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Standard and Poor’s, My Thoughts

  • Posted on August 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Just like every other American I have been wondering about the Standard & Poor’s decision to down grade the United States long term rating.  I have been thinking what affect it might have on the country and even my own personal situation.  The personal situation comes up because the stock market is so volatile.  Now I don’t have a lot of money, but I do have some investments and it seems to me that they had just bounced back from the beating they took in 2008.  I decided I would do my own investigation into this rating decision.  Instead of reading the newspapers, I personally think it’s best to go the source.

The reason seems to be tied more to politics than anything else.  We all know that the country seems to be on a confused path.  Most Americans know that the Bush tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, should not have been renewed.  We are at a point in this country where the politics from the Republicans and the Democrats seem to be weighing heavily on our country by the very ineptness showcased by both parties. We are left in our small towns and big cities wondering if there is anyone in this government that knows what the hell their doing.

I really believe that the Tea Party rhetoric totally exacerbated this situation.  Michelle Bachmann even continues to use this in her speeches as if she somehow has the correct solution to the problem.  The problem with her stance is that she still clings to the idea that voting no was a good solution because after all raising taxes should never happen.  President Obama, for his part, has been weak and ineffectual.  While he seems to be embracing those very items that the Republicans want like changes to Medicare and Social Security, he refuses to really push two things that could be game changers, raising taxes on the higher incomes and retracting from these endless wars.  President Obama has embraced just about every program President Bush began.  The Republicans actually should love President Obama as he gives into them at every turn.  The change in governing from the Bush times to the Obama times is really flawless.  There really isn’t any real change.  I know President Obama ran on the words, hope and change, but actions speak much louder than words.  From my perspective, President Obama is much closer to Republican thought process and governing philosophy than he is to Democratic principles.  So, you might be wondering why I see this as basically a political problem even though in my mind the two factions are actually close in their basic philosophies.  I see them as playing “good cop, bad cop” roles.  They show us how divided they are but secretly they are still going to parties together, golfing, and having friendships with each other.  How else could such seemingly diverse people like James Carville and Mary Matlin stand each other enough to be married to each other?  Now, you can say politics makes strange bedfellows, but I believe this is just another hoax on the American people.  The people in the two parties seem more interested in their own personal situations than they do the best interest of the country.  The politics have gotten in the way of governing.  Each decision seems to be a calculation about who is going to gain or lose from the decision.

There is an article that caught my attention.  It’s from June of 2009 in the Bloomberg Businessweek.  http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jun2009/pi20090615_088345.htm

This article is by Nikola G. Swann who is the primary credit analyst for the rating decision.  The article was about why the United States still had a AAA rating status.  One thing caught my eye, so I compared what he said to the current document about why they changed the rating status.  Here is the most important part of that document.

Why does Standard & Poor’s continue to view the U.S. as a AAA credit?

We believe the U.S.’s key credit strengths include:

• A high-income, highly diversified economy, with unusually flexible labor and product markets.

• The unique advantages associated with the U.S. dollar’s preeminent role as the world’s most used currency.

• The country’s openness to trade and capital flows and experience in adapting to associated fluctuations.

The country’s stable political system with strong, long-established institutions, its ability to respond to changing economic and financial circumstances, and its transparency in policymaking.

However, this is the part that really caught my eye.

Still, we believe that the fiscal outturn in the U.S. will be somewhat better than that in the U.K. because of what we view as the greater diversity and, consequently, resiliency of its economy. We expect that the U.S.’s net general government debt will rise to about 90% of GDP by 2013; we expect that of the U.K. to rise to nearly 100%.

