Letter: Stop the partisan bickering, start working
Gluttony and greed caused the crash of 2009 and ultimately the Great Recession that our country has experienced. As an economics major, undergraduate, I read an article in 2007 that cautioned about the bubble bursting in the real estate market, warning people to not take out home equity loans to pay for cars, trips, or other depreciable items. Consumer confidence took a dive, after people lost their jobs, houses and 401(k)s. We were all taught a lesson, and rightfully so.
Bipartisan economists have stated that to recover from a crash of that magnitude, it would take at least five years. As a counselor at Peasley Middle School, I have witnessed families moving in together with friends or family members … sometime seven people in two-bedroom homes. One third of our school population of approximately 875 students receives free or reduced lunch. Churches and other service organizations banded together last year to provide food for 100 children in weekend "Backpacks."
The Obama administration has done what it believes was necessary, in order to protect our great nation from heading even further into a depression. We are lucky. Despite our current debt, people are finally spending a little more money, stimulating the economy. Ruby Tuesday had a waiting list of about an hour last night to get a table for six. Yes, our challenge will be to get our debt ceiling in order. If the middle class has more money to spend, by not increasing their taxes, business will grow, by demand. That’s how economics works. But they have to have confidence in their leaders to do that …
This election does represent a major change in what we have gotten used to since the Bush tax cuts took effect. Those cuts were made when our country was in very different shape. I believe now is the time for the average American to get some help, as they were hit the hardest. Millionaires may have had to cut back from five to four houses or from Bentleys to Cadillacs, but they were still eating cake, so to speak, while others didn’t know where their next meal would come from.
But the biggest disappointment that I have had is in our Congressional leaders. Some, like Newt Gingrich and his Tea Party associates, vowed on the day after Obama was elected to block any initiatives he made. That was even before the crash occurred.
My question to the GOP is this (and I have voted Republican more times than Democrat in my years of being a voter): if President Obama is re-elected, how will you support the will of the American people in the debt ceiling crisis? We have no patience for more of your partisan politics. We are sick of the bickering and finger-pointing in Congress, on both sides of the aisle! You were elected to be representatives and statesmen. The American people expect more from their elected officials. Get on the stick and do what you were elected to do … to make the hard decisions that come with challenges, such as what we have just faced with the economy. Cut the flagrant waste in the Medicaid and insurance systems and maybe we could afford health care for all of our citizens! I see it every day in my job, as parents take their child to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room, just to get an attendance note to avoid going to court! Put in place case management systems to track those alarming abuses and stop whining about what you can’t have and find the compromises that will make our country stronger, not more political.
Nancy C. Keenan