The Worker (Update), November 20, 2014
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
U.S. Imperialism Targets Iraq's Public Treasury
According to U.S. officials, the U.S.-Iraq alliance is continuing to lose the war against its self-proclaimed enemies in Iraq.
As a result the Obama administration is requesting that Congress approve $1.6 billion dollars to set up an Iraq “Train-and-Equip” fund.
The U.S. Department of Defense is also planning to exact hundreds of millions of dollars in tribute from the Iraqi people in exchange for U.S. “protection.”
According to a November 13 statement by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, “Iraq and coalition partners” must provide “at least $600 million of their own contributions” to the fund, “because the Iraqi government must invest in its own security and its own future.”
Slashing Social Investments
While the capitalists are increasing exploitation at the point of production, the government is further attacking the workers by slashing social programs. This strips away the few standards gained by the workers over decades and undermines the minimal “social wage” which helps create a floor protecting the price of labor-power and raising the general standard of living.
The gutting of this social wage increases the competition amongst workers and enables the capitalists to take advantage of the situation to increase the exploitation of the workers all along the line.
Thus, for several years now, government at all levels has been eliminating and cutting funds for welfare, Supplemental Security Income for the elderly and disabled, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, public housing, etc., etc.
The results can be seen in the fact that 40% of our country’s senior citizens live below the official government poverty line, that 40% of urban children suffer malnutrition and live in poverty and hunger, that close to 50 million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever, that millions of families are homeless or live in seriously substandard housing, that nearly 2/3 of our public schools require an immediate investment of more than $150 billion just to bring them up to a minimum level of safety, etc., etc.
The inhumanity of a social system which imposes such conditions on the people is only magnified when one remembers that the government never stops boasting that the “U.S. is the richest country in the world.” Indeed, everyone knows that our country has at its disposal far more than enough wealth to guarantee all the fundamental economic rights of the people. A worker need only look at the taxes taken from her/his paycheck to know that the public treasury can more than afford to make the needed social investments to guarantee these rights.
No the issue is not a lack of resources. The issue is, “Whose claims are recognized?”
Even as the government has slashed social investments, it has taken huge sums out of the public treasury in order to fatten the profits of the monopoly capitalists. During the decade of the 1990’s, for example, more than $3 trillion of taxpayers monies went to the big bankers as interest on the debt; another $3 trillion went to the Pentagon arms merchants. Trillions more were given to the capitalists in the form of fat contracts, research and development grants, infrastructure investments, etc. Despite all the “free market” propaganda decrying “big government,” the monopolies rely on the state to help them rob the wealth of our country. In particular, the government’s fiscal policy – its vast power to tax and spend – has become a method for further redistributing the wealth of our country in favor of the monopoly capitalists. While the workers foot 75% of the yearly tax bill, the capitalist politicians never fail to prove their “fiscal responsibility” by paying interest to the bankers, by cutting corporate taxes, and “balancing the budget” through cuts in social programs.
In other words, the political economy of the Democratic and Republican parties insists that the task of government is to fulfill the claims which the capitalists make on the economy. As for the workers and people they have no claims on the country’s yearly social product, no claims on the public treasury. In sum, the people have no rights by virtue of their humanity and the government has no responsibility for the well-being of the people.