[The following was submitted by Howard Kleinhendler in response to a comment by Bill Hobday] Bill: Saw your comment on my article in the Lakewood Scoop yesterday. First, congratulations for actually putting your name next to your comment. It’s easy for the cowards to spew negative comments anonymously.
I am as moderate a Democrat as you will find. I believe in fiscal responsibility; spending what you earn and living within your means. That’s how I have lived my life, and what I teach to my five kids. I support the Defense of Marriage Act and other socially conservative causes with regard to right to life. However, since 2008, we have experienced the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. You can’t simply cut your way out of that mess while at the same time reduce revenues by cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans (whose rates are at their lowest in the past 80- years). The math does not work. As any non-partisan, reputable economist will tell you, in a time of declining revenues, record unemployment and fixed obligations (like two wars overseas, and ballooning Medicare and social security budgets with longer-living Americans), you need government initiatives to spur economic development. That’s the way it’s been done in every down cycle since WWII. This is not Democratic dogma. This is classic economic policy that has been imposed by Presidents of both parties. Sure a $14 trillion deficit sounds terrible, but how did we get there. Not because of Obama. And, the only way out is through increased GDP, intelligent trade policies that don’t incentivize the Fortune 100 to go overseas to avoid US taxation, eliminating billions in tax credits to oil companies who are already earning record profits, and through a sensible foreign policy that does not embroil us in foreign wars that cost $1 billion a day.
Enter the TEA Party. What started as a legitimate grass-roots movement to hold government accountable for waste and inefficiencies, has lost its way, and is willing to destroy the country to prove a point. You simply cannot drastically cut deficits and leave the elderly and the poor out to dry. As some of the commentary to the article reported, the debt ceiling has been raised by every modern sitting president, regardless of party; yet, the Republicans have decided that the good faith and credit of the United States is expendable. This, to me, is not shrewd politics; it’s not fiscal conservatism; it’s nothing short of insanity. You can’t assume the majority in the House and pursue the single agenda of installing a Republican President. What happens to the rest of us. What happens to the seniors who can’t afford basic medical care and instead end up, because of neglect, with far-worse conditions which are more expensive to treat. What happens when the poor are denied Medicaid and Jersey Care and flood to our already over-crowded emergency rooms. It produces inefficiency and greater cost; the exact opposite of what I thought the TEA Party stood for.
With regard to Governor Christie, I have to be blunt. I don’t like him. While he may have inherited a bad economy, to which he refers to as the aftermath of a drunken beer party, he has humiliated our teachers, police and fireman gratuitously, not for the sake of a better New Jersey, but for his self-promotion to national politics. The man loses a $400 million education grant and blames Schundler. Then he goes on vacation during the worst snowstorm in recent memory. Then he cuts programs for our school kids and our elderly and heads off to Iowa. Who are we kidding. What other governor in memory had 500 You Tube videos of himself after a year in office. And, as I said in my article, what are his results so far. Unemployment above the national average, deteriorated schools, humiliated and unmotivated teachers and police, lowered credit rating which means higher borrowing costs, 20% vacancies in commercial office space. How long are we going to bury our heads in the sand. Sure, Corzine was a drunken liberal, but Christie has not been productive economically, and has been extremely divisive to the detriment of any meaningful progress.
To conclude, let me be perfectly clear; I say it like it is. I am not a career politician. I have a day job, and, it’s in New York, far from Jersey politics and cronyism. I have stepped forward, as a 24 year-year Lakewood resident, to help improve the lives of my fellow citizens. I will not tow anybody’s party line. My creed is common sense, practicality and a deeply held belief that man’s role in life is to help others. As the Bible teaches, “Love thy Neighbor, as Thy Would Love Thyself.” If this means I never sit in elected office, so be it.