Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Income Re-distribution

Maybe it is because I have one of those birthdays coming up, maybe because I am probably facing a no health insurance life soon, maybe because I am who I am... I am keenly concerned, no I am downright worried, about what is or is not happening in Washington, D.C. these days. It started with concern and then anger about health care reform. I've traveled a bit in Europe and have friends there, the kind of close friends with whom you can discuss such a delicate subject as health care. I think their single-payer system works fairly well. I got concerned when the term "single-payer" became a four-letter word, something not to be spoken in "polite" company. I became upset when I got tons of emails from friends and acquaintances about "Obamacare" with tons of misinformation stated as fact. I was downright angry when I realized that health care reform, the kind of meaningful reform that would help people like me and many of my friends, had been completely sidetracked, eviscerated and left by the side of the road, replaced by something that was too watered-down to be of much help to anyone.
Now I watch Washington, D.C. pull a similar number on the budget. The same people who had no trouble increasing the debt limit to fund an unpopular war are the people who have "found Jesus" and are dramatically, tear-jerkingly worried about the nations economic health. They are so worried about the debt that they will destroy the lives of Social Security recipients, force seniors back into a health care marketplace where they cannot get insurance and harm charities by changing the tax system to remove the small advantage taxpayers get by giving to charity. But, will they raise taxes on the wealthiest citizens or on corporations that pay no taxes to support our country? No.
This is income re-distribution, the reverse of the sort of thing Robin Hood practiced. This is the sort of thing that I expect the Democrats to fight against in Congress, the sort of thing my President should be using his bully pulpit to reject. But no one in Washington, D.C. seems concerned. Where are the people who represent me? Where are the people who care about the older citizens, charity and those who do not have 6 figure incomes?
Maybe it is because I am facing a big birthday this week, maybe it is because I worry about having health insurance or maybe, it is because Congress doesn't seem to care about me and my friends.

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