It’s the 90% by 2013 of GDP that I found interesting.  If you go to the current document, in one scenario the 90% is met at 2015 and 101% by 2021 and in another 77% by 2015 and 78% by 2021.  Obviously, one is the downside and one is the upside scenario.  The document than goes on to compare what S&P deems to be similar countries to the USA and why they made a rating change.   The country that stands out is Canada.  Of course we are friends with Canada and there are always comparisons to be made.  However, I will point out here that there is a huge difference between our populations.  Canada has nearly 34 million and we have over 307 million.  The debt to GDP ratio for Canada is much lower than any of the other countries and is listed at 30% of GDP.  I found this interesting considering the fact that Canada has universal health care.  Their taxes aren’t crazy really and they don’t even tax lottery winnings. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html

They have oil reserves that are second only to Saudi Arabia.  That’s something I didn’t know.  They also rely on the United States for both import and export business.  I n 2009 73% of their exports were to the USA and 63% of their imports were from here.  So, you might be thinking how does this all tie together?  In the document that explains how the S&P came to their decision they said this:

We have changed our assumption on this because the majority

of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise

revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

They also said this:

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as

America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,

and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt

ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in

the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our

view, the differences between political parties have proven to be

extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting

agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program

that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and

Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on

discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on

more comprehensive measures.

From my viewpoint it looks like politics got in the way of everything.  Some people think that this was political because of S&P alone.  I don’t know about that.  This document might explain something about their influences.  http://influenceexplorer.com/organization/standard-poors/69ef116db51541288f82666a423a5fe5

It appears that some of the people and their families that work for S&P have given more to Democrats than Republicans.  As you scroll down, you will notice S&P contracts with the federal government.  I don’t know how any of this ties together, but I’m sharing it here because it might be important as a matter of disclosure.

The truth is we have been on a downward spiral for years.  We have spent money on two wars that was essentially borrowed money.  We were told early on that the Iraq war would be paid for by Iraq oil reserves or some such nonsense.  The military has basically doubled in spending and while doing all of this, we did not sacrifice anything other than our young people who gave so much for these wars!  While our soldiers were giving their lives and limbs, back home we were embracing the Bush tax cuts.  In each of our states we have witnessed the problems associated with all of this.  As the federal government put more in the wars, we received less in our respective states.  Many states are hurting and a good reason they are hurting is the lack of funds.  Cuts have been made across the country.  This year is unprecedented in the cuts that many states are facing.  The cuts that are most personal to me are those to education.  To me, educating our people is extremely important for the future growth and stability of our country.  An uneducated electorate is dangerous.

I sit here frustrated by a president and Congress that can’t seem to do what is necessary for the betterment of our country.  Get us out of these wars, including Libya, and get rid of the Bush tax cuts!  However, the most important thing our government should do is a jobs bill.  Certain states get an influx of cash from the federal government in the form of disaster relief.  Texas received $74,523,000 for hurricane Rita alone.  http://www.hud.gov/news/katrina05response.cfm

I feel Michigan and many other states have economic disasters that are never addressed quite like those states that have floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.  Our whole country needs some disaster relief to rebuild the shambles from the economic disaster left from the loss of the manufacturing jobs.  In my mind, if we build it, they will come.  Just like in the movie, “Field of Dreams”, we should build our country up.  We should fix our infrastructure, transportation, and bring broadband everywhere in the USA.  We should not be cutting money from education but infusing money into education to get every student prepared for 21st Century jobs.  If we do this, we will make this country a better place for business and growth.  Everyone will win from this scenario.  Yes, if we build it, they will come.

Here is some food for thought.  I think if the Republicans hadn’t taken over the House of Representatives, we wouldn’t have received this rating.  In fact, we will never know, but I believe the stock market would be far more stable.  Prior to the Republicans taking over the House, the stock market was coming back.  Things were picking up some.  I was happy to see my personal portfolio coming back.  However, when the Republicans came in, everything changed.  Everything constricted in government from money to jobs.  The FAA even had to furlough people because decisions couldn’t be reached.  Jobs were held up because decisions couldn’t be made.  Representative Boehner and the Tea Party may be standing by their convictions, but I say at the detriment of the entire country.  I say shame on the Tea Party Republicans for letting our country down and shame on President Obama for treating this deficit debate like a political game as well.  After the debate all we heard from the pundits is who won and who lost.  It’s obvious the American people lost and no one could possibly consider these politicians to be winners!

Some of the American People……

  • Posted on August 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

According to the President, the United States hails some of the most productive workers in the world.  I would say words matter Mr. President.  Today you said there were two things we could do.  I waited anxiously to hear about taxing the wealthy and creating a jobs bill.  Neither one was one of the two.  According to you the two things we can do is make cuts to Medicare and “reform” the tax code.  You still are repeating the same old sorry agenda that got us into this mess.  Shame on you!  You have chosen to follow the “Bush” agenda from dealing with the economy to continuing in endless made up wars!

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-dismisses-downgrade-sees-urgency-debt-talks/story?id=14255055

President Bush came from a structure of corruption and bankruptcy.  The businesses that he and his family have been involved in have many questionable features.  Whether it was the sale of his Harkin oil, his daddy’s deal back in 1989 to grant a national security waiver for the sale of two Hughes Aircraft company satellites to China, Neil’s Savings and Loan scandal, or Jeb’s defaulted loan from Broward Federal Savings and Loan any way you look at it, Bush came from a family of corruption.  http://www.campaignwatch.org/more1.htm

Yet, somehow he managed to get those corrupt hands on our government.  Bush became President and ushered in the Bush tax cuts and the notion of endless war.  He destroyed what little gain we had made under the Clinton years with these moves.  However, ultimately with these moves the rich were allowed to get richer and the regular people and the poor were appeased by their personal tax cut not realizing that their personal wealth would eventually shrink and their wages would stagnate.  The American people were fooled by the Carny of all carnies.  So, I ask you Mr. President why you would choose to continue this fraud on the American people.  What are you getting out of this?  Your speech didn’t inspire confidence in the American people.  I was ready to give you a break.  After all, the Tea Party has literally brought us to the brink of disaster with their game playing.  However, it appears that you are right there with them!  You stand there ever the “Pied Piper” expecting us to follow your melody and jump into the sea with you.  This is not leading.  The small mention of jobs was so miniscule that it’s obviously not something you spend a great deal of time worrying about.  That crack about “some” of the American people are the most productive in the world was really quite un-American in its left handed compliment.   In other words, some of the American people suck!  I guess the “suckiest” one of all, is you!  You fail to inspire people to do the right thing.

The priority in this country should be jobs.   The only way we are going to compete in the future is if we start working now on building up what we’ve lost in this country.  We don’t even have to go to the big cities any more to see where our infrastructure is failing.  We can drive over any road in America and know that something needs to be done.  We can visit any town or city in America and see abandoned buildings where there once was a bustling factory or store front!  We need to revive our country and make it have a first class infrastructure.  Take the money out of defense and put it into our infrastructure because this has become a national defense problem.   We have the best military in the world.  We spend more than all the other nations combined to get it.  However, what is it fighting for?  Is it fighting to keep our American values here at home?  If that is the case, then we are losing the war because our jobs have been outsourced and believe it or not people are valued by what they do.  Why else would we refer to people as being a “lazy bum” or a “brilliant surgeon”?  With so many people in our country out of work what do you think they feel like?  I believe most people want to be productive in our society.  So, when you say “some” of the most productive workers in the world, I have to wonder what you mean by that.  People need to be inspired Mr. President.  They need to know that everything possible is being done to get our country on the right track for the masses, not just for the wealthy.  The divide in this country is continuing to grow deeper and deeper.  You are in Washington D.C. surrounded by other people of wealth.  I suggest visiting the real world for a change.  You live in an artificial world that just doesn’t understand what it means to be out of work without any real new prospects for work.  You live in an Ivory Tower surrounded by corruption where deals are made every day that don’t take the middle class and the voiceless poor into consideration.  You live in a world where no bid contracts are given out in places like Iraq, probably in exchange for some political apple polishing for the next big political race.  You live in a world where talk is cheap about transparency but where the American people are always the last to really know when they have been royally screwed.  The problem in our government Mr. President isn’t just that you lack leadership.  The problem with our government is that you probably are right.  “Some” of the American people are the most productive in the world, unfortunately they are not, and I repeat, “Not!” the American politicians.

