AMERICAN ACCOUNTABILITY

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By: Wayne Brown


The debacle in Washington over the debt ceiling and spending cuts continues to produce nothing of substance as both sides bull-headedly hold their ground at the expense of the American people dead set on logging a political win as opposed to taking the high ground and doing what is best for America. Apparently this crowd has never heard the word “compromise” nor do they understand the importance of the definition.


Headlines today indicate President Obama is exploring the “nuclear option” which is just another way of saying that he intends to ignore all laws and government regulations and impose what he thinks is the proper and correct thing to do in light of the stalemate. Now the last time I checked, this country was not yet operating as a dictatorship although Obama is determined to drive it into one with the path we are following financially.


If, indeed, the President is naïve enough to impose his will on the government of the United States and ignore all directives, he better plan on wearing that lodestone around his neck with the American people all the way to the November 2012 elections. I would expect far more from a “Magna Cum Laude” graduate of the Harvard Law School in terms of respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitution. For this President to actually believe that imposing his will, no matter how right he thinks he is, will be a positive move in terms of his political future is nothing short of political suicide. Such an action sends a clear message…”I can’t lead but I can dictate by power of my position.” I think the President has forgotten who sent him to that position in November 2008.


Certainly Obama does not have the only “dirty hands” in this situation. Boehner and his company are holding the line for actions which are beyond the scope of the position they are currently in at the present. The actions which they are holding out for will require a greater majority than currently exists on the conservative side in Washington. While the House is an important element in the financial process by law, it is not the only element. At best, the current position will only yield a stalemate and demonstrate to the American people that stubbornness on the right side of the aisle was a bigger issue than the problem itself.


Further complicating the issue on the right side of the aisle is the splintering within over the line to be taken. The Speaker wants his plan enacted; the Tea Party conservatives feel the Speaker’s plan does not go far enough or strong enough on cuts and are holding out their support. In the end, the conservative side is doing a good job of showing that there are large cracks in the solidarity to go forward.


Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, is playing politics as usual in that he knows no other skill which he can employ. He refuses debating issues and only wants to give consideration to his plan on the Senate floor or all bets are off. Somehow, I really do not believe the intent of our legislative structure was to create such actions in our process of running the country. Of course Biden, the man who presides over the Senate, is totally missing from the discussion and showing no effort to lead the Senate in more compromising approach. Obviously, leadership is not Biden’s strong suite.


This all comes back to the President eventually. If the President were a strong leader bent on doing what is right for America, he would have the key players sitting in front of him right now and he would be instructing them that they must bring him a viable proposal which is bipartisan in structure and offers a reasonable level of compromise for both sides of the aisle. This means that the President has to demonstrate that he is willing to give ground on his demands in order to get through this process and bring at least some short term solution. The long-term aspects are too great on either side of the aisle to gain a reasonable amount of agreement.


The problem before our so-called Washington leaders stems from the government spending more money than it takes in on an annual basis. Even with tax increases and closing loopholes on the wealthy, that will still be the position unless a significant effort is made to reduce some of the present day spending and a commitment is put into place to continue that process into the future. America cannot continue to pile up debt without fear of consequences.


The left side of the aisle wants to continue at present spending levels, raise the debt ceiling, and borrow more money without truly making the effort to determine the validity of current spending practices within our government. At present, there is some room to do that but the consequence is we continue to pile up debt. As a result of their desired actions, we might see some short-term relief of tension in the credit-rating sector as America meets its obligations and continues to spend. On the other hand, as that total debt sum piles up, the same concerns come to the forefront in the credit sector and eventually the debt to asset ratio will cause those who buy U.S. debt to either shy away or demand much higher returns. In the end, the outcome is the same…a reduction in credit rating, higher interest rates, and the need to tax at even higher rates to offset the problem…not a good solution. We have dug a hole debt-wise, and those on the left want to continue digging until the hole is far too deep to get out of and we are out of alternatives in terms of staying in the hole.


