Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

SamFarrNewIn light of recent debate over The Fiscal Cliff, what is your opinion on how to approach solving these financial problems and “fixing” the economy?

Our economy prospers when the middle class prospers. As we continue to debate our budget priorities, we must remind ourselves that investments in the middle class form a strong foundation on which we can build a robust economy.

I know that because we have been down this road before.

After facing a complete collapse of our financial system, watching unemployment soar to record numbers, fighting multiple wars and growing a mountain of national debt; many were left wondering how this country would ever be great again.

This isn’t the story of this generation but instead the story of the Greatest Generation.

After climbing out of the Great Depression and ending the fighting in the Pacific and European theaters of World War II, America was left with the largest debt in our nation’s history. Rather than enact extreme austerity measures, this country pushed forward with the New Deal principles of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

They expanded Social Security to provide a basic safety net for every American. Education became a priority and with programs like the GI Bill, millions of Americans received a college degree. Those new graduates easily found jobs in a strong economy, thanks to a healthy manufacturing industry that was built in partnership with the labor unions. And they were able to easily purchase their first home through government programs like VA loans.

Through these and other investments in our society, the Greatest Generation built the greatest economy this country has ever seen. And they paid for it all by simply asking that every American pay their fair share. The economy continued to grow and our debt began to shrink.

It is said that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In this case, those who fail to remember the work of the Greatest Generation are condemned to miss the prosperity they enjoyed.

Democrats in Washington know we must make these very same investments in our country today. By providing not just a basic safety net but ladders up to prosperity, we can once again grow our economy on the foundation of a strong middle class.

Rather than enacting more tax cuts for people who don’t need them, we need to spend more on infrastructure and education, so our country can compete in a global market.  

This is why Democrats want to keep the tax cuts in place for 98 percent of Americans, asking that instead the wealthy again pay their fair share by returning the top two brackets of the Clinton-era tax rates. Those rates allowed our country to maintain its commitments while simultaneously reducing our national debt.

When I first was elected to Congress, I was faced with the tough choice of voting on the Clinton tax plan. Ultimately, I decided to vote for it and his plan passed without the support of a single Republican in Congress. Instead, they used that vote as campaign wedge to take control of Congress the following year.  

Led by Newt Gingrich, Republicans attempted to gut our social safety net through their Contract for America. President Clinton pushed back and was able to save funding for those vital programs.

Despite maintaining our spending levels, the economy grew and our debt began to shrink thanks to the Democrats’ tough decision to ask the wealthy to pay just a little more.

Unfortunately, when President Bush was elected, the Republicans ignored the lessons of the Greatest Generation and President Clinton, choosing instead to pass unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy. Those cuts left us with a weakened economy and a massive debt.

Now those very same people who created the problem say the only solution is to gut the social programs our middle class depends on.

But I disagree. The only path forward is one that continues to invest and grow the middle class. A path that maintains the commitments of these programs while simultaneously asking the wealthy to pay their fair share.

I know that because we have been down this road before.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Panel Discussion

After 39 years in business, the owner of Santa Cruz’s Atlantis Fantasyworld looks back at how comics have evolved

 

Passion Week, Eclipse, Full Moon, Aries Festival, Passover and Easter

We have entered a most important week of multiple festivals. Three ages and religious festivals—stages for humanity’s development—are occurring simultaneously. Aries (Age of Laws), Pisces (Age of Faith), and Aquarian (Age of Science and Humanity); Jewish, Christian/Catholic and Esoteric teachings. The first of the three Spring Festivals occurs Saturday along with the full moon, a total lunar eclipse (something in form and matter has come to an end, its usefulness completed). It’s also Passover, celebrating the passage from the Taurus to the Aries Age, symbolized by the Hebrew people’s walk of 40 years from Egypt through the Sinai Desert to Canaan (land of milk and honey), culminating with Moses receiving the 10 Commandments—laws that directed humanity through the Aries Age. Passover celebrates their safe passage out of Egypt, “the Angel passing over the Jewish homes, safeguarding their first born.” The Aries Festival (first of three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini) celebrates the love of God. Accompanying the Aries light (light of life itself) are the forces of restoration (restoring humanity’s hope) and the spirit of resurrection (uplifting humanity in need of new education, resources, direction and guidance). Guidance to be given by the New Group of World Servers. Saturday’s solar Aries festival (at the full moon lunar eclipse) is celebrated by the New Group of World Servers worldwide. Join us everyone. Sunday is Easter, celebrated by humanity worldwide. The three religious festivals arriving simultaneously signal that the coming new world religion is at hand, a synthesis and integration of all religions. We stand with our brothers and sisters everywhere in celebration. We see what is no longer needed—that which created separations between us—disappear. We stand forward together in the new light, with the spirit of resurrection directing us. Hosanna!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let’s Get Wrecked

Unsung ’60s musicians score in pop doc ‘The Wrecking Crew’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wheat Will Rock You

Companion Bakeshop scores again with Ryan Roseman’s harvest

 

What’s the best/worst April Fools’ Day prank you’ve ever heard?

This girl in my seventh grade class convinced our entire Christian school that she had cancer. Everybody started praying for her and stopped all the classes. At the end of the day she let everybody know it was an April Fools’ joke. Zach Scotton, Santa Cruz, Retail Manager

 

Odonata Wines

Easter is coming up this weekend, the perfect excuse to treat yourself and your loved ones to a little bit of bubbly with Easter brunch—and a special bubbly at that.

 

Ella’s at the Airport

Tiffany Ella King on her new fine dining restaurant in Watsonville