The Confusion of Politics Remain


As a result of the 2010 congressional mid-term election there was a dramatic shift of our national political landscape.

To the delight of voters there was a resounding message sent to Washington that business as usual was being put on notice!

In a nutshell, the political party pendulum was swung forcefully in the direction of the Republican Party.

In particular the subset of first time representatives who arrived with raving enthusiasm and unwavering support from the coalition known as the Tea Party.

The Principle of Ideology

Some assert that the sweeping victory of Tea Party candidates was a national mandate demanding immediate broad based fiscal reorganization, and adherence to a stricter interpretation of the Constitution and limited government.

Now in and of themselves these ideas and principles are arguably solid in concept, as well as worthy of healthy debate and careful consideration in the appropriate context.

The first major contentious flashpoint to the " mandate " appears to be the all out political warfare against raising the national debt ceiling.

Common sense tells us that managing ones finances in particular by cutting back on unecessary spending and keeping spending below the level of income or revenues coming in is absolutely critical as an individual.

Since a nation is made up of individual citizens, family, communities, local and state governments, the total sum of its parts should reflect the same reasoned and pragmatic understanding of reality.

In other words if we as private citizens need to balance our budgets and spend less than we make how much more should our federal government!

Despite that practical awareness, the notion of a balanced budget being tied together with the lowering of the national debt has never been a principle position of either political party’s ideology.

The feature to operate within the means of our national economic expansion and Gross Domestic Product revenue creation has been routinely partitioned into complete and separate debates.

Origin of the Debt Ceiling

This can be explained by taking a close look at the history of the national debt ceiling. According to the Congressional Research Service from the founding of our nation until just prior to World War I Congress approved all major spending for the federal government.

This responsibility transitioned upon our entrance into WWI. With the passage of the Liberty Bond Act of 1917 Congress authorized the Treasury Department to operate under a defined ceiling of public debt. The debt was secured with four issuances of bonds. These were between April 1917 and Sept 1918 for a total of 17 billion dollars to over 13.4 million Americans. Obviously times have changed, as we now face a public debt of nearly 14.5 trillion dollars!

Initially this authority was given in order to conduct the operations of the war without an over encumbrance between Congress and the military to approve spending. Later it was expanded to include other national government expenditures.

Without pointing to any particular Party culpability, Congress has routinely raised the national debt ceiling.

Since 1980, the ceiling has been raised some 40 times!

Including the following :

Ronald Reagan - 17 times

Bill Clinton - 4 times

George W. Bush - 7 times

Barak Obama - 1 time ( so far )

As a statement of fact President Obama has presided over just one rising of the debt ceiling so far which was in December 2010.

Therefore it can be said that Americas Presidents have a well-established history of raising the debt ceiling regardless of political party.

The Conflict of Governance

Therefore ALL politicians and their respective political parties have some part of the responsibility for the ugly set of circumstances we face with our national debt.

To be fair, the present administration did inherit some devastating drivers of the current predicament that were largely in place before he came into office.

For years and years under BOTH political parties have continued to raise the “ debt ceiling ” on a regular basis. When the economy was growing and expanding there was never the slightest bit of a crisis.

Just to be clear, as a veteran and generally conservative voting citizen, I agree that fundamentally America needs to get its runaway spending under control.

My issue is with the new wing of the Republican Party, which is dictating that spending cuts must be done in a draconian manner, while insinuating it’s their way or the highway!

I argue that this country is too big and too diverse for either Party’s total ideological one-dimensional solution. We need a strong, balanced and fazed in approach to getting such a huge problem solved.

It’s true we need spending cuts, and perhaps “ Obamacare” restructured and improved to insure cost controls. At the same time we also need investment in our national infrastructure, a vision for new job creation at home and across global markets. In addition we are long overdue for a balanced revision of our tax code to get our country producing and growing again.

Time to Compromise

In today’s modern political climate somehow the word compromised has been promoted as something that stands for exposure to vulnerability or danger.

As if all definitions of compromise are equivalent to a dirty word.

