Posts Tagged ‘government spending’

Obama’s SOTU: We Must, We Might, I Want

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

“…and I want a fire truck, and a baseball glove, and a cowboy hat!”

So seemed to go President Obama’s State of the Union wish list. It sounded like Christmas with captive parents in the form of the Congress and a few Supreme Court Justices. Repeatedly, he went so far as to challenge Congress to pass bills, that he would immediately sign.

Interestingly, but hardly surprising to me, was the president’s line that the government should work for the many, not the few.

Why else was this State of the Union such a collassal waste of time for anyone who bothered watching it? Read more here for my thoughts and a few jabs…

Who’s got a bad case of the “gimmes”?


Political Machination and the Middle Class

December 29, 2011 2 comments

When I mention the “Middle Class”, I would suspect most Americans immediately think, “Hey, that’s me!”, and they pay attention. However, it is an over-used, hackneyed phrase in politics. Whenever a politician wants instantly to grab attention of the American populace, they bring up the “Middle Class”. Since it is usually used by politicians in a “threatened-species” manner, the Middle Class members sit up straight, and listen intently. The Upper Class pays attention, because they are out numbered by the Middle Class (and despite what some people claim, more votes certainly do still count). The Lower Class pays attention because they see the Middle Class as the destination that they are struggling to earn their way into. Politicians, belonging to a class all their own, notice these behavioral tendencies of the three main groups, and smell opportunity.

Something for everyone?

The government is NOT Robin Hood!

For the politicians to use the knee-jerk reaction of the Lower Class, I find their methods very insidious. Usually, what the politicians will do is tell the L.C. that their “gravy train”, their government-granted entitlements, or any other government-dolled goodies are in dire jeopardy because of the actions of the filthy rich. While this will not cause as large a reaction, because the L.C. is less mobile and likely to show up at their Congressman’s office. Anytime someone is given something, and then they are told it is threatened – watch the anger at losing that entitlement explode.

For the politicians to use the reaction of the Upper Class, they can threaten that the M.C. will push for higher wages or take a larger part of the Uppers Class’s wealth in any other number of ways. The U.C., then finding themselves threatened may decide to react by using their money and friendships in Washington to affect change in their favors. Most recently, I think that the more common method of trying to keep goodwill is for the constituents to offer to pay higher taxes (knowing that it will never come to that).  I find it interesting to think that a class so often seen as miserly and “above-it-all”, still seems to be so easily swayed by this type of rhetoric.

The dirty trick is, according to where the politicians put their measuring sticks, the Middle Class could be made to be any group. From an income of $30,000 up to $120,000? You are Middle Class. From $28,000 to $150,000? Boom – you are Middle Class. It is all about political expediency. The politicians constantly play fast and loose with rules, regulations, and our money, so why should their rhetoric be any different? If there is a political point to be made, or some “points” to be earned for their next election, they will paint you in any shade that they need to, to make their point (or to engage fully in their fear-mongering). The Middle Class has to be the most bandied-about segment of America.

These methods of politicians to get various classes to argue and fight with one another, while the politicians get away with murder, creates this huge positive feedback loop. Costs increase with every promise and entitlement given. While it seems to have been this way as long as this blogger can remember, I do not expect it to change (especially since blowing that class-dog-whistle works so well). The government has given goodies to pry support from certain groups, and now it is nearly impossible to reduce it. They need constantly to keep money flowing, while others, seeing these sweet deals, want their “fair share” too. Ever-increasing funds are needed as more and more people join the rolls. Where is it supposed to all come from? Sometimes, I wonder how much a little critical thought is worth – well politicians are attempting to figure that out for us all.

(This post took me forever, due primarily to the fact I started Tweeting, and that’s like Internet crack. I told those responsible that they’d be noted as my distractions): @tamale102280, @iteabellsingers, and @apologyispolicy
They’re good people – follow ’em if you don’t already!

Why The “Occupation” Will Fail

October 6, 2011 2 comments

By now, most people have gotten wind of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and has been affected by its polarizing actions and beliefs. The protesters and their signs scream out at their collective outrage, and list their many grievances. While the movement is seen as something noble and worthwhile by some, by others, it is seen as a group of spoiled, petulant young people, intent on obtaining entitlements. Whatever the case may be, I feel as though there are enough fundamental problems with the “movement” that it lacks any chance to secure any of the real changes it seeks.

Too much diversity

Yes, there can be such a thing as too much diversity. In the case of Occupy Wall Street, signs and grievances run from: criticism of greedy, corrupt money makers, to the redistribution of wealth, to the high unemployment rate among young people, the elimination of capitalism, and finally, to the effects of lobbyists in Washington D.C.. Some media sources have even shown people dressed up in greasepaint and with torn clothing to resemble zombies. I am unsure what message that is supposed to represent – perhaps it has something to do with Halloween? To maximize their efforts, the group needs to focus on one or two main messages, and drive those home. As it is, the fractured, myriad concerns of protesters are doing more damage than any good. They must coalesce into fewer, more well defined issues to maximize their effort. As the movement appears now, it is unclear whether the protesters are anarchists (as some have claimed in the television media), socialists (as some in the television media have claimed), or just disgruntled young people, seeking a solution to the many problems the nation has run headlong into.

