Tax cuts for millionaires or health care for all
When your position is on the wrong side of history, it’s hard to be completely honest.
President Obama and the Democrats want to return the tax rates on the very wealthy to pre-Bush levels, so they have been finding ways to cut taxes for the rest of us. Democrats are “open minded” about solutions and don’t simply adopt broad “tax cuts and spending cuts” statements. They want to raise spending on things that need government spending, things that only government can do, and that the previous Republican administration neglected.
With the Affordable Care Act kicking in, conservatives are very concerned. While they may be ideologically concerned about creeping socialism, I suspect they are far more concerned that people will find out about all of its positive benefits for average Americans. They are concerned people might like it, and demand more.
In truth, the Affordable Care Act is just a small step in the direction that all the other advanced western democracies have long since traveled. They have all reached the goal of full health care for all citizens that everyone can afford. There is nothing scary or unproven about it, except maybe that it will stop insurance companies from exploiting us. Please read “Deadly Spin” by former health insurance insider, Wendell Potter. This book, more than perhaps any other, should convince Americans that there is something terribly wrong with the free-market health care system Republicans are so insistent on keeping.
But conservatives just love to scare people. That’s how those in power get the people to react how they want them to. Republicans have learned well from the master opinion manipulators in early 20th century Germany. Modern Germany is quite different – it has strong unions, bringing workers high wages, and it has mandatory universal health care coverage for their citizens. Germany’s highest paid executives don’t make nearly as much as their counterparts in the U.S. and are taxed more. And aside from a bit of a slowdown due to being in the middle of the euro crisis, their economy was booming and is still far stronger than ours.
Speaking of that crisis, it wasn’t so much rampant socialism in Greece or Italy (Egypt notwithstanding) causing the crisis. If socialism were the cause, Germany and Scandinavia would be in the same shape. The bigger problem is that like here the wealthiest use their influence to avoid paying taxes. The only difference is that in those cases, the tax revenues were expected, but did not materialize due to corruption. In the U.S., the wealthy political donor class just gets special legislation passed and we foot the bill for their tax avoidance.