Michigan Polls and Stupid Politics

  • Posted on July 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Some how this cartoon reminds me of our current politicians!

I have many different things on my mind today so don’t think I’m nutty when my thoughts hop around.  I watched a few minutes of the Chris Matthews show last night and Chris was bemoaning a recent poll from Michigan.  In the poll, if the election were held today, Mitt Romney would beat President Obama 46 to 42.  I guess that means that 12% of the people refused to pick either one in that poll.  Chris has always acted like Michigan will vote for Obama.  He obviously doesn’t realize that we have a Republican House, Senate, and governor.  He thought it was just because Mitt’s dad used to be our governor many years ago.  There is a lot more to it than that.  I’m one of “those people” that are still smitten over my stolen vote during the 2008 Democratic Primary.  Matthews and other political pundits seem to be blind to the fact that there are a number of people that are not happy with the direction this country is going.  The Tea Party is like the antithesis of how I feel, but when you put both the far right and the far left together, that’s a lot of ticked off people.

When Senator Obama ran for the presidency he talked about “hope and change”.  My problems with Obama started early on when he spoke glowingly about paying those math and science teachers more money than other teachers.  That is union busting language that just serves to divide teachers.  I figured he was secretly a Republican and I knew I couldn’t vote for him.  That was in July of 2007.  Now that wasn’t my first exposure to Barack Obama.  The first time I had ever heard of Barack Obama was during the Kerry nomination.  I really liked Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention.  I guess that line about red states and blue states but the United States really got to me.  I thought this guy could be president some day, you know like some time off into the distant future, not four years from then.  Then of course I heard the speech in 2007 where he spoke in front of the National Education Association and I was unimpressed.  It seems to me for being a “no drama” president; we have had nothing but drama since he became president.  Right now I feel that the American people have been whipped into frenzy over the debt ceiling debate just to get us bent to the will of both parties.  I don’t believe either party is innocent in this debate.  It almost feels like the only innocent people are the American people.  Just like the time when banks and corporations were just too big to fail, it seems like we are being brought to the edge of a cliff and told you must get down off the cliff and you have only two choices, now both choices are bad.  The Republicans want us to jump off that cliff and the Democrats want us to fly off that cliff.  Either way we pick to get off that cliff is going to end up with a similar result.  I feel there is much fake outrage about all of this.  I was over to Black Agenda and Bruce Dixon has written a piece that just says it all for me as both parties have been in cahoots for years in their “drama-o-drama”  machine playing good cop to the other guy’s bad cop.  You must read this piece!  http://www.blackagendareport.com/obama-fake-debt-ceiling-crisis_smarter-than-you

Now this is a guy that has supported Obama.  I probably would have supported him in the last election, if he hadn’t stolen my vote, because I have always been a lifelong Democrat.  However, after the election was over, I wanted President Obama and still want him to be a successful “Democratic” president.  He just hasn’t been that!  He has continued the Bush policies and even extended them into another war in the Middle East.  Most people, even Republicans, should be able to see that he is nothing more than an extension of GW, from policies to vacation taking.

We are being told he is a Centrist.  That is only true if the “Center” has shifted dramatically right.  Some people think he is like Reagan.  While I think he admires Reagan much more than any other president, I think he is more like GW.  He speaks better than GW, but the policies are the same which makes you wonder who is really pulling the strings in this country.  It certainly isn’t the American people because he doesn’t seem to care about us.  He can’t even get the “feel your pain” speech down like President Clinton could always master.  In President Obama, I am often left wondering just what the Republicans are holding over his head.  Is there something they could let out of the bag at any given time, some dark secret that we haven’t already heard?  Does he secretly wear tiger costumes and exhibit inappropriate behavior like Representative Wu?  I’m at a loss as to why President Obama acts the way he does.  He certainly hasn’t lived up to the rhetoric of what his promises during the campaign suggested to the people that voted for him.  I never believed him, so I don’t exactly feel betrayed.  However, those that believed in this guy have to be wondering what’s going on with him?  Did he change or is it a reality that the job of the president is just so overwhelming that us “little people” just don’t and couldn’t possibly understand what it means to be president?

