To the editor:
My fellow volunteers, er, Hoosiers:
How many nights do you need to spend in Indiana before you can call yourself a Hoosier?
In an Opinions piece May 31, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth of our 9th Congressional District said that he takes the trust of “my fellow Hoosiers” very seriously. Yet Mr. Hollingsworth never lived in Indiana until he decided to run for Congress.
He doesn’t know us, our kids, our schools, our needs or our jobs. Hoosiers don’t give our trust easily, especially to someone who only landed here because his political consultants figured any Republican could win a seat in Congress from this gerrymandered district.
Mr. Hollingsworth says that “Hoosiers demand fiscal responsibility.” I agree. Democrats as well as Republicans in Indiana tend to be pretty conservative where our money is concerned.
But his opinion piece was actually telling us why he voted against the continuing resolution to keep the government open. If a majority in the House had voted “no” with Hollingsworth, the federal government would have shut down May 5.
I know that some folks cheer the idea of shutting down the federal government, but when Hoosiers see how it affects us and our communities, it doesn’t look so smart — stop contract payments for roadbuilding and other projects; slow down or stop IRS tax refunds, VA benefits, food inspections, nutritional programs for women, infants and children, financing for small businesses; and much more.
One of the more interesting results is that businesses won’t be able to check on the immigration status of potential employees and weed out those here illegally. Guess what? Federal workers do that!
Government shutdowns do not save money, since wages and contracts eventually do get paid, and some revenue, like park admission fees, will never be recovered. But the major impact is economic. The last shutdown in October 2013 cost $24 billion in economic activity and slowed economic growth, reducing job growth by more than 100,000 private-sector jobs.
Shutting down the government is not fiscal responsibility; it is reckless political posturing.
Fortunately, in May 2017, enough Republicans disagreed with Hollingsworth and decided to be a little bit responsible, so they allowed the government to stay open until October. They have until then to slash budgets to satisfy the party’s die-hards.
The biggest outrage in their claim of fiscal responsibility is that Hollingsworth and his party intend to pass the biggest tax cuts in history this year. Their cuts in spending won’t begin to cover the deficits from those tax cuts. Experience also shows that the promised economic growth will be much less than claimed and could well end in a crash, as in 2008.
And bear in mind that while working Hoosiers will be hit with most of the budget cuts, they will see very little of the tax breaks. The winners will be corporations and wealthy folks.
Like Tennessee Trey Hollingsworth.
Neil Schwarzwalder, Greenwood
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