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*