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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/29/15

The Deficits Republicans Don't Want to Talk About

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I agree with Republicans -- the United States has a deficit problem.

It's just not the same deficit problem Republicans are freaking out about.

Shortly after sweeping the November midterms, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, outlining their plans for the upcoming Congress.

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In that op-ed, they wrote that Republicans would work to address, "a national debt that has Americans stealing from their children and grandchildren, robbing them of benefits that they will never see and leaving them with burdens that will be nearly impossible to repay."

As usual, Boehner and McConnell were sounding the alarms over our nation's federal deficit, something Republicans like to do a near-daily basis.

But, what they didn't say in that op-ed is that our federal deficit has actually improved A LOT in recent years.

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Our federal deficit has been slashed by more than two-thirds since President Obama took office, and deficits over the next decade are going to be around $4.7 trillion lower than what the Congress Budget Office estimated just four years ago.

Instead of focusing on a federal deficit that's at its lowest point in years, Republicans should instead be focusing on the United States' real deficit problem.

In a new report titled, "We Must Rebuild the Disappearing Middle Class," Sen. Bernie Sanders talks about the other deficits we are facing as a nation, and how we can go about addressing them.

Those deficits are in jobs, infrastructure, income, equality, retirement security, education and trade.

Right now, millions of Americans are unemployed or underemployed. As Sen. Sanders points out in his report, the real unemployment rate, which counts those underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, sits at a staggering 11.2 percent.

This is not a problem that we can just ignore.

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Instead, Sen. Sanders is arguing that we take a page out of FDR's playbook, and create a new federal jobs program, which would put millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans to work in well-paying jobs.

One of the fastest ways to create those jobs is by addressing our nation's infrastructure deficit.

As we speak, our bridges are falling down, our roads are buckling and our transportation systems are a joke compared to the rest of the developed world.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 
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