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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/22/11

Beware the "Middle Ground" of the Great Budget Debate

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If Americans understood how much they're paying for defense and how little they're getting, they'd demand a defense budget at least 25 percent smaller than it is today.

Finally, the President's proposed budget doesn't deal with the scandal of the nation's schools in poor and middle-class communities -- schools whose teachers are paid under $50,000 a year, whose classrooms are crammed, that can't afford textbooks or science labs, that have abandoned after-school programs and courses like history and art. Most school budgets depend manly on local property taxes that continue to drop in lower-income communities. The federal government should come to their rescue.

To think of the "center" as roughly halfway between the President's and Paul Ryan's proposals is to ignore what Americans need and want. For our political representatives to find a "middle ground" between the two would be a travesty.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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