My siblings and I spent most of our childhood trying to out maneuver mama for money, bargaining groundings and avoiding daily chores. Political discourse in American maneuvers through high unemployment rates with arguments that would never have worked when we were kids.
The current political strategy to maneuver around mom or dad America by demanding sustained tax cuts or arguing only job creators earning a million dollars a year can help the economy is just not a sustainable argument. Negotiating with mama meant proving, through our actions that enhanced allowance or extended curfew we wished to extend would benefit our family or neighbors, enhance our summer learning curve, or offer mom a few hours of peace or happiness. Denying our right to make a decent living, put food on our tables, have health care and save a little money for a rainy day is not a lot to ask in order to increase the pride of our nation. Funding pork projects without a healthy dose of vegetables, or blaming all of the country’s financial woes on illegal immigration would never have budged even a nickel from mother’s pocket.
My parents were not going to give any of my seven siblings even a 25 cent increase in our debt limit without revenue options or barter. We wanted to negotiate for a higher allowance to buy Mallow Cups, x-ray vision glasses or disappearing coin tricks and came to the table with proof of increased chore quality and output. Only these efforts built bargaining power. In the past four years, the top 1 percent of American’s paid fewer taxes while telling us their additional income provided funding for business growth and job creation. With billions in lost tax revenue and little job creation, they have not made their case. A display of such greed and selfishness would have resulted in a swift kick in the pants by my dad. Dumping a plethora of “shoe shine work” in the form of retail and grocery baggers is dishonest and disrespectful. With Bush era tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earning 1,000,000 a year or more, due to expire in 2012, the additional tax revenue could create a fiscally sound America.
If we had attempted to delay negotiations by dodging the issues, blaming our siblings, selling out the indefensible, or this case, benefits for the poor, and disabled, our curfews would still be 9pm at 20 years old. Without offering any tangible evidence for results, investments of time, money, or skill, how can our House of Representatives possibly enact laws to help jump-start employment opportunities, increase consumer spending or manage our debt without new revenues.
Financiers, bailed out by the federal government advertised hundreds of refi options for consumers in need. They charged fees upon fees for paperwork and credit reports, took the working poor’s money and refused the refi options, crying “too much risk”. Our tax dollars did not consider bankrupt, too-big-to-fail businesses as “too great a risk” when we gave them “good faith” assistance. Growing up, not sharing, or cheating your sibling out of the last cookie by licking it was so dishonorable that mother snatched you out of your seat and sent you to your room so fast that no negotiation options were available.
Our dad taught us to negotiate, barter and work off our debt so that we could learn to create freedom through ingenuity. Political discourse on solutions to rebuild America must include up-front financial investment, compromise and win-win negotiations with all sides of our political democracy to end apathy unemployment and economic ruin.