Anyway you look at it the American people are always taking a back seat to the corporations and the wealthy in this country.  I don’t want to hear how I am pushing “class warfare” because the truth is the people in power have kept this war going for years.  The Republicans have fed their people the line about “personal responsibility” to the point where many on the right look down with disdain at the guy that isn’t making it in this country.  If it is their own kid, they are getting on the phone and calling in favors to get their kid employed the old fashioned way, not based on merit, but on nepotism.  They can’t stand the look and feel of affirmative action, but they love the fact that they can get their kid “in” because of who they know.  The poor have never had this advantage in life or politics.  The poor don’t have someone they can call when their kid can’t find work.  There is a divide in our country between the haves and the have nots, but most people are in denial about it.  They secretly know they make those calls but they pretend that their kid did it on his or her own merits.  I always find it so interesting when I watch TV pundits and discover that many of the young people getting their feet wet are the sons and daughters of those earlier figures.  It isn’t what you know but who you know that counts in this country.  If you know someone powerful, you probably will get what you need.  However, if you’re like most people you don’t have some sugar daddy just waiting to give you a job.  You must create your own life based on what you can get and what you can strive for.  Back in the fifties and sixties after WWII many people surpassed their parents economically by going on to college.  They benefited from low school loans, to the low cost of college, to even the GI Bill.  When they got out of college, they could live the American dream.  Some of them didn’t even have to go to college to live that dream.  They built automobiles.  The point is there was a dream that most Americans could grasp.  Now, after forty years of Republican and Democratic political failures, we have reached a point where some of our children may not do as well as their parents.  That American dream is becoming a nightmare of student loans, no job prospects, and even forced moves of hundreds and thousands of miles away from family just to find a job!  It is no wonder that if you have the means to help your child find work that you will pull in that marker that someone owes you!  The point I’m trying to make is that the current economic situation is very much related to the constant bickering between the two political parties and their need for greed.  While the politicians are busy shuffling the chairs on the deck of this sinking ship, they don’t deal with the reality which is jobs and job creation.  They only care about making businesses more comfortable and keeping the wealth in the hands of the wealthy.  Truthfully, businesses can go anywhere for their labor and that is what they’re doing.  Our governmental policies favor this.  Neither political party cares enough about our country to remember that our best asset is our people.  They care more about their own political careers than anything else.  They will continue to build their careers off the backs of the middle class and the poor.  They will continue to ask the American people to squeeze one more dime out of their crappy pension, Social Security, or college fund so they can give it to corporations and those wealthy “job creators” to piss away on anything but creating real jobs.  I’m disappointed in the politics of my nation.  I want the students that I teach to be able to have real dreams for their future.  I don’t want politicians that play these stupid games representing me.  If this is the best that we can do in our country, we’re in real trouble!

DINOS, RINOS, and the Two Party System

  • Posted on July 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I have been wondering what happened with Cenk on MSNBC.  I noticed that Al Sharpton was working during his time slot.  I thought Cenk was on vacation but since I haven’t been really watching much of MSNBC this summer, I didn’t really know what was going on until I came across this video today.  http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/cenk-uygur-explains-his-departure-msnbc

I’m not writing about Cenk being canned at MSNBC.  I’m more concerned about something he said in his video.  Like many people that think like I do, he states in the video that President Obama is a Republican.  I’ve been saying this for a long time.  However, what really got me was that he basically said he knew this because he was once a Republican himself.

