If you read William Blum’s books or his monthly blog, you can ascertain that America is a Military Industrial Empire . . . most likely on its last legs. Too many decades of using our hard earned taxpayer money for phony wars, occupations, illegal coups, overkill weaponry and much more waste has instigated our final bankruptcy. When over half of the federal taxes each of us sends to Uncle Sam goes for the above, our economy must ultimately fail . . . lots of guns and not enough butter.
For every problem there has to be a solution. If enough of you out there get your heads on straight and stop buying into what the corporate embedded media and two hypocrital political parties has been selling you, we can make real change to climb out of the abyss:
● Cut Military Spending to Save Our State and City Budget Shortfalls—If we could drastically cut this obscene military spending by even just 25% (around $600 billion a year, going by the 2011 fiscal budget), the savings could be sent to each of our states and their cities. My small city of 60,000 would most likely see $70 million a year returned. Imagine what that would translate into? Enough money for our first responders, schools, roads and other means of economic stimulus.
● Community owned and operated nonprofit mortgage banks—Imagine if each of our cities or counties opened a nonprofit mortgage bank, charging only overhead? The rates for a home buyer would be less than half of what they are now. How many folks who now rent would be able to afford to buy a home or condo? The entire housing market would boom! That would mean more doors, cabinets, wood and other materials sold. More work for electricians, plumbers, construction workers . . . everyone would benefit! Plus, the mortgage paper would stay locally and not be used for some junk bundling by Wall Street sharks.
● Charge millionaires a surtax and leave the rest of us alone—Our nation has over 16 million millionaire households. That means there are lots of folks who are doing very well despite these really tough economic times. CEOs of major corporations are raking in tens of millions per year, along with their top executives, while they lay off or cut their labor forces and employee wages. Ridiculous! The simple solution is to institute a flat 50% surtax on any income over one million dollars a year. No accountant, no write offs, just 50% of each income dollar, beginning with $ 1,000,001. Let anyone earning up to one million a year to pay at the same rates as we all do now. You cannot believe how much more revenue Uncle Sam would have by this policy. Also, if the super rich try to get around this surtax by moving their personal funds or corporate headquarters offshore, just pass the appropriate law to counteract this.
● Offer Medicare and Dental Care for All who buy in—Nothing has to be free. Nothing has to be mandated or forced upon a citizen or a company. Let the private health insurers do as they are doing, just let Uncle Sam compete with them by offering the option for any American to pay into Medicare and a National Dental care program, as well. The savings will be fantastic, with one form and one payer to the provider. In the UK, where a national health care system is more popular than what we offer here, doctors get paid a very nice salary from the day they get their license to practice.
● Public funding of all elections—Why should the wealthy have an edge on who gets elected to office? If our politicians are truly public servants, then why should private money determine who gets voted in? As an example, look at the office of state representative. In my state of Florida, these folks make under $40,000 yearly, plus expenses. Yet, to win a race for this job, the winner’s average spending for the campaign is around one million dollars! How can this be? Why would someone spend over 20 times what they will earn for this job? Where does the bulk of those campaign donations come from? Do not be naïve to think that most of it comes from $5 and $20 contributions from working stiff John and Joan Q. Public. No, a great deal of the money comes from corporations and rich donors . . . sometimes with bundling to get around whatever limits there are in place. So, the Republican and Democratic parties get to see one of their choices in that seat at the statehouse . . . always with some strings attached, as certain special interests are usually owed a favor for the money they donated. In the state of Maine, their 1996 Clean Election Laws actually made it possible for almost one-thurd of those who won office in the first go round to be totally publically funded!
Obviously, there are a myriad of other things that can and should be done to make this republic of ours fairer and more democratic. For the time being, let us focus on the above . . . as the propaganda against those ideas has been, is now, and will be overwhelming. Get behind even just one of the solutions, make an appropriate sign, and get out where you live and work and speak up!
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on Intrepid Report, TheSleuthJournal.com, Information Clearing House, OpEd News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at email@example.com.