The Cost and Consequences of American Plutocracy

The American people are being bombarded by government and media propaganda campaigns into believing that the US war in Afghanistan is being fought to defend the interests of the broad mass of the American people. Contrary to that Big Lie, the economic stimulus package proposed by the Bush administration in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks provides billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, while providing scant relief for the millions of workers and their families affected by the tragedy.

While $40 billion in emergency aid is going to pay for the costs of recovery at the World Trade Center and Pentagon sites and in rebuilding the infrastructure of devastated sections of New York City and $15 billion goes to bail out the airlines, which llaid off more than 100,000 workers, only $3 billion goes to extended unemployment benefits, health-care premiums and day-care costs for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the hijack-bombings. It allots virtually no additional money to launch emergency construction projects or rebuild the nation's infrastructure. The majority of the funds estimated at a total of $60-75 billion—go toward accelerating the record tax-cutting plan enacted earlier this year and providing new corporate tax breaks.

Seeking to cash in as well, the insurance industry is lobbying for legislation that would establish a federally-backed fund to protect it from claims resulting from future terrorist attacks. Hey, isn't that what insurance companies do, gamble on future events?

With the economic stimulus bill, the Bush administration is using the tragic events of September 11 to further its plutocratic agenda. A Republican leadership aide commented that with this legislation the president had “decided to go with the people who brought him to the dance,” i.e., the plutocrats who helped him steal the election.

The Bush administration is unquestionably a tool of U.S. plutocrats such as the controllers of the power-producing companies and the gasoline-producing companies who have already stolen billions of dollars from middle- and lower-income Americans through hyper-inflated prices.

Having destroyed the democratic process of the people electing their president, the Bush administration then deliberately lied that there would be a huge budget surplus, using this lie to ram through Congress a gigantic tax cut for the wealthy. Now it's clear to the American public that the projected budget surplus was a fraud--though the blame for it will be placed by the Bush administration on an "economic downturn." From early 2000 to early 2001, we did suffer the worst fall in growth and investment since 1945, from 5 per cent GDP growth to zero. Thanks to Bush's tax cut, the taxes that should come in from the wealthy will NOT.

Bush and his handlers will now create a new lie--that the only remedy for the plummeting tax revenues is to cannibalize Medicare and Social Security.

Medicare and Social Security are NOT parts of the regular U.S. budget revenue stream. Those programs are completely separate from the legislated tax revenue. Those programs were set up so politicians--of any stripe-could NOT cannibalize them at their whim.

We must not allow the plutocrats to steal the Medicare and Social Security revenues and trust funds.

In a recent New York Times editorial ("Bush's tax cut will ruin the economy"), Paul Krugman opined that "if the Senate had known six weeks ago, what it knows now, it wouldn't have approved that huge, irresponsible tax cut. The moderates who voted for that tax cut were snookered."

On the contrary, the bought-and-paid-for Congresspersons knew full well that they were perpetrating a gigantic hoax on the American public. American voters should send their Congressional representatives packing in the next elections, making certain they're not returned.

Destroying American Workers by Destroying their Retirement Funds

George W. Bush's handlers are continuing to push legislation through Congress that will put American workers' retirement funds at the mercy of the Wall Street sharks. Ceulli Associates, a retirement benefits consulting firm, reported in July 2001, that the average 401(k) retirement account, managed by the individual worker, shrank from an average of $46,740 in 1999 to an average of $41.919 in 2000, approximately a 9% drop.

The Bush-appointed commission "reviewing" worker investments of their retirement funds in Wall Street, wants to make American workers victims of the Wall Street barracudas as soon as possible. Even the Cato Institute admits the commission is packed with ringers backed by the stocks-and-bonds wiseguys.

Meanwhie, Bush and his buddies are unquestionably destroying America:
Some people wonder why Bush and his cohorts are destroying the United States at such an alarming rate. Don't they know, some ask, that if they take all their jobs to the lower-wage third-world countries that American workers won't be able to buy their corporations' goods and services?

First of all, the plutocrats just don't care if the American economy goes into the toilet. They have their fortunes secured; they don't need to worry. There will be enough new profit El Dorados, the plutocrats reason, in such countries as China and in such rip-offs as Star Wars and the other military swindles.

Their political retainers, the plutocrats believe, will continue to see that their profits rise astronomically while their taxes plummet. The power-producing and gasoline-producing scams will continue to result in sky-rocketing profits. All's well with the world, no group in America or anywhere in the world can threaten us, the fat-cats reason.

On 8/5/01, the Los Angeles Times published an article on how Bush and his fellow plutocrats are destroying America by failing to replace the decaying infrastructure. "The prosperity of the last decade," the article indicates, "has been a peculiarly private affair.

"While affluent Americans spent generously on themselves, the nation as a whole did not. On the contrary, it devoted a historically small fraction of its new economic bounty to the roads and airports, waterworks and sewer plants that have traditionally made up society's foundation."

From the Depression era of the 1930s through the 1980s, federal, state and local governments combined to devote about 3% of the nation's economic output to non-defense public investment. In the 1990s that fell to 2%, the lowest level since the 1920s. A 1 percentage point decline in public investment amounts to about $100 billion a year.

Lessons From the Past

When eighteenth century British plutocrats wreaked havoc on American colonists with their tax burdens and British profiteering, they soon found that the American people wouldn't stand for it. The American Revolution was the result. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, plutocrats began to strangle American workers with their monopolies and obscene profits and the result was anti-monopoly laws, divestiture, and the New Deal.

We must restore capitalism's old values and mend its social contract.

American workers must now wake up to the deliberate destruction of their country by the New Plutocrats and take back their government. The fact that it's been done before, under similar circumstances, bodes well.