Election cycle after election cycle it seems more of our candidates come from the very wealthy. Likewise, the backers come from the same ranks. Thanks to Citizen United, the trend is for political power and wealth to be synonymous. Like an exclusive club.
This week Mr. Romney says he pays about 15% of income in taxes. All legal, no laws broken ! We don’t know his income, but suspect it is quite sizable. Sadder still, many defenders of his legal tax obligation, see nothing particularly alarming about his 15%. The tax code has been manipulated to preserve money for the top tier of earners. We must remember this is not traditional American tax policy. This is not the design of the tax code when we were growing at 5% a year in the latter mid-century. Nor did we use the same tax tables during this growth period. Current tax treatment is a recent phenomenon, representative of a depraved and pliant government.
When only the very wealthy can get elected to public office we are robbing ourselves of some of our very best people. People with ethics, talents, and energy. There is a lot of mediocrity that goes with wealth.
Most Americans, if you believe the studies and the political weatherman, are still searching for other candidate choices for President. The maximum combined strength of both traditional parties is now probably hovering somewhere under 50% of the electorate. Both probable candidates of these traditional parties have much common support, among the wealthy sponsors of political campaigns in America. So, things will sort of we worked out among the family. That is, the families of wealth and position. The traditional parties, in all likelihood, will offer distinction without a difference. Once again, that leaves the majority of Americans without a candidate they want and have confidence in.
We should know the European-style welfare state is destructive of the human will and economies. We learn this daily from Europe itself. Yet features of a mature welfare state are very popular and within limits, manageable. It is the welfare culture and the accompanying obesity within the welfare products that will bring a nation state down. Also, the welfare state and the practice of democracy is awkward. It is awkward because political power is rewarded and sustained by giving more welfare to citizens and corporations.
We know Americans like Medicare, Social Security, and states like Medicaid. America, probably don’t like corporate welfare, but it is a prominent component of the welfare package. Moreover, as our economy concentrates and becomes more polar ; corporations will become even more potent.
In theory, if we paid cash for our welfare state, it’s size and reach would always be kept in check. But, if you borrow money from others, including foreigners, you never seem to realize the true cost of a welfare state– for awhile ! You have a stealth welfare state, which is lethal.
We now know that things political went terribly awry in the past two or three decades. On the Republican campaign trail the name-dropping has excluded Bush, Cheney, and Greenspan. I can’t recall hearing those three names mentioned much in any setting. Maybe, it’s an unspoken confession that the candidates feel these were among the mistakes of recent times.