I am an American, and our country is in crisis. Natural disasters, crumbling infrastructure, crippling unemployment, increasing greed and a general lack of civility are the topics of the day.
"The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency." Theodore Roosevelt
I have been interested in politics since the Johnson administration. Even as a young child, I found myself drawn to the workings of our government. I felt lucky to be born here, and fortunate to live in a country where civil debate took place, where laws were made, and changed, to meet the needs of our citizens. There were sometimes loud disagreements and plenty of criticism, but, in the end, consensus could be reached. We had a common goal - the betterment of our country and of our citizens.
What I'm seeing lately is a complete lack of decency. Special interest groups and lobbyists are steering our legislative agenda; the average American (who does not earn millions of dollars each year), is largely left out of the debate.
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." Abraham Lincoln
It ain't working now. Abe Lincoln is spinning in his grave.
I fear that we're returning to the days of the robber barons - the haves and the have nots.
Our President seems like a nice person - I think that's part of his problem. He needs to stop being so nice and civilized. He needs to grow a pair and fight back.
The threat of Line item vetoes of pet projects might work. He needs to lose the professorial tone and become the leader I thought we were getting when he was elected.
His request to speak before a joint session of Congress, denied?
This total disrespect of the office of the President, of THIS President, of the rules of law, and of common decency, all of this is disgraceful.
If I were Obama, I'd refuse the offer of an alternate day. I'd do the speech when I damn well pleased, and I'd be sure to mention how the Speaker of the House could not manage to get the Congress to convene to hear about how the President plans to put America back to work. Congress' approval rating is even worse than Obama's - they don't need any additional bad press.
I await his speech next week on the subject of jobs.
The economy has not improved, jobs are not being created, yet corporate profits are up, bonuses are paid, and shareholders are still receiving their dividends. What is the incentive for companies to hire employees? 'Tis cheaper to outsource, to close plants in this country today, and tomorrow, to open a plant in a country where wages are low and environmental regulations are lacking.
I don't have the answers. But I know that if we don't get our collective shit together and really work on viable solutions, nothing is going to get better.
Give businesses incentives to hire. I'd like to see some sort of penalty for companies who continue to outsource labor, as well as penalizing companies who hire, and mistreat, illegals. Encourage small business to open manufacturing facilities by offering low-interest loans and tax credits as incentives. I've heard talk of offering an incentive to businesses who hire those who are currently unemployed, as well as offering unemployed people the opportunity to work as interns in business while still receiving their unemployment compensation - in the hopes that the business will hire the interns.
Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Maybe tax reform is the answer. Simplify the tax code, eliminate loopholes that allow big business to avoid taxes. Change the way deferred compensation and capital gains are handled. The 'super committee' in Congress will have to work this out in their debt reduction talks.
"The government's view of the economy can be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." Ronald Reagan
The talk about likely cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and the restructuring of Social Security concerns me greatly. The Congress is asking the most vulnerable citizens to make the biggest sacrifice. It's not like the elderly beneficiaries are going to be able to snag a job, or for the disabled to suddenly be cured and able to return to work.
One reason that I'm proud to be an American is that we care for those who are less fortunate. We rally when disaster occurs (in this country or around the world); we are generous and helpful. This week, when a Congressman (Cantor, I believe) said that FEMA money will be available, but that an equal amount of reduction must occur in other programs to offset the money, I wondered where our compassion went. Let's give the help where it is most needed, without delay, and then figure out how to solve this financial mess we're in.
"This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in." Theodore Roosevelt
I'm hoping against hope that we, as Americans, can figure this mess out and move toward a brighter future.
If I had a job, I'd be too busy to write this nonsense. So if you care about America, and want to keep others from having to read this political mumbo-jumbo in place of my usual silly stuff, pray that someone hires me!