Communications & Public Awareness in Health & Human Services
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Fix the Economy? Care for the Poor? Somehow Do Both?

As we approach the midterm elections, we continue to face daunting economic realities. The most recent Associated Press Economy Survey predicts continued slow growth through 2011. Suze Orman on CNN today points out that one of every thirty-four people who had earned income in 2008 had none in 2009. Tea Party activists (featured on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal) push for replacement of Senators and Congresspersons who approved the bank bailouts and other emergency measures put successfully in place by both Republican and Democratic administrations to stop the nation’s slide into economic depression at the level of a Great Recession. Folks are upset that some are receiving help with mortgages they can no longer afford. Those fortunate enough still to have their jobs worry that taxes will increase and they’ll not be able to make ends meet next year.

What do we do? What will we do? There are many conflicting opinions about how best to emerge from this recession. Some believe that reducing taxes even further will stimulate investments and create jobs. Some suggest that tax reduction for some but not for all would be more fair in the long run, because people in the top economic tiers have much more “wiggle room” as far as meeting the basic necessities for life than those in the bottom and middle tiers have.

Whatever the ultimate solution, this election is not a referendum on how well the steps taken thus far have worked. It’s an opportunity to choose how we’ll move forward from here. Will we continue to take steps to make sure American children don’t go to bed hungry because their parents are out of work? Will we stay the course with health care finance reform so that we see the savings from having prevention and care available in less expensive venues for more people? Will we give huge tax cuts to those who can live very comfortably without them or will we give the wealthiest of our citizens the same tax cuts that are offered to the middle class and the poor?

Ultimately, unless we are willing to work together to move forward, taking care of the children, the aged, the poor, the middle class and yes, even the wealthy; offering education, health care, clean environments in which to live, safe food, and time to stop and enjoy life, we will all be diminished by our lack of vision and confidence that together we have enough resources in this great land to take care of all.

We are all in this together. Some have many more resources than others, but we are all in it together. We must work together to get out of the hole in which we find ourselves economically. Not only is it a social and moral obligation, the future of our country as a leader in innovation and solutions to the challenges facing the world is at stake. Let’s not blow it by separating into warring camps, each fighting for its own tiny piece of the pie and willing to leave others to fend for themselves. Together we can work wonders. Let’s get started.


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