The stock market is healthy, having closed over 13,000 for weeks now, and investors are seeing a return once again on their investments (Case in point: Apple pays dividends for the fist time in 17 years.) Manufacturing is thriving and federal incentives to return outsourced jobs to the U.S. are looking promising. Unemployment is at 8.3%, down from 9.5% this time last year, and a number of industries in the country are thriving. All of this is happening despite a Eurozone on life support, record low public faith in our congress, and a summer-time downgrade of the U.S. credit rating (both the result of a summer-time attempt by the Republican Party to choke out the democratic process).
The new Ryan budget, in the words of economist and writer Paul Krugman, are “fraudulent” and “pink slime” (though Krugman admits that pink slime has some nutritional value while Ryan’s budget does not). The (now) House budget proposal depends on two very important truths, both of which are more fantasy than reality.
1) That by closing tax loopholes the government can save trillions of dollars in lost revenue. Those tax loopholes, which supposedly exist in multitudes within our Gordian Knot of present tax codes, will need to generate $700 billion a year in order for the House budget to hold water. That’s a lot of loopholes. Unfortunately, Ryan’s budget doesn’t specifically name a single one. There are two reasons for this. Most of the largest tax loopholes (where the most federal revenue stands to be saved) are within the corporate tax code, a bit of corporate welfare that the budget wants to actually protect. The second is that if he started naming some actual loopholes, he’d have to provide all of them, and there aren’t enough to generate an extra $700 billion a year. Lack of specificity is a political lubricant, and this is what makes his budget “fraudulent”.
When we do this, I think it’s important—one of the most important things we do. Boycotting has been shown to be one of the best forms of activism, especially when it results in a net profit loss to businesses. If they don’t give a damn about what you say or think, they’ll sure give one when they start losing your money!