Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Don’t Know My Hand from My Glove

I hope I will be remembered for my candid assessment of self: I think that I have been fairly open in my blogs about how really confused I am about all stuff. The only redemption for me is that I admit it. Right this minute, I am totally confused about what is what and who is who on the political spectrum. Conservative republicans just got a progressive president to agree to a deal that plunked another trillion dollars worth of deficit on our national books. So, we got an extension of Bush-tax-cuts, thus reducing revenue and widening the deficit, and we got an extension of unemployment benefits for those still or recently unemployed, thus widening the deficit even more. I fail to see anything conservative in this or in any of the dealings since the last election. I do know that, despite their pending power surge in the House, the republicans have not offered any solutions on how to strengthen our economy and our nation other than cut taxes. Hell, I must have misunderstood the synonym lesson where conserve means to save. What’s conserving about adding to a deficit?

All of this republican tax-not theory spins around the myth of trickle down economics. I am willing to accept the idea that an increase in a paycheck actually trickles down into companies thus making our economy stronger. I will accept it if someone will just prove it. Oh sure, pundits proclaim all the time that trickling happens and other pundits proclaim the opposite. Here’s my question: if lower taxes are the answer to our economic problems how come we are not in fat city after Bush II cut taxes and popped out two stimulus checks while he was in office? Forgive my misappropriation of prepositions, but where did that money trickle to, down to, or up to? Data suggests it went up as we added more millionaires than we lost during the deep recession; the top 2 percent of the country got wealthier; and real middle class folks (people who make less than 100 K per year) lost nearly 10 percent in real income. I have not heard a single republican argue these simple data points. In fact, they seem pretty happy that that’s what happened.

When one looks at the information on who is unemployed, the figures reveal that 4 percent of the unemployed have college degrees. The rest, 96 percent of the unemployed population, have some college or less and of course, those with no high school make up the largest group of unemployed. Republicans love these figures; I am firmly convinced. With the nation in near bankruptcy (probably we should go into a controlled bankruptcy) and jobs scarce, republicans are overjoyed knowing the bulk folks will have to work for less, work two jobs to get by, and will accept fewer benefits to get a job. Who wins is obviously Coporatemerica who can rehire for way less than it paid when they laid-off millions. The republicans have made the pain worse: in Bush’s terms rich folks were taxed less on money they make from wealth than they made from WORK (capital gains tax is at 15 percent, right?) Therefore, when republicans yap about honoring hard work and saving the working man from the tax man, they are just yapping. They want us broke, confused, scared, and willing to work for nothing because all our angst translates to huge profits for Coporatemerica which pays gobs of loot to get them elected. If republicans really wanted to be conservatives, they would increase revenues by raising taxes thus admitting that they lost their way during Dumya's terms and that they were owning up to it. Gawd, I nearly choked laughing at the idea of a republican actually admitting to something.

If one has a wit of sense, he will look at the deficit with one eye and look at the budget with the other. What parts of the national budget can be slashed enough without hurting someone to get us out of debt? I have long been in favor of cutting an over-bloated defense budget, but if we did that where would all the workers in the defense industry and in defense agencies find jobs? I wouldn’t mind dropping the federal department of education but where would all those folks find work and how would states, all ready broke from reduced revenues and busted investments, make up for the 20 to 30 percent reduction in revenue? By laying-off more teachers? Conservatives are all for reducing the size of governments; I only want conservatives to tell me where folks will find work or how we will pay for unemployment benefits for 20 percent of the nation if we reduce government employment. Fact is, I know and conservatives know that we need government; conservatives just won’t pay for the government we need. I am not saying how we spend can’t be improved and am not saying that we should ignore all the corruption and waste that goes in with our tax dollars, but we do need to pay for what we buy. That thought is a conservative thought, and it wouldn’t it be delightful if that kind of thinking were put into action by politicians pretending to be conservatives?

For a change, I want you conservatives to identify what you conserve: air, water, jobs, education, highways, medicine, you name it, just please identify it when you actually save it. I will give you credit even for saying you just saved a whole bunch of rich folks a shitload of money; just admit it. And I really want conservative republicans to come up with some ideas, some solutions, some fixes, and some rationales for how to make the country better, pronto. When republicans after regaining a bit of power in the House can come up only with the single goal of “making sure Obama does not have another term in office,” I have to wonder how in the world they suckered anyone into voting for them. We are in troubled times, and the best goal the republican leadership can come up with is getting rid of the president who may be the best republican the democrats ever elected? Hey, I will wait patiently for some conservative solutions to our problems. In the meantime, I hope someone will suck up his or her guts and admit that without raising taxes, we are broke and going to be more broker down the road.