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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Economics: The Current Buzz | 2 comments

We Won’t Pay for Their Budget Crisis

We Won’t Pay for Their Budget Crisis

Join us on Friday, November 9 at 3 p.m. at Pritzker Park (corner of State and Van Buren) to let our elected officials know that they must protect our interests in the upcoming “Budget Showdown”.  They will be pressured to accept broad budget cuts to domestic programs in order to “fix the deficit”, but we must send the unequivocal message that cuts are unacceptable! 

Please note the march will LEAVE PROMPTLY AT 3 P.M.

Wall Street and the right wing have manufactured this so-called budget crisis to convince ordinary Americans that we can no longer afford the investments in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  They’re also anxious to cut other domestic programs that protect the health, safety and futures for a majority of Americans.

The right wing cries wolf about deficit spending, but their policies created these annual deficits and our growing debt.  How?  By cutting taxes for the rich and big corporations and by deregulating the financial industry.

First, the Bush Tax Cuts, implemented in 2001, cost America $2.6 trillion in revenue between 2001 and 2010! The cuts were the primary reason public debt ballooned under the Bush Administration. For an overview of the cost of the Bush Tax Cuts, click here.

The Bush Tax Cuts reduced taxes on everyone, but disproportionately on the wealthy.  For example, Americans earning $50,000 per year get a tax break of $1,000. American’s earning a million per year get a tax break of $143,000.  Taxes on capital gains were also lowered and because the rich derive a disproportionate amount of their income from investments, they got an additional tax break.

Next, deregulation of the financial industry – exemplified by the repeal of Glass-Steagall – allowed Wall Street to make vast sums of money by selling bad mortgages to ordinary people and bundling these bad mortgages to sell as bad investments to pensioners and investors.

When the housing bubble burst and the economy crashed, the federal government lost billions of dollars in tax revenue.

Our elected officials decided we could afford to bail out Wall Street with our taxes, but have done very little to help ordinary Americans suffering from the consequences of Wall Street’s unethical and illegal behavior, leaving the unemployed, underwater homeowners, indebted students and state and local governments to fend for themselves. Now they want to cut our vital safety net, including Social Security and Medicare.

Meanwhile…our infrastructure is crumbling, college costs are soaring and student debt is at an all-time high, pensions for public employees are terribly underfunded, and we’re falling behind other nations in the race to develop a green energy sector.

While the right wing is determined to starve government and destroy the investments we’ve made in our future, it isn’t clear that our moderate elected officials have the backbone to stand up to this plan.  Instead, we anticipate that many of our elected officials will try to strike a “grand bargain” with the right wing that raises taxes on the wealthy a little bit while also cutting the investments we hold dear.

Our demands are clear:

1 – Block Sequestration – no to austerity!

2 – Reject Simpson-Bowles or any other “Grand Bargain” that attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, working people, the sick or the elderly – protect the social safety net, no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid!

3 – Block the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2% – it’s time for the rich to start paying their fair share!

4 – Support and fight for progressive sources of revenue – impose a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street financial speculation, tax capital gains as normal income and close corporate tax loopholes!

We must send our elected official the uncompromising message that “We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis!” Instead, they must require the wealthy and big corporations to “Pay Their Fair Share”.


  1. Any signs of financial insecurity in the funding system and asset management process of social security, medicare, and other Constitutionally mandated entitlements are not the fault of the payors, We the People. WE did not make the Nixon era decision to plunder the Social Security Retirment Income Trust to finance US misadventures from which our insider trading congressional representatives have, over a bit more than one generation, built great fortunes.

    Friends, it is the fault of those who supposedly serve us.
    They are legally culpable and liable, under the so-called “prudent man standard” they should be called to task, and the process totally reformed. And now that there aren’t quite so many pennies in the piggy, they’re calling on us to make “shared sacrifices.” Is there any sign that the bars and restaurants, the resorts, and lavish residences they frequent and live in are being battened down for tough times? If you look at the haunts of the rich and famous like Chicago’s Streeterville, the new South Loop, Wicker Park, the Gold Coast, Saint Charles, IL., Barrington, Winnetka, Coral Gables, FL., Wellington, FL., Pacific Palisades, Bel Air CA., etc. you’ll see there are signs of more abundance and more miserliness than ever before– for them!

    For us, fewer jobs to go around,lower pay, higher bills for even the basics of life!

    Are our bought and paid for alleged public servants pulling in the belt even one notch, skipping one lavish meal, a movie, a luxury vacation- or driving heaps like so many of us who even have an old rattletrap car? Are they being dunned by bill collectors, refused credit to start a business or to take credit cards, being turned down at a hospital or clinic due to lack of private medical coverage? Have any of them been denied a vital income producing job becuase of credit issues due to unemployment? Issues themselves only a result of a lack of opportunity, and not of over-spending on a lavish life-style, or personal vices? Are they going to lose their life-time pensions and tapayer funded Healthcare? Even if they commit grievous offenses, or are delinquent in carrying out even the most basic duties like attending roll-call for major votes, abusing the privileges and duties of office, committing major violations of ethics rules or of criminal statutes? A very few ever have lost the pension and healthcare, for example Dan Rostenkowski. that was more due to politics than to any real reform. He forgot he came from jump street, and the One Percent through their proxies, threw him under the bus. At the time, he was only one of many score who could and should have gone away. The result was legislative compliance…vote against constitutents, get a stay out of jail card!

