The Politics of Privatization



The belief government has little to no role in helping the country meet its collective challenges is a flawed notion that relies on the same economic arguments the radical right has been making for the last thirty-five-years: more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations. The implications of this voodoo economics are to deny government the revenues needed to provide public services, social insurance and investments in our future. The recent republican tax plan is a good illustration of this recklessness. Aside from slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% permanently, this scheme is financed with $1.5 trillion-dollars in Chinese debt. Despite all the feel-good patriotism peddled by republicans, this bait-and-switch plan will provide only temporary, if any relief to the middleclass. Worse, it will rapidly accelerate our debt to GDP level from the current 70% to an alarming 100%, triggering unsustainable deficits. The resulting loss of government revenue will further weaken governments ability to regulate and perform vital functions, prompting the radical right to then blame government for being weak and ineffective. This relentless resolve to slash corporate tax rates is driven by a corporate donor class who seeks to socialize their loses and privatize the gains, but is also protected by an intellectually lazy electorate who subscribe to the belief that lower tax rates are a panacea for all our economic problems. The truth is a civilized democracy requires paying higher taxes-it’s that simple. Maintaining adequate corporate taxation rates will incentivize Americas multi-nationals to reinvest in their companies, their industries and workforce. We ought to consider the path of California, a state who within the last five years eliminated a $25 billion-dollar deficit, paid off $32 billion in debt and socked away an $8 billion-dollar rainy day fund. All of this while raising the minimum wage, strengthened gun legislation and embracing climate change measures. With just 12% of the population, the state now boasts 25% of the nation’s economic growth. The success of this may not have been easy but it was simple…. a combination of higher corporate taxation and infrastructure investments. In contrast, Kansas slashed taxes on the wealthy and corporations and now, five years later the state’s economy is on life support and running over a billion-dollar deficit. Returning to a pre-Reagan taxation level would provide adequate government revenues to eliminate our deficits, rebuild infrastructure, strengthen labor protections, increase wages, protect public education, provide universal healthcare and rein in unfettered capitalism.

It’s not difficult to read between the lines of the radical-right, who have been peddling the empty promises of trickle-down economics for thirty-five years. The consequences of these massive tax cuts are designed to systematically dismantle the middleclass, eliminate Medicare and Social Security, privatize the economy and transfer public wealth to private interests. This is a slow-moving coup d’état that has insulated its power from the collective will of the majority from whom federal authority flows, thus they have little to fear and will never freely relinquish their destructive hold. We are now about one election away from achieving an unimaginable reality in our country, a veto-proof super-minority who has eliminated all countervailing powers. However, the one remaining impediment to break or at least debilitate this disastrous vision is the same thing the radical right fears the most….the collective vote. Consequently, a tremendous amount of power still resides with the people, but ordinary Americans must acknowledge the deceit and wrestle the nation back from a criminal enterprise who has looted our treasury, spilled our blood and pilfered our rights for their own personal gain. Americans deserve the truth about this cabal of Libertarians, conservative extremists and Christian fundamentalists who are advancing their agendas to protect corporate power from democracy. If we fail to prevent this unprecedented larceny, the future of democracy may never forgive us.

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