S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It may be as bad as we fear when it comes to our long recession.

The United States and other nations, for that matter, are far from being out of the woods economically.  Almost half the people in the United States are poor or low income, according to recent census data.  Congress is unable to get its act together and the government may just shut down. Republicans and Democrats differ wildly on the reality of the current situation.  To quote from CBS News,
Congressional Republicans and Democrats are sparring over legislation that would renew a Social Security payroll tax cut, part of a year-end political showdown over economic priorities that could also trim unemployment benefits, freeze federal pay and reduce entitlement spending.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, questioned whether some people classified as poor or low-income actually suffer material hardship. He said that while safety-net programs have helped many Americans, they have gone too far, citing poor people who live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs.
A compassion deficit within the Far Right seems apparent.  Politics trumps concern about what is currently happening to the so-called "99%" of us.  Reuters reports that, "Republicans introduced a $915 billion spending bill in the House of Representatives early on Thursday in an attempt to force Democrats to finalize legislation that would keep the U.S. government operating beyond the weekend."  We are again into hostage taking mode. Too many House Members and Senators have been "purchased" by corporate money. Fiscal ignorance and greed abounds.  We are at risk until Congress comes to understand the peril into which they are propelling us.
Read further and come to your own conclusion.  Joseph Stiglitz, Pulitzer prize winning economist, explained a great deal about our long term economic and fiscal crisis in a recent Vanity Fair article, "A Banking System  Is Supposed To Serve Society, Not the Other Way Around."  HT to @mattyglesias for the article.

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