Are we being played?

Life as we know it has been upended by a wearying pandemic, supply interruptions, labor shortages, violence, tax cuts for the wealthy, a debt ceiling raised three times during the previous administration, rising prices, inflation.

President Biden has been working to dig us out with the 2021 historic, bipartisan, largest infrastructure bill in nearly a century, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, to be paid for by enforcing tax rules for those who cheat. The legislation will provide 2 million new, good jobs per year, repair of hundreds of thousands of miles of roads and bridges and much more, a long-term investment in ourselves, ordinary people.

Passed by Congress, now in the Senate, the Build Back Better Act will ease long-term inflationary pressures and costs for ordinary Americans, according to 17 Nobel prize winning economists and leading rating agencies on Wall Street. BBB will address climate change, reduce health care premiums and cost of medications, and reorient our national investment away from the wealthy few, the elite enslavers, and toward ordinary men as Lincoln insisted in 1859.

The nonpartisan think tank Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) released a report that indicates BBB will cut taxes for nearly all households. Eighty percent would save $700 to $800 per year in taxes; and 20% to 30% of middle-income households would pay $100 less in taxes. The top 1%, earning $885,000 or more, will pay an extra $55,000 — their fair share, like everyone else.

Inflation is worldwide and much more complicated than the price at U.S. gas pumps; it's not within the power of any president to control. The American economy is being played by a few corporate giants. Corporate consolidation has reduced competition. Just two or three companies with a sort of monopoly on the market for a specific line of products like diapers, for example, can work together and coordinate high prices, fatter profits with no need to compete with reduced prices. Investing in the stock market is a good way to deal with inflation, if one has enough wealth. It’s an easy way to make money, if one already has money. It’s difficult to pull oneself up by bootstraps and create financial comfort legally, when one has little money or education.

CAROL NOCHAJSKI, Wilson

 

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