Sacrifice In The Christian Nation
I find it harder and harder these days to suffer through the evening national and local news on TV without throwing something through the TV screen. Just how did we as a country become so pathetic? All the news shows are dominated by how many government programs are being drastically cut back, both at the national and local levels, and inevitably it’s the poor and the middle class that are being asked to make concessions — never the wealthy. And yet, over the last 30 years the inflation-adjusted income of the wealthiest Americans has increased by $741,000 while it’s actually decreased by $6,900 for the bottom fifth of workers (see here). For 30 years we’ve been continually taking from the poor and middle class and giving to the rich. Real median family income (what the “average” American family earns) is actually lower today than it was in 1973.
So now that the national deficit is, at least according to our dear leaders, the number one problem that has to be dealt with (never mind the ongoing recession and 9%+ unemployment rate that doesn’t want to go away), logic and common decency would seem to dictate that the people who need to start making “sacrifices” are the very people who benefited most over the last 30 years of economic prosperity. But no, that’s not the American way. Right now there’s nary a single bit of proposed legislation that would ask the wealthy to make any kind of sacrifice. It’s all being put on the backs of the poor and the middle class, the ones who have not seen any benefit at all from 30 years of Reaganomics.
And what really makes this beyond pathetic, is that the majority of these people who are so gung-ho on cutting back on government services that benefit mainly the lower income brackets while letting the wealthy continue “life-as-usual” actually have the gall to call themselves “Christians” and continually refer to the U.S. as a “Christian” nation. What bullshit. I don’t see how anyone who calls themselves a “Christian” and votes Republican can sleep at night. Have they no conscience at all?
Update: Paul Krugman makes this same point, using my home state of Texas as an example. Poor children are being asked to make the sacrifice by cuts to Medicaid and public education, the latter of which I’ve noted before as a key element to the Republican plutocrats. Right now Texas ranks 43rd in state high school graduation rates, and with the proposed cuts that will just get worse and worse. But what the heck, if you can’t afford to send your kids to private school, then your kids clearly don’t deserve a future. What do you think this country is, some kind of democracy?