The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Government Debt
– and Its Real Causes!

Nov 26, 2012

Supposedly, we will face disaster if Congress doesn’t do something about government debt.

It’s true, there is a problem with the national debt. It’s enormous, more than 16 trillion dollars today. Only one other time, in World War II, did the government owe such a big proportion of debt as it does today. And that debt is rising rapidly. So, there is a problem.

If you want to solve a problem, you ought to look at what caused it. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So look at what caused the big increase in government debt.

First, the big bailout of the banks and other big corporations added trillions of dollars to the debt.

Second, military spending added roughly ten trillion over the last ten years. The U.S. spends more money on its military than do the next 12 biggest spenders put together – more than 40% of the world’s total.

Third, a series of tax breaks to the wealthy and the corporations running back to 1950 totals many times the 16 trillion dollars of today’s debt.

If the corporations and the wealthy were to pay at just half the rate they did in 1950, the government would have enough revenue to completely pay off its debt in less than a decade – with money to spare for increasing spending on all those things cut in recent years: public services, education, social services.

If anyone wanted to get rid of the debt, they would: 1) get trillions back from the banks; 2) make the wealthy and corporations pay taxes at the rate they once did; 3) cut military spending, let’s say, in half – and that might prevent a few wars!

Does anyone believe either of the two parties would even begin to go there? Of course not. Because all their talk about “fiscal cliff” is nothing but a bluff.

They’re not aiming to fix the debt. They’re aiming to take more money from social programs, public services and education, and to put it into the hands of Wall Street and other capitalists.

We may not be able to stop their budget deal this time. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of believing their lies.