Fortitudine et Prudentia

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Republicans Are All In

In News and Opinion on November 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

The Congressional Super Committee(CSC) is serious about deficit reduction if you judge people on what they do rather than what they say.  By doing nothing, the bipartisan CSC has put the federal government more on  track to fiscal solvency.  Not only does a mandatory spending reduction totaling $1.2 trillion take effect in January of 2013, so does an across the board increase in taxes.  That’s right, the Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire December 31, 2012.  The totals of these tax increases are on the up side of $3.6 trillion in new revenues over ten years.  Add these two together with the $2.1 trillion in spending cuts already put in place from the debt ceiling agreement reached in August and that’s $6.7 trillion dollars in federal rebalancing over the next 10 years.  To put this amount into perspective that’s $2.5 trillion more in rebalancing than the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended.

But there’s an onion if you’re a citizen concerned about our federal Deficit.  We have elections coming in 2012 and neither side is content with the default plan, Democrats can live with the spending cuts though.  The cuts are serious and give them defense against Republican charges of Democrats being unwilling to cut spending.  The mandatory cuts are about 8% across the board to discretionary spending on things like education and medical research and about $600 billion over ten years to defense spending.  But as they stand the cuts mostly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  If the government stays divided then these cuts and tax increases take effect.    This is big win for the Democrats , not so much for Republicans.

By not being able to broker a bipartisan deal through the CSC Republicans have essentially bet it all on the 2012 elections.  They have the enthusiasm advantage ahead of the 2012 elections and they’re betting it translates into another sweeping election for them.  There’s more people waiting to vote Obama out than there were people waiting to buy  a $200 flat screen TV outside of Best Buy on Thanksgiving.  However, Obama still holds  an advantage over all the contenders from the right in heads-up polling.  Taking the presidency won’t be easy, Obama is an excellent debater and campaigner but unemployment most likely will be his Achilles heel.   Holding The House of Representatives should be an easier task  than defeating President Obama but Democrats are fighting congressional redistricting one district at a time and swear they can net 26 seats to get the majority for themselves.  Taking the majority in The Senate is going to be easier said than done.  Democrats can pick and choose where to hold the line but Republicans have to fight hard in almost every Senate seat Dems have to defend.  In short taking the entire government is going to be a broad and expensive fight Republicans and a targeted, attrition strategy for Democrats.

For the right the blend of tax increases, big cuts to defense, and the assured implementation of “Obamacare” put Republicans in a must win situation for the elections in 2012.  As a matter of fact it’s a must “run the table” situation for Republicans.  If they don’t keep the majority in the House, take the majority in the Senate, and take the Presidency the “shellacking” they gave Democrats in 2010 will have been for naught.  A divided government in 2013 ensures America lurches left.

Advertisements

Occupy Pigeon Park

In News and Opinion on November 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

My cousin was telling me a couple weeks ago about another cousin I have who, back in the 90’s, used to Occupy Pigeon Park in Brooklyn, NY.  My occupying cousin wasn’t camping out there for a political purpose though, he was there because he had no other place to go.

Income disparity is a real issue in America.  The top 1%’s income has increased 276% in the past 30 years while the middle income has decreased 9%. Americans living in near poverty is rocketing and opportunity has plummeted.  The American Dream is in fact slipping away for many on the margins and the future looks awfully bleak for the young.  Poverty is increasing, so is government dependence, unemployment is high, and education is expensive.  So next time you see poor, dependent, unemployed, uneducated kids Occupying some park near you remember it’s probably because they have no other place to go.