what is it we're paying our tax dollars for?
after all the drama and wasted breath by the politicians to achieve some sort of "deal" to avert a federal government shutdown tonight, i look at what we've got for all the money we shell out year after year..
republicans pretend they're the lions of fiscal sanity, while the dems like to think of themselves as champions of the little guy.
but once you cut through all the rhetoric and bullshit that flows from DC, and you see what kind of a government we have, and what kind of a country that government has fostered, what does any of it have to do with fiscal sanity or the well-being of the ordinary person?
the answer, in my opinion, is absolutely nothing.
what we actually have is a bloated behemoth that doles out splendid benefits to a very narrow slice of the populace, without really even any regards to whether the beneficiaries are even its own citizens.
this is government of, by and for multinational corporations, the global economy where capital flows without borders, in search of the highest returns.
today's political parties are primarily a diversion, a tool to channel the energy and passion of people who feel a need to voice an opinion, or act out in support of their values or ideals -- whether feminist or fundamentalist, pro-life, anti-war, civil libertarian or strict constructionist.
while you fools duke it out, what have our political parties done on our behalf? while they niggle over a few billion dollars, they've already put two wars on the national credit card, and after freeing their sponsors in the banking syndicates from onerous regulations, had to ante up trillions to bail these institutions out. even as the GOP has thundered about deficits, we notice that while they controlled all three branches of government under the dubya, the national debt doubled. indeed, dick cheney himself is frequently cited as pointing out a lesson he'd learned well from the reagan administration: "deficits don't matter."
as for the dems, those defenders of the working still against the predations of the elites, who might it have been who released the banking cartels from all that onerous regulation? and who would have been the champion of NAFTA, or the guy who ended welfare as we knew it? indeed, which party had made such tremendous strides to match the GOP in corporate funding that it was able to put forth a callow, craven, self-absorbed and inexperienced half-breed (but good rhetorical skills) into the white house through the extremely generous contributions of wall street? and which party, once it controlled the executive and legislative branches of government, went to great lengths to make good on its obligation to its benefactors, while not only ignoring its base, but actually flaunting its disdain for it?
in short, neither party seems to be for the very things that supposedly distinguish it from the other.
come back, now, to what we pay taxes for.
we don't pay taxes to make good the bad bets of wall street speculators -- whose fall cost millions their retirement savings even as the taxpayers reimbursed the banks' losses.
we don't pay taxes to keep alive the culture of continual war that seems to have become the primary function of the military establishment and its corporate dependencies. no longer is there any pretense of defense of the nation at the heart of the military's mission -- it's all about invasion, occupation and exploitation in the name of big business.
in the wake of 9/11, with the military's attention focused elsewhere, our tax dollars were also required to create and fund a gigantic new internal security apparatus, including the oxymoronic department of homeland security -- which in combination with various other legal and bureaucratic mutations -- has eroded our constitutional rights and made us victims of the same government that is constituted to protect us. talk about fucked up!
i could go on, but the picture is not only clear, but this stuff is already so widely known as to be absurd. the parties today are said to be hung up over funding for planned parenthood, but as any rational person by now has figured out, this is almost of zero consequence in a landscape where trillions of dollars are routinely borrowed and blown on the schemes of the corporate elites.
so why not shut it down. let's focus a light on what these bastards are really about, and what they're really up to. it's an examination and a conversation that's long overdue.
in a way, it's like saying, "now that i have your attention..."