Consequences of failed leadership

-A A +A

With the exception of President Clinton’s first term and President Obama’s first two years, Republicans have been in control of our government for the past 30 years.
This reign began under President Reagan and his mantra was “government is the problem.”
The Republican leadership has said shrink government, reduce taxes and get rid of regulations and our problems will be solved. Unfortunately, the problems are multiplying and deepening.
Our Republicans led the charge to dismantle the regulations — Glass-Steagall — that were designed to prevent another depression.
Our economy collapsed, miring us in the greatest recession since the Depression. Immediately, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank regulations, but compared to Glass-Steagall, they are anemic, so, “too big to fail” and “risky investments,” continue.
Unbelievably, Republicans want to dismantle these latest regulations, which could deepen our recession.
Led by the newly elected Tea Party Republicans, our Republicans refuse to compromise. Compromise is the bedrock of our democracy.
Dismantling or non-enforcement of regulations has caused environmental degradation causing suffering and death: 29 coal miners dead in West Virginia; oil workers killed in the devastating Gulf oil spill; mercury in our trout, air and water pollution causing and exacerbating health problems; historic warming of our planet which precipitated an unprecedented number of major natural disasters; big coal leveling our mountain tops, big oil and gas drilling more often and deeper.
We have slipped to 15th in education.
President George W. Bush did something which no previous president had ever done; he lowered taxes while going to war!
There are consequences for failed leadership; it is time to give Democrats a mandate to govern!
Ron Patt

Editor’s note: The “control of government” that the writer refers to has actually been more divided in the past 30 years that the letter claims. Since 1980, the U.S. Senate has been controlled for 16 years each by Democrats and Republicans. The U.S. House has been controlled for 18 years by Democrats and 14 years by Republicans. The presidency has been controlled 20 years by the GOP and 12 years by Democrats. Since 1981, same-party control of all three was held in 2003-2006 by Republicans; and by Democrats in 1993-94 (during Clinton’s first term) and 2009-2010. To clarify, the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933 was repealed in 1999 by a bipartisan vote (a combined 452-65 between the two houses) and not by a recent Congress. It was signed into law by President Clinton. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in July 2010 in a vote that followed party lines.