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Faced with an economy reeling from the plutocratic policies that these same lawmakers pushed down upon us, they are now whimpering that America is too weak to meet the obvious needs of its own people. “We must surrender to the Gods of Economic Despair,” they cry. At a time when history calls for our leaders to step forth with a bit of FDR boldness and rally grassroots people to rebuild our economy, they trumpet for retreat, giving up on America’s historic ideal of the common good.
A jobs program? “Everyone for themselves,” they shout. Health care for all? “Go to the emergency room,” they scream. Social Security? “Socialism,” they screech, “run away from it!” Public education? “Can’t afford it,” they tell us, as they turn their backs on hundreds of thousands of teachers soon to be fired. Repair America’s rotting infrastructure? “Too big for us, ” they wail, “leave it to the next generation.”
Wagging teabags rather than picking up the tools of real recovery, the woeful voices of American failure insist that they speak for the People. Hogwash. Americans are a strong, community-minded, democratic-spirited, can-do people. Indeed, the latest Gallop poll shows that 60 percent of the public favors “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
“But we must balance the budget,” whine the naysayers. Of course we should, and big majorities say we should do that by putting people to work, taxing the superrich to pay their fair share of Social Security and other public needs, as well as by slashing the $12 billion a month we’re spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s time for our “leaders” to stop whining – and catch up to the people.