Even though the unemployment figure dropped ever so slightly for July, our national recession is far from over. In fact,it may get even worse before any type of substanial positive recovery is possible. We still havenearly 13 million Americans out of work, prices on everything from gas to food to medical prescriptions continue to rise, mortgage and credit card interest continues to rise, and there are still a high number of foreclosures on homes across America.
Yet, President Obama states that things are going to get better, and we willall come through this together. The question all Americans are asking at this point in time is when?
This recession is the worst to affect our country since the big stock market crash of 1929, which then triggered the worst depression in this country’s history. The recent plunge of the stock market by 513 points, even though much was later regained, was the steepest drop in over two years. This is not a positive sign that economic conditions are improving anytime soon.
Our Congress still cannot seem to seriously deal with the myriad of problems that our nation iscontinuing to face. We need decisive action, and we need it now!
A pox on all their houses
The stock market plunge would have been worse if the debt ceiling was not raised. The downgrade was caused by those in Congress who played chicken by considering defaulting on the national debt.
Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the nation’s credit worthiness was based upon the dysfuction of Congress. Republicans and Tea Party members pledged never to raise taxes and objected to reforming the tax code or closing loopholes. Some Democrats vehemently opposed entitlement reforms mandated by the economic realities and happily resulting from extended life expectancies.
Speaker Boehner did not have the courage to take on the Tea Party members of Congress by supporting the deal he and the President originally agreed upon.
The over $4 trillion deal would have begun healing the nation’s deficit and national debt, speeding up recovery.
The Federal Reserve has also disregarded the true problem and the cure to the ailing economy. Unless housing recovers the U.S. economy will remain dormant. Second quarter reports inflated bank balance sheets but failed to spur lending, preventing economic expansion or job creation. The Fed could largely solve the housing implosion by offering those under water with a strong payment history of honoring their mortgage commitments a fixed 4 percent, 30-year mortgage.
This would invest in America, stabilize housing and insure that the funds with interest would be repaid.
Obama was elected with enthusiasm not seen since the election of JFK. His inability to stake a firm position withstanding the political heat demonstrates a lack of moxy or failed belief in what he claims to stand for. He will not be re-elected without changing. It is remarkable that S&P has proved to be more powerful than the president.
Take the 8 Train
Regarding the sign for the “8 Train” (“Road closures of today and trains of tomorrow,” Behind the Wheel column, July 28), what the MTA spokesperson did not tell you (perhaps they did not know), was there once was an 8 Train.
When the subway A Division (the former IRT lines), went from named routes to numbered routes years ago, they designated route 8 for the truncated Third Avenue Line, which remained in service in the Bronx for a number of years after it was torn down in Manhattan. It eventually was completely torn down there also.
Many people will recall there was also a 9 Train thatran part time over the 1 Train route. It ended a relatively short time ago.
How responsive is our government? After a cursory read of the Aug. 4 Queens Chronicle that question has come to my mind.
The piece about Mr Jacobs (“Technicalities strangle man’s bid for 27th AD”) really upset me. After this promising young man did all that he was supposed to do, all his efforts were erased by a technicality. Apart from simplifying the rules of the BOE the question of how responsive our government is to our needs and concerns comes to the fore.
It did seem to me that the response of certain officials to this concern was anemic. Almost as if they did not care.
What is interesting is that the voting public have taken note of their powerlessness and withdrawn from the civic life of the community. Nobody seemed to lament this. What this would seem to propagate is not a participatory democratic form of government, but an oligarchy.
I am one who would like to see a more responsive government. Such reporting should send politicians and laymen to band together to make government transparent as well as responsive to all. It really is an indictment. How will we all respond to this challenge? How will we work to prevent from this ossification from taking place in future?
Protect Social Security
We seniors and handicapped people are tired of Congress nickel and diming us. First they want privatization of Social Security, then they take away our cost of living increases, and now they want to downsize our health insurance. We get a raise in one thing and then they take it away in another. How are we supposed to pay our rent, utility bills and co-pays?
FDR did not put Social Security in place for people in Congress to raid anytime they see fit. Social Security is for the seniors, not a savings bank for congressional deals. They should cut their own wages and stop giving themselves raises.
Can’t afford the Isles I
I agree with you that it would be wonderful if the Islanders were to move to Queens (“How about the Flushing Islanders?” Editorial, July 28 and “Let’s get those Islanders,” Editorial, Aug. 4).Personally, I love hockey.
However, nearly all studies show that having municipalities subsidize new stadiums and arenas is an economic losing proposition for the public.At a time when city leaders must make tough tradeoffs in the budget, spending money to attract a hockey team should be at the bottom of our list ofpriorities.
Can’t afford the Isles II
Contrary to what formerCity Councilman and now Assemblyman David Weprin, as well as Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jack Friedman, say, Queens residents would do well to follow their Nassau neighborswhen it comes to the Islanders (“Nassau rejects Isles’ new coliseum bid,” Aug. 4, multiple editions).
Plans to build the hockey team a new arenafor $350 million, along with a minor league ball park for $50 million, at the current Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site, assisted by the publicbonding of significant portions forboth project costs,went down to defeat for good reason. Both reminded Nassau County voters whyastaxpayers we should just say no to using public funds for any new major sports stadiums.
In ancient Rome, government attempted to curry favor with the masses by offering free bread and circuses. Today, we have sports pork.
How sad thattaxpayers are continually asked to pay for new stadiums. Public dollars are being used as corporate welfare to subsidize a private-sector business. The only real beneficiaries of these expenditures are team owners and theirplayers, who earn far more than the average fan.
It is impossible to judge the amount of new economic activities that these so-called public benefits will generate. Between selling the stadium name, season sky boxes and reserve seating; cable, television and radio revenues; concession refreshment and souvenir sales; along with rental income for other sports, rock concerts and other commercial events, it is hard to believe that owner Charles Wangcan’t finance his new stadium on his own.The same is true forone of the major league baseball team owners to finance a new stadium for one of their own minor league farm teams.
Given the current countyfiscal crises along with weak economy, 9 percent-plus unemployment rate,reductions in the collection of sales tax and other revenues along withprojected deficits— there are otherservices more worthy of investment.
Professional sportsare not an essential service and should not qualify for government subsidy.Scarce taxpayer funds would be better spent elsewhere. If this wasgoing to be such a great financial deal, why doesn’tMr. Wangfloat hisown bonds or issue stock to finance his new stadium rather than turn to taxpayers and government for support?Likewise,any major league team owner can float their own bonds or issue stock to financea new stadium for one of their own minor league farm teams.Either could also obtain loans from banks, like medium and small businesses.
Real business people who believe in capitalism buildcompanies on their own. How sad that some don’t want to do it the old fashion way by sweat and hard work.
They are looking for shortcuts in the form of huge subsidies at taxpayers’ expense and favors from elected officials.
Great Neck, LI