Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The only numbers you need to know to understand the budget debate.

Republican plan for the next ten years:
Cut spending on government programs over the next decade by $4.3 trillion. 
Cut tax revenues over the same period by $4.2 trillion. 

In other words: steal from the poor (actually,  steal from almost everyone) and give to the rich.

Oh, and squeeze social policy change in there, too, most of which will benefit corporations by removing regulations.

Here we are in Western Massachusetts desperately fighting to stop three polluting biomass proposals tokeep our air from getting any worse than it is, and yet the Environmental Protection Agency is going to lose 16% of its funding just in the current, stop-gap budget.  Republicans say that environmental regulations hurt jobs.  What they really mean is it hurts corporations, two-thirds of whom paid no federal taxes at all last year.

I've often wondered just what rich people think they and their children are going to do in twenty, fifty or a hundred years, after they've completely ruined the economy and the environment.  Living in gated communities won't cut it, because the rich will still have to breathe the same air.  Live underground?  Colonize the moon?  Are they really that self-delusional?

I hope it's clear to everyone that winning protections on the local level is about all we've got--  that's not saying much, given that federal cuts produce state cuts and state cuts produce local cuts....but at least, in terms of the mayor and city council, we put these folks in office and we can take them out again if they fail to listen to what the people of Springfield want.

Arise recently joined a statewide coalition, Campaign for Our Communities, which is basically about restoring the income tax rate to 5.9%, with subsidies and rebates for anyone earning under $100,000 so that we would not experience the increase.  Only we're not supposed to frame it as raising taxes!  And we're not supposed to talk about the cuts poor people are experiencing, supposedly because that's not the "message" that will resonate with the middle class-- who wants to protect poor people?

Frankly, I'm sick of the bull, from progressives as well as reactionaries. Let's start telling the truth, people, it's class warfare, and we, the poor and working class,  didn't start it.  But we'd better get ready to fight it.

Photo from ElyceFeliz's photostream at Flickr. Print Friendly and PDF

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