The World According to Keitho

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Follow the money

Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2011

I thought that Obama made a great speech last night.  Then again, that’s what he does — he’s a great orator.  We have yet to see him back up his rhetoric with bold ideas.  I was glad that he called out the Republicans in Congress, when he made his gentle gibe about simple math. 

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?  Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?  Because we can’t afford to do both.  Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?  Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs?  Right now, we can’t afford to do both.  

This isn’t political grandstanding.  This isn’t class warfare.  This is simple math.  This is simple math.  These are real choices.  These are real choices that we’ve got to make.  And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose.  It’s not even close. 

It’s interesting to note that the bulk of the cost of Obama’s jobs program will be incurred in the form of tax breaks which will be given to companies as incentives for hiring.  Even though Obama paid lip service to the idea that the rich should pay more taxes,  (why should Warren Buffet pay less taxes than his secretary?) I will be surprised if such taxes are enacted.  I cannot believe that the obscenely wealthy should be entitled to such an advantage when the economy is hanging by a thread.  Then again, big money is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Certain issues in politics confound me, until I remember that there are forces unseen that are guiding the issues.  Behind such forces is big money. 

Health care is something we can seemingly all agree on.  Why shouldn’t there be a public option — polls show that the public favors it.  Yet it was a nonstarter during the health care reform debate of 18 months ago.  The answer is that the health insurance lobby is an exceptionally strong and wealthy force.  They don’t want it, ergo we can’t have it.

Gun control is another such issue.  Who in the general populace is in favor of automatic weapons?  I would guess the answer is well less than one percent.  Yet efforts to try to ban such weapons are quixotic to the point that members of either party would be risking political suicide to even attempt reform.  Again…follow the money.

The same could be said of the Iraq war.  It was obvious that the Bush and Blair administrations had no concrete evidence that Saddam had been harboring terrorists.  Yet we went in.  Why would we kill tens of thousands of innocent people, and spend trillions of dollars on an invasion that was, at best, a distraction from the ongoing war in Afghanistan?  Of course it was about money.  Either that, or stupidity.  Take your pick.

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