American Political Ignorance
Income Inequality, Reduction of Social Programs, and the Rise of Aristocrats in America!
Greedy, money hungry leeches in Washington continue to bleed the honest American worker of their hard earned cash. The middle class continues to shrink at an astonishing rate, with the riches few reaping the benefits of our prosperous nation. The last thing this nation needs is more social reform and higher taxes, combining the middle and lower classes into one. What good are economic safety nets that protect families from starving, stop the physically impaired and elderly from working, and provide equal education to all Americans so each child has the opportunity to succeed. Such a cynical ideology is one reason why the middle class continues to shrink. Though so many disagree with such reform and tax increases, nearly all Americans will benefit from such programs. The American Dream is dead and it is in part due to the greedy mindset that has been established over the past thirty years.
The thought of higher taxes makes Americans cringe, but what many don’t realize is how terrible the tax system has become in the past three decades. The vision of the American Dream has pushed millions to believe taxes deprive the average Joe of their plunder of gold. For most, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; all that awaits the majority of us is a nine to five job that pays barely enough to survive and forces the middle class to work endlessly, for what, a speedy retirement. By the time we hit sixty five, we begin to think of the places we hope to travel to and the houses we may finally be able to afford, but at that age we cannot fully enjoy such extravagant trips or luxurious houses.
Stepping Away from Social Reform
So how would social programs and higher taxes raise the lower classes and lower income inequality, which continues to rise to record highs? For one, the myth of Reagan’s tax cuts needs to be disclosed for the scam it truly was. Lowering the taxes for the richest Americans by nearly fifty percent, while only reducing taxes for the lower class by no more than five percent, is one way to rob the general public. What was even worse was the fact that many of the poorest Americans experienced a rate hike, when they were told cuts were coming. If we can obtain a job paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, we begin to thank Reagan for his new take on economics, but no such luck for the majority of us, as the median household income sits at around fifty two thousand a year. This is startling low compared to the 1970’s when the economy continued to improve and taxes were still high.
So what changed? How did higher taxes actually improve the economy and the middle class? As wealth was being reallocated from the top twenty percent, into the government, social programs were being properly funded to sustain a healthy and expansive middle class. Incentives for a college education existed, government job opportunities were established, and social security was properly being funded to outlast the baby boomers. Yes, you heard me correctly, a properly funded social security program, with no doomsday scenario of exhausted funds. One reason Social Security faces such peril today is not due to the program itself. It is in part due to politicians spending more than two trillion dollars of Americans hard earned retirement on other projects, mainly military. This number should increase to four trillion by 2017 and yet politicians continue to blame the social program for costing the American public.
The American Aristocrats in Congress
Such maneuvers causes Americans to believe social programs are costly expenses, which will end up as a tax increase. So who is at the wrong here? It seems to be the people in charge, but what is to be done. It is not surprising politicians refuse to tax the rich, because they are the rich. The American aristocrats are in control and their petty debates end up costing the ordinary citizen. As Congress continues to be anything but productive, tax payers continue to pay their salaries. The lethargic and trivial attitudes in Congress don’t even need the salary, as many lived quite comfortably before being elected. In 2010, the median income for a senator was four million. These politicians have no need for Social Security, food stamps, or education benefits for their children. For many, their position in Congress is purely for the powers entrusted in them as they protect their wealth in any way possible.
Americans need to question the motives of politicians. Though not all representatives can be categorized as greedy and egotistic, it only takes a few to create chaos in Washington. The American Dream is dead, but not because of a tax happy government, it is because of semi-monarchy that continues to be established. Congress and the presidency continue to be held by several wealthy families as if it was a family owned business. The names Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, and Paul are only a few that currently exist in government with past family members already lathered in American history books. Can money truly buy a seat in Congress? It seems so.
So what is to be done with such a family run government? To Congress I say, tax me, but do so fairly. Raise taxes on the wealthy and use such funds for good and not evil. There is no reason for America to spend six hundred and forty billion dollars on defense, when the second highest spender allocates less than two hundred billion to defense and has nearly three times the population. Meanwhile, the U.S. spends nearly fifty percent less per person on education than Luxemburg, which leads the world in public education. It has already been made very clear that the education of Americans takes a back seat to defense, with two percent of the annual budget going to education and twenty going to defense. Safety is priority, but taking even two percent from defense would without a doubt be extremely beneficial to schools across the nation, with little to no harm done to the safety of the United States. The majority of the frivolous military spending goes to weapons that will see little to no combat anyway, as millions of dollars are wasted on training exercises. Such spending goes to defense companies like Haliburton, which was once run by past Vice President Dick Cheney, but that is another topic for a different day.
America has escaped from the avaricious perils of big business before, but only after the worst economic crisis to date. The similarities to the “Roaring Twenties” and now are more apparent than ever, but we continue to ignore such issues as a society. Are we so content with our lives that we no more push for a better living for all? Only time will tell how such dilemmas will be solved, but a second depression is more likely than one may assume. Income inequality is a pressing issue that keeps being set aside for a later date, but enough is enough. Our government is becoming reactive and not proactive. Such a strategy will only doom us in the case of a financial crisis and those in the middle class historically have the most to lose during such a crisis.