What American Politics Tells Us We Need Is Not What The People Actually Want

Image: CNN

The U.S. government and mainstream media have been telling us, for a while now, what we, as Americans, need and what we can/cannot afford to do.

The government is supposed to represent the will of the people, so let’s see what the government has been telling us and if it’s in line with what the people actually want.

What They Tell Us We Should Want/Need:

  • An increased military budget by giving the Pentagon $1 trillion a year
  • A Space Force
  • Intervention in Venezuela
  • Lowered taxes for the rich
  • Permanent occupation in the Middle East

Back in 2016, our military spending was at a whopping $611 billion keeping us at the top of the list for military expenditure. That’s over three times the amount spent by China, which ranked in at second place.

In fact, most of the countries on this list happen to be our allies.

Now in 2019, our military budget is higher than at any other time other than during the height of the Iraq war. In an act of bipartisanship between both parties, the Senate passed a bill that increased the budget by $100 billion.

Image: Politico

We’ve increased our military budget by $100 billion in a vote of 87–10 in the Senate and 359–54 in the House. Aren’t these the same politicians that claim Trump is an unstable, authoritarian madman? Yet, a majority of them voted to increase his military budget…

How necessary is this increase to our defense budget? We’ve permanently occupied the Middle East with no clear end in sight adding to instability in the region.

And, another fair question, who is our military really protecting when most Americans can’t afford to pay their own medical bills and are working for poverty wages? Should we not be tackling issues inside of our country at the same level that we are tackling ‘perceived outside threats’?

Meanwhile, our country is in the middle of backing a coup in Venezuela. The American media has been spouting the establishment narrative that overthrowing Maduro is all about spreading freedom & democracy.

However, if that were the case, why is Saudia Arabia one of our biggest allies? Saudia Arabia is awful on human rights and is one of the most brutal regimes as they apply Sharia as its national law. Saudi Arabia has also committed dozens of international humanitarian law violations in Yemen, killing thousands of civilians.

Take a look at the video above of Donald Trump talking about intervention in Libya. You see, one of the best things about Trump is that he’s so stupid that he often blurts out the truth without even realizing it.

Trump openly says, “We would have been a rich nation again. They have tremendous oil reserves in Libya

Venezuela also happens to have the largest oil reserves in the world. The idea that we’re doing this for a humanitarian cause is laughable.

All of this spending on the military, spreading of American imperialism, and providing tax cuts for the rich is perfectly ok with our politicians.

However, let’s see the things that are not ok/realistic.

What They Tell Us We Can’t Have:

  • Universal Healthcare
  • Reduction in the use of fossil fuels
  • Increased taxes on the obscenely wealthy
  • Higher minimum wage

We always seem to have money when it comes to increasing the military budget, but we never seem to have money when it comes to funding vital public programs.

So what’s the common theme? Are any of the things that are approved by our politcians beneficial toward the average American? Nope.

But it is beneficial toward the elite who profit off of war, private health insurance, pollution, and abysmal tax rates.

Washington is in a bubble. Our representatives have been coerced by so much donor money and are so out-of-touch with the average American that they couldn’t understand our needs if they tried.

The saddest part is that this isn’t just the Republicans. There is a serious problem with BOTH parties.

Everyone loves to throw around the word ‘bipartisan’ and make it seem like all we need is some good ol’ fashioned middle ground agreements to get the ball rolling.

That’s simply not the case since both parties seem to be in agreement with an increased military budget, never-ending wars, and denying the American people basic things that would improve our standard of living.

In the meantime, the American media hasn’t been representing the will of the people and has instead been representing the government’s vision of the world.

The U.S. media is supposed to be a watchdog to the government and speak out against the corruption of power. They are not supposed to be parrots for those in power.

The job of the media is to be adverserial to the government and to corporations. The American people have entrusted the media to stand up against the elites. But, our desires aren’t being heard. We’re constantly being propagandized against our best interests as well.

So, what do Americans actually want?

What Americans Want

Universal Healthcare

Around 70% of Americans currently support Medicare-for-all.

