Hot Corner: Are you paying attention?Written by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent Facebook post does a pretty good job of describing the current political situation. It reads, “Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401(k)s, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither.”
Yet today, we have GOP/Tea Party oligarchs who are hellbent on taking control of this country by trying to obscure the facts, and to scapegoat their pet peeves as being the ones responsible for our current economic mess.
Across the nation, there is a concerted effort, funded by very deep-pocketed corporate interests, to deflect the blame from themselves and their part in the Great Recession, onto the persons and organizations that generally try to protect the general public from their foul deeds. The fact that many of these entities have been anathema to the moneyed interests and their legislator lackeys has spawned what evidently is an attempt at a corporate coup in this country.
They have decided that since a portion of the public will believe anything they hear on FOX News, and another sizable portion will become too disheartened to even vote, that this country is ripe for the picking.
On the national and state level, GOP politicians who ran on job-creating promises have tried to switch the discourse back to all the radical social and corporate agendas they’ve been trying to sell for the past several decades. I think I can safely say that the problems we have now were not caused by persons working for hourly wages! They were caused by greed and powerful interests, suborned by a legislative disinterest in the general population’s well-being.
After all, there are all kinds of corporate, banking or lobbying firms that will pay lots of money after you leave “public” service.
If you don’t believe me, just ask King John. It’s gotten so bad that Michigan has actually passed a law that will allow an unelected official or corporation to declare any political entity to be in financial distress, and to remove any elected officials and declare any contractual obligations to be null and void.
Mind you, these are many of the same people who blather ad nauseam about socialism, communism, etc., when it comes to anything that smacks of progressive thought. What a plan! We’ll just replace our democratic republic with a quasi-fascist, oligarchic plutocracy with just a hint of anarchy thrown in to keep the Tea Party happy! And then we’ll tell the masses that this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind! It’s a new world now, and you bottom 90 percent of the food chain better get used to it, because we’ve also got plans to restrict your ability to vote, just in case you go getting any high-falutin’ ideas that might stand in the way of our God-given right to make more money than the aforementioned deity, and leave you to pay for any messes we might make.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me downright irate that I pay more taxes than GE, ExxonMobil, Citicorp, Google, and hundreds of other corporations. Our legislators, from both parties, write in these great little tax loopholes, that not only let these gigantic multinational corporations avoid paying taxes, but then get obscene rebates out of the tax money that you and I pay.
There’s tons of data out there that explains how all this works. The current political so-called wonks on the right would have you believe that all that is holding back America is the high corporate tax rates in our nation, state, county, city, whatever. The truth of the matter is, you’re paying more of the taxes than the corporations, and a higher percentage than the top 10 percent because of the huge tax breaks that they’ve been able to get passed by buying off our so-called public servants. The Citizens United (oxymoron alert) took care of that.
It used to be when we had tens of millions more working we could cover paying for the little things, like education, infrastructure and at least some semblance of a safety net. Eric Cantor, a majority leader in the House, just made the statement that Medicare can’t exist in the America that we want. Well, guess the seniors are off the list, too. In Ohio, Kasich seems hellbent on selling off to his corporate cronies what few things we have left that still provide money to the state coffers. He wants to privatize the Ohio Turnpike and sell off the state liquor franchise to pay for his JobsOhio debacle at fire sale prices. It’s time to start paying attention, because as George Carlin said, it’s an exclusive club, and you aren’t a member!