Click above to see budget cuts to make things fair 94 bil. cut from oil subsidies, 4 bil. in corporate yacht /jet right offs, 17 bill in hedge fund right offs (13% vs. 33%) not the sequester
Just days before looming jackhammer budget cuts that mean billions less dollars going to the federal government critics are challenging the actual effect it will have on the average person, family; republicans running parody ads mocking potential waits at airports, lack of air traffic controllers, FBI agents, firefighters, meat inspectors, calling the pandemonium and chaos expected ridiculous. It started with Rush Limbaugh saying, among other things, there is no cut from a baseline of zero, calling the crisis manufactured, recounting similar versions of what is now occurring he’s seen over the past 25 years regardless of the administration and ended with an ABC news reporter confronting various people brought out at Whitehouse press briefings to underscore the impact the sequester could have. Pointed to as evidence projected cuts will have marginal effect, the deduction to transportation is set to eliminate $1 billion from a $74 billion budget and the cuts, once slated to take effect, will take 30 days by law to enact, so it will be April then beyond before we know for sure how much damage, if any, Washington’s latest budget argument will cause. Whether Rush Limbaugh, those who think like him, those who believe he is correct, is right or whether democrats, those in favor of stopping the sequester are closer to the truth, what could quickly become our reality, aren’t we asking the wrong question? The whole point of the sequester was to make the cuts so bad no one would want to go down that road, forging instead some kind of deal. The question should be not how will the sequester effect everyone, instead why can’t they get a deal done, why is only one party forced to behave as adults, forced to be reasonable?
Click link to see strange republican priorities science committee’s Paul Broun, evolution lie from the pit of hell, Steve king demonstrating how immigrants should be electrocuted like livestock at boarder.
Because regardless of who’s currently playing the blame game, reality is republicans are the ones who refuse to come to the table, democrats on the whole are seen as the reasonable ones, while republicans on the whole are seen as the extremists. They are the ones still projecting the perception we would rather give 94 billion in oil subsidies than fund head start, WIC (women, infants and children) designed to make sure kids have food, babies get adequate nutrition. We would rather give write offs to corporations, rich people for their jets, yachts, 4 billion dollars’ worth, instead of funding education, making sure young people have access to college, before we continue with unemployment benefits and will reduce Medicare/Medicaid benefits to seniors, those with disabilities, children while giving 17 billion in tax breaks to hedge fund managers effectively reducing their tax rate to roughly 13%, fight president Obama on Clinton era tax rates restored to America’s top 2% of income earners, resulting in them paying taxes commiserate with their fair share. Forget that eliminating all of the above amounts to closing loopholes, action they previously agreed they would take towards a deal. Rush Limbaugh is right about two things it is a manufactured mess and the American people are sick of it, but before crowing his righteousness, look closer at who has manufactured what, blaming the whole of Washington, not just one party, not just the president. Similarly you can’t negotiate with people who won’t negotiate; who rejected the grand bargain, who rejected the president’s entitlement reform because it took money from waste, fraud and minor services as opposed to cutting benefits to seniors? You can’t negotiate with people who treat every point as a fight to the death like republicans did with restoring former tax rates to top income earners; whereas the president campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthy and won therefore fulfilling a campaign promise. Still the message is we, republicans welcome, tolerate, support, entice the American people to vote for religious fanatic party members who would rather continue the arguments about how old the earth is, how evolution is a lie from the pit of hell, than do something productive; we are so busy licking our wounds from the last election, trying repackage ourselves into a party, a platform the American people might actually want, we don’t have time for anything else.
