USA not broke. Stupid maybe, but not broke.
Unnecessary Austerity, Unnecessary Shutdown
By Chuck Collins, Alison Goldberg, Scott Klinger, Sam Pizzigati
Reversing tax giveaways to the super-rich and the nation's largest corporations could raise $4 trillion within a decade and avert possible government closures.
Or so claim governors and lawmakers all over the country. Our states and our nation can no longer afford, their plaint goes, the programs and services that Americans expect government to provide. We must do with less. We need "austerity."
But we're not broke. Not even close. The United States of America is awash in wealth. Our corporations are holding record trillions in cash. And overall individual wealth in the United States, the Credit Suisse Research Institute reported this past fall, has risen 23 percent since the year 2000, to $236,213 per American adult.
We have, these indicators of overall wealth suggest, survived the Great Recession quite nicely. So how can average families — and the national, state, and local governments that exist to serve them — be doing so poorly? Why do "deficits" dominate our political discourse? What explains the red-ink hurricane now pounding government budgets at every level?