Local view: Congress hasn’t done much for peopleIn this government of the people, by the people and for the people, why has government not been criticized for what it hasn’t done? How can relatively low-income people be hornswoggled by their “democratic” government?
By: Bernie Hughes, for the News Tribune
In this government of the people, by the people and for the people, why has government not been criticized for what it hasn’t done? How can relatively low-income people be hornswoggled by their “democratic” government? I’m truly conscience-stricken. People in the middle class have been sold a bill of goods.
Take property loans, for example. Bankers, in olden times, were careful when making loans. Property was examined for true value. Buyers were analyzed as to the extent of loan they could handle. Buyers made realistic, legal loans. I remember when my parents obtained a loan for a 100-acre dairy farm nine miles west of Menomonie, Wis. A banker from St. Paul drove to the farm to determine that both the lender and the borrower were about to obtain a fair and square deal. No middle individual handling the papers briefly and signing off received a commission.
Today, property loans too often are misrepresented. Loans can be doctored with questionable values. Banks “too big to fail” have been found guilty but have been able to negotiate penalties that seem minor compared to the dollars involved.
For far too many low-income and middle-class people, the rug has been pulled out. The immoral spread of income and wealth steadily has been increasing. For too long, the super-wealthy justified their gains by claiming they’re job creators. That song and dance has been proven false again and again, but the tune keeps being sung.
Middle-class families drive the economy. With money to spend, they spend. Henry Ford knew this. He doubled his workers’ pay so they had money to buy his new car.
Why hasn’t the government copied Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy of job creation? Conservatives say the debt is too high; we can’t add any more. Their cry would have some merit if they supported reducing military spending. We have hundreds of military bases around the world and the largest military. Why not reduce the military? On our last two credit-card wars, considering our enormous debt, why did we spend like there was no tomorrow? Why continue “empire building” with our debt already high?
Why have our conservative friends focused mainly on social-welfare programs when cutting?
We need to reduce our debt, as successfully was done during the Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton presidencies. Instead, shortsighted greed, addicted billionaires and multinational corporations continue to obtain wealth and resources. With straight faces, they claim, “We can’t afford more taxes.” Forbes magazine identified 1,426 billionaires with 210 new billionaires joining this year. Fairness?
Our financial predicament is not totally conservatives’ fault. Liberals went along during George W. Bush’s presidency, cooperatively doing damage. I hope readers have seen a chain email purporting to be the Congressional Reform Act of 2013. It is not an official act or bill before Congress, but some of the ideas, if adopted, would do a lot to return us to a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Bernie Hughes of Superior is professor emeritus of educational administration at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.