To the editor:
In his opinion piece last week (Time for an adult discussion on deficits and debt), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wrote, I remain convinced that our country is at a critically important moment: We simply must seize the opportunity to get our fiscal house in order for the long term, and since last summer this has been one of my top priorities.
As Robert Putnam says in What makes Democracy work?: our evidence suggests that wealth is the consequence, not the cause, of a healthy civics.
The intellectual dishonesty of Mr. Warner, the Obama administration and other government leadership, as well as the financial institutions that got us into this economic meltdown in the first place, is staggering. Senator Warner and others voted against the will of the majority of the people for bills including the stimulus and health care reform act that has put our fiscal house in further disorder.
Not only did Mr. Warner increase debt to an emergency level for the long term, but further set back our already ailing economy and unemployment. The stimulus funds, which were promised to stimulate the economy, have been shown to benefit mostly public sector unions which in general have better benefits and wages than the private sector for similar jobs 10 percent to Wisconsin public sector unions alone!
The private sector creates jobs and wealth to pay the salaries and benefits of the public and private workers, yet most of the stimulus didnt go there. So why would stimulus funds go to public sector unions, you might ask? The union dues go to Democrat campaign funds, in effect taking taxpayer dollars and giving them to the Democratic Party. The public unions create monopolies against the taxpayers and as FDR said, they shouldnt exist.
We havent and wont get our fiscal house in order with greater spending, taxes and giving more money to the public sector unions. But as Putnam has observed, we also wont get there with an intellectually dishonest leadership. Recently, I am reminded of the president lecturing the rest of the country about civility toward the public unions in Wisconsin, but not the unions themselves, which were dishonest in their rhetoric about jobs a loud, disruptive mob, threatening businesses and representatives and trashing the state capital while demanding more money from the taxpayers, most of whom have fewer benefits, some without jobs at all.
The key to this countrys future will come through renewed civics: honesty, trust and passionate debate without denigrating or slandering the other side when there is disagreement, as there will be.
To the editor: