In this Republican self-induced political and economic crisis that has Americans embarrassed while the international world looks down upon the USA with less confidence, is at its tipping point. Tying in the debt ceiling increase into partisan politics is not only defeating America’s ethical standing with proposed deep cuts in entitlement policy while leaving the very wealthy and corporate unscathed; it is steam rolling the weakened economy further downhill.
House Speaker, John Boehner, though of course wanting to lay blame squarely on the president, could not even scratch up enough votes from his own fellow House Republicans this past Thursday to put his plan to a floor vote. So, to appeal to the more radical right-wing elements of his party, Boehner made the bill even more extreme and barely passed it this past Friday by a narrow 218-210 vote majority.
It is totally a partisan bill and exclusively Republican with all House Democrats voting no. Twenty-two house Republicans voted no expressing it didn’t go far enough on entitlement cuts. Meanwhile the senate up front tabled the bill by a 59-41 floor vote and came up with a plan to be voted on in their chamber this Sunday. Though of course there too, even senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell were wanting to filibuster for the umpteenth time to force a super majority vote of sixty.
The senate plan, offered by Majority Leader, Harry Reid has $2.2 trillion in spending cuts and instead of revisiting this upheaval mess of debt ceiling increase this coming January, the Reid plan allows a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling essentially effective until 2012.
This disarray can be best described by Representative Kathy Hochul (D-NY) with her comment just before the vote: “Never ever has there been an intentional disaster perpetrated by the very people who were sent here to be caretakers of this country. Am I really supposed to tell the greatest generation that when they passed us the torch, we dropped it because we couldn’t compromise?”
Americans, the White House, Democrats and Independents are insisting their government factions compromise. Recent poll after polls show public opinion wanting compromise in getting this partisan political charade behind us where we can then begin tackling issues that are currently pertinent like job creation. A July Washington Post/ABC poll showed 77% of Americans are disgusted with Republicans in not compromising. A very recent CNN/Opinion Research poll showed 55% disapproving of Republican rancor, up from 48% this past March. A Gallop poll released this past Monday shows two-thirds of the respondents insist Republicans compromise.
Five national poll results conducted within the month of July, stand behind President Obama in support of a combination of spending cuts and tax increases for the wealthy as part of any agreements in raising the debt ceiling.
Democrats and Independents all favor compromise, though 52% of Republicans prefer their politicians stick to their belligerent loaded, cocked and pointed guns. In the Quinnipiac poll released last week the survey showed overall, two-thirds of the public support a compromise deal that includes spending cuts and…tax increases for the wealthy and closed loopholes for corporations. Only Republicans in the public sector were nearly evenly split.
Well, as I write this first day of August 01, 2011, apparently there is an agreement between President Obama and congressional leaders and will be voted on today in both houses to avoid sending the country into default. Unfortunately, it is mainly comprised of cuts supposedly evened out between domestic and defense programs. Herein belies the jest of it all.
Filled with gimmickry, the deal will allow a total of $917 billion in cuts within ten years and allows the president to hike the debt ceiling even if congress votes no on the issue. Obama will have veto power to override any nay vote. This is kind of an out for Republicans in a sense, by washing their hands of the debt cap in expressing they voted no in raising the ceiling but still give Obama latitude to do it anyway.
A second round of $1.5 trillion in slashing programs will be conducted by a ‘super’ bipartisan congressional committee composed of twelve lawmakers evenly divided among parties from both houses. On their final decision, the rest of congressional members will not be able to amend or filibuster the outcome. Their decision must be final by this Thanksgiving.
If the so-called ‘super’ committee fails to come up with an agreed upon conclusion, then a measure kicks in that would require $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts split between domestic programs and the military.
Fortunately, Social Security, Medicaid and poverty programs will not be affected by the cuts for now. Unfortunately though, extending unemployment aid pushed by the White House will not be included nor considered.
Although there will be no revenue generation, such as axing the Bush tax breaks and closing the corporate loopholes and outdated subsidies, the Bush tax breaks are still due to expire in 2013 at the same time a second round of federal program cuts are due to begin. Where Obama failed to end the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy this past winter, perhaps if reelected, he will have enough fire power to put the wealthy tax breaks on the chopping block in the second round of debt and revenue negotiations. Of course Republicans are banking on a Republican president by then.
