STOP the Real Steal
I haven’t slept in days. Each time I look at the news, the President announces that the budget total for the his signature legislation has been negotiated down yet again. I’m directing this message to Congress as a whole, but to a few Representatives and Senators in particular. You know who you are. And also to President Biden, to say, “WTH Joe, Stop the capitulation! We elected you leader, so LEAD already. Stop reducing the Build Back Better budget! It’s popular. People like it. Polling shows people in both parties want it, so please, please, please deliver!” We need to reframe the narrative so people realize how some very delinquent members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, are abdicating their responsibility and stealing wealth from the majority of Americans.
We are a democracy to be sure, but in reality, first and foremost, we are a capitalistic republic. Most all of our problems could be solved if we would honor that reality. Elected leaders must represent the will of the majority of their people. Period. All citizens must be given access to capital in order to participate. In passing BBB legislation, more women will have access to capital. Everyone must have more access to capital in order for this “democracy” to work. Especially women. The more access for ordinary people, the more problems will be solved. Giving more money to billionaires is exactly the wrong thing to do. Here’s why. Give a billionaire access to $100 for dinner, and that one person will spend $100. Give ordinary citizens access to $100 for dinner, and they will spend around $33,000,000,000 ($33 billion). That’s just for dinner. And they’ll pay taxes on that $100. Billionaires won't.
The original price tag of the Build Back Better plan was $3.5 trillion. American billionaires made $2.1 trillion more during the pandemic alone. That’s more than the current iteration of the bill that calls for (at this posting) $1.9 trillion over the next ten years. How f’d-up is that?
Mr. President, I am a 71-year-old retired teacher, and like you, I enjoy reminiscing about the past. I was born into the Debbie-Mary-Linda-Susan generation, a child of the 50’s and 60’s. Back in the day, I enjoyed a 37 cent Whopper at Burger King with my girlfriends. Today, a Whopper costs $3.49. That’s nearly 10 times more than in 1970 for a burger.
Minimum wage then was $1.60 an hour. Today, federal minimum wage is $8.75 an hour or about 5 times more than in 1970 for work. Do you see the problem here? Our kids will not be reminiscing over cheap burgers in years to come.
My girlfriends and I studied to get better jobs and make more money. We left college debt free. Our kids have not. They will continue to be saddled with student loan debt for decades unless we do something. I understand you could fix that problem with the stroke of a pen. Is that true? Why not do it? That would automatically give millions of young people struggling to survive access to capital. I’m guessing a lot of people would like that.
My generation of women became teachers, secretaries, bookkeepers, and social workers. Our jobs did not allow us to accumulate much capital. When we entered the workforce, we didn’t even think to ask for family leave or child care costs or child tax credits. In fact, my generation has experienced very little return on the investments we made in the future. We made 60 cents on the dollar compared to men in 1970 – a gap that today hovers around 80 cents on the dollar today. Why is that? Don’t even get me started on how that has affected our social security retirement benefits.
Many of us married men who made more money, and we were allowed access to capital through them. It lasted until we lost much of it in divorce.
We spawned a generation of children, many of whom are finding it nearly impossible to survive these days. That’s where my attention is these days, Joe — looking to the future, not the past. Let’s focus on the children. A much beloved, brilliant son of mine found it so impossible to survive in this world we’ve created that he is no longer with us.The world just didn’t make sense to him anymore. After suffering excruciating pain for years as a result of serving his country, he could no longer find a way to survive in this world. We lost him January 6th, 2020 — right before the pandemic and exactly one year before the insurrection. Each time I hear “January 6th,” the pain of his of losing him and of that same day in 2021 pierces my heart and mind over and over and over again. It’s killing us, Joe.
It is inherent upon us to create an earth and a future for our children and families that allows them to survive . . . and thrive! If providing everyone with fair representation and access to a little capital can enable us all to live better lives, it’s a small price to pay. The more capital, the better! Just ask a billionaire. It’s not the only answer, but it’s a good one.