I’ve got to respond to the assertion that the city of Flint’s inability to handle its finances led to the water crisis that ensued.

President Ronald Reagan’s policy of deregulation and union-busting ushered in the era of “trickle down economics,” the theory being that those at the top of the economic heap will help raise the standard of living for everyone. His anti-union stance weakened their collective bargaining ability.

Deregulation of the stock market and the banking industry has had dubious effects. The ability to trade stocks instantly, without penalty, created the conditions encouraging speculation at the expense of the American work force.

Companies are now beholden to investors rather than the sale of superior products and services. Lack of stringent oversight of the financial industry caused the 2008 recession; we’re still recovering from that. Yet the Republican policy of corporate welfare continues. The tax slash passed by this administration shows where this party’s loyalty lies. President Donald J. Trump said, “I just made you all a whole lot of money!” Their reluctance to disclose previous COVID-19 relief expenditures and future assistance that waits on the embalming table of Mitch “The Mortician” McConnell portends the future.

Expect governmental shutdowns. This administration has considered making employer payroll tax withholding cuts permanent. While providing individuals breathing room in the short run, this obligation is still due at the end of the year. Medicare and Social Security, long targets on their hit list, rely on these funds. In the meantime, many Fortune 500 companies pay little, if any, taxes, but they depend on our infrastructure for their commerce while paying next to nothing to maintain it.

When the auto industry abandoned Flint for right-to-work states, gone was its tax base. It suffered not from mismanagement, but the fact that the faucet was shut off. Former Gov. Rick Snyder appointed an emergency financial manager and was more concerned with the bottom line than constituents’ health. Once the darling of the party, he vanished like smoke in the wind — lucky to avoid prosecution. His decision comes with an untold financial and human cost. Science trumped once again. Corporate tax lawyers equal rock stars of the wealthy. I’ll bet you owe more than the $750 paid by you know who. Yup, trickle down indeed.

Mike Martin


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