[Editor's Note: We originally ran this article in July 2012, and with the "Fiscal Cliff" looming and our president and elected representatives in the House and Senate in heated negotiations in an effort to avoid sending us over it, we feel it's time to dust it off to remind everyone of what's at risk: Survival Security and Earned Benefits programs.
Democrats are calling on everyone to do their part as we have historically done as a nation in times of economic crisis (top marginal tax rates were raised from 24 percent to 63 percent during the Great Depression, and continued to rise as we entered World War II, reaching a high of 94 percent).
Republicans are asking the poor to take a hit as well, with changes to our Earned Benefits and Survival Security programs. While we recognize that we need to address the shortfalls in these programs, we believe solutions lie in reducing the number of people forced to rely on them through thriving wages for workers, not in stripping benefits for those in need.
As one of our nation's Founders, 2nd president of the United States John Adams eloquently stated:
"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
This article seeks to elucidate one of the most significant reasons our Survival Security programs have come into greater use in recent years: Major corporations like Wal-Mart underpay their workers and use taxpayers to supplement their employees' pay, extracting enormous sums from our economy for their personal enrichment. This practice is in direct moral contrast with our country's stated objectives, damaging all of us, not just those who work for Wal-Mart and other companies like them.
Please continue reading as we illustrate how this scheme works]:
On Thursday, July 12th, after addressing a group from the NAACP, presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney made the following stunning statement:
“If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for? Vote for the other guy, that’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about.”
1. That statement is grossly offensive.
2. He's dead wrong. He is the guy who's all about giving away free stuff ... to millionaires and billionaires!
Welfare for the Wealthy costs this country trillions of dollars a year, both in government handouts to Mitt Romney and his wealthy elite friends, and subsidies paid to billion dollar corporations and industries. Mitt Romney is actually asking us to elect him, in part, precisely because he wants to further increase the Welfare payments the wealthy are already receiving.
Here's how deeply conservative Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) described this affront in his scathing report titled, "Subsidies of the Rich & Famous" when he appears to have either gotten a pang of conscience or went off-script (emphasis ours):
This evening, as I was trying to distract myself from the mundaneness of folding laundry and prepping dinner, I ran into some Facebook drama. I don’t think any of us intends to get into trouble on Facebook, it just happens. Tonight, in the sea of emotions—errr—comments, I felt like I had to represent the facts and of course the topic had to be public aid.
My first thought was, in a country that is supposed to stand for freedom, opportunity, and security for all, why would a human being want to see another human being starve? Why? I am very familiar with the SNAP program (food stamps). It runs at 98 percent efficiency. That means there is nearly no waste, no fraud, and almost total accountability. It is one of the most efficient government programs there is. And that level of efficiency tells us all one thing: The people using the program all need the program because they all qualify for the program. Think about that for a moment.
One of the most noticeable things about the comments I encountered in that Facebook exchange was that people felt that anyone using a form of public aid was using their money. I found it interesting, from a sociological perspective, how possessive these people were of tax dollars that go into the general coffers when used towards social programs such as SNAP, Social Security, Medicare, etc. When referring to those programs I started reading things like: "I don't want MY MONEY..." even though all money goes into one giant funnel. Personally, I don't like working to support what I think are illegal wars that cost an estimated six trillion dollars. I would much rather pay taxes for healthcare and college or trade school for every one of my fellow citizens, but somehow public sentiment has changed to the point where that has a negative connotation, which flies in the face of the very foundation our Founding Fathers established for this country.
"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."
~ Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, American diplomat, statesman, and scientist; letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783
Knowing what is wrong with our system allows one to take actions at an individual level that will help make the world a better place.— Badlifestyle (@Badlifestyle) June 4, 2012
You know how I know voting makes a difference? Powerful interests are determined to stop people from doing it.— Bearded Stoner (@beardedstoner) June 4, 2012
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