America is not broke
In the fall of 2008, a giant mud ball - created by Wall Street financial schemers and irresponsible big bank mortgage lenders - hit the fan, and it splattered on just about everyone in our country, and even globally. The result of these frauds has resulted in double-digit unemployment and millions of home foreclosures. In order to stanch an economic meltdown and crash that threatened to reverberate at home and internationally, the Bush Administration instituted bailouts for some of the largest banks and investment corporations.
It was a necessary action agreed upon by a majority of the most respected, credentialed and acclaimed economists.
The close to $1 trillion in bailout money to these "too big to fail" corporations was supposed to go, in part, to loans to businesses to create economic stimulus and toward readjusting improperly-made mortgage loans, but it hasn't. The ranks of the unemployed and under-employed have hardly budged, but the richest 1 percent among us received tax cuts amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. About 400 wealthy Americans now have more wealth than 150 million Americans combined!
Even more egregious than this incredible imbalance is the astounding fact that some of the richest banks and corporations in America pay either no taxes or a pittance of what would be their fair share.
In 2009, after having been complicit in the crash of the American economy and despite earning record profits, Bank of America and General Electric paid no taxes. In fact GE got a tax rebate of $3 billion.
All the while we are being told that there's no money for schools, food programs or health care, and that it's the fault of the public sector. Yes, it's the greedy teachers, firefighters and social workers who caused the crash on Wall Street, not the corporations that pay no taxes and the CEOs who make 500 times the average employee's wage, that have destroyed the middle class and absconded with the wealth.
Former Secretary of the Treasury and renowned economist Robert Reich states, "The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class, is by raising taxes on the super rich."
He goes on to point out that if this richest 1 to 2 percent were taxed at the same rates as 50 years ago, they'd be paying in more than $350 billion more this year alone, "... which translates into trillions over the next decade."
This theft of the American economy has got to stop, and that's why a rally on the Plaza and demonstration in front of Bank of America will take place on Tax Day, April 18 at 5 p.m. America is not broke. It's wealth, our wealth, has been stolen and is being hoarded by the big corporations - that pay either none or a pittance of the taxes they owe - and the super rich tax evaders.
On Monday, April 18, we will present a bill for taxes to the Bank of America owed to the American people. We need you to walk with us in a peaceful protest and make your voices heard. Enough is enough. We will not be cheated and lied to by those who drove us into the worst recession since the 1930s, obliterated our jobs and took our homes. This is the day to make the deadbeats pay.
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Will Shonbrun blogs on the The Shonbrun Report and lives in Boyes Hot Springs.