Friday, December 3, 2010
What's on my mind----The current standoff between Democrats and Republican over the extension of the Bush tax cuts has shaken my faith in both the legislative and executive branches of our government as no other issue has succeeded in doing. My faith in the judicial branch had already been damaged, first by their partisan and disastrous installation of George Bush as our 43rd president and more recently by their decision to overlook precedent and allow unfettered amounts of corporate money into a political process that already favors the rich and well connected. The only encouragement I have found in all of this is the vote in both the house and senate that Republicans have been forced to take that puts them on record as standing foursquare against any tax cut for the middle class that doesn't include further tax relief for those, who by fair means or foul have managed to pile up obscene piles of money. I've hoped and waited for any sign of leadership from the White house on this issue but my hope is fading as the signals pile up that Obama's conciliatory impulses will dominate and the Republicans will get whatever they want regardless of the damage to our country. The important point that is missed here is that the middle class is the engine of our economy and that only actions that put money in the hands of the middle class can create the demand that will lead to jobs and economic expansion. Even Henry Ford knew this when he gave his workers what, at that time. were unprecedented raises that allowed them to become car buyers. Money that flows to the already wealthy is money that needs to be in the hands of the middle class if demand is ever expected to recover. The last twenty years during which all the gains of economic expansion have been grabbed by those in a position to help themselves at the expense of everyone else has demonstrated that we are all involved in a zero sum game and that the middle class is losing a class war that it didn't even know it was fighting. The pressure on Obama to take a stand against tax cuts for the rich must be enormous at this time but it could easily be transferred to the Republicans if he could be as obdurate as they are and if they shut down the government over this their true colors would be seen for all time. I fear that he loves the country too much allow the destruction that the Republicans are bent on wreaking but occasionally, it can be tonic.