Conservatism To The Rescue
Another Republican presidential debate takes place in just a few hours. New to the debating game is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Out of the game is former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is no longer the front runner, ceding that position to Mr. Perry who is currently leading in the polls by double digits. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann is struggling to survive with some kind of relevancy. And other candidates are scattered throughout the polls trying to get their fair share of attention in what appears to be a mad dash, “Death Race 2000” style to the right.
The popular conservative candidates promise to put America back on track with all kinds of nothing new ideas such as the deregulation of corporate America, lower taxes for corporate America so that it would be more competitive to corporations that operate in other parts of the world, tort reform so corporate America could operate without fear of damaging lawsuits, and changes to the federal government so that it would be inconsequential in the lives of the public. And when these programs make corporate America more profitable, corporate America would hire more people with all the extra cash that would end up in their coffers.
One fact that theses conservatives presidential candidates have forgotten is that corporate America isn’t hurting for profits. It is estimated that corporate America is sitting on trillions of dollars of cash money that is being held outside the country. If that is true, and nobody seems to argue otherwise, corporations are already extremely profitable. How many more trillions does corporate America needs in order to bring a dollar back home to help the struggling economy of the country that made them the profitable global conglomerates that they have become?
It is argued that corporations don’t want to bring this money back to the homeland because of the heavy burden of the higher tax rates on corporate profits. If we want to compete in world markets then we have to have a fair and level playing field. If that’s the case and we need to copy what’s being done elsewhere, why don’t these candidates argue for universal healthcare the way other countries provide universal healthcare to their public? Why don’t these candidates argue that we need to invest more in our infrastructure the way other countries are investing in their infrastructure? Why don’t these candidates argue for educational investments the way other countries are investing in education? Does it not make sense that if we are going to do whatever the rest of the world does for its corporate entities, shouldn’t we be following these same examples for the people?
Instead, while corporate America is promised every handout imagined under the sun, conservatives are promising to give the flesh and blood citizens the cold shoulder under the theory that no flesh and blood body should depend on their government for help. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and we need to practice some tough love in order to get our citizenry to become contributors to our great economy instead of takers addicted handouts. But if handouts and protections are good for our corporate citizens, how come they aren’t just as good for our flesh and blood citizens?
Making people, corporate and flesh and blood alike, at the top of our financial ladder even more profitable won’t have much of an impact on the rest of us. Trickledown economics work only when those that have wealth are required to contribute to the social pie. Corporate America, and other people who are sitting on massive amounts of wealth, don’t come off of that stuff without a fight. Case in point, even though corporate managers see the economy struggling firsthand, these people would prefer to keep trillions of dollars out of the economy because they need more certainty that they can move that money while paying as little as possible. Without some incentive to contribute, most deep pocket entities would keep as much money as possible.
Corporations that operate with impunity will occasionally and regularly fail to rise to a moral or ethical responsibility, but would prefer to operate on the lesser standard of a legally mandated responsibility. A legal responsibility would be something like a government regulation or a court mandated solution. But the conservatives are promising less government and minimal court interference. It is a wealth generation machine that will benefit only a small portion of the public.
In the conservative vision for America, corporations will do very well. But non corporate entities might not be so lucky. A conservative America might bring trillions of dollars back to America, but that money won’t be evenly distributed throughout our economy. It will remain in a few hands and the end result would be nothing noticeable for the average joe. And when we see that all those tax breaks and tort reforms and all those other changes meant to give corporate America a handout didn’t work, we’ll be told that all we have to do is give more tax cuts and more reforms and more opportunities to make wealth to the few and they’ll get even richer while the economy continues to struggle. We followed the tax cuts and tort reform and deregulation formula through the eight years that George Bush Jr. called the White House home. It didn’t work then. It won’t get the economy out of its doldrums now.
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