Archive for the ‘condifence’ Tag

How to Spend a Trillion Dollars

Our nation needs a more extensive health care system, one that provides medical assistance to everyone, not just to those who have money or insurance. But, critics say, we cannot afford such a system. The Institute of Medicine projects that universal healthcare would cost $70 billion a year. Over ten years that totals $700 billion dollars.

There was no political will to invest $700 billion in universal health care.

But now an epidemic has swept down Wall Street. Large wealthy companies are suffering from an economic disease for which there is no insurance. What to do?

Experts tell us it will take $700 billion dollars to treat these patients. And suddenly the very people—national leaders, no less—who have been telling us that the American system can not afford such a massive government subsidy are crying for governmental help.

The President of the United States took to the airwaves to plead for help for his friends on Wall Street. “There has been a wide-spread loss of confidence,” he said. He meant, of course, a loss of confidence in the markets. But I suspect there has been a far greater loss of confidence in those people—like the President—who lead the nation and manage the markets.

It is not the markets that have mis-behaved, it is the marketers!

The very people who have resisted corporate taxes are now coming to Uncle Sam with their hand out, asking for $700 billion dollars of tax money. Many claim the tab will be closer to one trillion dollars.

What else could we do with a trillion dollars?

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it would cost $1.6 trillion dollars over ten years to rebuild the infrastructure of the country: bridges, canals, railroads, highways, airports, sewers, dams, sea walls, water lines, and power grids. The collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, the destruction of New Orleans and Galveston, and the dramatic need to be energy independent all illustrate the urgency of this situation.

The AFL-CIO estimates that every billion spent on rebuilding the infrastructure would create 42,000 jobs. People with jobs buy houses, make mortgage payments, and pay taxes.

But instead of investing a trillion dollars in the common welfare—providing universal health care or rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure—our leaders want to help their friends on Wall Street.

When the emergency is all over, the executives in New York will resume their $100 million dollar salaries while 50 million common people live without health insurance and the crumbling infrastructure of the nation threatens the welfare of the citizens.