brotherpeacemaker

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Obstructionist Politicians

courtingtherepublicans

I once had a girl friend who told me that if I didn’t love her unconditionally she would find somebody who did.  That was funny.  Our relationship that lasted years was beginning to crumble.  The trust and common goals that we once shared had turned into mistrust and personal interest.  In a last ditch attempt to set things right my ex made the ultimatum to me.  Our relationship was in my hands.  She would walk if I didn’t put aside our differences.  I wonder what happened to her.

I see the same thing happening at the national political level.  Republicans are demanding that President Barack Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party bend to their will or they will not support the stimulus bill.  It’s pretty telling who is trying to be bipartisan or not when not even a single Republican congressman voted for the stimulus.   Granted the bill is far from perfect.  Even a blind man can see that.  My personal opinion is that if tax cuts worked so well wouldn’t those tax cuts that favored the rich people so much for the past eight years or so have kept this economic fiasco from happening in the first place?

But I also understand the need for compromise and to make concessions in order to reach a consensus.  However, at some point, the other side needs to make a compromise as well and do something to reach back.  To think that only one person is responsible for making all the concessions is rather hypocritical.

For years the Republican Party majority that controlled both houses of the Congress stood idly by while former President George Bush ran deficits that have ballooned the national debt from the considerable five trillion dollars when he took office to the ten trillion dollars today.  These people, and their Democratic counterparts, were complacent when the economy started to turn and jobs started to evaporate.  The foundation of our economy was strong and nothing needed to be done.  The stimulus of lower taxes was all that was needed to improve conditions for everyone in America.  More trickle down economics.

That was then.  Now that we have trickle up pain these politicians have become the model of fiscal responsibility and now want to curb our woes with more tax cuts.  I guess the theory is that if we give more tax cuts to people who don’t need them, they will be able to save more money, and sparking more investment in companies that will generate jobs.  Investment in what is the question.  With the majority of people already strapped to make ends meet now that retirement investments have shriveled up, what’s a good investment that will have economic returns these days, another Ponzi scheme ala Bernard Madoff?  Or what will be even harder to find is a good investment that will actually create jobs and not just profits for profits sake.

Giving corporations smaller tax payments doesn’t create jobs, it creates bigger profit margins.  Companies don’t hire people based on profit.  If that was the case everybody would’ve been working for the petroleum companies that were making a billion dollars a week last year.  What creates jobs is a demand for work.  Instead of giving a company tax break so they can be more profitable and making the gap between workers and owners even larger, spending money on infrastructure projects that will actually generate jobs seems to be a smarter proposition.

The last round of tax cuts that were passed actually netted me about twenty dollars a week.  That might sound like a deal to some but its peanuts compared to the deep pocket guy who netted something like four grand a week.  My extra twenty bucks a week won’t put much of a dent for the Peacemaker household.  The funny thing is that all things considered the extra four thousand dollars a week wouldn’t make much of a difference in the deep pockets guy’s household either.

But hey, like I said before, when you’re trying to get buy in you’re willing to make concessions.  I will be willing to give you this if you will be willing to give me that.  That way, we both will have a vested interest in getting something out the door.

However, when one side starts putting up ultimatums and refuses to entertain a compromise because they have gotten so used to having things their way for so long that they’ve forgotten how to give a little, it becomes problematic.  A lot of people on one side of the political aisle have promised to be obstructionist in the new age of political bipartisanship.  People want to say that they just want what’s best for America after being so negligent for the past eight years or so.  Maybe that’s true.  But after the majority of America decided to give someone else’s ideas a shot you would thing these people would get with the program.

Instead, all the bipartisanship moves in the world can’t get these obstructionists to budge off their position.  The way some of these politicians act you would think that they didn’t get the memo that they don’t control the two political big houses any more.  People want things to change and these politicians are promising nothing of the sort.  It isn’t that these politicians are not into Mr. Obama or the Democrats or the American people.  These people are simply stuck on protecting what remains of their political fortunes.

To make the steps necessary to help the new guy succeed would be like shooting their political philosophy in the foot.  At this point, these people have nothing else to loose.  Many of them come from political districts that would rather drink Jim Jones’ cyanide laden Kool-aid than vote for anything but Republican political representation.  So why not give ultimatums?  And even if those hurdles were met there’d be other reasons to stand in the way of political change.

Personally, I can see that this new age of political change isn’t for everyone.  Some people just don’t understand the concept of give and take.  The idea of compromise means that the other person is responsible for making all the changes.  I used to have a girl friend who thought like that.  That was a few years ago.  If what happened then was any indication, in a few years we might be asking ourselves whatever happened to those guys that gave that political ultimatum.

