To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Observercast

Playing Roulette With The Economy

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BY SHARON MARTIN

In a democracy, there is no place for politicians unwilling to compromise. And when that lack of compromise threatens our financial markets and the people’s economy, it borders on treason.

The No Taxes Oath so many of our legislators signed has brought us to the brink of default, and, as usual, the people who will be hurt the most are going along with the legislative antics.

An economist asked a radio talk show host, “Do the people understand how dangerous a default would be?”

The host questioned back, “Do the legislators understand what default will do to the markets?”

The fact is, few legislators are economists, but almost all are ideologists, and they are willing to sacrifice millions of workers for their ideals and beliefs. And the ideologue who asked them to sign the probably-unconstitutional oath is smiling as workers are led to the slaughter.

If this sounds overly dramatic, consider this: In the U.S. the cost of living has risen almost four times that of the average wage since 1979. We are working longer and longer hours while getting progressively poorer. Meanwhile, the effective federal income tax rate, what people actually pay, is less than 6% for four out of five Americans.

We can do away with income taxes entirely. For a model of a low-tax country, think Somalia or Liberia. If you don’t make any money, you don’t pay any taxes. Of course, you can’t depend on any services, either.

It isn’t a democracy when the decisions are made to accommodate only the top earners in a population. No minority should be ignored, even a rich one, but we have chosen to ignore the needs of the working majority to benefit corporations and a handful of billionaires. They have repaid us by sending jobs overseas and parking their own mega-millions in offshore tax shelters.

During the French Revolution, they trotted out the guillotine to deal with the problem. In this country, we elect the to-hell-with-the-citizens crowd to office where they can do the most damage.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.