One only has to look back a couple of years to see the rampant spending which has taken place since this President took office. Unfortunately, much of that spending was justified by the state of the economy and much of that spending did little or nothing to change the economy. 800 billion dollars in stimulus money has essentially been squandered. In addition, the President has muscled through a healthcare system which will essentially cause the entire American medical industry to be run by the federal government and is estimated to cost at least 65 billion dollars annually from a conservative perspective. Another 50 billion dollars has been placed into infrastructure spending when we already have a federal gasoline tax providing a revenue stream in that area. Granted, it may not be enough money, but it is what we can reasonably afford. I raise these issues on spending for a point. The President is holding the line on his demands in light of an estimated 29 billion dollars in debt service for this year. In terms of Obama’s spending, this figure is essentially chicken feed considering the President invested 400 billion dollars in off-shore drilling and refineries in South America in the past two years. So in effect, after all this spending, he is willing to shut down the government over 29 billon dollars and on the basis of that figure demand that the debt ceiling be raised for his use by more than two trillion additional dollars. Something does not compute here and the air smells like politics as usual.


The right side of the aisle is failing miserably in staying on message, showing solidarity, and getting the facts to the American people. Apparently the leadership on that side of the aisle does not assign a great level of importance to those subjects. That has certainly been the case in years past on other issues on which the conservative side held the high ground in terms of facts and truth only to allow defeat by political moves of the left.


One thing is clear to me. Regardless of how this political hogwash of a pissing contest resolves itself, America better be inclined to demand that all participants follow the guidelines which are in place within our government. This is not a time when we need a “rogue” President taking on the role of dictator on the premise that he is doing “what is best in his mind for the country”. Our country does not work that way and for good reason.


I am quite certain that my little 83 year old mother better see her Social Security check arrive in the bank and on time come August or any month beyond that. If it does not, it will be because the President has “elected” and taken upon himself to instruct the Treasury not to pay those obligations. Should he be that stupid and naïve just to prove the point and attempt to get his way, I fully expect that the American people will take note of those actions and make him pay dearly for his choices when the time arrives to vote.


It is high time to get back to basics in Washington. As a country, we are devastatingly devoid of leadership in the executive and legislature branches of our government. As a voting public, we must blame ourselves for electing those individuals to office. We have failed to hold them accountable for their actions and over time they have all but bankrupted this country. There are those who want to blame the rich, blame the corporations, blame the arrogance of America, blame the bankers,…the list goes on and on. But ultimately, we, the voters are to blame because we have failed to hold our elected officials accountable and the current situation is a formidable example of the results.



God Bless America.



© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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Comments 24 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Another outstanding contribution by one of my favorite writers. By now most of us should have seen and now understand exactly how government works. None of this charade we are watching has a thing to do with what is best for the people, or a long term cure for our horrible spending habits and lack of a budget. It is all about the blame game, and gathering up votes for the individuals. Quite frankly, they make me sick. It appears that they are dragging this out until the last possible moment, then will put into play some do nothing plan to save the day, and declare themselves heroes. We will be so happy they saved us from default that we will once again worship the ground they walk on. All of this crap you are seeing on TV is nothing but a well scripted play, and we are now nearing the final act.


ElderYoungMan profile image

ElderYoungMan 5 years ago from Worldwide

Great read. You are ultimately correct in the our Government has sold us out completely and they do nothing but run to and fro like a bunch of side-show minstrels. They took oaths to uphold the constitution and to represent our interests which they do not. But I'm sure you understand that holding their leashes are the rich and the corporations. Sure, those people don't owe us anything by oath, but the whole lobbying practice in this country is downright offensive. The policies coming out of Washington (or lack thereof) always seem to favor the rich, whether it's tax loopholes, no tax enforcement, you name it. None of this is an accident and we won't get accountability or common sense until we get corporate money out of Washington. Bottom line.

Elder.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

EYM - I love the way you think. Things would change rapidly if we put a bounty on lobbyists. We could call it the purging the earth of scum bounty.


