Let’s take back our democracy

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm

Our political system seems to be working just as designed. Or redesigned, I should say, by modern-day politicians.
But why do business leaders accept the current double standardω Honest corporate leaders demand a management team void of personal conflicts of interest, and one that is funded by its product sales and its shareholders. That’s understandable.
Interestingly, the same corporate CEOs who would fire or have jailed employees who traded company assets for money on the side are all too willing to support politicians who do exactly the same. I say, “Interestingly,” because the current political corruption is blocking what corporations need most; a universal health care system that would get them out of providing employee health care, save them 15 percent on wage costs and eliminate the need to move production and jobs offshore.
But the health care interests are using our pay-to-play system against business leaders to ensure that the health care mess is not fixed. They like it just as it is.
The public wants pretty much the same thing; a government without conflicts of interest and funded by its shareholders, the taxpayers. That means politicians who do not take outside money from private sources, especially in return for public assets. And since there are only two kinds of campaign money, public and private, it therefore means full public funding of campaigns.
No, I don’t want my taxes increased unnecessarily, but I am willing to invest an extra $5 per taxpayer per year to fund a clean electoral system. I know that investment will return much of the $1,300 per taxpayer per year in public assets that state politicians now give to the private interests that fund their elections. And since I am already funding these elections – through this back-door tax system – I’d prefer funding campaigns up front at a fraction of the current cost. Most would agree that $5 would be a bargain at 200 times the price.
As a (generally) conservative Republican, I like privatization where privatization makes sense. But there are some functions that make more sense being funded by the taxpayers, and a clean government is one of them. God forbid we turn Social Security, Medicare and other needed government services over to corporate CEOs who are compensated on how much profits are made vs. how citizens and patients are served. I don’t want to live in that kind of world.
I also believe corporations should pay zero taxes. As it is, they fund only 8 percent of government revenues anyway.
Eliminate corporate taxes and health care costs and watch the state’s economy grow.
Personal taxes should be the government’s only income, as all else filters down to the taxpayers anyway. Taxes should be zero for those whose incomes are under $25,000 per year, a flat tax for the 90 percent of citizens in the middle, and progressively increase for those making over $150,000 per year. All personal income must be considered in the equation, including dividends, capital gains, inheritances, etc.
So, Republicans, shoot me if you wish. But we must get off this “compassion” and “morals” kick, because we are doing poorly at both. Create an honest government for our kids and grandkids. We can either have a public democracy or a private plutocracy, but not both.

Jack Lohman is a retired business owner from Colgate and founder of www.ThrowTheRascalsOut.org. He can be reached at jlohman@execpc.com.

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