Letter to the Editor

Tax deal a sign of much bigger problems

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To the Editor:

With the passing of the so-called "compromised" tax deal, the last vestiges of hope in this country have been crushed. Only fools still harbor the illusion that either party is working for anyone other than corporations and the extremely wealthy. This deal guarantees that federal debt will continue to outpace economic growth for the forseeable future, even as tax rates on the wealthy facilitate government redistribution of wealth upward to the richest of the rich. And with corporations now able to make unlimited contributions to campaigns, both parties have been thoroughly bribed and are corrupt to the core. There is no hope for reform in either party. The republic is dead. Long live the banana republic.

Do you think the tea party is an answer to this problem? Think again. It would be hard to find a more clueless bunch of people. Their righteous anger has been redirected by conservative organizations toward issues that have little or nothing to do with reality much less the actual problems our country faces. Conservative elites have used the tea party to play on people's fear of the other. Our predicament is the fault of immigrants, or minorities, or Muslims, or tree huggers, or socialism (but don't touch their Medicare or Social Security! -- what idiots). They think it is about government being smaller so people can be free, but as one wag has put it, what the tea party doesn't understand is the only freedom they are actually fighting for is the freedom for corporations to stomp all over them. And stomp all over them they will. The tea party is an unwitting supporter of crony capitalism, authoritarianism and kleptocracy -- not freedom. They are simply hastening their own fall from the middle class to the working poor.

Is there any other hope? Not at the national level. It is too late there. You can always vote for third party candidates, but that is a forlorn hope at best. At this point, get out of debt as best you can, plant a garden and work on local community initiatives. At the local level there is good work to be done. The future is the community.

Bruce Sanders