Saturday, February 26, 2011

On David Brooks, "Runaway Debt" and America's Moral Challenges

David Brooks, a conservative columnist who writes in The New York Times, wrote that he is saddened that Mitch Daniels, Republican Governor of Indiana, is inclining not to run for President.  In praising Daniels, Brooks commented that "the country's runaway debt is the central moral challenge of our time."  I think that is ludicrous and sent the below email to David in response.  His column is at
Dear David,
  Do you truly believe that this country’s runaway debt is the central moral challenge of our time?  It's truly sad if you do.
  Not the increasing inequality in this vast and still wealthy country.  Not the failure to grapple with millions of uninsured were so-called Obamacare to be eliminated.  Not this country's failure to recognize its limits as the world's policeman.  Not our need to face up to the challenges of a country increasingly changing in its demographic character, by which I mean the incredible growth of the Hispanic population.
  Yes, the debt is and should be of major concern.  But the greatest moral challenge?  Spare me.  How about focusing on the "morality" surrounding its emergence -- a banking system focused on creating obscure and obscene kinds of financial instruments based on mortgages given to non-qualifying candidates?  What say you on that?  I don't know Mitch's position on Obama's financial regulation legislation but I know Republicans in general oppose it, despite lessons all of us should have learned from the recent Great Recession.
  No, David, you're wrong.  That you see the debt as a moral challenge rather than the consequence of a good faith effort to avoid the pitfalls of the Great Depression by priming the pump through government spending is quite sad.
  Please think more before you write.  You're more balanced than most conservatives but you truly need to clean your lenses and check out what the real "moral" challenges are that face us.
  Donald A. Newman
  Long Beach, CA

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Contempt for 'Talking Heads' and Budget Cutters

I have such contempt for all the so-called 'talking heads' who appear on the bankrupt cable news channels (CNN, FoxNews, MsNBC) at times of crisis claiming to know what they are talking about, not that the usual suspects know anything either.  Now it's Egypt.  Was Tunisia a month ago.  On to Yemen.  Of course, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq remain perennials.

And then there's the domestic agenda but my contempt there focuses on the self-described budget cutters.  Cut the budget by $100 billion say the Tea Party losers but, uh, don't touch defense, Medicare, Social Security.  Which leaves what?  Environmental Protection?  Federal subsidies for education?  Why not eliminate the Food & Drug Administration?  Let the states handle highway construction and regulation of commerce.  They do such splendid jobs at it.  Obama is talking about taking the federal government out of the mortgage industry (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), something that probably makes sense, but the real estate industry -- yes, the business side -- is hollering no, as they fear their industry will suffer.  The FACT is that if federal spending is to be curtailed defense and the entitlement programs will have to be hit.  But will seniors stand for that?  (I won't!!!  ;-) )

Anyway, the time may have come to offer myself for prime time.  The older I get, the more I realize how dumb, uninformed and ignorant the next generation is proving itself to be.  ;-)