Letter: Now that the election is over
Finally, the election is over (as I write this, I don’t even know who won) and maybe now we can talk about two critically important things that for some reason during 18 months of campaigning we could not talk about.
First is the "47 percent" issue. Maybe it isn’t 47 percent but surely there is some number that essentially says our country is in trouble: either because it can’t create enough jobs with incomes high enough to pay income taxes or because it in effect creates a class society with some unhealthy number of people who don’t care about the consequences of higher taxes because they don’t pay them anyway.
I don’t know the answer to this, but there are a lot of smart people in major institutions around the country who run economic models on just about everything. Why can’t we have a legitimate discussion on this topic, and know where the danger zone really is and whether or not we are heading there?
The second issue that we just can’t seem to talk about is whether the policy of borrowing money and raising taxes to sustain government jobs is sustainable over the long run as many seem to think it is. Not only is it a question of sustainability in the long run, but is it healthy in the short run? Look at California and many of its cities. Look at other major cities and some states. Look right here in Gloucester where last year we increased our debt and raised property taxes double digits so we could guarantee every government employee a job and give them a pay raise. This may have been right in the short run, it may be sustainable in the long run, I don’t know; but we have to be able to discuss these things and fully understand the consequences of actions our political leaders take often simply to get re-elected.
If we can’t talk about these things and agree on at least some range of acceptability then we will never know whether our leaders are doing the right thing or not and it really won’t matter who won the election this week: We all lost.