Congressman Mike Ferguson survived a challenge from Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender two years ago by deluging local television with the chant, “Stender is a Spender”—which was fundamentally false and unfair because Ferguson was behind the expenditure of many trillions of dollars during his years in Washington D.C. compared to the relatively paltry state budgets out of Trenton that can be blamed on Stender.
Republican state Sen. Leonard Lance has adopted that same slogan, dancing to a political tune instead of relying on his long record of moderation in this campaign, so we thought it is inject a dose of reality on the debate.
Simplistic and tired clichés about “tax and spend” liberals neglect facts about the benefits public investment has given us over the years:
- Highway, canal and rail systems helped drive economic development and expansion,
- The public school system generates a literate and informed workforce,
- The GI Bill sent a generation of Americans to college,
- Social Security has dramatically reduced poverty among the aged and disabled, and
- Medicare has enabled millions of Americans to live longer, healthier and more dignified lives.
Responsible public investment yields a skilled, well-paid employment pool that can compete with lower-wage economies by producing high-tech products and offering advanced services.
Responsible public investment in our nation’s infrastructure, roads, schools, electrical distribution systems, environmental rehabilitation, and renewable energy development will create new jobs.
Responsible public investment lifted American out of the Great Depression and empowered our nation to defend itself against aggression in World War II and it may produce the affluence America needs today to end the global financial crisis.
Tax cuts for the wealthy could never create such a productive economic climate and Wall Street deregulation allowed greed to undermine the foundations of capitalism.
Instead, the Republican economic agenda advanced by George W. Bush, Ferguson and Lance has resulted in a new Depression while America is engaged in two wars that have wasted more taxpayer money than we would have needed to arm every public school child with a laptop computer, provide every American with health care and build a network of environmentally-friendly mass transportation.
Linda Stender is an investor in opportunity, liberty and prosperity for us all. She is also the smart choice for Congress in the Seventh Congressional District.
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