06 February 2009

Casting Light on Cockroaches

Okay. You are one of the persons in charge of Our government's (hahaha) economic policy (hahahaha) (Sorry. I'm not laughing at you...) and you have three basic choices:

1) Leave taxes as they are.

2) Raise taxes.

3) Cut taxes.

Let Me add some very simple Truths:

---Tax revenue has fallen short of all projections--even the worst case scenarios--since the implementation of the 7% sales tax three years ago. Now part of that shortfall can be laid at the feet of a global recession, but the numbers are woeful anyway.

---Real income in Puerto Rico is anywhere from 6% to 19% lower than it was in 2000. Bottom line: We each have less money to do everything than We did nine years ago.

---Tax studies from around the world have shown that raising taxes in a weak economy is like jackhammering a stopwatch: It pretty much ruins the whole thing.

So, given these simple premises, what do you choose to do? Right. Cut taxes. It makes a ton of sense simply because it make a ton of sense. But of course, sense and government parted ways back in Paine's day. (That's Thomas Paine, you statehooders, not Sila.) So Our crap-for-cerebrum excuse for (non)government-in-hiding is looking real hard at options 1 and 2 above for one reason only: to keep their (non)government intact.

What I'm saying is that Our elected leaders are looking at the current economic crisis as an "Us versus Them" deal, with "Us" being all the walking bags of cheap fertilizer that represent some 24% of Our total workforce and "Them" being you and I. Yup, they're looking to protect their own and leave you and Me as the subsidizing suckers.

That Our (non)government represents 24% of Our workforce is humiliating and obscene. That this same (non)government is acting with the brilliant insight and decisive action of a dead turtle is also humiliating and obscene. But to let them continue this fiscal attack on Our pocketbooks to keep themselves comfy is beyond humiliating and obscene, it is criminal.

And We are the aiders and abetters of this crime.

We, as a society, don't understand how fragile the power the government has really is. It rests on the basic premise that We allow them to do certain things, and that only so long as We allow thngs to happen, they will continue. And no, it doesn't require massive protests or marches or firing weapons to make the government stop what it's doing, it simply requires that We pay attention and cast light on what they are trying to do. Just as light scatters cockroaches, so does light scatter the cockroach asses We call politicians.

And who casts the light? We, as citizens. The media. Corporations. Non-profits. Opposition party members. (An aside: That was the role the Independence Party had until they joined the greed-grabfest the two major parties had long indulged in. And it's the role the PPR should have had if its leader had had more than a half-teaspoon of brains.) In short, Us.

A nation cannot be run for long on an "Us vs. Them" mentality, but it can never make any real progress when the "Us vs. Them" is defined by the elected leaders. "Them" work for "Us." Any other arrangement ceases to be democracy and becomes a rule by cretins... as We have shown for too long.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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