    How many of them have a relative who served in combat, was wounded, diabled, or killed in the service of our country? Joe Biden’s son Bo did!

    How many of these much pampered corporate and One Percent welfare recipients do any service to others rather than themselves and their insider trading activity? Is smilin’ Senator Dick on the phone or the Net caring for his beloved accounts right now, like nearly 95% of his peers?

    Selling products and services to the US Federal Government is a huge industry, worth trillions. How much of that is totally non-competitive, no-bid, or terraformed by default through a mze of inter-woven regulations and requirements designed to benefit a minority of priviliged insiders? — names and particulars withheld in a lockbox- perhaps for a future date.

    In your hearts, you know the answers to these and more of the questions that confront and vex us each day. You know the truth, and it doesn’t reside in them! Think–where is the Love?

    This has been happening because we abdicated our responsibility to hold them accountable, and to dictate to them the will of the electorate. In our absence, the envoys of corruption, of extreme authoritarianism, of militarism, money worship, and tyranny crept in and stole our government, our precious hard-won tool for taking care of our nation, our Rights and Liberties, and ourselves, and for helping our true friends abroad. Reach out to those of the 99% and the 47% who have been mesmerized by the idiotic reality TV, Prosperity Gospel, and Fox News messages that imprison their souls, minds and their hearts. they can break free, many already have!

    Chicago is a working town, not a bosses town! Or have you all caught “Rahmnesia?” It is time to take it all back, and elect those who know how it is to struve and struggle to make ends meet, and who know how to prudently manage and fairly give access to public assets in the public interest.

    Has anyone yet figured out how much money the city could make by taking back privatized parking and event activities, and the plethora of other things plundered from Chicagoans to enrich a few to the detriment of the many?

    There are no real political parties anymore, just the 1% who have nearly 95% of the assets under control and the lackeys, churls, and thugs to protect themselves, and the 99% who thirst for justice, opportunity, and the goods one obtains by being a citizen in a just and fair society. The President and the One Percenters, including charlatans pretending to be Democrats feeding at Our trough of public goods like all the other piggies should be made to see this very clearly. Rahm must be a one-termer first, then, maybe they’ll get the message. Organize and Vote local, educate nationally! If Obama will stand by and lead the people, fine. If not, a Freedom Train is going to roar by and leave him dazed in its’ aftermath. Occupy, Occupy, Occupy–do not be Pacified!

    The perps of our so-called crisis, the Wall Street Investment Houses have been allowed to reincorporate themselves and register as banks and thrifts. The our government’s FDIC program, we are now all obligated through our taxes and services and sacrifices to cover the losses they incur through their continued high risk trading. Those of us who have relatives with the failing of gambling addiction will understand personally and tragically how this is a recipe for continued disaster. There is no evidence that our economy will fail when we require the 1% to pay their fair share, and no evidence that we even need Wall Street. They consume but do not create wealth.

    In terms of “Redistribution” issues, it seems to me that during the last generation, the playing field has been tilted to enable the smallest number of people to grift, grab, and swindle the greatest amount of money, of liquidity, and physical assets as possible, and to keep as much of that through and beyond a human’s lifespan. No effort and no expense has been spared to make this Hoovering-up and Commoditizing of almost everything down to the drains of dirt we walk on a painless, profitable, and guilt-free endeavor for that few, nearly all of whom have never calloused their hands, wrung out their hearts with stress for a jerk boss, nor sweated on the brow to do a difficult service or to make one single thing. They pay less taxes than the wealthy did back in the 1960’s and 1970s. Seems to me this is the biggest Redistribution of Wealth in history, along with the confiscations of the various carrots and apples the middle class was briefly given in the form of home ownership, 401 (k)’s, IRA’s, pensions that Wall Street has been permitted to plunder with impunity per an absence of any meaningful regulation or restraints. Bernie Madoff, you remember him, right? He was the head of the industry self-regulatory body, now called FINRA. His dear pal and assistant, Ms Mary L Schapiro is now the Chairperson of the SEC, which is the US Federal Regulator of investment companies and managers. You think we’ll see any meaningful reforms or law enforcement actions with any teeth in them with such insiders in charge? If you do, there’s some great east side land waiting for you in that fabulous gated community, Lago Michigami.

    Yet now, our Government is spending billions of our tax money on so called “Tactical Supplies and Equipment, communications, and training.”

    Make no mistake folks, the One Percent hear the drums beating, and they are calling up their lackeys and proxies.
    It’s been an easy living, one they do not want to lose.

    Where there is hope, there is no abode for desperation. Where there is no hope, desperation and despondance take root and generate resentment, anger, and irrational violence. This is a double edged sword. As reforms succeed, expect the grifters and parasites to plot revenge. Plan for it, and take hope — there is plenty to go around, for us all to share if we have the will to get it done, and a lot of creative, innovative, caring people who want us as a city and nation to take the lead, and do what we do best again- WORK and see our product bought throughout the world!

  2. Change we can count on– small change. Occupy, occupy, occupy- FYI I am one of the former organizers of Chicago Peace and Music Festival. It is encouraging to see younger people getting back to the basic of organizing, educating, and uplifting. Light a candle, give some hope, and have some FUN!
    I wish these were more happy times for us all, but if we all do our best, we’ll get through it and win back our city and the country from the 1%.

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