The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism. We take responsibility for ourselves and each other; for the country we want and the future we share. We are the nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness. We sent a generation to college on the GI bill and saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare. We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.
One of the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats is their view of taxes. Democrats believe in progressive taxation–that is, taxing the rich at a higher percentage because a flat tax would take a larger percentage of income from those with lower income. Republicans believe that reducing taxes for high-income earners is better for the economy because it will “trickle down” to the lower income workers in the form of jobs; and they believe that lowering taxes for the rich increases government tax revenues. But is this claim true?
Today, the U.S. has over 725 foreign military based in thirty-eight countries. In contrast to the $1 trillion that we are spending on “defense” each year, the U.S. spends roughly $750 billion on social spending. Much of this spending significantly benefits low-income U.S. citizens. Which of these programs would we be willing to cut? Approximately 31% of the population had at least one spell of poverty lasting two or more months during 2004-2007. Most Americans—59%—will spend at least one year below the poverty line a some point between ages 25-75. So it is something that impacts most Americans either directly or indirectly. Rather than trying to fix our deficit “crisis” by cutting benefits to the needy, we should look at what is wrong with our political and economic systems that continue to increase inequality while neglecting superfluous military spending.