Monday, February 16, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Economy, Politics, Republicans, The Economy

6 Comments »

  1. One slight correction..3 republicans did vote for the stimulus. And the problem with bipartisanship not working has preceeded this administration. Since the election of 2000 put W in the White House, Democratic congress people did much to filibuster many administration and republican aims. The thing about now, is that to pass anything the democrats really only have to sway less than a handful of people from the other side of the aisle to punch any old thing through that they wish. Now granted, this type of activity has flourished in the last 10-20 years on both sides. My problem with the argument that republicans are being obstructionists to bipartisanship is that with the stimulus package (this latest one anyways)is that Obama’s administration is basically saying it is what it is, and there will be little to no change. Also, I have a problem with anyone (and this goes back to the last stimulus package as well) trying to push through a bill that is 1000+ pages and saying you have 48 hrs to pass this. given time constraints, and other congressional duties, the only people who could have read this whole thing in time for a responsible vote are the very people who wrote it.
    As for the tax cuts vs investment spending, both sides have their rightful place. I’m sure some of the tax cuts are just as worthless in regards to stimulating the economy as some of the “investment” spending we are doing.
    As for the creating of jobs…this is an interesting argument….because once the work is done on what some of it calls for, those jobs are gone again…unless we keep throwing another huge spending package at things. Not that I’m against infrsstructure improvement and expansion, it should be done, but it should also have been considered more in the regular spending bills. I’m sure, if we had been smarter about the first package, instead of just throwing money left and right at the wrong ideas in the name of passing through the “necessary” monies to save our economy, and we’d help to stop the massive debt increase we’ve seen in the last year or so.

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Monday, February 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Mike Lovell,

      But I think you’re confusing two separate issues. There was a vote to end the fillibuster that three Republicans did help to end. But the vote to pass the stimulus package was something that did not get any Republican support. Yes, there has been moves to obstruct things in the past on both sides of the political aisle. But things do appear to be a bit more dire these days. There is a crisis at our door and now is not the time for political payback.

      As far as the creation of jobs and the fact that jobs disappear once things are done, welcome to twenty first century capitalism. People are being laid off left and right to create a leaner and meaner job force. It appears to be nothing more than business as usual. In the mean time, while people do have a job laying down roads or whatever, there is a hope that the job that they have will help spark an economy on the ropes. The guy working on the road might use the money he earns to invest in his schooling after his contract is through. Or maybe he’ll spend the money to help his wife or kids prepare for a career. Or maybe he’ll simply use the money to repair his home, his car, or whatever. The money spent to repair something will employ the repairer. There just might be a ripple affect throughout the economy. In the past few years we’ve seen sink holes appearing in New York, levies breaking along the gulf coast, and bridges falling in the North. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. And no tax break is going to help repair those things.

      I firmly believe that we should’ve been smarter with the first package. The billions of dollars given to banks appears to have been waisted. But the intake of massive debt is pretty much unavoidable right now. The corporate sector is not in the position to spend. The public sector is not in the position to spend. The government is the only entity left. If the government is unwilling to spend then we are doomed to more collapse.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, February 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. I just wish they would die off already.

    Comment by Shabazz | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the feedback Shabazz,

    I would settle for them just fading away to oblivion.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. That is a great cartoon!

    Comment by rhondacoca | Friday, February 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. Proud white,

    Actually, I’ve decided not to flatter you. No one said Mr. Obama is a hero who can do no wrong. If you would take time from your personal pity party and read other articles in this blog you would understand that I am no personal fan of Mr. Obama. But the idea that Conservative misfits that have created huge swaths of disparity in this country are a better choice is an idea I do not entertain. If you want to continue having your comments published on this blog then you need to avoid making stupid statements about how I feel that Mr. Obama is a politician that can do no wrong and stick to the point.

    Your boy Bush has created so much animosity against this country, he has created huge deficits and has guided this country into the pitiful condition it is in now. Mr. Bush was an oilman by trade and you mean to tell me he had no clue that oil selling for $150 a barrel and people paying $4 a gallon for gas was going to have a seriously negative impact on our economy? You are telling me that the deficit spending of the past eight years has no impact on the future but lay the blame entirely at his successor’s feet?

    You are correct that the conversation about politics between Conservatives and Liberals is similar to conversations about race because in both, people have a tendency not to look at facts or issues of cause and effect but simply pull crap out their rears. And then to cap it all what was that final comment you made? We might not like the Republican leadership but they don’t represent the majority of the Republican Party? Then if they don’t represent you, why are they your leaders? Are you trying to tell me that you have been hijacked by some Republican minority that appears to have hijacked your message.

    And the next time you refer to me as a slave in mind, body, and soul, I swear will be the last time anyone on this blog will ever hear shit from you again. I will rip every dumb-ass comment you made from this blog and you can continue to be the pathetic piece of garbage you are somewhere else.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Reply


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