Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is Congress Balanced?... Can a Spirit of Getting the Peoples Business Done Prevail?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA

The scales of justice. Or perhaps they should simply be viewed as balance scales. At any rate they ought to be on display daily in Congress and all congressional offices.

It might be just my lone opinion but Congress has been perpetually out of balance for years. Congressman seem to have acquired more of a taste for the hunt (campaigning) than for the work the people elect them to do.

I know, the last congress did work hard. Hard at passing legislation they themselves didn't read (most notably ObamaCare), or if they did they failed to understand their own laws. Most certainly they acted in all manners of irrationality and passed bills and that obviously have failed to right our ship or build a stronger foundation.

But the gamesmanship will continue.

Congressman Boehner (soon to be Speaker of the House), and Mitch McConnell (Senate minority leader) in a joint letter said... next to nothing. Or at least nothing we haven't heard many times before. These two "leaders" will soon sit down to do the People's business with their Democratic counterparts and, no doubt, proceed to blow all sorts of smoke. For they indeed live in a grand environment of smoke and mirrors. Not one bit different that that of their adversaries.

Of course, as we all know it's about power.

And so it is likely over the next 24 months we will witness grand displays of, well, grandstanding by the leadership of both parties. Lots of rhetoric, lots of finger pointing, and likely not much will change. It is don'tcha know all about winning. Even at the expense of the truth. The next election is just around the corner and retaining congressional power (and gaining the senate) is the goal. Of course for the Democrats it will be an all out war to regain majority control of Congress.

I guess its always been this way to some extent. But in our time it seems like perpetual campaigning has taken front and center. This being the case how are we to expect results and the change the majority of us want.

Here are selected excerpts from Boehner's and McConnell's most recent "lack of substance" statement.
When congressional leaders of both parties meet at the White House today, all of us will have an opportunity to show the American people that we got the message of the elections earlier this month. 

Republicans heard the voters loud and clear. They want us to focus on preventing a tax hike on every taxpayer, reining in Washington spending and making it easier for employers to start hiring again. Today, Republican leaders renew our offer to work with anyone, from either party, who is ready to focus on the priorities of the American people. 
Republicans got the message voters have been delivering for more than a year. That's why we made a pledge to America to cut spending, rein in government, and permanently extend the current tax rates so small-business owners won't get hit with a massive tax hike at the end of December. That's what Americans want. And that's the message Republicans will bring to the meeting today. In other words, you'll have a voice at that table.
We can work together and accomplish these things, but the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress first will have to prioritize. It's time to choose struggling middle-class families and small businesses over the demands of the liberal base. It's time to get serious.
Now we have a real chance to move away from the misplaced priorities of the past two years and work together on common-sense proposals that will build a foundation for the economic rebound we all want.
 Together, we can focus on the things Americans want us to do - not on what government wants Americans to accept. The clock may be winding down on this session of Congress, but there is still time to do the right thing. If President Obama and Democratic leaders put forward a plan during the lame-duck session to cut spending and stop the tax hikes on all Americans, they can count on a positive response from Republicans. If the president and Democratic leaders don't act before the end of the year, however, House and Senate Republicans will work to get the job done in the new Congress. But we hope it doesn't come to that. 

The voters want us to show that we heard them, and Republicans are ready to work with anyone who is willing to do just that. 
Perhaps you will be following up with specific plans as to just how you intend proceed in accomplishing your goals, and that of the people who elected you.

We'll soon see if there is sincerity in the words of these two "gentlemen." The rhetoric remains the same. The reality however is Congress hasn't reined in spending for as long as I can remember. Neither party has. Clinton left office with a balanced budget but that required revenues exceed expenditures. He enjoyed a bristling economy and higher tax rates.

It is time BOTH parties get honest and truthful with the people. As an independent conservative I am a strong advocate for limiting the scope of government as well as its spending. I say the same about over regulation that indeed hurts businesses. Our nation needs strong defenses, however we cannot continue to fight an endless stream of wars that is a continual drain on our treasury.

And while your at it Congress (and Senators and President) why don't you stop your support of corporatism that is breaking the backs of the American people.

Just one man's opinion. I'd love to hear yours.

