The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution commits this nation to promoting the general welfare. In faith language, we would call that the "common good." The federal budget should reflect a commitment to the common good by ensuring that the basic needs of all members of society are met.
At this time when nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, 37 million live in poverty, one in five children lives in a household experiencing food insecurity, and unemployment remains at historically high levels, additional cuts to critical human needs programs cannot be justified. At same time, a recent report also notes that the richest 1% of the U.S. population has increased its income by 275% in the last 30 years.
Assisting our citizens who are poor, need health care or education, are unemployed, etc., should be our No. 1 priority. Instead, our local politicians like Rep. John Campbell (R-Newport Beach) prattle on about "no new taxes," even (maybe especially?) for the Newport Beach yacht club set that funds him and his campaigns.
But this problem is really not entirely a partisan one: We all should be very concerned that the federal budget negotiations going on with the "supercommittee" of 12 politicians from Congress. In order to reduce the deficit, this group of Democrats and Republicans will be tempted to cut social problems, including Medicare and Social Security, particularly given the complete intransigence of many Republicans who, like Campbell, want to cut social spending while opposing any and all effort to raise revenues.
Like many people of faith and conscience, I believe programs that provide health care, nutrition assistance, shelter, education and care for God's creation should be protected.
The writer is a sociology professor at UC Irvine.
Sudoku decision puzzling
I am sorry that you are no longer going to have the sudoku puzzles in your paper. The reason yours were better than those in the Los Angeles Times is because you also included the answer to the puzzle in a separate section of the paper. That way if you were working on the puzzle and ran into problems you could always check out the correct answer and not have to wait until the next day like you have to do in The Times. Having to wait until the following day to solve the puzzle takes away all the fun of working and is a ridiculous idea.
A bad Halloween surprise
What happened to the daily and, especially, the big Sunday sudokus in the Daily Pilot? Boo hoo!
Editor's note: The Daily Pilot plans to bring back sudoku soon.