Republicans in the United States House of Representatives are using the federal deficit and national debt, and coming need to authorize a higher ceiling for the debt, as an excuse to try to defund Obamacare (Affordable Care Act).
How about a little fight from the Democratic Party side? How about a little offense, instead of the usual half-hearted defense?
How about defunding Republicare, the vast system of federal spending and tax breaks that is the millionaires' equivalent of the Food Stamp program?
How about refusing to fund the debt ceiling unless the military budget and homeland security budgets are cut by, say, 75%? How about a mean, lean, U.S. force that just defends U.S. territory and leaves the rest of the world to mind its own business?
How about defunding the capital gains tax break. Rich people, truly rich people, get almost all of their money through inheritances and capital gains. When they can't evade capital gains taxes altogether, they only pay 15%. Is that fair? Is that right, when working people making $50,000 per year pay 30%, and families making between $50,000 and $100,000 per year pay a much higher tax rate?
Why do the Democrats always fail to stand up to the rich bully boys who fund the Tea Party and even the mainstream Republican politicians? You know why. Democratic Party politicians use rhetoric to get working class and middle class votes, but they are almost all on the business lobby payroll.
How about defunding the agriculture programs that were set up to help Depression Era small farmers and now funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate farmers, many of whom actually just sit in urban penthouses, collecting government welfare checks?
How about defunding DEA anti-marijuana operations? They just drive up the price of marijuana, creating black market profits, a sliver of which are sufficient to bribe Republicans and Democrats alike to keep Marijuana Prohibition on the law books.
How about defunding Israel? Why are American taxpayers sending vast sums of money to a weathy nation that abuses women, subsidizes a vast welfare scheme for ultraconservative cults, takes the private property of Palestinians without due process of law, and generally causes about a billion people in the world to hate the U.S. government?
There are a lot of other smaller programs that waste money subsidizing America's richest citizens, and even foreigners. Each program should be looked at. And no matter how loud the campaign donors scream, the subsidies should be eliminated. In many cases, like the federal transportation program, the same dollars could alternatively go much further if the profits of contractors were limited to a fair rate.
But Democratic Party politicians are as bad as Republicans when it comes to protecting their own rivers of corruption. Democrats like to call something a program to help the poor, then use it to subsidize giant construction and real estate companies that kick back to urban Democratic Party machines. So while we're in liposuction mode, let's eliminate all but the regulatory functions of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Unlike most Democrats, I believe the nearly 17 trillion dollar federal debt is a serious problem, and is going to be more of a problem going forward. History shows that nations that overburden themselves with debt eventually fail. [See Bankruptcy and Beyond]
But don't expect Democrats to show any backbone. The Democrats have used their backbone to help ordinary citizens for only 8 years of the 200 year history: 1932 to 1936 and 1964 to 1968. Barack Obama and most of his faithful are politically to the right of Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. The main use of Democratic Party backbone between 1824 and 1964 was to protect slavery and then segregation.
But the real problem, perhaps, is not the politicians. Like thieves, they mostly just get away with whatever the citizens leave laying around loose and unguarded. The American working class is lame. The high hopes of the Marxists for the class came to naught. A surprising number of working class people spout Tea Party nonsense, often because their minds are rotted out by Christian doctrines. But even those who see the problems won't fight for their rights, and are mostly afraid to speak out. They are afraid to unionize, they are afraid to vote for better democrats in primaries or leftist parties when the Democratic candidate is useless.
And what of the middle class? Normally a reservoir of energy and intelligence, the American middle class was corrupted by easy living during the golden age of American imperialism. People expect to inherit a middle class lifestyle. That isn't going to happen much anymore. You are going to have to fight for your living, and not just in the economic arena, or by getting a college education. And if the middle class does not learn to fight in the political arena, and fight the right people (the robber barons, not the working folk) this nation's historical descent will be even more rapid than its rise.