At a time when the biggest news on everybody radar screen should be the Ron Suskind book, The Way of the World, with its powder keg of accusations against President Bush including, but not limited to, the Whitehouse ordering forged documents to lie to America about 9/11 with--as big a deal as that is, I am going to try to write about something else.
Even when the last week’s political news main feature showed McCain and Obama having to genuflect to the Religious Right’s Rick Warren and quote bible verses to get elected on CNN’s first semi-debate hosted by Pastor Warren at his Saddle Back Forum Church on Saturday Aug. 16th, there is something even more insidiously threatening America than this blurring of church and state.
I tell ya, folks, this problem is big, big news for liberals. And for conservatives too, true conservatives who expect to get their money’s worth and everyone to pull their fair share of the load. Especially big news for the kind of conservatives such as those in Warren’s audience who chuckled at McCain belittling of a 3 million dollar study of bears at the same time they unhesitatingly send another 10 Billion a month to Iraq for Halliburton to squander.
Here is the big news, this just out: capitalists are Un-American. This tidbit comes from Democracy Now’s August 13th’s evening news show, a factoid so outlandish one has to read it fully to comprehend the magnitude of its impact: “A new government study shows most corporations pay no income taxes in the United States. According to the Government Accountability Office, 72 percent of foreign-owned companies went at least one year without paying taxes over an eight-year period. 55 percent of US-based companies also went at least a year without paying.” That’s right, despite all the tax cuts and tax breaks the wealthy have always given themselves, the majority of American businesses are going that extra mile, saying “Screw America,” and not paying their taxes at all.
Forget what you think your greedy little pocketbook is telling you, not paying taxes is so very not-cool. If you are not doing your daily best to make America work, the least you can do is pay on your tab. Paying taxes is as all-American as it gets. Paying taxes is doing your part to show you actually care about America more than to $2.50 you spent on that yellow ribbon you bought a couple of years ago which is now so sun faded it’s unreadable.
Paying taxes makes roads, operates school, and cops and firemen and soldiers and a host of other things you would seriously rather not live without. Paying taxes is the gift that gives back. But not so you could tell from the GOP, who have routinely tried to bribe the public with tax cuts when they had no real ideas to promote the general welfare, only to line their own pockets.
That’s right and sad to say it but this means that a lot of Republicans are Un-American too and yet they are audacious enough to brag about it. They smile in your face and tell you, you would rather have a hundred bucks off your taxes than a decent school for your daughter, or clean water to drink. Some people, including McCain, squawk that we shouldn’t have to pay taxes because government’s too big. He is convinced that what we really need to fix America is still more tax cuts for the rich. McCain explains that it will be no problem to afford the tax breaks if we only cut back on the quality of government a little more. You know, just anywhere, VA hospitals, Social Security, whatever, just as long as it’s not on the military or domestic surveillance.
Interestingly enough these words of tax cut come from McCain’s lips the same week it’s discovered that the CEOs of America’s biggest companies have donated ten times more campaign dough to McCain than to Obama. If McCain really wants to make government smaller he could quit his supposed job mis-representing AZ and just live off of his herd of lobbyists for years. Of course we could probably easily afford to pay for his salary and plenty else if he and the rest of the GOP would stop trying to help their rich friends avoid paying our taxes.
What a shame. If only they loved America.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.