Thursday, September 20, 2012
The way I see it
It's unfortunate these political arguments always end with the name calling except in a few cases. I've had more than my share but nowadays, I'm choosier with whom, I argue with. I write a political blog, so I understand that readers will disagree with my viewpoints, but if we can't have a rational discussion; then it's not worth discussing.
I downloaded the latest Vanity Fair because it had a behind the scenes look at President Obama. The author of the article is Michael Lewis. He said that President Obama does not like politics. He’s not like Bill Clinton, who can tell you who is running for county judge in some obscure district in Montana. He’s not like Lyndon Johnson, who would shake your hand, pour you a drink, and light your cigar knowing all along that he was going to stab you in the back to get what he wants. He’s not superficial, so that makes it awful hard for him to broker a deal with the opposition party. That’s where Joe Biden comes in, and it sheds some light on why we have gridlock. Many times the constituents are highly polarized, and they pressure their representatives into not compromising, which is not the way Washington is supposed to work. There is no clear-cut truth certain ideology or solution, but many don’t believe that.
I've had my share of arguing with right wing Laissez-Faire capitalists and those who still live in the "Red Scare" days of Joe McCarthyism. To them, sharing or doing something good for someone is considered socialism because we know anything government spends on the poor, minorities and the disadvantaged is outright socialism. It doesn't matter if they have any boots; they should assimilate themselves pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. I'm going to be 67 years old, and I have yet to meet any of those people bellowing “socialism” who knows the definition of the word. They just call any government expenditure- socialism, but they'll be there to collect their Social Security and Medicare. Oh, if they only knew how their company placed their bids for government contracts... That's OK by me because I know the true meaning, of "we the people" and I believe and understand the general welfare clause of the constitution.
During the Clinton years, it was about the children and what that ill moral man did in the sacred White House. We heard about Reagan never taking off his jacket while he was in the West Wing and other superficial tales. Today the Reaganites throw out “what are we going to leave our grandchildren “when talking about the debt and deficit. There was no such talk when we borrowed money to give two tax cuts to the wealthy, engage in two wars, and put a seven trillion dollar drug prescription bill on the credit card. They will never mention the environment and leaving our grandchildren a healthy planet. Republicans shrug it off saying it's the greatest hoax ever.
I know that they are varying opinions about the state of our economy, and you're pretty naive if you think one economic philosophy or economists knows all there is to know. No one cans accurately predict what the Asian markets or European markets will do to influence our economy. Others can stay up all night worrying about the debt and the deficit, but I would like our government to worry about jobs because without jobs the inevitable will happen. We owe a lot of the debt to ourselves. We also know that we need to reform our tax structure, entitlements and defense spending but at the same time invest in education, infrastructure and innovation. We don't need to drastically bring down the debt and deficit; all we need is a downward trend in the outlining years.
Then there is that group who wants to cut down the size of government, so it would fit nicely inside a Radio Shack outlet. You heard it during the GOP presidential debates where Ron Paul and Rick Perry wanted to eliminate five government agencies. They’ll call Social Security, a Ponzi scheme and want the feds to send Medicaid block grants to the states. They have their eye on privatizing Medicare and eliminating good public schools by issuing school vouchers. This group will fight tooth and nail against any private/ public ventures because if successful; it ruins their argument that government is totally inept. They don’t want to raise taxes because it might give the government the money it needs to be more efficient; notwithstanding making Grover Norquist wave that “no new taxes “pledge in front of their faces.
This group knows that government is the equalizer, and they can’t stand it. It gets in their way when they try to pollute in order to get more profits, cheat consumers, discriminate or implement unfair work policies. This powerful group has a lot of big money behind them, and they have already brought the private sector unions to its knees, and it now only represents 7% of the working force. All that’s left is the public unions which represent about 30% of public workers and it is in their sights. This started 30 years ago when they pitted good union labor jobs performed by high school graduates against workers from third-world countries. That is the formula for concentrating all the wealth at the top and leaving little for consumers to satisfy our demand problem. It’s a perfect storm of low or stagnant wages and tax cutting. All is not lost Wall Street is at 13,000, Fortune 500 companies have $2 trillion in reserve, and the banks have another $2.5 trillion sitting in the vaults of the Federal Reserve.
This will have to serve as my old Saturday morning vent because I will be out of town attending to personal matters.
Have a good weekend.