Fitz-Gerald: Change U.S. economic priorities |

Fitz-Gerald: Change U.S. economic priorities

Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald

As I travel around the 2nd Congressional District, I hear more and more how people are unsure about their economic future. The rising cost of housing, health care, gas, and educational expenses is increasing the burden on every family. People are working harder and longer for less. As a nation we need to change our economic priorities.

To be clear: The war in Iraq is draining the American economy.

Our presence is only exacerbating the instability in Iraq and all of the Middle East. I have repeatedly called for immediate withdrawal. No excuses. No exceptions. The military mission is over and the diplomatic mission must begin. I will vote to withhold funding for the war in Iraq so the generals must bring our troops home immediately. Getting our military budget under control and bringing our troops home will help to stabilize our economy.

As Colorado State Senate President, I saw first-hand how the funding of war stripped the state of money for roads and bridges and children’s health care. Coloradans alone paid $7 billion into the war last year. These lost taxes are flowing out of the country to the Middle East and to global private contractors.

Forty days in Iraq could fund health coverage for 10 million additional children for a whole year. Just imagine if we invested the same amount in the development of renewable energy freeing us from dependence on foreign oil. The Bush administration has run up massive deficits to pay for this ill-conceived war and occupation.

To restore our economy, our nation must change our spending priorities. When elected to Congress, I would not renew the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of this country when they are set to expire in 2010.

Thirty-three percent of the country owns 1 percent of the wealth, and the disparity grows deeper each year”all fueled by tax cuts for the wealthy. This year alone, Bush’s tax cuts will cost the Second Congressional District $88.6 million. With that money we could have provided 25,000 people with health care, we could have hired 1,500 elementary school teachers or provided 116,000 homes with renewable electricity.

I have the proven skills to help bring economic change to Washington ” where fiscal sanity is needed now more than ever. As Senate President, I helped to craft Referendum C ” the landmark budget compromise to change TABOR and rescue Colorado from financial ruin.

I feel proud to have the support of the working men and women of Colorado and the district” teachers, doctors, service employees, electrical workers, veterans and so many others who have joined my campaign to bring a sense of urgency for change.

When Congress convenes in 2009, every oar must be in the water to pull America back from the brink of economic disaster to restore America to the economic powerhouse it should be. There is no time to waste. I want to bring the same change to Congress that I brought to Colorado. I hope you will join me.

Senator Joan Fitz-Gerald was the first woman ever elected as the President of the Colorado State Senate. She is running for to replace Mark Udall for the 2nd Congressional District.

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