Budget Cuts

Joplin, Missouri; SuperStorm Sandy; Moore, Oklahoma: Reason To Pay More Taxes To Help Our Fellow Citizens!

America has gone through one natural disaster after another, more so in recent years, at greater cost of life and property.

The climate change deniers say it is par for the course, that nothing unusual is occurring, and that global warming is not the issue.

But even worse is that the same people in government who deny any concept of climate change and the need to react to it, also are the same people who, when a natural disaster occurs, fight against federal disaster aid, as in SuperStorm Sandy.

And if they, grudgingly, give up and say that disaster aid should be offered, they want the least aid possible, and only if there are budget cuts elsewhere to cover for the disaster aid.

So we have the two Oklahoma Senators–two of the absolute worst members of the US Senate at any time in our history—who represent one of the poorest states, but also a state of the oil industry, who take a hard hearted view on disaster aid, and budget cuts to compensate for such disaster aid!

James Inhofe and Tom Coburn have no problem in being “skin flints” on disaster aid, but if such is to be given, then hurt the poor, the sick, the unemployed, rather than make corporations pay fair taxes, make the wealthy pay more taxes, make all of us understand that when natural disaster hits, it is not just the people in the area of the disaster who suffer, but instead we all suffer!

It is the responsibility of all of us to help our fellow citizens, with the corporations and the wealthy being expected to pay more, but all of us need to pay more, and understand the Christian view that we are all our “brother’s keeper”!

What has happened to common decency, common dignity, and common humanity?

What has so sickened the body politic that all that matters is selfishness, greed, and lack of concern for our fellow citizens?

Is this the America that we want to live in? Is this the America that our Founding Fathers believed in when they created the Constitution? Is this the America that people have fought and died for in our wars? Is this the America we want to bequeath to our children and our children’s children?

This is a time to think about values and what really matters, rather than just money and things and possessions, and not caring about people we do not know!

It is a time to come together and strike back at these vicious right wing, narrow minded people who only care about themselves, and no one else!

What Progressives Have To Be Thankful For On Thanksgiving Day 2011

On this Thanksgiving Day, progressives have a lot to be thankful for, including:

1. We are witnessing the return home of our soldiers from Iraq after eight and a half years in combat, and the sad loss of about 4,500 brave men and women in a war that was unnecessary and helped to strengthen the more dangerous nation, Iran.

2. We have witnessed the development of the weakest Republican Presidential field in history, more an embarrassment than a legitimate field of candidates for the Oval Office, trying to outdo each other in their flubs and lack of concern for the average American.

3. We are fortunate to have as our President a man who, despite obvious shortcomings in some areas, has a record of accomplishment in national security and foreign policy that no Republican candidate can match.

4. We have a President who has gone the extra mile in trying to promote the interests of the middle class economically, instead of Wall Street, the corporations and the top two percent, all of which are obviously being supported by the Republican Party without any apologies. When the history of the Great Recession, the worst economic times since the Great Depression are written, the opposition party will NOT look good, any more than they did in the 1930s.

5. Finally, we can be thankful that by the Republican stubbornness on the budget and their greater loyalty to Grover Norquist than to the American people, the end result will be the automatic cutting of trillions of dollars by LACK OF ACTION by January 1, 2013, AND the END of the Bush Tax Cuts, and therefore a rise in taxation on those who have benefited for the past ten years on the backs of the American people. Tax rates will go back to the Clinton era rates, when we had the greatest economic conditions ever in our history, and fairness in taxation will return, while rational, reasonable budget cuts will also take place.

The Republican Party, by their obstructionism, will have slain themselves, so we must thank John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell for giving a campaign issue to the Democrats and Barack Obama.

This is a great moment for progressives, as Barack Obama has made clear that he will veto any attempt to keep the Bush tax cuts! Hallelujah, and now, let’s go and celebrate Thanksgiving!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Being Wooed As The Savior Of The Republican Party

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, in office less than two years, is being wooed by Wall Street Republicans and conservatives on talk radio and Fox News Channel as the savior of the Republican party, and being pressured to get into the Presidential race.

There has not been such a draft movement in the GOP since Dwight D. Eisenhower was successfully brought into the Presidential race in 1952.

