Friday, August 31, 2012

Feeling Better or Worse?

Am I better off than I was 4 years ago? The Republican nominee for President wants to know.

Let's see. In 2008 the financial sector was teetering on the brink, threatening a world credit collapse. In August '08 the Dow was tanking from a low of 11,543.55 to another low of 7,773.71 October 19 (and still had lower to go). Detroit was heading towards bankruptcy (which Mitt Romney said should be allowed to happen). Two wars were running us deeper into debt, and Osama bin Laden was still alive. The economy was hemorraghing jobs, and I personally owned 2 houses in a market that had not begun to turn around. Health care coverage was a matter of luck. Equal pay for women was not the law. So yes, I am better off living in a stable economy, with jobs being added and housing beginning to come back. (I did manage to sell the former home.) As for the wars, it's much easier to start wars--yes, plural--than to get out of them. It's not pretty, but the U.S. has left Iraq and is leaving Afghanistan. As a citizen, both public and private, I feel better off since 2008. 

But: what about the last TWO years?  In January 2010, the conservative Supreme Court justices by a 5-4 margin overturned years of electoral fairness laws and thereby unleashed Citizens United, allowing unlimited spending by political interest groups. Awash in cash, Tea Party Republicans sent representatives to Congress that November with one priority: obstruct the President. 

The most memorable example: Tea Party Republicans blocked the U.S. being able to pay its bills. Even Speaker of the House John Boehner was caught off-guard. As a result, the U.S. credit rating got downgraded. And now, Republicans blame the President! What chutzpah.*

Readers are well aware of the past two years of conservative attacks on women's rights, gay rights, voters' rights, on Medicare for the future old, of the proposed Medicaid cuts to be funded by more tax cuts for billionaires.

The question should be: will you be better off 4 years from NOW if you continue these alarming trends of 2010?

*(You know the definition of chutzpah: the man who murdered his parents and then pled for mercy in court because he was an orphan.)


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