To the editor:
When President Obama gave his State of the Union address, he laid down a road map for our nation's continued economic recovery. He could easily have chosen to take a hard line strategy that would be politically effective, if he did not bend on immigration or entitlement cuts. Social Security and advocates of immigration reform would be electoral winners for Democrats in 2014.
Unfortunately, the president is faced with the so-called budget sequestration at the end of this month, so he is forced to play hardball with a Republican-controlled House that is bent on cutting the big three entitlements; Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
It remains to be seen just what type of a grand bargain the president will agree to to prevent the sequestration.
Senate Democrats claim they will block any proposal that reduces benefits to Medicare and Social Security. After all, $1.6 trillion was cut from the budget last year under the Budget Control Act. If Congress will not bargain, the budget agreement fails and we go into the sequestration, which could be devastating to our economy, the American people and every aspect of government.
The Democratic big demand on a budget agreement is more revenue versus attacking senior entitlements.
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Why should we cut the national debt on the backs of the middle class by cutting entitlements, when 25 percent of American corporations pay no tax on profits at all? Many corporate and investment profits go to offshore accounts. Government subsidies to big oil are $4 to 5 billion a year. The list of corporate welfare goes on and on.
Right now, for every $7 in cuts to the budget, we spend only $3 on government programs for the poor and the middle class. Corporate America and the rich are still getting off way too cheap.
The problem with our debt isn't money - it's lack of jobs. We need government and corporate investment in education, transportation, electrical and renewable energy infrastructures. We are falling behind every major industrial county in the world.
Wake up, America. When government invests into tomorrow's technology creating jobs, employee payroll taxes will reduce government debt. We can't keep trying to cut ourselves to prosperity. In 1952, President Eisenhower spent big time to upgrade our highway infrastructure and America prospered for 40 years. Today's Republicans should take a lesson from their own history.