Thursday, January 3, 2013
The vocal minority
Today, we get rid of the worst Congress in our history (112th) and have the swearing-in of the newest members of the 113th Congress. The GOP will probably elect John Boehner to another term as Speaker of the House.
John Boehner said he will not negotiate with President Obama anymore, so 2013 is getting off to a rocky start. I still feel sorry for John Boehner because he is in an abusive relationship with the vocal minority of his party. He's not exactly on firm ground with establishment republicans from New York and New Jersey right now because he didn't want to overwhelm the tea party by making them vote for a Sandy hurricane relief bill for blue states. It's been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and they have yet to receive money back to help their state recover. It only took 10 days to get relief to the victims of hurricane Katrina. I say get their money back because traditionally, New York and New Jersey have sent more money to the government then they have received back; unlike the southern states. The house will vote on $9 billion of the $60 billion hurricane Friday and on the 15th they will vote on the rest but it's a brand new Congress so they have to start all over and the delays won't make the folks in New York and New Jersey happy.
I was in rare agreement with Joe Scarborough this morning because he said that the right- wing fringe of his party is making it harder for party leaders to get a favorable deal from a president who has a 58% approval rating. He said as long as the Wayne Lapierre wing of the GOP continues to argue for assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips, Middle America will continue voting for democrats in national elections. Republicans have begun to realize that the survivalists, and the paranoid are another vocal minority within their ranks. “Even as gun purchases rise, the share of U.S. households with a gun has been falling for decades, from 54 percent in 1977 to 32 percent in 2010, according to the University of Chicago's General Social Survey.” This group does not have faith in the United States Constitution or the Supreme Court of the United States. KTSA's Trey Ware was trying to make the argument that banning assault weapons is a first step in gun confiscation by our government but like the argument that tax cuts pay for themselves, people are no longer buying that argument.
The GOP thinks that they have President Obama over the barrel because the latest fiscal cliff deal permanently locked in the tax rates. The White House still has a couple of rounds in the chamber because they're going to (1) force the Republicans to name the programs they want to cut (2) and they have the option of limiting deductions to the wealthy and removing loopholes that ordinary Americans do not receive. The president could use the bully pulpit to educate the people. He could tell 'em that Congress controls the purse strings, so they could simply not pay our bills and watch as we get downgraded and our economy starts on a downward spiral. The truth is neither party wants to make serious cuts because of the political flak, they will take from constituents. Conservatives are using their media like the Wall Street Journal to say that the president must be a leader and tell the people the truth. We know that goes both ways and we got proof of that the when the Romney tried to demonize Obama for his $716 billion cuts in Medicare, yet Paul Ryan did the very same thing in his budget proposal. I don't need the president to tell me anything. I know that when our economy gets back, the middle class needs to pay a little more because we can't depend on soaking the rich to pay for entitlements.
I got a good laugh when CNBC's Mad Money Kramer and Joe Scarborough were complaining about the new tax rates and the total amount of taxes they were paying. They finally realized that they were fortunate enough to be paying those taxes ,so either they were bragging or whining. They didn't think about that poor person who has to stand in line to apply for the minimum-wage job.