What will bring Congress together for the American people instead of political grandstanding?
So, why are many Republicans, including Eric Cantor, deciding now is the time to put the entire U.S. economy in jeopardy, especially since we are still pulling out of the latest ditch from the wild wild Wall Street days of over-the-top speculation with trillions of dollars of money–mostly other people’s money.
According to this story on NPR, the U.S. Debt ceiling has been raised 102 times since 1917.:
ANDREA SEABROOK: It has been raised 102 times since 1917, when the debt ceiling was first established. Just in the last decade alone, it was raised eight times under President Bush, and it’s been raised three times so far under President Obama.
Of course no one wants to increase the debt, but this current infighting about whether and how to raise the debt ceiling seems purely political. Will Congress come together and work for what is in the interest of the American people instead of holding important programs like social security, medicare, and education hostage?
The Blame Game and Russian Roulette with the American Economy
Rep. Peter Welsh (D-Vt) explains on Rachel Maddow that much of our recent huge debt is due to the Iraq War and Afghanistan War started under the G. W. Bush administration. However, some Republican pundits and politicians use crafty talking points to try and blame President Obama for all of our present debt problems. They seem to have memory problems with anything before 2009.
Rep. Welsh warns that women and the elderly will suffer most if the debt ceiling is not raised this month. There may be higher credit card interest rates on credit cards to people who can least afford it and seniors would not get their social security checks on time.
What Remedies Will Create Jobs and Help Reduce the Debt? What are the most important priorities now for a healthy economy?
The U.S. needs to take in more money as well as cut programs that are wasteful. In addition we need people to stop the fraud, abuse and political pay backs that waste taxpayer’s money.
Tax rates for the top 1% are extremely low. In comparison, less wealthy people are paying a higher proportion of their income than the top 1%. Why? Many people in the top wealthy 1% make their money from investments which only have a 15% capital gains tax. And, many corporations pay little or no tax. And, these corporations are sitting on over $2.3 Trillion dollars in cash instead of investing in putting people back to work. How much more money do they need?
Robert Reich explains how the argument against raising taxes on the top 1% is becoming less appealing. He states,
In short, the no-tax pledge is evaporating in the fresh air of reality.
When the recession hit in 2007 many corporations decided to lay off hundreds of thousands of workers. This left the remainder of employees to do the job of 2 to 3 people for their job and most of the time without an increase in pay. Then the corporations could brag about how profitable they became to their shareholders–at the expense of their worker bees. Since 2009 the bonus and pay increases to corporate CEOs has grown in some instances from 20-125%! Yet, the number of jobs in the U.S. is growing slowly and middle class wages have not increased. Does this make sense?
Talking Point Alert: Certainty
Some business owners claim they want “certainty” before they decide to create more jobs. What would give them “certainty” and is this a manufactured argument by Grover Norquist, Frank Luntz and his focus groups in order to manipulate the system and starve government?
Staying Focused on Jobs
Remember very few jobs were created under G. W. Bush in spite of the tax cuts. New thinking is required to encourage corporations to create more jobs. In the mean time, a job is a job, whether it comes from the private or public sector. Let’s remember that Congressmen and women are public servants who are supposed to serve the American people. Teachers who educate our children in public schools are also public employees. Firemen, policemen, and public transportation workers are important people who help us live better and safer lives. It’s time for politicians to think outside the box beyond their party politics and rigid ideologies. Let’s recognize what works for all Americans.