Back before President Reagan started the Republican tradition of enacting ever larger tax cuts for the ultra rich, the rich and famous appeared to be living quite well, despite paying far higher taxes then they do today. Then President Reagan announced his "trickle down" theory of economics. This theory posited that the money that the rich and large corporations saved in taxes would be reivested in businesses that would create jobs, and thus there would be more total money to tax.
Some said that this "voodoo economics" would lead to a massive national debt. And, under Reagan, the national debt reached new highs. This was reversed during the Clinton Administration. But, then President George W. Bush enacted even greater tax cuts for the rich while sending bonus refund checks to the poor and middle class. The result has been that the national debt has skyrocketed out of control, as the economy has fallen into an abyss. Unemployment and home foreclosures are at the highest rate since the Great Depression and the national debt is in the trillions.
The problem is that instead of investing their new found bounty in their communities, the super rich instead squirreled it away, often in overseas tax havens. And, instead of creating more jobs for Americans, the super rich now farm American jobs overseas, so they can pay their employees sweat shop wages and not have to worry about such trifles as unsafe working conditions, or using child labor.
It is time to stick a pin in the doll of voodoo economics!
The massive tax cuts for the rich, first enacted under President Reagan, and then reaching record levels under President George W. Bush have led to an unprecedented national debt along with the highest levels of unemployment, bankruptcy and home foreclosures since the Great Depression. Thus, President Reagen's "trickle down" (some would say voodoo) economics proved to be a massive failure under the Bush Misadministration.
Instead of investing their new found largess from the tax cuts in their communities, the rich and the large corporations chose to spend it on lavish bonuses for themselves and their friends and send much of this money overseas to tax havens. Instead of hiring more workers and donating money to charities, they have chosen to ship American jobs overseas.
What difference does it make if someone has $100 million, $1 billion or $10 billion? In any of these instances, there is plenty of money for the person to live a lavish lifestyle while having plenty to bequeath to their heirs. Also, the rich person will not spend any more money if he or she has an extra billion or three.
In contrast, we poor and middle class have no choice but to spend any extra money in our communities. Many of us are unemployed, under employed, in debt, or in danger of losing our homes. The bottom of the economic pyramid is rotting away at its base and thus threatening the rich, as less product is being made, the nation's infrastructure crumbles, and the environment becomes more polluted as the national debt soars.
In order for the base of the economic pyramid to be stable, we need to start creating jobs on a mass scale, as was done during the Great Depression, and we need to provide people with such economic relief and continued unemployment benefits and financial assistance so they don't lose their homes and can afford adequate medical care. When banks foreclose on a home, the house is often not maintained and this drives neighborhood property values down more. Also, as people become more financially desperate, they are more likely to engage in illegal acts in order to survive. The last thing the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world needs is more prisoners.
So, I ask both political parties to stop your endless bickering and find ways to create the needed jobs and provide the unemployed continued benefits until they return to work. I ask you to find ways to meaningfully help those in danger of losing their homes and think of ways to reward employers who hire the unemployed, under employed, or people with disabilities, including people who are ex-offenders. Plus, we need to develop training programs for the new "green" jobs and other postions where we have a lack of qualified candidates and provide benefits to the people enrolled in such programs, so they're financially able to complete them. In addition, we need to put people to work repairing and improving our roads, rails, ports and other infrastructure and cleaning up our environmental messes. And, we need to get out of the war business and whittle down our prison population, by developing more alternatives to incarceration and taxing the currently illegal drugs, instead of having an unprofitable and unwinnable "war" on them.
We the voters will be looking to see who is most likely to help to create an economy where we are able to get good jobs, affordable health care and be able keep our homes.
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