Ironically during his tirade he begins to rattle off the things democrats say there would no longer be or would be significantly less of, fire, police, air traffic control, meat inspection stated in a ho-hum, blasé tone, as if we had more than enough of all those positions, truly more than we need; in fact the FBI has openly said it doesn’t have enough people to keep up with terror threats, that we would even think about any change in the FDA amounting to less workers after the sheer number of e-coli, salmonella and listeria outbreaks resulting in the death of people, the sheer magnitude of unsafe, filthy conditions exposed in giant food operations is just inhumane. The FDA yet another entity begging for enough workers to effectively do their job. Fewer teachers, less head start, elimination of job training doesn’t seem to faze him; this from the guy who tells us to be our own Santa Clause, exhorted presidential candidate Romney for promoting hard work. Not answered is how you get a job if you can’t afford college, if the job training programs disappear; dido with unemployment checks slated to dry up for thousands if not millions of people who depend on it while they look for another job, participate in job training. Now not too hard to imagine is Mr. Limbaugh’s dislike for giving unemployment checks at all, especially the extension of said benefits put in place after the recession, but even going back to the old system, fired, laid off employees are eligible for X number of weeks of unemployment; to have that yanked away from them at the drop of a hat because the federal government can’t get its act together is more than a disagreement with policy, it’s needless unfairness visited on people who likely did nothing wrong. Of course he makes enough money unemployed for him vs. the rest of us paints a completely different picture. Decreased monitoring of nuclear sites, decreased environmental compliance inspections, decreased OSHA inspections particularly over long periods could very well be dangerous, could very well mean workplace deaths, another BP due to the pure fact these programs barely function as they stand, already don’t catch enough of what they should. Mentioned is no disaster relief and a sarcastic comment there isn’t any now, look at the Jersey Shore; but again why is that, why was Chris Christie hot under the collar? Because, republicans concluded whatever they needed to do right at the deadline regarding the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff, whichever mess and went on winter break without approving a package for hurricane Sandy relief; interesting to note also is who Chris Christie called out on that score, not president Obama, not a democrat, but none other than house speaker John Boehner.
The sequestration does matter even when it’s fractions of an overall budget, if effect is calculated over the long haul, should the cuts be permanent or semi-permanent; it matters if that 1 billion of cuts to the department of transportation equals one less air traffic controller and a plane crash, shutdown of a tower with disastrous consequences. Less FBI agents does mean something if you understand the FBI is instrumental in everything from fighting terrorism, to keeping our business safe from cyber threats, tracking child predators, handling abducted child cases. It matters a great deal to you if you are accused of a crime and there aren’t enough people to investigate properly to determine your innocence; it matters a great deal if your loved one is the victim of a crime, was the one murdered and you wait for justice, it’s your child missing, your child abused by a predator you later find out has done this repeatedly, should already be in jail and would be with enough police to apprehend them. Noting recent instances of violence slashing police forces is exactly the wrong thing to do, has contributed to the urban killing fields known as Chicago, but who needs the police we have, right? Fewer meat inspectors are a problem if you go to your supermarket and can’t buy any, the price skyrockets because it takes longer to be inspected leading to a shortage, means more when it’s you, your family member sick or dead from the latest outbreak that took longer to contain because of fewer workers, was not caught before it happened for a lack of someone to catch it. Education matters when it’s your child who can’t get into head start, when it’s your child’s school suffering from a lack of teachers, when your special needs child is abruptly cut off from the help that previously had them thriving. Of course once again Mr. Limbaugh has no kids, so how can he understand? It has an impact if you are a young person in school getting less of an education because of this; it matters when it’s your job on the chopping block, you don’t know if you’ll be employed a month, 2 months, or 6 months from now. Fewer small business loans should have Mr. Limbaugh’s attention as well as speaker Boehner’s considering one is always telling someone to get a job and the other bemoaned the president’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour over the next 2-5 years saying, in essence, the last thing small businesses needed was incentive not to hire; hypocritical since one is downplaying the sequester and the other is all for it as leverage to the debt ceiling, a chance to point to the president and say no leadership in the Whitehouse, whatever it is this week. It has an even greater potential impact on individual states, local governments in a small town school where one teacher is a noticeable loss; my own state may lose meals on wheels food programs for the elderly thanks to Washington’s nonsense. It is very noticeable when the factory building military ships, plains, related equipment suddenly shuts down leaving hundreds, thousands out of work in a single area; no, not tomorrow, but soon.
Beyond our government just creating a budget, doing its job, insuring its function to do what it’s mandated to do, help the American people live productive lives, have access to education, opportunity, maintaining order, safety, security, the sequester is of greater significance in terms of being completely unnecessary. Put aside who created it and why, although it was brought into being to be a deterrent not leverage in a political game, not a way for government to do business, and take a look at the cuts listed in paragraph 2; not only do they count as a first step toward the tax reform republicans want en masse and yesterday instead of continuing small things like the payroll tax holiday, there is over a hundred billion dollars’ worth of cuts annually housed in removing aforementioned loopholes the average person would be infuriated to find out existed in the first place. For those who can do basic math that’s more savings than the 85 billion dollar wrecking ball scheduled to be run through the economy indiscriminately; further it levels the overall playing field, the tax playing field for everybody, makes cuts where cuts should be made, where they have the least impact on the lowest number of people. If the average person, family has no means to afford a jet why should a rich person, affluent company get a write off in order to afford one, particularly in the 21st century workplace where you can communicate through e-mail, converse in a more face to face manner through technology tools like Skype, do marketing and sales more efficiently through social media such as twitter and Facebook, eliminating the need to travel all over the country, the world to connect with people, check the goings on at various offices. The only place a company needs a yacht is perhaps in Hawaii or another US held island territory, yet somehow everyone knows these people and places are not who is taking advantage of said loophole.
Coming back to the Christian conservative, shocking is the news segments you see on shows like The 700 Club, actual news and commentary on that news, looking at someone like Pat Robertson’s view of politics; perhaps at least partially explaining the seemingly pervasive ignorance and backward views held by Americans willing to vote for people so far from the mainstream. Stepping out of usual conservative stances on abortion, gay marriage and promoting the idea to be religious is to be uneducated, ignorant by choice Mr. Roberson is someone known for eye popping statements, known to call president Obama a liar, who when congress tried to vote on a change in procedure allowing the president to independently raise the debt ceiling with a two thirds vote to override wasted no time calling out senate majority leader Harry Reid as not serious, but failed to mention the whole story. A story which included Harry Reid going back finding he did indeed have what he needed and proceeding to call for a vote, at which point Mitch McConnell proceeded to filibuster his own bill, actions not discussed, not commented on, but Harry Reid, and by extension democrats, were not serious. Robertson’s assessment of the sequester held little difference stating, among other things, that president Obama didn’t want a solution so that in the next election he can say look what the republicans did adding it was time to stop playing golf, going on vacations and get down to business. His strategies for reducing spending include getting rid of superfluous Whitehouse jobs such as director of Whitehouse tours before turning the lights out on the national monument and in a touch of exasperation threw up defunding Planned Parenthood, his idea of a waste of money due to their performing abortions. At first glance his ideas sound perfect and to be clear there is no record of president Obama taking things like that off the table, refusing to put them on the table; the reason eliminating lesser jobs at the Whitehouse never gets discussed is because republicans are too busy turning raising taxes on the wealthy into a life and death battle, are more willing to defend a corporate jet owners tax write off than the concept a parent get help feeding their baby, people get housing assistance. Despite those facts, Roberson’s response was he appreciated local governors like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley advising them he, Obama, got the tax hikes now it’s time to do the deal. And yes let’s defund Planned Parenthood the “abortion mill” also recognized as Planned Parenthood the women’s clinic where women can and do receive any and all of the following: basic gynecological exams, testing/treatment for a variety of female/reproductive cancers, disorders, mammograms or required referrals for mammograms, birth control either to prevent pregnancy, not have any more kids because you can’t handle/afford them or taken to treat any number of medical issues effecting women. Left out is Planned Parenthood may well be the only woman’s clinic in someone’s small town, but the saddest thing is he said this with his wife just off camera listening who may in the near future need a woman’s clinic and birth control for menopausal symptoms, maybe even already has.
Doing commentary myself, I understand the fine line between representing the entire picture, entire story and getting your point of view across, all the more passion involved when that takes on a religious nature, but what is disturbing, is not the Christian focus, rather the bias of that commentary done with the full knowledge faith oriented people will watch them where they won’t watch ordinary news, knowing people depend on them for both fact and a faith based, moral perspective. No president Obama doesn’t want a solution, will not sign off on a bill, a deal that puts oil subsides oil companies admit they probably don’t need over programs like WIC, over housing assistance; he doesn’t want a solution that guts education before it says to the hedge fund manager make your own money like every other software designer, equal equity business owner, better yet pay your taxes just like they do and stop expecting the government to keep your business afloat. Speaking of fact perhaps Mr. Robertson needs to indulge himself in his grandkids’ videos of School House Rock; if he did, then he would know a president severs in office for no more than two terms. So no he won’t be pointing to republican actions saying look what they did defacto painting himself as a better alternative, because, by law, he can no longer serve in that office. Benefit of the doubt says Robertson could have always been referring to the 2014 midterm elections, though they get far less nation, global and political attention, it is likewise entirely possible that he was alluding to president Obama joining the campaign stump of whoever the democrats put forward in 2016 as a popular face, crowd drawing sight. However, one he should make himself clear to avoid looking like a bumbling gray-haired idiot and two does either fit into the context of the point Robertson was so eager to make; you be the judge. Bottom line who has done their best to discharge the mandate of their office to help the American people, to facilitate them helping themselves, to restore fairness and equal opportunity to everyone, who is doing their utmost to move the country forward, not just through the next 4 years, but crafting policy on things like clean energy that will take us through the next generations? That is the voice we need to listen to now, follow now.