On My Soap Box Again
“We need to make sure middle-class people are able to pay the bills. We need to make sure that poor people don’t starve. Those are values, too.” ~ Charles Schumer
I read a great article by Bob Cesca in today’s Huffington Post and thought that I would share some information with you, especially in light of the upcoming mid-term elections:
• 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1 percent of all Americans.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
As Cesca so astutely pointed out, those Americans who are planning to vote Republican this November need a reality check:
And yet they want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which would add $678 billion dollars to the deficit—and that’s just the cost of the tax cuts going to the top two percent of earners. In other words, the Republicans want to spend $678 billion in further giveaways for the wealthiest two percent, and they don’t care whether it increases the deficit.
. . . Put another way, $678 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy? No problem. Deficit-shmeficit! But $34 billion in unemployment benefits for an out-of-work middle class at a time when companies aren’t hiring (say nothing of the aforementioned bullet-points)? Evil! Instead, the Republicans want to give $35 billion to Big Oil in the form of corporate welfare during the worst oil spill in American history while telling unemployed middle class families to piss off . . .
The long term budget impact of the wars and the Bush tax cuts literally dwarf the stimulus. Here’s the CBPP evidence in colorful graph form:
“We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” ~ Thomas Edison
People, please. How is a desire to make the richest among us richer going to help end the great recession? Trickle down economics did not work when Reagan first proposed it, and time has shown that continued tax cuts of the wealthiest do not stimulate the economy as much as jobs and unemployment bills ($.32 ROI for tax cuts versus $1.61 ROI for unemployment benefits). Keeping the Bush tax cuts, rewarding big oil, turning a blind eye to the needs of the majority of Americans—these are the mainstays of the Republican agenda for America. In other words, more of the same.
The same led to the massive financial crisis that still keeps the nation in a death grip. The U.S. economic situation, which at one time was diamond-shaped, with the largest sector of Americans falling into the middle, has continued to morph into an hourglass, with the largest sectors being the very rich and the very poor. How is this good for America or Americans? How does rewarding big oil help middle America?
Continued complacency among Democrats and a fervent desire among conservatives (Reps and tea baggers) to make the first president of color look bad are driving this train wreck. Enough already. Enough with the bi-partisanship. The Republicans in Congress only know how to say no to this administration, and that determined obstructionism is killing the middle class and the poor.
I would apologize for preaching to the choir, but I fear the choir went out for celebratory Slurpees post-election 2008 and never bothered to check back in.
I’ve worked myself into a headache. Beh.
More later. Peace.
Music by Terra Naomi, “Say It’s Possible”