Day: July 10, 2011

Death Of Alexander Hamilton On This Day In 1804: What Would He Think Of The Debt Ceiling Crisis?

On this day, 207 years ago, in 1804, former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton was killed in a gun duel with Vice President Aaron Burr!

The tragedy of this bright, intelligent, brilliant man, who made such a dramatic difference in our history, dying at the young age of 47, still reverberates through our nation, as we desperately need a financial genius such as Hamilton to resolve our financial difficulties, where we are on the brink of default of our debt payments by August 2, unless cooler heads prevail and a compromise is reached!

Would Hamilton be proud of the Republican Party refusal to consider any tax adjustments, reforms, or increases, when the tax rate is the lowest it has been since the 1940s, and our greatest prosperity came during the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations, when the tax rates were as high as 91 percent under Eisenhower, and were dropped to 70 percent under JFK?

Hamilton, who believed in the power of the federal government, would be appalled at the states rights emphasis reviving today, as if there was no Civil War to resolve that matter!

He would be shocked at the ignorance of Republican leaders and supporters who feel no loyalty to the country, but only to their own selfish, greedy personal desires!

Hamilton revived the American economy 220 years ago when it was in desperate circumstances, making certain that all debts were paid!

It would be ironic if now we saw our nation declare bankruptcy, which will damage the nation and its citizens for generations to come, all over refusal to promote what the definition of politics is, that it is “the art of compromise”!

The False Promise Of The “Balanced Budget” Constitutional Amendment

Tea Party activists and conservative Republicans, led by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, are touting the idea of a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget on the nation in the future.

This is nothing new, as it was proposed in the past by Republicans in the 1980s and 1990s, and never went anywhere.

These political leaders seem to forget that a constitutional amendment requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, and then would need 38 states (three fourths) out of 50 to put it into the Constitution.

If this had been easy to do years ago, it would have been accomplished.

The fact is that the idea of such an amendment is preposterous, and will NEVER happen!

Who can see 290 House members and 67 Senators agreeing to such an amendment, and no more than 12 states rejecting such an idea?

Who cannot understand that a one vote margin of defeat in one of the two houses of the state legislatures in no more than 13 states will kill such an amendment, if it ever made it through Congress?

This is a political ploy which will go nowhere, and were it to become part of the Constitution, it would create many crises whenever an emergency arose, whether war, natural disaster, or another economic downturn.

There is no way for anyone or any government to plan precisely on what emergencies will arise, so the amendment would cripple a government’s ability to respond.

So chalk the discussion up to political posturing, and nothing else!

Tim Pawlenty Rejects Return To “Rockefeller Republicanism”: Just What Is Needed For America’s Future!

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, on Meet The Press this morning, has made the statement that this is not the time for the return of “Rockefeller Republicanism”, referring to the former “Liberal” wing of the Republican Party led by former NY Governor, Vice President, and perennial Presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller.

Nelson Rockefeller, even if one could find fault with him personally or on specific issues, represented a viewpoint shared by many Republicans in the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s–of being “mainstream” on economic, social, and foreign policy issues.

It used to be that the Republican Party offered an alternative which one could “live” with, even if one were a Democrat.

The Republican party was seen as center Right, but the emphasis was on CENTER.

A whole generation of Republican Governors and Senators fit this image–among them George Romney, William Scranton, Charles Percy, Clifford Case, Lowell Weicker, Jacob Javits, Charles Mathias, Mark Hatfield, Tom Kuchel, and Bob Packwood.

The Republican Party today represents an extremist group which offers no possibility of restoring confidence in the future of American politics, as they have allowed themselves to be “hijacked” by social conservatives and Tea Party Movement radicals who see no problem in allowing the government to default on its debts, and destroying the social safety net built up by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Were the Republican Party to return to the views of the “Rockefeller” wing of past decades, the future of the party and of the nation would be vastly improved, but that is highly unlikely, something sad to say!