This I Believe

Ambrose - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on September 1, 2008

This I believe, all men created equal and whenever any form of government becomes destructive to that idea well, it is the right and duty of the people to alter it. Powerful words written by some guy named Jefferson a couple of hundred years ago. That was a different time, when overthrowing the form of government they were being ruled by had become necessary. I don’t think we’re at that point in America however, the gap between the wealthy and the rest is greater than it’s ever been; and while I do believe that those who earn it deserve it, I also believe that everyone should be held to the same standard just as our founding fathers intended.

According to at least one billionaire that just isn’t the case. Last year Warren Buffet, the billionaire founder of the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. went before congress and asked them not to cut his taxes. Now, most people would wonder why on earth someone would do such a thing. Buffet said that he crunched the numbers and he pays only 18% of his income to the IRS while people like his receptionist pay nearly twice that at 33%. But that’s not all, he offered 1million dollars to a charity of his or her choice if any billionaire does the math in his or her office and proves him wrong. That offer has been sitting on the table for a year now with no takers.

I believe there are three million people controlling the other twenty-seven million in this country. The top 1% of the population in America controls more wealth than the bottom 99. The problem with this is that the top 1% has control of our government. They use their wealth to manipulate, dictate, and basically rule this nation as they see fit. The biggest problem in Washington today is all the money that’s being thrown at the elected officials who make the laws, set the rules, and decide how all government money is distributed and spent.

However, so far in the race for a new president, I have yet to hear either candidate (democrat or republican) point this out with the ferocity and passion needed to storm into the white house and make a change for the bottom 99% and more importantly, the 39 million people living below the poverty line in this country of ours.

We the people, no longer have a voice in America. That voice has been taken away by lobbyist and the big businesses that they work for. Oil and energy conglomerates, pharmaceutical companies, and every other group in the land of the free with enough money, now has a strangle hold on the economy. While there are limits to how much political interest groups can contribute to a candidates campaign, there is no limit to the amount of money that can be spent by lobbyist to throw parties and entertain politicians. At the very least, that gives the wealthy a taller platform to stand on and be heard.

Some may believe that politicians get paid to vote the way big business. While that train of thought may or may not be true, big business does have the attention and the ears of the elected officials who govern our nation. The power of money has put the voices of the masses in the backs of our trusted officials’ minds. Even if it is by the default premise that our voices just aren’t as loud as theirs, it’s true. I believe that it is not the way our founding fathers intended for things to be when they signed the declaration of independence. As a matter of fact, putting an end to the few controlling the many, is exactly what they had in mind when they signed that all important document.