WASHINGTON, D.C. - The recent Bowles-Simpson bipartisan committee released their report that providing for future cuts in programs such as Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, military pay, military health care and unemployment insurance, all programs that take money out of the hands of people who need it and will spend it, thereby helping businesses.
Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a member of the Bowles-Simpson committee charged with making proposals to eliminate the deficit, has proposed her own program which targets changes at the opposite end of the economic spectrum - corporations and the wealthy.
Schakowsky developed her plan as an alternative to the Bowles-Simpson plan because she is committed to saving money for the middle class and the poor who had nothing to do with creating the deficit and long-term debt. The debt was created to benefit banks, those families in the 1.4% at the top of the income ladder and big business. As Warren Buffet recently said, "We (the richest) do not need the benefits; take it (taxes) from us."
The United States has the highest disparity in income between wealthy and the middle class since the 1920s. The disparity is even worse between the wealthy and the poor. The benefits given during the Bush years enlarged and promoted the differences. Changes necessary to decrease the gap must be taken without hurting the average citizen, only those who can and should pay.
The Bush tax cuts for the rich must die at the end of 2010, as was originally planned. Those whose annual family income exceeds $250,000 would pay 36% income tax; those with income over $396,000 per year would be charged 39.6%. The median household income in the United States is $47,300; the average income is now near $87,000. Neither is near $250,000. Income inequality is not good for our economy. "It's certainly not good for those who have seen their income stagnate over the last two decades," says Schakowsky.
Tax cuts for the rich and large businesses do not benefit workers or the middle class. The poverty rate is staggering for a major industrial country, embarrassing for a nation that was founded with the intention to provide equality for all.
The claim made by Republicans and Tea Partiers that cutting taxes for major businesses and the wealthy promotes investment and makes jobs is only partially true. What is proven is that they hoard their money, give obscene bonuses to top management, and demand workers take wage cuts and benefit reductions "to keep (the) business located nearby, not shipped off to another state, Mexico or China."
Wealth disparity must be reduced to some percentage closer to that which existed before the Reagan administration. If Mr. and Ms. Average American do not take a hand in this battle, our economy will continue to become less and less economically democratic.
The illusion that, with hard work, everyone can earn the American dream is just that, a Republican and conservative illusion, only a "pipe" dream. It has no basis in reality.