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Your Opinion: We haven't learned from past woes

Your Opinion: We haven't learned from past woes

August 11th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

As local comedians quip about "Emperor Obama," citizens in real time are gouged by brutal realities.

Over the past 25 years both political parties have sucked on the teat of free market economics. This has brought deregulation of industries and finance who in turn finance the ever-growing costs of political campaigns. It's a very small cost for business to buy political influence when the returns can be so large. It's a poisonous system that most people find repulsive. There is no magic bullet.

There is a large national debt because of a lot of reckless political behavior. Both parties deregulated the financial industries which lead to two market crashes in the past 10 years. What was the political response? Hire the guys who added to the problem to solve the economy. Is that working?

We now have a debt agreement that will not really do much about the debt. In fact, the hands of politicians will probably be tied. In the next year failure to approve discretionary spending, extend the payroll tax holiday and potentially end extended unemployment insurance will cost the U.S. 1.8 million jobs. Despite brave talk we are extending our economic misery.

The surely unconstitutional super group to solve the debt issues will either cause more pain or fail and alleged cuts will be made in the military budget. What could that mean?

Since 9/11/01 there has been a gigantic $2.3 trillion increase in military spending. The wars sucked up $1.3 trillion and the base military budget got an additional $1 trillion. Maybe you think the blood and treasure were worth it in the wars. Meanwhile, our forces are smaller, older and less trained than they were even in the Clinton era. Some of our money was squandered aimlessly and the rest spent in ways that have solved nothing.

What is happening is not inevitable. We could have learned lessons from America's past economic woes. It's plain we have not learned or are totally incapable of acting in our own best interests.

Locally we elected our own "economic terrorist" who brags on national TV about how we locally out the Tea Party movement in our desire to destroy our own government. Representative Hartzler and her husband took $774,000 in government farm subsidies over a 14-year period.

Farm subsidies may be okay. Politicians who are less hypocritical would be better. We need solutions not slogans.