As we put our Christmas lights on for a media-programmed return to “normalcy”, it seems we have become nonchalant about a pandemic that still kills 1,000 Americans a day. Corporate news tells us we care less about this once-in-a-century mass deadly event and the glaring social inequalities it exposed than the price at the gas pump or the price per pound of turkey. .
The way things are now aligned with inflation firmly established as the only issue voters care about, Democrats are on the brink of disaster in 2022 with the reestablishment of Trump’s white minority regime in Congress.
The wounds of Democrats that will make this possible will have been largely self-inflicted.
Consider Gov. Phil Murphy’s political near-death experience and the ballot losses that reduced his party’s majorities in the state legislature and the defeat of Senate Speaker, political titan Stephen Sweeney.
Former Assembly Member Jack Ciattarelli came close to beating former Goldman Sachs partner after Murphy chose to take his family to his exclusive Italian villa in August, as the US State Department advised Americans to DO NOT travel to this country due to concerns about the global pandemic.
President Obama’s Foundation happily accepts a $ 100 million gift from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose company has been accused by the National Labor Relations Board of unlawfully retaliating against employees it has dismissed after trying to organize a union.
Then there’s President Biden who has been described as being out of touch with the shock of the average American family’s stickers for groceries and fuel.
Where is he going to spend Thanksgiving if not in the $ 30 million Nantucket estate owned by billionaire private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, co-founder of the famous Carlyle Group. According to the Center for Public Integrity, this global colossus was the first to invest in companies that were defense contractors that profit from the proliferation of armed conflicts around the world.
JOE’S ISLAND OF LUXURY?
As Fox News rightly pointed out, Nantucket has been identified as one of four Massachusetts counties that have seen their projected food insecurity rates for struggling families rise by more than 70%, according to the assessment. of Nantucket’s community health needs. Overall, according to the same report, Massachusetts is expected to experience an 81 percent increase in food insecurity statewide.
The Nantucket Community Health Needs Assessment is published by Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the island’s vital health facility. Its “Mind the Meal Gap 2020” report reported that one in four food insecure children on the island lived in “households not eligible for public assistance programs” due to their undocumented status. .
Perhaps nowhere in the United States reflects the obscene nature of our growing division of wealth than Nantucket Island, 30 miles off Cape Cod. Sixty percent of the island’s land has been set aside for conservation and the median house price is $ 2.55 million, and is often held as an investment by some of the country’s wealthiest families.
Almost 70% of the island’s housing stock is generally vacant, while 90% of the people who live there all year round, often serving the very wealthy, cannot afford to buy a house with half of the money. this population which has difficulty paying its rent. , according to a 2015 analysis.
“Not surprisingly, COVID-19 was a primary health concern for communities and has exacerbated underlying inequalities and social needs,” Nantucket Cottage Hospital reported in its 40-page health needs analysis. “The pandemic has shed light on the capacities and shortcomings of the health system, public health infrastructure and social service networks. “
Analysis from the island hospital notes the squeeze play that many families in Nantucket face throughout the year, citing an Economic Policy Institute family budget calculator that “found that a two-parent family with a child would need an annual income of $ 101,224 – not counting any savings or discretionary spending expenses. The high costs often result in low-income families having to balance rent payments or food purchases or force residents to sacrifice their sleep for a second or third job to cover housing costs.
Beltway Democrats will blame their likely 2022 beating on the rise of right-wing racist reactionaries and Fox News One America News calliope. Yet they will have no one else to blame but themselves. When there was a choice between overturning America’s oppressive tax pyramid that crushed American working families for decades, while still allowing for the creation of vast dynastic wealth, Democrats chose their donors who nest at the top of the pyramid.
This was accomplished when they chose to reduce President Biden’s Build Back Better program from $ 3.5 trillion to the current iteration of anemic $ 1.7 trillion. It was enough for their class of campaign donors and their Wall Street wealth managers to fend off the White House’s original strategy of raising hundreds of billions in new revenue by taxing mega fortunes the moment they are passed on. ‘generation to generation. Following.
The coverage was that Conservative Democrats led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, as well as Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema were pushing back concerns that the first Build Back Biden’s Better was too ambitious and necessary. too much public spending that would accelerate inflation and derail the so-called recovery.
As the Intercept and the Guardian have reported, Democrats who have aligned themselves with this anti-progressive faction have been rewarded with millions of dollars in campaign money from the very interests that want to keep America’s Great Wealth Pyramid intact. .
It’s that clear. People in a privileged position by being elected by the people, use their position to amass ever greater wealth.
This betrayal of tens of millions of working families, which Reverend Dr William Barber calls a “sleeping giant,” comes as study after study confirms link between pandemic devastation in communities of color and inequality growing wealth of our nation and disparities in health care.
Perhaps the closed privilege of Nantucket Island portends what lies ahead for a whole nation where the concentration of wealth continues to unabatedly accelerate, as some Democrats continue to only auction their donors.
BUDGETS REFLECT WHAT WE VALUE
“As Democrats negotiate the Build Back Better bill from $ 3.5 trillion (over ten years) to $ 1.75 trillion over ten years, priorities like paid time off, free community colleges and expansion From medicare to affordable prescriptions, dental care and vision care are all on the chopping block, ”Lindy Koshgarran wrote for the National Priorities Project. “Meanwhile, over the past decade, the United States has handed over $ 3.4 trillion (or $ 3.7 trillion in inflation-adjusted terms) to Pentagon contractors without negotiations in Congress making the one of the newspapers. This is part of the largest $ 7.2 trillion (2021 dollars) we have handed over to almost undisputed Pentagon contractors since 9/11.
Koshgarran’s analysis continues. “For this money, the United States got many copies of an allegedly state-of-the-art military aircraft that spontaneously caught fire at least three times, heavily subsidized the average CEO salary of 17.7 million dollars from major military contractors and allowed companies to raise funds. profits even as they failed miserably in their efforts to rebuild Afghanistan.
“Entrepreneur spending continues at the same rapid pace today, accounting for more than half of the Pentagon’s average spending each year,” according to the National Priorities Project blog post. “And with Congress on the verge of approving a $ 778 billion one-year spending program (which would be roughly $ 7.8 trillion over ten years, even without further increases) for the military, contractors have yet to be won. “
Meanwhile, we will hear from “fiscally conservative Democrats” telling us that we cannot afford paid time off or free community college.
Bending over backwards to protect America’s dynastic fortunes is going to cost us all dearly.
HANG UP TO 911
Consider the Axios report that in its drive to reduce Build Back Better, the House Energy & Commerce Committee chose to cut a $ 10 billion proposal to upgrade the country’s old 911 call centers to just 470 million. of dollars.
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that such an upgrade to digital from analog would cost $ 12 billion, with industry experts suggesting that a full upgrade might still be. higher.
Currently, half of the nation’s 911 call centers cannot receive text messages, let alone video, which could greatly improve situational awareness for first responders.
“Public safety officials fear the nation’s 911 centers will continue to languish in the analog age, after Democrats cut proposed funding for a digital transformation in their social spending bill,” reported Axios. “The potentially vital ability for people to send texts, images or videos to 911 centers, and for centers to share data seamlessly with each other, remains out of reach for many of the 6,000 centers of the country. “
Rebuild better indeed.
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