Friday, March 18, 2011

Minnesota Budget Cuts vs. the American Dream

There is a petition at MoveOn.org to the Minnesota legislature. The text of the petition is:

"Minnesota is already dealing with tough budget cuts. Corporations and the wealthy must pay their fair share for quality schools, police, health care, and other vital public services."

I have added comments to this petition, and I will be sending these comments directly to my state representatives:
Refusing to have corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share while cutting programs for the poor and cutting public services is irresponsible and reprehensible. The wealthy did not get rich in a vacuum, and cutting programs which help the middle class while getting their wealth from the middle class does not make sense.

Republicans are not fiscal conservatives. They are using debts and deficits to de-fund programs that they do not like. They are the ones that ran up the national debt over the last 30 years. And with the resulting Great Recession due for the most part to deregulation of the financial markets and the lifting of restrictions on banks, state budgets are experiencing large deficits and revenue shortfalls.

Large numbers of the middle class have become poorer because of this recession. At the same time, conservatives are busy dismantling programs which could assist those newly poor people while simultaneously lowering taxes for the wealthy.

Conservatives have a philosophy of individual responsibility with no social responsibility, and a misguided moral code which labels the poor as lazy and spiritually weak. There has been massive deregulation, repeated efforts to eliminate government agencies with oversight responsibilities, lower taxes on the rich and on corporations, lower capital gains taxes, while simultaneously slashing spending on programs which assist the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly.

Having the same conservative philosophy at the state level as at the national level is a double hit for the economically disadvantaged. Don't balance the budget on the backs of the middle class.

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