The latest conventional wisdom: Horribly tax-burdened middle- and
upper-class Americans desperately and urgently need relief. The federal
government is projected to run a huge 1.6 trillion dollars surplus at the
current tax rates. So let's massively and immediately cut taxes.
On second thought, let's not.
How about this instead: a Spend the Money on Our Children
initiative. The goal: ensure that every child has the nurturing and
protection that the richest society ever to have existed is fully capable of
While every problem can't be solved by "throwing money at it,"
certain problems are caused by lack of funds and can be solved
by adequate financing.
The federal government recently provided funds to hire 100,000 police.
That worked out well. Now, to address a different problem, let's hire
100,000 teachers so that every child can get the individual attention
that child needs.
Why do we pay those who produce cartoons and toys for our children many,
many times what we pay those whom we entrust with educating them? Let's supplement
all teacher's salaries by 20%.
Anyone paying even minimal attention to the news has seen the horror
stories about unsafe, dilapidated, poorly equipped schools. We can tear down
the worst one thousand schools and build 1000 new state-of-the-art
Even more horrifying on the news are the periodic reports of defenseless
children tortured, raped, even murdered by the adults in charge of their
care. It's usually the case that there weren't enough child abuse prevention
workers to adequately monitor the situation. To protect our children, we
should hire 10,000 child abuse prevention workers.
Could there possibly be any excuse for even a single child in this
incredibly rich nation to go without health care? Provide health care for
every child in America.
And you know what? We really do have so much money and wealth. Couldn't
we find it in our hearts to help those beyond our borders? Let's provide
every child on earth with basic inoculations to globally wipe out early
Let's be honest: the Americans who would really use a tax break to pay
for essentials like health care and housing --the working poor -- would get,
if anything at all, far too little under any of the proposed tax breaks to
make any difference in these areas. The middle- and upper-class taxpayers
who will get the sizeable tax breaks will only use that money to buy more
expensive or additional cars, or a nicer vacation home, or similar,
That being the case, it's been disheartening to watch as even the most
progressive elected officials roll over and play dead in the face of the
Republican "Tax Cut! Tax Cut! Tax Cut!" onslaught.
The fact is, there wasn't before, and there still is not now, any
collective cry from the American people for a tax cut.
Instead, if you took a poll, the vast majority of all Americans would
strongly prefer to pool all the erstwhile refunds, and spend the money on
our children in programs like the above.
It's hard to imagine any politician claiming with a straight face that
giving a relatively few dollars each to tens of millions of individual
taxpayers is a better use for that money than protecting and nurturing our