Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Polly Toynbee
isn't buying it. I'm glad someone isn't:

"This era in British politics has been not unlike Johnson's construction of the Great Society, with huge new social programmes rolled out in the biggest public-spending programme of our political lifetime. With much of the same optimism and endeavour of early 1960s America, Labour came to power in 1997 determined to tackle poverty, social exclusion and unemployment. Health and education spending are leaping up to meet the EU average for the first time. Poverty abolition is on target to meet its quarter-way mark by 2005 - 1.1 million fewer poor children. Most of Labour's ideas, energy and funding has gone to programmes concerned with social justice. We can argue round the edges about whether choice is the wrong way, more tax could be raised or more could be done faster, but the spending facts speak for themselves: this is a successful social democracy.

Now compare that to the devastation George Bush and his neo-conservative ideologues are wreaking upon America. The last vestiges of the Great Society programmes are in the process of being dismantled, if the White House gets its way. Programmes that survived the depredations of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr are falling under the Bush Jnr axe. The axe is the natural result of the phenomenal tax cuts of the past three years - $1.3 trillion in 2001, $96bn in 2002 and $330bn this year.

Nearly half of the main tax cut went straight into the pockets of the richest 1% of Americans. The Bush plutocracy is led by a cabinet whose wealth is 10 times that of Bill Clinton's. Now they plan to abolish inheritance tax - which only the top 2% pay - and capital gains taxes. Cuts in federal social programmes are an ideological as well as a financial twin to tax cuts. The neo-conservatives are on an ideological crusade to slash and burn big government in Washington, whatever it takes, shredding taxes and social programmes as they go: the wild right mindset of the militias has seized the citadel."

Funny how George is the most vocal advocate for global democracy, and yet he is quietly dismantling many of the key structures of the greatest social democracy in the world.
Posted at 9:08 AM by John.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

eXTReMe Tracker