Tax the Rich Is a Poor Man’s Solution

It’s a poor solution as well.

The reason we get a knee-jerk reaction to ‘make the bastards pay’ is because we haven’t had a realistic conversation about ‘who does what’ in this country for almost as long as I can remember.

It’s not about greed, it’s about equity

The big fight in Congress at the moment purports to be about whether or not America can afford Jo Biden’s plan for a Green New Deal. He calls it Build Back Better, but it’s basically a jobs and environmental program.

The price tag was $3.5 trillion, and it’s now been chiseled away to less than half that, but Republicans aren’t going to let him (or us) have it. Too expensive they say, without any sense of shame at all for wasting $10 trillion in Afghanistan. Where’s the money gonna come from?

Not a problem. The world is awash in money. $450 million for a Picasso, $20 million for a bespoke Rolls Royce, much of it based on dollar-a-day wages for workers putting together $150 athletic shoes. There’s nothing equitable in that, but by god it’s profitable. Need another example? 18-27% interest rates on your credit card, when the banks can borrow at near zero rates.

So, the argument is bullshit

And in the meantime, America is falling apart. 60% of American households could not raise $500, for an unexpected emergency, without going bankrupt. Suicide rates are off-the-wall, college grads can’t find work in their specialty, the Sackler family (Purdue pharmaceutical) settles for $4 billion after killing half a million Americans and a Black guy gets life in prison for shoplifting a scarf.

Thanks, Joe Manchin. I’m not going to hang all-of-the-above inequities around your neck, but you’re a partisan asshole who’s making sure Joe Biden’s economic plan ends up dead-on-arrival in the Senate. Which suits your personal coal interests but sells-out every unemployed or under-employed citizen in West Virginia. What a hero. What a protector of the poor.

Long on politicians, short on statesmen

It takes a long time to get Americans riled up, so I don’t hold out much hope for economic equity until the wheels really come off. I never expected to write that about my country, but I never thought we’d fall for the Big Lie either.

Statesmanship brought us recovery from the ’29 Depression, the rebuilding of a shattered Europe by the Marshall Plan and Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream.

We don’t seem to dream anymore. We scheme.

Politicians brought us the best Congress money could buy, graft and corruption in the guise of lobbying, the total destruction of the Voting Rights Act, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, January 6th and the probable wholesale rape of women’s reproductive rights.

It ain’t fair and it ain’t equitable, but it’s what we got and it’s nobody’s fault but our own for not paying attention. We survived Pearl Harbor and Joe McCarthy.

I guess we’re tough enough to come back from this as well.

 


Image Credit: NBC News

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