Friday, July 15, 2011

The party of no facts needed

Lately, whenever I listen to any Republican leaders speaking, I want to tear my hair out, except with age it appears to be thinning a bit anyway, so that'd only hurt me. There is an equally strong temptation to not pay any attention to any of what is going on politically-- except I wonder what I'd find when I came back up for air.

Currently the issue that most presses my buttons is talk on the debt ceiling by people who really have no clue about anything including how to pronounce chutzpah while they have the nerve to use the word anyway with their own pronunciation for it (tip, the c is not pronounced). Facts-- not needed.

There is NO logic to why debt ceilings have become such a big issues other than the fact that it works politically and unfortunately both parties try to use it. It is though being debated by people who don't much like facts and pay no attention to economics as a serious study (the party of god-will-take-care-of-it-so-why-do-I-need-to-worry-my-empty-head-about-it). I have heard them talk in interviews and compare their knowledge of budgeting for their family as being all they need to know how to arrange international finances.

Okay let's do that where it comes to the deficit ceiling. This would be like the family who had bought this or that, agreeing to this obligation for themselves, setting up a current budget with so much credit card debt, say an obligation to help their grandmother with her medical expenses, possibly pay their kids' tuition to college and then look at the whole thing and say-- I will only pay so much of this expense. There is now a debt ceiling for our home and I won't pay above it-- forget what I promised to pay.

The debt ceiling debate isn't about the budget. This is about agreeing to a budget and then reneging on it which is why we are seeing this:

So basically there is a sector of Americans, who voted in the politicians who are trying to do this, who consider government to be evil. They think it can do nothing right. They don't want to pay taxes and even though theirs have gone down under Obama, they blame him for anything and everything. With this debt ceiling debate, they see it as a chance to strangle government to stop paying for the 'other'. They mostly don't have a clue that they are the 'other'. Their method for accomplishing this strangulation is stop paying for what their own government already either spent or agreed to. They want this even though polls regularly show Americans favor what they are spending it on.

Once upon a time, Americans didn't want kids starving. They didn't want the old unable to go to doctors. They didn't want some dying for the lack of simple medical procedures. They wanted nice freeways. They wanted public schools so everybody's kid had a chance for an education and a good job someday. They wanted clean air. They wanted financial regulations. Now a bunch of politicians have come in, voted for by those same people, and they want to end most of what I wrote above so they can give more tax cuts to people like the Koch brothers.

First of all government does have a paid bureaucracy within it-- government employees and they are from the federal, state and local branches of government. They educate our youth, investigate fraud, fight our fires, protect our cities, protect our food supply, build highways, etc etc. Everything they are doing has been agreed to but new management was voted into the House in 2010 and they looked at what the people had previously agreed to do and they don't like any of it except the mercenaries to the world part (some of them don't like that either).

Do they change the budget then? No, they just say we won't pay for all of it. It is risky to say you want old people to not be able to afford to go to a hospital or buy their blood pressure medication. Debt ceiling is like clean air or no child left behind. A way to get what some want without admitting what the cost will be and who will pay it. It sounds good to those who don't know much about how world economics works-- set an amount above which you will not spend. Except what happens is it ignores naturally growing expenses.

Something is wrong with our economic system. No doubt whatsoever about that. I just went through a lot of books that had been stashed in boxes and in one bookshelf-- three rows deep on many of the shelves. It was interesting to see how the price of these books had changed. I have westerns from when I was a girl with the price of $.35 for the book. You don't need to know one more thing for how much the worth of that dollar in 1955 was worth versus what it's worth today. We don't need $4 a gallon gas to know that we have been swindled in the worst possible way which impacts the poor and profits the rich. Rich invest their dollars (like Romney did by sending jobs overseas and growing the stock market) and they stay even with inflation or in some cases, with a Republican Congress in power, they can grow above inflation. And for the rest of you serfs-- pfffft.

So if you want to stay even with what you offer for services, for what you buy, or can pay, you have to grow above that rate of inflation which these days is calculated in such a way to fool you as to whether it exists. The government likewise has to do that. Guess what a debt ceiling does? It means what you agreed to cover either grows or you end up paying less and less of it. Rich staying ahead of the ball. Poor behind it.

When I get one of those floating Republican emails, read some of the things they say on blogs, I want to scream which is why the temptation is to ignore it and do nothing about it. That's good for somebody, but it's not those people behind the ball.

