- Politics and Social Issues
One Progressive Viewpoint: The Week in Review September 4-11, 2011
On the eve of that dark 10th year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks against this country, it has also been an active week politically. We have witnessed a major debate between Republican presidential hopefuls and received an address from President Barack Obama regarding the unemployment crisis
The GOP Debates
Being a progressive, I naturally did not care much for any one of the GOP contenders on stage last September 7th. I still enjoy seeing the how the other side reasons and how much and to what extent the ‘red meat’ will be thrown to the cheering crowds. I heard most of the same stuff I always hear from them but from among them four had comments and stances that were noteworthy.
Ron Paul: It is no wonder that after the debates he seemed to poll so well among a random selection of viewers. I could never tolerate his desire to take the American economy back to a nineteenth century model reminiscent of Jay Gould and J.P. Morgan which is sheer fantasy. He did have a great line, though. In an exchange with Texas Governor Rick Perry, Mr. Paul actually tarnished the armor of Ronald Reagan by saying that he had a ‘falling out’ with Reagan over his policy of deficit spending during his term of office. All the candidates were so keen in reminded us how much like Reagan they were. Well, so much for their hero’s legacy of smaller government and lower taxes. I believed that he caught Perry totally unprepared. This libertarian is a man of principle and not of politics and in a different reality I could support him.
Mitt Romney: He seemed to have the standard GOP plan with his disappointedly bland and pedantic style. But as I have read, it appears that Romney needs to calculate the effect of his policies on the economy prior to bringing them to a public forum instead of saying the details are not ‘fleshed out’ yet. Anybody can pull things out from their rear end. What is the basis of your program and what evidence do you have that it would work, besides your throwing your business experience credentials at me?
Rick Perry: The last thing we need is another swaggering Texan in the White House. He is both brash and bold in his commentary as shown in the debates. But he is foolish if he thinks that Social Security is a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ as he said during the exchange. There are millions of people that rely on this ‘Ponzi Scheme’ and they are elderly and a very reliable voting block. He may very well have put the last nail into his coffin and can be referred to as a ‘dead man walking’. It is interesting how little I hear about the Government’s dipping into the ‘cookie jar’, the lockbox that was to remain inviolate, as a fall back for its budget shortfalls. That applies to both political parties. Maybe we would not be in the position with the fund today if those responsible for its protection had done their jobs. I and the press are very interested in dissecting the components of Perry’s job creation miracle in Texas, and I am sure to hear from the pundits soon.
Jon Huntsman: If I have to live with a GOP as president in 2013, he would be my preferred choice as the moderate among the group. He seems to recognize the need for bi-partisanship and that radical rightwing approaches are not going to attract many to his message. But because he is a moderate and a Mormon, as is Romney, it may be difficult for him to get past the evangelical wing of the party.
The President’s Address to Congress and the Nation: The American Jobs Act.
I wish that the President had come up with this sooner. It still may be too little, too late.
The most important thing about this address is that it puts the conservatives’ and Republicans’ feet to the fire with a stern admonishment that he, the President, intends to make the case for jobs over cryptic ideology throughout the nation. Now the lines can be clearly drawn as to who is for more jobs and a growing economy and who wants to play political games. He needs to go far, wide and often to make this distinction clear in the minds of the voters. The GOP is put on the defensive, for as the President suggests, are we going to wait 14 months until all the stars are in alignment?
Accomodating the Absurd
I am not Economic scholar, nor do I claim to be. I did, however, take a basic Economic 101 course. It seems like the issue here is stimulating DEMAND. People needs jobs to put money in their pockets which through their spending for goods and services across the economy, stimulates and drives the desire for business to expand its hiring to meet the increased demand. The work, as part of the jobs program, that is to be done is not ‘make work’. Granted, it is probably simplistic and is an imperfect model, but let’s see what the conservatives are saying?
We all have heard of the 2 trillion dollars that are available within the coffers of Corprorate America. Corporations, large businesses, have done very well despite the downturn that is affecting the rest of us. The GOP, both the presidential contenders and those in congress seem to imply that business is waiting for a ‘favorable investment climate’. So what is this favorable investment climate? In order to be showered with the largesse from Corporate America and the well heeled plutocrats, the rest of us will be asked to give the very shirts from out backs in exchange. Cut regulations, this will naturally cut into our expectations that the Government look out for our interests in regards to safety, health and fairness in the market place. Do you think that the business interests are going to see to this without government oversight? That is like asking the fox to guard the hen house, totally absurd. The other side of this is that they want to reduce corporate taxes on themselves as an impediment to their desire to invest in the economy. As I have said in previous hubs, there is a fundamental difference between their tax rate and what they actually pay based on subsidies and exemptions. They are crying ‘wolf’ again, hoping the American taxpayer will give them everything they want in exchange for a crumb from their table of bounty. If we accommodate them totally, then they might, just might, open the floodgates a little. Accomodating them would be synonomous with destroying the middle class and its prospects for a fair economic environment. I say that if there is sufficient demand created by people with money in their pockets, those waiting for the ‘ideal economic environment’ will find that the time to expand is now. I and the American people with not be held for ransom by Thurston Howell and his scurvy crew. I also do not hear enough from them outside of flatenning the tax code as to how to use it to encourage investment in our citizens and slow the flood of jobs and tax revenue elsewhere. So, I guess that I am supposed to wait 14 months for these all American business entities to find in their conscience the desire to invest and support the American worker. Why should they, when they can get labor for $20.00 a week, compared with $20.00 an hour when outsourcing abroad? I don’t believe that they have any intention of returning but would rather instead milk the American taxpayer for all he or she is worth. The Republicans are truly the American version of the “House of Lords” if they think that the ‘man in the street’ is going to buy into all of this. That is what the President’s job is now, to get the word out as to the choice between two clearly different courses of action.