ElderYoungMan profile image

ElderYoungMan 5 years ago from Worldwide

Amen OPM!


Becky 5 years ago

This whole situation scares me. Being that our entire income is from the government in the form of VA disability and SS, we have no back-up if our checks do not come. I know that Wayne will back his mother but our sons just got jobs after being out of work for 3 years. One of them has 4 children and has no extra money. The other one will do what he can, especially since he is living with us, but he has bills also. I am worried about how we are going to pay our bills and feed our daughter, who is 14.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

If the Boehner bill passes, the onus will move to Harry Reid and the Dems. If they fail to pass it, the default will be on their shoulders. If they do pass it, it will move to Obama, and he will be trapped.

As a result, nervous Dems are starting to back off the Armageddon claim, asserting that perhaps doomsday was a little bit overstated.


ElderYoungMan profile image

ElderYoungMan 5 years ago from Worldwide

The Boehner bill is a straw man that he has had to strangle out of the TP Caucus. No one expects it to ever pass the Senate and everyone knows that. Is that all you're looking for from the speaker, is that he kick the can down the road? This has become a game of hot potato now....and we're all OK with that? Interesting.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

These cheap scare tactics by the Obama crew were despicable. Just when I thought they could not sink any lower they pull this stunt. In a round about way they were telling us they would continue to pour money into the studies of butterfly mating habits, but would cut off SS and Veteran Benefits. Even they are not this stupid. There would have been such an outrage they would have been forced to pull all the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan just to protect Washington DC. I seriously doubt many of our elected idiots would have put their name on this decision.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is a very good hub and sure explained very well what the problems are and how inept all the players are in this situation. It looks like the bill is passing in the House, so now we will see if Reid acts. They are incredibly stupid if they don't pass one of the two bills. I would like to see the bill in Obmamas court.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...I think you are exactly right, Mike. They play out the drama for so long that everyone is just relieved when it is over and they claim their heroics. Then there are those people who pay no attention the news at all and will one day be surprised when all the lights just go out. Thanks for the good words. WB

@ElderYoungMan...Obama's ties with the SEIU, ACORN, and General Electric highlight the courting going on in Washington. The sharing goes back and forth and all of them end up winners...we end up the losers. Thanks for the good words. WB

@Becky...When things come to that Becky, there better not be any politicians in Washington receiving their paychecks including the President. If Obama resorts to such antics which I don't think he legally can, he will be committing political suicide. Social Security is pretty much a bipartisan issue as is veterans compensation...the public, regardless of orientation, wants to see those items taken care of...if they are not, then we want to know who did it. No politician wants to stand up and take that heat. Obama cannot be so stupid that he actually thinks that he can pin this on the Republicans. If he does, then someone is giving him some really bad political advice. WB

@WillStarr...In the political aspects of this card game, it is not so much what card you play as it is when you play your card. The Reps may be actually starting to understand that they are in a good position even though they do not control the Senate. No one wants to be the last one holding this bag. If Boehner gets his bill through the House and to the Senate, you are correct Will, the pressure will be on the Dems to attempt to save face and find a way to make it look like they saved the day inspite of those dirty old Republicans. Regardless, I don't see the majority of the public buying their point...that becomes obvious when you see how Reid has tried to gum up the works with a flimsy plan and the tabling of debate. WB

@ElderYoungMan...I don't think most of us on the right are okay with kicking things down the road. Personally I don't think this particular issue which hinges on the payment of approx. $30 billion dollars in interest debt is really a strong enough platform to support all the reforms that the right is seeking. At the same time, I don't believe that it holds water in supporting Obama's reaoning either. $30 billion dollars is chicken feed in the sense of the way Obama spends. That is what eh argument really comes down to...for the lack of $30 billion dollars, the President is threatening to shut the government down when, in reality, the argument is about far more, i.e. Obama wanting the debt ceiling raised by more than 2 trillion dollars. For now, I think it will come down to an agreement on some real spending cuts to account for something in excess of this 30 billion dollars owed and a conceding of a rise in the debt ceiling for another short-term cycle. While Obama would not want to do this again in six months, he may have to accept that reality and accept some spending cuts as well. Other than fear, I don't see that he holds any real bargaining chips. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...Amen, Mike...you are correct! WB

