The fundamental economic problem in the United States has less to do with how much money we spend, and everything to do with what we spend it on. We spend huge amounts on things that reduce the life force of the nation: tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate subsidies, and war. Meanwhile, we withhold money from things that help people thrive and thus create more good/produce more money themselves: health, education, and the well being of our communities.
Tax cuts to the very wealthy are given under the canard that those people will then create more jobs and add to the economy. Yet evidence is clearly otherwise. The 2017 Tax Cut – where 83 cents of every dollar went into the hands of the wealthiest Individuals and corporations – will never pay for itself. Giving tax cuts to companies already making billions in profit did not make them invest; the money mainly went to stock buybacks and CEO stock options.
Yet nothing ever seems to change.
When corporatists talk about reducing the deficit, they are only willing to do so on the backs of the middle class and poor. They are averse to spending money on catching wealthy tax cheats, repealing unfair tax cuts to the very wealthy, or increasing investment in things that actually support the average person in creating more opportunity and wealth.
America is in a decline because we continue to do things that decrease the wellbeing of our people — all so that a ridiculously small portion of our population can do better and better. We will not pull out of our decline until and unless we are willing to fundamentally change. We will either continue to fall – and make no mistake about it, our political status quo is a trajectory of decline – or we will consciously and proactively rise.
The problem is not one individual policy here or there. The problem is big picture: a state of aristocracy and corporate entitlement now baked into the cake in America – the very opposite of a free democratic society in which everyone is supposed to have a fair shot at making it in life. The current system makes a mockery of the very idea of “unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” As the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
That is why we need universal health care, tuition-free colleges and tech schools, free child care, paid family leave, and guaranteed sick pay and a living wage. It is why we need an Economic Bill of Rights. It is why we need a wealth tax on those who make over $50M a year, and a tiny tax on stock transactions. It is why we need to decrease our bloated military budget, now proven to be so price gauged by defense contractors who use America’s foreign policy like their personal ATM.
Without such changes, our ship of state will continue to list to one side. And it is listing dangerously right now.
I am running for president to say these things. No president of the United States has been willing to talk like this for quite a while, but I will; I don’t come from the system that mitigates against it. There is no value to me in not telling it like it is. And if that means I only get one term – which it most probably will – then that’s fine, too. Give me four years, and I will start to turn this country around.
Please give generously so that I can. This is our time, and the decision lies in each of our hands.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.