Every day you hear and read the false belief that the federal deficit and debt are “unsustainable” and should be reduced. You hear and read the false belief that federal deficit spending causes inflation.
What you don’t hear is the terrible cost of reducing the deficit and debt. Here are just three examples of how each day, America is diminished — how each day we lose a bit of our greatness.
New York Times
Student Loan Interest Rates Loom as Political Battle
By Tamar Lewin
President Obama begins an all-out push on Friday to get Congress to extend the low interest rate on federal student loans, White House officials said, an effort that is likely to become a heated battle along party lines. If Congress fails to act, the interest rate on the loans, which are taken out by nearly eight million students each year, will double on July 1, to 6.8 percent.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a one-year freeze on the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans would cost $6 billion.
What does it cost America if just one brilliant child is financially unable to attend college? No one knows, of course. But imagine if a hundred thousand of our best and our brightest are forced into menial jobs, especially in this increasingly high-tech world where brains win against brawn. As our factory workers are replaced by machines, and our machines are replaced by artificial intelligence, where will our former greatness be a decade from now?
What will we lose? A physicist who would have led us to the stars? An artist? A great political leader? A great legal mind who will improve our Supreme Court? Will we lose the next Jonas Salk, who saved millions of children from a crippling death?
The answer is “yes,” we will lose those people and thousands of others like them, who might have built America.
Lawmakers skeptical of Quinn Medicaid cuts, $1 tax on cigarette packs
By Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Alissa Groeninger, Chicago Tribune reporters, April 20, 2012
SPRINGFIELD— — Gov. Pat Quinn challenged lawmakers Thursday to approve a $1-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax and accept major cuts in the state’s health care program for the poor, but many Democrats and Republicans view the plan as more a work in progress than a final deal.
Among Quinn’s suggested cuts are eliminating a discount prescription program for seniors and people with disabilities as well as removing thousands of patients from Medicaid by scaling back who is eligible. The governor also called for getting rid of dental and chiropractic care for adults and limiting what the state would cover for people with HIV and cancer.
Los Angeles Times
Survey shows holes in health insurance coverage
April 19, 2012|By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON — With the future of the healthcare law emerging as a major campaign issue this fall, a new survey has found that more than a quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 in the United States lacked health insurance for at least some time in 2011.
And the vast majority of those people – nearly 70 percent – had been without coverage for more than a year, according to the study by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, a leading authority on health policy.
Here is a nation that claims greatness, but because of a false idea, will refuse to aid the poor and the sick. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, can and should provide Medicare to every man, woman and child in America. Yet, in health care, our “great” nation lags most other civilized nations in the world.
NASA budget might have less space for JPL’s planetary science
President Obama’s $17.7-billion budget request for NASA for the 2013 fiscal year includes a $300-million cut to planetary science, the very work JPL specializes in. It’s a dark development in an otherwise heady time.
March 31, 2012|By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times
At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tucked into the hills above Los Angeles, these are heady days: The robot dubbed Curiosity is hurtling toward Mars and is expected to put scientists on their strongest footing yet to determine whether the Red Planet is or ever has been hospitable to life. More than 1,000 of JPL’s scientists, engineers and technicians — a full fifth of the lab’s workforce — have put in time on the mission.
Kepler has discovered more than 2,300 planetary “candidates,” said William Borucki, Kepler’s principal investigator at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Northern California. Scientists believe the telescope could also produce an explosion in the understanding of stars. “We need a longer mission to do the job,” Borucki said.
Scientists are concerned about a significant “brain drain” at JPL in coming years if the La Cañada Flintridge lab’s planetary missions are curtailed, particularly among its sterling roster of Mars specialists.
We were proud, justifiably so, when we became the first, and still the only, nation to land men on the moon. We were people of courage then, with a leader of courage. Today, we have become a cowardly, cringing nation, afraid of everything — foreigners, the government, deficits, gays, people whose skin is a different color, the rich, the poor.
We allow ourselves to be led by those who call themselves religious patriots, but who neither are religious nor patriotic. So we elect those who have no greatness in them. We would rather do without than dare. Once we thought of ourselves as John Wayne, but we have become Barney Fife — a mean Barney Fife.
I saw the rise of America. I probably will not live to see the fall. But I feel for our grandchildren. They are the ones we punish, today.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports