Do The Wealthy Deserve Your Surplus?


Once again, there is talk of a huge, almost unreal surplus envisioned over the next ten years, $1 TRILLION to be as exact as the White House’s estimate. That, my friends, is one heck of a lot of money. It figures out to about $100 Billion each of those ten years, nearly twice what was ever allotted for the social safety net programs that made up Welfare back in the good old days when we gave a damn about something other that just the sickening accumulation of simple money.

Now, one has to ask oneself exactly what a surplus is and where this particular surplus is coming from.

As for the definition of a surplus, Microsoft Encarta defines it as “Being in excess of what is needed.” Now, as Americans, what should we determine to be “needed” in order to define all other funds “surplus”?

What is “needed” within our federal budget is such things as funds for the military, for education, for transportation, for the FDA and FCC and NASA and on and on. These, among other departments, are thought of by intelligent people as basic necessities to a well run government and, as such, deserve to be funded. Thus, any funds not necessary to pay for these items might be considered as surplus funds.

The question that most needs answering, though, is do we want to offer any social safety nets whatsoever to the poor, to children, to the sick and disabled and elderly? Do we want to offer public funds to pay for the higher education of all of our children or just allow that opportunity to be on sale to those who have sufficient means to pay from their private funds?

Do we have it in our hearts to ease the suffering of the hungry and the homeless and the frightened? What about the hundreds of thousands of homeless in America? Will we continue to ignore them, to neglect those helpless, sweet children who sleep every night cold and hungry and frightened in boxes in alleys just out of our sight? Is their suffering not great enough to be worthy of some small piece of that surplus?

What about the future costs that America will face? What about the horrendous condition that we have allowed our nation’s infrastructure to deteriorate; our highways and bridges and parks? What about using some to improve our airports and interstate highways and update our water systems and sewer systems? What about using some to clean up the inner cities, adding parks and planting trees and making them more livable for the millions who call them home?

What of our promises to those who will have to depend on Social Security and Medicare? Why should we allow the wealthy to trick the retired and working Americans into supporting Wall Street’s demented efforts to prop up the stock market by forcing Americans to invest their future in stocks over valued by a factor of ten or more? Why not, in fact, return Social Security to the original format of a fund where all contributions are deposited and one which can never, for any reason, be touched by Congress without some extravagant requirement such as a vote of the American people who, after all, own the money in the first place? This so-called surplus could go a long way to guaranteeing the immediate solvency and long term health of that fund well into the next century.

Should we, as well, feel any responsibility towards the many millions of this planet’s other passengers who are dying from such completely preventable causes as starvation or dysentery or just plain stupid wars? Are we in any way responsible to these same human beings when we possess the means to cure or prevent diseases that kill thousands every single day?

Think about it, gentle readers. How far towards would one trillion dollars go towards creating a nation that the world could truly look up to? A nation where everyone is offered the same education, the same medical attention, the same dreams for the present and the future? Think about the massive employment opportunities that rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure would offer, jobs that paid a living wage and offered real benefits, real futures and taught real skills. Think about the opportunities we would have to share the benefits of that unimaginable sum with the rest of the world by offering all access to education and clean living conditions and a future of hope and happiness. Think about the many, many opportunities we would have to do what is good and decent with that surplus.

Of course, using the surplus for any decent programs isn’t even in the discussion during this campaign (it’s a only a discussion because a debate has two sides, not slightly differing levels of the same argument). The only question that Bore and Tumbleweed have left to answer is not what decent things can be done with the surplus but what is the most efficient way to give it all to America’s already wealthy and how then to back up truck loads of your taxes and dump the rest directly into Corporate America’s pockets.

Folks, while everyone was watching TV and were taught to hate single mothers, their children and every progressive and socially concerned human being by the Republican mob, America has degenerated far beyond just indifferent and apathetic and finds itself buried up to its nose in those nastiest of substances, Republican greed and malevolence.

Return To Front Page


Go To Next Column

Return to Index of Columns

Go To Archives of Columns

Visit Our Unique Shops At:

The Progressive Mind
Haiwee Fashions
Filipino Soul
Impeach The Moron
Rosetta Stone - Your Name In Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Signs of the Zodiac Gifts

Write me at:jcannon@anotherperspective.org

Comments?

Copyright 5/30/2000