It's the economy stoopid! All other issues are distractions.
The economy I'm talking about is the money being extracted from the poor and middle class to support an insatiable hierarchy of billionaire banks and corporations.
Take off the blinders. Representatives we once elected to serve our interests vacated their responsibilities when they found it more profitable to serve Lobbyist's agendas.
1. HOUSING: You were told it was going to be a 'painful' recovery. What did you expect? That, for financing more house than you could afford, you'd take your licks by agreeing to a new loan that would take thirty years longer to pay off? That the mortgage companies would fall all over themselves agreeing to the extended time period?
Okay, okay! I know that's what it sounded like was going to happen. This was going to be handled joint-venture style so you threw yourself on your sword and waited for the other side to start writing you out of this mess.
A funny thing happened on the way to the bank though. No doubt you've heard of a 'quick return.' Industry is a huge subscriber to this theory and thirty years isn't very fast. Besides, they had other problems. Most of them didn't know where the bodies (your mortgages) were buried. Who owned the paper on it? Their loosey-goosey bookkeeping system covered the trail of third party sales, insuring those sales, re-selling and re-insuring the debt.
And then the reality …
The millions of dollars of stimulus money paid executive bonuses and got reinvested in the stock market to 'grow' the economy. Tough luck for you and your upside down mortgage.
2. HEALTH CARE: Nothing less than a single payer system paid for with user premiums and a new not-for-profit health care industry. You will help cover care for the poor, the chronically ill and elderly because it is the humanitarian thing to do. Life is a non-saleable right.
3. TAXES: Comprehensive understanding of the Federal tax code is not doable. Taxing individuals and corporations equally needs to become the objective. Where are the problems with a one-page tax Bill? All entities pay a percentage of earnings. If this exceeds or doesn't balance the Federal Budget, adjust the percentage figure up or down. No matter how one makes a buck, all pay the same rate. No loopholes or write-off costs. Do business in the USA, pay in the USA.
States with their own tax can follow the same simple concept. Together with property taxes and sales taxes, there is enough money through equal taxation to meet personal and corporate objectives. Individuals are not corporate piggy banks. If corporations cannot raise sufficient private equity, they use the bank for good old-fashioned loans.
4. PICKPOCKET TAXES: Our representatives enact these clever forms of larceny into law to control our behavior or discourage corruption of our morals. These are not taxes for everyone, so are considered 'voluntary.' Those who don't partake, cheer laws like these. Users shut up and pay. We all should ask what happened to our right to choose.
How about the 'penny mentality' taxes? You know, no one will miss a penny so the sales tax gets upped for twenty years? Most grumbled, but ceded and paid. Today, fees are doubled and tripled, fines start in the hundreds of dollars, property taxes become the means to an end to solve budget shortfalls and toll taxing agencies cannot raise the prices fast enough to suit developers. No one escapes.
5. PURCHASING POWER: Median personal income has stagnated for at least the past thirty years. More members of a household added to the work force simply increased household income but veiled the loss of real wage improvement and hid the decrease in our standard of living.
The prices of food, clothing, shelter, utilities, personal transportation, health care and other intangibles continue to rise and command a larger portion of our yearly income.
President Regan's 'trickle down economics' policy really does work. The cost trickles down to the bottom of the economic scale. The profit rises to the top.
6. EDUCATION: Public education is paid through taxes and available to all. Private education is paid privately and selectively available. It's not difficult to see the difference. In the last ten years privately owned Charter schools have gained a share of the marketplace. Enrollment remains selectively available but are now paid through taxes. It's sold as 'the parents should choose where their children are educated,' but is a for-profit business. Home schooling and religiously-themed schools are being talked about as viable alternatives to public education to be paid for publicly.
Support it or not, it remains a redirection of tax dollars to private industry. Public Universities and Colleges are empowered to raise tuition by a maximum of fifteen percent per year. They all do and most apply the max! (Figures might differ by State)
Voters are responsible for more than coloring in a bubble, punching out a chad or writing an 'X' beside a familiar name. It is your responsibility to become informed. Get involved and become part of the process of separating the truth from the lies. Find out your candidate's (City, County, State, Senate, Congress) personal stance on the economy. Call them, fax them, email them, meet them.
Ask how they plan to change the economy for the middle class? Ask if they know that every cost and increase passed on to you is noticed. Tell them your vote is not automatic; that you will seek out a candidate to represent your concerns.
If not this time, then the next time and if not then, the election after that. Tell them you will not stop until your interests are represented by those in office.