Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Gospel According to Ole Geo - Part II

Hearing the difficult "tales" of my friend/ally Lisa - see:

as she and her family struggle after endless unemployment as "normal" Americans as well as the Incredible picture U.S. House Republicans put forth of our country, I've got a few (perhaps)"naive" and "simple" thoughts and feelings.

I find many of the issues relating to today's economic woes in the U.S. not really that complicated. There is significant talk of how "high taxes" are "the problem" and that if we cut regulations and lower taxes, as well as cutting "waste" (e.g. "social problem spending"), magically all will be well soon.

One needn't search far to see how idiotic much of the current Republican rhetoric is.


One can easily see the differences, for example, between the economic plight of really small business people and that of the quite wealthy. Even if one were to consider owner's of small businesses to include those with household incomes in the range of $250,000/year for non-partnered households and $400,000 for partnered individuals, one could easily have tax policies that seriously tax the wealthy, and tax more moderately "the middle class".

Middle class people don't generally have to worry about inheritance taxes beyond the $1-2,000,000 range. Where they leave estates of $10,000,000+ their "small business" or whatever really wasn't that small.

So, assume, that perhaps we might create more equity in taxation policies, that taxed poor people little, middle class people more, and the wealthy - significant amounts. We might, for example, give tax breaks related to earned income, rather than investment income to help middle class people. It really wouldn't take that high rates for the wealthy related to their income, wealth and inheritances to raise a lot more money.


Much of the current debate concerning expenditures is simply idiotic. IF we assume that we are Not going to cut defense spending, social security and pension benefits and similar, but are going to focus on "the pork" out there, we very quickly end up in situations where we need to drastically need to cut things like:

1.) Police and fire departments
2.) Education
3.) Health Care

Clearly, if we are going to realistically cut spending and Not dramatically hurt all the poor and middle class in dramatic ways, we need to figure out ways to significantly cut expenditures where they can realistically be cut.

"Realistically" is however a dangerous word.

To cut medical expenses in this country, we need to cut costs. To cut costs we need to seriously look at what I would call "profiteering" in areas where people do need to make a living as well as get services. Drug company profits are one obvious target, despite the political impossibility of such an effort.

IF we do Not deal with issues such as drug costs, our alternatives end up being cutting people's health insurance coverage and increasing their medical costs.

There is not an alternative!


If we are going to really work at solving our problems, as Lisa alluded to in a recent column, we might want to talk with some of the people affected by our policies such as her family, coping with a serious loss of income, due to her persistent unemployed state.

We also might want to see the need for real dialog, with real honesty and really listening and hearing both the words of others and of our allies and ourselves.

To pretend that there is Not a "Tea Party mindset" which reflects real anger and fears among some honest people seems stupid to me. Obviously the Democratic Party, President Obama and many others haven't spoken to the fears of people as effectively as the demagogues such as Rush and Michelle do every day.

I think that we need to speak our truths with others - reaching out beyond our allies to people who are "different" from us in increasing ways. For some, this may mean reaching out from their churches, to other churches. For some men, this may mean reaching out to other men.

It is difficult today to talk with people rather than at them! I can't claim that magically what I suggest will work today or tomorrow, but we must also look further in the future.


No comments: