Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Liberal Rant

Ok, so I’ve sat back quietly for far too long as I watch and listen to the hypocrisy and stupidity pour out of the mouths of conservative pundits and the GOP presidential candidates. Quite frankly, I’m one pissed off progressive Democrat, and it’s time for some change, more than President Obama ever wanted. In fact, I’m close to disavowing my affiliation with the Democrats because they have spine than a jelly fish and won’t walk the walk despite talking the talk. So here we go.

First, let’s start off with the way the Republicans have screwed us during the debt ceiling debate. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was a common place act in Congress that was done with little challenge, hell it was done 18 times during the Reagan years. This is the same Reagan that is the darling of the GOP and you aren’t a true conservative if you don’t praise everything he did. But now it was somehow different, the Republicans in Congress felt it was necessary to hold our economy hostage and push it to the brink just so they could destroy entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, the two sacred cows of the Democrats. Luckily, the entitlements have survived for now, but our economy did survive the crisis unscathed. Right after the “compromise” and debt ceiling raise was signed into law, the ratings agency Standard and Poors downgraded us from AAA to AA+. While S&P is not very reliable, the markets didn’t really care and the DOW Jones went on a rollercoaster freefall, dropping over 600 points one day, going up 400 the next, only to fall over 500 again the next day. And what’s even worse is that despite S&P specifically stating that it was the GOP’s refusal to include revenue increases in the deal that led to the downgrade, the GOP presidential candidates are blaming the president for the downgrade. Have they lost their minds?! (Although it’s hard to lose something they never had to begin with.) This comic published on the other day fits this perfectly, along with the economy as a whole:

Now, I mentioned the revenue issue with the GOP, and that’s my next topic to rant on. Why can’t the super rich pay more taxes, they have the money and have done it before. Under Eisenhower, the top tax rate was around 90% for the top earners in the country, and yet our economy still thrived. The 1950s were a boom era for us. Imagine if we even had the top tax rate at 50-60%, our deficit would be lower, our infrastructure would be better, and we might be even back on the path of paying off the debt. Instead we get the policy of George W. Bush who thought that having a budget surplus, essentially a savings account for the government, was a bad thing and evidence that people were taxed too much. So in foul swoop he blew the record surplus that Clinton left us and turned it into a record deficit by giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. And to compound the problem, in order to make up the shortfall, Bush raided the Social Security trust fund, putting that into a deficit. But of course, the GOP won’t take the fall for it, instead they pass the blame to the president, but I digress. I saw an ad for Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC with a clip from one of his commentaries where he said the super rich need to bear some of the responsibility for putting the country that made them the super rich back on track, and that’s absolutely right. The wealthiest 5% are the ones getting a free ride right now, not the lower class and unemployed who are on welfare.

I mentioned how the Republicans want to slash entitlement spending, but in a very reckless manner. I agree too that we need to cut entitlement spending, but do so in a respsonsible manner. I see reforming and cutting entitlement spending like trimming a tree; you cut the dead branches and wild growth to keep the tree healthy, not chop off branches haphazardly, because that will kill it. The Republicans in Congress essentially wanted to make harsh cuts that could seriously damage Social Security and Medicare. Those cuts need to be discussed and worked on over a period time to evaluate their effect on the programs.

The Republicans talk about wanting to take the country back to its roots with small government and less intervention from Washington. That’s all well and good except that a small government will never be able to adequately run the United States. As time has gone on, there has been more and more need for a larger government to oversee the day to day business of the country and keep everything regulated and running smoothly. Sure President Jefferson wanted a small government, but he also wanted us to be a country of small farmers, not an industrial giant. If they want a small government so bad, why don’t they all go down to Texas, secede from the Union with Gov. Rick Perry and declare the Republic of Texas? They can try out their little experiment and see how well it works for them. Wait, didn’t that happen in the 1860s with the Confederate States of America? And also right after we won the war for independence with the Articles of Confederation? Yeah, I have a feeling the new Texas wouldn’t last very long.

Finally, what is so wrong with liberal ideas? What is wrong with wanting to have limiting the amount of toxins that factories emit into the air and wanting to keep the environment clean? What is wrong with wanting to help those that have hit hard times? What is wrong with bailing out the industry that is the backbone of our country? What is wrong with giving everyone the basic universal right to quality health care? What is wrong with wanting to make sure the food we eat everyday is safe and won’t make us sick? What is wrong with giving everyone the right, no matter race or sexual orientation, to marry whomever they want? What is wrong with wanting infrastructure that is up to date and safe? What is wrong with wanting to give a free fair and equal public education to everyone in the country? What is wrong with wanting to be the peace maker and not the war hawk? I can answer that with one word, nothing. There is nothing wrong with any of this because those ideas are progress, those are the agenda of the progressive movement, which incidentally was started but a Republican, President Theodore Roosevelt.

I’m going to leave you with this video from the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, Dylan is the kind of Democrat we need in Washington right now:

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Debt "Compromise"

Well, we haven't defaulted thanks to the last minute deal the President and Congressional leaders came up with over the weekend, but will it really help us? No, to put it bluntly. This deal will only further destroy the American Dream and further divide the classes. It puts no burden on the richest 2% of the country and will essentially gut the social safety net that keep ths middle class going. The president turned his back on the country and gavve the Republicans everything they wanted. The sacred cows of the Democrats (Medicare and Social Security) will be slaughtered while those of the GOP will remain untouched (the Pentagon). I have lost faith in this administration and in my own party. Only the Progressives held firm and refuse to vote for the "compromise". This could be the split of both parties now.

Keith Olbermann puts it far better than I ever could in the following Special Comment: