To the editor:
If Republican voters would have had their way, Mitt Romney would be president and Republicans would be proposing deficit reduction legislation in the lame duck session of a Republican-controlled Congress. Democrats would be scrambling to save the last lingering remnants of the long trusted Social Security program and 46 years of trusted health care, Medicare. Fortunately, the rest of America re-elected President Obama and there is still hope of saving these lifelong programs preventing millions of seniors from slipping into poverty.
Spiteful Republicans still having to deal with a black President in the White House want to jeopardize our economic recovery again, holding the American people hostage to their so-called shared sacrificed debt reduction plan that would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, trading off only a small increase in tax revenues on the richest one percent that reap the top 40 percent of the country's wealth.
Now is not the time for Democrats to become weak-kneed on this so called "fiscal crisis." Most economists, including the Congressional Budget Office, agree if nothing is done on this arbitrary, Washington-created "fiscal cliff," it will likely drive the economy back into recession.
Virtually every aspect of this fiscal hysteria is wrong. Our country does not have a short-term deficit problem, and the fundamental longterm problem isn't one of soaring debt. Rather, it is a lack of a foundation of sustainable growth that includes creating jobs. This grand bargain being discussed in Washington reflects an elite consensus far removed from what the voters wanted. Americans want jobs, most supported the president's call to raise taxes on the rich. Overwhelmingly, they want basic family security programs protected. Any deal that cuts Medicare and Social Security will slow job growth and increases unemployment, this will be looked as a grand betrayal rather than a grand bargain by the American people.
People need to support the president's initiative on investments in our infrastructure and education, cutting wasteful military spending. Government spending on these programs now should not be looked upon as added debt, but an investment in our children's future.
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In the 1950s, President Eisenhower paid off a huge national debt caused by two major wars, WWII and Korea by building federal highway systems across America, creating millions of new jobs that paid billions in revenue back to the government in payroll taxes. We can do this again.