I can still remember the night that Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. We sat around in shock. How could this clown have won?
And then the latest cycle of the onslaught by the rich and powerful against...everyone else...started again in this country. Reagan and his cohorts followed an astonishingly simple formula:
- No one likes to pay taxes.
- Everyone has a gripe about the government.
- So blame the government for all our problems.
- Increase cynicism and distrust of citizens for their government.
- Then push hard to cut taxes (mostly those on the rich) because our government will only misuse those funds.
- Then with reduced revenues, we have to cut back on services to our citizens.
- Those citizens get even more unhappy with the government and so they agree to more tax cuts, more cuts in service...and...
And so we come to 2011: Bush and Obama gave so much of our money away to bankers and Wall Street (with no strings attached), they got us into and keep us in wars of choice that suck up hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, and almost every Congressperson is primarily beholden to lobbyists and "donors" (read: bribes), that, gee whiz, so sorry, but there just isn't any money for health care, our roads, our children, our schools...you name it.
Today, the Chicago Tribune reports that the House of Reps has voted to end a program to test our produce for deadly bacterium like E. coli. Just weeks after an outbreak in Germany killed 35 people. This program costs $4.5M a year. Small change, a pittance, to protect our population. Why would they do this?
Ah, because the Produce Marketing Association has lobbied hard against it. "Unnecessary recalls", excessive regulation, blah, blah, blah.
This is a truly sucky Fourth of July. Our soldiers continue to die (and continue to kill, both innocents and combatants) in poorly planned wars with limited public support. Our government has been hijacked by people who hate our government and don't give two shits about our citizenry, our children, our future. They just care about lining their pockets. And we, the people, watch our country go down the drain, leaving behind millionaires and billionaires who will continue to do well...by selling their stuff to growing middle classes in other nations.