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Monday, December 10, 2012

It’s just about cost shifting for the GOP

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You don't have to be a genius to figure out what's behind the GOP's reluctance to raise the rates of the top 2%. It's a 40 year plan of reducing the government's role in our lives by starving it to death. If we only cut out the loopholes and deductions, it would hit some in the middle class and then they too would be clamoring to cut more spending. Raising the tax rates to that of the Clinton era would buy us the time to come up with a manageable reform of the entitlements and it would force us to look at the wasteful defense spending. That's the reason the GOP wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age to age 67. Even though that two year cost shifting will not amount to much; it's a start.

The conservatives I see and listen to, whether it be locally or on the television do not want government to provide social services or anything beyond the necessities because they feel it's coming out of their personal pocket. They usually have a different opinion of what “we the people” means because their world is composed of “makers and takers.” That's why we always reach an impasse when both parties try to negotiate.

This can also be seen on the social level where a local land/building owner decided he couldn't in good conscience allow a pharmacist to continue to sell the Plan B on a piece of property he owned. The pharmacist  couldn't just tell his customers that they don't carry the “morning after pill “so now we have a full blown  political argument It's an unwinnable argument because the land owner probably thinks that the day after conception, the embryo is entitled to a Social Security number and property rights. Good luck having that argument.

This morning Joe Scarborough tried to make a case for conservatism, by saying that creating an era of dependency only hurts the poor. I'm not arguing with the statement as a whole but I don't think that's necessarily a view that's held only by conservatives. Joe Scarborough doesn't see that income inequality continues to create a low wage population. The GOP continues to try to dismantle the unions, the minimum wage, and laws which will help workers get into the middle class. He quoted a story in the New York Times where the Appalachian families were encouraging their offspring to remain illiterate, so they could get SSI checks. That's a practice that should be stopped but is that the exception rather than the norm and what's the ratio of investigators to SSI abuse cases?

Joe Scarborough said that President Ronald Reagan brought in conservatism just as people were getting tired of liberalism. The conservatives had a good 10 year reign until conservatism became a business (talk radio, selling books) and then radicalism took the place of good ideas. I tend to agree with that. I've quoted good republican ideas like the “Clean Air Act,” the EPA, Cap & Trade and most recently the “individual mandate.” Today, it's more about individualism than what we can do collectively. The GOP is going through an internal struggle like the democrats did after the 2000 election but on a much broader scale. It wasn't hard for the democrats to become more inclusive because all they had to do was accept fiscal conservative Democrats. The GOP is using the threat of a primary to rein in those who dare to compromise. We’ll see who wins the war between the Wall Street Journal who's arguing for more conservative purity or the Weekly Standard who making a case for taking what you can get and becoming a party for the future.


Mike said...

I guess Lawrence O'Donnell  really threw Newt Gingrich off his game by reading back his quotes about raising taxes creates job losses because he's in hot water with his own party by saying these words ""The Republican party is incapable of competing at that level," Gingrich said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press."

"First of all, she's very formidable as a person," he said. "She's a very competent person. She's married to the most popular Democrat in the country; they both think [it] would be good for her to be president. It makes it virtually impossible to stop her for the nomination."

In addition to having Bill Clinton's support, Hillary Clinton would also have the backing of President Barack Obama, who will still be a "relatively popular president," Gingrich added. "Trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl."

Most people agree with Gingrich's assessment. A recent Washington Post poll found that 57 percent of people would support Clinton as a 2016 presidential candidate."

Edith Ann said...

I watched this, and it was interesting.

Mike said...

I take the words of Newt Gingrich with a grain of salt because he will say something just as outrageous about the left when he goes on Fox….. He loves the attention…. I agree it was interesting and entertaining.

I saw where the GOP is starting yet another blue ribbon panel of conservatives to advise the party what they need to do to start winning national elections… Dana Milbank of the Washington Post said it’s easy and it certainly doesn’t need a panel to come up with an answer. He said the party has become a southern white male party…. Others have said that running the same ol’ message of “cutting taxes and deregulation” has been overused and it’s become counterproductive.

