Stop the Thief!

October 14, 2003

Public schools in working class communities are overcrowded and falling down but the government says it has "no money" to properly fund them. Our mothers and fathers are going without needed medicine because the government says it has "no money" to pay for prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. Millions of children are growing up in poverty and malnourished but the government has "no money" to guarantee income-support for the most vulnerable and needy in our country.

Yet all a worker has to do is look at the taxes taken out of her/his paycheck every week to know that the politicians' refrain about "no money" is just another big lie. (While workers pay about $1 trillion/year in income taxes or nearly 75% of all federal taxes, corporations pay less than 15% of the total bill or less than 1/6 the amount paid by the workers).

It is time to say: "Stop, Thief!" To George Bush and all the Washington politicians who keep helping the rich rob the public treasury and ruin the economy of our country.

Over the next 10 years, the government is planning to run up another $5 trillion deficit by slashing taxes on the corporations and the very wealthy even while turning the public treasury over to the Pentagon arms merchants, the Wall Street bankers and other capitalist billionaires. For example, in fiscal 2004, the government will spend $560 billion on the military (and $3 trillion over the next 6 years). Yet only $154 billion is allocated next year for education, public health, housing, and employment services combined.

In sum, the government arbitrarily uses the power of taxation to further redistribute the wealth of the country, extorting money out of workers' wages and turning it over to the capitalists.

Today, as the crisis of capitalism deepens, the monopolies are demanding that all the resources of our country and the public sector of the economy, in particular, be put at their disposal.

For generations the working people have fought to demand that:

1) the government's fiscal policy is built around a progressive tax system which demands higher payments from corporations and the very rich; and that

2) at least a portion of the annual social product (all of which is created by the labor of the workers) is set aside to guarantee certain elementary rights - such as the right to education, to health care, to income-support for the poor and most vulnerable.

Today these gains are under attack and to stop these attacks, the working people must come into the political arena as an independent political force.

We must not only expose the big lie that the government has no money to fund the basic needs of the people. We must assert that such things as a secure livelihood, guaranteed health care, the best possible education, etc. are rights which must be guaranteed. The people must reclaim the power to set the economic policy of government.

As a starting point we must use this power to impose a progressive system which taxes profits but not workers' wages and to expand the public sector of the economy so that the people's economic rights are guaranteed.