Our nation has serious economy problems, but the "cause" is a corrupt political system as opposed to political ideology. If our politicians were not on the payroll of the Fat Cats that fund their elections -- through campaign bribes -- they'd fix these economy woes in a heartbeat.
But they were PAID TO create unemployment to drive wages down and corporate profits and CEO wealth UP! Think NAFTA and Glass-Steagall.
This was due — 100% — to campaign cash changing hands. Political bribes. Payola. Absolutely *NOTHING* will fix our system without getting to the root: political corruption. Politicians sharing in the booty by taking campaign bribes, and then rolling over to the industry that wants in the taxpayer's pockets. The recent "crisis commission" blamed everyone except the nation's board of directors -- our CONGRESS -- even when the politicians are 100% to blame.
The key problem is the way we finance elections. There are only two kinds of money: public and private. Private money got us here and nothing will change until we get these legal bribes out of politics. We must change to public money. But a fix is vigorously opposed by the political elite that benefit from the existing corruption.
Nothing else matters, regardless of your issue. Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. Politicians spend taxpayer dollars because they ARE PAID to spend taxpayer dollars, and robbing the SSI fund and Medicare (as just two examples) gives them the cash needed to attract campaign dollars.
Our problem is NOT government, and it is not R’s or D’s. It *IS* that government is owned by CEOs and corporate interests that want in the taxpayer’s pockets, and politicians that are willing to comply.
The 2010 elections were funded by just 1% of Americans, when they should be financed by 100% of taxpayers. And at $5 per taxpayer it would be a bargain. Even at 100 times that.
CEOs want short-term profits to increase their already massive salaries, and are willing to share those profits with the politicians that made it all happen. Wages must be driven down so profits are driven up. Thus NAFTA and other laws are passed that enable outsourcing to countries with wage scales one-tenth ours. Or are repealed (like Glass-Seagall) to enable the Fat Cat bankers to rip off the public. And all while unsavory deregulation crashes our country, China and India flourish.
In addition to public funding of campaigns, politicians must also (a) be put on a pay-for-performance basis, where if deficits or pork barrel and special interest spending go up, their pay goes down, and (b) they must put their own wealth in a blind trust that blocks political insider trading (which today is rampant). They must also get their health care from Medicare and their retirement from Social Security, and receive it only when they reach 67 or 69 or whatever age the rest of us qualify.
As a retired CEO my company would not have survived if I had an employee or board of directors who took money on the side and gave away company assets in return. Our country can’t survive this corruption either.
So the voters change nothing. We elect a new group of politicians and the Fat Cats simply re-direct their bribes as we continue down our spiral. But the problem is that all of these changes must be made by the foxes themselves (congress).
The public's choices are simple: a 100% turnover of politicians until the above fixes are made, or a national revolution is inevitable. And all because our politicians refuse to stop the bribery they benefit from, and the public refused to stop it.
If politicians are going to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the taxpayers. We MUST demand that our senators and representative pass the Fair Elections Now Act.
Jack Lohman is a retired business owner from Colgate, WI and author of "Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America." He is publisher of MoneyedPoliticians.net and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org