AMERICAN HOGWASH

(westloopbeverage.com)
(westloopbeverage.com)

By: Wayne Brown

The drama has ended for now and the heroes are lining up in front of the banks of microphones to offer up their legacy sound bites for history’s record of this potentially disastrous event in America. The government shutdown has been averted in a last minute compromise which could only be orchestrated by a group of lawyers serving in elected positions in Washington. And true to form, both sides won in the process and can go back to their constituents and tout their courage and fortitude in standing up for truth, freedom, and the American Way. Hogwash!


Let’s turn back the tape and listen to the rhetoric that has evolved since the beginning of 2011 when a new Congress took office with conservatives in control of the House. We started out with talk of spending cuts in the $100 billion dollar plus range. That number eventually dwindled to $60 odd billion dollars and then with the last minute agreement which save our government from shutdown, we end up with a paltry $38.5 cut in budgetary spending which likely has no long-term implications beyond the current budget year.


There are approximately 5.5 months left in the current budget cycle. Based on the originally estimate of cuts of over $100 billion dollars, we should have seen a minimum of $46 billion dollars in cuts for the remaining period. Instead, it comes out at $38.5 billion in cuts. The right side of the aisle gave away $8 billion in the compromise along with other things. Think about it like this…had the argument gone on long enough, they would have given up everything.


In turn, the healthcare initiative that so many on the right side of the aisle have decried is simply getting a “get out of jail free” card as it remains in the bill but requires a vote in the Senate to remain there. That pretty much makes it a dead issue which may in fact remain dead now. Those who ran for office in 2010 have seen their first big opportunity to stop big government go down in flames as the Obama-Care parade continues down Main Street.


One might also note that the right side of the aisle was demanding a halt in all government funding of “Planned Parenthood”. Now, this seemed to be an ethical decision based on the recent behavior of this group in counseling street pimps in how to gain abortions for their underage prostitutes. That one got bargained away in the backrooms of late night compromise and now the pimps and whores are dancing in the streets at the thought of not having to deal with that issue anymore. Who says Washington does not provide representation. It causes one to wonder who the pimps really work for in the end.


We have just seen a week in the media that was totally dominated by the drama of the potential shutdown in the government. We have seen news bites suggesting that a shutdown would be cruel and inhumane in that families would be deprived of income and food would be taken from their mouths. Of course the suggestion here is to say that anyone willing to go to the length of a shutdown to gain spending cuts is just a mean old bastard who wants to starve helpless women and children just to cut the government budget. Personally, I was amazed at how many of those sound bites made the air frequently throughout the week. Little seemed to be aired as to the impact of overspending and the growing national debt that we have. I guess we can blame the right side of the aisle for not playing the “fear” game on this issue.


At any rate, the suspense is now over and everybody in Washington loves each other again because they were all heroes. Now we can watch them on television next week in their fancy capes prancing up to the microphones and taking more than their share of the credit for bravely saving our land. This is what this group of clown lawyers do best…smoke, mirrors, and a slight of the hand. Anything accomplished in this process will be forgotten when the new budget term rolls around in October 2011. Mark my word.


This process has also set the stage which politicians on both sides of the aisle wanted prepared. In essence, their explanation of our budgetary crisis points out that the majority of spending in the process is tied up in what they lovingly refer to as “entitlement spending” as if to say that it has been so nobly granted unto us by the likes of those who are elected to serve. There is no acknowledgement that we paid the bill for it all these years…that would not be productive to the process which they need to play out.


The American worker and employer has for decade upon decade paid Social Security and Medicare payments to our federal government. This is money that by all rights should have been earmarked, side-lined, or invested in some form of conservative growth, for those who would need it as they reached that point in their life. Instead, we sent elected officials to Washington who voted to throw those funds into the general pot and spend them. Instead of having any money, we now have a pile of worthless IOU”s from the government and those we have elected want you to believe that it is your fault and under the auspices of “entitlement”, you really should have no expectation of your government to provide that money back to you. That is the stage that has been set here. Just wait for the other shoe to drop.


