A simple question – is there no shame?
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Recent examples of the unsavory conduct of individuals and institutions prompt this question.
Perhaps the most egregious is the statement by Pat Robertson, claiming to be speaking for God, that God had used a disastrous earthquake to get even with the Haitian people for a so-called “pact with the Devil” by the leaders of the 1804 slave revolt that overthrew their French oppressors. Just where does Pat Robertson get the idea that he has the right to speak for God? And especially to imply that God is so vindictive that he would inflict death, suffering and destruction on helpless innocent people in retribution for a perceived slight more than two centuries old. That is blasphemy. Pat Robertson also made a similar statement after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Has this man no shame?
In a similar vein, Rush Limbaugh spouted out the absurdity that President Obama’s actions to provide aid to the victims of the Haiti earthquake were strictly a political ploy to garner African-American support. If Obama had not called for aid for Haiti, Rush would have accused him of heartless indifference to the plight of the suffering Haitian people. Regardless of what choice the president makes on any given issue, Rush Limbaugh will launch into a tirade against it. Has this man no shame?
Wall Street banking institutions, whose boundless greed precipitated a financial crisis that threatened to bring down the entire economy, after being saved by taxpayers money, are now unscrupulously back to taking billions of dollars in bonuses, while the people whose livelihoods they have destroyed remain unemployed and homeless. They are also robbing their own stockholders. Ninety percent or more of these banks’ earnings are going for salaries, bonuses and benefits. Have these people no shame?
Early in the health care reform debate, the health insurance industry promoted preposterous claims that any sort of government health care program would “put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor,” and would create “death panels” to deny health care for the elderly, all for the purpose of preserving the enormous profits they are making off the present system. Have these people no shame?
And finally, the hue and cry about increases in the national debt. That debt would be nowhere near what it is today without the irresponsible actions of recent Republican administrations. Seven trillion dollars of the $10 trillion debt that Obama inherited, was created since 1980, by tax cuts for the wealthy, two unfunded wars, and an unfunded Medicare prescription drug plan. All of these were discretionary deficit-creating measures. Saddled with this burden that he did not create, Obama is forced to fight the battle to resurrect a damaged economy (largely brought on by the free-economy zeal that removed regulations prohibiting banking industry excesses) with one arm tied behind his back. But in a deep recession, the only alternative to spending to rebuild the economy and to continue benefits for the unemployed, is to discontinue that spending and disregard the plight of the unemployed. More tax cuts and less government control, which are what caused the current crisis, are no way to remedy it. Yet that is exactly what conservatives, under whose administrations the seeds of the current economic distress were sown, are calling for. They are also lambasting Obama for bailing out GM and Chrysler (which salvaged hundreds of thousands of jobs) conveniently ignoring the fact that George W. Bush started these bailouts with the $700 billion TARP bailout for the Wall Street banks, some of which went to GM and Chrysler. And earlier this month, after having urged Obama to present legislation creating a bipartisan commission to suggest ways to cut future deficits, seven Republican senators voted along party lines to defeat that bill (which they had even co-sponsored), just to spite Obama – placing party before country.
Have these people no shame?
– Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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