The Financial and Budget Crisis: A Call to Citizen Action

It is well known that every level of government-national, state and local- is mired in the throes of a budget crisis, with deficits threatening to decimate schools and social services, not to mention layoffs. Ironically, those who presided over the financial meltdown and budget fiasco are now fancying themselves as the ones who can lead us out of this catastrophe. Let’s be clear, those who created the problem seek a solution compatible with the interest and parties most associated with the cause of the problem.

This is a great crisis and a great moment. Surrendering our responsibility to the moneyed interest and their spokespersons, elected officials, is to refuse the invitation to remake this nation in the interest and image of those whose labor has been exploited, whose lives have been placed in harms way through bogus wars, and whose families are now at great risk of disintegrating, witness the increase in murder/suicides.

Surely, Frederick Douglass spoke to all Americans when he said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they resist.” This is a moment where citizens must test the bounds of democracy. As was said by President Obama, we are the ones we have been waiting on. Rather, than the elected and financial leaders dictating a solution, we must establish the political and social priorities and then demand that funds and resources be found to implement these priorities. In a democracy, the leaders, the elected officials are accountable to the people.



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