America has some tough choices to face and we had better start facing them in the next budget cycle rather than watching our elected officials dream up new ways to spend money that we do not have. Those who have already worked and paid the better part of their lives do not deserve to get tossed aside and forgotten under the reference that the government can no longer afford “entitlement” spending. Call it what you want at that point, but in the private sector, that is a Ponzi Scheme which is very much against the law.


The left is operating in a detached state at the present sitting back and letting the right side of the aisle look like the hard-nosed bad guys who have no other intention but to let the rich get away with paying no taxes and doing away with all social programs. Our President is on top of this heap with his more than arrogant disengagement in the things that truly matter to the majority of Americans who have worked hard and paid their money to the government with the expectation of trust. The right is stumbling around touting all that is wrong and vowing to fix it only to compromise for something less than half of what they wanted. Their only hope is that the taxpayer who demanded action from them will sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say that they fought the good fight. Then, it’s back to business as usual spending and earmarking.


I did not hear one word about last night’s late hour compromise that was oriented toward scaling down the size of our current large government. Never once did I hear the President offer to do away with some of his appointed high-salary czar positions along with the staff that supports them. No, they chopped $38 billion dollars out of a proposed budget which was most likely discretionary spending earmarked for special projects. When the next budget cycle comes around in October, those savings are up in smoke and the national debt remains at its present levels. I suggest you hold your applause for a while.


What an interesting game of shrewd stupidity we have playing out in Washington. We have a government which is basically devoid of leadership on either side of the aisle scrambling to keep their own elected hides in tact for the next election cycle. We have smoke, mirrors, doublespeak, and the absolute magic of elective thievery going on right before our eyes. Yet, we the American public, are so caught up in the show, we forget why we came to watch. Which, in the end, plays so very well with what is really going on here in Washington. Keep them entertained and they’ll be happy. God Bless America!


© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 54 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne, you could not have said this any better. You are so right that the issue of a bloated government was never addressed, which makes this a very shallow and meaningless effort. Most of the budget cuts were for things that never should have been budgeted in the first place.

No, this alligator is just in hiding and will soon be back to bite us all again. I hope they ordered extra feathers for all our wonderful leaders to put in their caps and strut their stuff for awhile.

Great job my friend.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Wayne you are right on the mark. The bottom line is Government at all levels is just too damn big !I was kinding of hoping for a shutdown myself. But I guess Obama can go on vacation now.


DannyMaio profile image

DannyMaio 5 years ago from New York

so true! another good one. right on the money!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Our government officials have become the circuses, in 'bread and circuses'. This is a very well balanced piece. You are on board that the whole lot of them are worthless and could not lead a parade, let alone a government but that has been going on for along time now. Maybe all our lives.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

"The American worker and employer has for decade upon decade paid Social Security and Medicare payments to our federal government. This is money that by all rights should have been earmarked, side-lined, or invested in some form of conservative growth, for those who would need it as they reached that point in their life."

The federal government is forbidden by law to "save" money. They are required to take in the Social Security taxes and loan the money to themselves by buying federal bonds, like China does. Then they spend the money on other programs and leave an IOU in the Social Security fund. When the Social Security program runs a surplus, as it has in the past, it's spent almost immediately.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

Well done! Here in Iowa, Gov Branstad has it all figured out. We've been wasting money on children so the preschools will no longer be funded. Ketchup is a vegetable on school lunch menus and the "No Child Left Behind" program was a nice idea but better to save now and just pass kids through grade after grade so that when they graduate, if they graduate, we'll have more slaves ... uh, I mean workers, for unskilled jobs. Iowa has a butt load of turkey processing plants and we ran off all of the Illegals. Lord knows someone has to do the work.

We all know there has been no cost of living increase in the past three years so, no need for any increases in Social Security for those who are lucky enough to still even receive the pittance they do. I think they're on the right track here. There are millions who did not have the luxury have "another retirement plan", or ti was stolen, so it shouldn't take that long to watch them drop like flies as they can't get their medicine or enough healthy food. Silent non-racial apartheid should take care of enough Baby Boomers to help balance the budget.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...Yep, they done kicked the can down the road one more time. Thanks. WB

@Tonyo274...So true Tony and its going to take some folks with some big cajones to size it down. WB

@DannyMaio...Thanks Danny...love fans like you! WB

@mckbirdbks...A three ring one with elephant acts and lot of clowns! We have plenty of clown material! WB

