Maturin42's Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Response to LTE, Daily Times, 5-19-2011

Re: Multifaceted approach is needed if we truly wish to solve our nation’s debt problem - S. Lee Smith, May 19, 2011

When Spring, and the feistiness of Wisconsinites in the face of autocratic heavy-handedness by Scott Walker caused the needle on my hope-meter momentarily to twitch, along comes S. Lee Smith to remind me that conservative snake oil still sells, and that their larder is well stocked with really bad ideas, thanks in no small part to a concerted and effective campaign by monied interests and the corporate media outlets to ensure that we get both the Republican AND the Tea Party point of view. Mr. Smith, if he was a regular reader of the Daily Times back when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were just underway, may have seen one of my letters pointing out that starting expensive wars more calculated to enrich war profiteers and Dick Cheney than serve the vital interests of the United States, and doing it off the books while cutting taxes, appeared to be speeding us down the road to perdition - economy-wise. Well, here we are.

The “solutions” named by Mr. Smith, mainly consisting of Koch brothers’ wish-list items, are mostly not solutions at all, unless the goal is to accelerate our transition to third-world status - a country of hungry, ill-educated, ill-housed, unemployed peasants squatting among the ruins of our decayed industrial base, ruled over by a robber baron class. Is Mr. Smith’s memory so short that he cannot recall that the Bush regime inherited a budget surplus which he promptly presented to his rich buddies in the form of generous tax cuts, on the repeatedly disproven theory that they would create jobs? They did. In China, and Bangladesh, and India, while our infrastructure and economy trended steadily down until the bottom fell out in 2008.

Flinging wads of money at Wall Street was, we were told, necessary to head off a global financial debacle. The chosen players on Wall Street promptly recovered and awarded themselves huge bonuses, but as high unemployment numbers continue to take their toll on families and young people struggling to find ways to support themselves, the middle class appears an endangered species. The wealthy continue to prosper and the gap between rich and poor grows wider, continuing our march toward a feudal society lorded over by corporations.

The Bush deficits were caused by ill-advised tax cuts exacerbated by un-paid-for wars and unprecedented growth in government. Return to Clinton tax rates, and stop the wars, reduce military spending to that appropriate for defense, not empire-building. Punishing poor people isn’t the answer any more than awarding more tax cuts to rich people. And lying to ourselves about who or what attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001 is one of the things that got us where we are.

Shelton F. Lankford


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