My Unreasonable Rant as I Watch Congress Make a Mockery of America

The next time some guy in a suit that costs more than my last car tells me that sending millions of public employees home without pay is worth it… the next time some woman in shoes that cost more than last month’s rent tells me defaulting on American debt is a good idea… I am going to scream.

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America deserves better than Political Fiscal Theatre from the cash-comfy.

I’m sick of lobbyists and legislators playing economic parlor games with my country’s sustainability. I actually know these folks are smart enough to create a win-win solution to anything America may face. And, it appears that you and I are not even game pieces on the board.

I am tired of being the airbag for these creepy people. They say they have the fate of We-the-People at heart, but all I see is cash flow and quarterly profits in their eyes. Their kind of reasoning might work on Wall Street but it does not work on my street. America is not a land of wealth builders, it is a land of idea havers, thing makers, and service providers. Apparently we don’t fit into the visions of globalization and world domination these fat cats dream about.

So here they go again, holding the national budget hostage so they can leverage something out of our hands that they could not take away democratically. Next stop, debt ceiling malarkey. Oh, they are great at inventing crisis and tragedy. Or fabricating enough confusion that we don’t know who to believe. This republic’s democracy is at the mercy of the new Gilded Age.

Shame on you all.

Now, any member of Congress who feels badly about this, go forth and do your job!

Image from: http://blog.wealthymen.com/preparing-yourself-to-date-wealthy-men-part-2/

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Managing the Debt Ceiling Is Like Getting Dressed

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Some mornings my son, now a father, woke up in such a tizzy that he wanted to bicker about everything. I fondly recall the morning he wanted to argue about whether or not he should zip up his jeans.

Watching the House vote this morning, it occurred to me that managing the debt ceiling is a lot like zipping: they both amount to finishing the job.

My son decided zipping his jeans was a good idea when I showed him how his pants would fall down if he didn’t. Just like the time to work through the “to-zip-or-not-to zip” question was before my kindergartner left the bedroom, it seems to me the time to discuss the debt ceiling is EVERY TIME we approve a budget.

What we do now is metaphorically wait until we find our jeans around our ankles, and then try to put the blame for our public embarrassment on someone else.

[Photo credit unavailable, I am sorry to say.]

Spending problem? I can help.

If America has a ‘spending problem’, somebody should ask ME how I think we should spend the people’s money. Better yet, ask me how I DON’T want to spend it.

Given the choice between those ‘Homeland Security’ people who make me take off my shoes, throw away my hand lotion, and walk through the “get naked machine” in the airport, or meaningful health insurance for senior citizens and the disabled, I choose the latter.

Given the choice between investing in first rate public education for all Americans, or the War on Terror, the longest, least mission-driven, and most expensive / debt producing war (with the largest private Army) in the history of the nation, I choose the former.

And if asked to choose between subsidies for corporations with record profits or the social safety net? Guess.

The choices are not hard if you say them out loud.

My postcard to the President

Dear Mr. President:

Now that it is down to Mr. Boehner and you to settle the budget squabble, this citizen asks that you do what we elected you to do. The people need to know you have not fallen for the “entitlement hoax” (that social security and medicare have destroyed America); that “The Entitled” are still the wealthy no matter how they spin it; and that today’s tax codes are proof of their “Special” status.

If the money people knew what they were doing the world would not be in economic chaos. The Special and their corporate-persons-not-citizens have profited from bad strategies, among them peace and prosperity tax cuts during time of war and recession. Their threats of job cuts and money hoarding need to be answered with resolve.

Your mandate is to restore the dignity of public spending for the public good, to resist tricks (like the assumption a 66 year old women can find a job), to allow the Affordable Care Act to save Medicare, and to put an end to talk about the undeserving public employee, veteran, worker, etc.

You need to respond to heckles that you should run the country like a business by doing real investing in things that will deliver genuine returns, like education, future energy, and American commerce and industry. Austerity is for losers. Privatization is for the conquered.

We are tired of being called names because we give food stamps to underpaid employees, designer tax loopholes to corporations with record profits, and subsidies for medically challenging food. The day of The Special is over. The public vision and will to “pay it forward” is back.

Respectfully yours….

Tax Cuts and Date Night

Parents know that when the kids begin to date, school nights are out and weekends are in. There are exceptions, of course, but we know that kids need sleep if they are going to try to learn something in the morning.

I say peace and prosperity tax cuts are just like date night: they should only happen when the conditions are appropriate. The continuation of these tax cuts during time of war and recession makes about as much sense as letting your kids go to a rave the night before their final exams.

And, as every parent knows, once it looks like the exception has become  the rule, you have a battle on your hands that you may never really win.

But when I try to be the adult in the room and point out the obvious about tax cuts (that the conditions are not right, and the exception has become the rule), you would think I was standing in the lunch line at school badmouthing the rave:  the “partiers” doth protesteth too much, methinks.

America Run Like A Business: No Debt Ceiling “Emergency”

Attention, people who want America to be run like a business! Do not believe the fiction about to spew forth about the contrived debt ceiling “emergency”.

This retired business owner knows a few things about running a successful enterprise. If America were my business, hunkering-down (austerity) would not be my go-to solution.

The first thing I would do is end discounts I could not afford: think tax cuts (discounts), tax loopholes (discounts), and subsidies (discounts + refunds + incentives that can exceed the cost of the product)!

The second thing I would do is realistically price my product (reevaluate taxes). After a decade of unfunded war, should we add a war tax?  And the Medicare D non-compete giveaway: should we add tax to cover it or reconsider that decision? There are many pricing issues to discuss, but those two alone amount to $Billions per year.

While cost savings are always appropriate, cutting back on the American product line before doing the first two steps is just bad business. Why discount and underprice America out of existence? This is a revenue crisis, not a debt crisis.

My recommendation to Congress: the market (taxpayers)  having received the greatest value from discounts etc. in the last 10 years is well positioned to absorb a cost increase. End the dysfunctional discounting practices immediately. Recognize the national debt as predominantly unfunded war debt and plan for repayment accordingly.

Preserve the product line: the American way of life.