When Will You Say “Enough is Enough”?

You don’t have to search the internet for the truth. Sometimes it is right in front of you… inside the mainstream newspapers:

  • The Friday, October 18, USA Today main section, page 4A ran this story: “Army warns of trouble handling even a single war”.It goes on to say that “budget restrictions could render the Army at high risk to meet even one major war, a warning the Army is sounding because it sees another war as inevitable before long.” Did you catch that last part? The masters of this Military Industrial Empire are not only doing their best to scare the shit out of us with “declining budget cuts putting our Army at risk”, but they are sounding the alarm that we are going to get another war sooner than not! They further tell us that plans to reduce the number of active duty soldiers from a wartime high of 570,000 to 450,000 (as planned by 2017) is “too small and too risky”. Now this is not from some comic book story. No, this is really being hyped up to get YOU out there on board with the propaganda to NOT cut our bloated and obscene military spending (close to 600 billion of yours and mine hard earned dollars). Question is: are you going to sit back and let this happen?
  • The Monday, October 21, USA Today Money section had a cover story that really shows you where we are headed economically: “More rent single family homes.” It goes on to say that at least one fifth of all occupied single family homes were rentals last year in 32 of the nation’s top metropolitan areas. This growth “reflects changes from the housing boom and bust and the enduring financial hardships imposed by the recession. Millions of homeowners lost homes to foreclosures and were forced to become renters. Nationwide, 18% of occupied single family homes last year were rentals, up from nearly 16% in 2006.” So, it is not only your neighbors who had the extra money to buy up someone else’s misfortune and rent it out. More than that, it is large corporations that are buying up thousands of these homes and renting them out. Thus, we are moving further and further back into a feudal-like America that is looking more and more like the days of the barons and serfs. Where do you think the term “landlord” came from?
  • In the Tuesday, October 22, USA Today Money section the headline read “Top 10 CEO’s payday: $4.7 billion.” In addition to the top 10 FAT CATS realizing such a windfall, CEOs at big companies in the S&P 500 saw their total median realized pay jump nearly 20%. It seems that as the stock market continues to bull its way up and American working stiffs struggle more and not less to make ends meet… Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook ($2.27 + billion), Richard Kinder of Kinder Morgan ($1.1+ billion), Mel Karmazin of Sirus XM Radio ($255+ million), Gregory Maffei of Liberty Media ($254+ million) and Timothy Cook of Apple ($143+ million) may see more and more moolah… while the rest of us crawl along.

There are a few magic bullets to the aforementioned mess the 99+% of us face, if enough of us get on the bandwagon and speak up and speak out:

  • Cut military spending 25% a year NOW.  If we took the almost $170 billion yearly we would save and send part of it back to our states and their cities to help erase budget shortfalls, imagine what could be accomplished? Translated: Enough money for our public services, our local police and other first providers, our schools and libraries, our infrastructure repair (meaning more economic stimulus a.k.a. JOBS). Along with cutting the obscene military spending, if we closed most of the 800+ bases worldwide and brought everyone home, we could refill our domestic bases with personnel, which would help stimulate the local economies. Furthermore, the majority of the peoples of the world would look a little differently at our nation, once we get our jackboots off of their necks!
  • Local Communities take over residential rental properties.Since they use eminent domain so often, why not use it for some real good? Once the local community owns the rental housing, it can lower the rents through being nonprofit, and then offer the renter a chance to one day own the home or apartment. If the renter knows that a portion of the rent will go into a kitty for a future down payment, not only would he or she be motivated to take better care of the place, but the community would be better off. There would be less transient movement in and out of places, which would help stabilize the whole area. Everyone would win… except for the predator investment sharks.
  • Surtax the super rich.Imagine if we instituted a 50% Flat Surtax on all income over one million dollars a year? Translated: We all, even the super rich, would pay the same rates for incomes up to one million dollars yearly. Anything earned over one million would have a flat surtax of 50%, with NO write-offs of any kind! Methinks that someone earning $10 million a year could still live comfortably with $4.000.000 + after taxes. Even those poor souls who only earn $2 million a year… you think that they can survive on a little over $1.000.000 a year after taxes? Plus, think of how much more money Uncle Sam could have to use for the rest of us, the 99+ %. So, working stiffs out there, stop thinking that this is class warfare. How about using the better phrase: Class consciousness?

We can make this place a better country and a fairer, more rational nation to live in. All it takes if a little common sense, a little civic pride, and a newer understanding that we need not be a Military Industrial Empire anymore. Our very survival depends on your recognizing that.

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on itstheempirestupid website. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 500 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the It’s the Empire… Stupid radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net. Read other articles by Philip.