Conservatives and the Republican politicians who serve the richest and most influential of them constantly ring the clarion bell for privatization of everything. Privatizing Social Security has become a mantra among conservatives and Republicans as if it were some kind of pile of magic beans that will save the system from the effects of the ever-shrinking tax rates for the wealthiest. Of course, you might want to do the math to see what kind of return you would have gotten if Social Security had been privatized in time for the great economic meltdown that Bush handed over to Obama.
The problem for conservatives and Republican politicians is that most people are more than intelligent enough to realize that privatization is most definitely not the best solution for the problems facing America. For that reason, the clarion call to privatize everything is couched in the much more enticing hidden message of cutting taxes. You see, if conservatives are successful enough in cutting taxes to the the point they desire, there will not only not be enough money to pay out for all those things you hate, there won’t be money to pay for all those things you love. You know, things like roads without potholes, bridges that won’t crumble, cops, firefighters and teachers willing to put their lives on the line every day for such low salaries.
Privatization is really just a code word for creating new revenue streams for the owners of big business. If you can convince people to invest in companies owned by those conservatives in a search for social security, then a big business owner wins twice: his taxes get cut and he makes a profit on a deal where the government currently stands in his way.
The interstate highway system is one thing you probably never think about when it comes to the Great Privatization Hope of Fiscal Conservatism, Big Business owners and Republican politicians. In fact, the Eisenhower Interstate System still stands as one of the greatest examples of how the government can do things that are so much better for the pocketbooks of the average American than those titans of capitalism would ever have nightmares of doing. And don’t forget that America’s interstate highway system was implemented during the administration of one of the biggest heroes of American conservatism and Republican politics: Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower. America’s interstate highway system is dependable, was in pretty good shape for most of its existence until conservatives took control of Congress and studiously neglected allowing the rate of taxation necessary to continue keeping the highway system in good shape to keep up with the cost of living .
That last part and the middle part may need to be examined closely. First off: obviously, America’s interstate system is not free. You pay taxes to keep it in good shape via the Federal Highway Trust Fund . Those pushing hard for privatization may try as hard as they can to convince you otherwise, but the inescapable truth is that when the system was funded through taxation overseen with fiscal intelligence, the interstate highway system was pretty much a problem-free enterprise. So, yes, the interstate system is not really free, but you will certainly look back upon it as being free compared to how much much it will cost you to take advantage of a privately owned highway system. Provided, of course, that you make enough money to be allowed to pay for the privilege of driving on that privately owned highway.
It is not incidental or accidental that the U.S. interstate system seems more pocked with potholes and subject to wear and tear and instills a sense of trepidation within your very soul when you find yourself having to cross over a crumbling bridge or rickety trestle as a driver today than it did when you were a kid in the backseat breathlessly anticipating your summer vacation destination across the country. Taxes have been on a consistent downward spiral for the richest Americans since the Reagan administration and there are many out there who do not fully understand the intended meaning of the word who would rush to apply the term “ironic” to the fact that one of the biggest victims of this dangerously misguided trend just so happens to be one of the crowning achievements of the very same Republican President to whom Reagan was most often compared. When taxes are cut, choices must be made. If you think it accidental that the highway system has been a major victim of funds drying up, you don’t know fully understand how the tax system that is the bane of under-educated Tea Party members really works. Nor can you even begin to understand the insidious methodology at work behind the single-minded devotion of the conservative movement’s goal toward the privatization of everything through the shock doctrine of disaster capitalism .
The whole concept of privatizing an entity depends upon public funding wasting away. When public funds are not plentiful enough to get the job done, the talk seems to naturally turn to privatization. Except that natural not’s in it. Privatization, remember, is actually just a benign code word for malignant conservative dreams of profit. (Much like Patriot Act was a benign code word for malignant conservative dreams of a justice system unobstructed by irritating little things such as civil rights.) When you hear conservatives speaking of things like privatization or cutting taxes, you need to train your brain to translate that into what such discourse is actually about: creating new streams of profit for business entities currently shut out by governmental control . What do you think will be the solution when the problems of America’s decaying interstate highway system finally becomes such a burden that the 24 hour news channels manage to fit it in between coverage of Dancing with the Stars and the latest disappearance of a pretty white woman?
A call for higher taxes to fix the problem?
Silly bear. The perfect storm brewing off the Cape of Good Sense is a mixture of the bewildering acceptance by millions of paycheck-to-paycheck Americans that cutting taxes for the super-rich somehow helps them and the baffling indifference to the disconnect between obnoxiously misinformed Tea Party postulation that Americans are being taxed to death despite the irrefutable evidence to the contrary in the form of every single government jurisdiction in the country having to cut essential services due to lack of revenue. That perfect storm of ignorance and indifference may very well wind up costing you far more money to drive on America’s highway system than any Tea Party tax rate doomsayer ever imagined possible in their nightmare scenarios they pass off as realty. And the worst part is something that no inconceivably ill-informed Tea Party politician ever includes in the nightmarish scenarios of overburdened taxation they engineer for the gullible: that extra money it will cost you to drive on a private American highway system will be going straight into the bank accounts of billionaires who make guys like Donald Sterling and Tom Perkins look positively classy and intellectual by comparison.
And for those hardcore tax-bashing, anti-immigration conservative readers who have no problem with American businessmen improving the system by owning America’s roads, you might want to keep in mind Spanish and Australian companies currently own highways in Indiana and Virginia and no law exists that could prevent every single mile of interstate asphalt in America from being owned by foreign interests. Not even interest buyers from Saudi Arabia, China, Russia or Venezuela.