Via: Memeorandum 


  1. What we really need is to pay our bills, and no amount of domestic, discretionary cutting will accompish that. We have real obligations. It's time the tax code reflect that and the scumbag rich start paying their fair share before our national credit rating goes below Willie Nelson's!


  2. Les: I don’t even listen to them anymore, meaning Politicians. I want ACTION, because THAT speaks LOUDER than words any day of the week! Yes, the Republicans heard us, goodie. So did the Democrats. But WHAT did they HEAR exactly and WHAT are they REALLY going to do? THAT remains to be seen.

    I do think you are right, they are more concerned with the “winning” anymore. It’s so apparent with the way they campaign and the way they govern. The latter doesn’t seem to be as important, which tells me their “position” is more important than the American people, the country and doing the right thing. It’s quite disheartening.

    I think I’d rather have common citizens running our country than these supposed brain trusts.

  3. JMJ - In my opinion the belief that the rich are "scumbags" with the related inference being they are a large part of the problem and they need to be taxed to death is just more political rhetoric.

    The tax code needs to be revamped I agree, and I have put my thoughts out there plenty of times. I assume you may have seen them so I will not go into detail here.

    As to obligations you are certainly right there. Beginning with the most important one one... the US taxpayers and CITIZENS.

  4. Pamela - I essentially agree with you. But... you gotta admit it is interesting and sometimes even fun to watch the melodrama of politics play out. Yes they all heard us, my thought is they are all "tone deaf" and have already started the spinning wheels turning. Which of course will yield nothing other than more of the same.

    The founding fathers envisioned we would be a nation of "citizen lawmakers", not the current crop of "professional" gasbags and shills most politicians and lawmakers have become.

    Call it disgust, cause that is what I feel. We can either put aside the hyperbole and address the real problems of our time or we can point fingers, stoke class warfare, (thew progressives are real good at that), find new wars to engage in to keep the MIC happy, and bleed the American people a bit more. Or e can find real solutions to real world problems.

    First we have to find what the "right thing" is before we can do it.

    Good luck. I for one ain't holding my breathe.

    Objective philosophy, politics, and ethics matter. But try to get the pols to understand this. Hell, try to get the American people to understand this.

  5. Les, many of the rich and well-off are not "scumbags." Of course, their also not the ones bribing our ogvernment to keep their taxes irresponsibly low. I never said that that all the rich were scumbags. I said the scumbag rich need to pay their fair share. And no one is saying they should be taxed to death! No matter what the tax rates have been in our history, the rich have never ceased to be rich.

    The obligations are entitlements, treaties, maintenance of state, the infrastructure, debt interest and overall management, the value of the dollar, bonds and such, etc. That's where most of the money goes. The majority of discretionary spending goes to our bloated military empire - and that's where the first cuts need to be.


  6. JMJ - Thanks for the clarification.

    Yes,the miltary industrial compex is over bloated, the result of the U.S.A being the world's policemen for far to long.

    I would argue entitlements have a potentially crippling effect as well.

    To my mind the real issue is, {and one that requires honest discussion}... the proper roll of the federal government.

    The chances of ever agreeing are o - none. The same discussions were being had 223 years ago,and they will be going on long after we are gone.

    Irrespective of this somehow we better find a way to resolve our current deficit problem, our shrinking manufacturing base, increassed foreign ownership of our debt, continued offshoring of our businesses... etc.

    If we don't we won't need to worry about the finer points. There won't be an America tbat even resembles the one I grew up in.

    And just in case your wondering I and my family are members of that ever shrinking middle class.

  7. We may be watching Congress but with districts gerrymandered to favor one party or the other in most cases, that's all we can do is watch. Be nice if progressives started their own Tea party type movement and started weeding out the corporate Dems.

    Jersey makes good points. The ultra wealthy like Warren Buffet don't pay much income tax because their income is derived through lower rate capital gains taxes. A CEO could care less about a salry as long as the stock options that are taxed at half the rates are the major part of the compensation package.

    The code is nuts. I was thinking of trying the Fair Tax if for nothing else it takes all the BS out of it. If it doesn't work so what. What we're doing now isn't working either. We gotta do something.

  8. LORD TRUTH 101 - I refer you to my flat tax plan, posted at this rational site. It takes all the BS out as well retains the progressive element up to 40K. Check it out.



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