Town Hall meetings are likely now dead, and we can only blame the special interests.
By Jack E. Lohman
What was once the little guy’s only direct access to congressional members will shortly become a thing of the past. This time it was the right-wingers disrupting Steve Kagen’s Green Bay meeting, but the Dems will not sit this out. And they have twice the number, so say goodbye to a small part of our democracy.
To claim this as spontaneous without industry coordination would be disingenuous. Memos from these groups have already surfaced and are clearly funded by the insurance industry.
But the protesters have not thought this through. They are only concerned with “taxes,” and they fail to connect the dots to the special interests that own our politicians.
Instead, these folks have allowed themselves to be used, even against their own best interests. To believe that the insurance (or whatever) industry gives a damn about them would be naive. These CEOs believe only in profits and higher salaries, and the process of transferring the people’s wealth to them is working quite well. They send their thanks.
Understand this: Taxes increase because government spending increases… and that increases because the people who fund the political elections (special interests) want and receive government giveaways. Money is doing the job it was intended to do; it buys politicians and laws. Your politicians and your laws.
That requires new taxes, some of which come from business and some from personal taxes. If we want companies and jobs to return to Wisconsin, there is but one answer. We MUST eliminate corporate taxes and we must eliminate the corporate burden for health care costs. Immediately, to ZERO!
But oh, that will increase personal taxes!
Not necessarily, but so what if it did? We are paying these costs anyway when manufacturers add their taxes and health care premiums to the cost of their product and we reimburse them at the cash register. Plus, when they add their attorney’s tax avoidance charges we reimburse those too.
Only when we move these expenditures to our national infrastructure can we see an economic recovery! And if politicians eliminate the unnecessary giveaways to corporations, we would have $300 billion to pay for a single-payer system. So instead of paying for health care through higher product and service prices, lost jobs and a trashed economy, we are paying through taxes but at a lower overall cost. We’ll save $400 billion as a nation.
Do I count on this happening? Not without the public’s help.
Politicians need cash for their campaigns and there are only two forms of money; public and private. And the current system demands that they take private money, and that demands that they roll over to the contributing industry giving the money. But they don’t mind this political game because it discourages challengers without money, and it unlevels the playing field, which they prefer.
Public funding of elections would cost $5 per taxpayer per year, a bargain at 100 times the price. But remember what Winston Churchill said: “America will always do the right thing, but only after everything else fails.”
— For the record, I support the tea party protests, but I fear they are going to get nasty. I do not support the mob mentality, which in this case may just backfire in favor of reformers. Or worse, will lead to violence.
— Paul Krugman described one angry mob that opposed government-run health care, but half of them were already on Medicare (a government run program).
— My congressman, Jim Sensenbrenner, isn’t so dumb after all. He apparently didn’t want to get hammered by the pro-healthcare reform folks so he took August off. Would it surprise me if it were another lobbyist-paid trip to Liechtenstein? Probably not.