July 29, 2005

Who Gets Rich & Who Gets Diddly

I learned something from Ahnold. No, not Ahnold the Governator. Not even Ahnold the Terminator. Ahnold the Eraser. You remember the movie with Vanessa Williams and James Caan? I won't go into the plot, but there was one thing that James Caan said to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the airplane just after he revealed himself as the bad guy. He said (paraphrasing, from memory):

War isn't about winning and losing. War is about who gets rich, and who gets dead.

I'll always remember that message because it's so true... and not just about war. It's about politics & government too... at least the part about who gets rich. I think that's a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans.... Who gets rich, and who gets diddly.

Tax & Spend

While Republicans love to demonize Democrats as "Tax & Spend Liberals", unfortunately the American people don't see that it's all just marketing. Do you think Republicans don't 'tax & spend'? Of course they do. They're politicians too. That's their job. They tax the people and spend that money. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

The myth of it all is that the Republicans want you to believe that they'll tax 'less'. And of course, nothing can be further from the truth. And speaking of being far from the truth, the Republicans also want you to believe that they're fiscally responsible. Do you think the Republicans have balanced a budget? Nooooooooooo.

Truth time. The Clinton Administration not only balanced the federal budget, but also left a huge surplus to the next administration. Clearly it's the Republican administrations of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II that have overspent the budget, leaving debt and burden for generations to come.

Oh, but I digress.... I was talking about who gets rich and who gets diddly...

The real difference between Democrats & Republicans...

How the money is distributed... Republicans gravitate towards war & conflict to keep the Defense industries lucrative, while the Democrats gravitate towards peace and Domestic programs to help the less fortunate and aid the needy. Republicans gravitate towards big business profits and deregulation, while Democrats gravitate towards protections for the environment and the people. Republicans gravitate towards a culture of fear and big-brother type governmental bullying, while the Democrats gravitate towards civil liberties and personal privacy. Republicans gravitate towards religion-based governing, while the Democrats gravitate towards separation of church & state.

Who's getting rich?

So, here's my point. Take a look at Bush's recently proposed budget. There are dramatic cuts in domestic services, while at the same time, a surplus "emergency" budget was submitted (and approved) to keep our wars going in the Middle East. Who's getting rich? The defense industries and contractors, of course. The energy companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the insurance companies. And don't forget the people who are already rich... you know, the ones getting the best out of tax cuts.

Who's getting diddly?

Pretty much everyone who's not in the previous paragraph. Veterans who had their health benefits cut. College kids who had their Pell grants cut. School children who had their lunch programs cut. School systems that had their "No Child Left Behind" funding cut. Single mothers who had their day-care benefits cut. The elderly who had their Medicare & drug benefits cut. Parents who now pay extra fees for their children's sports and activities. Motorists who pay extra fees for tolls and astronomical prices for gas. And don't get me started about retirees who had their pensions slashed while at the same time United Airlines was allowed to renege on their pension commitments.

The Energy Bill: A Double Whammy

After you've reviewed Bush's proposed budget, take a look at the new Energy Bill his Republican thugs have steamrolled through Congress. Yet another example of Republican brilliance. Who's getting rich? The energy companies of course, with tax breaks, subsidies, and corporate welfare. Who's getting diddly? The American people of course. All credible accounts are that the Energy Bill will do NOTHING to address the rising cost of gasoline and our dependence on foreign oil. But the real loser is the environment since George has absolutely no desire to address pollution and global warming.

A wise man once told me... "Follow the money" Sure, there are ideological differences between Democrats & Republicans, but the true difference is in how they spend the money. Who gets rich, and who gets diddly. Republicans want to help the rich get richer, while Democrats see the value of spreading the wealth around, protecting the people & the environment, and helping the needy.

And sadly, the real losers in all of this are our children, and our children's children. They're the ones who'll inherit the burden of the debt these reckless Republicans have left them and a pollution problem that's not getting any better.


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