In 2011 (during the Great Recession) it's a great time to be alive if you were lucky enough to keep your "middle-class" job paying a good "living wage"...or better yet, if you're rich. There are bargains galore to be found everywhere. Foreclosed homes at bargain-basement-prices, repossessed cars being sold on the cheap at auctions, and people's life's possessions being desperately put up for sell on eBay to pay for another months rent or a past-due electric bill.
But for the other 20% of Americans who were laid off and have been out of work for two years or more, and/or those who are working two jobs at places like McDonalds just to keep a roof over their head, it's been a living hell. And many have been forced to rely on government programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, and food stamps just to survive. And this is what the Republicans and their wealthy masters want to cut, making millions of Americans suffer even more than they already are.
Why didn't the GOP insist on debt ceilings, balanced budgets, or reducing the national debt when Bush was in office...or better yet, when Clinton was in office? The GOP claims the new Republican Tea Party members where elected to cut government spending. But they weren't elected for promising to cut Social Security and Medicare. That's been the big GOP lie that's being constantly repeated on Fox News and elsewhere in the media.
The GOP wants to limit government spending from the current 24% of GNP to 18% (or even much lower) - - - but it's just a random "pie in the sky" number they settled on, not based on any real economic science without any consideration to real people's lives. Rather than cut military spending, eliminate tax loop holes for corporations, or raise taxes on the rich, the GOP wants to cut programs for the old, the sick, and the poor.
For those of you who worked for the last 30 or 40 years (while making these people rich with
low pay and increased worker productivity), you are now of no use to them any more, and therefore
they don't want to pay for your Social Security and Medicare. You are now a
"burden" to them.
If you are in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, or National Reserve, you are a government employee - and are paid by the taxpayers (even unemployed people receiving UI pay taxes). If you are a policeman, FBI agent, or CIA spy, you are a government worker. If you work for NASA, NEA, EPA, FDA, FDIC, FCC, FAA, or a thousand other like agencies, you are a government worker. Are YOU a burden on the taxpayers and part of BIG GOVERNMENT?
If you are a state senator, part of the state legislature, an assemblyman, a treasurer, a secretary, or a city councilman, you are a government worker and part of BIG GOVERNMENT. If you work for the DMV, you are a government worker. The President of the United States and all in Congress are government workers. Are they ALL a burden on the taxpayers and part of BIG GOVERNMENT?
They all get their gold-plated health care plans, salaries, and pensions paid for by us. Are we now paying people (those in congress) to make laws to deny us our own Social Security pensions and healthcare benefits?
Veteran and other military benefits (college, healthcare, pensions, etc.) aren't considered frivolous "entitlements", but Social Security and Medicare for those in the private sector are. VA benefits aren't threatened but benefits for other government workers (teachers, sanitation workers, firefighters, etc.) are. People in the service can retire much earlier than those that aren't serving in the Armed Forces. But they aren't considered part of BIG GOVERNMENT, as is the $700 billion-a-year "defense" budget that the GOP fully supports. But it's open season on old sick folks who have busted their asses off for the last 40 years making CEOs and bankers multi-millionaires and billionaires.
Aren't all of the politician's healthcare, salaries, pensions, and other
perks also a burden on the national debt and a part of BIG GOVERNMENT? Why
doesn't that count in the argument for smaller government?
Over the last 30 years as incomes for the middle class shrunk, incomes for the rich have skyrocketed...all while their tax rates have fallen to below levels we haven't seen since the 1950's. They got richer as the poor got poorer - - - and as the middle class got smaller and smaller. Since 2007 millions have went from "middle-class" to poor and now rely on unemployment benefits, food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, disability, and food banks...all the things that regular people need to survive.
Everyone in the GOP keeps repeating the same old thing: "We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem." Fox News makes sure they consistently get that Republican sound bite out as often as possible, thinking if they keep repeating the lie, it becomes believable. They say that taxing corporate jets make up such a small part of the budget shortfall, as if that's ok...
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was crying again, about how businesses can't create jobs without more "certainty" in the marketplace...as though there's never risk in business, and corporate profits should be guaranteed. He and the Republicans (Tea Party) don't believe that the old, the sick, the disabled, and the poor should have any "certainty" at all!
It's just wasteful BIG GOVERNMENT when it relates to the basic needs for you and me, but it's a "necessity" and "national security" when it relates to everyone else in government. But there's no "national security" for old and sick or poor people.
The GOP accuses like-minded people such as myself that it WE who are waging a
class war against the uber-rich when the fact is, for the last 30 years it has
been THEY who have waged a class war against the rest of us.
Below is a link to an article in the Huffington Post by Robert Creamer that tells us how we got to where we are today, and basically mirrors what I've been complaining about for the last 3 years...only his piece neatly wraps it all up in this one concise article. Below are a few excerpted notations:
"Between the Reagan and Bush years ("the New Gilded Age"), real wages fell 1%, while real income of the richest one percent rose 135%. In 1980 the average CEO made 42 times more than the average worker. Today he (or she) makes 262 times as much as the average worker. CEO Gregory Maffei of Liberty Media Corporation was compensated $87.5 million for his services last year. That's about $42,000 per hour. Mr. Paulson and all hedge fund managers paid Federal taxes at only 15% instead of the 35% rate for the wealthier among us due to a special tax break called capital gains taxes. According to the Census Bureau, the median household tax burden was 22.4% on $50,000 in 2009. Income inequality generates a vicious cycle - - - laid-off workers, lower wages, less consumer demand, less economic growth, and so on. The Republican notion that we can't burden the "job creators" like Paulson with new taxes is mortally dangerous for our economy and our future. Just the opposite is true. The true 'job creators' are the everyday consumers that have to have money in their pockets to create the demand to make our economy grow."
The governor of Wisconsin will cut the budget for others, but himself lives
in a mansion. The governor in New Jersey will cut the budget for others, but flies
around in a helicopter. It has always been WE who have to make any
"sacrifices", but there are never any "shared sacrifices".
The politicians, CEOs, and bankers have never had to suffer, it's only the rest
of us who must.
You worked hard all your life, then they dumped you like garbage before you reached retirement age, then you are denied disability and health care to save THEM a few more bucks...it's almost as though they want you die!
What happens after the richest 1% has hoarded 99% of all available wealth in
world? Who will work and who will buy things? Will we all be living underground
by then, while they live the life of luxury high above in the sun light, as we
slave for them on ancient machines in dark and cold caves to provide them with
all their worldly goods? Is that what they eventually think Utopia will be? Will
they finally be content after slaughtering the rest us in their class war?
Growing Economic Inequality the Root Cause of Economic Stagnation