@nicomp...I have no problem with them investing it in treasury bonds, etc. as long as they don't spend it. Hell, if they are going to spend it, let me keep and invest it for myself. If they spend it that just becomes another form of taxation with a different name. What scum and what a scam. WB

@Poohgranma...The unfortunate side is that the government could spend another $10 billion on school lunches in Iowa and ketchup would still be a vegetable on the menu. There is no correlation between how much the government spends and the quality of the porgrams put in place...it's just another opportunity for someone to steal and mismanage taxpayer dollars. Thanks much. WB


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

HP has once again neglected me to send an e-mail with a list of hubs by my favorites authors (another glitch), so I have to go prospecting yet again.

I do not know what happens to elected officials once they reach “inside the beltway.” Are they all cocooned within some pusillanimous wall of unreality? Do they drop off their IQ’s somewhere outside the beltway before being sworn in? Seriously, what happens to these people? Great hub, Wayne.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

"The government shutdown has been averted in a last minute compromise which could only be orchestrated by a group of lawyers serving in elected positions in Washington."

That's the parade burning down Main Street in the crash and burn deCROCKRACY of our country and the world.

Meanwhile - NEITHER partyh will EVER take up the cross of an injustice system that has NEVER worked in 200 years. No debate here. It will be said wimpishly and cowardly, "well - it may be bad - but it's the best."

And what difference does "being the best" make to the falsely accused, falsely imprisoned, falsely tortured, falsely put to death...? Americans continue THEIR parade of electing the most miserable rodents that ever stood erect to the highest offices in the land.

If ANY country will put innocent people behind bars without conscience - that country is a sad cult and America is a SAD CULT. America is MORE IMPRISONED than CHINA - the most populated country on Earth!

America is a smoke screen. first and foremost on ANY agenda for ANY country is to take care of those people.

Without this basic premise and PROMISE 0 that country is FAKE!

For The United States VETERANS to make up the greater portion of homeless makes the Untied States of America a CULT!

If the United States of America has any relationship with God, it will recognize and hold dear the teachings of Christ that go back eons before Christ. We are to love the BENEVOLENT GOD! We are to love the neighbor as ourselves. We are to pick our brothers and sisters up. And- it is a lie if a man says, "I love God" and yet does not love his brother. Because it is truly written, "how can man love a God he has never seen if he cannot love his neighbor that he has seen?"

America will adapt the true teachings of Christ or America is a footnote in history. It's just another empire that will fade. God is real. Politicians are liars. Political machines are liars. We will not see anything new from lawyers. We have 200 years of their lies already.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - Good job of pointing out the obvious which many people will let escape them. That whole fiasco we just witnessed up there was political theater and bad theater at that.

Well done and spot on. It seems you have the tendency that I am also afflicted with - the ability to hit the nail squarely on the head. Excellent alanysis Wayne

The Frog


Stu From VT 5 years ago

BRAVO!!!

Great post, and song was out of sight! I should have been a Texan like you. I have a feeling in 2012 when I'm proudly wearing my "Bachmann For President" deluxe fleece jacket I'm going to be hung in public.

You nailed the budget "agreement" on the head. $38 billion of unallocated cuts, and a dozen promises to debate specific cuts (some of which they have already been debating anyway). Basically, it's a big nothing.

Rep. Ryan's bill is a real start. It really tackles the entitlement ponzi, and gets us about 40% of the federal operating budget cuts we need. His proposal is weak on taxes (just a few minor tweaks to the FIT); later on the tax base will need to be broadened (replace the FIT with a VAT or end consumption tax) so federal expense cuts don't impact vital services. But if Congress can pass Ryan's Pathway To Prosperity, they can beef it up over time so the official debt can be paid off.

