Letter: Political courage often is not politically smart
A house divided against itself cannot stand, President Lincoln said in his 1858 bid for the Illinois Senate. Some historians say he lost that bid because he took a stand not for or against slavery but that it needed to be resolved one way or another. In other words, don’t tell us what we already know but don’t want to deal with. Political courage often is not politically smart.
What must be resolved is that in a country where the lower most needy income group is growing much faster than the upper or, for that matter, the declining middle class, is how do we pay the bills? Helping those who are less fortunate than us is the American way and a tenet in, I would think, most religions. Rugged individualism sounds great, and should be encouraged, but starving children in the streets is what we prefer to see on television ads helping foreign children. So what do we do?
We take care of our own first, meaning those living in the U.S.A. This may require the left and right to concede some ground. Tax breaks for corporations can stimulate job growth for a while, but tax breaks for corporations without jobs in this country lifting people above the poverty line create the problems like we have today.
Social programs that do not require effort on the part of the recipients only feed the problem. It should be more expensive to outsource, offshore, import labor or any other process designed to create profit at the expense of our country. Spending massive amounts in other countries may need to be curtailed.
You may now call me an isolationist; most problems such as our economy and growing income gap do need to be isolated, diagnosed, treated and cured.
Everyone knows this, but many feel it is not their problem. History has shown time and again that the poor can be controlled in lower numbers until the numbers resemble an army. Then someone comes along telling them what they want to hear and bang. Both parties have created this mess, and it will take both to prevent the next.
S. J. Mehaffey