Yesterday Joe Scarborough was talking about the GOP becoming the party of workers and not the bosses but this morning he was singing a different tune. The panel was discussing the cramming through (on party line vote) a right-to-work law in Michigan. Joe asked “what do you want, more jobs at $14.00 an hour or fewer jobs at $21.00 an hour?” Then Mica Brzezinski answered by saying “the companies are making record profits; why can’t they pay their workers a decent wage?” Joe Scarborough got angry and said that liberals don’t understand capitalism. Ol’ but they do understand greed.

President George W. Bush’s old communication Director Dan Bartlett said that he was happy the Democrats now agree with the Bush tax cuts…. No one corrected him but the democrats pointed out that cutting taxes that benefited the wealthy while putting two wars on the credit card would drive up the deficit back then. The Bush tax cuts did not create jobs…. Today in this weak economy, the democrats do not want to add a $2000 bill to middle class families, so they are for extending and 98% of those tax cuts… Different time- different situation, Mr. Bartlett.

Mike said...

I hate to keep bringing of Joe Scarborough but he’s the only republican who brings out a viewpoint every day. For example he hates unions but he has an agent who negotiates a contract for him. It’s all right for him to negotiate a contract with management but the average worker should be satisfied with what they get.

I’ve never been in the union and during my working days I was pretty much anti-union because I didn’t want to strike or pay union dues. Some of my friends worked for a union and they loved and the representation and good wages and benefits they received. There’s no question that in the past, the big unions were corrupt, political and counterproductive. Today private sector unions old only represent about 7% of the working force, so they have lost their clout but they are the only thing these days that represents American workers.

I guess choice is the biggest drawback to union enrollment these days. The right-to-work laws makes a strike less effective and not requiring union dues to be payroll deducted weaken them.

The Henry Fords are longer with us but his sprite was still us when I was still working. I remember reading our company’s annual report and knowing that they would include us in their success. We just knew we were getting a good bonus, a cost of living raise (remember those) and that a new hiring class would be announced. Those were the days.

born2Bme said...

You don't have to belong to the union at Alcoa, and they will still represent anyone that works there. Even though it is not mandatory, workers know that if everyone quit paying union dues, they would lose out in the end.
Strikes suck, but that too, is not mandatory. Workers still have the right to work during a strike, if the company does not lock everyone out. At least, this is what I've always understood.

Mike said...

That's true and that's the case the UAW leader has been making about the happenings in Michigan. Now the non paying workers will get the same representation and benefits as the due paying members.That doesn't seem fair.

Texas is a right-to-work state.

The GOP legislators had to try to break the union during the lame duck session because Obama's coattails elected many Dems in Michigan...It's payback.

Mike said...

Just today I heard a right wing talk show host talk about all the profits the Eagle Ford Shale is about to make. He pointed out that Texas is a right-to-work state, so unions won’t make them pay their workers outrageous salaries…Huh? What is it with them not wanting workers to make a decent wage?

born2Bme said...

People still don't know crap about unions here in Texas. Union hourly wages are usually lower than non-union. Union members give on wages to have the job protection and benefits. Benefit packages have really taken a hit during the last 2-3 contracts. There is no longer retirement benefits for new hires after the middle of 2006, I think. The company has switched to the 401K's for them, which is why Alcoa cannot attract the type of employees that they used to and things are going down hill fast.
Unions no longer have the clout they used to and unfortunately, the companies are paying the price. They got what they wanted, but got more that they didn't want.

Mike said...

In the case you presented and in the case of the UAW in Michigan,you are right because unions have to make concessions in order to stay afloat.

Nationally,according to a Wall Street Journal report,unions as a whole make 10% more than their non-union counterparts.

It's also correct that the lower union standard jobs create turnovers and don't appeal to the more educated employee.

I remember loyalty was a big thing when I was working..I would not have left my employer and neither would my coworkers even if we got $5 more an hour. We believed the company was doing their best to keep us happy.