@Pamela99...I really cannot understand why the Republicans do not do more of this exact thing...stay on message, keep it simple, and keep hitting hard with it at the public level. That is one of their greatest downfalls over the past fifty years. Reagan understood that principle very well and used it to his advantage even when he was on the weak side of the table. WB


ElderYoungMan profile image

ElderYoungMan 5 years ago from Worldwide

WB-The real number that any of us need to be looking at is $40 Trillion. That's the number that the wealth of the top 10% in the country has stashed away. 3x the federal debt, the product of lenient tax laws and enforcement, the product of war contracting revenues, raided retirement funds and the bailouts. This debt ceiling thing is nothing. No politician on either side has anything to say about why none of that $40 trillion has made it back out into the American public in the way of job creation, business investments or mortgage loans. That's the question before any of us and is why I'm telling you as sure as I'm typing this, the bill wont even see the Senate floor. It's Vaudville and keeps our eyes off of the ball and on the performers. Your side loves gnawing on Obama. Mine...Boehner. We shouldn't want to do all of this again in 6 months and we should want them to get on to other things.


sam3m profile image

sam3m 5 years ago from New York

wayne, i'm a liberal, but must admit that obama should never had stated that checks might not go out. however, i'm not real happy with the gop whose sole purpose, it seems, is to get rid of obama. they were elected because they talked about getting jobs. not a single jobs creation bill has been introduced.

instead, challenges to abortion and union busting in the states has been their agenda. now voter suppression appears to be popular on the gop list.

i admit that the gop had a significant victory in 2010 and have a right to pursue their principles, but we need jobs not protection against the non-existent scourge of voter fraud.

the dems are no better.

i think publicly funded campaigns, six months long, without lobbyists would be the way to go. also, while we would lose a lot of experience, i can't help but think voting everyone in office out, and continue doing that until all of our present politicians are gone and starting fresh might be the way to go. how much worse could it be?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

George W. Bush was also a big spender, and we conservatives were mad as hell about it! We were asking if he'd lost his veto pen!

But Bush was mild compared to Obama, who is spending over twice that of Bush. That's why we are so reluctant to allow him to borrow any more money!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@sam3m, elderyoungman & WillStarr...I will address your responses together because it is all so connected. First, let me say that Will makes a very good point, I along with many on the right I know were extremely disappointed with Bush going along to get along with the Democrat dominated Congress. Initially, I think he believed that he could create a bipartisan situation but the truth of the matter is that you can't buy love. Sam, I agree with most all your points with the exception of the mission of the 2010 vote...I think the message was stop the spending and get control of the finances. The freshman Republicans are working that viewpoint but the old guard is more attuned to just creating drama and keeping the status quo after what appears to be a hard fought battle. The reason I say that is conservative do not subscribe to government creating jobs directly...government gets rid of jobs with regulation and over control. The private sector creates jobs..the government sustains the environment for job growth...government has missed the boat in that arena as Obama has expanded the watch dog force of czars through midnite appointments and has generally grown the overall monster of a government which only makes it all the more revenue hungry. Otherwise...we are on the same page. Elderyoungman...I hear what you say and I am concerned as well that we are not getting more investment back into America...here again, government plays into this role on both sides of the coin. I have worked for a large international company for almost 35 years. I am seriously thinking of writing a hub on some of the reasoning of how they approach business on an international basis...it can be a bit of an eye opener. On the other hand, when we hear of the type of money laundering that GE got away with last year, I agree with you totally...corporations are out of control in their ability to take profits off shore and then in turn grab government money for their "green initiatives". What kind of green are we talking about. In general, I am really please that we are all having this discussion and doing it in a civil manner without calling each other names, etc. America must have this discourse if we are to survive as a nation of many with a common vision. Thanks for all your great comments. WB


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

Got to agree with that bottom line. In a country where the power to govern is granted by the people, where the form of government is taught as 'of the people, by the people, and for the people', it is no fault but our own if we allow government to be run by elitists, career politicians, lobbyists, organized crime, or any other small segment of our country.

