Listening to some of the debates in the United States over the economy and how to fix it, tax cuts and who is wealthy enough to receive them, appears to monopolize the conversation.
And the Republican Senators have vowed to block legislative action on every issue being considered, until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved.
All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."They are referring to an increase in taxes as "job killing". Maybe they haven't been following the news, but the Bush Tax Cuts have already killed jobs. Thousands and thousands of them. The priority now should be how to bring them back to life.
I was watching Anderson Cooper's 360, and he had one expert discussing the situation. I had fallen asleep and only caught a bit of it, but she was the first person who actually made sense.
She suggested that it was wrong to determine economic recovery based on Wall Street and the stock market. She said that to really address the situation, you had to focus on the middle.
How was the average citizen coping?
And she's right. Throughout the meltdown, the emphasis has been on keeping corporations fed, but we have since learned, that the corporations did not keep up their end of the bargain. They kept all the largess for themselves.
And there are even more promised tax cuts in the U.S. and Canada, despite the fact that big business continues to focus research on how to eliminate jobs to increase their profit margin, including outsourcing and automated check outs.
Tax breaks should be tied directly to job creation, not just on some abstract promise of job creation, that never materializes. The only new jobs are low wage, with no, or few benefits. Good union jobs that have proven to create a strong economy, are disappearing, much to our peril.
Obama met this week with Wal-Mart's Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke, as part of an outreach to U.S. businesses. Is he hoping that the pampered will share the wealth, without having to legislate their doing so? Is he hoping that he may find the heart of the beast?
Unfortunately, even if he did get through to them, the Republicans have guaranteed that they don't have to listen to the President. They've got their back. They refuse to work until the wealthiest citizens are given more money.
Armine Yalnizyan with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in reaching out to Canada's wealthiest citizens (in line for billions more from Harper and the boys in January), said recently that:
Bill Gates urges billionaires to step up their philanthropy, Warren Buffett questions why he is taxed more lightly than his housekeeper, and Google execs emulate Henry Ford by paying their workers more, in the middle of a recession.That's a good start, but unfortunately represents a very small segment of the corporate population.
We need to put an emphasis on creating good jobs, with a decent wage, reasonable working hours and benefits. There must be a time out from corporatism, that has not produced the promised "trickle down", only a splurge up.
Canadians are now being forced to work longer hours, sometimes with two or more jobs, and for parties that focus on "family values", how valuable is it for parents to be forced to spend even more time away from their children?
And parents who are forced to work so much harder, cannot give their best to their families. They are simply too tired.
Misguided tax-cuts have become a destructive force, that threatens our domestic security. We are engaged in an expensive and unwinnable war. We are buying enormous amounts of military hardware, with no plan to raise revenue to pay for it.
Our government just keeps whipping out the plastic, while promising that we will bear the burden of it all.
There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.