Make the Rich Pay Up

on .

The Republican Congress eventually will need to decide who must pay our nation's debts created by the losing policy of feeding the rich and starving the poor. Currently, our debt is $15 trillion - $12 trillion coming from Republicans and $3 trillion from Democrats.

This was no accident.

The last administration nearly destroyed America by deregulating our housing markets and Wall Street financial firms, giving two tax cuts to the rich, bailing out fraudulent big banks, handing over $400 billion to big drug companies for Medicare Part D and sending our children overseas to fight two wars at the same time - without paying a penny for any of it. Outrageous.

These losing policies caused millions of working class heroes to lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. No wonder people worldwide are angry and marching in the streets. But anger alone will not solve complex economic problems. Someone must pay the bills.

The Republican Congress surely realizes that we must never again allow wealthy corporate executives to escape paying their taxes. Everyone must share the grief. But who has the money to pay off $15 trillion?

The 47 million who live in poverty can't pay it, and neither can the 26 million unemployed and underemployed - they don't have the money.

The 55 million needy children, disabled and retirees surviving on Social Security can't pay it, and neither can America's 22 million small businesses - they're struggling just to keep their doors open.

And the 76 million students can't help, either - they're working several part-time jobs to make ends meet, and they're already nearly a trillion dollars in debt.

Will the Republican Congress ask our children and grandchildren to pay our debts? I hope not, and no one honestly believes we can balance government budgets on the backs of professional teachers, nurses, janitors, firefighters and public safety officers.

So, who has the money to pay our bills? Not the bottom 99% of Americans.

That's why the Republican Congress must guarantee the top 1% of income earners pay their fair share by enacting responsible tax laws.

Across human history, feeding the rich and starving the poor has never created a prosperous and peaceful society. It failed centuries ago in England under King George III, in France under King Louis XVI, and in Egypt and Libya several months ago.

Come on, Congress. Do the right thing. Ask those who possess more than they've earned to stop complaining and pay their fair share, and enact legislation to help grow the jobs we need to work our way into prosperity.


Steve Kagen, M.D. Former Member of Congress – Wisconsin American Sustainable Business Council – Advisory Board In 2006, I ran for public office
Professional politicians in Washington and their partners on Wall Street are lining up for another payday - this time by promoting "free trade" deals

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