No matter where we look, the Presidential election is shoved in our faces. And now we’re told it has come down to only two options: Obama or Romney. Do we again elect the millionaire community organizer who pretends to represent working people while doing nothing but the bidding of the banks and corporations? Or do we vote for the multi-millionaire who doesn’t even pretend to represent workers and just does the bidding for banks and corporations? That’s not a choice at all. That’s like choosing the method of execution: lethal injection or the electric chair? With lethal injection, there’s still some room for hope – maybe you’ll fall asleep before it’s all over. With the electric chair, there’s nothing to hope for but maybe you’ll die more quickly.
Lately, this election has become focused on who is better for working people when it comes to the economy: Obama or Romney?
Romney isn’t even able to pretend to be on the side of workers. He is a long-time investment banker with a personal fortune of over $250 million. He made over $20 million dollars for the last two years in a row. When Romney was trying to appeal to workers at a NASCAR event, all he could say was that his best friends are the owners of the teams.
In his campaigning, Romney has promised he will not increase taxes on the super rich – he has even said he plans on lowering them. When it comes to banks and corporations, Romney says he will cut their tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Whether it is tax rates, waging war, the lives of women, social services, or anything that matters to working people – Romney is clearly on the other side, representing his pals in the elite club of the ruling rich.
For Obama, despite all his campaign promises, after nearly four years of bailing out the banks, the corporations, and the rich, after continuing to slash funding for health care, education and social services while increasing funding for wars, after all of that and much worse – this time he promises he will really represent working people.
Obama’s current sales pitch for the economy is the auto industry. He says that his policies saved the auto companies and can be used throughout the country to help the economy recover. He carefully leaves out an important part of the story – the facts!
This auto bailout was more than a bailout. It forced the auto workers to make huge sacrifices. The Obama administration imposed wage cuts, health care cuts, pension cuts, and massive layoffs on auto workers. And a year later, auto companies made record profits because they pushed more work onto fewer workers and paid them less to do it. That’s not a solution for working people – it’s a nightmare.
And now that the country is becoming angrier at the amount of money flowing into the pockets of the super rich, Obama has suddenly turned into a champion for working people. He promises he will raise taxes on the richest Americans, who are among the wealthiest people in the world. He says they should pay the same tax rate as working people. What a joke! The richest people in the world should pay way more than working people.
But even if this proposal was ever passed, there are so many tax tricks and loopholes that the super rich would continue to get out of paying more money. Even now they regularly get away with paying less than their official rate. But that doesn’t matter because at the same time, like Romney, Obama is proposing to lower the taxes of corporations from 35 percent to 28 percent (only three percent higher than Romney’s proposal). So as working people are doing more work than ever recorded in U.S. history, and as U.S. corporations are making the most money ever recorded – Obama promises to lower the taxes of corporations.
If this political comedy show weren’t about our lives it might even be laughable. But it’s not funny. Democrat or Republican, Obama or Romney, lethal injection or the electric chair – these aren’t real choices. These are politicians competing over who will represent banks and corporations and the super rich – not who will represent working people.