Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NEA Asks Members to Weigh In

The National Education Association has asked members across the nation to weigh in on the fight over deficit reduction. The NEA is alarmed at the extremist positions coming from Tea Party members of Congress. Essentially, the Tea Party position is for no revenue increases at all, even from the super rich. Additionally, they are willing to cut key programs that are the underpinnings of our society such as education and health care.

The NEA has asked members to email Congress through the NEA Legislative Action Center at

Congress should be told to support a balanced approach that protects the middle class and preserves the investments that make America strong. Congressmen should be told that any deal must include the wealthiest Americans paying their fair share. Finally, we expect a "no" vote on the Boehner plan which does none of those things.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back With Current Events

I apologize for the long absence. I need some time to decompress after an exhausting legislative session. For DSEA members, our next issue of "Action" will give a summary of the legislative year. You should see this in your mailboxes in a few days.

For the rest of the summer I'll use the blog to comment on timely political and labor issues. Nothing could be more timely than the current battle in DC over the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling should be a non-issue since it simply means that we will continue to pay our debts on already borrowed and spent money. Democratic and Republican presidents have favored the raising of our debt ceiling. President Bush raised the ceiling 7 times, and conservative icon President Reagan raised it 18 times in his two terms.

We live in strange times. Fiscal conservatives, primarily Republicans but with a few Democrats as well are using the debt ceiling as leverage to push a fiscal agenda. Their agenda is strange. In short they are fiscally conservative when it comes to social program spending such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. However, when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, and military spending, they are like drunken libertines. There are legislators among this lot who are willing to risk throwing the nation into an economic depression to push their agenda. Defaulting on our debt would be injurious in good economic times, but will be a disaster in this recession.

You are being blasted with information about the debt ceiling debate in the mainstream media, so I will not belabor it. In conclusion, realize four very important things. First, in spite of the large numbers thrown at you, our debt is not critical because of the large economic capacity of the US. Our debt is just now approaching GDP. Some nations such as Japan carry debt twice their GDP. Second, the current recession has nothing to do with government over-spending and everything to do with greed and imprudence in the private sector. Third, significant debt reduction could be achieved by ending the Bush tax cuts ($1 trillion), ending corporate tax loopholes, and ending our three wars. Finally, the only experience we have with economic conditions as bad as they are today, is the Great Depression. In that circumstance, it was the direction of economist John Maynard Keynes that got the nation back on our feet. Keynesian economics basically believes in using government spending to stimulate a depressed or recessed economy.