It is clear that conservative Republicans are not the slightest bit interested in either balancing the budget or in doing anything about the national debt. If they were, they would be talking about the steps that would do the most toward achieving those goals.
What they are talking about instead is a series of things that would disenfranchise the poor and middle class and make all our lives worse. All, that is, except people with a whole lot of money. Moreover, their plans wouldn’t do what they claim, as several highly respected economists have shown.
What is the essential problem? The essential problem is that there is inadequate tax revenue.
And why is that? It’s actually pretty easy.
There are too many people out of work. The jobs that are being added are inadequately paid. All jobs have suffered either stagnation or slow erosion for decades because of Republican adventures in deregulation. We are involved in an ongoing bunch of opportunistic wars or military adventures that cost billions. We have added $1.7-trillion to the national debt because George W. Bush rewarded his rich buddies with an unprecedented tax break. This tax break will cause much worse damage if it is continued. Few large corporations pay their taxes. Oil companies and various other huge businesses get huge grants of our money. Banks are allowed to play with our money in dangerous ways. Those are the problems.
The conservative Republican response is to squeeze the poor and middle class in hopes that a few trillion dollars will drop from our empty pockets. Well, if that doesn’t work, let’s kill those government programs we all hate, Social Security and Medicare (not to mention our new health care plan). That will surely do the trick. Except it won’t. But of course we don’t want to leave ourselves “weak” by having a military budget at a reasonable level, say, half of what the entire rest of the world spends.
Nobody is fooled by all this maneuvering and fine words. Conservative Republicans have declared war on America’s poor and middle class. There’s no other way to think of it. Under all their proposals, nobody suffers except the poor and middle class. Unless your income is pretty substantial to begin with, you will be markedly less well off if conservative Republicans get their way. You will pay substantially more for health care. Your retirement will depend entirely on what you can save from your reduced income. Your income will continue to stagnate, unless you lose your job. In that case, if you can find another job it will be for less pay and few benefits. Your children will be considerably worse off, if they can find work at all.
Oh dear, what to do, what to do! Oh, woe is I!
The answer is simplicity itself: quit wasting money on wars and tax breaks for people who don’t need them; rebuild the consumer ability of the American public by making jobs pay decently; face reality and make a responsible health care plan with the broadest insurance pool possible, all the nation’s people, like all the advanced countries have done; rebuild some sort of required program that keeps people out of poverty in old age and if they become disabled. Make corporations pay their taxes. End corporate giveaways.
This is not rocket science.