I am not nostalgic for my childhood, and I don’t look back at those times as the “good old days.” But I am grateful that I know what austerity and sacrifice are, so I can recognize it when I hear about it on the news.
Here are some shared sacrifices I would like to see, as suggested by the Center for American Progress:
- How about if people with vacation homes could not deduct their mortgage interest? This would generate almost $9 billion over ten years, so that people needing low income housing could actually have it. (The cut to low income housing programs is $8.9 billion).
- What if Congress had not extended the Bush era tax cuts for the top income brackets? That would have generated $42 billion a year, almost enough to save all the programs currently at risk; the total cost of which is $42 billion. (To name just a few of these programs: early childhood, WIC, job training for unemployed, Low Income Home Energy, or LHEAP grants, community health centers, legal services for the poor, and Title X Family Planning.)
- Close overseas tax havens ($90-100 billion)
- Add new tax brackets for households with more than $1 million in annual income ($60-80 billion)
- Institute a modest financial transaction tax ($150 billion)
Shared sacrifice? I am not seeing it, unless one defines this as the super rich and corporations sharing in sacrificing the majority of Americans, particularly the poor, toward their own unending need to concentrate wealth in a smaller and smaller number of hands.