Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tax the Rich

Republican whiners, in the form of the Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance (WTA), complain that public employees’ benefits cost too much.

At the same time, Wisconsin is giving credits worth $1.75 million of taxpayer’s money to Logistics Health (LHI). LHI has received many taxpayer gifts and subsidies and does much of its business with government agencies, especially the Defense Department. (It's no accident that LHI's rise came in with the "Reagan Revolution.")

So, in addition to subsidies, taxpayers pay LHI to do things government could do itself.

A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities confirms that public insurance is much less expensive than private. This public/private cost difference carries into many other areas. Why pay more for privatization?

Top officers in private business are usually well compensated. Many contribute large sums to political candidates who oppose taxes and to "the public good" as they see it. Even if there’s a crying need for more teachers or updated jail facilities or student financial aid, if a rich donor decides a football stadium is the way to go, that’s the way we go.

This is nuts. We are giving over essential services to profit-seeking private business and decision-making authority to profiteers. Our schools and public programs hold bake sales and raffles to fund essential services but the WTA and their Republican allies block progressive tax increases.

This is what happens when you put people who believe that "government is the enemy" in charge of government. Public employees, always trying to do more with less, are scorned and private businesses, who often get lots of public money, support those who scorn them.

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