You can keep your stupid labels
No one will argue that the middle class of America has taken a beating over the last several years. It’s hard to put a date right at the start but in general it seems to be near the time of the Dot-Com burst, with a few periods of recovery that both sides of the aisle want to take credit for. One problem we face is that both sides point to different extremes to explain what happened. The left tells us the rich got richer, the right tells us the poor have expanded at the expense of the middle. Both can be right but both cannot be wrong.
The government is some nineteen trillion dollars in the hole right now and running a five hundred billion or more dollar deficit a year. The politicians have been pretty clever at trying to hide the actual numbers from the people. Does anyone really feel that we’ve got a government worth three trillion a year, or close to twenty trillion dollars? Let’s write those numbers out because they are silly big:
3,000,000,000,000 and 20,000,000,000,000. There are also supposedly up to 80,000,000,000,000 worth of unfunded obligations lurking over the next few decades. Is our government really worth a hundred trillion dollars?
Most people can’t even fathom a trillion. At a hundred trillion dollars that’s enough money to give every American citizen three hundred thousand dollars and change. The average household income is under a hundred, so most people would become substantially better off temporarily. Every year the government is spending close to ten grand per man, woman, and child in the country. That means for a house of four the government is spending close to forty thousand dollars every year. On what exactly?
The left will, inevitably, complain about defense spending. You see, we spend more than the next however many combined. We don’t need all that money spent on defense and evil defense contractors. Because the scientific benefit of this development doesn’t count for anything (seriously, GPS came from the Navy) — they love government workers, but not in the fields where there are actually accomplishments that can be measured.
Well, defense only accounts for 16% or so of our spending. That argument falls short — it’s just barely double the interest on the debt (7%). Even eliminating the entirety of the Department of Defense only nets a bit more than the deficit and now you have millions of unemployed mouths to feed.
Finally on defense spending, one of the reasons we spend so much more than other nations is that they have grown accustomed to having us there to defend them. France, Germany, all of Europe can spend so little because we spend so much to back them up in the face of fire. Leftists can’t pretend not to enjoy using the military, either. We’ve stuck our dicks in quite a few hornets nests in the middle east under Democratic leadership.
Sixty percent (60%!) goes to Medicare, Social Security, et cetera ad nauseum. Left or right, you can’t say with a straight face that we don’t spend a good portion of our money on social programs. It’s close to 2.5 trillion dollars. Yet we still have people dependent on the government: perhaps their model isn’t working very well at all.
But then the right… I’m not actually sure what conservatives or establishment Republicans want anymore. I know they don’t like Trump and a lot of them don’t like Cruz. But what does the party actually stand for? Because for years they’ve said one thing but never delivered.
I do know this: You can’t come to me talking family values and then champion policies that leave families out.
The gap between the rich and the middle has grown over the last sixteen or so years, and Republicans and conservatives have had power for a good portion of that. While the Democrats have perfected taking money from the middle (and rich) to give to the poor, they haven’t actually made a dent in the poor populations. The Republicans want to take less money from the rich because that supposedly makes the middle better off, because the rich create jobs. Well, not really. Not lately. A lot of the super rich are pushing for amnesty and other things that disproportionately impact the poor and middle class — and definitely hurt the working class.
Their powers combined, the Democrats and Republicans have produced a very small number of very rich people at the expense of the rest of the country. So when the leaders of either party really seem to dislike a person, it makes me think that person is good for me. God knows the leaders of both sides have been an unmitigated disaster for the last sixteen years.