People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States

The Money is There --- But Not For You!

The leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties have been taking advantage of the "economic crisis" -- which their campaign donors and corporate friends created -- to "balance the budget" by slashing public services, including education, health care, nutrition, public works, and human services. We think this is the wrong way to go.

It harms the people who are most devastated by the economic disasters of the last five years. It hurts whose economic situation stagnated for the last thirty years, during which virtually all the productivity gains in the country have gone to the top one percent, creating state and national income inequality unseen since the Gilded Age and the Crash of 1928. We should be enhancing quality of life, infrastructure, and education, to boost the economic vitality of the community, instead of crippling our future with a stingy "austerity" punishing those who least bear the blame for the economic disaster.And it's unnecessary! We didn't get into this mess by over-funding these essential services. We got into it by mis-using our resources: By giving away our money to corporations that overpay their CEOs and underpay their workers. By throwing our health care insurance into the hands of predatory insurance companies. By taxing the super-rich -- the millionaires and billionaires -- at effectively lower rates than those paid by low-income and middle-class people. By deregulating the financial industries so they could exploit their credit customers and boost their undeserved bonuses. The money is there -- but NOT FOR YOU!

Now, the "mainstream" political parties are forcing ordinary working people to make up the losses. And Democrats aren't much better than Republicans! It's true that Republicans are proposing ever more more outrageous things to destroy economic security for the majority of Americans for the benefit of the few at the top. It's true that Republicans are taking the lead in proposing ever more outrageous things to destroy economic security for the majority of Americans for the benefit of the few at the top. But the Democrats are not providing real opposition to this. They have effectively surrendered to the same corporate agenda, and have decided to let their party be funded by the same corporate interests. Democrats may provide early criticism of Republican initiatives to assure a shocked public that they are on the job, but they soon fall into line, often just writing their own version of the Republican legislation (Romneycare becomes Obamacare, Bush’s War becomes Obama’s War). Democrats are "negotiating" by asking for less to begin with, and then giving in some more. They've let the conservatives define the arguments, take the role of moral guardians, and present wrong and ridiculous statements, numbers and theories as truth and policy. To get their way, Republicans just have to ask for a little more than they really think they can get, and then accept a “ bipartisan compromise” from retreating Democrats.

People with progressive values, who want to protect the opportunities and protections for workers and families that created the great American middle class, have to face the facts about the Democratic and Republican Parties. Democratic politicians are just as dependent as Republicans on campaign donations from rich and powerful individuals, and from corporations seeking subsidies and favors. President Obama is launching a billion-dollar fund-raising effort; where do you think that kind of money will come from? Governor Deval Patrick's campaign fund is stuffed with money from the same contributors: corporations and rich individuals. These donors do not give money for nothing; they are investing in our politicians, and they are seldom disappointed.These politicians aren't going to serve you. They will serve their corporate masters and well-heeled, well-connected benefactors; they will work for those who keep them in office. And no matter how much truth you know and how much you threaten to defect -- they know you have no where else to go. Progressives are resigned to "hold their nose" and vote for Democrats, who know they can frighten and bully people into voting for them, lest they end up with Republicans.We got here by continually voting for Democrats in order to vote AGAINST Republicans. It has backfired. The result is that the Democrats have essentially merged with the Republicans, emboldening Republicans to veer even further to the right to please their most extreme factions.

By voting for Democrats as "the lesser of two evils," we're ending up exactly where the Republicans want us, only maybe a bit more slowly. But we'll get there much faster than the Republicans even dreamed possible! Who'd have thought President Obama would extend the Bush tax cuts for two years? That we'd still be pouring billions of dollars and countless sacrifices of life and limb into Bush's two pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and be creeping into a third war? That we'd still be doling out hundreds of billions in corporate welfare? That we'd be dismantling and privatizing public education as a new corporate frontier? That we'd be forcing every citizen to buy health insurance from private profiteers who pay their CEOs fat salaries and enormous severance packages while they raise our payments beyond reach? That we'd be climbing on the "austerity" bandwagon, when we should be directing resources from the winners of three decades of "casino capitalism" into services that strengthen workers, families and communities hit by the collapse of that game.The Green-Rainbow Party is doing its part by offering a true progressive alternative to rescue us from the lose/lose bipartisan political system.

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followed this page 2016-09-27 14:06:00 -0400
published this page in Better Budget Blog 2011-09-01 14:29:00 -0400