Much of the news from Republicans in Congress was about their attacks on the Democrats’ agenda, with many false allegations of frightening “socialist” policies.
We have socialism in this country, but these are not policies promoted by the Democrats. Real socialism is the well-being of business.
Thousands of large U.S. corporations rake in billions each year in government grants, bailouts, and tax loopholes, all taxpayer-funded and all driving up stock prices for the richest 1% who own half the market fellow, as well as CEOs and other senior executives who are paid largely in stocks.
Big Tech, Big Oil, Big Pharma, defense contractors, and big banks are the biggest beneficiaries of corporate welfare.
How? ‘Or’ What? Follow the money. These companies and their business groups spend hundreds of millions each year on lobbying and campaign contributions. Their influence peddling is paying. The return on these political investments is enormous. It is institutionalized corruption.
An even more insidious example is that of companies failing to pay their workers a living wage. As a result, their workers must rely on programs like Medicaid, social housing, food stamps and other safety nets. Which means you, me, and other taxpayers are indirectly subsidizing these companies, allowing them to enjoy even higher earnings and stock prices for their wealthy investors and executives.
Not only does corporate welfare take money away from us as taxpayers. It also hurts small businesses, which have a harder time competing with the larger businesses that get these grants. Everyone loses except those at the top. It’s more socialism for the rich, hard capitalism for others. It should be finished.
I am as sensitive as anyone to the suffering of the Afghans now, but I have had it with the morals of journalists and experts who have not thought of Afghanistan for 20 years – many of whom have urged us to come out – but who are now filling the news hole with exaggerated stories about Biden’s botched exit and the Taliban atrocities.
Yes, the outing could have been better planned and executed. Yes, everything was horribly sad. But can we have a hold? The sudden and consuming attention to Afghanistan distracted us from extremely important things that arose at home:
- Republican politicians and right-wing media are making the burgeoning Delta variant of COVID worse by battling masks and vaccinations, as cities and school systems struggle to decide what to do.
- Wildfires and floods ravage much of America, as House Democrats absurdly threaten to oppose Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion budget plan containing important measures to slow climate change.
- Texas on the verge of adopting the most undemocratic voting restrictions in the country, adding to voter suppression measures in 24 other states, simultaneously the “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act” that would remedy these horrible laws languish in the Senate because Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refuse to do anything against filibuster.
Enough morality on Afghanistan. Enough about Biden’s lower approval ratings. Can we please focus on the most important things that need and deserve our attention at this time? The window of opportunity to do anything about them will close sooner than expected.
If we don’t act now on COVID and the critical importance of vaccinations and masks, on climate change and Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion package, and on voter suppression and the need for For the People laws and John Lewis on voting rights, we may never be able to.