Monday, 18 July 2011

How to abolish America's deficit

The United States national deficit currently stands at over 14 trillion dollars. The relevant implications of an American default significantly affects us all. When Bill Clinton assumed the presidency in 1992, he inherited a debt tripled, with a debt ceiling raised on dozens of occasions from the terms Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., based upon ideological subservience to lowering the taxes of the wealthiest 1% of corporations and privileged incomes, while raising them for low-waged working class workers and middle class families, and cutting public programs protecting jobs, alleviating opportunity and defending social mobility. Despite Clinton's many corrupt and hypocritical faults, his economic programs of investing in education, and progressively reducing the disparity of the richest and poorest, bequeathed a budget surplus of over $200 billion, leaving office in 2000 with the deficit steadily regressing into the green. But George W. Bush's proto-fascist commitments to continuation of illiterate supply-side economics reducing the taxes of the moneyed and elite ruling class corporations, the cost of his crimes against humanity (like Reagan's deposition of liberal democratic governments and resistance movements in favour of genocidal juntas and dictatorships), totalitarian Patriot Act and catastrophic deregulation of Wall Street investment bankers preceding the global economic crisis in 2007, increased the deficit by over 19%, to $12 trillion compared to the $5 trillion Clinton accorded. The costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been between 3 to 4 trillion dollars.

Today, President Obama deals with a Republican congressional majority, coercing him into compromise of lowering the taxes of corporations that already evade them while outsourcing American jobs, to avoid being politically forced to raise them for the middle classes. They justify their criminal agenda with rhetoric about the deficit, while denying raising the taxes of the rich, in conformity to the protocols that tripled, quadruped debt under successive Republican administrations, while demanding cuts to solvent social security programs and further privatization of America's atrocious healthcare system. All the while, they focus a repulsive antipathy to Planned Parenthood clinics defending the reproductive rights and health of women, or engage in the absurdity of defunding the Public Broadcasting Service that educates pre-school children with Sesame Street.

According to the Center for American Progress, tax evasion costs the United States an annual $400 to $500 billion annually. The Internal Revenue Service have a more modest figure of over $300 billion per year. America accounts for over two-thirds of the world's military-spending; up to 700 billion dollars is spent on the weapons contracting and global empire of the military-industrial complex defined by President Eisenhower (while the crippled and traumatized troops are abandoned of welfare and discarded as meat shields).

Corporations hoard over 2 trillion dollars worth of wealth every year; their accumulated, bailed out interest has significantly increased since since the financial crisis. As democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont observed during his eight hour filibuster: "Today, in terms of wealth as opposed to income, the top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. When we went to school, we used to read in the textbooks about Latin America, and they used to refer to some of the countries there as ``banana republics,'' countries in which a handful of families controlled the economic and political life of the nation. I don't wish to upset the American people, but we are not all that far away from that reality today. The top 1 percent has seen a tripling of the percentage of income they earn. Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent owning 23 percent of all income, more than the bottom 50 percent. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. That is not the foundation of a democratic society. That is the foundation for an oligarchic society. The rich get richer. The middle class shrinks. Poverty increases. Apparently, God is not good enough yet for some of the richest people."

Let us make rough estimations (subject to correction) of cuts and revenue that could be made, with much else to rationally include and consider:

$500 billion ending corporate tax evasion. 
$2 trillion taxing back corrupt corporate profits. 
At least $400 billion to the military budget, such as ending subsidy to the arms trade, genocidal drone strikes of civilian populations and closing America's hundreds of military bases across the world.

This is at least an annual 2.9 trillion dollars, which over eight years would eradicate America's national debt in under two presidential terms, with a surplus of over $9 trillion (at current levels of inflation. Inflation here would clearly be reduced massively).

To the hostility of corporations, investment bankers and war profiteers to his New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt responded: "I welcome their hatred". If there is any principle to his presidency, Barack Obama will grow a spine and welcome the hatred of his own.  Should we give him the benefit of the doubt and assumes he does by 2012? Or do we continue to petition Senator Sanders?

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