Ray Croc’s wife (he founded McDonalds) designated a very significant contribution from her estate some while ago to my favorite news source, National Public Radio. I am grateful for that kind of giving by those who have it to give. And she did have it to give and no little amount of her fortune came from our taxes! Both Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek report that the fast food industry ‘outsources’ about $7 billion of their labor costs each year to U.S. taxpayers. Because they pay such low wages their employees, even full-timers, have to rely on tax-funded public assistance programs to support themselves and their families. That SuperSizes me and makes me damned Frosty! I’m downright Charbroiled to learn that outrage!
And yes, I said their families; two-thirds of the employees of the Fast Food Industry are not teens working after shcool, they are adults! We’ve already read that Wal*Mart schools it employees about how to get public assistance to help them make it. That is quite an ’employee assistance program!’ So it is not only Fast Food that we subsidize, we pay taxes in support of the subsistence wages at all those Wal*Mart Super Centers. That, my friends, makes me want to Roll Back!
Now add to that regular annual corporate rip off of our national treasury the $24 billion our own elected House and Senate have just cost our barely-growing economy during the bit-more-than-two-week shutdown. No it was not all the members of our Congress, a minority of Republicans wasted that much time and money. Even when the Republicans in Congress recognized that the battle was over, eighteen of them voted ‘no’ to register that their ideology trumps their patriotism.
How any free-market, capitalist American can buy Whoppers, BigMacs or any other ‘fast food’ bargain is beyond my comprehension. Any small-Government tea bagger shopping from the Walton’s shelves is the plainest example of hypocrisy that I can imagine. For any Republican to whine about job growth or to even whisper about the Affordable Care Act ruining the economy is ludicrous on its face after their recent wasteful ranting.
It is time for the Republicans and their Tea Party cohort to shove their Confederate Flags and tri-cornered hats where the sun does not shine and to just stand there looking like they are: in shambles and thoroughly shamed.
Certainly the 95% of us who work for a living or who are retired living on fixed (or meagerly indexed to increase by inflation) incomes are not winners. We have paid a real price. The economy is the poorer because of the Republican Rant. Employment has not advanced because of the Republican Rant. There has been NO really meaningful change to the Affordable Care Act, which was the goal of the Republican Rant. The only result of the Reupublican Rant was the loss of millions and millions of dollars to the economy; that furloughed Federal employees get back pay will NOT make up for what was not spent across the country while the Tea Pary Republicans ranted on. Fits of opposition to laws and issues do NOT constitute the busines and employment to which Congress has been elected. If any of the rabidly anti-American Tea Party are re-elected it will testify only to the ignorance of their electorate.
The Republican Ranters have “lived to fight another day” but they are alive for a brief fit of rancor. They will be defeated when the populace awakens.
President Obama won the political battle, but no one else comes out ahead. That is a victory, although the war continues to determine just what kind of USA in which we want our citizenship to abide. I for one want nothing to do with the Fascism of the Republican Right and their ‘christian. creationist, global-warming denying, anti-human-rights, anti-underclass’ pols.
In the decade beginning in 2001, the year I retired because of health, corporate profits doubled and the federal tax on that income was cut in half. In that same decade, for most of the population debt went up faster than wages. Those of you reading this probably have less purchasing power now than you did at the turn of the century. Unemployment in an economy where corporations double their profit has increased staggeringly.
Yet misguided, or should I say corporate-funded, legislators want to lower expenditures on food stamps, burden seniors by raising Social Security eligibility age, dismantle a health care program that will insure millions, and refuse to extend Federal Medicaid in States.
That is but a partial list of the corporate-funded strategy.
The answer to Social Security’s future is simple: eliminate the income cap on the FICA tax and at the same time apply means-testing to limit the wealthy receiving benefits.
The answer to the debt-ceiling is also simple: raise Federal tax on corporations here or off-shore, since their profits are shared with neither the country nor their workers. No, don’t suggest that it is the corporations’ profits that create jobs, because they obvioiusly have not.
Don’t expect either of these simple solutions to be seriously considered though. We live in a nation where there is no really independent free press with any effect. Our citizenry has been propagandized for so long by our educational system and myths about who we are as a people, our being exceptional, that there is no populace to champion the populist cause.
Even though class warfare rages among us, revolution won’t come either, since the 99% of us have too much to lose as compared to the rest of the world’s underclass. But if our current path as a nation continues, desperation may well lead to revolt. Or we may continue to languish in serfdom.
We do have a choice.
That the nation has been taken over by a small minority of Tea Party Republicans should be a real warning to anyone who does not vote in every election. It has been a long-time goal of ALEC, the Koch Brothers and their political allies to focus on local elections and primary elections as the strategic arenas for political take-over. If you cannot assure yourself that the local, school board, Township, judicial, County, State and national candidates you see on your ballot do, in fact, mirror your opinions on issues, then DO NOT vote for them. Leave blank any candidates with whose positions you are unfamiliar or doubtful. You are not required to vote every candidate or issue position.
A lazy and/or ill-informed electorate is as much responsible for the current shut-down and pending economic crisis as is either Party. Do not fall for nonsense about candidates or issues ‘standing in line with our founding fathers.’ Our ‘founding fathers’ were, for the most part wealthy planters, merchants, bankers, a printer or two and an occasional silver-smith who did risk their lives, fortunes and honor for their Independence. And well they should have as they had a great deal to lose. The average colonist of the time though, the laborers, indentured servants, tenants, slaves had little to lose. Property was protected and taxed; it was the landed gentry who were pressured by English tariffs and policies.
Today, we laborers, tenants, low-wage earners (once known as middle-class) have little to lose except our subservient status. We can vote, though some of us, threatened by Voter ID laws cannot (read poll tax), so take care for whom and for what you cast your ballot. The present Tea Party pols got into office through an ill-informed electorate. We need not suffer such consequences again.