America’s Best Value:
Compromise! As some Republicans are expressing this word in dirty tones, it is essential in a democracy. Democracies allow division for varying ideas, concepts and transactions. Therefore, through diplomacy, a divided government is binding through compromise in representing both sides. If not, the democratic government becomes dysfunctional without compromise. Pretty much in what we have seen in the past few months over the debt ceiling debate.
There really isn’t much compromise in this latest agreement to keep the government afloat. Democrats caved, allowing federal program cuts for those who can hardly afford it in these economic times, but receiving none of their requested cuts in wealthy tax breaks, corporate loopholes and subsidies from those who can affably afford it.
So, here is the political ideologue difference, one side wants only to take while the other side will give as long as they’re not hit by any slinging fists. Democracy can only work when not one, but both sides work through consensus. Is compromise in American politics failing? Compromise steadfastly means a balanced approach and this deal has no balance.
This lopsided approach is dangerous. If Republicans truly think that by protecting the wealthiest pockets and high profit dollars of the large corporations while the rest of America decays will preserve America’s economy, values and ethics...are in a subverting sense…dead wrong.
With instruments in place that are destroying America’s middleclass while standing by the sidelines doing nothing to stop the hemorrhaging, America will sink from its national and international standing.
Willing to push taxpayer dollars only towards wealthy individuals and corporations while gutting Medicare, Social Security and domestic programs for the rest, just to ensure that those rich folk and corporate tax breaks and benefits remain in place; in the long haul will be their demise as well.
If a commercial airplane was plunging downwards, fixing to crash, the ones sitting in first class are going down with it just as well along with the rest herded in the cattle corralled economy section.
With strictly, as Republicans like to phrase it, “aggressive deficit reductions” in this plan and with no revenue plan to match it, jobs will be reduced in an already stingy, stringent and unfriendly economic environment for job creation.
In the lack of conversation concerning viable employment in this tiring deficit debate…who is responsible for making it a non-issue? Certainly the Republicans, but I hold too, Obama at fault, for on his part he didn’t chisel any sharp focus on the topic, nor did he go head-to-head with Republicans on insisting it be part of the bargaining conversation.
Don’t Excite Anxiety:
This ugly debate, whether the country goes into default or not has already done collateral damage by shifting the once solid features of America’s face. The uncertainty with the endless arguments creating stalemate has lowered the U.S. credit rating. This in turn, has lowered the U.S. dollar internationally hurting the profitability of the country’s small businessman in the way of higher expenses in exporting products and buying foreign raw materials.
In the national and international bond markets, losing that triple AAA rating is spurning economic growth stateside, therefore it is dissuading job growth and discouraging employment.
International central banks use the U.S. dollar as their reserve, now their eyeing the Swiss franc.
The mirror image approach of domestic cuts/tax break cuts was definitely an issue, but is not included on this final plan…only domestic cuts.
If you cut spending on domestic services, then you need revenue to invest, for cutting alone does not spur economic growth. There is no zero gravity, only a tugging pull from one side.
Due to the dirty words of spending on investments, America now has slid down to twenty-third on appropriate infrastructure to support its population. Just a decade ago, it was number one in leading all nations in infrastructure.
Besides crumbling bridges and no funding geared to repair highways, Republicans axed the mass transit hi-speed railway program and will not release funds allowing all citizens to have access to fiber optic high resolution hi-speed internet.
This is shameful for fiber optics and hi-speed internet instrumentation were developed in America. Today, where the U.S. refuses to invest, all European countries are taking advantage of these networking tools where all its citizenry and corporations are connected. This stimulates the economy. For in the current economic environment, the speed and reliability in networking is just as important as when the phone line first made its impact.
Polluted Prevailing Wind:
The gross negligence in Republican politicians voting to repeal or outright dismantle environmental laws might just come back to bite them in their rear-ends. There is no other reason to gut the Clean Air and Clean Water acts except to allow irresponsible industries to pollute even more in making their dirty profits at the expense of a child’s health.
