TOGETHER WE CAN turn our bad news into good news if we will just recognize that REVENUE MATTERS,and return to government of, by, and for the people.
As I have pointed out in this book, we have a host of problems. But we also have the capability to solve our problems no matter how large. The question is whether we will decide to “put our minds to it” before the problems get too large to be solved. Here are some of the items on which there is bad news, and good news.
The bad news is that because of the exploding costs of political campaigns, members of Congress are so dependent upon the campaign contributions of Corporations and the wealthy that we have government of, by, and for, the rich and powerful and their lobbyists.
The good news is that some states have already shown us the way by passing public funding of campaign laws. We need to and can elect legislators that will pass public funding of Congressional elections, and take the influence of money out of politics.
The bad news is that we cannot provide jobs for our people; rebuild our infrastructure and convert to non-polluting energy without properly taxing the wealthy and corporate America to get the revenue needed. But almost all of our Republican members of Congress have signed a pledge not to raise any taxes, or close any tax loopholes no matter what is needed.
The good news is that we live in a democracy, where we can throw out all those cut back can’t do Republicans and the few Democrats that have signed such a pledge at the next election, and elect legislators that will recognize that REVENUE MATTERS and charge forward to bring back the Great Prosperity we had when we properly taxed the rich and corporations.
The bad news is that extreme partisanship and negative campaigning cause our government to put partisan politics ahead of service to the nation.
The good news is that the population is getting more and more upset with the government and can vote to retire those members that refuse to work together to serve the people rather than the wealthy and their co-operate campaign contributors. We have an example of how government can put partisanship aside and serve the people as was done during World War llII and the period of the Great Prosperity.
THE BUDGET AND TAXES
The bad news is that following our budget surplus during the Presidency of President Clinton, two wars, and tax cuts aimed primarily to the wealthy have created a massive budget deficit and a tremendous federal debt.
The good news is that we have enough super rich citizens and giant corporations that can afford to be taxed sufficiently to wipe out the deficit, and provide what-ever funds are needed to put our people back to work solving our global pollution problem and building an-other period of Great Prosperity.
THE SUPREME COURT
The bad news is that the current partisan Supreme Court voted in a 5 to 4 decision, with all 5 Republican appointees voting to change the law so that corporations can make political contributions, further eroding the political power of the people.
The good news is that corporations cannot yet vote and members of the Supreme Court do not live forever. The people can elect a President and Congress that will replace a partisan member with a non-partisan one when one of the five current Republican appointees retires.
The bad news is that an organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) consisting of a large number of members of state legislatures and corporate giants now meets to draft legislation favor-able to those corporate giants. The legislative members then work to get such legislation introduced and passed in state legislatures giving us some state legislatures that serve their corporate contributors, instead of the people.
The good news is that almost all of the legislative members of ALEC are in one party (the Republicans) so voters know who to vote against if they want legislators that will represent the people, rather than corporate America.
The bad news is that democracy is not working very well in the U.S. as over 30% of the eligible voters do not bother to vote.
The good news is that those non-voters make up a block that can vote out the legislators that are tying up our nation with their pledge to not raise any taxes, or close any tax loopholes. All they have to do is to GO VOTE!
The bad news is that nearly 10% of our people cannot find jobs.
The good news is that by properly taxing the wealthy, we could give the unemployed jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and converting our energy industry to non-polluting fuels.
We can also shorten our work week to 35 hours and take more vacations as do the Europeans. By doing so and sharing the work, we could spend more time with our families and live less stressful lives - and eliminate the unemployment problem.
The bad news is that our political system has become so polarized that it is almost impossible to properly tackle the problems of global pollution, inequality, and building a prosperous and caring society.
The good news is that we live in a democracy, where votes replace the need for violence to change the direction of a nation. When the 90 percent of the people come to realize what is happening to them, they will surely vote out the current Tea Party influenced Republicans and elect politicians who will work together for the people.
FINANCE AND BANKING
The bad news is that the financial sector now pulls more than twice the profits of our manufacturing sec-tor out of the economy; pays its executives outlandish salaries; and nearly brought down the whole world economy with its emphasis on gambling.
The good news is that by properly regulating the banking system, and possibly following the example of North Dakota by forming a federally operated national bank, we could put the nation’s giant banks’ enormous profits and salaries back into the economy.
HEALTH AND MEDICINE
The bad news is that our cost of health care is about to bankrupt our country. We spend about twice as much per person on health care as other industrial countries and our health is no better than theirs.
The good news is that we can break the monopoly of the pharmaceutical medical monopoly and open our system up to new non-patentable treatments, including stem cells and other non-toxic treatments that are being used around the world. By doing so we can improve our health and get our costs under control.
THE TEA PARTY
The bad news is that when the billionaire Koch brothers funded the beginning of the tea party movement they succeeded in getting some people to vent their frustration by demanding lower taxes and less government, exactly what will cause further inequality and economic disaster.
The good news is that people are upset. The worst thing we could have now is a complacent public. Once people realize that the battle today is between the wealthiest 10% of the people, and the other 90%, we can get back to the times of the Great Prosperity.
The bad news is that we are in the 10th year of a war in Afghanistan, which is killing increasing numbers of our own soldiers and large numbers of the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and appears no closer to ending than it did ten years ago.
The good news is that whenever we decide to do so, we can declare victory and come home. Al Qaida, the group that blew up the twin towers in New York, has already been nearly eliminated. It is estimated that they number fewer than 200 in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is dead. The Taliban whom we are fighting pose no threat to us. After our losing the war in Viet Nam, the Vietnamese people took over-- Viet Nam is thriving and is our friend. Continuing to drop bombs on Afghanistan and killing innocent civilians along with the Taliban increases the tendency of combative humans to hate us and become terrorists.
The bad news is that a new threat called terrorism has come upon the world, where humans are willing to give up their lives to cause havoc among those whom they dislike.
The good news is that terrorism does not threaten national sovereignty as does war, and terrorism sends us a message that we need to learn to live together and not threaten each other. The best way to combat terrorism is not to threaten others so that they have more reason to hate us and want to harm us. It is a lesson we must learn if we are to survive together on this crowded planet.
The bad news is that today, the United States uses almost as much of our wealth on the military as all the rest of the world combined - often only serving to make the rest of the world dislike us as we use it to unilaterally throw our weight around the planet.
The good news is that our nation is not threatened by invasion as are some nations, and Europe has shown us that war is not mandatory. We can bring back our troops from all over the world, including the more than 700 worldwide bases; cut the military budget in half; and have the money to do the things we need to do to bring back the Great Prosperity of the post-World War ll society.
THE NUCLEAR THREAT
The bad news is that the United States, the most powerful nation on our planet, created a weapon that threatens the survival of our species - -and more and more nations are acquiring such weapons.
The good news is that as the most powerful nation on the planet, we can lead the way for all nations, including ourselves, to eliminate all such weapons and re-move one of the major threats to the survival of our species.
The bad news is that the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans threatens the ability of our wonderful planetary home to continue to support human life.
The good news is that we have both the resources and the technology to replace fossil fuels. All we have to do is recognize that REVENUE MATTERS, properly tax the wealthy and corporate America and with the proceeds put our unemployed to work in converting to non-fossil fuels-- and by so doing solve the unemployment problem and create the Great Prosperity we had after World War ll.
TOGETHER WE CAN change the Bad News in today’s newspapers to the Good News we are capable of creating