Monday, December 31, 2012
We’ll begin 2013 like we ended 2012; I think it now that Joe Biden has entered the picture, and we’ll do just enough to keep us from going over the fiscal cliff. The gun issue will be forgotten by the time Joe Biden’s Commission makes its report to the president because that’s the way we roll these days.
I feel sorry for Speaker Boehner, especially after listening to Amy Kremer, chairperson of the Tea Party Express. She said the Tea Party she represents will NEVER vote for a tax increase because we have a spending problem. She cited the numbers we all know by heart, yearly deficits over a trillion dollars and a 16 trillion-dollar debt. The host stunned her when he said allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire will fix the deficit because she obviously didn’t know that extra revenue or spending cuts will reduce the deficit. Amy Kremer then said that states with higher taxes have a higher unemployment rate. That’s true for right down but who thinks that Alabama will outdo California when the economy takes off? Growth, education, infrastructure repair, defense spending or energy investment is of no concern to the Tea Party. The word compromise is not in their vocabulary. After all, of the 234 GOP house seats, President Obama only won 15 of those districts. It will remain that way for least 10 more years because the 30 Republican governors have aligned their congressional district to favor their party. It will remain that way until the next census, which is seven years away.
It’s upsetting (although true) that a deal on January 4 will not affect the markets that much because they have built in an expectation of a non-adaptive government. If Congress does not pass the Farm bill, milk might go up to $7.00 a gallon, the payroll tax is gone, people will not get their unemployment checks, and new markets will finally be convinced that America has a dysfunctional government with no hope in sight. It’s funny how the GOP doesn’t think that allowing the payroll tax to expire is increasing taxes. Raising the Social Security (FICA) to its original 6.2% from the current 4.2% amounts to $1000 for those families making $50,000. I’m glad it expired because we need that extra revenue to fund Social Security during this time of high unemployment.
We’ll have to wait another 10 hours or so but is not as simple as “they knew all this seven months ago and chose not to do anything about it.” They ran into a human nature problem, both political parties that thought they were going to win the White House, so “why buy the cow when you think you can get the milk for free.”
Our hometown newspaper is trying to conjure up a discussion about having armed guards at our schools. I’m not totally against have an armed guard, but I don’t want armed teachers. How will we ever measure the effectiveness of an armed guard? How can you measure the effectiveness of protection against a random mass shooting? This morning’s paper gave an example of an armed teacher averting a potential school shooting, but we also know that Columbine and Virginia Tech had armed guards.
The pro- gun advocates are trying to divert the attention away from guns and put it all on video games, movies and mental illness. I think mental illness funding is a separate issue but I can’t help but think that gun manufacturers love seeing their guns being displayed in video games and movies. I think this issue is about high-capacity ammo clips and the ownership and the registration of semiautomatic weapons. I still think we can do something about 40% of the weapons that are sold without an instant background check.
I hate repeating the same-old topics, and I wish we were like the people in that scene from the movie “We bought a Zoo.” A big tree blew down overnight preventing people from entering the zoo in their cars. The owners of the zoo and its caretakers helped the people climb over the felled tree, thus doing what needed to be done for them to have a successful opening.
Happy New Year everyone.