Republicans are voting in people with an agenda to destroy public education, end any kind of environmental regulations, let the financial institutes do whatever they want. Regulations are bad... well except when they block abortions, when they don't let people commit suicide who are dying anyway, when they block some people from marrying based on their gender, when they block porn based on their definition, etc. Those regulations are good. Regulations on the rich and powerful where it comes to the products the serfs buy, monopolies on their companies, regulations on anything, holding them accountable-- bad.

So we have a group of people voting for power to the richest, power to the corporations and bit by bit taking away the tools that enabled the middle class to exist. The frustrating part is when you tell them that, they bring up death panels... *ARGGGGGGHHHHHH*


Kay Dennison said...

Hallelujah and Amen!!! Sing it, Sister and pox on anyone who disagrees!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Three-quarters of the cable network news market goes to Rupert Murdoch owned media outlets. If you trace the current economic and political pulse back to it's source, it leads directly to the propaganda octopus which is the Murdcoh-controlled media empire. It's an uphill battle to try and combat such a force. The Brits are now just getting handle on how much their political agenda is controlled by Murdoch.

Ingineer66 said...

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006

While it was so important to Obama to NOT raise the debt ceiling in 2006, he did not bother to vote when it was raised in 2007 and 2008.

I say don't raise it and let the chips fall where they may. So far all of Obama's plans to help the economy have just made it worse and prolonged the pain. End the unemployment extension, end the mortgage help. Yes times will get bad for a while, but we will recover. It will be like when Reagan was President. Things went bad and then got better. A lot better. Obama has just delayed the recovery, the real recovery.

Rain said...

Obama has said he made a mistake on that in the previous votes. He said he had one responsibility as a senator to his state, went along on a partisan line, and was wrong. He said he has another now as a president to all the states.

The issue here for people like you is to think exactly what it means to not do it, to possibly renege on our promises, on the investments people thought they were making in us with our bonds. I think this is a dishonest way to deal with a problem of an out of balance budget. Redo the budget but pay what is owed.

A lot of righties don't know that letting the debt ceiling die might mean they pay more on interest, that when we borrow for whoever as a nation or city or state that we will pay much higher interest rates because we've been proven to be irresponsible as a people. This isn't just reneging on the old people or the veterans in this country. It's reneging to the world and saying our word is no good. As an ordinary person, I never do that. I pay my obligations and on time. Now I have a group of people in this country who want me to be known as part of a deadbeat nation who like a child is selfish, wants only what benefits each individual. The words united states mean nothing to such people. It's all for them and they don't care as they won't be impacted by it-- or don't know they will.

The reason the interest part of our debt went up is most of it from Bush. It was going down when he took office and when he left we were paying 25% of every tax dollar on interest. I don't know what it is now but it clearly is an escalating problem. With his earlier decisions to fight a war he didn't pay for but put on the cuff, to give tax cuts he didn't budget for by spending cuts as he added more to the spending, he also took on a trillion dollar bail-out of Wall Street at the end of his two terms. And now these Republican leaders, who were all part of those decisions have convinced righties to blame Obama. Amazing.

I say fix the budget and pay the obligations. And it's not just because personally we are owed a tax refund from the government of over $8000 that our accountant didn't get filed in time due to his being sick and filing extensions. I won't like not getting that, of course or having to wait even longer for the government to finally honor what it has previously promised. I won't like not getting a SS check probably either; but I really hate being known as an irresponsible person who wants what I want when I want it (Cantor's words) but never wants to pay for it!

Right now I think Republicans ought to be ashamed to call themselves conservatives. That is so not what they are with this philosophy and behavior

Ingineer66 said...

The way I see it Rain, we should get it done now. It seems Obama and the Democrats would rather just kick it down the road and have us renege on all those promises when things are 3 or 4 times worse. But then that will be after the next election and that is all that matters to Obama and the other politicians.

Rain said...

Republicans are funny with how they justify things. First of all a debt ceiling is NOT a budget. Second of all Republicans want three month increments to be sure it does get kicked down the road and they can do nothing but that for a year and use it to win in 2012. What Obama said is have it after the election when the American people have voted and can, if they agree with the Republicans, vote in people who will end SS effectively, same with Medicare, make education private and end regulations on anybody but the ordinary guy.

Let this be decided by 2012 and for heaven sake make them do something besides it for the next year and a half. Of course, that means they will likely try to figure out some reason to impeach Obama as they did Clinton allowing al Qaeda to have a free reign while they took care of something meaningless. Which is what they'd do now.

Arrange a tight budget, up the ceiling so we don't renege on our debt, and let Americans decide in 2012 what they want. They can put in a Congress and president to give them more Clarence Thomases. I say that's the fair way to settle this. I just hope more Americans than I think understand they are the 'other'.