Austerity or Debt: A False Choice
It will take an entirely new economic model to move the country forward and assure that our children can enjoy the American dream. We must elect leaders who will challenge the system of corporate welfare that is bankrupting the nation. We can then have an honest debate about how and why making Medicare universally available will dramatically cut the costs of healthcare, eliminate 60% of bankruptcies and assure that no one need choose between food and necessary health care. They can also fix Social Security easily by removing the cap on the FICA tax so that the rich pay their fair share.
We also have to realize that no economy can be built on the idea of endless growth. The resources of the planet are finite. If we expect human civilization to survive the coming global climate catastrophe we are beginning to see in Sandy, Katrina and a unprecedented number of other major storms, we must create an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting local production of food and goods, converting to sustainable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions through tax incentives. This will require that those who have profited in this collapsing economy pay their fair share. The remaining Bush tax cuts for the wealthy must be ended and corporate tax cuts need to be tied to job creation. We cannot afford to give highly profitable corporations like Exxon and General Electric billions in tax rebates while millions of middle class Americans lose their homes.
To make Congress accountable to We the People, we must make them pledge to support amending the constitution to ban corporate campaign expenditures, limit individual donations to influence elections and abolish corporate personhood. It is too late to make this a campaign issue in 2012 but not too early to begin making it an issue in 2014.
You can learn more about the Pledge to Amend campaign here. The campaign resonates with the aims of the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to get money out of politics that has been discussed extensively in Tikkun and pushed for by the Network of Spiritual Progressives.