Letters to the EditorNews


Austerity is a scary word we only seem to hear in reference to European financial problems. Here in the U.S.A. the champions of austerity use phrases like job creators, balancing the budget, cutting spending. The GOP is nothing if not brilliant when it comes to semantics. Yet let us call a dog a dog. Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP are in fact champions of austerity. Even faced with the evidence of what austerity measures have done in the European financial markets, they continue to beat this drum. The European austerity advocates used the same rhetoric we hear in the U.S.A. from the right. Cutting spending  and reducing deficits would revive slumping economies by restoring faith and confidence in the investment markets and job creators. So, right wing politicians like Merkel and Cameron in cahoots with the IMF, slashed spending all across the EU.

Well it turns out when you pull huge sums of money out of an economy during a major recession businesses end up without customers! Thankfully, in the U.S.A. we ended up with a pragmatic president during this crisis. While President Obama’s administration did cower in the face of Republican opposition and cut into stimulus packages far more than they should have, at least we did not go the GOP path of hardline austerity measures. Compared to the U.K., faring worse than they did during the Great Depression or God forbid Portugal that followed Merkel’s and the IMF’s instructions to the letter only to end up in a far bigger hole, the U.S.A. has actually experienced controlled growth in the last year. The question now is where would we be if the Obama administration had shown more spine and stood up for working-class Americans in the face of the GOP assault. Had they actually thrown enough money into the stimulus packages to prevent the hemorrhaging of government jobs during this crisis, would we be farther along?

Given the fact that steady private sector job growth has been offset by losses in the government sector for nearly two years now, the answer is most likely, yes: we would have been farther along. So, here is to hoping that President Obama and the Democrats finally start to stand up to the GOP and advocates of austerity. Here is to hoping that the Democrats start to use the facts to educate and engage the American working classes to what will happen to our economy if we allow the GOP to take over again.

Sean Gillan