The Democratic Party was infiltrated by these Republicans, probably because they lost their own home in their own changing party.  As the Republican Party moved more right, so did the Democratic Party because of the shift of these people from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.  I always have found it strange that people like Ariana Huffington and Markos Moulitsas were speaking for my party.  They both were Republicans before they were Democrats.  I could never understand how this happened in “my” party.  Who would have ever thought that both Governor Perry from Texas and Representative Bachmann from Minnesota were once Democrats?

Yesterday I read something over on Hullabaloo that just made me angry.  http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/donkey-in-room.html

Now I want to disclose here that I haven’t really associated myself with the Democratic Party since they stole my vote during the 2008 primary.  I consider myself to be an FDR democrat.  In fact I passed out flyers for Michael Dukakis long ago.  So when I say, “We Democrats!” this is what I mean.  It seems that we Democrats, are supposed to keep carrying water for President Obama because he’s the best we’ve got.  I never got on that ship to begin with, so when it’s sinking it’s not my job to bail out that water.  If President Obama wants to get my vote, he needs to stop modeling himself after GW and start reading books about FDR, protect the programs FDR helped create, and get us out of these wars.  In the article that I mentioned here, there was much talk about “progressives”.  I just want to state right now that I have come to hate that word.  It’s bullshit really.  In my own life, I consider myself to be liberal in my politics.  That word has been so libeled by the media that people are afraid to admit their liberal.  I think of liberal as being “mind expanding, open minded”, and not closed off to new ideas.  Essentially, I am liberal because I believe in letting people make their own choices in life.  While I am rather conservative in my social values, I believe that everyone needs to be treated with respect and that includes respecting their choices.  I personally don’t believe who people are sleeping with, or their religious choices or non choices needs to be a part of politics.  This is why I can still be deeply disappointed with what John Edwards did to his family but still understand the politics when he said he wanted to be a voice for the voiceless.  I am not moved by the scandal story of the day that is probably put out there at some opportune time to get rid of certain politicians that aren’t quite “falling in line”, much like Cenk at MSNBC.

My politics speak more about social justice than anything else.  I find it, yes, morally offensive, when my government decides it is more important to feed and clothe the wealthy than to take care of the least of its people.  I know that sounds rather religious in tone but truthfully it is about being human and compassionate.  How can a real human walk by and ignore suffering that they see?  Too many times I’ve heard conservatives use those words, “They should just pick themselves up by their bootstraps.”  The problem is what if they have no boots, little education, and no hope?  When we can provide all three, a pair of boots, education, and hope, we should do it.  In the end, everyone will be better off because that person will become a productive member of society who could potentially be the next person to give a hand to someone else.

A few weeks ago, I saw part of an old movie, Spencer’s Mountain, with Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.  The movie is about a family.  The dad is a miner and he comes from a family of miners.  His oldest boy is the top in his class and the family realizes that this is an opportunity for their son to create a better life for himself and potentially the rest of the children by going to college.   Yes, I know you can remember the show, “The Walton’s”.  In Spencer’s Mountain the father’s dream was to build some grand home for his wife and family.  However, he eventually gives up that dream for the real dream which is his family, and helping them have a better life.  Here is the most important part to the movie and it is the point I want to make here.

As a person who really has the heart of the real Democratic Party in her soul and is not some come to the party lately person, I think our country should be helping those at the bottom elevate so they can have dreams too.  I’m not talking about letting people sit and do nothing.  I’m talking about helping people get a good education, find a good job, and fulfill their dreams and even help them get dreams.  As an educator, I think we must fund quality education for all.  Job creation should not be a problem.  There are plenty of things that need to be done in this country.  Instead of building roads and bridges in Afghanistan, we could be building and fixing them here.  We have an infrastructure that is failing from our road system, to our electrical grid, to even some of the old schools that need to be updated.  There is plenty to do here.  Some of our big cities look like war torn zones.  We could go in and fix these as well.  We should be thinking about the future.  What is going to draw business to your state or my state?  It seems to me that as a government we aren’t doing much here in our own country which is leading to not only a failing economy but also a failing of our people.

We should all be frightened by these two current parties!

