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Who is this "WE" that is supposed to feel the pain?

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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:03 PM
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Who is this "WE" that is supposed to feel the pain?

A number of the conversations I hear and read lately which concern reducing the deficit, from the President on out, always seem to point to some urgency to lower the deficit, and some variation on the idea that "we must endure some pain".


The latest was the guy from CBO, a federal employee who is on a fairly well protected salary, talking to a commission made up of people who are, for the most part, making in excess of $200,000/yr, and a few with much more than that. The President makes $400,000/yr+, with a guaranteed retirement, doubt any holder of that office is going to hurt much. The Peterson Foundation, with a constant media campaign insisting we need to lower the deficit, avoid taxes, and "endure some pain" was founded by the 149th richest man in America. None, not one of these people is going to hurt in the slightest if we decide that lowering a deficit needs to happen through austerity measures, not building up the country by increasing employment to pay more taxes. None, and I mean NONE, of the people I hear talking about "we must endure some hardship" looks like they are going to feel it at all.

So who are they talking about hurting? Those with little to no income? What happens to one of the growing pool of the 31 million unemployed or underemployed people who can't pay their mortgage or even, perhaps, their food bills today? There is a pool of older workers, thrown out of work through no real fault of their own, whose only relief will come when their Social Security kicks in if they can just live a few years longer. Yet I saw a politician who has a salary perhaps 3 to 4 times the average of the nation suggest without the slightest hesitation that we raise retirement to 70, even though his is not limted by age. Increasing the age for social security benefits guarantees a growing pool of long-term unemployed people around 50 years of age and older a few more years of homelessness, cruelty, hunger. How much more hunger to the 50% of children who must rely on food stamps sometime during the year are these well-paid people willing to inflict? This list is nearly endless...

How about instead of this diversion over unemployment benefits, which is going to come up again, we put our time into designing a program which will rebuild manufacturing, train people in 21st century work, rebuild our infrastructure with a WPA-like program, build up R&D again, fund some small entrepreneureal efforts? We are giving up 300 billion dollars a year in revenue and payments for services we have to fund by ignoring what we need to do to fix unemployment. Not criminal, but it doesn't seem to fit the principles of the Democratic Ideal" at all.

The next time you hear someone putting forth the ridiculous message that we need to "cut the deficit" and that "WE" need to endure some pain to do so, please ask them, as publicly as possible, who this "WE" is that they feel the need to inflict pain on. Please.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:12 PM
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