America happens to be the only major industrialized nation without a single payer healthcare system in place. Our current system is a multi-payer model that is as complicated as it gets with pharmaceutical companies and insurance middlemen making big money off of us.

In 2010, Obama signed the Affordable Care Act that insured 20 million more Americans.

Before the Affordable Care Act, medical debt was estimated to be the number one cause of bankruptcy. Under the Affordable Care Act filings for bankruptcy dropped about 50 percent, from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016.

However, that didn’t eliminate the problem altogether.

Back in June 2018, a woman tweeted about a horrific incident that occurred while she was waiting for the train.

The woman continued to explain that she had terrible insurance and she couldn’t afford the trip in the ambulance. A woman refused to go to the hospital in an ambulance while her leg skin was coming off because of how EXPENSIVE it would be!

Under a single payer system healthcare would be provided to everyone with the costs spread across the population. Healthcare would also no longer be tied to employment, which would be a huge relief for many Americans.

Under our current system, Americans are paying higher costs than any other industrialized nation for administrative and pharmaceutical costs.

A national health insurance program could save approximately $150 billion on paperwork alone.

Overall, we would save between $2 — $5 trillion dollars over a decade. Under our current system we would be paying more without all Americans being covered.

It’s no longer just a moral argument, it’s also just a more economically feasible one.

But, I guess it is pretty hard for the government to provide healthcare for all when you’re busy using tax payer money to bomb and intervene in the Middle East.

Investing in Infrastructure

Image: https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org

What’s included in the infrastructure? Airports, bridges, drinking water, energy, and hazardous wastes. Even Trump has spoken out about our infrastructure by calling La Guardia airport’s conditions “third world.”

America’s current infrastructure grade is a D+
Womp womp…

Aren’t we one of the richest countries in the world? Why is our infrastructure crumbling?

75% of Americans back more infrastructure spending. By rebuilding our infrastructure we would be investing in our country and providing Americans with jobs.

Investing in Alternative Energy

Image: www.consumerreports.org

According to Consumer Reports:

  • Eighty-one percent agree that reducing pollution from power plants is a worthwhile goal.
  • Seventy-six percent agree that increasing renewable energy is a worthwhile goal.
  • Seventy percent agree that they expect electricity to become cleaner over time.

As you can see, renewable energy is a wildly popular idea amongst the public. Americans are in favor of protecting the environment & not the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

Campaign Finance Reform

One of the biggest problems in our system is the money in politics.

Congress continuously looks out for the special interests, corporations and the billionaires that donate to them.

This is one of the main reasons that ordinary Americans like you and me almost never ever get what we want! The Supreme Court ruled that money = speech so the legislation that is being passed is in favor of those who can afford to get their voices heard.

Currently, 77% of the public says “there should be limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations” can spend on political campaigns.

There is also a collective agreement between Republicans and Democrats on overturning the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United. 66 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats — back a constitutional amendment outlawing Citizens United.

Regulating Wall Street

Big banks have no love from the American people.

58% of Americans support “[breaking] up big banks like Citigroup” including 71% support from Democrats and 51% support from Republicans.

If we could afford to give Wall Street trillions of dollars in bailout money with taxpayer funds after they crashed the economy, we could afford to invest in things that the people actually want.

Raising the minimum wage

Sixty-three percent of Americans currently support raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

Americans have been working harder than ever, with productivity levels increasing, while wages have remained stagnant since the 1980s. We as taxpayers end up subsidizing these low wage employees, that work for multibillion dollar corporations, because they can’t afford to live.

Why Can’t We Have What We Want?

So why aren’t these the issues that the mainstream media is focused on and why are many of the candidates running for a 2020 election not focused on these key political issues?

The corporate takeover of America is real. Our politicians are beholden to their donors who throw heaps of campaign money their way. Political bribery is at the heart of the issue here.

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

So where is the American government’s priorities? As you can see, the priorities of the economic elites, corporations and military industrial complex far outweigh the wants, needs, and desires of the American people.

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Writer. New Yorker living in Los Angeles. Political News Junkie. Progressive. Book Fanatic.

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