They say "Don't mess with Texas." Please "mess with Vermont;" we need it. Soros is using it as a conduit to pass money from his assets to the socialist groups he's promoting. Why Vermont? I know this state is practically socialist, but it still makes me wonder. If these transfers are on the up-and-up, he should be able to make them directly to the end beneficiaries.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Genna East...Happens to me as well...can't figure it out. I get it on some people and not on others. You probably also missed my new hub "Mr. Bud" as well. Thanks Genna, sorry I couldn't answer your questions! WB

@Micky Dee...Preach on Micky! Preach on! WB

@The Frog Prince....Right on all counts. I am getting quite sensitive to the fact that Washington is willing to piss down our backs and try to tell us it is raining. Thanks, Frog! WB

@Stu From VT....Stu check with "The Frog Prince" above. He seems to have an inside line on why some of these things like Soros dealings are going on in the manner they are. My personal opinion is that I think we need to make Washington such a hot seat that only a "real man or woman" would desire to go there and take on the American public. We have been lied to and stolen from for far too long now. Thanks much! WB


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - I just posted the grades for last weeks fiasco if you want to take a look at them. We are "The Losers" in this whole pile of crap.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

WB -what a mess we are in with our government is horrible. I don't honestly know how it got that way. My taxes are higher than ever before (and I'm not rich!) my mutual funds in my IRA have dropped to a fraction of their previous worth, the housing market and the economy are swirling in the bowl. I think Americans need more education about the truth of it and not just smoke, mirrors and the practiced smiles. We are all going to be broke and homeless!

Thanks for your eduacational hub! Great job and lots to think about. I loved the video btw;)


ememstephen profile image

ememstephen 5 years ago

men, you write great and insightful political hub. keep it up


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I agree, political theater without the our best interests in mind. I am sick of all the posturing. Up and totally awesome.


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

I never thought the government would acturally shut down. Everyone just has to make their noise and no one will do anything about it until they have no choice.


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 5 years ago from Small Town, USA

At the end of the day, nothing changed for the little guy. Until a politician cuts his own pay and makes a change that I can see here in the real world, I will remain as unimpressed with our government as ever.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...Unfortunately, it is not as bad as it is going to get especially if Obama wins the office for another term We need some of your strong local campaign magic to stop that! WB

@emenstephen...Just write from your heart and say what you believe but try to keep it factual. It works better when they passion and emotions are there. You need to feel what you write. WB

@breakfastpop...They're all the same up there, some just cry better tears than the others. But in the end, it's all about them, not us. Thanks Poppy! WB

@SJKSJK...Just a soap opera they called Washington DC. No wonder Hollywood can re-create so easily...it's all just an act! WB

@sunflowerbucky...So very true. Give back some of those six figured salaries. Fire a few of the czars and get rid of their staff. Show us some real conviction to make things better...ain't happening in my life time. Thanks Bucky! WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Well I don't know about magic but I swear I have a big mouth:-)!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...No, not true, you might have a big mouth but you also are extremely attractive...that will sway a lot of votes on the male side. So...you have a decided advantage so you need to get to work! LOL! WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You know - first I love all you Texans! Second - have you had your eyes checked lately WB? Ha! I think you might need corrective lenses - oh or wait! No - on second thought keep whatever vision makes me look good:)! Lol!

I'll campaign for you if you run for prez:)!!!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...Hey, if this bad vision, make me blind! LOL! There's a part of me that would like to be president just to watch myself go up in flames attempting to take an honest approach to the office. America is sorely in need of honesty and decency in Washington. Nobody is hiding anything from us but they all are too much political cowards to want to truly address the issues. If they spent as much time on solving the issues as they did lying and kicking the can down the road, we might get somewhere. I don't think the majority of Americans will vote any man or woman out of office for doing the right thing. On the other hand, if you are doing the right thing and upholding your principles and you still get fired, my dad always told me that was the time to just get my hat and come on home for there was nothing else you could do for them that would amount to anything. He was a pretty smart man. Thanks much! WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

See! You would make a fine president! That is what America needs and my stepfather said that for years. If we wanted to annoy him, we'd start talking about one of the politicians that made him mad and we'd say nice things about them:-) it really made him mad! Then we'd get lectures about rockets and such! Lol!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...I love the idea of shoving a rocket up each one of them and blasting them to the moon...I laugh just thinking about it...great presidential qualities, huh? LOL! WB


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

A parasite loves its host until it grows so large it kills it off. This government it committing a similar suicide, but its taking all of down with it. Sad.

Good pen bro.

AND I hope those hails stones and twisters miss you down that way today.

