Letters to the Editor for March 4, 2011
We need jobs, not deep cuts
To the editor:
I hope we’re not too surprised to find that, once again, voter wishes have been transmuted by the Republicans into “mandates” for their long-standing agenda of lowering taxes for the wealthy and slashing support for the poor and the middle class. Last time — the 2004 presidential election — the war on terror led to George Bush’s re-election, which quickly morphed into an attempt to dismantle Social Security. This time — the 2010 midterm elections — it was the deep pain of the Great Recession. But, having blocked the end of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in December, Republicans are now voting for deep cuts in government protection and support, and going further to dismantle collective bargaining and the union movement, and turn us into a nation of politically powerless Walmart workers, while wealth continues to flow to the big shots.
Before the 2010 election, the Republican campaign mantra was, “Where are the jobs?” I asked Rep. Greg Walden at his recent town hall meeting about the impact of spending cuts on our prospects for recovering from the Great Recession. He said government spending wasn’t the answer, even though over 700,000 federal and private jobs may be lost. When asked about those job losses, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner’s response was, “So be it.”
Yes, there is an uncomfortably large budget deficit. But may I suggest that people who lose their jobs stop paying income taxes, start receiving unemployment, and don’t generate the consumer demand that might boost us out of this huge economic slump. Job loss means pain. Why not revisit the relatively pain-free alternative of raising taxes on the wealthy?
Rep. Walden went on to assert that government regulation is holding back the economy by dissuading businesses from investing. It’s like Chris Dudley’s campaign promise to cut capital gains tax to spur investment. But, you know, we are hardly suffering from a lack of productive capacity. What we lack is consumer demand. Walden and Dudley are merely continuing to promote the narrow interests of the big corporations and the wealthy.
But, are we surprised?