Once again we are in the middle of a Republican created financial crisis. Once again they have created this crisis so that they can justify lower taxes on the richest of Americans. And while they take care of their rich buddies the rest of the economy goes begging.
But as I have said before if congress has the guts, there are ways to cut out waste in our system while creating work that is greatly needed in this country. The very first thing to do is to reverse Bush policies that tanked the economy. Get totally out of Iraq; Get totally out of Afghanistan; end the tax cuts for the rich and finally, change Medicare part D so that the government can negotiate prices for drugs, not pay premium prices. That is the advantage of large sale buying.
Totally ending Bush’s wars should be a no-brainer. I hope we have learned that we can not run the world. Changing Medicare part D will save the country around $650 million per year. This would go a long way toward making Medicare solvent for a long time. I think there has been more than enough talk of what raising taxes on the rich will do. We also need to cut loopholes that cause us to actually pay corporations like GE and EXXON billions in rebates.
We also need to end the cap on social security contributions. While SS is currently solvent, this would pretty much guarantee solvency forever. What I have suggested here is nothing new. Most economists on the left have suggested these measures. And what I will propose to put people to work has been proposed over and over. Sometimes it helps just to get such ideas together in one spot.
First America needs real high speed internet like Europe or Japan. There is no reason why we can’t do high speed throughout the country like we did rural electrification in the 1930s. When I say high speed, citizens of European countries get 10x our speed for much less than we pay. Our current policies put our businesses at a major disadvantage.
Speaking of major disadvantages for business, having health care hooked to a job is so backwards. It is way past time for America to take the burden of health care off business and transfer it to the public sector where it belongs.
Finally, America needs to repair its infrastructure for water and sewer. And it is way past time that we completely revamp our electrical system in such a way that a major storm like Sandy won’t completely knock a city like New York out. It can be done. Plus we all certainly are aware we need to get off fossil fuels. But we need a commitment to doing the right thing. We need a commitment to the good of the whole, not just the few. We need leaders who can see beyond tomorrow.
And amazingly, once we start fixing things support businesses will spring up all over the place.
O, yea, it is time to admit those so called “free trade” agreements are far from free or fair.