We are all in this together

You know, we are all in this together. It has been hard on all of us, and harder for some. Aid has been and remains slow coming. Our health care providers are stretched beyond the max. Many parts of our government and social safety providers have been starved for funds for years. Now, we need them to be there for us, and to be responsive.

During the Vietnam era, economists used to make a generalization that went like this, “guns or butter.” The intent was that most societies have to choose between providing for the public good, or funding a large military. It is the rare society that can do both and not have the economics catch up with them.

In the 60s, the guns or butter choice led to the high inflation of the 70s and early 80s. We tried to do both, have guns and butter – fight a costly war in Vietnam,and fund the Great Society programs. I can remember getting a mortgage for our first home at that time and the interest rate was in the teens. It was not an easy time to be just starting out.

For the last 30 years, we have tried to buy the so-called guns and fund our huge defense effort, fight wars in the Mid East, provide tax cuts for the wealthiest in our society, and starve the safety net we see how badly we need now.

I am not sharing a secret when I say that the Food Stamp program has been cut back considerably in the last few years.

Many are wondering where their stimulus checks are, or what happened to them. Well, the IRS is using computer systems that have been in place since the 1960s. The programming language being used by the IRS systems is COBOL, again an old antique language, and there are fewer programmers around that are COBOL programmers. The need to quickly get the IRS systems capable to spit out stimulus money has been beyond their capabilities. I say this, not in apology, but to share the facts.

The IRS is also working with a much smaller staff than they used to have. Congress has not minded cutting many of the Federal agencies, and the IRS is one that has been cut.

I am going to get back to my original statement, “we are all in this together.” Our president does not seem to get this. This has been my biggest complaint with him since he took office. He has used the last 3+ years to attack the more than half of the country that did not vote for him. This is behind his recent attacks on the states where the protests against the quarantine have been staged this week. Presidents have never told the residents of a state like Michigan or Minnesota to “liberate” your state from the governors and administrations trying to cope with a national emergency. These same states are also trying to follow the guidelines being promoted by the President’s own coronavirus task force.

Trump, we are often asked by your supporters to support the office of the presidency, but you need to do the same. Presidents do not incite and encourage sedition. This is impeachable like so much of your conduct.

I can never bring myself to support you for the simple reason you have never accepted, “we are all in this together” since the first day you were in office. Division and pushing hatred have been your forte, not being the president.

I wish with all my heart you will be defeated this November, not because you are a Republican, but because you are a hateful man. We do not need hateful presidents. We need leaders and presidents that will work to bring us together.

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1 Comment

  1. Good to see you writing, Ed. I found these posts as I sat down to draft some essays of my own. We are in some dark times and I share the concern that the darkness will extend far beyond January 20, 2021, no matter who gets elected in November. God help us if Trump gets another term, we’ll never recover. I thought for sure our generation would have done better than this. Anyway, stay well. All our best to you and yours

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