America's Day of Reckoning is Here
Even while we see jobs coming back, the tsunami created by the Great Recession is now hitting cities and counties with full force. Suffolk County, one of the largest
As the cities go belly up, the 1 percent are back. A new report by
In cities, the crisis is forcing harsh cuts in services. As
Cities and counties could muffle the effect for a couple of years after the crash, drawing on "rainy day funds" and creative financing maneuvers. But now, the day of reckoning is hitting - and hitting hard.
Lower property values, the result of the housing bubble crash, are now being registered in tax valuations. Millions were lost as the banks trampled the law while dodging recording and transfer fees on mortgages. Unemployment and poverty put greater pressure on budgets, particularly on health care through
Across America, cities and counties are cutting bone and muscle, not fat. Teachers and police are being laid off. Parks are closing. Badly needed sewer and road repairs are being put off. And brutal battles are beginning with public workers, who are now forced to pay for a crisis that they did nothing to create.
America is a rich nation, but our wealth is now too concentrated among the few. As in
These should not be controversial statements. We can't simply tell a young generation that the American Dream is a nightmare for them. We can't have a prosperous economy if the middle class is sinking. We can't have a great nation if we have hollowed out our economy, and starved schools and vital public services. We will not long be a democracy if the wealthiest pocket the rewards and check out of building the nation.
Yet it is striking how many in both parties are in denial. All of the Republican candidates call for more top end tax cuts, more military spending and even harsher cuts in schools, infrastructure and support for children. Congressional Republicans block even modest support for cities to keep teachers and cops on the job. Democrats like
We can't go on this way. We have to choose. Do we assume that a recovery that benefits the few will eventually trickle down to the rest of us? Do we so hate government that we let cities go bankrupt and starve vital services like schools and parks and police? Are we so divided that we don't care if poor children have health care or a fair start?
We face the reckoning. We can keep going on the path we've been on, or change our course. To do that, Americans will have to mobilize, take on the entrenched interests and demand a change.
We have to choose.
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America's Day of Reckoning is Here | Politics
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