My sister and I were talking last night and we both felt that the American people weren’t worried about some terrorist coming in the night and yet the American people are being terrorized by high unemployment, high prices for everything from gas to food, and now the latest threat, losing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  The terrorist in our lives happens to be our inept government!  The politicians have all swung so far right that they have lost touch with the American people.  I live in a Republican community and I have to say on any given day when I really talk with my Republican friends they aren’t that far away from my own thinking.  It seems that most of us want to be able to raise our children in peace and know that there is a good future waiting for them when they become adults.  That is the American dream!  We may have different ways and ideas about reaching that dream, but truthfully that American Dream is being threatened by a two party system that essentially has turned into a one party system.  Our government has swung so far to the right that they have forgotten that most of the American people are more concerned about their own personal families than anything else.  For years we were threatened with the” imminent” attack that awaited us from Osama Bin Laden.  I can remember many police sessions at my school where I was informed that it was an ideal place for a terrorist to show up because it was so unexpected.  We have been prodded like cattle to get on a plane or attend a political rally and we have given up the very freedoms that we proclaim to love so much.  Now, in addition to those freedoms, we are expected to give up those standards of American life, like Social Security, that we have paid into for all of our lives, to once again, stave off terrorism.  We have to pay for all of the things that we cherish like more money for defense, more money for homeland security, more money for politicians to run their offices, less money for education, less money for the arts, less money for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.  Yes, for those of you that don’t understand sarcasm, I am being facetious here.  The politicians from both parties are telling us if you want to feel safe at night, this is what we have to do now.  I’m not buying it.  If this were all true they shouldn’t have taken 2% out of my payroll taxes and kept the Bush tax cuts in place last December.  Once again we are being sold a bill of goods.  While it appears that the two parties are so far apart that they are at an impasse, don’t buy it.  Something will happen and they will get a plan.  Unfortunately, it will not favor the majority of the American people.  We will once again be told that we all must share in this “sacrifice” when the only ones doing the sharing will be you and me.  I don’t have the answers but I know our two party system is broken.  We need to get rid of both of these pathetic parties and get fresh people in Washington that are not bought and paid for, that care more about the promise of America than the promise of their next election.  We have been told for years that we are stuck with the two party system but we have to change this government.  We need people in office that are not loyal to either party but loyal to the American people.  I cannot understand anyone in a party that would sign an oath to a person such as Grover Norquist.  The only oath they should be taking is one to the American people.

Bush Tax Cuts + Wars = A Deficit Problem

  • Posted on April 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Two peas in one proverbial pod!

Okay, it’s a simple math problem.  The Republicans would have us all believe that the deficit issue is because of the American people.  That’s right folks, you are the problem.  You are really the problem, if you are a union member and you work for the government.  You are not the problem, if you are a member of Congress or the head of some government entity because your position is so very necessary for the proper functioning of government.  You caught me laughing again!  You are so very “special” if you work for the military.  You don’t have to worry about losing your job because they’ll never cut enough to matter.  However, if you are a lowly Private in the military, it’ll be mostly talk about honor and bravery, less about money and benefits!

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says, “The geniuses on Wall Street decided that a certain amount of unemployment is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy.”  You must ask yourself a question.  Does your job fall under the category Dennis is talking about?  If it does, beware!  You could be next.  So, I’m thinking what does this mean?  It might explain why a friend of my son went in for a job interview thinking he was really competing for a job, when he really wasn’t.  It turns out, they weren’t really hiring at all at that time.  The business was just seeing what’s out there to hire.  Of course that isn’t how the posting was listed.  My son works for the company and was surprised to find out that they weren’t really hiring.  So, why would the economy benefit from a certain amount of unemployment?  Could it be that it makes people hungrier and willing to work for less?  You know less money, less benefits and more hours for less.  Who benefits under this scenario?  Certainly not the American worker!  Here is Dennis talking about the deficit and President Obama.

