Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guest Post From Ed Potosnak (D-NJ)


Note: Ed is the Blue America endorsed candidate running in New Jersey for the House seat currently held by conservative hack Leonard Lance. If you'd like to contribute to Ed's campaign, you can do it through ActBlue.

More Uncertainty And Spinelessness, Washington’s Inability To Get The Job Done

-by Ed Potosnak

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a production of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honoree Jerry Herman’s, Hello Dolly! As the lead character, Dolly Levi smartly proclaims, “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow.”

As true today as it was in 1964, investments in education, research and development, and infrastructure promote future economic growth and prosperity. Unfortunately, Washington hasn’t learned that lesson and are instead succumbing to rightwing extremist pressures to concentrate wealth, give handouts to big oil, proliferate the military-industrial complex, gut medicare and social security, and cut vital programs intended to "help young things grow."

All this is leading to more uncertainty for our families and businesses. Fears of whether they will have a job tomorrow, keep their home, whether their children will be able to afford college and get a good job upon graduation continue to cast doubt in America.

I believe in the United States of America’s ability to meet the challenges of the 21st century and those created by the Bush Recession. I believe the American people are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to grow our economy, create jobs, and ensure full economic recovery.

Congress doesn’t get it; they are putting politics ahead of people. There is a job to do and they are not getting it done. The debt ceiling debate is riddled with talking points, catch phrases, and empty words. Statements like "putting everything on the table"-- which seems to be code for cutting the core programs that working families and seniors in our communities depend on.

What about the bloated military spending? Is that on the table? The spineless leaders in Washington are unwilling to take on this thorny issue for fear of being labeled unpatriotic. Meanwhile our tax dollars are being shipped over seas to protect the world adding trillions to our debt with unfunded wars, military bases across Europe, and countless government defense programs.

More than 60% of our nation's discretionary budget is spent on military. Members of Congress need to come together and work out a solution to America's fiscal challenges and the solution needs to include a reduction in military spending. One missile pays for the education of more than 150 students for one year. It is time we heed Miss Dolly's advice and reprioritize our money to ensure economic stability and global competitiveness.

In Congress I will make it as unpopular to go to war as it is to raise taxes by working to require all military actions (whether authorized by Congress or the Executive branch alone) be paid for. This means the cost to take a military action would need to be recovered through a spending reduction in a non-military area, or through the generation of new income in the form of a War Tax.

It is unacceptable to pass on debt from unfunded wars onto our future generations. The cost of war needs to be shouldered by this generation, not future ones. If we are truly going to get our fiscal house in order, funding for military, defense and national security must be on the table.

I don't believe this Congress is up to the challenge to meet the August 2nd deadline. Please help send more progressives to Congress to fight for our future and encourage "young things to grow."

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