Thursday, March 7, 2013

Congress Needs to Face Facts

Two nights in a row I have seen on the television news that Wall Street has set a new record.
Tonight some pundit says that the rise in Wall Street and the rise in housing prices means household wealth has recovered and is now back to the point it was before the recessions hit.
I fall back on the old adage, "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure."
I also saw  a news report today, passed along on Facebook, which pointed out the national debt has been going down since 2009 and has fallen faster in the past three years than at any time since WWI.  And taxes are at near the lowest level in 70 years.
A couple of days ago I saw a short video which graphically illustrates the distribution of wealth in the United States. This short film shows how bad people think it is, what people think the ideal should be and what the situation actually is.  The result?
The disparity between the poorest and the richest is the widest it has ever been in this country.
You can watch the video at this URL.  (  Or, search for wealth distribution video on Google.
All this put together tends to belie the Republican claim that we have to slash taxes more and more.
Now I don't like the idea of paying more taxes any better than anyone else but, I do know there is a need for the money that is collected. I don't like the idea of a huge national debt either, but if it is going down why all these cries of disaster from the Republicans.
The cost of almost everything has been going up and up over the last few years. Food prices have shot up.  Gasoline prices have become practically usurious.
So, in light of all this, when John Boehner says we should only cut and not raise taxes I just can't believe it.
If there has been increases in prices in a lot of the things everyday Americans purchase, why does Boehner seem to believe the government can operate outside price increases and with less and less money?
I'm not saying Washington should go on a spending spree, but the government can't operate without inflation just like the citizens can't.
Yes, there are places where the budget can be cut and savings can be achieved, but Congress will never reach the goals the Republicans claim to want through cuts alone. It just ain't gonna happen and the elephant party needs take its' head out of the sand (or other orifice where it has been stuffed) and face facts.
The facts are we still have problems. There are too many people in this country trying to live at or below the poverty line. While the economy seems to have recovered for the wealthy, all those below the wealthy are still struggling to keep their heads above water. Housing prices may be back to where they were, but I would guess there are less people able to afford those homes now than in the past.  The prices on staples and necessities keep rising, but wages and benefits for employees are reduced or stagnant.
Unless some sane and hard choices are made, we will all be in even greater trouble.
Congress needs to take its' finger out of where it has been stuck and use it to write some legislation to address these problems and then use that finger to press on the "aye" button when that legislation comes up for a vote.

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