Our enslaved minds are responsible for our current state. The Supreme Court intends to be a 6-person autocracy as it is doing with student loan debt relief. Saving Social Security is not difficult.
Our enslaved minds
Breaking out of an enslaved mind.
This morning as I perused my different social media, I came across a story that has so many meanings as it explains the current state that we are in today.
A girl went to her class really happy. The professor of that class has always been nice and showed much concern for all of the students.
On this particular day, the professor was in a bad mood. He put all the desks in a circle around his desk which had a fishbowl with a goldfish in it. He shouted to them as he never had before, that anyone who spoke or got up from their chairs would immediately fail the class.
He took the goldfish out of the fishbowl and left the class. Everyone looked at each other and did nothing. One brave young woman got up and said, screw this and save the fish.
The professor returned with a simple comment. What have you allowed the system to do to you?
This explains how we have allowed our wealthy minority to rule us or build their wealth on our intellect, work, and service as we are given a pittance.
Student Loan forgiveness on the line.
The Supreme Court has turned into a 6-person autocracy that is there to protect the wealthy and the wants of corporations. It is now the arm of the Republican and Neoliberal minority. I have written several articles detailing how Republican and Neoliberal policies would remain because of the powers that be concentrated in the non-democratic branch of our government, the courts.
The Supreme Court seems to be on the path to blocking President Bidens legal right given to him by congressional statute to provide relief to students. The New York Times reported the following.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed deeply skeptical on Tuesday of the legality of the Biden administration’s plan to wipe out more than $400 billion in student debt, heightening the prospect that the justices would thwart efforts to forgive the loans of tens of millions of borrowers.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. indicated that the administration had acted without sufficiently explicit congressional authorization to undertake one of the most ambitious and expensive executive actions in the nation’s history, violating separation-of-powers principles.
“I think most casual observers would say,” the chief justice said, that “if you’re going to give up that much amount of money, if you’re going to affect the obligations of that many Americans on a subject that’s of great controversy, they would think that’s something for Congress to act on.”
The court’s three liberal members said Congress had already acted, by passing a law in 2003 that authorized the secretary of education to address emergencies.
“Congress could not have made this much more clear,” Justice Elena Kagan said, adding: “We deal with congressional statutes every day that are really confusing. This one is not.”
By the end of about three and a half hours of arguments in two separate cases, the court’s conservative majority seemed likely to dash the hopes of the 26 million borrowers who have already applied for loan relief, including millions who have received approval. If the administration is to prevail, it would probably be on the ground that none of the plaintiffs in the two cases had established standing to sue, but that outcome did not seem likely, either.
How comes there is never a complaint when our government bails out corporations with our tax dollars? We have no problem helping Ukraine and other Western countries when they are in dire straits. They don’t pay U.S. taxes, but we do it because, often times it is the responsible thing to do.
The Conservative justices are moving out of their lanes. When they say it is not fair to those who did not take our loan, those who could not get loans, or those who found some manner to go without loans at all, they miss the point. It is not in their purpose to discern that. Congress gave the president the authority to do it. And if there is any doubt, most in Congress polled support the President’s action.
The easy solution to Social Security
A recent article by Richard Eskow was on point. The article’s title and subtitle say it all, “A Simple Choice: Social Security or Billionaire Greed: Any politician who expresses concern about Social Security’s finances without being willing to tax the rich is a phony. Nothing but a phony.”
Like they used to say in the old neighborhood, some things ain’t complicated. If your senator or representative won’t tax the wealthy to protect and expand Social Security, then they care more about America’s 728 billionaires than they do about the 66 million children, disabled, and older people currently receiving benefits—or the many millions that will follow them. They don’t deserve to stay in office if they can’t represent their own people.
Social Security is a vast, highly successful program. That makes it sound complicated. It’s not. It was built on simple moral and operational principles. Among them was universality, the idea that the program should include everyone, and the notion that everyone should pay their fair share. Unfortunately, the millionaires and billionaires plundering the economy aren’t pitching in the way they should.
That makes the choice for our elected officials simple, too: Are you going to make the wealthy step up or are you going to hide behind word-salad speeches and sleight-of-hand legislation? One thing is clear: any politician who expresses concern about Social Security’s finances without being willing to tax the rich is a phony. Nothing but a phony.
We’re looking at you, Mitt Romney.
The commission that worked on Social Security’s finances in the 1980s raised the cap on the Social Security payroll tax, with the expectation that it would capture 90 percent of the income earned in this country. As Linda Benesch notes, however, rising income inequality has caused that number to plummet. As of February 28, 2023, a person making a million dollars per year has finished paying into Social Security for the year. (I calculated that figure for Jeff Bezos once; he was done paying his “fair share” about 28 seconds after the New Year’s Eve ball dropped in Times Square!) Moreover, wealthy people earn the lion’s share of their income from non-payroll sources like investments and business revenue. That isn’t taxed for Social Security at all.
Unenslaving our minds now, removing our mental chains would give us the ability to elect those who would create the correct taxing policies that are fair to all of us.
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