Amongst all the usual hate and froth from the usual two or three right-wing writers to the Daily Local, I was shocked this past week to see two of them giving so much credit to socialism! Our President has rescued our country from world economic collapse – the worst since the great depression, and the RWRs – the right-wing ranters - want to give all the credit to, of all things, socialism? I am not a socialist, but if that is the economic system that has accomplished in a few years what it took two to three decades to accomplish last time, I think it’s time we looked into it.
And what exactly has the President done? He rescued General Motors and Chrysler, saving up to 100,000 hard-working American jobs in the process. General Motors is now recording quarterly profits in the billions and this week Chrysler announced that they were paying off their government loans in full, more than six years ahead of schedule. It took a lot of courage for President Obama and the Democrats to put that legislation through, and the proof is now in that they did absolutely the right thing, even though some of us, myself included. were, at best, skeptical at the time.
When Obama took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Last month we added 244,000. That’s a turnaround of almost one million jobs…each month! And contrary to what the healthcare industry spokesman guest columnist wrote, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ,government jobs have declined in 10 of the last 11 months for a total of 814,000 fewer government jobs in that time. And also from the same non-partisan source, there have been 14 consecutive months of private sector job growth, for a total of 2.1 million new jobs! Best of all, many of the states hardest-hit by the recession are coming back the strongest. Manufacturing centers like Michigan and Ohio are seeing their best job growth since 1999, the last time there was a Democratic administration. No wonder such a clear majority of Americans now approve of the President’s performance and why there are so few qualified Republicans willing to fight his re-election.
Or maybe the socialism they refer to is welfare – corporate welfare, that is - and the redistribution of wealth – our middle and lower-income earnings redistributed by their right-wing friends in Congress who think it is better directed to the big oil companies, who inexplicably still get tax subsidies, while they raked in profits of $32 billion in the first quarter of 2011, (so Big Oil gets you twice – once at the pump, and again in the paycheck) and to their friends on Wall Street and to the big banks and to tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, while cutting health care coverage for seniors and education funds for our kids. General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Boeing are among the corporations that paid no income taxes (some of them even got rebates!), but Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate even more? Non-partisan analysts have shown that the current Paul Ryan GOP “plan” actually increases the national debt by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years - and it still forces seniors to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket and potentially cuts off health care coverage completely for millions of Americans. If cost estimates of the Congressional Budget Office are at all right, the inadequate size of the vouchers — which by 2030 would cover only about a third of seniors’ health costs — would leave many if not most older Americans unable to afford essential care.
If Republicans are serious about debt reduction, as the conservative columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks, wrote: “Republicans should offer to raise tax revenues on the rich. They should get rid of the interest deductions on mortgages over $500,000 and on second homes. They should close corporate loopholes and cap the health insurance deduction.”
Some of us who consider ourselves moderates – on the left and the right – used to think it was a waste of time for some of these writers to be spending their time wailing about death panels and birth certificates, and “proving” our President is a secret Muslim. Now, some of us are thinking that may in fact actually be the best use of their time, even if they use some of it to support socialism.Jamie McVickar
West Vincent Township