Archive for February, 2011
Like a Thief in the Night the House GOP passed a budget resolution that would cut 60 billion dollars.
But let’s be clear; this is a dog and pony show. This is an ideological document not a fiscal document.
They are using this economic lapse as a way to eliminate low-income and public interest programs at the expense of our national security. None of the cuts would address our long-term national debt. If they were really interested in curbing long-term debt than they would not have held the process hostage last December when “The Bush Tax Cuts” were set to expire. Instead they bullied Obama into signing an extension of these cuts to the rich that they didn’t ask for and didn’t need.
None of these cuts are going to help us compete against upstarts like India and China;
The “New GOP” doesn’t care about long-term investment in public education. If they did they would not be gutting our public schools of monies that they need in order to pay their teachers, aids and staff. I went to a public school. The teachers busted their ass everyday. The only reason I got into the college I did was because of the public school that I went to. Class sizes were manageable, competition was evident and property taxes were elevated. It all made sense. The ‘New GOP” mentality is Education is a privilege not a right. If you can afford it than you must really deserve it. If you can’t than here are some leftover scraps. They turned the health care debate into the same mirage. If you are at a job where health benefits exist than it’s because what you’re doing is worthy. If not than suck it up.
None of these cuts will help create new job sectors;
Under their proposal job training would be cut by 3 billion dollars. We have 10% unemployment with many more underemployed. Most of these workers have skills for jobs that no longer exist in this country. These people are angry, afraid and desperate. They need outlets to be able to start building again, use their hands again, feel competent again. In a functional America we would be re-educating this individuals for a better existence. Instead our media prays on the plight of the unemployed by trying to blame others for taking their jobs or whining about why the recovery hasn’t taken hold yet. These new jobs are not going to be created out of thin air. The government has to provide investment in new technologies (solar, wind, battery) in order for private enterprise to take hold of it and mold it to fit the 21st century.
None of these cuts will help us get out of the foreign wars that we are bogged down in.
For the first time in history we have not raised taxes in times of war. During World War II we raised nearly half the money through taxes. Its called “shared sacrifice.” If the war really means that much, if it is that imperative to our national security than call upon the American people to bankroll it. If it’s in our long-term interest than it should be a sound investment. At the same time the American people would be a lot more in tune with what is actually going on in these wars. Why? Because it’s our money that is being spent. The “New GOP” budget does not touch one single cent of military spending which makes up a large part of our budget.
It’s okay to borrow incessantly for wars that we have no hope of getting out of but long-term investment in education and job training for those who have been unemployed is unacceptable for the “New GOP.”
Tommorow I will be heading down to Representative’s Grijalva’s office to sit down for a one on one discussion.
I plan on asking him if we will need to go through another civil rights movement in order to have meaningful immigration reform.
Will the Legal Latino Community have to lead on this issue and educate the undocumented in order to start the process at the local level.
Who are the major local leaders in Southern Arizona who will be the voices of reason in a volatile state?
Also, what are the underlying economic issues that keep inflaming the immigration debate by making it full of invective and raw emotion….
Please enter your queries all day today.
The man who will save the Republican Party? This is a mystery to me.
Is it because a neighboring Governor is seeking advice for him about balancing the budget? Is it because he doesn’t have the political track record that say Romney does? His state doesn’t have the credit rating that Pawlenty’s does. He has served about the same amount of time as Governor of the Garden State as Palin did in Alaska. Why is he credible…
The truth is the Republicans are trying to find an “electable” candidate that can appeal to Northeastern Rhino Republicans, racist, gun touting, bible thumping southern Conservatives, and scared old white Midwestern Snow Birds…..good luck.
Mabye if Christie had completed a full term in office and there was legitimate private/public sector growth in the Garden State and he was able to bring down budget deficits without destroying people s pensions than he would be viable to Northeastern Rhino’s.
Mabye if Christie believed that Nascar was king and Obama was not born in this country and that he was a Muslim he could appeal to the Southern Conservative Wing.
