I titled this post as I did for a very good reason … our lawmakers at every level are playing games … with our lives. They are playing with our right to vote, with the bridges that just waiting for a heavier-than-average rush hour to collapse and kill thousands, they are playing with the rights of Blacks, Hispanics and those of Asian descent to … well, to live, actually. And they are playing with numbers … how they can profit the most from the 98% of us who live from paycheck to paycheck. Oh yes, folks, our lawmakers are great games players, just not very good representatives of We the People.
For the People …
Over the past 2 weeks, I have spent hours pouring over the For the People Act, the legislation that is currently collecting dust in the United States Senate. This is legislation that, in addition to much else, would guarantee every eligible person age 18 or over the right to vote. But the Senate seems to think … wait, let me amend that before I go any further … the Republicans and two Democratic members of the Senate … seem to think that We the People should not have a voice in the government we support financially! The more I study this bill, the more I am growling, for there is literally NOTHING in it that should give rise for concern. If, that is, we had legislators who put country above party, who truly cared about the future of this nation, who treasured integrity and honesty above profit and power. Sadly, we don’t.
I will have a post, more likely 2-3 posts, summarizing this bill, what it would mean to you and I, and the Republicans’ objections to it within the next week or so, but for now, suffice it to say that as long as our elected officials care more about themselves than about us, as long as they are tethered to the former guy’s wagon, and as long as there are enough uneducated people in this nation who will fall for their lies, this bill is likely to be burned at the stake before it gets a chance to see the light of day. It’s a damn shame that we will almost certainly end up trashing the democratic principles on which this nation was founded so that the likes of Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy can stay in power and keep the money rolling in … to their bank accounts.
Now about that infrastructure bill …
There has been much hassle over the infrastructure bill while bridges and roadways further erode, while people are still drinking water that is proven unsafe, but hey … let’s thank those bloody Republicans for keeping our tax dollars safe, shall we? Oh yeah … rather than spend them on our safety, they can spend them to build and buy more military hardware, better guns, even more nukes that will someday in the not-so-distant future destroy us all!
Today, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) announced that the infrastructure bill, often touted as a bipartisan bill, though I question this, would add in excess of $250 billion to the already bloated federal deficit over the next decade. Well duh … bridges, roadways, water & sewer systems … they cost money! They also save human lives, but hey … no biggie, right?
Now, since the CBO is so happily crunching numbers … I have another request for them. How about calculating the amount of additional revenue this nation would garner if every single person with a net worth over $1 million was forced to pay a fair share in taxes as the rest of us have been doing for all our lives? Yeah … I want to know how much of that money required for infrastructure could be covered if the likes of Jeff Bezos, Exxon Mobile, Smith & Wesson, and every other corporation or individual worth millions paid the same rate in taxes as the rest of us do. I’m betting these assholes could more than cover the infrastructure, upgrade our schools, and cover Medicare for All if they just opened their wallets and paid … the same progressive income tax that the rest of us pay! How ‘bout it CBO … you game for calculating this one?
During my career years, ages 13-57, I never once begrudged Uncle Sam the amount I spent on federal income taxes. I am a CPA and for years have prepared clients’ tax returns, but I refuse to lie or cheat on their behalf. But I admit that I see red when I see that certain corporations paid zero income taxes, or that a multi-millionaire, nay billionaire, paid somewhere around 1% – 2% while the average John Doe is paying 12% – 25%. C’mon, Congress, close the damn loopholes! Tax the wealthy … they can afford it … I can’t!
On April 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke these words in his infamous Gettysburg Address …
“ … that these dead shall not have died in vain– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
That government of, by, and for the people is perishing from the earth. It has had a dagger thrust into its heart and is just now gasping its last breaths. Are you content to let it die? Will we sit back and watch as those with money take power unto themselves and subjugate the rest of us? Sigh. And on that note, I bid you a good night.