“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill
What is it about some of our politicians that they are so forgetful of lessons learned less than a century ago:
Unions were established to protect workers.
Laws were established to give voice to those who had none, and to protect our right to clean air, clean water, fresh produce, a healthy environment to raise our children.
Safety nets were established to catch the most vulnerable of our citizens. It was believed that we were all responsible for each other. If one stumbled, we were there, as a community, to catch the fall.
So it would appear, that this recent crop of Representatives was popped, fully formed, into their positions as leaders of our country, with no memory or recollection of why so many of our laws and programs were put into place.
Several weeks ago they passed HR 1, a funding bill which included over 60 billion in cuts to some of our most necessary programs. The irony of this bill is that according to many economists, this bill not only slashes funds, but it cuts jobs (anywhere from 700-800,000) it slows down the economy, and it is truly a drop in the bucket of the deficit.
Now I won’t even attempt to guess ‘what they were thinking,’ because I will never know. However, what I do know is this is not an acceptable option. I will not stand quietly by. Now is the time to let the Senate and President Obama know that this bill cannot pass as is.
And I am asking that you speak up and invest in your future (for we will all be old one day), and the future of our children and the planet, and demand that another solution be found. We are a creative, resourceful country. We thrive on challenge and obstacles. So, let us ask of them, our ‘representatives,’ to seek inspiration and synergy on both sides of the aisle, to find a way that increases our prosperity and health, and to do so not at the expense of another.
The following are links to our California Senators, Representatives, and President Obama. And it is critical we spread the word around the country. If you have friends or family in any of our 50 States, please encourage them to make their voice be heard as well.
I’m also including a synopsis of the programs affected by the cuts provided by Environment California:
Threaten the health of America’s children, elderly citizens and other vulnerable populations by blocking EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act and cleaning up coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources of dangerous carbon dioxide pollution. The EPA estimates that clean air regulations saved more than 160,000 lives in 2010 alone, and this success should be built upon—not torn down.
· Put children at risk of learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and lower IQs by blocking the EPA from limiting mercury and other toxic air pollutants from cement kilns.
· Threaten the health of millions of Americans by stopping the EPA from updating air quality standards for coarse particulate matter (“soot”) pollution, which is linked to heart and lung disease, asthma attacks and premature death. This means that the more than 3 million Californians, including 900,000 Angelenos, who suffer from asthma are at risk of being rushed to the hospital each year.
· Threaten drinking water supplies for more than 117 million Americans, 7 million Californians, and endanger thousands of streams and wetlands across the country by blocking EPA’s ability to restore Clean Water Act protections for these waterways.
· Put Americans’ drinking water and waterways at risk of sewage and urban runoff pollution by cutting $1.4 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). California would be stripped of $99 million and lose 2,700 jobs.
· Block states’ ability to put cleaner cars on the road, by disabling the EPA program through which California and other states are allowed to issue state-level clean car standards.
· Endanger efforts to ensure that our national parks and other treasured places across the country, including the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, are protected for families to enjoy for generations to come, by cutting the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill would slash the Department of the Interior by $1.4 billion, with specific attacks to the department’s ‘Wild Lands’ policy, which gives the Bureau of Land Management another tool to protect public lands based on their unique wilderness characteristics. These cuts to the Department of the Interior would also limit resources for environmental education programs for youth, park maintenance and public safety across the country.
· Threaten wildlife by eliminating Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah, setting a dangerous precedent for allowing Congress to delist endangered species. The funding bill also eliminates measures to prevent the collapse of the San Francisco Bay-Delta, one of the most imperiled and productive ecosystems in the country.
· Waste energy and homeowners’ money by eliminating future funding for home weatherization assistance. In the last two years, the Weatherization Assistance Program has renovated 423,918 homes nationwide, 23,000 in California, to lower families’ energy bills and reduce our consumption of energy. Weatherizing our nation’s homes is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save money, cut energy use, and reduce dangerous pollution.
· Implement the largest percentage cut in EPA’s overall budget in 30 years, severely threatening the Agency’s ability to ensure that all Americans have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.