I just never stops- nearly every day, dufusest Joe Scarborough brings some republican on to sputter some wisdom about debt, taxes, insurance, conservatism, etc,. you know all the stuff that makes the republican world spin. This morning he brought in a Florida republican representative, Vern Buchanan. Gosh, it was a breath stealing moment, and I nearly choked on my banana-filled omelet watching this fellow allow how the national debt is ruinous, how democrats are gawdawful spenders, and how democrat's stuff needs to be cut and all. Yet, when Mark Halprin asked what SPECIFIC areas in the federal budget Buchanan would cut, it went something like this:
Halprin: What areas in the US budget would you focus on to cut spending?
Buchannan: (with Adam’s apple bobbing like a shipwrecked Somali pirate) Errr, spit, swallow, hmmm, the whole budget is errr umm open to examination.
Halprin: The budget is no secret what specific areas are you in favor of cutting or reducing.
Buchannan: Hm, spit, swallow, hack, cough, errr, well all of it is on the table.
Halprin: We know it is all on the table but in what areas would you apply the knife?
Buchannan: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhghgh, errrrrr, there are places to look . . . aggggghhhhh
Scarborough: Oh the Medicare is killing us and Social Security.
Buchannan: Arggggherhmmmmmmmmmmmmm yes definitely entitlements are killing us.
OK, so I am picking on another boob of a republican, but is there a conservative in office who can articulate a solid idea about how we can get the mess under control in the light of day or do all of them simply moan, sputter, and phlegminate when asked direct questions?
Here are some interesting specifics on good ol’ Vern Buchannan. He is a former owner of American Speedy Printing, a franchiser chased around the courts for all sorts of ethical and business violations in the late 80s and early 09s. He also borrowed 15.4 million from Merrill Lynch which he said he felt no obligation to repay when his company went belly up. A Michigan creditors’ committee accused this fine conservative of taking excessive compensation and other actions to make American Speedy look more fiscally sound than it was. Plus, the IRS chased him for nearly a decade trying to get at taxes owed on the Merrill deal. Buchanan owns reinsurance companies based, guess . . . in Turks and Caicos Islands and part of another reinsurance firm in Bermuda, businesses which are tax havens. To show that he was adept at understanding the plight of the American tax payer and to acknowledge that he understood the tax code well, in 1999 Buchannan entered into a real estate deal and civil suit with and against other developers whereby he was able to buy and sell a condo and pay 20 percent capital gains on the profits of 1.6 million rather than 39.6 percent tax on earned income. And who says conservatives are too careful? In 2010 he filed his financial statements as required by House law, in 69 pages, 100 million in assets, placing him easily in the top five of the richest members of the House. This data is arguable, of course, because the law, as enacted by the House for financial disclosure, is so loosely constructed Buchanan can legally report that his net worth is from minus 69 million to plus 366 million (funny but of the richest members of Congress he is the ONLY one to show that maybe he is broker than I). I think that with his vast experience in business (he declares he is the head or partner in about 50 businesses), his deep familiarity with courts, his fathomless knowledge of the tax codes that he should be able to command a vocabulary which would enable him to target places in the budget that he recommends for reduction in order to conserve fiscal responsibility. Not Vern, hell if you took errr, hmmm, chawcgker, and argggghh out of this fellow’s working vocabulary, he would be mute.
I really do not care what people make, not really, even though I do my share of grumbling. I do care that we elect a bunch of citizens who stir stuff up with fear, hate, disinformation, and demagoguery and who despite seedy histories get elected anyhow. I do not care if people are democrats, republicans, teapartiers, independents; I just can’t throw in with them if they have a track record and vocabulary like Buchanan’s.
PS Buchanan's financial disclosure shows a 9000 dollar Maryland pension?