By Linda Beale
Infrastructure gamesmanship puts wealthy ahead of jobs, good bridges, and country
For those who are paying attention to the House and Senate these days, it seems like a frustrating exercise. Mostly it is one of watching the “do-nothing” Republicans find excuses for never requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes while making up excuses for not doing anything of the varied real approaches to stimulating the economy in ways that will create jobs for ordinary Americans.
Take the vote on the infrastructure bills. The Senate leadership asked the Senate to vote for funding $60 billion of much needed infrastructure projects (just a tip of the iceberg of everything that is needed to bring this country’s infrastructure into nonembarassment). The GOP refused, because it was funded by a de minimis tax on millionaires.
There’s no end to things that can be said about this further evidence of the craven state of the GOP in the US today. Political advantage for the wealthy class is to be given primary importance, no matter what happens to the vast majority of Americans and the country we all love. Jim Maule has it right, in The Tax and Spending Stalemate: Can It Destroy the Nation?, MauledAgain (Nov. 7, 2011).
When partisan loyalties mean more than the nation’s well-being, when money means more to wealthy “world citizens” than does the long-term physical security of the nation, and when protection of millionaires who fund campaign treasure chests means more than the lives and safety of the rest of America, the literal physical survival of the nation is imperiled. …
[A]s long as this absurd tax and spending stalemate continues, where decisions are not made on the merits of the issue but on the partisan attachments of supposedly public servants, the nation and its infrastructure, the nation and the health of its citizens, the nation and its economy, will continue to stagnate, deteriorate, and crumble. The question now is how close we are to the point of no return.