Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pledge to America? 3

And what spending would they freeze? They don't offer any specifics, but their candidates (Notably, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- the Republican budget chief who has released a full plan for privatizing Social Security and Medicare -- and who was absent from the unveiling of the Pledge, confirming that many in the Republican leadership are reluctant to embrace his proposals), especially the Tea Baggers, are running on the old privatization of Social Security, and Medicare (and even the Veteran's Administration), you know, what President Bush tried to do during his second term for which he got spanked by the American people, and rightly so. McCain lost the election behind it. Just imagine an unregulated Wall Street given our social security payroll tax dollars. No I can't think about it, it gives me a headache.
Is there anything wrong with Social Security, Medicare or the VA? Ask vets if they would like their health care regulated to a for profit insurance corporation rather than the VA and you'll receive a characteristically vehement and salty reply. Ask Social Security or Medicare recipients the same question and you'll get spanked like Bush did, and if you're running for President of the United States you'll lose (and unleash the Palin!). Is there anything intrinsically wrong, or unsound with these institutions that Americans rely on for their exitance. Why no, there isn't (despite the BS "Social Security Crisis"), but Republicans want to tear them apart anyway. They want everything privatized. Our military, our jails, our health care. Most often these experiments have been disastrous, but the Republicans only know one trick, and keep pushing, and pushing for it anyway.
Why that is the very definition of insanity!
The American people have demonstrated time and again they are not interested in their social security retirement, disability, and social safety net dollars to be funneled to financial institutions that are only concerned with making profits for their top executives and shareholders, and who were responsible for the devastating financial meltdown this country and the world in 2007. The Republicans however are so committed to the ideology of unrestricted free market Miltonian economics which have proven a failure almost every time they've been attempted. But they are so committed to their corporate masters, that they keep on trying. Trying, trying, trying. I say one thing for the stupid bastards, they're persistent.
What else do they promise to do?
They don't bother to mention our military occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, so we don't know what they want to do with one of the most important issues facing the country. They probably don't mention it because they don't want to leave those countries (that would take away money from their military industrial complex, and contractor friends), and they figure rightly the American people, who are providing their sons and daughters in these conflicts, may disagree with the Republican stance on this particular subject, and that would not bode well for the Republicans during an election.
They also want to help small businesses by allowing them to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income. This is interesting because the same day the Republican leadership at the hardware store (a small family owned business) presented this in their pledge, they rushed back to Washington to vote against the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (a Democratic proposal) which would create a $30 billion fund to provide small banks (those with assets under $10 million) access to capital earmarked for small-business lending. Why would they vote against it? Because it's a Democratic proposal (and by extension, an Obama proposal) which may just help the economy just before an election. All of those who were at the unveiling ceremony for the "Pledge," voted against this bill, even though a provision in the pledge sought to help small businesses. If it were not for two Republican Senators, George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida, who broke ranks (Voinovich tellingly stated that this was no time for political posturing, and that the country and economy needed help, and it needed it now. It is important to note that Senator Voinovich is retiring after this session of Congress, and Senator LeMieux is not seeking re-election, which seemingly freed both men to vote in accordance with their own conscious rather than adhering to party lines), the bill still would not have passed (it did pass 61-38, has since been passed by the House, and has been sent to President Obama for his signature).
What else?
Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward, and cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Well we've already talked about this sort of. The Republicans wish to restrict spending while giving away billions to the rich, and continuing the military occupations of two foreign countries, which costs a lot of money. Republicans always say they'll resrict spending with budget caps, but they never do (neither do Democrats for that matter). As far as I know all TARP payments have already been made, and cessation of government spending to create jobs is exactly what the country does not need during an economic downturn. Stopping spending may be the reason the country will enter a second recession.
What else?
Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority. So what. Adding a sentence onto every proposed bill is not a big deal.
Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote. That's not a big deal either.
Provide resources to troops. No shit! Well I'm glad that's in there somewhere. I was worried.
And enforce sanctions on Iran, among other things. We're already enforcing sanctions on Iran.
You can see a full version of the "Pledge" here:
with pictures and everything.
For the Republicans, who usually like to bring to the forefront of their campaigns social issues that stir up their base, in the year of the Tea Baggers they've shown remarkable restraint. They hardly mention them at all in the pledge. Just a commitment to protect the institution of marriage (which I didn't know was under attack), and no federal money going to fund abortions, which is pretty much the case already except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
A lot of Republicans, especially from the Tea Bagger component, are upset with the pledge because it doesn't go far enough, or is not as far right as they would like it to be. I agree with them and wish it was more right wing wacko, for the sake of the upcoming election. Candidates Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell would ban abortion all together, if they could, even in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk. Fortunately, even if they were to win a Senate seat they would be unable to do that.
The Republican pledge would stop investments in clean energy made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and block new safety, health and environmental rules. "Rather than listening to the American people, the pledge listens to polluter lobbyists," says Center for American Progress Action Fund senior fellow Daniel J. Weiss.
Global warming is nowhere to be found, even though this is the hottest year in recorded history, and the artic and Greenland ice caps are disappearing at an alarming rate.
There's nothing about stopping the outsourcing of American jobs because that would penalize companies that outsource American jobs.
"The Pledge to America should have been called the Scam on America, because it does nothing to help Americans," states freelance economics writer Maryann Tobin, "unless of course they are CEOs of big oil companies, drug companies, or Wall Street bankers."
Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t stop funding, is to completely get rid of the remainder of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”
The President has also weighed in on the pledge: "The Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day. Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn't surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy," Obama said. "It is grounded in same worn-out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That's not a prescription for a better future."
All in all it becomes quite clear that the Republicans are not looking after the welfare of the majority of the American people, and if that is the criteria for patriotism, the Republicans are traitors. They don't care about the welfare of this country. They will stop progress at every turn if that is in the their political interests. They've already demonstrated that repeatedly. They are for the wealthiest of us, and large corporations who they want to work for after they leave the government. They want to steal as much money as possible from the public coffers, then they will be able to shield themselves from the disastrous effects their policies have wrecked upon the rest of the country. Party above country. That is what they stand for. They will never say that, but they lie. I don't think they're even capable of telling the truth. They hide behind God, country, family values, responsibility, and cruelty, and they only really care about and display the last. They are sick. They are sociopaths. They do not deserve our pity. And they certainly do not deserve our vote.

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