Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Want to balance the budget without taxing the rich? I have some ideas!

Just how far will the wealthy go to protect their ill-gotten gains? First they are willing to eviscerate health care for the elderly by replacing Medicare with coupons for seniors. Next they targeted health care for the disabled, blind and the poor by proposing block grants to state legislatures. What that means is that people like Sen. Charlie Scott and others whose disdain for the poor is palpable will decide to whom to ration health care.
These folks are willing to void the social contract on which or nation thrives in order to protect their bank accounts. And now they want to hold a fire sale of the country’s gold reserve rather than enact fair tax laws. Maybe they are on the right track.
Think about it. We sell the gold and then what’s next? We could sell off the national parks and monuments. I’d bet the art work at the National Gallery would fetch a pretty penny. And all those historic items gathering dust at the Smithsonian? If a “Babe Ruth” autograph sells for $10,000, what could we get for the original signed copy of the Declaration of Independence? How about the naming rights for federal buildings? The Department of Energy could be housed in the Halliburton Building, the Department of Labor in the Koch Brother’s Building, and the Department of State could be relocated to the Erik Prince (the bandit formerly known as Blackwater) Xe Services Building. Can you imagine the bidding war to name the Treasury Building?
If we are serious about giving tax breaks to the wealthy, we could auction them to the highest bidder in order to make sure only the truly wealthy get them.  Each time we need money for another war or Wall Street bailout, we could dream up new tax breaks for the rich and hold another auction. Those Wyoming ranchers Cynthia Lummis says were planning to commit suicide if the estate tax increased would have something to live for.
Finally, let’s get serious about this problem and kill two birds with one stone! Let’s auction off seats in Congress. Actually that’s what happens now. There are a lot of fat cats bidding billions of dollars for those 100 Senate and 436 House seats, but the checks are being written but to political action committees as middle men for political consultants, TV stations, etc. What if the government viewed Congressional seats as a “public utility” and claimed a monopoly.  A seat in Congress is valuable enough that if the federal government instead of the political action committees conducted the auction, the people of the United States would finally see some benefit from those assets.
I see a balanced budget in our future, such as that future is.

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