But is Chris Christie another Dwight D. Eisenhower? Is he the “knight in shining armor”, or is he just the flavor of the month, a desperate attempt by Republicans to find a winning candidate who can unite the Tea Party Movement and Establishment Republicans, which no one else seems to be able to do?

After all the glamor is stripped from the excitement around Christie, is he the answer for the beleaguered GOP? The answer is NO, as despite what many might think, the odds on Christie winning the White House are extremely low!

What makes people in the party so excited about Christie?

1. He is very blunt and forceful in his language, but some would say overly confrontational and crude.

2. He attacks labor unions, which make Wall Street and big business thrilled.

3. He is the original “Bully” Governor, a model for Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Rick Scott in Florida, and Paul LePage in Maine.

4. He attacks public education in favor of charter schools, which pleases many conservatives.

5. He promotes budget cuts, which ultimately means the promoting of cuts in state support of social services, a popular move with the right wing nationally.

But why is he a horrible choice for President?

1. His “in your face” personality is precisely what we do NOT need in the White House!

2. His anti education, anti teacher, anti union agenda would solidify the right wing agenda in other states and harm the nation’s future.

3. His personality would undermine American foreign policy, as he would antagonize even friendly nations with his pompous, aggressive manner.

4. While a federal prosecutor in his past, he has only been Governor of New Jersey for less than two years, giving him very little elected experience, far less than Barack Obama, who had been in elected office for twelve years in Illinois state government and the US Senate.

5. He would be a terrible choice on the basis of physical fitness and health, has obvious health issues including a recent asthmatic attack, and while it could be said that we had William Howard Taft and Grover Cleveland in the past, it would not be a positive to have a person of his girth in the White House.

While many would see Christie as the ideal choice, he would be a bad model for the nation’s future in so many ways, and might even flop, as Rick Perry seemingly has, once we and the party and the nation had a better look at him!

Christie is more realistic than most when he says he is not ready for the Presidency, so let’s take him at his word and stop wooing him to enter the race!

Ironic: Stalemate On Capitol Hill Would Nearly Balance The Budget By Lack Of Action, Raising Taxes On The Wealthy And Corporations!

It has recently been recognized that the budget stalemate on Capitol Hill could actually have a great result at the end of 2012, just in time for the inauguration of the new Presidential term!

The reason is that the so called “Bush tax cuts” expire then, and if the Democratic Senate and Republican House do not cooperate on budget issues, and if President Obama determines he will make no deals with the GOP, as he has done too often in the past, the accomplishment will be that trillions of dollars will be raised through taxation, and the nation will come close to balancing the budget!

The deficit would be cut by almost 40 percent under the circumstances of NOT having any legislation, and the richest 5 percent of the population, who received half the entire benefit of the Bush tax cuts, would have to pay up in major ways, about time!

The tax rates would go back to those of the Clinton Presidency, when 23 million new jobs were created, as compared to 3 million under George W. Bush!

If Congress does nothing, a total of $7 trillion in revenue will be available over the next ten years, solving most of the problem of growing debt by increased taxation!

So the attitude of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party should be to stall, create gridlock and stalemate, which the Republicans have been excellent at doing, and turn the tables on the Republicans and their wealthy taxpayer-corporation supporters! If the elite could pay even higher tax rates under Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, more so than even under Bill Clinton, and economic growth was the result, the answer is to “Bring It On!”

Jon Huntsman Separates Himself From The Republican Pack, Therefore Making Him Legitimate As Alternative To Barack Obama!

Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, is quietly separating himself from the Republican pack of presidential candidates, legitimizing himself as the most credible candidate the GOP could offer, if they have any common sense, which they almost certainly don’t have!

Huntsman has made some strong statements that make sense, including:

1. He believes in evolution, rather than the religious based theory of creationism or intelligent design.
2. He accepts scientists on global warming, that it is a real problem.
3. He backed John Boehner on the Debt Ceiling legislation, which no other GOP candidate did.
4. He supported the DREAM Act, to give a path to citizenship to young immigrant children who might otherwise be deported, and instead allow them to go into the military or get a college education, and obtain a path to citizenship.