It is made to be synonymous with suspicion or lack of integrity as in
” there’s a compromise in the bridge ahead therefore we can’t go forward. “

I argue that the exact opposite is true in that taking a more comprehensive viewpoint to all those who have skin in the game is always the correct way forward in terms of navigating the conflict of governance. Compromise is not a dirty word!

My instincts tell me that the American people want to see their government work together and function in representation of the greatest country on earth!

We are all quite sick and tired of the status quo - polarized politics as usual.

Years ago when I learned how to type, one of the keyboard exercises we practiced was a funny little sentence which seems to fit so well regarding all of this…” Now is the time for all good men (women) to come to the aid of their country. “

Let it be shown that those elected as representatives of our great nation can compromise, come together and get through this impasse.

StayPos!


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Comments 26 comments

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Stay:

The 'Tea Party' won't compromise unless the Koch's, etc tell them to.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

TPC,

Well it's definitely time to put the whole county's interests ahead of it's individual parts!

I'm staying positive that it will happen :-)

Thanks for stopping by.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Stay:

The Koch's and the rest of the entities that keep that 'Tea Pot' boiling care only about one thing. Themselves!


TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago

Well put. The "mandate" was never about debt. It has and for the foreseeable future will be about 3 things: jobs, Jobs, JOBS.

This willingness to drive the US economy off of a cliff in order to sabotage the President's attempts to get the nation back on track is borderline traitorous.

Of course, as they say, the GOP's best chance to win in 2012 is if the economy is still in the toilet.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

TTanglewood,

You make an excellent point.

I would submit BOTH Parties’ should have their full focus on creating jobs and growing the economy!

After all the theatre has played out, expanding the tax base and growing our revenues is the REAL solution as well as serious cuts in some of our spending.

I would argue that a lot of what is labeled wasteful spending, is actually built in escalating cost that need to be brought under control.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Hi StayPos! This hub was like a Michael Jordan performance in a playoff game! Great information!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Hey Dex!

You had me laughing big time with the MJ analogy :-) Thanks for the kudos!

Let's all stay tune as our elected officals come to the free throw line and finally get this debt ceiling ball in the goal!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Good for you, a great hub, StayPos. I like your closing line the best. Now it is time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Paradise7,

Thanks for stopping by and kind words the compliment :-)

We'll soon see the results of those " good men and women " and how they govern on behalf of ALL THE PEOPLE of their country!

All the Best


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Such a well written hub, Staypos. I always enjoy reading your work. It's a shame that a compromise on the debt ceiling couldn't be reached sooner than Tuesday because it made people very nervous... but hey the sheer drama of it all made for great television!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Cloverleaf,

Well thank you very much :-)

It was quite the made for Reality TV event so far this year!

My hope is now that our elected officials will leave the sequel to Jersey Shore and the " whatever city " housewives of the moment!

Time to get back to the real business of governing and job creation here in America.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

D.C. has too big of a Koch habit going on. The President shares some blame for allowing this, BUT the GOP and Americans too share the Bigger blame. GOP for not allowing any compromise and Americans for their Greed! Blame is really; 1/3 President, 1/3 All politicians and 1/3 American greed. Great hub.


TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago

@ bobbi

I'd recalibrate the blame. 20% the President. I would have liked to have seen him take this fight to the mat, though I understand why he wouldn't. No matter how they obstruct and block attempts by the administration to focus on the economy, the fact is, the GOP will then turn around and blame the struggling economy on his policies.

60% of the blame would then be greed as greed drives the last 20%, evenly divided between all politicians, who are simply doing their corporate masters' bidding, and the population for refusing to accept the reality of what we are now asking our government to do: grow the economy, keep low taxes and lower the deficit.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

BobbiRant,

Thanks contributing to the conversation and the compliment :-)

I see your breakdown of the proverbial pie of responsibility is evenly divided into thirds!

I would tend to agree up to this point.

Going forward however I feel the President needs to communicate a clear and decisive message that he is fully responsible to reshape and focus the debate toward real job creation and expansion of the economy.

I believe it's a message that will resonate with the majority of people despite our “deficits “.

We need BOTH smart and strategic entitlement reform AND increase in revenues to include tax reforms!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

TTanglewood,

I agree with your point about the GOP and in particular the Tea Party.

