Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pay Less now or More Later - It's up to you America

--by Mike Adams

Washington Republicans claim that Obama’s economic plan will raise everyone’s taxes while their Republican plan will, as they always claim, slash spending and lower taxes. George W. Bush promised the same thing, George H.W. Bush said “read my lips, no new taxes.” It seems that Republicans either don’t know how to fulfill on their campaign promises or they don’t care to. After eight years of Republican leadership, we have a record deficit and the only thing offered is a continued and expanded war along with more Republican tax breaks which will continue to benefit only the wealthiest individuals and corporations in our country. I’m sure that Republicans will continue to push for more ‘deregulation,’ which could more aptly be portrayed as a ‘Corporate blank check’ our jobs will continue to move over seas our resources will continue to enrich America’s Elite and average hard working American citizens will continue to lose.

Today, we are individually and collectively worse off than we were when the Republicans took the White House nearly eight years ago. This is a critical time in our history and we American citizens can not afford to make the wrong choice again, we can not afford to let Republicans control the direction of this country any longer, we can not afford to make a presidential decision based on misleading sound bites and partial truths again.

We have heard Republicans claim that Obama can not possibly pay for everything that he is promoting by taxing the wealthiest Americans. They say that it would be great to have a world class education system but it costs money, they say that it would be great to provide everyone with health care but it costs money, they say that we Americans simply can’t afford to take care of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens. What they don’t tell you is that we the American tax payer will ultimately pay that bill anyway. We will pay now or we will pay later. We will pay less or we will pay more…luckily, we get to chose.

In the last two decades, this country has seen an explosion in prison populations. We all know that prisons are not free and we the American taxpayers spend approximately $22,000 per year on each and every person who ends up behind bars, collectively that represents a cost of more than 40 billion dollars each year. This burden is not only economic because of the upfront monetary cost, but also social because prisoners are not productive tax payers, they are not able to be involved parents, they end up being little more than a burden. In fact, according to a 2000 USA Today article, prison costs were the single largest expense of many states. There is something wrong when the United States of America spends more money to build prisons than to build shools and colleges. Our system is failing our investments are mis-guided our direction is wrong.

The importance of this is stark when we consider that nothing will do more to keep people out of prison than education. The vast majority of American inmates are functionally illiterate and many of those who can read have only an eighth grade education. What is wrong here? Why do we have money to build and staff prisons, but not to build and staff schools, why can’t a teacher or instructional assistant receive decent pay?

Our choices are simple, either we pay for our citizens to have a world class education system now or we pay more for a world class prison system later. Which is the moral choice? Which choice will give us a larger tax base? Which is the choice consistent with American values, which is the choice consistent with family values?

Next, Republicans want to claim leadership in solving our energy problems. I want to know why, if Republicans wanted lead in solving our energy problems, they didn’t pass laws for increasing the national fuel efficiency standards in the 1990’s or again at the beginning of Bush’s term? The argument at the time had to do with the negative impact on our economy. Well, here we are...we could have paid less to avoid this crisis but instead, Republicans decided to avoid being responsible and have us pay more…much more now.

Washington Republicans it seems are always willing to mortgage a later generation, so that they don’t have to pay today's bills, they never want to invest in America’s future. It was under Republican leadership that we recklessly started a war under false pretenses. The current Republican nominee for President supported that war and all of the spending that goes along with it, yet no one except the men and women who serve in our armed forces along with their friends and families have been asked to sacrifice or change anything. I guess the Republican plan is to leave that bill for a later generation so that these Republicans won’t have to worry about it.

It was nearly eight years ago when Republicans took leadership of this United States of America. When Republicans took over, our economy was strong, the budget had been balanced, in fact we had a budget surplus and optimism was high. Since then, Republicans have given us the largest US deficit in history, record home foreclosures, rising unemployment, soaring healthcare costs and our children will be left to pay this bill, those of us in our twenties, thirties and forties will be left to deal with the consequences of this reckless Republican adventure.

Any Americans with children who will be going to college within the next fifteen years will be left to pay shoulder the burden of higher education and failed Republican policies. We will be left to cope with the health needs of returning war Veterans, we will be left with the moral hangover associated with the fact that the current Republican leaders won't provide appropriate or adequate care for veterans, we will be left to repay China for the debt that this Republican leadership left, we will be left to pay for an increase in prison costs as the next generation of impoverished Americans grows into adulthood without having learned to read without having acquired the college degrees that they needed from our neglected education system. We will be the ones to pay and we need to make the right choice now. Please remember this when you cast your votes in November, please make the right choice for America’s future, please lets do the right thing this time.

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