the Rational Radical  

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Instead of a tax cut, why don't we...

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 providing.

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 schools.

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 childhood diseases.

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, non-essential items.

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 children.


the Rational Radical: Instead of a Tax Cut, Why Don't We...
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