They don't seem not too concerned with anything other than their dogmatic message centered on deficits and spending cuts.

They somehow believe that by focusing on deficits alone our country can return to a thriving economy!

History over the last 75 years disputes this clearly but I guess they're content to keep drinking their own tea to the contrary!


TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago

@stay pos

Follow the money. This has nothing to do with what they believe. They are simply doing their corporate masters' bidding.

During the 2010 election cycle, GOP candidates outspent Democrat candidates by nearly 2 to 1.

http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/index.p...

The truth is, the deficit only matters from a conceptual standpoint. Until it became a political issue.

As far as I'm concerned, the only real issue every politician should have been focusing on is JOB CREATION. Nothing is more important than that. When people have jobs, we would automatically spend less on social programs, and bring in more revenue. That alone would close a good portion of the gap between federal income and expenses.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

TTanglewood,

Good point!

There's always a money trail that usually tells the story behind the story.

One thing for sure is there's plenty drama left to come in this one. Thanks for the comment.


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

Well written. I do have a slightly different perspective because I have lived in two countries that ended up in the hands of communists. Most communist countries have discovered by now that by making everyone equally poor and killing off business leaders and the entrepreneurial spirit, it does help a nation and its people grow and be free. As a result of being a refugee from those countries, I value freedom above all and most Americans have no idea how blessed with freedom they are.

I believe that there are moderate Democrats who could represent the right intuitive brain and moderate Republicans who could represent the Left logical side of the brain. If the intention of the two parties were to be United as Americans, functioning as a whole brain for the common good of all the Americans they are meant to represent, then we would not be in the jam that we are in now.

It is a common communist strategy to used the blame game very effectively to divert attention away from what they were up to and I am sad to a remarkably similar pattern in the Whitehouse today. It sends up all sorts of red flags for me based on my past experience. Incidently I am an Independent because I feel that the two leading parties are so bogged down in the way things have always been that they are sinking the entire ship.


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

I thought I had corrected my error above... it is supposed to read; it does NOT help a nation and its people grow and be free.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

LuxmiH,

Thanks for the compliment and your perspective :-)

I completely agree that the entrepreneurial spirit is one of the precious attributes which make America the greatest country on earth.

We've been through some tough times before and by God's Grace we'll see our way out of this valley as well!


Mark Sparks profile image

Mark Sparks 5 years ago from Charlottesville, Virginia

Great hub, the point about needing to compromise is right on target. The news is sort of depressing to me, but I admire that you can stay poitive thorugh this!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Mark Sparks,

Thanks or your compliment and contribution to this discussion!

Just remember during the battle it’s always darkest before the daybreak sunshine!


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@StayPos...Indeed, Now is the time...

Nice job on this thought-provoking Hub!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Barbsbitsnpieces,

Thanks for taking the time for reading my hub and the compliment regarding what I'm trying to share!

Yes, it certainly is the time NOW to care more about the sum of the whole rather than the self-centered individual parts!

All the Best


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

StayPos

''time NOW to care more about the sum of the whole rather than the self-centered individual parts!

Maybe one should consider the government putting some effort in doing their job. Stop spending what you do not have and start cutting the waste out of government .

Two items of concern to question the government and the Obama Administration.

ALL THE TROUBLES HAVE BEEN CREATED in Washington.

1.Costly Regulations Cost Us American Jobs

http://www.gop.gov/indepth/jobs/regulations

2.The Senator Coburn Report July 21, 2011

DEFICIT WASTE IN the US GOVERNMENT see video

Back in the black, the SOLUTION

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tVJ2gqqKWs

H.R. 2681 is one small part of the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. Unlike the plan that President Obama has been touting in recent weeks, our approach does not rely on stimulus spending, nor will it raise taxes on job creators.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Jon,

Thanks for your comments.

Although not fundamentally my point of view you do make a very good point that our government as a whole needs to be much better stewards of our nation’s resources.

I vigorously submit that this entrenched non-working governance in our national politics is more about a matter of the heart versus stats, statutes and finger pointing!

All the Best

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