With or Without a Government Shutdown - Republicans have Already Won the Debate

Published on
by
CommonDreams.org

With or Without a Government Shutdown - Republicans have Already Won the Debate

With or without a government shutdown, Republicans have already won the debate on our nation's budget. Why? Because the corporate media is on their side.

Make the wealthy pay their fair share.

A budget shouldn’t just focus on spending cuts directed at the poor and middle-class - it should also include revenue raisers like closing corporate loopholes and asking millionaires and billionaires to cough up a few extra bucks a year. Let’s cut some wasteful spending, but let’s also raise a few taxes. But this common sense narrative has been lost inside the main stream corporate media - where there’s only one question that’s being asked today, and that is “how much spending needs to be cut?”

Not, "why aren’t some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world skating by paying zero taxes?"

Not, "why are the wealthiest Americans enjoying historically low tax rates during a historically high budget deficit?"

Did you know that corporate taxes used to account for roughly 30% of revenue collected by the government - and today that number is only 7%? Probably not, because the corporate media, which would prefer not to pay its taxes and only wants us to focus on just how much Republicans and Democrats can cut out of the budget?

So why is the media ignoring these calls?

It’s simple - corporate owned media outlets won’t call for tax hikes on corporations, and rich TV personalities won’t call for tax hikes on the rich. The topic of tax hikes just doesn’t exist in our now-consolidated media. Which is really a shame because the Republicans who seem to have already won the debate have a bad idea - a really, really, bad idea.

Let’s take their road - let’s cut all the programs for poor people in America - let’s throw every middle-class family under the bus - let’s tell poor and sick Americans who rely on the government for health care assistance to, “walk it off.” Let’s do ALL these things that Republicans want to do - and we’d still have a massive budget deficit. Why? Because our government really doesn’t spend all that much money helping poor people - but we do hand off trillions to corporations and their millionaire and billionaire CEOs for buying everything from bombs to fighter jets to Chertof Porno Scanners for our airports.

So if we let the Republicans win this budget fight, as the corporate media seems more than willing to let happen, then a few years from now we’ll be asking these same questions about what to do with the soaring budget deficit - and at the same time wondering why the middle-class seems to have completely disappeared.

The solutions to our budget problems are simple - you wouldn't BELIEVE how simple they are. I can tell you the solution using only 6 words…ROLL - BACK - THE - REAGAN - TAX - CUTS. Heck - roll back the Bush tax cuts, go back to Clinton levels where the wealthiest Americans paid an extra 3% - just 3% - three measly percentage points, and we’d take a huge chunk out of our deficit, just like that.
Remember how the Clinton budget passed without a single Republican vote in the House and gave us not only a balanced budget but a surplus? And if we rolled back the Reagan tax cuts, and made billionaires pay at least 74%, like they did for more than half of the 20th century, when our nation prospered and the middle class grew - then we’d have a budget SURPLUS!

A budget surplus? Can you imagine how different life in America would be with a budget surplus?! We’d be paying down our debt year-to-year. And we’d be able to use that extra cash to do things that our nation hasn't done in generations since Reagan started “starving the beast.”

We’d build new roads and bridges - new schools - build new science programs like NASA from scratch - renovate our national energy grid - invest in clean energy like Denmark did where 19% of their energy now comes from windmills - or like Germany did by putting solar panels on people’s roofs - and now after 10 years solar power is generating more electricity in Germany - the second cloudiest country in Europe behind the UK - making more power than 8 nuclear power plants. This is what America could be doing today - putting people to work - rebuilding the middle-class - and reclaiming the top spot in the world economy.

We need to change the debate in America today.

Unlike the Republican budget proposal passed a few months back that's nearly 200 pages of draconian cuts, after all, we know Republicans hate bills more than a few pages, mine is just 1 page - in fact - it's just 1 sentence. It simply says one thing - Restore the top income tax rate of 74% - as it was the year before Ronald Reagan took office in 1980 and we had no debt crisis. If we can get this bill passed, or even just get it debated, we can fix America's problems today.

So call your congressman and tell him to vote for the simple solution, the right solution, and roll back the Reagan tax cuts.

Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program The Thom Hartmann Show. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country and an updated edition of "Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back." Previous books include:  Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture," "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,"  "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It," and "Cracking The Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion."

Share This Article

More in: