The pending Federal Budget Deal is the kind of thing to close your eyes, ears, and stifle your attention but stay with me.
Paul. Ryan and Patti Murray have concluded a deal for a two-year Federal Budget that may actually pass the House as well as the Senate and the country will have an annual budget for the first time in four years. That is no mean feat. We celebrate that if it holds.
Budgets we are constantly told reveal a people’s or nation’s priorities—essentially what is vital to them and what is not so important or even detested. What’s been on the table in these discussions or in the upcoming Congressional votes nearly without exception look to Federal spending cuts where individual human beings are taking the hits and not our fellow corporate citizens in the Fortune 500 and any other global corporations that are on the verge of achieving even citizenship in relation to religious feelings and beliefs is under consideration by the Supreme Court. There liability to taxes is left entirely or almost entirely alone.
The Corporate American does not have to pay any taxes or taxes at such low levels as to be insignificant. Worse still, our fellow Corporate Americans are in such dire need that it is essential in our Federal Budgets to even grant them subsidies so they may live a more fully realized life and show they are healthy and not needing Obamacare or Medicare or Medicaid by the healthy profits they are bringing into themselves as food, sustenance, and growth if they are a youthful corporate American.
The budget deal now under consideration for a vote, does not touch the some $44 Billion in spending for the poor and vulnerable oil drilling and refining companies in the form of subsidies to encourage growth and more drilling for these people—yes people since our Federal Courts by law consider them so. The large tax loopholes that Corporate Americans take on their tax returns give them more help so they don’t wither and die.
There are huge Federal subsidies for corporate agriculture as opposed to true small farm families with less acreage and real families living on the property and owning that property. Cargill and wealthy Americans who are humans but receive corporate agricultural returns for these subsidies are protected.
Some $400 Billion in corporate welfare is given to ensure our corporate Americans are in good shape and safe and healthy. Our budgets for many years now show that these citizens are our most important, and they have all the rights that the rest of us have and that those corporate citizen rights are more important in terms of our priorities as a people and nation when looking at the Federal Budget. Oh, and we especially like corporate citizens who can kill with great power and efficiency to help defend us against enemies we have not even thought of yet.
By contrast, real human beings have seen their Food Stamps under the SNAP program cut significantly. Our human leaders want to prioritize cuts in entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. These programs, particularly the second or latter one do need to be more efficient. But deep cuts now will hurt people. The elderly need every single dime of what they DO get in Social Security, both avoided being cut in the deal. But it is always on the table in any budget. Federal workers—millions of them including our soldiers, have previously taken pay cuts and pay freezes. At least there is a proposal for the military to have a pay increase for military families. But millions of others work in essential Federal jobs too. They are way behind where they ought to be. Yet, the proposal is to cut their pensions too. Must be that mean terrible Park Ranger at the World War II Memorial who had the gall to do her job. How terrible.
The deal cuts unemployment insurance payments from Uncle Sam after twenty-six weeks. The long-term unemployed, some 1.3 million human American citizens will be cut off from this modest aid, about half their usual earnings, just three days after Christmas. Not one single corporate American citizen will feel these cuts as it has yet to be shown corporate American citizens feel anything. In fact, the way they shed thousands of jobs every six to eight years or so indicates they are numb to ethical behavior and compassion for their human counterparts.
There will be tax or revenue increases in this budget but it is going to be in terms of things human beings interact with. For example, Federal fees to maintain the TSA and FAA and the air transport system are going to be raised and one of the really cool things corporate Americans can do is pass those costs in terms of air fares on to the rest of us who are mere mortal humans.
I have yet to see an entire corporate American get on an airplane—even the largest in the world. I have yet to talk with Mr. BP even though I have seen a lot of his employees running about the Gulf pretending they are now drilling safely and other fairy tales.
I really would like to go to the Bahamas on the sly with Miss Coca-Cola. Please don’t tell my wife. Perhaps she would allow me the original formula where cocaine was prominent. Gosh, maybe that is why all those humans came to try her pharmacy sodas in Atlanta back when she was so young. There are so many corporate Americans I have tried to shake hands with in peace. I’ve tried to converse in human terms and look for them in the news or anywhere I can. But I always end up with their human representatives and not the corporate American citizen itself or himself or herself. No one is really sure how to get past the mortal human employees of these American Corporate Citizens to the citizens themselves.
But it will not be hard this winter to find homeless human American citizens on the streets in the cold. No trouble finding families whose SNAP cuts are so harmful that they flock to food banks and find those places are running out of food. They used to pay a little more but the cuts now have put extra pressure on non-corporate organizations that supply food to the needy.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is that in practical—totally pragmatic terms, we human American Citizens ought to be able to become global corporate, Fortune 500 size corporate citizens instead of mere mortals with blood in our veins that bleeds if we are hurt or bones and ligaments and sinews and common flesh. It’s time to assert our rights to be treated equally under the law as multinational corporate Americans are treated, even if for such a brief time as five, six, or seven and a little more decades.
For the Federal Budget for many years says that corporate Americans are by far more important than the rest of us. Something to think on very carefully the next time you elect a human American leader to decide how corporate Americans are treated relative to live human ones.
Dr. Thomas Martin Sobottke
for Struggles for Justice