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Reasons Why Most Americans Don’t Care About the Budget Vote and Emergency Financial Managers

July 28, 2011

Sure, it’s the U.S. budget, about to default on loans, about to cause cataclysmic demise of worldwide systems, right?  Well, why is that everyone I talk to doesn’t seem to care in the least about the Federal budget, much less the politicians behind the vote?  It’s because the general public feels they have no real loss or gain, regardless of how the budget talks work out.  From the people I had surveyed, the general consensus reiterated was: the government doesn’t listen to us one way or another, and we can’t afford loans now anyway.

With unemployment still hovering around 10%, and incomes lowered despite rising levels of inflation in food and gas costs, Americans can’t afford loans now, so what difference does the Federal budget make, except as an illustration of political perfidy.  In our neighborhood alone, 1 in 4 houses are for sale, most by owners who are hoping to get cash in order to qualify to buy something bigger, and all of them on the market for over a year.  The homeowners have said that they have been approached mainly by people wanting land contracts, not those who qualify for bank loans.  Our next door neighbor lost her home to foreclosure, and at least one house on every block has been lost the same way.  The homeowners who lost to foreclosure have rented nearby, but that way they don’t have to worry about a house payment.

Let’s just say that no deal is reached for the Feds, do they then move into the emergency financial manager mode, that same mode that Republicans have been touting for cash-strapped cities in Michigan?  If that were the case, then the party in power, the Democrats, would have the ability to nullify those  huge oil and gas tax break contests, Microsoft’s tax break status of basically “no taxes,” and the budget could all be changed because Republicans wouldn’t agree to a vote.

Wall Street has complained about rising interest rates should the Feds not come to some sort of agreement and default on loans, but who cares what Wall Street says anyway?  It’s not as if there are loans to be had for most Americans anyway, and aren’t these the same companies who created the foreclosure crisis, abused their powers, and enjoyed virtually limitless financial power?  Now they are protesting that they might finally be hit by the debt crisis and we middle Americans are supposed to care?  Funny that, most don’t.

Most middle Americans are tired of shouldering the so-called blame for the debt crisis when they have no particular tie to it.  Now the politicians that they don’t agree with are arguing, and the President, who has yet to show some sign of being readily relating to the general public, is saying that no one is agreeing with him, well, what’s new?  Somehow it’s all seeming like just rewards, or that the debts have finally hit the bigger players, and it’s still out of the control of the general public.

I know of only a handful of families who have health insurance locally, and those that do are employed by government entities–small business insurance is virtually unheard of here.  People don’t get the health care, dental care or vision care that they need, but then again, they can’t afford groceries or gas, so it’s always a discussion about how much they don’t have as opposed to what they do.  The majority of people who work in factories here have missing teeth–too little money to get teeth fixed and since Medicaid cut funding for adult dental care in MI, the problem has gotten worse.  I routinely see people with taped glasses, with unfilled prescriptions. It’s an endless story, and for many, the Federal government’s talk of debt is so far-removed from their daily struggle that people have even stopped voting. Apathy reigns supreme.

Just yesterday my neighbor told me that she doesn’t vote anymore, because “those politicians never get thrown out for not doing their jobs.”  Sounds an awful lot like talk about the Federal deficit, but guess what?  Regardless of whether or not those in politics come to an agreement, they won’t lose their jobs.  Guess my  neighbor’s apathy may be the new reality.

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