LatinaLista -- In President Obama's speech to the nation today regarding his version of how to cut the federal budget, he critiqued the GOP's plan to reduce the deficit that was presented by House Rep. Ryan.
Needless to say, the President didn't like the approach the GOP is wanting to take to reduce the deficit. In part, the President said:
Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can't afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can't afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.
Think about it.
In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that's who needs to pay less taxes?
They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that's paid for by asking thirty-three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs?
That's not right, and it's not going to happen as long as I'm President.
The growing income disparity is not just political rhetoric. Yesterday, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a global watchdog of social trends and policies, released their annual "Society at a Glance" report surveying 34 OECD countries.
In the section dealing with income inequality, the report revealed:
The United States was quite unequal, given its riches, while the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland managed to be quite equal, given their relatively low income.
In other words, the growing disparity in income threatens the very basic tenet of the American social system -- the American Dream. Regardless of whether or not a person is an immigrant, the opportunity to achieve your highest potential is blocked if two separate classes of citizens are allowed to evolve -- one who pays less taxes while making more money and the other paying more taxes with no increase in salaries.
Hypothetical models don't have to be projected to see what would happen. We only have to look at Mexico and Central and South America to see that when there is an elite class versus a poorer class, there develops two types of educational systems, two types of healthcare systems, two types of housing markets, etc.
And if we really want to know what happens when a small minority calls the shots in a country, look at S. Africa and what that country went through with the fall of apartheid.
The President's plan to cut the deficit may not be perfect but neither is a plan that wants to boost the financial influence of a small minority at the expense of a growing majority who still aspire to a better place in society.