Saturday, April 30, 2011

Start thinking about who you're going to vote for now, so it doesn't bite you later.

Here we are inexplicably beginning the election cycle again. It always starts early, but in the first months before it begins, we begin to face decisions that will hold consequences for us and our children. We are currently faced with a decision in this country: Do we support the very wealthy getting massive tax breaks while social programs suffer, or do we support fair taxation for all while also knowing that, should we fail in our endeavors or grow old, that we won’t have to go bankrupt trying desperately to stay afloat? This is the question we face today. However, it isn’t the only question. We must also question what the future should hold. Should we move toward cleaner, more efficient energy, or should we plunder our beautiful country for what lies beneath? Should we allow ourselves to continue to pollute on a massive scale and lead ourselves to rising temperatures and sea levels, or should we fight to protect our only home, Earth, from such disasters?
There is one side of this debate that would, in far more twisted language, argue that we should cut and tax, that we should drill and mine, and that we should pollute. They argue that this is a better way to create jobs, save the economy, and prosper. However, despite what their millions and millions of dollars in advertisement says, this is not the case. To debunk these arguments, we need look no further than the last presidency. In those eight years, with the massive tax cuts passed during that time, we went from a modest budget surplus to a massive budget deficit. The deficit we have now is not a product of spending on medicare or medicaid, it is most definitely a product of tax cuts on the very wealthy. If we look to the past, say, Clinton-era policies, we see modest surpluses arising out of deficits because our government’s ability to tax wasn’t completely gutted by bad policy.
There is an example of what happens when a government cannot bring in revenue: In the earliest days of independent America, our government was explicitly denied the ability to tax its citizens under the articles of confederation. This government fell apart within little over a decade. If we continue down the road corporate leaders and republicans are dragging us down, we can be sure that the function of the government would decrease, but with no small cost to every person in the middle class and lower.
This is the point where the debate stops being about Democrats or Republicans, limited or large government. This is the point where the debate needs to be concerned with who we support: Do we, the lower ninety nine percent of income earners, want to vote for the one percent with fifty percent of the wealth in this country, or do we want to support ourselves? Using fear and terms of absolutes and necessity, republicans nationwide have enacted policies that are truly malicious and destructive to democracy. In Michigan, for example, we see a government that is taking over cities, and replacing the elected officials there with one person who has complete and total control over the functions of that city. Is this what we want to be voting for?
This brings us to the fundamental question of who represents who in this country. If we look to Republicans and Conservatives (please note, conservative politicians are very much different from the people who vote for them), we see a party with ties to big money. We see a party which would go to great lengths to dismantle and displace systems like medicare or medicaid, while also giving out massive tax cuts and subsidies to the very rich and companies making RECORD profits. Now, the opposing side, Democrats and progressives, are the, well, opposite. They represent a wide spectrum of Americans, and they vote for things that would benefit the majority of citizens, not the wealthy few.
We the people, who hold our freedom so dear, must fight to protect that freedom, but not from some government official or some bureaucrat, but from the Chief executive officers, and the hedge fund managers, and the super-wealthy who would seek to take the money we pay the government every year in taxes into their coffers. These people, the people really behind the republican party, don’t care if the elderly or the poor or the weak suffer from the gigantic spending cuts proposed by our republican friends in congress. These people don’t care that people like us, who are struggling to pay our way through college, would come out of school with a massive debt. These people care about profit. These people care about maximizing revenue while externalizing costs. What this means is that the people in charge of the other side will, with one hand, seek to pay as little in taxes as possible by way of using their puppet congressmen, and with the other hand, seek to have their failures be reimbursed by us, the average citizen. We must fight back. We must fight with everything we can: You must not listen to what the money and republicans tell you, you must get educated, and, above all else, you must vote!