Everybody, up off the couch right now, please.

We’re not Broke…

They just want us to think we are.

E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post today:

Just one problem: We’re not broke. Yes, nearly all levels of government face fiscal problems because of the economic downturn. But there is no crisis. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets. And we will come up with wiser and more sustainable solutions if we approach fiscal problems calmly, realizing that we’re still a very rich country, and that the wealthiest among us are doing exceptionally well.

The problem is that the powers that are in charge in Washington and the states are not willing to:

  • Ask the wealthy to pay their share
  • Eliminate corporate welfare and tax breaks
  • Cut our losses and leave Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Cut our military and security spending and
  • Rein in out of control military contractors

No, instead we cut social programs, reduce benefits for the elderly, decimate mental health programs and pare programs to help the poor. We’re allowing them to pit union against non-union, teachers against parents and tax payers, whites against minorities.

Even here in Vermont, our new Democratic Governor is not willing to ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes to keep from having to cut social programs. He has given the legislative leaders their marching orders – no new taxes. Like his Republican predecessor, he says that we have to keep taxes low to be competitive with other states – or the wealthy will move. However, the Blue Ribbon Tax panel hired by the Legislature (by the current Governor when he was the leader of the Senate) could find no evidence of this happening.

Full speed ahead with the service cuts, facts be damned.

Here is Michael Moore on Democracy Now! last Thursday.

If people don’t understand by now the level of this war—and it is a war, it is a class war on the people of this country by those in power and the tools that they have bought and paid for, who now serve in these legislatures…

This is a turning point. I feel it, feel it deep in my heart right now. And the protests are so random and so not organized by the old-school power structure of these sorts of things. And I think that they’re going to get their comeuppance, those who did this and who are continuing to do it. And I encourage everybody who’s listening or watching, this is our moment. This truly is our moment. Everybody, up off the couch right now, please. Thank you.

100,000+ people showed up in Madison last Saturday and there have been ongoing demonstrations in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and more. People are getting up and standing up to the Establishment.

Here is a chance to get off the couch. Tomorrow, dozens of organizations are sponsoring Defend the Dream rallies across the country. Find one near you and get involved.


I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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