Just when we thought that the days of holding America hostage had passed, Rep. Eric Cantor takes center stage again! This time, he has declared that those who have suffered losses as a result of the East Coast 5.9 quake, and Hurricane Irene, must forego any relief without corresponding cuts in other Federal programs. Unfortunately, Cantor’s house was not damaged in either calamities, so he is much more eager to take a stand on this issue.
What is it about Cantor – his personality, his background, his hatred of his mother – that causes him to act in such a cavalier way about the suffering of those without corporate resources? He has shown, in the past, that he can act with empathy and compassion, when it comes to all those suffering, penniless, hard-working corporations, when he gives them the tax credits and subsidies they so ‘richly’ deserve. How can he express such a heart for those BIG corporations, but fail to entertain the thought of any relief for the BILLIONS in losses that have been experienced by families and small-business owners, up and down the East Coast…INCLUDING HIS OWN CONSTITUENTS?
Cantor’s response to his critics seems reasonable: “Again, just like any family would operate when it’s struck with disaster – it finds the money it needs to to take care of a sick loved one or what have you and then goes without trying to buy a new car or put a new addition on the house –that’s the kind of situation we’re finding ourselves in at the federal level,” Mr. Cantor said. (Source: Interview on, where else? FOX News, 8/29)
To be honest and direct (would you expect anything else from my lips?), I am sick and tired of hearing about how “the Federal government needs to start acting like American families”, who supposedly “live within their means!” The truth is, if the American family is living within it’s means, how do you account for total U.S. consumer debt at $2.43 trillion, as of May 2011? (Source: Federal Reserve’s G.19 Report on Consumer Credit, released July 2011)
The real truth is that when CREDIT started to be utilized in the United States on a large scale basis (after WWII), Americans stopped living within their means and instead, started relying on credit for everything, from washing machines, TVs, automobiles and housing, to vacations, clothing, gas, restaurants and groceries! Americans even use credit to pay for other credit! Talk about reliance! If hypocite, Cantor, doesn’t have at least 2 credit cards or his house, car or ‘home addition’ financed in some way, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. (stepping out on a big limb there, huh?). The fact is that the average number of credit cards held by American cardholders is 3.5, as of year end 2008 (Source: “The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010). And the number of credit cardholders in 2008 was 176.8 million. (Source: “The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010).
So, WHAT THE HELL are right-wing conservative puppets spouting when they talk about “rugged individualism” and “self-reliance,” which, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the “belt-tightening” of American families? I don’t think I even need to answer such an obvious question!
Now, is such an abundance of credit card and other credit spending good for America? ABSOLUTELY!! (You thought I was going to say “No”, didn’t you?). Two-thirds of our economy is made up of CONSUMER SPENDING. Without credit, the economy of the United States of America falls to its knees. I only need to point to the current economic crisis, when banks and credit card issuers have drastically curtailed lending and cut back on credit card issuance. If it wasn’t for Federally-sponsored mortgage programs, 90% of the homes being sold today would still be sitting vacant, weighing down the accounting books of American banks more than they currently are.
OK…let’s get back to what this post started with: Talking about Cantor’s refusal to allow any further Irene and Earthquake disaster relief, without corresponding cuts in other Federal spending. I have one question for Mr. Cantor: If we can’t rely on the Federal Government to assist Americans in times of disaster, without holding us hostage, then what can we count on? It’s called Emergency Relief and Disaster Relief, because the money is needed NOW, because people and businesses are SUFFERING NOW! These folks have been put out of their homes, seen their places of work destroyed and have no means of recovery (many couldn’t afford, and had no insurance during these two events). They can’t wait for hostage negotiations to render a decision whether they file for bankruptcy, live in the local “Y”, and start collecting Food-stamps and Welfare for them and their kids. Cantor can add them to the other 40 million Americans who are barely surviving because of spending cuts, deregulation of Wall Street and BIG corporation wholesaling of American jobs overseas! Welcome to the Tea Party, folks! Would you like fries with your tea?
Cantor and the rest of his Tea Party ilk (definitely said with a sneer on my face) need to take a course in Sensitivity Training. They need to realize that the average American lives with a 2-month ‘cushion’ for survival, not with the huge cash reserves being held by BIG corporations. Cantor and the circus that his people have created in Washington, need to fold up their tents, cash in their tokens, put down the cotton candy and step-up to the responsibilities they accepted when they took the job, according to Article 6 of the US Constitution,“…that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”