I’ve been a Republican for as long as I can remember, but no more.

The unconscionable antics of the Republicans in Congress, especially those tea party movement members and their cronies, have started our country on a downhill financial slide that threatens our very existence as a responsible nation.

The recent Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. bond rating is only the beginning. No responsible citizen would believe the way out of our fiscal nightmare is to reduce spending by a small margin while ignoring any attempt to increase revenue, yet this is exactly what the Republicans demanded in the recent debt-ceiling circus.

Failure to tax the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations, while millions of our citizens don’t even have enough to eat every day, is not just foolish; it is suicidal. We continue to lose thousands of jobs every week while many corporations rake in record profits for themselves and their investors who still have jobs and income.

President Barack Obama’s recent promise to provide better job opportunities for returning veterans was admirable, but it is a transparent campaign gimmick with minimum effect on employment levels and maximum political benefit.

We need real jobs in this country, industrial jobs that provide income and sustenance for thousands or millions of employees. No matter how important it is to have small businesses that grow, we need major employers with work for the masses. Right now, a lot of that kind of work is sent overseas to produce even higher corporate profits. Yet one of Obama’s early campaign promises was to penalize companies that send business out of the country.

Guess I’m not a Democrat, either. Can someone invent a new party with a name such as “sensible citizens”?

G.W. Cantrell

retired engineering manager

St. Gabriel