Debate Forum Left 12/22/10

The Tax Deal is Just Another “Land Grab” by Republicans

By Marianne Stanley

Marianne Stanley

Last week, President Obama signed a new tax deal, incredibly called a “compromise,” that shoves the knife even deeper into the belly of the average American.

This new tax bill should have all thinking people marching in the streets to protest this heinous government act of throwing us all under the bus while escorting the top 1% to their ever-posher seats.

Obama rode into office on the hopes and desperation of Americans who had seen the Bush years strip away all the right things and rush headlong into all the wrong things. The U.S. became a corporate welfare state while yanking assistance out from under the truly needy.

It gave tax breaks, tax incentives and tax cuts to billionaires and billion-dollar corporations while allowing these huge and powerful entities to send millions of American jobs overseas. It deregulated industry and allowed banks to pursue lucrative, unethical practices that have catapulted millions of us out of our homes. Corporations now control what used to be independent media, eliminating truth from public discourse and selectively creating or killing news to further their own interests. Last week’s “Veterans Against the War” march on Washington where 135 peaceful protesters were arrested for exercising their once-constitutional right of free speech and assembly received no media coverage because there is no real media anymore.

Those millions of eyes that looked to Obama with tear-filled hope and excitement the day he was elected are now shuttered and dead with bitter disappointment and anger as yet another president betrays the majority of Americans so it can serve, instead, the corrupt and greedy forces that control policy and government today.

President Obama was seen as our last hope if we were to ever “get it right” – if we were to finally return to the days of growing and honoring a thriving middle class.  His election brought out the feeling in millions that we were “saved” in the nick of time from the utter destruction of this country.  Obama was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because the committee foolishly relied on his words of peace and reconciliation, saying he wanted to bring this country back to its position of respect by using its resources and force for good around the world.

So, back to the question, “Did the President make a smart political deal with the Republicans and prove that he is willing to reach across the political aisle to find common ground or has he capitulated to the GOP?”

The question itself is proof that the talking heads, the right wing pundits and the corporate-owned media have successfully been able to twist the discussion, select the dialogue, and contort reality so effectively that the entire nation can read a question like that and not see anything wrong with it.  Anyone who has followed politics from Obama’s election day until now is aware that he has bent over backwards to the point of being ridiculous in trying to “reach across the aisle.”

But the Republicans, in lock step, vowed openly to obstruct everything and anything this not-a-Republican president wanted to do. We saw that with the insultingly named “Obamacare” that was a watered down version of what had originally been promised – health care for all. Obama also failed to hold BP accountable for its destruction of the Gulf Coast. He didn’t close Guantanamo or give justice to the detainees. He didn’t investigate and prosecute the Bush henchmen who were complicit in torture. He didn’t stop the avalanche of foreclosures nor punish the predatory lenders. He has ramped up prosecution of whistleblowers and peaceful demonstrators, bolstered the wars, allowed further invasions of privacy with airport screenings, reneged on his promise to represent all Americans and failed to make government more transparent. He has not stood strong and exercised his rightful power as president to reject destructive policies and push mightily for progressive change.

Banks are bailed out; schools are decaying. Corporations receive tax breaks; cities are dying. The rich are coddled; the poor are left hurting. Money bloats our killing machine – the “defense industry;” poverty afflicts millions who only want peace and a future for their children.

Sadly, there was absolutely no “compromise” in this tax bill; it was all “concession.” Calling it a compromise is a lie. The rich got everything they wanted while the middle class and poor must pay for this $900 billion giveaway. This is obscene, horrible, gutless and heartless.

The wealthy political and industrial megalomaniacs who are running this country just got another huge boost from this supposedly Democratic president. It is time to come to grips with the fact that Obama, like the “Blue Dog” Democrats in Congress, is really a Republican in disguise who will do nothing to protect the majority of Americans from the powerful, greedy and soulless puppeteers pulling Washington’s strings.

It is time to give birth to a new political party – one far different from the radical Tea Party that panders to intolerance, ignorance and anger. This new American party needs to represent those of us still in possession of our rational and inquiring minds, our fellow-feeling and a true patriotism reflected in a commitment to the best America we can be, with individual freedom, separation of church and state and equal justice for all occupying an exalted place in our policies and laws.

It is now clear we have no representative government.  The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Marianne Stanley is an attorney, college professor and former journalist who believes many of our nation’s ills could be cured if our children were taught critical thinking skills beginning at the elementary level and continuing throughout middle and high school. She can be reached at

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