Disappointment is too weak a word for how I feel about the debt deal. Legislators who appear to have no understanding of either economics or human kindness have derailed an economy that was already on rickety rails.
We’ve been hearing that it isn’t the government’s job to take care of people. The hell it ain’t! The government is the people.
Legislators take care of their people – the ones who contribute to their campaigns. The rest of us suffer under an onslaught of bad legislation.
Now is a time for investment instead of spending cuts. We could start with a comprehensive energy policy, one that explores all sources of energy so the U.S. can be truly independent. We need America’s oil and gas, and we need its wind and geothermal energies and solar power. Investments in green energies would provide jobs and energy security, a double win for the American people.
Bridges are crumbling, roads are potholed, and sewer systems need updating.
If cities and states can’t afford to rebuild infrastructure, the people can help. Remember the WPA and the CCC? What if we recreated those programs?
The long-term unemployed could be paid salaries equal to unemployment benefits to repair and rebuild public schools, parks, water systems, and roads.
We should abolish tax loopholes that don’t create jobs and replace them with credits for keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States.
While we’re at it, let’s revisit free trade agreements to make sure they benefit American workers as well as American corporations.
Let’s invest in education, the best tool we have to promote democracy. Instead of giving Ds and Fs, we need to give schools adequate funds and real education plans to fix their problems, most of which are truly societal problems.
Imagine supplying schools with libraries and librarians, with counselors and teachers and classes that instill a love of learning. You can’t do that with standardized tests, which cost a lot of money and give doubtful results.
Instead, invest in programs that directly impact students. An adequate education system won’t fix all the problems caused by poverty, addiction, and ignorance, but it would surely fix some.
Instead of ushering in phase two of the recession, let’s invest the people’s money where it will do the most good. I don’t want my tax dollars in a corporation’s offshore account. I’d rather see them in the pockets of working men and women who are ready and able to rebuild this country.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer