2011-08-05 / Columnists

The Progressive

By John Paul Culotta

The Republican Party has successfully made the horrific deficit the focus of attention despite the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. Millions of our neighbors, friends, and family members are suffering. Most of the attention of our political leaders is on how to bust public employee unions, draconian immigration policies and to cut government services desperately needed by the most vulnerable of our society.

One prominent clergyman stated that the social order would be disrupted if homosexuals can marry. This same clergyman is not as vocal about the social order when elected officials allow our most privileged members of society become more privileged while cuts are made to the poor and working middle class.

Cities and states across this land are cutting police and fire protection (some in obvious areas of probable terrorist attacks), teachers, library services, unemployment insurance benefits, food inspectors, services for the blind and deaf. At the same time, tuition at public universities has increased. Wages for workers are frozen. Furloughs are commonplace. Health costs are increasingly at a rate higher than inflation.

Our infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. Energy costs are causing many Americans to forego another expenditure of funds. Medicare and Social Security are no longer sacrosanct. Solutions are needed that address the human conditions of Americans. Saving Wall Street was a necessary priority – now we need to remember what made the United States a beacon of hope to millions the world over.

Union busting, the disregard of collective bargaining, harassment of immigrants, and draconian cuts will lead to an unraveling of the social contract and possible violence. Progressives are disappointed with the present occupant in the White House. As disappointed as I am in our chief executive, the cuts and solutions made by the opposition are frightening. Our economic distress has been a result of the continuous attacks on regulations of financial institutions, increasing inequity, a widening lack of corporate responsibility, and union busting. American corporations that have billions offshore desire to bring these funds to our shores only if our government agrees to a cut in the tax rate from 35 percent to 5 percent. This request demonstrates the immorality of our corporate elite. Our deficit would decrease dramatically if our corporations paid their taxes.

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