Email letters, January 18, 2013

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COMMENTS

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Thanks to local Republican apologist Josh Penry (“I-70 is an example of the sort of grand projects we no longer build”, January 4, 2013) and self-styled “conservative” hector Dave Kearsley (“Bill Grant among academic elite”, January 23, 2013) for reminding Sentinel readers why Republicans’ simplistic approach to complex problems leads to bad policy.

Dave established his dubious bona fides by insisting in early 2009 that the stock markets’ predictably negative reaction to the financial crisis reflected investors’ lack of confidence in President Obama’s ability to deal with it.  Since then, Dave has never admitted the converse – the stock market recovery confirms that Obama, Geithner, Bernanke, et al, knew what they were doing (despite incessant Republican obstructionism).

“Personally, I [also] like people who cut to the chase”.  Thus, as Josh implied and Dave flatly states, “this country has a spending problem” – we are not spending enough now, when borrowing to make productive investments at negative interest rates is sensible.

In fact, according to genuinely credentialed economists (and well-informed “academics” like Bill Grant), we are not spending enough on food stamps, unemployment benefits, alternative energy, and infrastructure projects (see Josh’s I-70 lament).  According to Republicans, we are also not spending enough on school safety and diplomatic security.

Contrary to Dave’s disingenuous mischaracterization, President Obama has never said that “we don’t have a spending problem”.  Rather, he has consistently acknowledged that our burgeoning national debt arises from both excessive spending (on misguided wars, for example) and from irresponsibly but deliberately diminished revenues.

Ample additional revenues for a “balanced approach” are available through tax reform, from reinstating the financial transaction tax, from “cap and tax” (a Republican idea), and from responsible consolidation of our massive post-9/11 “military-intelligence complex”.

“It’s that simple” – and Republicans “better figure that out” before they threaten to tank the economy again.

                Bill Hugenberg



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