Already stretching their fund with Herculean might, state and municipal governments face an added crisis: reduced property tax revenue caused by foreclosure and the mortgage meltdown. Block after block sport “foreclosure sale” signs these days and the public notice section of local newspapers are full of sheriff and bank real estate auctions. For much of America, hard times are already here and, no matter how the political candidates duck and dodge domestic economic issues, the public wants answers.
For many, the War on Terror is waging a war on their schools, streets, public safety departments and urban transportation programs as it drains money and resources for overseas adventures. Western governors were in an uproar during the forest fire season because much of the equipment they would have used for fighting the fires was overseas—in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Healthcare is another at risk sector, as is evidenced by the recently passed bill in the House. Democrats, accused by many of falling in line with the President’s war plan and slash and burn budget tactics, fire back at critics and say it could have been a lot worse.
Rep. David Obey (D, Wis.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the act is a true compromise. "The omnibus appropriations bill is totally inadequate to meet the long-term investment needs of the country, but it is a whole lot better than the country would have without a Democratic Congress." (American Medical News, January 21, 2008)
Researchers question whether the President values the importance of health research. At least one medical professional has questioned whether there is an outright assault on medical research and healthcare in the United States.
"Instead of fighting a war on disease, it looks like we've started a war against science," Dr. Palazzo said. The FASEB campaigned for 6.7% NIH increases between 2008 and 2010 to make up for previous budgets that failed to keep up with inflation. (Ibid)
The altered state of reality which has become Election ‘08 threatens to avoid the really critical questions of whether this nation can survive as a viable economic and political power. The trivializing of issues, the pandering to cosmetic differences among candidates, the failure to include viable candidates in debates, the juvenile obsession with Hillary’s hair, or Obama’s “blackness”, or Romney’s religious duties, or what dress style Guiliani has been seen in, or whether any of them are going to scream louder than Dean does a disservice to the nation, the candidate, and to the voters.
Where are the investigative reporters? Where are the news analysts? Where are the critical thinkers, writers, columnists and reporters?
Are we all so cowardly and spineless that we take our frustrations out on those who can’t fight back? Are we all so weak-minded, that, rather than confront our government, or its current and wanna be representatives, we insult, belittle and attack the most vulnerable among us?
A young girl won an intense competition and brought home a jersey of her favorite football team. Unfortunately for the child, she was roundly booed for wearing the jersey at a football game, by members of the opposing team’s fans. (AP)
Now, what sort of bravery does it take to pick on a kid? What kind of “adult” ruins a child’s precious moment with unsportsmanlike behavior because she supports her team?
People have either lost their homes, or are under dire threat of doing so, while others have lost their jobs, and are close to losing their minds. The nation’s homeless shelters and food banks are overwhelmed, while the clueless and foolish deny that there are people in this nation who really go hungry and are homeless.
When an unheated, no utilities garage in California “rents” for $500 a month, and a raggedy apartment in a worse part of town goes for $800 or more, we have a housing crisis already, let alone what may fall out of the tree when the foreclosure bomb finally blows. When millions of Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and millions of others are so out of touch that they don’t see the problem, we are in big trouble.
But, no, let’s concentrate on hair, screams and whether Obama is black enough, too black, or which hairstyle best suits Hillary. Let’s all allow ourselves to be diverted by questions of what a candidate “would have done” as opposed to what President Bush has already done. Come on, don't let the debates, distortions and discourse distract, divert and destroy you.
It’s not about hairstyle, or skin color, or religious persuasion. In the words of an old Presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.”