Apparently, these ignorant politicians feel that if pollution is out of sight, it is out of mind, but it only means that they are actually out of their ever-goofus minds. Pollutant particles will always go somewhere to bid its dirty deeds.
Of course for the politician who blindly supports industry, he feels that environmental regulation is a hindrance to economic growth, when in fact it is quite the opposite. To value economic growth does not mean at the sacrifice to the environment. This is a very primitive way of thinking with an attitude of production going hand-in-hand with pollution. It’s simply amazing, to my reckoning anyway that we still have cavemen politicians that have developed no regards to the importance of environmental health and follow the, “pollute first, clean up later” rule.
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, European and American industrialists were truly ignorant of their errant ways in disregarding the environment. Today though, it’s not ignorance, it’s callous belligerence.
A conundrum is blowing towards the U.S. Due to China’s industrialization as a developing nation, the Pacific winds are now blowing China’s pollutant ridden air onto U.S. shores…immense tons of it.
In making products for the western half of the world, China’s pollution is really burgeoning. More coal burning for electrical energy is belching out arsenic, mercury and sulfates, while a rapidly growing middleclass are driving more cars spewing out ever more carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons having its effect in impressing its fingerprint onto the world’s globe.
Well over 590 tons of Chinese mercury emissions are finding their way over into the air and soils of America per year. This is in the form of inorganic mercury. But when the laden winds carry the mercury pollutants, it finally deposits it into wet soils and waterways. There, reducing bacteria break the metal down into the organic compound methyl mercury, which is a very soluble biological compound. It then is assimilated into the food chain with highest concentrations at the top of the chain.
Mercury neurotoxins are irrefutable in their irreparable harm done to organisms. Methyl mercury will cross the placenta in a developing fetus negatively affecting brain development. We know that this mercury and other pollutant invasions are coming from China because Chinese pollutants have their own signature in chemical compounds, via in what metals they smelter and in what coal they burn.
So, what do Republican politicians think of this…should they insist China curb their pollution and invest in environmental regulations to clean up their industries, or should China simply behave as we do and actually cut environmental regulations and spew forth much more pollution our way?
After all, China, India, Brazil and other developing nations have the right to industrialize and grow economically at the expense of the environment just like the Western countries did; right?
Pure Sleaze Bag:
In the recall elections in the state of Wisconsin, Republicans have really stooped to lows to remain in power and I would hope that most Republicans would consider this type of conduct by their colleagues as despicable. In fact, they’ve gone so low as such there is a required need for them to make use of an umbrella whenever ants pee.
First off, Republicans sent Republicans disguised as Democrats to sign up and run in the primary Democrat elections. Now, the Koch Brothers funded Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party affiliation, to send absentee ballots to solid Democrat voters in two Wisconsin senate districts. They have no business in doing this in the first place, but the kicker is that they as well, are sending instructions to return the paperwork on a date well after the actual election date eliminating voters’ belated vote. This is illegal deception.
Remember the Japanese and the lost decade in the 1990s when Japan was in financial crisis and had cutout their stimulus too early? This sent the country back into recession. Now here, the same is currently going on in the states. Where Americans are now bleeding from an open monetary wound, there is no bandage or even a band-aid offered to seal the wound, just salt.
This is really an improper time for our country’s leaders not to be able to compromise and make a decision. Republicans, in holding the debt ceiling as hostage until their demands that hedge fund managers’ income tax remain as half the amount of what nurses and firemen have to pay in income taxes is catamount to whatever you want to think is negative.
American citizens are inquiring as to why it had to come down to the wire like this? Americans tend to be team members so naturally strive for cooperation. Currently, leaders are admonishing this characteristic American trait.
Oh I suppose the very duress that they created for and during these trying economic times, Republicans will commence concerted efforts in blaming Obama for it all in attempts at ensuring he doesn’t get reelected in 2012.
Ya know, someone once said, “There’s nothing what’s wrong with America that can’t be fixed with what’s right with America.” Now I suppose that is true for almost any democratic country, but if more is wrong, then there’s not enough right to go ‘round and counter.
Here to Say,