by Chet Hardin
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn was preparing to step onto the floor of Congress when a group of protesters showed up outside his Colorado Springs office this morning. One of his staffers met the crowd at the door of the office, assured them that he wasn't the man to talk to, and told them to schedule a time to speak with district director Dan Nordberg.
In the meantime, however, the crowd, brought together by MoveOn.org, chose to rant. Attendees were frustrated over the "lack of fairness" in dealing with the budget cuts that everyone in Washington — from President Obama to House Speaker John Boehner — agree must occur.
"They are trying to make the middle class pay for what the rich are already getting for free. We would like to see all the corporations held accountable by paying their fair share of taxes. And not cutting Social Security, not cutting Medicare, not cutting jobs and not cutting education," said Chuck Bader Jr., the vice president of Colorado AFL-CIO. Raising the debt ceiling, he pointed out, "is a matter of necessity. Not that we agree with that, but at this point in time things have gotten so bad, for the short term that's what we need to do."
Joe Beggs added: "The thing that really bothers people more than anything else is the two-faced nature of the ring-wing people, especially in the House. They say that they want to cut the deficit, but they aren't going to raise taxes on the people who have had the best of it over the past 15 to 20 years. Namely the rich and large corporations. I don't see that anybody minds if we do a little cutting here and a little cutting there, and make things more efficient, and at the same time raise revenues, but when you have a situation where they aren't going to even think about raising revenues but are going to cut people down to the bone, that's just not right."
"They only tax the working class, they never tax the rich," said Cyndy Kulp. "And inequality has grown in our society as a result.
"I am just damn mad," she added. "And I don't know who I am madder at, Obama or Lamborn. Why is Obama proposing cuts in Medicare and Social Security? He shouldn't be doing that. The people on Medicare and Social Security didn't have anything to do with the problems that our country is in today. He shouldn't be making some poor guy on Social Security pay for the misdeeds of the banking sector and insurance companies. We didn't bring the economy to its knees."
If Obama wants to compromise, she said, he should start by raising taxes.
Jack Mitchener explained his sign. It shows, he said, how the wealthiest 1 percent in the U.S. have been gaining steadily in wealth when compared to the median wealth of Americans. "Yet they don't want to pay the same taxes that their parents paid."