All the posturing of the president and Congress aside, they know as well as we common folk do that it will never be possible to pay the public debt and at the same time provide for the common welfare without using the wealth of the rich, without eliminating unneeded corporate subsidies, and without changing the basis of your legislative efforts from “Will this bill help me get re-elected?” to “How will this bill benefit the American people and assure the survival of our country?”
The preamble to the Constitution says that the purpose of the Constitution is to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” We certainly do not have a perfect union, nor do we have justice, considering the great and growing wealth of a few, with the resulting near-absolute economic and political power provided by that wealth.
The blessings of liberty have been much eroded by government regulation and intrusion into our privacy; and rather than securing the blessings of liberty for posterity, the president and Congress have burdened our children with debt they cannot repay; instead of promoting the general welfare, Congress and the president scheme to take away social programs that protect the vulnerable.
They have provided for the common defense by starting the longest wars in our history, one defensive and failing, the other aggressive and based on lies. As for tranquility, the melting pot is boiling over with endless social and economic issues. They have departed considerably from the ideals of purpose “ordained and established” by the country’s founders.
Rather than search for ways to transfer to legitimate government needs substantial amounts of wealth from those burdened only with finding ways to spend it on themselves, Congress and the president have given them the means to become even more wealthy through income tax provisions they alone can use, through unneeded corporate subsidies and corporate income tax loopholes, through estate tax reductions, through the removal of regulation of entire industries, through your allowing market speculation that results in higher prices, through allowing mergers that stifle competition, and through not preventing the hiding of taxable money in offshore accounts.
When there is economic and social oppression of people, there is always a day of reckoning, and I believe we have reached that point in our country. I fear the consequences of that reckoning, for we have only to look back to the French Revolution and the horrors of the guillotine for what may be in store for us from a citizenry armed with much more sophisticated weapons.
I fear for the future of my children and your children, for innocence will not protect them, nor will any of us be safe from the excesses of riotous outrage. If you feel this to be a foolish prophecy, then read the Declaration of Independence for its justification of the American Revolution and then consider how many abuses and exploitations of common people Congress and the president have enabled with legislation.
Rather than wait for the horror of armed rebellion, the president and Congress must, if they are to continue to declare they are our servants, place the burdens of taxation that we common folk bear on the wealthy in proportion to their wealth. They must cease subsidizing corporations that have no need of subsidy. They must eliminate wasteful spending legislated to satisfy lobbyists and must enact only legislation that supports the ideals of the preamble to the Constitution. They must do this without the complications routinely added by the bureaucracy, and they must do it as individuals, not as bickering party politicians.
Our survival as a nation and the well-being of all of us depend on the president’s and Congress’ willingness to look beyond their personal ambitions and act unselfishly and wisely for the common good.
Edwin Treworgy of Milo is a retired high school English teacher.