It seems strange that Sen. Portman is blaming Gov. Strickland for the drubbing the economy took under Pres. Bush, while Gov. Kasich is taking the credit for the restoration of the economy under Pres. Obama. Nobody was able to fend off the damage caused by out of control banks and lending institutions. Perhaps there was some sharing of blame and fixing, but this is not black and white.
Lack of regulation, something Republicans are again demanding, was behind much of the problem. Our deficit increased when Bush took us into two wars without paying for them. Then with greater tax cuts to the super wealthy, the deficits rose. Shrinking of funds for local, state, and federal governments, cutting or eliminating services to Americans, followed these actions. Schools, roads, police, fire, nurses, head start, health services, aid to veterans, and help for the old and poor all took hits.
Wallowing in even more wealth, some people at the top are playing with their money: buying legislators, pushing up real estate prices so ordinary Americans can’t afford to buy homes, playing with companies and bankruptcy, sending jobs overseas or cutting benefits to American workers.
The ugly underside of all this wealth, a swelling of greed, has led to bashing of poor people or middle class people who have lost ground in income while having fewer services available to them. Single mothers, condemned by many of the GOP candidates, are not lazy. They’re exhausted and tense, trying to hold things together on several jobs at low wages.
How rich or poor you are is not a measure of how good you are or how hard you work. Bashing the people you are hurting is time honored, or dishonored, but it’s not fair or honest.
When we had higher taxes for those at the top of the income scale and fewer loopholes, they still had plenty of money and the economy worked well for others. Taxes help our nation. So do regulations. The lead-poisoning of children in Flint, Michigan, could perhaps have been avoided by better regulations and attention to infrastructure. Parts of our country look like the third world. Health services are shrinking for women and children. Overloading schools with testing and more and more responsibilities have strained resources and exhausted teachers. Nurses are overworked. Hard-working cleaning ladies and garbage men struggle from paycheck to paycheck. Financial predators are still out there trying to gouge them.
We are made safer, both physically and financially, by many regulations. Without them, without the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (one of Pres. Obama’s many ways to help Americans), our air, water, drugs, finances, and health would be at greater risk than they already are. It’s time to build up our treasury to address real problems together. And we need to think big.
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