Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay
Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay
By Moshe Adler / truthdig.com
Jul 31, 2011

What we should be talking about when we talk about the debt ceiling is the proper role and size of government. Instead, we are asking whether the government spends too much on programs that alleviate the pain that is the result of government policies in the first place. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and food stamps are all good programs, but all are meant to deal with the consequences of the income inequality that the government makes possible by the laws it passes. Income security programs make up 65 percent of all government expenses, and from this we are asked to conclude that the government is mainly in the business of serving and taking care of common people. But the most profound actions that the government takes, passing laws that make the rich rich, ostensibly cost no money and, because we play along, enforcing them supposedly has no cost.

Any agreement by Congress to cut the income security programs while leaving the main beneficiaries from our government—the rich—untouched, would be unconscionable. If Congress does not reach an agreement, and the deficit remains unfunded, this will give the president an unprecedented opportunity to expose who the government really serves, because it will be up to him alone, no agreement from Congress would be necessary to decide where to cut. Let him first withhold money from the enforcement and the support of laws that enrich the rich. This would lead to higher wages for workers and lower prices for consumers, and it would therefore be a good quid pro quo for the cuts he wants to make in income security programs. 

What are the laws that enrich the rich? They change with the times. When the first English settlers came to America, the king declared a law that gave him all the land of the colonies. He proceeded to give huge tracts of this land—William Penn was given all of Pennsylvania—to the well-connected. They became landowners, and the rest of us became their tenants, paying them rent for the right to live on “their” land. Things did not improve when the United States was first formed, because the Founding Fathers passed a constitution that, in Article 1, prohibited the income tax. That single article assured that instead of paying for public projects by taxing the rich, the government would have to pass public land to the rich as a form of payment for these projects; the “land grants” to the owners of the railroads are the most important example. (The Homestead Act gave common citizens the right to own government land, but this law was not passed until 1862.) 

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos13,596 views today ·
The Design Flaw at the Core of Humanity's Malaise
Judith Schwartz2,243 views today ·
What Happened When One Family Decided to Go Outdoors Three Hours a Day for a Year
Hannah Alexander1,986 views today ·
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min1,463 views today ·
Dear Fellow White People: Did I Ever Tell You about the Time I Realised I was Racist?
5 min1,302 views today ·
6 Simple Self-Compassion Exercises
5 min1,197 views today ·
AI Has Already Taken Over - It's Called the Corporation
Jeremy Lent1,079 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min985 views today ·
Why Does Our Culture Focus So Much on Childbirth and So Little on The Time After?
Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett981 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay