Saturday, November 2, 2013
The New Deal worked for our soldiers and veterans
(WPA poster, courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)
As we approach Veterans Day, let us remember that during the New Deal there were many efforts to help soldiers and veterans. For example, above is one of the many posters that WPA artists created to remind Americans to be careful of what they said during World War II.
Sadly, the story is quite different today, as Congress seems to be going out of its way to hurt soldiers, veterans, and their families. The Tea Party government shutdown delayed payments to families of fallen soldiers. Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have created a CCC-type jobs programs for unemployed veterans. And more recently, Democrats and Republicans have both done their part to scale back food assistance to soldiers and veterans (as well as other Americans in need). We could increase taxes on the super wealthy of course--men & women who have seen their fortunes grow while tens of million of Americans remain unemployed, homeless, and crushed under immense debt--but Congress has decided that it's better to protect those fortunes and, instead, make soldiers and veterans pay the price for our economic problems. This, no doubt, ensures that many in Congress will continue to receive campaign contributions from corporations and the super wealthy.
Hopefully, some future Congress will be more respectful of what soldiers and veterans have done for our country. Hopefully, some future Congress will understand that compassion is better than apathy, and that programs designed to assist millions are better than action (or inaction) designed to service the 1%.