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Congress must learn to compromise to improve country

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Prior to going on its summer vacation, Congress certainly made a mess out of solving our financial problems. There is so much rigid dogmatism in Congress that the two political parties cannot reach a compromise. The way government factions usually solve their differences is by reaching a compromise in which each party gives a little. This was not to be and so Queens, the nation and our standing in the world has suffered.

It seems to me that a small group of dogmatists have decided to do nothing in the hope of embarrassing the president so he will not be re-elected in 2012. The problem is that the government must do something prior to November 2012. We are already suffering.

This column constantly prints the compensation which CEOs and other officials in large companies earn. It is not fair for people to make so much money when millions lose jobs or basic health or pension benefits or have them reduced.

Too many large corporations have found too many tax loopholes, which means they either hide their money overseas or pay taxes which are perhaps 50 percent less than the struggling middle class pays. These loopholes must be closed so the rich pay a fairer share.

Decades ago, we talked about so many people going on welfare and receiving money while not working. Today, with the use of computers and ID cards, much cheating has stopped, although the cost is still high and there is still cheating.

Congress must stop big corporations from getting corporate welfare in the form of subsidies. Lobbyists prowl the halls of our national, state and local legislatures and give large amounts of money and advice on how to write bills. While oil companies are making billions of dollars, they are still getting subsidies from Congress which were started a hundred years ago to encourage the new oil industry.

Agro-industry gets money not to plant crops. The corn-ethanol industry is getting subsidies which then artificially raise the price of gasoline. We are still importing petroleum while Brazil runs automobiles on ethanol from sugar cane.

The military-industrial complex spends huge amounts of money on weapons, many of which were designed for the last century. Extra-supersonic fighter planes are not the best weapons to fight guerrilla insurgents. The Pentagon also has many extra layers of command which costs money. One reason why Congress cannot seem to easily cut out unnecessary weapons is because they are built in factories that employ people in congressional home districts. Military weapons mean jobs, which mean votes, yet large budget deficits erode the economic power of our country.

There are also lobbyists from big corporations who push their weapons systems made in factories in different states.

One philosophy is to cut back on unnecessary weapons and invest the money in research and schools, which will create new inventions and technicians who will create new industries and well-paying jobs necessary for society. This was always hard to do but with a new group of rigid radicals who will not compromise, action by Congress is harder. We will see what happens by next November.

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK: I just learned that Arcadia Publishing will print that book about Fresh Meadows we wrote about earlier. On Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. in the Fresh Meadows Library and then on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. in Barnes & Noble authors Fred Cantor and Debbie Davidson will promote the book.

The book has more than 300 vintage photos of Fresh Meadows during the post-war years from 1946-79. The royalties will be given to the Fresh Meadows Library. The authors did the book to remember the happy times they spent in the community as youngsters.

BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: Sept. 11, 2011, will be the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I recently took an out-of-town cousin down to lower Manhattan. We visited St. Paul’s Church. It is sad the federal commission giving compensation to the families of those who died has decided that ill volunteers are not entitled to compensation for illnesses developed from the toxic dust they breathed at Ground Zero.

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