GOP Loves Big Government When It Comes to the Military, Prison-industrial Complex, and Corporate Subsidies

Seven Jonas for BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT, 12/12/12

…What has received virtually no publicity (although it has received from very nice endorsements, including one from the aforementioned Bill Clinton, see the document on the web) is the “Peoples’ Budget,” first released in 2011. It was produced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus under the leadership of Cong. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and supported by other Congressional figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders and presumably the newly re-elected Cong. Alan Grayson. The US is fortunate as compared with many other advanced capitalist countries that came a cropper during the 2007-2009 blow-up of finance capitalism in that it has some very deep pockets from which all kinds of money can be drawn (given the political will). And many of those pockets would be dug into with some form of the following measures (many of which appear in the People’s Budget, but some of which have been drawn from other sources over the years)

1. Raise personal income taxes on the rich and raise the collected taxes on the large corporations, embracing “tax and spend” under the slogan “Tax the rich; spend for the Nation.” (On paper, US corporate tax rates rank fairly high; however as collected [the corporations employing many accountants] they rank rather low.)

2. Close all the tax loopholes for the same parties. (We are not talking about the charitable deductions and mortgage interest payments here, of course. But such measures would put lots of accountants out of work.)

3. Restrict the export of capital so that employment and the tax base here could expand.

4. Tax overseas profits.

5. Create a separate national capital expenditure budget like the state and localities have, funded by specific bonding authority. This would take all infrastructure spending off the Federal budget, and allow the nation to really deal with its rapidly deteriorating roads, railroads, mass transit, water supply, electrical grid, and internet systems.

6. End the so-called “drug war” which commits billions of dollars annually to law enforcement and imprisonment of non-violent “drug offenders,” which would significantly reduce the size of the US prison-industrial complex (highest number of incarcerated people in the world, by proportion overwhelmingly non-white) and tax the sale of the formerly “illicit” drugs (a potential biggie).

7. Create a Medicare-for-all/single-payer health care financing system that would save several hundred billion dollars per year in administrative costs.

8. End the subsidies for the agribusiness and the extractive industries.

9. Make massive cuts in military spending (while providing jobs in a re-industrialized United States for the 100s of thousands of displaced workers), beginning with the ending of the current US foreign wars and going on to a drawdown of the massive overseas military base system.

10. Institute a transaction tax on securities trades, as France has just done for certain types of transactions. (This one alone, at say 1%, could bring in huge amounts of revenue.)…

read the whole article at BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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