Veronica Roberts

I guess he couldn't lie anymore. The truth must have weighed very heavily on economist Ben Stein when he veered from the usual script over at Fox News and committed "conservative heresy" by admitting that taxes must be raised on America's wealthy.

“I hate to say this on Fox-- and I hope I’ll be able to leave here alive—but I don’t think there is any way we can cut spending enough to make a meaningful difference. We’re going to have to raise taxes on very rich people, people with income like say $2-3 million a year and up and then slowly move it down,” said Stein. His co-hosts almost had massive coronaries on air.

All hell must have broken loose behind the scenes after that statement, for the collective conservative doctrine, of which Fox heavily subscribes to, is that the rich do not have to pay a penny more in taxes to help close the huge deficit gap. Kind of “they built it so they should keep it” BS.

In fact presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's budget plan gives $250,000 in tax breaks to the top earners among us, while middle income folks will see a $2,000 increase on their payout to Uncle Sam. (See former president Bill Clinton explain it here:

The Republicans’ fuzzy math is still in full effect, even if the US economy shows the devastation caused partly by the financial crisis and a bloated budget, which includes more than 10 years of the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. Moreover as numerous economists haves said, cutting entitlements alone cannot fix the deficit; revenue needs to be raised as well.

Even second-graders know if they spend all the money in their piggy banks and don't put any back in, the little piggy would go empty. Simple logic, yet the GOP insists on revenue not being a major factor in balancing a budget.

Romney, his VP Ryan and all the rest of the conservative bunch think they can bamboozle the public into believing their can right America's deep fiscal problems by balancing the budget on the back of the poor while exempting themselves and their rich campaign contributors from chipping in.

I understand why they would want to sell us garbage disguised as goodies, because they all have a personal stake in how this turns out and avarice rules the day. The word "sacrifice" is thrown around only when it’s someone else doing the sacrificing. It always stuns me that the party that acts like it has a direct line to God and a close affinity to words like morals, pro-life and family values, would be the ones to advocate taking away from those who don’t have and giving to those who have the most. Being judgmental, immoral, unkind and greedy should not be the party mantra.

Like President Clinton said, we have tried the trickle-down economics before; it did not work then and is not working now.

Moreover, top earners are the ones who have benefited in the past, still benefit and will continue to benefit under a Romney-Ryan administration by the failed Bush budget of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. The plutocrats have been slowly and overtly ruling and ruining this country for decades. It just all came to a head during the crash of 2008. Capitalism on steroids resulted in corruption, fraud and greed, having a "menage a trois" that sent the country reeling.

Democracy is dying while its illusionary double is propped up to keep the masses in line. The two party system is a failure--well at least for the people, not for our legislators, who most times seem like just two sides of the same coin.

Our government is now made up of very rich politicians, so when the “one-percenters” are the part of those with the power to legislate, there is a disturbing and dangerous conflict of interest. Power in the hand of the people is merely in name only. We vote, exercise our democratic right and think we are shaping policies, controlling our country, having a hand in our present and our children's future. But do we? Look around you; look at the laws that are being pushed through Congress. Look at those that affect women directly and negatively. Look at the Supreme Court and Citizens United. Look at the election process. Take a good, long, hard look: What do you see?

Meanwhile, some Senators and Representatives continue to cozy up to corporations, special interests, lobbyists, rich campaign donors and Super PACs. For the Bush-era tax breaks to exist and exist this long means both Democrats and Republicans signed on to begin with.

Do you even know what some legislators on Capitol Hill are worth? What their investments are? Where some of their money comes from? Big oil, pharma, Wall Street and too-big-to-fail banks; foreign countries and companies; outsourced companies; abortion-linked companies when they profess to abhor abortions.

Below are the net worth of the top 10 richest folks in Congress as of 2011; the family coffers may have increased as of date. In the top 30, 19 are Republicans and 11 are Democrats. In the top 10, seven are Democrats and three are Republicans.

1. Republican from TX Michael McCaul --$294.21 million

2. Republican from CA Darrell Issa-- $220.40 million

3. Democrat John Kerry from Mass-- $193.07 million

4. Democrat Jay Rockefeller from WV-- $81.63 million

5. Dem. Mark Warner, from VA-- $76.30 million

6. Dem. Jared Polis from $Colo-- $65.91 million

7. Dem. Frank Lautenberg from NJ-- $55.07 million

8. Dem. Richard Blumenthal from Conn.-- $52.93 million

9. Dem. Diane Feinstein from California-- $45.39 million

10. Rep. Vern Buchanan from FL--$44.21 million

See the rest of the top 50 richest list here: The 50 Richest Members of Congress — 112th : Roll Call

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