We still have the power of the vote, if we choose to use it.

Remember in November 2012.


caltex profile image

caltex 5 years ago

Wayne, this has all turned out to be a game of politics at our expense. From what I have seen is that no matter what kind of plan the GOP came up with, it was going to be rejected by the Democrats.

And so the finger-pointing shall continue!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

When Reid said the plan would be DOA on arrival without even reading it, he should have been sent home.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@caltex...politicians on both sides of the aisle are playing with American lives for their own benefit in the hope that the status quo can continue. As a public, we cannot trust any group or party to do our bidding with being accountable. All of them derive their power from spending...none of them want to give it up. When we coem to that realization as public we will sent every single soul in D.C. home and start over. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...Mike, Harry Reid is a disgrace to his own party and a traitor to his own country. Look around, you will not even find the left of the left defending his actions. He is who he is by virtue of his position. He needs to be removed from office and send home. He is doing absolutely nothing for the people of Nevada and lining his own pockets in the process. When a man's own son cannot run for elective office within the state under the family name...there's a problem. This man is a totally out of control rogue politician who comes as close to the character played by actor Ned Beatty in the movie "Shooter" as you can find in real life. He is a blue-ribbon, first-grade scum bag of the first degree and it is a cryng shame that the bast majority of good people in Nevada have to be represented by the likes of this slimy, scaled creatures who refers to himself as a U.S. Senator. The stain and smell that he leaves on our facilities in Washington DC will forever bear the odor of this foul piece of humanity who has not regard for real people and only seeks to better his place in life. A firing squad would be too humane...WB


caltex profile image

caltex 5 years ago

Old Poolman/Wayne:

I could not believe it when I saw that in the news. I was thinking, granted that was their plan, couldn't he have kept that to himself?!? I just can't believe it coming from an adult and under the circumstances.


Becky 5 years ago

What ticked my husband off was when a tea party member said that he didn't care if he was re-elected,he was going to cause the republicans all the problems he could. This was in response to 'Why wouldn't they pass Boehner's plan without adding the constitution part'.

He is getting fed-up with the tea party being quite so obstructionist. He thinks they are as bad as Reid is. In the totally opposite direction.

We would appreciate them meeting somewhere closer to the middle. This would have the effect of having them serve the most people. Balancing budget and yet trying to help the people have a better life.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne, I would guess from your comments that you have a slight dislike of Harry Reid?

One thing I saw on the news last night is really bothering me. Greta asked one of the dummies if they had used the GAO report that identifies Billions of dollars of waste, duplication of effort, and theft of our money. His mumbled answer would clearly state they didn't. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't this document have been the smartest starting point for discussions concerning budget cuts?

My theory is that had this report been used, the actual names of those responsible for much of this waste would have surfaced, and they sure don't want that to happen.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@caltex, Becky, Old Poolman...Mike you hit the nail right on the head. There is no desire on either side of the aisle to pull back the skin and examine the onion. They know what is there and they know what a rotten stench too much of it has. This whole thing going on here is just drama designed to scare the living hell out of the average American so that they will fall down on their knees and praise their God when all of these slackers get together and find a viable compromise at the very last hour. It's all smoke and mirrors designed to continue the status quo. Your husband makes a very good observation Becky. Obstructionism never accomplished anything other than making a political statement. When you totally shut down the bridge to the other side of the river just to make your point, no one wins and we all swim. Being a conservative, I am appalled at what is going on the right side of the aisle. These people have most of America and the facts on their side and yet they can do nothing with that except fight among themselves like wild animals hovered over a buzzard's carcass and in the process look like fools to the degree that many Americans question their position. They have literally squandered their position as if to say they wanted to do just that. Now we can give the President what he wants and continue down this merry path toward disaster. WB

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