Tomorrow’s vote is first about an immediate threat to our democracy. This threat comes primarily from the domination of large, mostly multi-national, corporations who wish to lock in their dominance by using government to limit competition. The US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision accelerated this effort because it unleashed a flood of corporate cash, much of it provided in secret, into our political campaign system.
This multi-billion dollar effort is causing another, longer term problem: We as a nation are not addressing our real needs and this means we are innocently taking massive and unnecessary risks. What are those risks?
- We are running larger deficits and debt than is necessary. Yet we are being pandered to, again, with more tax cuts that are guaranteed to further increase deficits and debt.
- We are much too dependent on fossil fuel energy. Billions of people are climbing out of poverty worldwide and demanding a larger share of fossil fuel energy, which guarantees the price of these fuels will climb. Yet we have no national program to install sustainable, clean energy systems which would insulate our country from the increasing cost of fossil fuels. Importantly, this dependence threatens our national security as we are in danger of being in continual wars overseas protecting our fossil fuel sources.
- We are over using chemicals and hormones in our food industry. This is not only degrading our environment but is also creating an epidemic of ill health outcomes, like diabetes, that are taxing our health care system and costing us hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending annually.
- Our weather is very likely to become increasingly more severe due to global warming. Yet we have not begun national programs, such as those for sustainable energy or more robust infrastructures, to prepare for dealing with these probable weather challenges.
- Our financial system is lopsided, favoring very large banking conglomerates that are shielded from competition and the dangers of their risk taking. We have, so far, continued to socialize their losses which has removed their caution to risk taking.
- Our tax structure too much favors the incomes of the wealthy over the incomes of a majority of Americans. Privileged rates are applied to wealthy incomes from dividends, capital gains and carried interest. The tax laws are shot full of tax avoidance schemes designed for the wealthy like unified charitable trusts, irrevocable trusts, offshore accounts and trusts and estate taxes that avoid capital gains taxes altogether. Combined with broad based tax cuts, these schemes guarantee high deficits and debt and the underfunding of necessary government programs like social security, medicare and medicaid.
- Our regulatory structures are too weak. From bank risk taking, to environmental abuse, to a medical system focused on the more profitable business of treating symptoms rather than creating cures, regulators all too often look the other way or become enablers of corporations only concerned with the most profitable activity irrespective of the activity’s bad outcomes for individuals and the nation.
Beezer here. Unfortunately one of our two political parties, the Republican party, is ‘all in’ supporting the efforts of multi-nationals. They enable all these bad outcomes. They support unlimited corporate campaign spending that dominates our national discussions and hides the real risks we are taking. They favor a tax system tilted heavily in favor wealthy incomes, which in turn aggravates income inequality and suppresses both job creation and income gains for the majority of working Americans. They pander to our want of lower taxes while endangering our needs for a safer, healthier and more competitive economy. This is the precipice we face in tomorrow’s national elections. If Republicans win tomorrow, then our needs will never be addressed without encountering some massive disaster of epic scale. It’s that important. We need to regain our ability to self-govern.