All of the media’s coverage of the royal wedding and its effect on Britain’s economy is in stark contrast to the coverage in the US on our royal mess and economy. All of the major networks and local stations have traveled this week to Britain forgetting that the debt ceiling issue still looms. Medicare, seniors, students, the uninsured and unemployed and the future of the US are still at risk. While the royal wedding is getting all the media’s attention, I just wonder why some of the attention could not be diverted back to our own issues. Here’s what the media should be reporting about with a little substance over style.
Back at home the Republicans and Rep. Ryan are busy at work to dismantle and end Medicare, Pell grants for students, Medicaid and social programs to help the poor and elderly. Last week, Democratic National Committee Interim Chair Donna Brazile said on a conference call:
“Representative Ryan’s budget is one that will ruin the future. His budget, as we know, ends Medicare, guarantees raises to seniors health costs for everyone under 55. …The Ryan budget approach basically says: We don’t need the Great Society programs. We don’t need the New Deal. We need to go back to the 1920’s and we don’t need to focus on the future…”
The Ryan budget, if allowed to pass, will bring down the deficit on the backs of America’s poor and elderly while cutting taxes for the rich. Does that seem fair to break the backs of the least of those among us to generate more wealth for the wealthy? Here’s where we are headed. USA Today reported as far as back September 17, 2009 that “the incomes of the young and middle aged, especially men, have fallen off a cliff since 2000, leaving many age groups poorer than they were even in the 1970’s.” If Republicans go after the poor and we lose the middle class, many think we will become just like a third world country.
President Obama has stressed that we can cut the deficit without cutting education, innovation and infrastructure to help America win the future. Speaking of infrastructure, we are headed in the wrong direction. Senator Bernie Sanders in his historic speech before the Senate on December 10, 2010 said our roads are so bad that we are seeing more accidents due to bad roads than drunk driver or reckless drivers. Arianna Huffington wrote once that “America’s railway system is speeding down the tracks in reverse. It is actually one of the few technologies that has actually regressed over the past 80 years.”
We must build on the future without going back to the past, as the Republicans desire. President Obama must work towards ensuring that we do not lose the middle class, elderly, poor, workers and worsen our infrastructure in the process of fixing the deficit. That’s a lot for him to handle considering President Obama caved in to renew tax cuts for the wealthy in 2010, then gave away monies for needed social programs and stripped the DC government of its right to use its own funds for abortion.
Once the royal wedding hoopla is over, I just hope the media will focus once again on what ails America and how to fix it. I can only dream. Yet, my hope springs eternal.
Debbie Hines is a lawyer and legal and political commentator. She is frequently seen in the media speaking on issues affecting women and African Americans. She also writes for the Huffington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University law School and a BA in American history from the University of PA.