On the other hand, he has also, possibly obligatory, said:

1. He opposes the Obama Health Care legislation.
2. He opposes the Economic Stimulus legislation passed by the Democratic majority in Congress in 2009.
3. He suggested that possibly Obama could be impeached for his intervention in Libya.
4. He joined all the other GOP candidates in the most recent debate in raising his hand opposing a deal, theoretically, with ten dollars in budget cuts for each dollar in tax increases.

So Jon Huntsman is playing the political game, taking stands he almost certainly would change if in the White House, but even with that, he shows some statesmanship, some potential, that were Barack Obama to lose to him in 2012, the country would be in the best hands it can be, considering the state of the Republican Party in the present time period.

But of course, the question is will the GOP go for a comparatively moderate, reasonable, rational, sane candidate such as Jon Huntsman, who also has real credentials in foreign policy?

The answer is: Don’t hold your breath!

House Republicans Hold Back On Disaster Relief And Emergency Preparedness, Insist On Budget Cuts

The House Republican leadership. led by Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, is insisting that there be budget cuts to match any increase in spending on disaster relief and emergency preparedness.

This outrage is being perpetrated as the Midwest and the South face the most daunting natural disasters we have ever seen in just the past few months!

The onslaught of hundreds of tornadoes in the past two months, including the most disastrous in Alabama and Missouri, along with the flood crisis faced along the Mississippi River all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, is a national emergency of massive proportions!

When a natural disaster occurs, reaction by first responders, police, firefighters, and paramedics should be unlimited without any consideration of budget costs!

If government cannot provide aid to the needy and the desperate in a time of trauma, then what good is government at all? It is NOT the job of government solely to defend the nation from outside attack and internal man made threats to our national security. It is ALSO to come to the aid of the needy, the poor, and the disadvantaged when a natural disaster occurs, without forcing budget cuts to match the disaster’s costs!

The truth is that there is no way around the fact that tax INCREASES will be necessary, whether the American people want them or not. It is government’s job to do what is “necessary and proper”, for the “common defense and general welfare”, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the “elastic clause”!

The Republican Party is showing its true colors in so many ways, but particularly in “blackmailing” the Democrats to force cuts in the midst of a national emergency! How despicable and disgraceful!

The Tea Party Movement Revealed: Radical Anarchists Of The Far Right!

The Tea Party Movement has now been revealed as what it is: radical anarchists of the FAR Right, a dangerous group that will brook no compromise, and now plans to challenge Speaker of the House John Boehner in the 2012 primaries, because he had the gall to make a compromise deal with Barack Obama and the Democrats to avoid a government shutdown at the last possible moment last evening!

Obama and the Democrats agreed to about $39 billion in budget cuts from the original budget sent by the President, a record amount, which Barack Obama claimed was a victory for common sense.

Actually, the Democrats and Obama gave in too much, but they held out for protection of the environment, the funding of the President’s Health Care law, and continuation of miniscule funding of Planned Parenthood.

Boehner has been in an impossible position having to deal with House freshmen who are totally irresponsible in their demands for massive budget cuts, and have been, unfortunately, assisted in their recklessness by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has been undermining Boehner all along, as he and Congressman Kevin McCarthy have been working to push Boehner into an untenable position as Speaker.

If one thinks Cantor and McCarthy are “friends” of Boehner, one has to be absolutely blind! We will now see a large negative vote on the permanent budget for the next six months, when it comes up for a vote next week, and Boehner is in great danger of a revolt led by Cantor and McCarthy, and he might wish he had not been elected Speaker! To imagine that John Boehner might be seen in a sympathetic light by some shows how far right the GOP is going!

And if there is a true “Rasputin” of the Far Right, it is Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who has recklessly and irresponsibly promoted a radical attack on Medicare and Medicaid in the fiscal year 2012 budget and beyond, in his role as Chairman of the House Budget Committee!

What Ryan proposes is to make Medicare a voucher system, and put Medicaid under block grants that state governors decide how to dispense, all of which means the total destruction of both programs for future generations of elderly, sick, and poor people, all this at the same time as the plan to defund the President’s Health Care program for all Americans not covered under either plan now!

All this while tax cuts down to 25 percent top rate from 35 percent for the ultra rich top two percent, and also cuts in corporate taxes further, which means an attack on the middle class and the poor, as America is transformed more than ever into a plutocracy, rather than the image of a democracy, in which we have government of, by, and for the people, not the elite rich!

