Saturday, May 03, 2008

Working people don’t need stimulus checks

Socialists: Working people don’t need stimulus checks
“Working people need good paying jobs”

Stewart A. Alexander
Nominee for Vice President Socialist Party USA
Candidate for Vice President Peace and Freedom Party

May 3, 2008

Today, millions of Americans are considering how they will spend their government rebate checks that will be received within the next few days and weeks. Recently, the Bush administration announced that the checks would be released earlier in hopes of giving the U.S. economy a needed jump start.

I have personally listened to many ideas of how these checks could be spent; the ideas range from taking a trip to Las Vegas, to hitting the local casinos; taking a vacation is another popular idea. The majority of people that I have encountered are hoping to receive their $300 to $600 check to help pay their mounting household bills. It also appears that most individuals have decided to put the shopping spree on hold and to use whatever extra cash to purchase gasoline.

This action by the president and the Feds, to reduce the time that 130 million Americans will need to wait before receiving their government checks, is another indication of the critical state the U.S. economy is now experiencing. Realistically, the government checks will do very little to relieve the financial dilemma for most working people. Most working people are struggling to survive, earning smaller paychecks, while paying more for food, fuel and daily expenses; and a one time check for $300 to $600 will be spent before most recipients are able to make the deposit into their bank accounts.

The government rebate checks are an example of the failures of capitalism and how a capitalist system will never meet the needs of working people. The checks are being sent to provide quick spending cash for millions of working people; however, these checks will provide few benefits for the poor and working class; while adding to the wealth and welfare of billionaires.

My wife, Vicki Alexander and I recently did an update on our monthly household budget to determine our finances as we approach the summer months. Since September 2007, our monthly expenses jumped a whopping $294. Our monthly gasoline cost, for the V6 Ford Mustang and the Ford Ranger, has increased an additional $78 monthly; and our groceries and food cost has increased an additional $60 monthly. All other household expenses were up an additional $156 monthly; a combined increase of $294 monthly and $3,528 annually. Millions of working people, across the nation are in the same situation as my wife and I, and a $600 government check will do little in the face of rising inflation and a shrinking U.S. economy.

This week, President Bush fired off some harsh criticism at the Democrats in Congress, “accusing lawmakers of dragging their feet on bills that would address pocketbook issues,” according to the New York Times; however, the blame rest with the president, the Democrats and Republicans. Washington leadership has gone on the offensive against working people and has allowed the capitalists to run wild, ravishing the pocketbooks of all working people.

While he was addressing the press at the White House, President Bush also stated that there is no easy fix for the U.S. economy; however, that is far from being the truth. Fixing the economy must begin by ending the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; the war is destroying the U.S. economy and has completely destroyed the economies of these two war torn nations. These wars, whose tremendous cost is not offset by taxes, are the immediate cause of the weakness of the dollar, skyrocketing inflation and oil prices, and the widening trade deficit.

The president and U.S. Congress has the power and authority to end the present housing crisis; however, the president and Congress have only taken action to protect the interest of big banks and financial institutions, and global capitalists. The federal government needs to take immediate action to protect the millions of Americans that could lose their homes in 2008 and 2009, and shift the cost of the mortgage lending disaster from working people to the financial manipulators who created the problem.

An immediate change in tax policy must reverse the trend of the last thirty years of shifting the tax burden to those least able to pay. Income taxes should end on individuals earning less than $30,000 annually and couples earning less than $60,000 annually, and increased federal taxes on those with incomes in the millions, who pay less proportionately against the income they receive. Taxing the rich would replace the revenues that are now being paid by workers that are receiving the least income.

A real national rebuilding program is needed. The federal government must invest $3 trillion within the next five years and a total of $5 trillion over the next decade to rebuild the nation’s utilities, communications, and rail infrastructure, refurbish public buildings, strengthen bridges, and repair low income housing across America. The federal government must invest in constructing low income housing, providing jobs for low income families and providing good paying jobs for women and men.

To break the stranglehold of the big energy corporations and associated financial institutions on our government and economy, natural resources, including oil, must be brought under public ownership and democratically managed by the people, not controlled and owned by private corporations.

Socialists believe it is necessary to create good paying jobs for working people rather than mailing millions of people a one time welfare check. Socialists have called for higher minimum wages and developing socially useful jobs for all working people.

The federal government must develop programs to relieve working people from the tremendous debt burden that modern capitalism constantly creates; it is necessary to establish a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all working people, and full comprehensive assistance for the aging. Even though many socialists have called for a Universally Guaranteed Personal Income (UGI), in the 21st Century it has become extremely necessary due to the multitude of failures inherent in a capitalist system.

For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Socialist: Federal tax relief package is welfare for billionaires; U.S. Federal tax relief vanishing at the pumps.