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Our side

Dear Editor:

It seems our national dialog has been constrained in a neat little box … the president, in the person of investment banker Tim Geithner, has already agreed to “entitlement” cuts, while we argue about the tax rates for those making over $250,000 a year.

No one is debating defense spending (indeed the Senate is finalizing a Defense Authorization bill as if the sequester doesn’t even exist) or subsidies to oil and corn and sugar, massive waste in Homeland Security, nation building overseas, a financial transaction tax to help repair the damage done by Wall Street, reducing the cost of Medicare by allowing the government to negotiate drug prices, or the insane policy of buying up the debt of the big banks (now over 2 trillion dollars) with fantasy money. They give us this fabricated show over one or two items so we won’t notice the big picture; a government wholly owned by corporate interests whose only interest is in making more money.

We’ve got Fox and the Republicans, along with the so-called “mainstream” media, framing this debate as if it were still between left wing (tax and spend) liberals and old time, fiscally responsible conservatives. In point of fact, we have no left wing left in our politics. The investment banker mentality running this White House along with the corporate sponsored Democratic Party are basically what we used to call “Center Right.” The other “side” to this debate is a radical right who unabashedly seek to destroy the economy, starve government and privatize the pieces … not for the benefit of the American people, but for those that own the pieces.

We have allowed ourselves to be taken in on one side or the other of this “debate” as if we have no other choices, and we find ourselves stuck in this debate between two sides, neither of which are pursuing a rational budget. They tell us the best we can do is a deficit reduction of 2 trillion dollars over ten years, when we have a current deficit of a trillion dollars every year. At the end of the day, we will be adding an additional 8 trillion to the debt during the next decade, or a whopping 23 trillion dollars in debt by the year 2022.  The only difference between the two policies is whether we want our future financial disaster with or without social spending.

And here’s the thing:  there is an intelligent balanced budget that has been offered by the House Progressive Caucus for several years now. It focuses on the actual reasons for the deficit (using this thing known as “Math”) and promotes a plan that addresses rising medical costs, massive defense spending, government waste and the loss of revenue.

The reason that the leadership of both parties, as well as the media, have completely ignored it, is that it would of necessity cut into the profits of the special interests that get people elected.

But here’s the thing: now is the time that we need to bring actual solutions to the forefront, and not give into this notion that we must accept the limited options being offered by our politicians.

Now is the time to insist that “our” side is actually on our side, and demand that for once, the reality begin to match the rhetoric.

F. John Lozen

This story was posted on December 13, 2012.