Fix Economic Crisis: Tax the Rich!

By Paul Krehbiel

Paul Krehbiel

The US government budget deficit is now $1.5 trillion, and most states are running out of money too. Political leaders are wringing their hands and crying in unison: “There’s just no money.” Led by Republicans, the only solution, they say, is to cut, cut, cut. They’re on a slash and burn rampage, pushing draconian cuts in education, health care, pensions, public workers, Social Security, Medicare and nearly every other needed social program and social service job.

Currently, Republicans have launched an all-out attack on unions – the one social group that has had the clout to achieve and protect these social programs. Wisconsin public workers are on the front lines in this battle. Scott Walker, recently elected Republican and Tea Party Governor, is out to crush public sector unions in Wisconsin, claiming their pensions are breaking the bank. Workers’ pensions are not the cause of the economic crisis hitting Wisconsin, nor are they in 44 other states.

Fortunately, Wisconsin’s unions and the public have responded with huge demonstrations at the state capitol in Madison, and Democratic lawmakers have left the state as of this writing to prevent the anti-people legislation from being voted on. But this is just the beginning. Republicans in Ohio, New Jersey and a host of other states are readying similar anti-labor legislation for their state houses.

How can there not be enough money in the richest country in the world for needed social services when practically every other industrialized country funds them? Actually, there’s tons of money. Billions and trillions of dollars. The problem is that it isn’t in government bank accounts because the giant corporations and the rich have taken it. The sales pitch from the Republicans and their financiers have turned this reality upside-down.

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