Wednesday February 10, 2016
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I see that all Republican Arizona congressmen voted against the budget bill that the GOP leadership in Congress approved.
That, of course, brings up a question. "How do feel about the bill that was passed?"
In case you missed the 7 parts of the bipartisan deal made to avoid the "fiscal cliff" here they are:
a. Income taxes rates for middle class and working class to remain the same.
b. Tax increase on wealthy; basically a return to pre-Bush level, when the budget was balanced.
c. Cuts the deficit by $737 billion, building on the $1 trillion in spending cuts signed into law in 2011 as part of Budget Control Act.
d. Some higher education benefits in the form of tax cuts for middle class Americans paying for higher education.
e. "Production Tax Credit" and "Research and Experimentation Tax Credit" allow business to make investments in clean domestic energy.
f. Extension of emergency employment insurance for people who are actively looking for work.
g. No cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
I'll be right up front about my feelings. I have read WHY we got the Bush tax cut. In Bush's own words it was not to do something for the nation; it was something to get him elected. I was opposed to tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy then, and am still opposed to them. I would have drawn the line a little higher in a compromise, but I think that $400,000 a year for a single man and $450,000 for a family is okay. It would not have bothered me to see the tax cut done away with entirely for anyone making over $50,000 a year--including me.
How do you feel about it?
Do you think our congressman reflected the feeling of the people in his district?
Tom, I am truly disgusted with this Congress. I have reached the point where I believe everything they do Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, is just more political posturing. They are more concerned about getting elected, interviewed on the news or benefitting their own special interest group(s), etc. than they are in doing what is best for the country.
Act 2, The Debt Ceiling is right around the corner.
Act 3, Gun Control.
Or maybe it's the other way around.
Frankly, I think higher taxes are needed as are more spending cuts.
I was reading Nancy Reagan's book "My Turn" last night. I picked it up with real doubts that I would be able to read it,** but have been surprised to find that it is educating me a lot.
One thing in it that I find very revealing is a statement that when she married Ronald Reagan he was out of work in Hollywood (being offered no good parts). He was almost broke, she says, because in those days he fell in the over-90% tax bracket, and that fact was what shaped his attitude towards taxes when he later became president.
That's just a wee bit different from our current tax rates (and I'm glad of it), but I think we may have killed the goose that laid the golden egg by allowing Congress to get away with far too many unfair and unrealistic loopholes. As I said, I can show you in black and white, taken from his own lips, that George Bush only pushed his tax bill to get elected, not because he thought it was good for the country. It was a terrible idea, as terrible as some other ideas we have seen--like No Child Left Behind and other federal interference in education which is costing us half a trillion dollars every year. (Just think of it; we spend over $18,000 apiece each year for every school kid in the nation. That means one 30 kid class costs us $540,000. That's just more money than we can afford. We have to stop doing it.)
The trouble with the argument in Washington is that the people who want to cut programs always seem to want to cut the ones that people paid into--the "entitlement" programs--such as Social Security and Medicare. Where the hell do they get off cutting the programs we PAID for ourselves? How about cutting some things that AREN'T paid for by our own payroll deductions?
Does that make sense to anyone out there?
**This may come as a shock to some, but I genuinely disliked the Ronald Reagan years. I liked him, but not the nonsense he was being fed--and which he swallowed whole. When it came to international matters he was right on target--you have to negotiate from a position of strength. But his views on national issues were all screwed up. His numbers did not add up. When I came across Nancy Reagan's book I thought I would be unable to read about an era I so disliked. It was a refreshing discovery to find that I could. In fact, I think everyone in the country should read the first dozen pages of that book, and a few other parts here and there. They cover the assassinaton attempt. I challenge any caring human being to read them without getting emotional.
People get the government they deserve. Right now we deserve a "crap sandwich" and that is exactly what we have.
You know what the biggest problem is in cutting the budget? When the federal government gets mixed up in things where it doesn't belong and starts pumping money into the states, the states spend it. Then we see hundreds of thousands of people working for the states, doing jobs that don't need to be done. And we see hundreds of thousand of people getting degrees to work in those jobs. And when we cut the programs, guess what happens to those jobs and those people?
Take schools, for example. If we cut the special ed jobs that aren't needed, how many people will we throw out of work? Millions!
And so the "millions" will vote for anyone who will keep them on the job.
It means that when bills go through Congress to cut funds that will result in lost jobs, the bill has to include a section that says that the cut in jobs will occur at the rate of normal attrition. In other words, as people retire--which they do faster than you might think--we just do not fill the openings; instead, we rid ourselves of the system that created them.
Otherwise, since we are using education as an example, can you imagine the political hay some people would make out of cuts that were "anti education?"
In order to "cut" a budget, a budget actually has to exist. The current administration has not submitted or allowed to be brought to the floor a single budget since their term began. In all fairness, the POTUS is simply the executive and is not empowered to pass a budget, that is Congress's job. But the Chief Executive is also the leader of his/her political party and through that position greatly influences what they will or will not tolerate in any congressionally developed /submitted budget.
Other than that little submission, I agree with your points about the intransigence of bureaucratic trough feeders and the whole aspect of their "self-protection" mentality. Thats one reason I pointed out in another post that, if there are folks who really believe that those elected/appointed to look out for the welfare and interests of us "little people" are actually dedicated to that task, I have some beachfront property right here in Pine I think they'd be interested in.
Can't argue with that!
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