Friday, March 4, 2011
New Conservatives Defy Public Sentiment
There is no economic argument that our federal deficit spending is too high. The only arguments offered consistently are the homey falsehood that the government must balance its budget just like households and that the debt is really, really big. Neither the falsehood nor an aversion to big numbers is a valid argument.
There must be another reason, and it is being revealed day by day in Wisconsin where Gov. Scott Walker subordinates the rights of citizens to establish a monarchal political agenda. What we see is oppression of dissent, oppression of workers’ rights, establishment of crony government, and give aways of public assets. A similar circus is unwinding in Ohio. If these represent the face of the new conservatives, can we please have the old ones back?
A national poll taken by the Pew Research Center, Feb 2-11, 2011, shows that people steadfastly prefer increases in Education, Veterans’ benefits, Health Care, Medicare, and others as shown in the chart. Certainly these people know that many states have budget crises the worst of which can be helped at federal expense, yet their sentiment is clear.
In addition, a March-1st New York Times/CBS News Poll reveals that 40% would prefer increased taxes over other measures to balance a state budget. Further, 60% oppose taking away collective bargaining rights, and 56% oppose cutting pay and benefits of public employees.
People may not know that these budget crises at both the state and national levels are exaggerated to advance a political agenda that we citizens would otherwise not accept. It would be better to have an emergency tax on those who still have income, than jeopardize our future by neglecting important investments to prosper in it.