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Stop Saying America is Broke

How can the wealthiest nation in the world be broke? Our $14 trillion debt doesn't mean we're broke, it simply means we have severely misplaced our priorities.

For over a century, America has been the wealthiest nation on earth and yet I keep hearing folks talk about how broke we are. I expect this from my Republican friends but even Democrats are starting to parrot this absurd notion. It's become quite popular to point to our bloated national debt and cry poverty. There are even those who say we should deny aid to starving children around the globe because we're just too darn broke.

Well I hate to be a party pooper but our $14 trillion debt doesn't mean we're broke, it simply means we have severely misplaced our priorities. We're so broke that over the last three weeks we've spent over $100 million going to see "The Smurfs" movie, and that's not counting all those over priced concessions. A recent report from 24/7 Wall St. concluded that Americans spend about 15 percent of their household incomes on things to satisfy their vices or to keep themselves amused. The “average” American household which has an income of $63,000 spends more than $8,000 on goods and services it does not actually need. We spend $45 billion a year on our pets while half the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day.

But average Americans are far from the biggest spendthrifts. Sales of luxury goods are zooming. Acccording to the New York Times, "Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin 'Bianca' platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years."

This isn't to say we have no poverty in America. Shamefully we do. Unemployment remains disgracefully high despite record corporate profits and the gap between rich and poor in our nation has never been greater. But these are self imposed conditions. Unbalanced economic, trade, and tax policies have concentrated our wealth in the hands of a few powerful special interests.  As of 2007, the top 1 percent of American households owned 35 percent of all privately held wealth and the top 20 percent of the people owned a remarkable 85 percent. That concentration of wealth is no doubt even greater today.

And yet those of us feasting off the leftovers still lead incredibly wasteful lifestyles while continuing to pile up massive debts. It's time we acknowledged the fact that the first step towards solvency isn't cutting programs that help the poor, take care of our seniors, or bolster the middle class. Our first priority should be raising taxes, especially on those who can afford it the most. We aren't being taxed more and more, we've been taxed less and less, and that's why our debt has ballooned to unsustainable proportions. America broke? Who's fooling who?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

lee kellogg August 26, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Two anonymous internet posters, one who uses the National Weather Service on his web site, while whining about taxes, and who can't read: I wasn't the one who called the Weather Channel liberal. Another poster, Mr. Orr, honors 17th Century political and economic philosophy, but he uses his name. You may be very versed, but you are also very close to making a threat. You have stated you are in favor, during the worst economic crisis since the Depression; Herbert Hoover, Republican extraordinary, of abandoning American factory workers. Those women and men work as hard, at least, as you do, and are consumers; citizens we need right now. As are government workers, who you also can't abide in your "every man for himself" screeds. Again, what is it they teach in the elite private school that they don't in public school, which at least in Norcross are very good. Could it be so called , intelligent design?
North Georgia Weather August 26, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Mr. Kellogg, I'm not anonymous, do a search on Patch and you'll find out who I'm. I post under a name that will promote my website, that's all. I'll be happy to meet you in person if you so desire. Then you can say all of your hateful trash to my face. I look forward to it. I read very well also. I didn't say you called the Weather Channel liberal, I said don't get me started on the Weather Channel, I think it's you that can't read. And did you hear me complain about taxes? Certainly not in any post I made to you.
TheLaw August 26, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond Mr. Kellogg. I was too busy laughing at what your definition of a threat is. Now that I am over that, I noticed that you failed to reply with any proof to back up your statements, or any quotes of where I said I didn't want to pay taxes, etc.. I'll patiently wait for you to respond with some data and facts that back your statements or debunk the items we have discussed here. Until then, here is an article you can practice your reading skills on. Since you are so worried about the American worker, let's take a look at Illinois. The state was on an upward trend for private employment of American workers until Jan 2011, and suddenly, the employment rate took a sharp dip downward and continues to fall. What caused this you may ask - well the state announced plans to increase the personal income tax rate by 67% and the corporate rate by 46%. Quoting from the article now - "Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July." So let's see - raise taxes to increase revenue right? That will fix the problems we are in as a country and that surely will get more American's back to work, right? Apparently, the FACTS and DATA prove otherwise.
TheLaw August 26, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Here is the link to the article - you know, a source of where the data comes from Mr. Kellogg - http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/24/illinois-loses-most-jobs-in-nation-following-massive-tax-increase/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoundryConservativePolicyNews+%28The+Foundry%3A+Conservative+Policy+News.%29
horsesense January 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM
"Stop Saying America is Broke" The United States is broke!!!!

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