Some things just never change…

Though who we elect should…

                 

By Jack E. Lohman

Albert Einstein once said that “you can’t solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them,” but our politicians are out to prove him wrong.

Either these people don’t comprehend how we got into this financial mess, or more likely, they are playing us for fools. Congress is all over the spectrum; tax breaks here, spending there, you name it. But not one politician will touch the core issue — political corruption — because that might actually require a fix.

The R’s are complaining about overspending today for only one reason: it’s their turn. Last year they were selling our country to the highest bidder, and today it’s the Dems.

Just once it would be nice if we could trust politicians to do the right thing. You know, like the job they were elected to do! Representing the public.

But we can’t. Both political parties are being paid large sums of money in campaign contributions to do just the opposite, to tilt the recovery dollars in the direction of the giver. Your politician and mine have zero qualms about transferring our wealth to their financial supporters.

It’s troublesome that cash dollars sway our system today, but worse, they also swayed it in the 1980’s and 90’s and are the very reason we are currently in trouble. It is cash bribes that originally bought the lifting of banking and credit regulations. The banks went wild and now want the taxpayers to repay them for their mistakes. The Republicans wrote the bill and the Democrats rubber-stamped it. Sound familiar?

Health Care

They did the same thing when they killed the Stark medical conflict of interest regulations, and you can see where health care costs have gone as a result.

Logically, a Medicare-for-all system would be in the best interest of the state and nation, for citizens, and for companies that are spending $6000 per employee per year for premiums. They could jettison this expense and better compete with foreign companies, and by covering 100% of our people it would create more good jobs in health care. But the R’s are blocking it.

Taxes

The Republicans want tax cuts for businesses, and indeed business taxes should be cut to zero. Bailout or no bailout. We pay their taxes anyway when they are added to the price of the product and we reimburse them at the cash register. The same is true for health care costs, which also should be disconnected from employers. We should offset them both with more progressive personal taxes as other countries have done. It works!

The R’s want business tax cuts to save corporate dollars and make them more competitive. 

But they don’t want single-payer health care that would save employers $6000 per employee per year, because that bypasses their insurance company contributors. Go figure.

They also criticize Obama’s proposal for zero taxes for the poor, but supported Bush’s cuts for the rich.

If this recovery were not being tilted by campaign contributions perhaps we could see quick progress.

Tidbits:

  • Only public funding of campaigns would have prevented this crash, and only public funding of campaigns will get us out of it. Until that changes, nothing else will.
  • The Chinese sentenced to death two people involved in their tainted milk scandal. Perhaps if we did that to corrupt politicians we’d see some quick changes.
  • If tax cuts for the wealthy work so well, where are all the jobs Bush’s 2001-2001 cuts were supposed to generate? In China and India, to the benefit of the multi-national corporations that fund the elections. But not in the U.S..
  • Another senator retires, complaining that half of his time — that is 100% paid for by taxpayers — is spent fund raising.
  • The same Republicans that voted against this horrendous Dem bailout package, voted for the $780 billion Medicare giveaway to the drug industry. How about that?
  • 3 Responses to Some things just never change…

    1. And incidentally, my last comment called this a “horrendous Dem bailout package.” It may be over the top; it may not be. But I’d feel better about it if I knew that political cash were not flowing.

    2. Keith Schmitz says:

      You nailed it Jack. This is the core of our problem and a major explanation why it is difficult for this country to move ahead.

    3. Thanks Keith.

      We have two major problems in our free-market system: (1) politicians that will do anything they can to stay in office, because they benefit disproportionately in power and subsequent wealth, and (2) certain misdirected CEOs and executives have allowed their quest for personal wealth to sway their sensibilities between right and wrong.

      The executives are more than willing to corrupt the politicians with campaign contributions to get laws and government spending twisted in their favor, and the politicians are more than willing to accept the cash. This is an egregiously corrupt political system that we criticize in other countries, but accept here. But our corruption is no better than their corruption. Both are rotten to the core.

      The Dems have promised to clean it up, and if they don’t they must be dumped too. This issue is far more important than any other, because it controls all others.

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