- Harlan


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Harlan Colt...Dodged most of that stuff last night. The wind was a bit brutal as evidence by the tree limbs scattered about. Yes, the fed is sucking us dry by miring us in debt load. Eventually, someone has to pay the debt and sooner would be better than later. No one in Washington really cares...they are all too busy lining their pockets before it all falls apart. WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I have to say WB - it really cracks me up too - just goes to show you how we should listen to our parents:-)! LOL


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...Oh yeah! It's like one time my mother voted for Bill Clinton. I was hopping mad and asked her what she was thinking. She replied, "Well, he seemed like a nice young man much like you and I just figured that if he were half the President that you'd be, he'd be a dang good one!" I had to shut up on that one! LOL! WB


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Watching both sides take credit for that tiny budget cut, Wayne, when we are so badly in debt ($14.3 trillion, I couldn't stop thinking what are you going to do for the main event? Our country has a long, long way to go just to pay interest on our debt. Unbelievable!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Doc, there's no basis for any party loyalty on either side of the aisle after this display of amatuer soap operat drama. The America public should by all rights be disgusted with the whole bunch. But, of course, they will stand before the microphones and tell us that America is not disgusted, that America understands, and that America is on the side of those who are elected to office and trying with all their heart to find a viable solution to our out of control debt scenario. The bastards have the unmitigated gall to stand up and look America in the eye and spew that crap out over the airwaves. There have been public lynching in this country for lesser behavior. We have been lied to, cheated, bamboozled, hoodwinked, scammed, conned, short-changed, betrayed, treasoned, and chili-dipped and these damn politicians with no caring for anything but themselves continue to look for ways to line their pockets and steal from America...how long can we let it continue? I expect everyone of them to step up and offer a 25% reduction in their annual salary, a repeal of their exemption from Obamacare, and an immediate reduction in their retirement programs commensurate with their years of service. Those things and a bus loaded with all of them headed over a cliff would be a damn fine start on a new America. Thanks much! WB


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Hey Wayne, I just read your comment to drbj. Gosh Wayne, why don't you just tell us how you really feel? Just kidding my friend, this is a great hub and I am as disgusted as you are.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Wayne,

Regarding doing the right thing, that was the attitude of the Founders, especially Washington. The problem today is that doing the right thing costs you votes and campaign money. Ultimately, the fault lies with "we the people." Both voters and special interest groups make it clear that doing the right thing is an employment risk. Until the masses make it clear that the right thing is what we really want, the wrong thing is what we're going to get.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...Sorry but Congress has always really steamed my oysters. They essentially have had a free ride for years because America gets caught up in the Presidency and writes these folks off as nobdy while they lie, cheat, and steal their way to riches. It is time for all that to stop. WB

@Stu From VT...That's mainly because idiots decide elections in this country Stu because we have stood by and let these con-artists that populate Washington stuff their own ballot boxes for years and yearr buying voting blocks with taxpayer votes which they have handed out like candy. It is time to demand laws to stop that busines and get ourselves a balanced budget process. The only rason illegals are running loose in this country is because our current crop of politicians and our political parties are so woefully in need of another voting block of people who follow the formula of public welfare right to the polls. Those days need to be over and we need to keep firing people who cannot get in line and attempt to do the right thing until we find some that can. I had rather be fired for being right one time than to remain employed and lie my way through but that's just me. You are correct...America has to wake up before this boat load of idiots march off into history. If we don't wake up, voting will have no meaning whatsoever in the near term. The yoke of socialism will be firmly in place. It'S TIME TO FIGHT! WB


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Wayne,

Great response, my thinking exactly. Until we have both sane behavior by voters, and Congressmen without their hands out all the time, our major problems won't get fixed. VERY few in Congress are willing to take tough, unpopular stands that cost them money and votes. Some examples include Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Paul Ryan. There are a few more I'm sure, but the total number is very small. The reality is that we just don't have many true statesmen any more. And we never in history so desperately needed them.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Stu From VT: I like your thoughts. We have to get a balanced budget passed and we have to get some agreed upon spending controls in place before anything of a concrete nature can happen. The idiots in Washington know this but it would ruin their fun of destroying America and besides...that requires work...they would have to add more staffers. God forbid that some low-life Senator might sit at his desk and actually read a document prior to voting on it...and therein, we have the root of the problem. Thanks much for your good comments. WB