With the concessions made by Obama and the Democrats this time, in the next round there can be NO concessions, as this is a battle for the future of the entire nation, and the plutocracy that has developed MUST be stopped dead in its tracks!

And realize finally that this is not just an economic struggle, but also a social struggle, as the Tea Party Movement has its ugly desire to intervene in people’s private lives, as related to abortion, gay rights, and women’s rights. This is a battle for economic and social justice, the battle fought by progressives and liberals for more than a century, and a constant struggle that one can never rest from, as the far right continues its determination to dictate the continued dominance of an evil, selfish, greedy plutocracy!

The Tea Party Movement Declares War On John Boehner! The True Insanity Destroying The Republican Party!

If the Republican Party did not process the reality of the danger of the Tea Party Movement on their party and its future, it should now be very clear!

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips has declared war on Speaker of the House John Boehner, due to the fact that Boehner seems not to understand that the Tea Party Nation means what it says, that $100 billion must be cut from the present fiscal year budget, and instead the House majority Republicans have settled on $61 billion instead.

The fact that the $61 billion is a reckless cut that will hurt the poor, the sick, the elderly, the young, and veterans has no effect on Phillips and his ilk, so therefore he now suggests that John Boehner himself seems not to get the message, and that someone needs to come along and challenge Boehner in his congressional district in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area to teach Boehner a lesson, and make clear to the GOP who is the boss of the future!

The Republican party has gone to bed with a radical right faction that is very willing to destroy the party in its mad race to the 19th century Gilded Age!

If Boehner and other GOP leaders allow this insanity to continue, and if the state governors continue to follow the destructive path of Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio, Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Rick Scott in Florida, then the Republican Party will be totally destroyed by this cancer eating it up alive!

It is time to take a stand and say NO to this destructive, anarchistic movement which has no good purpose except to destroy the middle class, and put all of it into total poverty!

But the good thing is that the Tea Party Movement will discover it has met its match, as the middle class and the poor will organize and back the Democratic Party as the true promoter of the interests of the vast majority of the American people!

Do Senate Democrats Really Have 53 Votes? Don’t Be So Sure! :(

It is often pointed out that the Senate has 53 Democrats, and that there is no chance that the Republican House can get the majority of the Senate to go along with massive budget cuts or repeal of the Health Care legislation.

But when one examines closely the situation that truly exists with the upcoming Senate races of 2012, one wonders!

There are at least four Democrats, who are not retiring, as four have already announced (Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, Jim Webb, and now Jeff Bingaman), but are likely to be willing to work with Republicans more than one would imagine.

These would be newly elected Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia who must run again in 2012, along with two Senators elected in 2006 and facing tough fights in 2012–Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana–and veteran Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who also faces election in 2012.

If all four worked together with the GOP, there goes the Democratic edge, so the next two years will be interesting as a reality check of what it means to have a Senate majority, and yet maybe NOT have a Senate majority! πŸ™

What The Republican Party Refuses To Recognize! :(

The Republican Party refuses to understand that even if ALL discretionary non defense spending is eliminated, it does not come anywhere near the problem of resolving the deficit.

The only way is to RAISE taxes on the wealthy and corporations, back to the level under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1950s, a level over 70 percent, rather than the 36.5 percent that the wealthy now pay. Plus corporations must not be allowed to have an effective tax rate of 10 percent after all the loopholes and accounting tricks that cut most of their tax responsibility!

What kind of country cuts educational opportunity, allows poor people to freeze in the winter, makes lawlessness easier in urban neighborhoods by cutting police forces down, lets states destroy labor rights hard earned over 80 and more years, shows no concern for the welfare of children, cuts back on promotion of clean water and air, etc? πŸ™

We are trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest in our society, and making the middle class slip into poverty, all because of the greed and selfishness of the wealthy and multinational corporations who do not give a damn about anyone but themselves! πŸ™

But the national debt and deficit will never be resolved until the upper class follow John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural statement: “Ask not what your country can for you, ask what you can do for your country!”

If the elite rich and corporations do not wake up, they will face the threat of social and economic turmoil which could lead to violence and bloodshed, a horrible thought!

We are all in this together, and it is time that the elite paid their fair share of the burden of making this country work, and return to a stable economy!