By Matthew Cohen
SJS Staff Writer
With the holiday season drawing near, our wonderful elected officials sound almost optimistic at the prospect of bi-partisan support for legislation that would prevent the fiscal cliff from crippling the economy. This is certainly the time of year to believe in magic and fairy tales, so why not this one? Exactly what evidence do we have that either party has changed any platform position enough to compromise on programs cuts and tax increases for the wealthy?
A very detailed article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Online Journal explains the fiscal positions for both parties:
“We’re going to be voting for this compromise with one hand and holding our nose with the other. That’s the definition of compromise,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a La Crosse Democrat, member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderates seeking to help broker a deal.
Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson:
“The primary direction we need to move is injecting the free market system into health care,” Johnson said.
I don’t see how either of those quotes gives credence to the belief that there will be compromise. Tax increases for the wealthy and a decrease in healthcare spending miss the real fiscal problem; American manufacturing has been outsourced, and inflation continues to rise. The cost of healthcare is going up as healthcare companies show record profits. Healthcare is simply another corporate industry; the main goal of that industry is to increase profits through oligopoly which allows them to create inflation for their services. This is economics 101. These are the same corporations who outsource jobs and use international tax loop holes to bypass paying national taxes.
Taxing the wealthy, who already shelter their money from taxes, is meaningless. The wealthy who will be hurt the most are those that actually contribute to the economy, small businesses. Cutting healthcare spending is meaningless unless legislation is put in place that curbs inflation on the commodities that literally keep people alive. In other words, neither of these “solutions” to the fiscal problem contain legislation that stops ruthless corporate practices. It is those practices, learned from the playbook of men like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Carnegie, that are the true cause of the fiscal cliff. Once upon a time limits were placed on those men, but the days of fairy tales are now over.
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