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Reading these comments and those in other hubs actually lets me know I am not alone in being fed up with what is going on. I believe the numbers of fed up and disgusted voters is growing and we may get some things done.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...The conservative movement in America is certainly that of the silent majority. We have sat back for far too long and let the Republican Party attempt to be that voice and it has failed us. The two party system has failed us because it has created a mindset that says we must choose between one or the other or not be heard...all a ruse of politics and the American voter being led around by their noses as such. We are a force to be reckoned with once we all figure out that there are plenty of us who feel this way and that we can make a difference. Afterall, that's how this country got started...people believed in the same principles. The time has long since passed when we need to "throw the bums out" and start again. And we need to keep throwing them out until they start acting right and doing our bidding as a public. It is time to stop pandering to unions, illegal immigrants, lobbyists, and the likes and start paying attention to what the majority of American s want. I don't want to hear another politician stand on a podium and try to voice what I want because it will be a damn lie. Keep pushing! WB


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Wayne,

Thanks. I think the real root of the issue is that Congressmen are just to concerned about staying in Congress, and far too many won't take the tough actions needed to solve our problems because they will be unpopular and cost them votes and money. It's not Congress's job to do what the people want; it's their job to do what the people SHOULD want. Really, it's a matter of leadership. Corporate CEO's, though ultimately answerable to the shareholders through the board of directors, are not simple drones who make decisions by shareholder plebiscite. They are paid professionals who make decisions on the shareholders' behalf, and over time are judged on their results. Congressmen need to start thinking and acting in the same way.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Stu From VT: You are absolutely correct. An elected official must know his constituency. He must vote their desires and do what is in their best interest but I throw a caveat in there...it also needs to be in the best interest of America...something far too many of them have forgotten in "working for their constituency". "I'm gonna make it real fine for the folks here in South Carolina but the rest of the nation can go to hell." There's no room for that type of thinking when you are in the trough earmarking those taxpayer dollars. We need a better way. We have to hold these people accountable for doing what they believe to be correct. If indeed it is correct, they should be able to defend in no uncertain terms rather than doubletalk their way out of it citing their exprience and seniority. Thanks,Stu! WB


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Wayne this hub is thearaputic to me. You said it all. The comments that followed is so reassuring that AMERICANS are fed up.....and are NOT going to take it anymore....

Again, I enjoyed another one of your hubs...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@CMerritt...I still believe there is a majority of Americans out there who subscribe to conservative thought and common-sense thinking who need to come forward and express themselves. We are no longer being run as a country of the majority...far from it, we are allowing minority opinion to rule the day, change law, and essentially dismantle all that our country was...how bad does it have to get before people speak up? WB


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Wayne,

Sadly, things are not that simple. The plurality (centrists) make up 40% of voters, and they are completely non-ideological. Although the right wing is larger than the left wing, the latter is more vocal because they feel more supported (the admin is on their side). I think the right wing needs to be less dejected and alot more activist. Alot of Obama's illegal EO's and bills were halted by citizen activism, including letters to Congress, calling the DC switchboard, signing petitions, etc. Of course, we didn't change any minds, but we did put reelection fear into liberal and centrist Congressmen. But we can't get lazy because we've had some wins. We need to grow our activist ranks, and each activist needs to increase the pressure. Instead of writing Congress once on a topic, I often write 3-4 times, and email conservative friends to join the fray. It will take many election cycles to obtain a TPM saturated Congress, and we don't know whether or not this will in fact happen. Unless and until it does, citizens have to apply the pressure directly. Libbys and RINO's in Congress can be slowed down, but it takes alot of citizens to do it. Unless anough people complain, the message just ends up in the "round file."

