First, I'd like to say that I thoroughly enjoy the Saturday edition and look forward each week to reading the opinion articles sent in by the residents of Schuylkill and surrounding counties. It is filled with a diverse selection of letters showing that people are engaged in what is going on through out the nation and here in Pennsylvania. It also reflects upon the facts of certain issues and the misinformation that is out there.
Recently there were a few articles, pro and con, about raising the debt ceiling. It made me aware that a lot of people don't truly understand what it is and how it works.
The fact is that every time legislation is passed that supports a certain program etc. doesn't mean it is paid for. So it is then put on our so called "credit card". The Bush tax cuts, the two wars and the prescription drug plan are examples of "charging" the cost.
In December, 2010, the Republicans, Democrats and President Obama agreed to extend the tax cuts, adding another $800 billion to the deficit. This expense was not paid for but "charged" thus requiring President Obama to request a hike in the debt ceiling in January. Granting these extensions in effect used up more of the current debt ceiling amount and so the time allotted to reach the ceiling was considerably shortened because we were, once again, charging…in other words…spending. The Republicans were more than willing to "spend" this money, put it on the charge, to benefit the wealthy and big corporations but can't seem to swallow doing the same for the little guy. Why is that? Darned if I know.
Well, if you think things are bad now, wait until these cuts, demanded by the so-called GOP (which, by the way, means Government of the People) start taking effect. Especially the no extension of Unemployment Insurance in this bill. Why, that would be spending and thus "charging" to the card. (Remember we need to stop spending more than we take in, unless it applies to the upper class.) While losing their only source of cash the unemployed will also find that they don't qualify for any other programs designed to help the little guy because of the cutbacks. Just the same as the laying off of policemen, firefighters, school teachers is a direct result of federal cuts to the states and this is ironic, the trickle down effect seems to apply to cut backs but never seemed to materialize for the low and middle class as far as jobs and prosperity that the tax cuts were supposed to bring, the states in turn must cut back and who do you think it directly affects? You guessed it…us…the little guy.
Everyone can expect our taxes to be raised to help offset the shortfalls in the state budget. While Governor Corbett can brag that the state didn't raise taxes, in effect his cutbacks will leave the counties no choice but to do so and therefore bear the burden of fault. Who's he kidding? Not me.
This new legislation is filled with cuts that we know nothing about and unfortunately won't know until they start hitting home.
As unemployment starts to increase again, due to these layoffs resulting from cutbacks, the present administration will no doubt be blamed. But who really is at fault?
Maybe now our members of congress can, hopefully, start concentrating on job creation. Jobs with meaning, jobs that pay a decent wage, jobs that offer health care.
No wait a minute. Now, after all the temper tantrums, stomping of feet and walking out on negotiations the brats get to take a 5 week vacation. Never mind that they left DC without giving additional funding for the FAA resulting in 4,000 employees not getting paid and 70,000 construction workers being laid off until they return, This will make the jobs report next month terrible and of course, they'll blame the administration. Why not take a week and come back to get down to business.
But while we scramble for employment, big friendly corporations of our republican party continue to move jobs overseas. The no tax paying corporation, GE, has just recently announced that it is moving one of their companies to China. So much for those jobs and the people that worked there. While over 9 million jobs have been lost here big corporations have created over 8 million jobs overseas. So you see, they are creating jobs, just not here.
With campaigning for 2012 starting up, we need to hold all our elected officials accountable. In just a few months more cuts will automatically come into play if no agreement is reached about just what to cut and how much. More pain, but no shared sacrifice.
I don't know the answers to our problems but I do know that the end result is not going to be good for the average joe like us, the working stiff, the poor, the middle class, and the seniors. We're all in for a rough ride ahead. Of course, unless you're wealthy, but that goes without saying.