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PROSPERITY: Economic Policy  | February 18, 2006


By Douglas Drenkow, Editor of "Progressive Thinking"

A Posting in "OpEdNews," "BarryTalk", & "Comments From Left Field"

“Put your money where your mouth is.” That’s how you tell the straight-shooters from the hypocrites. And see where someone’s priorities really lie.


By that standard, I’m afraid our current leadership is misleading America. Although the list of examples is endless, just consider the following:


Taxes are cut for the wealthiest Americans while the budget is cut for veterans, students, and the most vulnerable among us on Medicaid.


Pre-school is touted, quite rightly, as vital to early childhood development and, thus, later success in life, even as there is an epidemic of pre-school programs falling victim to shortfalls in funding.


Jobs are going overseas and yet we fail to fully fund the education and training of our workforce at home, to keep us competitive in the new global economy.


Human beings are suffering preventable illnesses and dying preventable deaths in the richest nation on Earth because there are too many vested interests standing in the way of some sort of national healthcare system, which most citizens demand.


Thousands of victims of the worst natural disaster in our nation's history — exacerbated by trying to do flood-control on the cheap — are being cut off from temporary housing vouchers, thousands of trailers they were promised left standing unoccupied, six months after the floodwaters receded, despite the president's promise on national TV to do everything required to attend to their needs.


CEOs of multi-national corporations make more every month than each of their front-line workers could make in a lifetime.


The Interior Department is preparing to give billions of dollars in federal tax relief to the very same energy companies that are making a hundred billion dollars a year in profit — the greatest net income in the history of the world — off of each and every last one of us gas-pumping, house-heating, bill-paying Americans.


Lawmakers are lavished with luxury vacations to golf tournaments and resorts around the world with money from slush funds amassed by lobbyists representing the very interests the legislators have sworn to govern.


Millions of dollars are being spent nationwide on voting machines that are vulnerable to hacking at best, rigged at worst — political allies of the owners of the voting machine companies, up to and including the president, pulling off wins that defy the exit polls and defile our democracy.


Our troops are denied the armor for their bodies and vehicles that they need to survive, even after this national scandal is brought to light.


Military contractors are being paid millions of dollars in Iraq for trucks that don’t work and services they never even render to our troops.


Attempts to repeal the "widow's tax," which penalizes the survivors of those killed in combat by reducing their benefits, are thwarted by the congressional leadership.


And up to a half trillion dollars that should have been invested in our people and infrastructure right here at home are being spent — along with thousands of lives and even more limbs — on a war based on a pack of lies and half truths that should have never been fought and that has no end in sight.


America is still a great nation, because of the good spirit of its people. But if we don't wish to have history judge us unkindly, we had better demand better of those we empower.

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