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Stu From VT...Achieving what you outline via the American ballot box is about like trying to breed ignorance out of society. It takes so many generations that those who thought of it are dead before the goal is achieved if it ever actually is achieved...such a sad state of affairs. WB


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Wayne,

I follow what you are saying. But the reality is that the ballot box and grassroots activism is the only cure. How we get there is the problem. Voter turnout is very weak, and real citizen activism even lower in scale. And people have short memories; once the "crisis of the day" is resolved, if it is resolved, people go back to being lazy again. The price of freedom truly is ETERNAL vigilance, by everyone, not just a few only when the going gets rough. Federal government is always a tyrant in waiting, unless it knows that the majority of us are watching it and willing to keep it within bounds. The ugly truth is that most of us are apathetic, and of those whom are activist, far too many view federal government as a shield, and not the potential enemy that it really is. This is why "potential" federal tyranny has become so kinetic. When the cat's away, the hens will play.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Stu From VT: Here's the problem as I see it, Stu. Washington and the political parties have always had that voting block of minds that can be manipulated as they see fit. For years, the Democrats did it with the blacks of America. Now, African Americans are becoming more affluent and thinking more independently as opposed to being caught up in that angry American race card thing. They need to be replaced. The logical choice is the current base of illegal immigrants. This is the very reason that immigration reform is such a hot item with Obama and company. The Latino/Hispanic vote is becoming a significant one. That factor can be quickly accelerated if we can get reform that will grant easy and quick citizenship and along with it voting rights. Believe me, that is a voting block that is not going to be on the conservative side of the ballot. So as fast as we educate the voter, he gets replaced with two or three more who expect that the government is the answer to all their problems and the situation is sustained. Obama has no desired to attack the issues eroding America. He'll do lip service to it and posture a bit for election time but nothing of substance will come of his actions. Pelosi and Reid certainly have shown their colors in terms of both spending and poor leadership yet they still manage to survive the ballot box. Pelosi getting re-elected, I can understand but Reid is running a shell game and he's doing it with the Hispanic vote. I fear that any progress which was made on the conservative side in the 2010 elections will be lost in 2012 because those elected have failed so miserably in delivering on their election platforms. I don't have answer for it all but I know we cannot continue down the road we are on and survive as a democratic republic for too much longer. That is quite troublesome. WB


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Wayne,

Most of what you say is true. But it must be kept in mind that the "progress" we made in 2010 is limited. We elected enough GOP's to block a decent portion of the Obama agenda for at least two years going forward, but we didn't elect many real conservatives who will fight for rollbacks of what Obama did in 2009-2010.

As I always say, the real action is always the center, because they have the plurality of the votes. They are focused more on jobs than ideology, so in this sense Obama will probably be facing an obstacle in 2012. But everything's relative. If a great TPM candidate wins the GOP primary, he/she may be too frightening for the center, leaving them with a quandary about who to support, and the nation with a big question about who will win.

If Obama gets a major amnesty before election time, say goodbye to the nation. Obama will get another four years, and both houses of Congress will become hyper-liberal out of a combination of new entrants and fear of the "new electorate." You could be looking at the advent of literal socialism, and the complete evisceration of the Constitution.

Stu


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Hi Wayne, that's quite a song in that video clip. If the American people can't have free health care, and the government wants to play with our social security, our politicians should have to purchase their own health care insurance for the rest of their lives and while in office. They should stop taking social security money out of our paychecks. I must say some of the things the GOP are proposing are a little harsh. Scott Walker and Paul Ryan politics aren't what we need right now. I agree both parties have failed us. Maybe a third party candidate will the presidency of the US one day.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Mimi,

What Walker did was right on. Monopoly unionization not only leads to noncompetitive (overly high) labor costs, but unjustly interferes with a person's right to choose whether he even wants to join a union and/or pay dues.

Ryan's bill, though a tough nut for many to swallow, really doesn't go far enough. It's a good start if it gets enacted, as it addresses a good part of the off balance sheet debt, and elminates about 40% of the federal operating deficit. But clearly the Path to Prosperity would have to followed up with more action to fully close the deficit, and actually run surpluses over several decades to pay off the official national debt. We need almost $2 trillion more annual positive operating swing than Ryan's bill gets us.

