Saturday, October 1, 2011
Does anyone in DC make sense?
In 2010 it could be said that ten years earlier the two great parties got together and came up with a compromise to provide a tax cut. They said, let's give the people a tax cut, one that would let our economically more endowed citizens keep (tax) funds to enable them to provide jobs, grow the economy, (provide for the common welfare, etc.,) and would, at the same time, give everyone else at least a little tax relief. This tax reduction would last for ten years, and then it would expire.
Well, it's eleven years later and what has happened? The jobs aren't there--many of them have been sent overseas (by those more endowed citizens?) The economy has tanked--our government has tried to bolster it but there seems to be a lack of tax income to allow for much more from the government (those tax cuts have gone to further endow our more endowed citizens at the expense of what, our national debt?) Our banks (and some major industries) have been saved but, while there were funds to bail them out, those same banks are unwilling to release funds to provide loans to bail out small businesses or people wanting to continue to own their own homes (they say we are a Christian nation--but the applicable Christian parable apparently does not apply to those well endowed individuals, the bankers.) Meanwhile, while most worker pay is being cut (as are, also, many workers themselves,) CEO and upper level executive pay continues to rocket skyward (paper pushing, policy making, and deciding who to give raises to and who to fire is really hard work) and overseas accounts have become such a problem that legislation to address them has caused some to hire more overseas investment counselors to find other ways to avoid keeping that money in the USA. Send the money overseas, send the jobs overseas, and spend more time on the seas on the yacht.
And a year ago, with the tax cuts set to expire (by law,) some said let them expire, others cried that would constitute a tax increase, and still others said a "for real" tax increase is exactly what is needed.
But wait, along came a slight problem with funding the government, one that threatened the triple-A rating of the USA, and one party said they would only agree to a resolution to permit the government to continue its operations (and at the very last minute, at that) if the other party agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years. Aside from the fact that this was simply blackmail, on a grand scale, a blackmail agreed to by both the blackmailers and the blackmailees, does this make any sense at all? Why did the Republicans make such demands? Why did the Democrats agree to those demands? Intransigence from one side would seem to require the same from the other, or at least some modicum of mutual benefit in the resolution.
Question: Since the tax cuts did not, in any way, shape, or form, do what they were purported to do, how is it that some expect us to believe them when they tell us what we need now is more tax cuts (and cuts in government spending, throwing countless government workers and contractors into the job market, to boot, not exactly providing more jobs and growing the economy?) Someone must think the American People are all dolts, or worse. That being the case, perhaps those "dolts" should speak loudly in the next general election. And they might, if the premise "If you tell the same lie over and over, soon it will be believed to be the truth" fails to hold water--and it will fail to hold water if the American People are not, in fact, dolts.
The only thing that could cause problems with this line of thinking is the possibility that that premise about the lie might be just a bit true. It should be remembered that the Roberts (Supreme) Court has ruled that corporations, unlike real people, may spend as much as they wish to influence elections in any way they wish. Of course, we know how those well endowed individuals, the ones who own and/or otherwise control the large corporations in our country, will direct the funds from those corporations. The tax cut lie, and lies supporting those who are running for election to maintain that tax cut lie, and, of course, the Big Lie that our current President is not doing his job, just might be told in advertisements on almost every web site, on almost every channel, on every TV set, and over every radio incessantly from now till the next election (try Fox News for a preview) making the message from those well endowed individuals the de-facto message of the land. How will Mr. and Ms. Taxpayer come close to matching funds being spent by those well endowed individuals acting under the cover of their Supreme Court enabled corporations? One man, one vote may be true, but some well endowed individuals will obviously have much, much more control than anyone else in the land when it comes to spreading their message and promoting their candidates.
Doesn't the Constitution have provisions for recalling individuals that fail to perform their duties in reasonable manners? Should our Supreme Court Justices, the ones who voted to enable the control of our elections by our well endowed corporation controllers, be brought to task under those provisions?
Should they be required to step down?
If so, when?
I know one thing for sure: If I keep spouting off like this, it will be assumed that I am a card-carrying Democrat--not the independent I claim to be. The truth is, I maintain that claim, even while writing things like this that appear to contradict that claim. The problem is, my independent assessment is that the party of no is doing the country, as a whole, no good. And, it appears to me that their current mantra--no taxes for the wealthy, less government for everyone--will soon be serving their masters and themselves poorly, too. Checks and balances in government are needed. What is not needed are terminal checks to government and interminable balances to the rich.
It is often said that the rich use their money to buy votes. Considering campaign expense requirements, it appears some voters on the hill may also be using their votes to buy donations. Symbiosis made in political heaven, I'd say. And, are the Republicans the only ones in this hunt? No--they are just the most obvious.
Lieberman for President!