“That leaves programs totaling $477 billion — 14 percent of the $3.5 trillion federal budget — to absorb the promised cuts, including education, environment, transportation, diplomacy, disease control, scientific research, investor protection, and all other basic government programs on which the quality of American life depends.”
Nobody in the United States wants to pay for public services. It’s a bloated system, ruined by powerful unions, with big fat pensions. But when the police force gets cut, and crime rises, everybody screams bloody murder. When public works lays off workers to reduce the budget and a snowstorm blankets a city, but street clearing is inadequate or slow, and garbage doesn’t get picked up for days, everybody screams bloody murder. When teachers are laid off, increasing class sizes to unmanageable and unrealistic proportions and programs cut to save money, parents scream bloody murder. When people demand that their elected representatives cut the deficit, but keep their hands off off “my” social security or medicare or the defense budget, and politicians broach the subject of cutting those programs to actually BE ABLE to cut the deficit, people scream bloody murder. People hate regulation, but when a company sickens thousands of people or people die through lax sanitary conditions, they scream bloody murder. Business leaders say regulations and taxes hurt their ability to hire, but manage to give their CEO’s millions and millions of dollars in bonuses every year, and people scream bloody murder.
The sad fact about Americans is that they all want their lives to go on getting good community policing, good schools with robust programs, drive on nice roads with safe bridges, eat food and drink water that is free from harmful or deadly poisons, have the biggest defense structure in the world, and keep all of their retirement and healthcare nets in place-but don’t want to pay for it! The sad fact about Americans today is that they don’t have the slightest understanding of the correlation between big business and the lack of taxes that they pay as they make their millions. If laws were passed to close all of the ridiculous tax loopholes that businesses get for actually shipping our jobs overseas, we would see billions–that’s BILLIONS of dollars in revenue that would go a hell of a long way to cutting the deficit. But Republicans have sold people a bill of goods and use scare tactics to dissuade the voters from pushing for that. They want people to believe that corporations are actually overtaxed. They are not. They want you to believe that taxes hurt their ability to expand or hire. It does not. They want you to believe that they can cut non-defense discretionary spending without seriously altering the lives of average Americans. They absolutely cannot. Don’t believe me. Go look at a pie chart of how we spend our money. The Republicans blustered all through the last election cycle how they would trim the budget by 100 billion. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. They knew it then, they know it now. And now they are backtracking.
The real money to be saved is on defense, getting healthcare reform in place, and making businesses pay their fair shar of taxes. The corporations of this country are making record profits and not creating any jobs here. Look it up. Until people stop getting led around by the nose and look into the cold, hard, numbers, we will be the ones to live in less safe communities, with services and infrastructure that are inadequate. It is astounding how people vote against their best interests when they are not supplied with facts–only misleading rhetoric.
- GOP’s spending cuts: Promises and reality (money.cnn.com)
- Editorial: About That $100 Billion (nytimes.com)