over 16% of children in America are living in poverty.

I could go on and on.

The minions’ response?

Brutal budget cuts, bizarre reckless proposed revisions to Social Security and Medicare…and, wait for it...calls for a balanced budget amendment that would mandate brutal budget cuts and bizarre reckless proposed revisions to Social Security and Medicare until those programs are programs in name only.

The Lindsey Grahams and Paul Ryans and Mitch McConnells of the world aren’t raising their voices in protest over the administration launching a Class War.

They are on their feet, fists clenched, in response to TALK of ending a SMIDGE of the multitude of appeasement government has been laying at their feet.

We keep giving them inches…

…they keep taking miles, building trenches, and erecting policy-based mine fields.

7 comments:

Prosey said...

Have you been watching what started in NYC on Saturday? Protesters on Wall Street, with (hopeful) plans of staying there. *fingers crossed that they stick it out nonviolently*

Blue said...

More like we keep giving them miles and they keep taking light years.

Charles Seabrook said...

Oh, so true, Sharky-fu. And so wide-spread too. And, what is so shoddy about poverty in rich nations, and perhaps even globally, is that if legislatures make law, and if law rules, then such poverty must be ultimately the result of policy one way or another expressing the inability of the nation to share its wealth and resources. If the people are selfish, the nation will be selfish - there will be poverty, there will be ignorance, there will be crime, there will be hunger, there will be disease, there will be insecurity. If the most powerful and wealthy of the people are selfish (as they generally are, since that is how they tended to attain power and wealth), if the legislature is selfish, then it will all be so much worse. I do not covet wealth. I do not give two hoots if someone is a billionaire. But I am stricken by hunger and deprivation in our midst. Surely only the meanest of spirit would not wish to see well nourished, healthy, bright people everywhere. To the wealthy and powerful: you have to live in this world too; you might not think so, but you have to share it with the rest of us. Am I being idealistic? Well, what the heck is wrong with that?

Redeye said...

"Well, appeasement hasn’t worked". It sure hasn't, I wonder who came up with that strategy? I could have told them that wouldn't work.

One Raging Liberal said...

The rich have been attacking us for too long. I just hope this works and its not too late.

Charles Seabrook said...

What "trickle down" economics actually means is people with more money than makes sense(and corporations) urinating down their legs. The wealth of the world, the surplus, should be shared for the common good. Their is no good reason at all for dire poverty in a world of gross excess. If it is self-evident that all people are born equal, then it's about time all people are treated equally.

Charles Seabrook said...

I seem to be commenting heavily on this post. If I am getting boring, I apologize. But this big, wide world is in such a mess. And why? Because we are afraid, and because avirice and dishonesty rears its monstrous head from pole to pole. What is needed is a complete change of mentality, a complete change of heart, which recognizes that we are all in the same boat. Whitman's spirit of generosity comes to mind (yes, I know he was an abolitionist and then later perceived abolition as a threat to democracy, but surely in our own spirit of generosity we can forgive him for that): "This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
Walt Whitman 1819-1892.