Welfare state

Dear Editor:During this presidential election there are a number of economic issues that are going to come up. All across the country there have been cities declaring bankruptcy. Republicans trying to do away with police and firefighter unions. There is the example of the mayor of Scranton, Pa., that slashed his budget and balanced it by paying his police and firefighters minimum wage. Can you imagine that? Some of the most invaluable human resources - our first responders - being paid minimum wage? It has always seemed ironic and slightly hypocritical to me that the Republican strategy for balancing budgets has always been to diminish the quality of life for people. Doing away with unions, keeping the minimum wage at a minimum, while raising the cost of living but failing to create a living wage. Let's not forget all of their other brilliant ideas like taking the food out of the mouths of children in school lunch and breakfast funding, slashing resources for arts and music programs, while failing to raise math and science scores in the general population. All the while attacking President Obama, while taking out of perspective the George W. Bush economic legacy we have all been living with. Then there is the spending they approve of; more monies for prison, patrolling the Mexican border while neglecting the Canadian, oil drilling and let's not forget their ideas about deporting illegals, continuing the drug war for all eternity, and my personal favorite, while U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan, as if they don't have enough to do already, starting a war with Iran, etc. All ideas that do not save money. Now, let us skip back to the Republicans' most favorite scapegoat: the poor. Or the "welfare state" as we so often hear them say. The welfare state invests money in local economies all over the country. When the poor get paid their tiny sustenance, they immediately spend it on goods and services provided in their neighborhoods. They also pay taxes on the things they buy with their welfare. If the Republicans get their way, local economies will see disastrous consequences. And considering how the Republicans have created so many new poor people by all of the aforementioned policies, it seems to me now more than ever a welfare state is the only thing sustaining us. Greta Campbell Downey

********** Published: July 19, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 14