On Nov. 6, 2012, the people sent a message: Americans cannot be bought. We do believe there is a place for government in providing services that the private sector is ill-equipped to provide.
We have experienced a change in attitude across the country,
demonstrated by many of the tea party politicians losing their seats and
more progressive Democrats winning seats. But we need to stay vigilant.
The end of the year did not bring major tax increases for working people and
spending cuts, but everything could change in the coming months. The
fight hasn’t ended.
I don’t mind the Bush tax cuts expiring for
everyone if that is what it takes for the richest 1% to start
contributing more to our economy. But I strongly disagree with the
cutting of essential benefits, especially Social Security, Medicare and
Medi-Cal.I also reject the notion that there must be a “balanced
approach” to taxing the rich and the poor. Working families already pay
our share. We need mores union jobs–not cuts.
“balanced approached” has been anything but balanced. It has meant
accepting deep cuts to state and local social programs and services. It
hasn’t meant anything to the wealthy. During Gov. Schwarzenegger’s term,
the Republicans always were able to get tax and regulatory breaks while
working people had to live with cut services–all to get a state budget
approved. No wonder we were more in debt with each new year. Thank
heavens Californians passed Prop 25 in 2010, which changed the
requirement for the legislature to pass a budget from two-thirds to a
simple majority vote.
Social Security and Medicare should be
untouchable. They are benefits in which people have invested throughout
their working years. Unemployment, disability insurance and workers’
compensation are programs that the workers must pay into to receive the
Yes, we have programs for the poor, like food stamps and
assistance with housing and rent. The wealthiest country in the world
should care for the less fortunate among us. Yet, these programs aren’t
only helpful to the poor, the disabled and the unemployed–the money they
receive keeps our economy moving. It is spent at local businesses,
grocery stores and for lodging.
Cutting benefits and services
hurts the middle class and the poor the most.But cuts also take money
out of our economy, causing businesses to contract and unemployment to
go up. The answer is to have corporations and the wealthy pay the taxes
they’ve been avoiding for over a decade.
-Virginia “Ginny” Anders-Ellmore
LA County Nurse Practitioner