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What about the debt?

Editorial for Dec. 16, 2010

What about the debt?

That's funny, we seem to recall one of the big issues in the recently concluded mid-term elections was dealing with the nation's huge and growing deficit.

The Republicans/Tea Party led the charge, blasting President Obama and Democrats in Congress for running up a lot of debt.

Fast forward just more than one month, and suddenly the main issue for Republicans/Teapartiers is borrowing billions of dollars so the very rich can keep getting their ultra-generous tax breaks. After all, what's several hundred billion dollars in added debt we'll have to pay to China? Apparently, our debt is no longer a problem, because the Tea Party is oddly silent right now.

But as obvious as the political flimflamming coming from the Republicans/Teapartiers is, it's just as bad or worse from the White House.

President Obama promised he would allow the excessive tax cuts for the most wealthy in this country to expire at the end of 2010. Instead, he cuts a back-room deal to keep them going for another two years -- and promises to let them expire then. Right, we're supposed to believe he'll keep his word in two years when he wouldn't keep it this time? No one should vote for politicians who do not keep their basic promises.

What we are seeing is a massive sellout of the middle class in the United States. First the politicians allowed most of our jobs to be sent to China -- and folks, those jobs aren't coming back. That's why the unemployment rate stays so high. It's really common sense: If almost everything in the store you're shopping in is stamped "Made in China," how could there be any need for much hiring here in America?

Extending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires does not create jobs. The proof is right in front of all of us: Those tax cuts have been in effect for 10 years, and our jobless rates are at historically high levels. Put two and two together; how difficult is it?

The weakness Obama has displayed in agreeing to this tax "compromise" is embarrassing to see. If he can't negotiate effectively with the Republicans, how is he going to do with the Chinese, or North Korea, or Iran? This has dangerous ramifications for our nation and our world.

Obama, the hoped-for champion of the middle class, has sold us out. What's going on is the traditional game of the rich getting richer. The wealthy are taking a larger slice of the economic pie, leaving fewer slices for everyone else -- including the great, productive American middle class. More money (and hence, more political power) for the wealthiest translates into less money (and less political power) available to the rest of us.

The original tax bill President Bush and the Republicans passed in 2001 was written to expire in 10 years for a reason -- it was going to cost the nation too much to continue any longer than that. To now extend the cuts for another two years -- having to borrow additional billions upon billions to do so -- is completely irresponsible fiscal policy.

Those running the show in Washington, D.C., have abandoned virtually all of us. It looks like we're on our own.



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