It’s time once again for a budget bill, and as usual, Republicans have all sorts of ideas on how the United States can cut wasteful spending. And by wasteful spending, they mean any money that can’t be spent on defense contracts or giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
You know, all of that money we use to do things like pay for education, affordable housing or even taking care of veterans. Apparently those are unnecessary costs and we as a country need to do away with them in order to hand out those tax breaks so the magical flow of trickle down economics that we’ve been waiting for since the 1980s will finally happen.
Now if you actually believe any of these talking points from Republicans in Congress, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like for you to consider buying. Fortunately, Senator Bernie Sanders isn’t having any of their shenanigans, and he had some heated words .
“This Republican budget throws 27 million Americans off health insurance, slashes $5 trillion over the coming decade from programs that help working families, cuts taxes on the richest Americans and raises them on working families with kids.
“The budget moves this country in exactly the wrong direction. At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, it gives huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, while making devastating cuts to education, Medicare, affordable housing and prescription drug coverage.”
“Anyone who takes an objective look at this Republican budget can do nothing else but conclude that this is an absolute disaster for the working people of this country. Families are struggling to put bread on the table, to send their kids to college and to take care of their basic needs. But the Republican budget says ‘we’re going to make it even harder for those families.’” (Source)
Right now, it seems like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the only ones in the Senate really calling out Republicans on trying to pass yet another bill that would make things worse for Americans, not better. Despite the fact that Wall Street has rebounded from the 2008 recession and corporate profits are near an all-time high, income inequality is getting worse, not better. Wait, what was that again about the wealth trickling down? Surely we would have seen that by now, right? *crickets*
Americans aren’t happy with either party right now, and their frustration showed with 200,000 people signing up to volunteer to work for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in the first five days. The American Dream is currently little more than that – just a dream, an illusion held up by the wealthiest to say that anyone can achieve it. Those who somehow fail to be as fortunate as them must not have tried hard enough.
Back towards the end of the 1990s economic boom, my father who had lived through the Great Depression told me that one day this country would be divided between the haves and the have-nots, and that I should do everything I could not to be one of the have-nots. At the time, that didn’t make a whole lot of sense but after the crashes of 2001 and 2008, it became very obvious that his prediction was correct.
The Republican budget represents the will of the haves, the wealthiest of Americans and the corporations who could pay a bit more in taxes in order to close our budget deficit. The Republican budget once again puts forth the false promise that all we need is another tax cut for the rich and the “job creators” will finally share their economic prosperity with the rest of us. We’ve tried giving tax break after tax break to the biggest corporations in America; it hasn’t worked, and it’s time to try something else.
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