If you listen to FOX news, the angry billionaires, and most of the Republican politicians, you’d think that middle class Americans and poor Americans are public enemies.
Here’s the reality: our economic woes were the result of unpaid for wars, huge tax breaks for wealthy Americans, deregulated banks, and unscrupulous Wall Street fat cats.
None of that has mattered.
Instead of focusing anger where it belonged, here’s what has happened.
- Firefighters, teachers, nurses, janitors, public school employees and other government workers have been painted as on the dole, lazy, ineffective, incompetent and dangerous to our economy.
- In state after state, public employees have had large wage cuts, lost their pensions, lost their union representation, and paid more for their benefit package, if they have one.
- Senior citizens who receive an average Social Security benefit of $14,000 per year or less are blamed for our growing debt and deficit. Entitlement reform is the battle cry of the wealthy.
- Children who get free lunch at school are insulted and degraded. Some politicians suggested that they should be sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets before being fed so they can learn a “work ethic.”
- The food stamp program has been slashed. Millions of struggling Americans have little food assistance.
- Long-term unemployment compensation was not renewed leaving over 1.3 million desperate Americans without any help at all.
While the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is disappearing, wealthy Americans are living large–super large. They have grabbed an ever increasing proportion of America’s income–95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent. The income gap in the United States is now greater than it has ever been.
It is time . . . way past time . . . to support middle class Americans
It is time . . . way past time . . . to redirect our anger.
Our neighbors are not our enemies. The poor are not our enemy. Teachers, nurses, janitors firefighters, police officers (at least most of them) are not our enemy. Government employees are not our enemy. Poor kids and unemployed folks and families who make so little that they need food assistance are not our enemy.
Our future IS threatened, and not by a kindergarten teacher or the nurse in the local ER or the fellow who scrubs the high school restrooms or the park ranger in Yellowstone.
Our future is threatened by a politically active plutocracy that spends millions of dollars to take us down the rabbit hole of more tax cuts for the rich, lower tax rates for corporations and the magical imaginarytrickle-down economic model.
Now those mega-rich plutocrats, who never met a dollar they didn’t crave are keeping company with the hate-government libertarians who never met a government program they didn’t want to slash. From food stamps to social security, every program since FDR is on the chopping block.
It is time . . . way past time . . . for Americans to remember who crashed our economy. It wasn’t you or me.