Dennis is right.  If we get more jobs going out there, there will be a bigger tax base.  Why have the politicians decided to focus on “contracting” government instead of focusing on job creation.  James Carville had that catch phrase, “It’s the economy stupid!”  Someone needs to be whispering these words into President Obama’s ears every day because for some reason, he hasn’t figured this out either.  Instead of going to the Republican playbook of tax cuts for the wealthy and reducing spending to cut the deficit, President Obama should be focusing on JOBS!

The other night I caught a bit of a program on the History channel about our collapsing infrastructure.  Here is just a taste of that program.  It’s a nightmare.  However, it’s not the Freddie Kruger kind where you watch it at the movies and know it’s not real.  This is a real nightmare that could have a profound effect on our lives.

We all remember the bridge in Minnesota.  Most of us know that the roads, bridges, sewer systems and many other structures in our states are failing.  So when our infrastructure truly is at risk, what are the politicians doing?  They are like Henny Penny screaming, “The sky is falling!”  Of course, the sky they are talking about relates to the deficit and the hole we have dug ourselves into.  They weren’t singing that tune back in December when they ushered in two more years of the Bush tax cuts and decreasing the amount we pay into social security by 2%.  This is corruption at its core.  There is a systematic effort here to destroy wages and benefits for the American workers while continuing to prop up business, banks and the super wealthy.  If the politicians and their cohorts can do enough damage to the American workers wages and benefits, we might have enough unemployed that will be willing work for peanuts.  Now, you might be wondering why this is important.  I’m thinking that the cost of fuel is far too high to ship things.  It only makes sense to produce things locally to save energy costs.  However, the wages have to be low enough so that business can make the type of profits they really want.  Those profits have to be big enough to be able to give out the big bonuses to the big bosses.

Now let’s get back to that equation, “Bush Tax Cuts + Wars = A Deficit Problem.”  War is very profitable.  One of the things that the politicians are really pushing for is PRIVATIZATION.  They want to privatize everything from health care to education.  They have already taken over our military.  This is happening throughout our government.  Tonight my sister asked me if I knew that while we have 50,000 troops in Iraq, did I know there are another 77,000 working with private companies.  Of course these aren’t military.  They are probably ex-military working for “for profit” companies that have been hired by the Department of Defense.  Of course, the American tax payer is still footing the bill.  Don’t be thinking we will be getting out of any of these wars too soon.  They are far too profitable for private businesses that are invested in them.

So, where are President Obama and the Democrats in all of this?  Our fearless leader is spending his time dangling carrot sticks at us at moments when he thinks we might be vulnerable.  He was “unaware” that his mike was on and he was being recorded recently.  He sure gave it to those Republicans in that private conversation, or so we have been led to believe.  As we get closer to the election of 2012, he will probably look more like he’s actually in charge.  So far in my book, he has looked like a wimp.  This is all window dressing for the next election.  My brother says he will win the election.  I don’t know if he will or he won’t.  However, I think it’s interesting that the Republicans and Democrats publicly sound so different, but when they get behind closed doors they both do everything they can to dismantle social programs, subsidize the rich with deep tax cuts and ignore the plight of the poor and they do it all on the backs of the middle class, or what’s left of the middle class.  Is the problem in our country really all about the deficit?  If it truly is about the deficit then what on earth were these two parties doing in December when they set us up with two more years of the Bush tax cut?

Here is another good piece from the Real News Network.  It’s an interview with William Black and you should watch it through the end.

Think back to what Dennis said about this being a transfer of wealth.  This is not about transferring wealth, like robbing the rich to give to the poor as in Robin Hood.  It’s all about taking from the majority and giving to the wealthy.  The government is giving tax breaks and tax cuts to the wealthy and they are also privatizing much in government and giving those no bid contracts to their buddies!  There is a constant drumbeat that we have to get on board whatever those “brains” in Washington think we must do to fix the economy.  Just remember those “brains” are listening to the geniuses on Wall Street!  Remember  William Black said, “Deficit hysteria has nothing to do with anything.”

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