People bitch that the government spends too much money. It’s not that they spend too much; they spend too much on the wrong things. A year ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, and thousands of people who had remained in the city had to swim for their lives, or wait for rescue on rooftops. Most of them lost their homes. Some of them died. Some stayed by choice, because they were too stubborn or stupid to evacuate. Most stayed because they had no other option – they had no cars, no money, nowhere to go. They were poor, and stranded, and left to die.
And yet how often America is touted as the most prosperous nation on the planet, how we love to boast of our wealth and our power. Rich men live in houses high on hills, and watch as the poor drown, down there so far it doesn’t even seem to matter, it’s so very easy to just pretend it never happened. How many lives could have been saved, how much suffering could have been relieved, had those people in New Orleans had access to just a few additional resources? Yes, of course the government response in the aftermath of the storm was a joke and a travesty and unforgivable, but the tragedy of Katrina in New Orleans could have largely been avoided years, decades in advance, had the government behaved with more compassion to the poor.
I’m not suggesting the federal government drop a check for a million dollars at the doorstep of everyone below the poverty line. I’m not saying we ought to make welfare more lucrative or easier to collect, inviting even more fraud and exploitation. I’m not proposing any kind of solution – I’m just stating a philosophy. There are millions of men and women and children in this country who live in utter destitution. Many of them work, or try to. Some of them work multiple jobs, 50 or 60 hours a week or more, and can barely scrape by for themselves and their families. Some of them live in New Orleans, but they are everywhere, in every city, in every state. On the other side of the room are the privileged few, those who, either by inheritance or their own hard-won earnings, will never worry about where their next meal will come from, or if they will have a place to sleep tonight, or how they will survive if disaster strikes. There is no moral justification for this dichotomy, not in a country as awash in money as the United States.
Do I suggest we rob the rich and give to the poor? Absolutely. Call it redistribution of wealth, call it whatever you like. Say I am a communist, or a socialist, or a Marxist, or anything else no true-blue good American is supposed to be, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t want to raise taxes on everybody. I want to raise taxes on those who can afford it, on my fellow citizens who are so wealthy that they could be taxed at double or triple their current rate and never know the difference. Let the government do some good, some real good, for those in need – use the money to pay for healthcare and housing. The rich get to stay rich. Just a little less rich. But if you rich bastards have a problem with it, if you want to cry “unconstitutional,” then I’ll give you an option: donate the equivalent amount to a private charity that provides relief to the poor, and you won’t have to pay the extra taxes. But one way or the other, you will help your fellow man.
So yeah, you’d better hope I never get elected President, members of the Bilderberg Group, because I’m gunning for you. I’ll go to Congress and shake all the hands, kiss all the ass, and suck all the cock necessary to get this done. If you put up a fight, I’ll send the National Guard to knock down your door and pry the money out of your fucking hands at gunpoint. Think I’ll lose sleep over it? Not a wink.