OAKLAND, California -- The American people are the losers in the government shutdown.
Margaret Gordon of the Construction and Trade Training Program in Oakland had this to say about the latest political shenanigans going on in Washington, D.C.: "While it is clear there is no sign of intelligent life in the Congress, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to be permanently downsized through reengineering. No government or business accountability exists anywhere. Each attack on entitlement programs is death for another group of people expendable by the standards of sleazy politicians doing the bidding of the rich."
Americans everywhere are asking, "Who do we owe $4.9 trillion dollars to?" It certainly doesn't get spent on social needs:
Our education system has been cut back for the last 30 years because investment in youth is too costly.
Reform of welfare grants and health care means shifting money to tax breaks for the rich.
One out of four children is living in poverty.
30,000,000 Americans depend on some kind of food subsidy to make it through the month.
Many working Americans don't have any health care.
Prison building continues to be the fastest-growing and most costly industry as an answer to poverty and hunger rather than jobs.
Dorothea Lawyer, board president of the Women's Economic Agenda Project (WEAP), commented that, "Elected politicians making $125,000 a year with an excellent health care plan and retirement plan of $90,000 -- even if they're forced to resign because of unethical behavior -- now declare that they're the lower middle class. The only beneficiaries of a recovering economy and their balanced budget are the rich who continue to get larger tax subsidies, pay no taxes and soon will be the only ones who can lobby Congress with millions of dollars of their bribe money. It's no wonder the polarity between the rich and poor is larger now than at any other time in the history of mankind."
Renee Pecot, program director of WEAP, said, "We are witnessing class politics as more and more of the wealth of this country is being distributed to the rich and the shameless. It is clearly the upper class that is in charge of Washington politics as usual. What do politicians have to fear that they had to tack on an amendment to the balanced budget making it illegal for non-profits to lobby Congress, who have their funding cut? The war on the poor continues and the freedom of all Americans is being eroded."
For more information about WEAP, write to WEAP, 518 17th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, California 94612.