Maryann Tobin

As our candidates race to the November elections avoiding as many details on the issues as they can, it’s easy to understand why. They are afraid if they tell the truth, they won’t win.

If you take the influence of lobbyists and big-money campaign contributors like the Koch brothers out of the equation, America suddenly becomes a very different place.

In a better America, no one who earns less than $15,000 a year pays a dime in income taxes. Everyone else pays a flat tax rate, which has no fewer than 5 progressive tiers, so the cut-off points are fair and proportionate. Sorry, no special tax deductions for anyone.

If everyone pays reasonable and fair taxes, the entire country benefits. A rising tide brings all boats with it.

With revenue from a multi-tier, progressive flat tax system, the budget deficit fades and the country can begin to raise the quality of life for everyone, starting with creating a state-of-the art education system that is the envy of the world.

In a better America, pollution is not an issue. It is simply not allowed. If a business can’t produce their product or service without harming the health of our citizens or environment, then they will not open their doors until they can.

Banks will be regulated so they can never again cause the collapse of the economy. Every American gets affordable health care, minimum wage is a living wage, and no child in America should go hungry – ever.

There is nothing in the suggestions above that is unreasonable, as these are universal goals. Everyone wants their children to get a good education, live in a clean and safe environment, and have the opportunity to create a better life for the next generation.

However, in the 2012 political environment, no one on the national political stage is suggesting that a more balanced country is achievable or even desirable.

The poor are portrayed by many conservatives as the enemy and the cause of the budget deficit. Others believe they are icons of the faults of a morally bankrupt society. Either all life has value regardless of income level, or it does not. Any other ideology is a fundamental contradiction in truth.

“The federal government didn’t just arbitrarily enter into the “War on Poverty” in 1964… It evolved from the FDR New Deal days, until it lay at the desk of LBJ’s Great Society,” Christian blogger Chip Anderson said on Words’ n Tone. “LBJ never would have had the votes for passing the sweeping Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 if it weren’t for overwhelming support from Republicans.”

Anderson added, “I do wonder: These words, this war on poverty—is it wrong of the government to do the right thing and harness its capacity and the country’s will to help and assist the less fortunate, to fund the means to ameliorate the causes of poverty? It is wrong for our own secular system to be doing the right thing when many of our churches refuse to do the right thing and refuse to harness their own resources and leverage their own capacity to fight against poverty?”

The role of government in affecting social and economic change in American society is at the core of the 2012 political debate. Therefore, what voters will be deciding this year, is if government should be consumed with what goes on in American bedrooms, or on American streets.

Whether you believe government should have a larger or smaller role in the lives of Americans is the stuff political battles are made of. But denying the fact that the U.S. government has enormous power over every life in America is nonsense. If that were true, millionaires and special interest groups would not be spending upwards of a billion dollars to change the outcome of the next election.

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.


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