Letters to the Editor

All must set aside politics to help country, economy

Occupy Wall Street is an expression of the dissatisfaction and frustration with our nation's economy and our dysfunctional federal government.

Republicans' knee-jerk reaction to the "We are the 99 percent" protesters was to call them a "mob" (U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor) and to dismiss them as "disaffected characters, ranging from anarchists and anti-Semites to socialists and LaRouchies" (Karl Rove).

In response to a poll showing that the demonstrations against big banks has a 54 percent favorability rating compared with the tea party's 27 percent, some Republicans have backed down on their condemnations. Democratic politicians praised the protesters, seeing them as a potential voting block that could counter the tea party in the 2012 election.

The reality is, as moderate Republican columnist David Brooks, said, "The U.S. economy is probably going to stink for a few more years." Instead of working together to address the nation's underlying structural problems, both parties are playing politics and not telling us the truth about the need modify or eliminate popular programs and eventually raise taxes. Neither House Republicans' "no-tax-hike" pledge, nor Democrats promises not to cut Medicare and Social Security and other programs for the poor will enable needed deficit reduction.

President Barack Obama, who had tried to be the "adult" in the room, is now pushing his much needed and popular jobs bill, although he knows that he has no chance to get it passed. Politics, not governance, is the only game being played in Washington.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island