is no fiscal cliff. We
already went over the fiscal cliff when we passed the Bush tax
cuts in 2001. At
that time ( Feb, 2001) I wrote a commentary entitled “Bush’s Tax
Tragedy” in which I said…
Bush plan is the greatest rip off that has ever been
probably represents the largest single publicly sponsored
transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich that was ever
It turns out
that I was exactly right.
You can trace the fiscal debacle in 2008 to the passage
of his plan--the perfect compliment to the repeal of the
Glass-Steagall Act under Clinton-- which nearly collapsed our entire economic system
and, more importantly, has all but ended what we might have
previously considered our working democracy.
And now, in order to keep that tax tragedy in place, we
are being told that allowing that legislative stupidity to
expire will throw us off some imaginary fiscal cliff.
We already fell off and are now crumpled at the bottom
of that cliff, bleeding and nursing our bruised and broken
All you have
to do is look at the distribution of wealth in this country
and you can see we are approaching the end of our republic as
our Founders conceived it.
A democratic system of government cannot survive with
almost all the growth in national income over many years
accruing to the wealthiest one to five percent of the
first order of business if we are to recover what’s left of
our republic is to redistribute the wealth and income of our
people. We need to
repeal the Bush tax cuts, restore Glass-Steagall, reform the tax code, take money out
of politics, prosecute all the criminals who have committed
fraud upon the people of this country--so far without
accountability--and put what’s left of our wealth to work
for the benefit of all our People and our posterity.
Fathers were not a perfect enlightened breed of men.
For example, despite their lofty concern for freedom
and democratic rule, even Washington and Jefferson couldn’t see their way to giving
up their slaves... and allowing women to participate in electoral
politics was never even considered. But at
least they had the courage not only to talk about freedom and
democracy but to actually try to build into the framework
of their new government the mechanisms by which the People--if
we could hold onto our ideals--might expand and refine
those values, and for the first time in history actually
create a working model of how people might live together in
freedom, peace and harmony in a land governed of, by, and for
The Bush tax
plan did more to kill and bury those ideals than any piece of
economic legislation in our history.
That legislation transferred to the richest 1% of our people all the power they needed to undermine
the rights and freedoms of the other 99%.
Our Constitution, for all intents and purposes, has
undergone a shredding which has turned our sacred document,
with the help of the Obama administration, into what Bush
called, “just a goddamned piece of paper.”
The institutions of power and culture in the United
States are now so corrupted by what has taken place over the
last couple of decades that no one seems to know how we might
recapture the sense of civic decency that the Founders once
tried to create. If
we don’t return legitimate power to the People, America is
on track to becoming a third world country as the Great
Experiment--after all the blood that has been spilled and
treasure squandered--ends in absolute disgrace and total
task then is to go over this so called fiscal cliff if we have
any hope at all to regain our legitimacy as a people.
We need to creatively transfer the unearned wealth that
has accrued to the wealthiest Americans and return it to the
People who made that wealth possible, and restore some dignity
to those who have been denied their rightful place in our
society, which includes restoring their legitimate share of
our national income.
But none of
this will make any difference if we don’t also restore
dignity to the
Constitution, take responsibility for the crimes we've
committed, have the Senate ratify the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and truly endeavor to live up
to what these documents... which is to say, We the
and promised to ourselves, our posterity, and to the rest of
the world. If we can't do
this, "The Great Experiment" is finished.
A. Goldman, “Bush’s Tax Tragedy”, The
(The Presidential Press, 2003), Pages
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