And mabye if he promised to never raise property taxes and build a fence around the southwestern border of this country and detained all 12 million undocumented workers in this country he could get the Snow Bird vote.
That’s a lot of elasticity for a man whose waist line is already maxed out. It’s hard being a Republican these days….at least one who wants to get elected.
Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 at the hands of extreme Islamists who wanted to turn Egypt into a theocracy. Conventional wisdom by beltway cognoscenti was that we had just lost a great alley and that threats in the region (Libya) were the most likely perpetrators. What further complicated diplomatic efforts in ’81 was the fact that the arms race was beginning to heat up between us and the Soviets and it was believed (rightfully so) that the USSR was in fact aiding those regimes who were anti-Israel. It was a game of chess between the two great puppet masters.
As I watch the way our media covered the events of that early October tragedy I am struck by how similar the tone was than as it is now about how Egypt would transition to power. Our government was clearly concerned about the power vacuum that was created by Sadat’s murder. What forces would coalesce and form a new government? Was Mubarak loyal to the U.S. and could he be a trusted to provide sufficient protection to Israel? Thirty years later as we watch Mubarek slowly relinquish his power those questions have been answered. Still, it is interesting to see how history moves in cycles. Whereas before you had a revolutionary group take out a pro-Israeli leader (Sadat) now you have demonstrations by the people of Egypt themselves who have forged ahead (with the help of a non-antagonistic military) to demand the removal of a stoic and out-of-touch autocrat. Still the anxieties of our nation still exist about implementation, execution and philosophy.
Still the Washington Press Corp was honest in their critique of the situation. They expressed U.S. ties to Egypt in very transparent and open terms. They acknowledged that we had a robust economic pact with the Egyptians and in order to help the transition to power we must sell them weapons to keep them on our side. Pols both Democratic and Republican alike were effusive in their praise of Sadat’s government and steadfast in their believe that the weapons pact that had been on the table should be pushed through immediately. In todays media blitz I am not sure if our elected officials would be so direct and blunt in their assessment of the situation. They would be concerned that their words would be mis-construed or taken out of context causing them long-term political peril.
What ever happened to the war tax? We had one during WW I although it was called the “Revenue Act” of 1917. During WW II we raised $168 Billion for the effort through taxes (the entire cost of the war was 304 Billion). We raised the rest of the money through long term low interest bonds that were first bought by “civic leaders” and the public than followed suit. Because the interest rates were extremely low there was no quick incentive to cash them out until after the war.
As we entered the 21st century the Bush administration got us into 2 wars; first Afghanistan and than Iraq. In both cases we did not raise taxes but in fact cut them. There was a very deliberate reason for this. If no public “investment” was made in these wars than the people would be more desensitized to the efforts abroad. Think about it; if the government told its people that the war they wanted to engage in was worth the weight than they would ask the public to sacrifice as well. If they told the country that it was such a worthy cause that they were going to implement a “war tax” than the people could than determine if it really was “worth” it to go to war. If they decided it was than the people would be much more interested in the decisions being made by policy wonks domestically and the military abroad. Why? Because it would be their money being spent on these decision. If you decided to invest a substantial amount of your own money in a stock would you ignore that stock for 9 years? Absolutely not. Well that’s exactly what we did in Afghanistan from 2003-2009. Only after Obama came into office did he refocus our efforts on that area (And he still didn’t raise taxes).
I kept hearing pundits saying, “are these the forgotten wars,” or “they don’t even show up on the front page of the newspapers anymore.” There was a reason for that. Our government never asked for a commitment from the country. A commitment that was worthy of the wars themselves. Instead we have sent an all-volunteer fighting force of poor whites and minorities to fight on behalf of a puffy, latte drinking, Lehman brothers, oil spilling, lethargic moribund country. Now were stuck in two wars that are being paid for by China who has not problem letting our soldiers die as long as were dealing with Jihads in their backyard. Who’s gonna take the weight?
I was watching a Hunter S. Thompson video the other day and I realized that there are no headcases left to counteract the rigidity of our nation. Why are regions of this country being starved of public education?Answers to these questions and more on The Jake Feinberg Show…