Pre-emption of the movement

The Occupation of Wall Street

While the original message may have started out of an on-line organizing force, in the last week, the protest crowds in New York have seen various other groups and “sympathizers” lend their support. During this spring and summer, unions saw governors and legislatures force their members to pay for more of their own benefits and retirement packages. In a well-publicized series of recall elections in Wisconsin, the unions were again rebuffed. The support for various unions may have never been lower, and along comes a popular movement of self-described disenfranchised citizens. The unions saw a golden opportunity to attach themselves to this movement and possibly earn back some support. Celebrities too, have seen fit to make appearances, and lend their support as well. These stars who “feel the pain” of the broke protesters, show up, and bring the cameras along. Suddenly, a photo op. breaks out, the stars swear that they know how the protesters feel, and the protesters are made to believe like these multi-millionaires and they have something in common. Cheap appearances for celebs threatens to undermine any messages.

The movement doesn’t have a leader

For a movement such as this, it strikes me as a disjointed group of people, in search of someone to lead them. Now, I am not talking about some fire-brand, urging the protesters to start chucking bricks through store fronts, but someone who can lead the throngs and either accept or reject support from those seeking to take over the movement. There have been a few scattered whispers that the protests are supposed to be modeled upon the Tea Party movement – which has no leaders, but is just loose nationwide groups – however, the Tea Party groups began growing and coalescing around the idea that taxes and spending were too high. There is the single issue that laid the foundation for a movement. It sounds as though many of the protesters are asking for more oversight any way — but government oversight is not what anyone needs at this point. Indeed, if people would stop and consider for a moment, government “oversight” lead to much of the current financial and economic mess the country finds itself in at the moment.

The Dreams Of My President

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

So, the September 7th jobs address to the joint houses of Congress has now been moved to September 8th, and undoubtedly, democrats will howl and moan that Boehner played dirty or did not have the right to rebuff the president.  It is my understanding that for anyone to enter the House chamber and address the body, they must be first invited by the Speaker.  So it seems as though Boehner was well within his rights to tell the president the 7th was a no-go date.  While this address will undoubtedly sound like something new to democrats and presidential supporters, everyone else may hear more of the administration’s continued promises of jobs and economic turn around.  So, far, the administration was been long rhetoric, and short actual physical job creation (I know, I know Obama supporters – he has saved or created millions of jobs).  I am still unsure what a “saved” job actually  looks like, and if either Jay Carney, Joe Biden, or the president himself were pressed to describe one, the silence would be deafening.

Joe Biden in China

Joe Biden asks the Chinese about the one child policy he doesn't understand

I have taken the liberty to prepare a score sheet of sorts, for what I expect to be the main idea(s) of the address, along with the president’s former actions that show it would not be a safe bet to buy into any of his bulls– er, rhetoric.  A few things intrigue me as to why the address is actually necessary at all, and a commentator on FNC said that the president must have something “big” to talk about or reveal, and that is the reason for the joint Congressional address.  I wonder if Joe Biden’s trip to China may have something to do with the need to address the American public, yet again?  Perhaps our Chinese Uncle Moneybags is going to cut off the free-flowing money (finally!)

First possible topic:  High-speed rail?  Remember that issue he was pressing, as some sort of billion-dollar boondoggle that would lift the nation out of recession?  Then, last November, a wave of Republican and Conservative leaning governors won elections, and refused the money earmarked for the rail.  Obama did not seem too pleased by it, but played it as a move by the governors to hurt their own states.  The governors, for their parts, said they did not know of, want to be responsible for, or have anything else to do with the rails’ projected future liabilities.  With Amtrak as a model, who can blame them for rejecting federal, subsidized transportation?  I am sure the Chinese bullet train derailing and killed scores before Biden’s visit did not lend support either.

Wait, wait - not yet! They're not ready yet!

Not as shovel-ready as we thought...

Next possible topic:  More infrastructure spending?  The first round of spending was sold to the American people as “shovel-ready”, and as a way to better the country – indeed, how could we lose out on this deal?  Well, we seem to have.  The unemployment rate is still north of 9%, and the president himself infamously joked, “Well, I guess the jobs weren’t as shovel-ready as we thought…”  No, Mr. President, they certainly weren’t, but I would be very interested in where all this spending was done, and how it is providing a return on Americans’ investment.

Next possible topic:  The president will stand in front of Congress, and, with a straight face, call for more “new tone and civility”.  This (again) despite people like Congressman Andre Carson claiming at a Black Caucus event, that some Congressional Tea Party members would like to see “you and me” hanged from trees.  The call for civility did not take the first time, and I doubt the president would even bother mentioning it again – so, make this my “outside possibility” topic.

Final possible topic:  The amnesty/Dream Act fiasco that seems to be gaining momentum on the left?  This could certainly be a topic of the address, since the “Fast and Furious” program was directly shown to be a factor in the deaths of two American law enforcement officers in Mexico, and since heads have already begun to roll this week.  What will be the gist?  Who knows – perhaps the president will again claim his support for illegal immigrants, brought to America as children, and try to play that as a blanket amnesty step.  He may just call for the tightening of the borders and thousands of new hires of border guards.  But then, how many votes would that cost him?