Home Budget, Economy Open Letter to the Super-Committee

Open Letter to the Super-Committee


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Dear Super-Committee Members:

Because as members of Congress you believe undoubtedly in “justice for all” Americans, because shared sacrifice is inseparable from a just America, and because the wealthiest 2% have not been called upon to sacrifice for their country, whereas the rest of America have already been made to by an unfair tax system and by continual favoritism to the nation’s economic elites, a principled super-committee that values justice and fair-play will do the following to HELP PAY DOWN THE DEFICIT:  

1. Support raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% at least to the top rate that existed during the Clinton years when the nation’s economy was better than ever.

2. Support a 0.1% tax on all trades of stocks and bonds, and a 0.01% tax on all trades in derivatives.

3. Support raising the taxes on hedge fund managers to the same rate as payroll taxes for wage and salaried employees throughout America..

4. Support removal of the cap ($106,800) for payment of Social Security taxes.  

5. Support a titanium-clad restriction that all the revenue derived from implementing the four preceding proposals must go to deficit reduction-NOT to any new spending on favors for major corporations and the wealthy and NOT to an already bloated and wasteful budget for the military industrial complex.  (President Eisenhower was right about the threat that an ever-expanding military industrial complex presents to our freedom and economic security.)

Social Security and Medicare:

With implementation of the preceding five proposals, Social Security and Medicare can be not only preserved but also modestly enhanced.  For the following reasons, these programs, which are essential to maintaining America’s economy and its middle-class, should not be cut:

• Social Security has not added one penny to the deficit.  Instead, unwilling to pay for two wars, for an out-of-control Pentagon budget, for a plethora of subsidies to corporations, for huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, etc., etc.  CONGRESS HAS BORROWED HEAVILY FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND and DOES NOT WANT TO PAY THE MONEY BACK.  By any definition, legal and moral, that is THEFT.

• Social Security is a BENEFIT EARNED by people working hard and paying SS taxes; it is a CONTRACT for the economic security of elderly Americans.

• Likewise, Medicare is for the HEALTH SECURITY of elderly Americans-security that private insurance provides far less predictably and far more expensively.  Because the elderly no longer have earning power, increases in the cost of Medicare place at risk their economic and health security.  (Just as each super-committee member has secure health-care provided by tax dollars, so should all Americans, who pay those dollars as well as your salary.)

The Real Causes of the Deficit:

It is the height of injustice to blame Social Security and Medicare for our country’s budgetary situation.  The situation results, in fact, from failures of leadership by our political and corporate elites.  They and their policies and practices have brought us the following ills, which by causing our present and future budgetary plight undermine our national security far more than any foreign powers do:

• Overall mismanagement and financialization of the U.S. economy by political and corporate elites.  (For example, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act has been a disaster and will continue to be until the act is restored.  Commercial and investment banks should never have been married.  The so-called lack of confidence in the business community has not been caused by government-except for its excessive deregulation of the banking, mortgage, and “investment” industries, which have exploited deregulation and thereby tanked themselves and the American and world economies into insolvency.)

• The Bush tax cuts, especially for the wealthiest Americans, whose record of job-creation during his administration was anemic-a mere .45 percent increase on average each year  (In contrast, during the Clinton administrations, when taxes on the richest Americans were higher, the average increase in the number of jobs each year was 1.6 percent.  And during the 1950s, when taxes on corporations and the wealthy were among the highest in our history, jobs were abundant, well-paying, and secure.)

• The Bush recession, which was caused mostly by excessive de-regulation and by reckless elites in the banking and investment industries.

• Two costly and destructive wars financed on credit instead of responsibly through taxes-especially taxes on those who benefit most from those wars.

• Excessive long-term military spending, which undermines our economic and national security (just as it did the defunct USSR’s) and creates far fewer jobs than investments do in our infrastructure, transportation systems, alternative technologies for energy, etc.

• Tax loopholes, subsidies, off-shore accounts, etc., etc., for wealthy corporations and individuals, who do not need them.

Between our elites and middle-class Americans, it is the former who bear far more responsibility for the budgetary and economic messes that afflict our country.  Blaming the middle-class, the poor, and the programs that provide them some security is GROTESQUELY UNFAIR, MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE, ECONOMICALLY DESTRUCTIVE, AND POLITICALLY SUICIDAL.

There can be no national security unless there is economic and health security for the 99%.


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