Monday, November 19, 2012
It’s been 3 weeks now
It's going on three weeks now but I can't remember a time in my life when I've seen as much resentment to the results of a presidential election from the losing side. I've seen petitions for sessions filed in all 50 states, I also heard of a woman who tried to run over husband because he didn't vote for Romney, a Montana lawmaker (Ron Paul fan) asking to be paid in gold because he lost faith in our currency and then there were those students at the University of Mississippi who burned Obama signs. I can't remember democrats doing any of those things when our candidate lost.
We've gotten to the point to where we consider the protest nonsense a common occurrence and the talk shows hardly mention them. The talk shows are more interested in the future of the new GOP, the fiscal cliff and who knew what and when, in the Petraeus and Benghazi incidents.
The subjects that I mentioned and were all discussed without any general consensus.
This morning David Gregory came up with theory about Benghazi which I haven't heard before but I believe it has a lot of truth to it. I believe senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain hate the administration's policy of having a small footprint in Libya. They wanted a larger military presence in North Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. "There was already bad blood between U.N. Secretary Susan Rice and John McCain over us leaving Iraq. She also mocked McCain's trip to Iraq ("strolling around the market in a flak jacket"), called his policies "reckless" and said "his tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later. It's dangerous."Today John McCain is the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, but he will no longer hold that position after January because he has been termed out. That's why he wants a brand new Watergate style committee but his colleagues don't see a need for that. I also believe that the CIA was involved in illegal activities and the terrorist attack in Benghazi blew their cover. I don't agree with Senator Graham's point about the administration doctoring the talking points to give the president a political edge. I believe anybody that can read a newspaper knew that the raid on the consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist attack and selective talking points from the White House were not going to change anyone's minds. Again, anyone with a brain knows that elements of Al Qaeda will be around for a long time despite the president's efforts to kill more of their leaders. The American people are not as gullible as some try to make them out to be. If the president withdraws the nomination of Susan Rice to be the next secretary of state; this issue will go away.
The panel on "Morning Joe" tried to make Nancy Pelosi's reluctance to give an inch on and raising the tax on the top 2% as part of the problem. Even Glenn Hubbard, Mitt Romney's top economic adviser, now says the wealthy need to pay more in taxes as part of a budget settlement. Raising the top rates 3or 4% for the top 2% will raise the necessary revenues for a short term fix. The market's just want to see the framework for a solution that doesn't send us back into a recession. The legislators will not have time to tackle a tax reform plan in the lame duck session. The emphasis still needs to be on jobs and growth and reforming Medicaid and Medicare. Once the economy comes back, the American people will have to decide how to pay for the goodies we want. Taxes will inevitably have to be raised on the middle class as part of the solution but not right now.
The trickle down supply side economic theory has run its course and so has the" makers and takers" mantra. I don't think it's going to be easy to convince the GOP constituencies that 47% of American citizens are not lazy or do not want to be productive. There's too many people like Representative Paul Ryan who preach “if you do all the right things, you too can be successful like me" not knowing all the barriers that face the most vulnerable in our society. I was surprised to hear an entrepreneur of a multimillion dollar company say that he needed government resources to pay for job training or else he would have to shut down. I can remember when corporations paid for job training, benefits and still offered a pension.
I'm fairly confident that a bargain will be struck between the political parties to avert our current fiscal cliff but it will be eventually replaced with a brand new one.
I’m reading a good book which I received for my recent birthday called “Who Stole the American Dream?" By Hedrick Smith. The book is about the steps big businesses took to take the reins of economic prosperity away from the middle class. Big businesses got together to form strong lobbyist groups to counter the strong worker unions of the 1970s. They lined the pockets of the politicians who would go out and try to convince us that there was such a thing as " clean coal" and energy efficient corn ethanol. Meanwhile they got out of their union contracts with new lenient bankruptcy laws. They then replaced, pensions with 401K's and made their employees pay more for their health insurance and benefits. Today's businesses do not see the value of higher compensation, which reduces turnover costs, increases employee consumption and productivity. We have so many resources that we will always be an economic giant but, unless we raise the minimum wage substantially, we will constantly see the high unemployment figures and slow economic growth. Yes, a tight market usually demands higher wages but the it's a known fact that we need to change our current economic model to one that suits the world we are living in.