Our economic woes which seem to dwarf all others in the minds of so many voters may not be that hard to remedy. France seems to have found a path to the solution as a recent article on Yahoo points out:
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s new Socialist government announced tax rises worth 7.2 billion euros on Wednesday, including heavy one-off levies on wealthy households and big corporations, to plug a revenue shortfall this year caused by flagging economic growth.
If the solution is seemingly fairly straightforward, the problem remains how to get this Congress to act — as the brilliant “Non Sequitur” comic pointed out recently:
There’s another problem, of course. Americans are deathly afraid of the term “socialism” even though they don’t know what it means and despite the fact that since Teddy Roosevelt over a century ago this country has introduced a number of measures that are plainly socialistic — from health care and aid to education to welfare, Social Security, and worker’s compensation. In fact, if we left it to private enterprise, this country would be in deeper do-do than it already is, at least as far as the average American is concerned. The determination of the government to intercede when private corporations contaminate our air and water, destroy the earth, and ignore the suffering of those who struggle is what has kept us afloat. We should not fear to take further steps in the same direction we have been headed in for over 100 years. As France’s example suggests, the solution to our economic problems may be fairly straightforward: raise taxes on the wealthy and close corporate loopholes while we cut subsidies to Big Oil.
In the end, however, it won’t happen because the corporations, in spite of the Federal controls they bitch about, still have a winning hand and they will continue to fight any attempts to levy higher taxes on themselves and those who run their companies, as the recent defeat in the Senate of the so-called “Buffett Rule” demonstrated. And with the most recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act which may disallow the commerce clause as rationale for progressive acts of legislation in the future we seem to be moving further away from not only a more humane and public-spirited government but also from a solution to our economic woes which is simple in principle but nearly impossible in fact.