Editorials | Opinions | March 2008
|US Federal Tax Relief Vanishing at Pumps|
Stewart A. Alexander - Peace and Freedom Party
The $168 billion economic stimulus package that was recently passed by Congress and signed by President Bush is already beginning to lose its momentum as gasoline prices continues to reach record highs nationwide; and the oil companies are continuing to ratchet up gasoline prices which will give them the lion share of the stimulus package.
|Stewart A. Alexander - Socialist Party USA Nominee for Vice President, and Candidate for nomination by the Peace and Freedom Party|
In some areas of Southern California, gasoline prices have increased by 24 cents in the past two weeks and diesel has now topped $3.80. The average price of fuel, nationwide, is now at $3.18 per gallon. In some areas of Northern California, gasoline prices have already climbed above $4.00 per gallon.
The president and some members of Congress were saying the economic stimulus package would give Americans some quick cash to spend that would help boost the ailing U.S. economy; however, most Americans are having to spend whatever extra cash and savings to get to and from work. The oil companies are also raising prices at a time when all the major oil producers are earning record profits.
The price of crude oil has now been inflated above $100 a barrel and it is likely gasoline prices will continue to climb as the nation enters the vacation season. It is also likely many Americans will be altering their vacation plans as the price of fuel continues to reach record highs. Petroleum industry analysts are predicting oil prices will top $4.00 a gallon by the end of 2008; a prediction that caught President Bush by surprise.
Rising fuel prices has hit the trucking and transportation industry extremely hard; the high cost of diesel is forcing some smaller trucking companies out of business, and larger companies have to pass on the higher cost of diesel onto consumers. Subsequently, the price of all consumer goods is rising, including food, and inflation is further crippling the U.S. economy.
Socialists across the nation are rejecting the economic stimulus package because the package offers no long term benefits for working people, will not ease the nation’s economic woes, and will only create more debt for U.S. taxpayers and the economy. The economic package will provide working people with some spending cash; however, the stimulus package is no more than welfare for billionaires and the oil companies.
Americans will need to have bold leadership in Congress to control rising gasoline prices and to rescue the U.S. economy. The Democrats and Republicans have proven they are incapable of addressing the needs of working people and both parties are taking the nation further into debt to protect the interest of the billionaires and capitalists around the world.
Recently, I presented a plan that would address the need of working people and would prevent the oil companies from gouging working people at the pumps.
First, we must end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars, whose tremendous cost is not offset by taxes, are the immediate cause of the weakness of the dollar, skyrocketing oil prices, and the widening trade deficit, as well as being a pointless waste of precious lives.
To break the stranglehold of the big energy corporations and associated financial institutions on our government and economy; the oil companies, natural resources, including oil must be brought under public ownership and democratically managed by the people, not controlled and owned by private corporations.
We must put an end to the present housing market crisis; action must be taken quickly, or the damage will spread quickly. The federal government needs to take action to protect the millions of Americans that could lose their homes in 2008 and 2009, and shift the cost of this disaster from working people to the financial operators who created the problem.An immediate change in tax policy must reverse the trend of the last thirty years of shifting the tax burden to those least able to pay. Income taxes should end on individuals earning less than $30,000 annually and couples earning less than $60,000 annually, and increased federal taxes on those with incomes in the millions, who pay less proportionately than they have for a century, must replace this revenue.A real national rebuilding program is needed. The federal government must invest $3 trillion within the next five years and a total of $5 trillion over the next decade to rebuild the nation’s utilities, communications, and rail infrastructure, refurbish public buildings, strengthen bridges, and repair low income housing across America.The federal government must invest in constructing low income housing, providing jobs for low income families and providing good paying jobs for women and men.The federal government must develop programs to relieve working people from the tremendous debt burden that modern capitalism constantly creates. We need universal health care, free education for college students, a universal basic income, and fully comprehensive assistance for the aging.
The laws that tilt the scales against union organizing needs to be repealed or changed; this will give freedom to millions of workers to fight effectively for better wages, hours and working conditions.Public transportation and electric vehicles must be developed to meet the needs of our people in the 21st Century. This will not be fully accomplished without public ownership under democratic management, as only in this way can the drive for private profit at the expense of society and the environment must be defeated.
Senators Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and John McCain are rehashing the old political rhetoric that the Democrats and Republicans have coined to win elections every four years. However, in 2008, working people are searching for real solutions to complex issues; ending the Iraq War, solving the national mortgage lending crisis, creating jobs, the need for affordable health care, and dealing with a global industry that is beyond the control of the Democrats, Republicans or their candidates.
For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Independent Voters Rejecting Democrats and Republicans; Federal Tax Relief Package is Welfare for Billions.