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Mimi721wis...Until those folks start living under the legislation they pass and return some of the benefits they have awarded themselves, we won't see any improvement. They are a bunch of fat cats who have created fatcat heaven there in Washington. It's the only place they can make more money than at being a lawyer back home. The opportunities are endless if you hold your hands out in the right direction. Thanks much! WB


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Stu, I know something really needs to be done about our budget deficit. Everyone needs to pay. It seems that Paul Ryans plan may have our seniors out in the cold. What's going to happen with them. Vouchers will not work. The wealthy need to pay just like the rest of the hard working people of this country. I know unions can be greedy. So can corporations. I want to see some of these dirty political fatcats get some jail time. I don't care which side of the isle they cater to.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Mimi,

There are three big issues, and they are very ugly. A real solution will involve alot of pain.

In order to close the deficit, we need massive reductions in federal operating costs. Roughly $1.5 trillion would need to be saved per year as compared to current spending. This would involve cutting about half of civil service and troop expenses. Big layoffs and compensation reductions are required. The Ryan plan, just vetted by the House, only cuts about 40% of what we need to cut. The Ryan plan, if enacted into law, would only be a first step in solving the problem.

We further have to pay off the $15 trillion of investor owned national debt. Factoring in interest on the debt as we pay it down, we would have to raise an additional $1 trillion in taxes every year for three decades to pay it off. We simply can't raise marginal income tax rates on individuals and businesses. Work effort would be impacted, and business investment which sustains and creates jobs would tank. Perversely, the government might end up with less revenue than they are getting now. The only solution is to scrap the FIT completely. A 20% national sales on all end use goods and services would raise $1 trillion more per year than all current sources of federal revenue combined (most of it is from the FIT and FICA taxes). I know it's regressive, but really it's more fair than the FIT, because use of government services does not rise with income. But most importantly, it would raise the money the federal government needs to pay off the offical national debt without depressing business investment and job creation. I don't believe the Ryan plan addresses taxes in any significant way.

Finally, there is the off balance sheet debt, totaling about $90 trillion. Most of this federal debt (special issue treasury bonds) is to fund the long term libilities of big social programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc. We can never even hope to pay this amount off. The only solution is to grandfather existing retirees, and phase out these systems out for near retirees. That way most of the off balance sheet debt can simply be abrogated (cancelled). I know it's not fair, because people paid FICA taxes, some of whom will get nothing in benefits. But any "fair" solution would lead to total national financial collapse. All the big federal social systems need to be vacated (terminated) after a phaseout period. The states can then individually decide what social safety net they want to provide, and fund it through state taxes. Wealth redistribution is not a power constitutionally enumerated in respect of the federal government, so such programs at the federal level are not legal to begin with. The Ryan plan does address entitlements, but I am not familiar with the details yet.

Stu


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Hi Stu, you are right it will be painful. I don't mind bearing my share of the pain. It seems the right side of the isle wants our senior citizens, disabled, children, and poor to hurt a little more. Some experts will argue our seniors will have to fork over an additional $6,000 in order for the wealthy to get their tax breaks. Micheal Steel admitted on Real Time that they didn't know what would happen with seniors when their vouchers ran out. There's also chatter about John Boehner and the rest of the Republican party admitting behind closed doors, they plan to raise the debt ceiling. I really appreciate the info you posted. Let's hope they all do the right thing for the country and all of us. Getting reelected should not be their first consideration. Who am I kidding?


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Mimi,

I don't think the right "wants" to hurt the disadvantaged. The issues force this to occur if we want to really fix the financial crisis:

(1) The disadvantaged are the ones who need the various transfer payments from SS, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These big programs have built up liabilities we can never repay. Thus, by definition, fixing the entitlement cost crisis necessarily involves reducing such support (so most of the treasury assets backing these liabilities can be cancelled).

(2) Although major cuts are needed to federal operating expenses, we obviously can't reduce the expense of the federal government to zero. We must also endure a tax increase until the official national debt is paid off. "Soaking the rich" via FIT hikes would backfire: investment would be curtailed because ROI's would shrink, leading to more unemployment, and perversely, less government revenue (because the tax base would shrink). The only solution is to raise the tax base. Scrapping the FIT and FICA in favor of an approximately 20% national sales tax would raise $1 trillion more per year than the current FIT and FICA tax combined. Admittedly, it would shift some ultimate tax burden from the wealthier to the less wealthy, but (in combination with major federal operating expense cuts) it would raise the money we need to liquidate the official debt (over several decades) without causing job losses.

Stu

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