Not That Simple

Okay so it’s not that simple.  Fixing the U S economy won’t be easy after years of outsourcing jobs, funding an obscene military budget and sliding into unimaginable debt.

Until we stop over-spending and under-earning the debt ceiling will increase.  Money is going to have to be shuffled around.  But I can’t believe the talk about using Social Security money to make ends meet.

On Friday, Dennis Kucinich had this to say to the House of Representatives:

The huffing and puffing over the debt crisis is reminiscent of Washington’s tumult over the Wall Street bailout:

Panic the public with claims that the sky is falling! Then start to drop things from the sky: in this case, threats that Social Security checks will not be set out.

We must avoid default, but Social Security didn’t cause the debt crisis. Social Security had nothing to do with the debt crisis. Withholding Social Security checks or cutting Social Security benefits would represent a default to the American people and an abandonment of the principles of economic justice that created Social Security.

The White House wants a ‘Big Deal.’ A $4 trillion debt deal. But that deal must not come from cuts to Social Security or Medicare.

Millions of senior citizens, who in their lifetime built this country, who fought for this country, who depend on these Social Security checks as an economic lifeline want to see if their concerns are a big deal to us.

I realize I’m wading in unfamiliar waters here.  I don’t know too much about our federal budget or our political process.  But I’m going to trust that Dennis Kucinich knows what he’s talking about.  His words resonate with that I’ve been reading.  I think we need to bring our outsourced jobs back to America, slow down our runaway consumerism and deflate the military budget.

I vote to bring our troops home to grow food.  I want to see legislation rein in the for-profit corporations hiding behind corporate personhood.  And I think we need laws requiring manufacturers pay the real price for the natural resources they use to make junk we don’t need.

Our culture is all topsy turvy, our values are skewed in favor of individual freedom at the cost of the greater good.  As James Howard Kunstler puts it:

Americans historically have a low regard for the public realm, and this is a very unfortunate thing, because the public realm is the physical manifestation of the common good. And when you degrade the public realm, as we have, then you degrade the common good. This is what lies behind a whole range of social problems, from crime to municipal bankruptcy. Our disregard for the public realm has especially impaired our ability to think about public life, or civic life, let alone civic art. We built a nation of scary places and became a nation of scary people.

In my mind, it really is simple.  We prioritize our spending based on quality of life, keeping in mind the common good.  We as a country, have a choice.  We can continue the same short sighted spiral into bankruptcy or we can begin making mature choices for a civilized and sustainable future.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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