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The Common Good

Reported by Eleanor - July 11, 2004 -

Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation (July 11, 10:55 a.m.) CBS made a thoughtful comment about how our Congress is spending their time. Paraphrasing, he said that with our country in deep trouble, mentioning economic and security problems, and needing our representatives to focus upon substantive things, the Congress is spending their time on the same sex marriage amendment.

His main point was that government exists to improve the lives of its citizens, but our Congress is behaving as if government exists to improve their own lives.

As Schieffer pointed out, time spent on the gay marriage issue is a waste of time. No one believes it has enough votes (2/3) to pass, but they're spending time on it to get "opinions on the record." Schieffer said that's to ensure that they can raise money for their re-elections. He further expanded on his idea when he said that democrats should look at entitlements, and republicans should stop thinking that tax cuts will solve all our problems. In any case, the Congress is functioning in a world of their own, unrelated to the real needs of people in this country.

Comment: I agree with Schieffer in a broad sense, as long as he doesn't put social security, education, medicare and health care into a category called "entitlements." We all pay big dollars in payroll taxes for social security and medicare which our "representatives" are spending on other things as if those programs are a slush fund. As far as free education and health care are concerned, every advanced civilization in the world provides those things for their people, considering them a very important part of what government is supposed to do with its tax dollars. They are not entitlements. Our politicians tend to see anything that helps the "common good" and doesn't add to corporate profits or special interests as an optional "entitlement."

When is the US going to catch up with other democracies and focus our government resources on improving the lives of ordinary people? It will undoubtedly take the 50% who don't exercise their right to vote to wake up and see the corporate government for what it is, but our corporate media will never allow that, will it?