Last weekend, we hit the 235th birthday of our country. July the 2nd. Not July the 4th. July the 2nd was when the Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. July the 4th was when they skipped town because the darn thing was being printed in the Philadelphia newspapers. And man, if you thought the British were coming when Paul Revere made his famous ride, as Sarah Palin recently revealed to us, to warn the British that the British were coming, boy, you could imagine the British were coming NOW.
In any case, after 235 years of this noble experiment in the belief that “all men are created equal” (except slaves which were only 60% equal), we have finally accepted the proposition that some people are more equal than others. It all depends on how much money you have. After all, corporations have been considered persons since the end of the 19th century. And now, the Roberts court has decided that corporations should not have any limit on what they will contribute to election campaigns because that would limit their free speech. Therefore, it stands to reason that corporations ought to have more rights than ordinary mortals. After all, they pay more taxes, don’t they?
And that’s the beautiful truth of these United States in the 21st century. “You GET what you PAY for.” Stirring words! My coffee dissolves sugar just thinking about them! Not only corporations, but rich individuals as well. Not only can they incorporate themselves to avail themselves of the enormous benefit of buying senators, congressmen, supreme court justices, and, dare I say, Presidents? But because they pay so much more in taxes than you or I, they deserve better attention from the government.
Let us ignore the fact that most of the biggest corporations are multi-national and hide their profits off-shore so that they have no obligation to pay federal taxes. Or that CEOs usually pay less in taxes than their secretaries because so much of their pay is actually capital gains. You get what you pay for! And believe me, someone who makes tens of millions of dollars a year can pay for a whole lot more than you or I can.
Which makes us, like Alfred Doolittle, part of the Undeserving Poor. As Orrin Hatch said, like Doolittle, we don’t do our share. And yet, we expect things like being paid the Social Security benefits–THAT WE PAID FOR. We expect the Medicare and Medicaid that our tax dollars have paid into. So, now that President Obama is preparing to throw these under the bus (and we shall see how far in the next few weeks) to get the Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling–which they won’t unless he throws it far enough AND without any tax increase to the deserving rich.
We have no one to blame but ourselves because we just haven’t done our fair share. Simple economics.
Long live the best democracy money can buy. Now excuse me, I have to follow that White Rabbit to the Tea Party.