“There’s hay in the barn, but we’re not feeding the horses.”
But for some reason, we can’t find the money to keep federal meat inspectors employed, who will lose their jobs after the sequester cuts take hold in March. And even though “Too Big to Fail” banks are still getting their $83 billion annual subsidy, there’s somehow not enough money to keep federal air traffic controllers employed when the FAA is forced to absorb $ 600 million in cuts from the sequester.
Corporate tax loopholes bleed out at least $ 100 billion a year in lost revenue, and simply closing them would be more than enough to offset the sequester. A 1% sales tax on all Wall Street transactions, like the kind introduced in new legislation by Peter DeFazio and Sen Bernie Sanders, would generate at least $100 billion in new revenue every year.
Cutting our military budget in half, from approximately $700 billion to $350 billion, would provide plenty of tax dollars to pay for job creation and social safety nets, which would reduce the deficit by default and still mean the U.S. is #1 in global military spending. Given all of these options, none of us should believe our congressmen for a second when they try to sell us the lie that our country is broke.
Austerity economics have never improved an economy in history, ever. We were recovering from the Great Depression until FDR took the advice of neoliberal economists and focused his efforts on cutting deficits instead of creating jobs, which led to the Recession of 1937. Austerity in Greece and Spain has caused unemployment levels to skyrocket, and their economies to sink further into depression.
Austerity in the United States won’t have any effect on the economy, except cost us more tax dollars as more unemployed people are forced to depend on the shrinking safety net for survival. The sequester is simply more proof that our government is putting bank bailouts, military contracts and corporate tax loopholes above the needs of their constituents. And it will only get worse until we throw them out.
SOURCE: WammToday Newsletter (March 2, 2013)