The right wing’s decades long reverse Robin Hood plan to funnel America’s wealth away from the people and hand it over to private corporations and the 1% is happening at top speed. Look closely at every corner of our system and you will find, instead of just helping the people directly, our collective money goes to corporations first, who take a huge amount of it for themselves before actually doing anything of service to the people. The most recent example? Government figures show that American taxpayers are giving $38 to private debt collection agencies for each $1 of outstanding federal student debt they bring in. According to Bloomberg, debt collection agencies have taken home close to $1 billion annually, in recent years under the guise of ‘helping distressed borrowers climb out of default’. Debt collectors clamor for these contracts as they are some of the most lucrative in the debt collection industry. They also carry out their work in a manner that can only be described as either purposefully neglectful or idiotically negligent. The negligence conveniently results in a revolving door of near-default borrowers that collection agents can continue to harass at the government’s expense. You can see more details of how your tax dollars are being given to debt collection agencies in the above video produced by the team at act.tv.
Here’s a question: why don’t we just support the students directly? Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) proposed universal tuition free college during his run for president. He intended to finance the $47 billion a year proposal with a “speculation tax” which charges those in trade markets a small amount for each bond, stock or derivative they sell. It’s often referred to as a “Robin Hood tax” for obvious reasons. Sanders is continuing to champion that cause as a Senator although right now the bill has no co-sponsors and likely won’t be called up for a vote because Republicans don’t believe in it and they are in charge. Instead the Republicans believe in their leader, who’s proposed tax plan amounts to a massive $2 trillion giveaway to corporate America. Trump’s 15% corporate tax rate plan will reduce federal revenue by $2 trillion over next 10 years. $2 trillion could fund Bernie’s universal tuition-free college idea. I’m sure Senator Sanders wouldn't mind not being the hero of free state college as long as the young people got to get an education without the attendant crushing debt.
Perhaps the real reason Republicans ‘don’t believe in’ free college has to do less with the ideology that government should not be helping people and more with the fact that student loan programs are projected to bring the federal government over $70 billion in profits over the next 10 years. I suppose they need to get the money they funnel to the war industry somewhere.
The Trump administration rode into office, in part, on a wave of support from people who don’t believe in taxes because they don’t want to pool resources to help people directly or build a great shared prosperity and society. What they fail to either comprehend or combat, is the reality that they themselves will still be paying the same amount of taxes and instead of helping their neighbors and themselves, they will be buying Judge Smails his next yacht.
Julianna Forlano is a writer, professor, and media expert who was once the only liberal host on all of Fox News Radio while at the same time hosting on the Pacifica Network. She currently writes, produces and hosts at act.tv. She is a professor at The City University of New York at Brooklyn College and trains organizations in effective communication for mobilizing action.