Conservatives are obsessed by the notion that the only way to economic recovery is a ruthless cutting of social programs: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, scientific research, unemployment benefits, school lunch programs, etc. They need to be reminded, first of all, that Social Security has no connection to the National Debt. Congress must end the practice of "borrowing" large sums - unlikely to be repaid - from Social Security to meet other government obligations. Social Security is a trust fund, a savings account created by American workers as retirement income. As a pension program, it ought to be sequestered and absolutely unavailable as a source of revenue.
Our right-wing congressmen could perhaps acquire some empathy for the suffering middle class if they would break out of their beltway cocoon and spend some time with the homeless, the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, those working two or three part-time jobs with low pay and no benefits. And then they should look seriously at recent examples of attempted economic recovery plans. England has chosen the austerity route, drastically cutting social programs. This has only further sunk their economy, dropping them just behind Spain and Italy. Unfortunately, England lacks the leverage to borrow large sums on the world market so as to belatedly create jobs. The United States can borrow large sums at little cost to fund work projects that will lift up the middle class, reduce unemployment, generate tax revenues and consequently lower the debt.
Congress should adopt the policies of the Clinton administration that created jobs (10 times those by Bush), raised taxes on the wealthiest, and boomed our economy. Clinton left office with a budget surplus and a shrinking debt, a legacy that Bush-Cheney set about squandering in reckless wars, deregulation, tax breaks for the wealthiest. This launched a $2 trillion debt, a lingering problem, but the real problem is revenue shortfall, correctable by full unemployment, fair taxes, ending subsidies to Big Oil, closing tax loopholes (one fourth of our major corporations pay no taxes), slashing the bloated defense budget, reining in the industrial-military complex to address peacetime needs.