"As we begin debating competing budget plans, regressives want Americans to believe the fundamental issue is the size of government, but it's not. It's whom the government is for. Wall Street got bailed out, and the biggest banks are still reaping a huge financial advantage by their implicit guarantee they'll be bailed out if they get into trouble. But underwater homeowners are still in jeopardy. Big agribusiness, Big Pharma, and Big Oil all get special subsidies and unique tax breaks. Military contractors are already planning their post-sequester moves. The wealthy are the largest beneficiaries of the tax preference given capital gains. Hedge fund and private-equity managers still get their own "carried interest" loophole. The rich can deduct unlimited mortgage interest on mansions as well as second and third mansions, while a majority of Americans now rent their homes and have no mortgage interest deduction at all. The Medicare drug benefit is a giant give-away to the pharmaceutical industry. Social Security tax revenues continue to grow as a proportion of federal revenues while corporate tax revenues continue to shrink.
Were we to rid ourselves of these special bailouts, subsidies, and tax giveaways, we could reduce the budget deficit and have enough left to invest in the future of our people (world-class education, infrastructure, and basic R&D). We would not have to do it on the backs of the middle class and the poor, or to the disadvantage of our children our seniors, but by placing responsibility on those best able to bear it."
--Robert Reich, political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.