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Friday, January 16, 2009

Crisis, Republicrats, and "Change" Elites Can Believe In

As the saying goes, I don't come around here much any more. It's not for lack of interest. To the contrary, my interest in the political health and happenings is as strong as ever. Certain things beyond my control limit my ability to write. So you might say I'd have to get fairly fired up to print anything.

No one was more pleased on November 4th last year to see Barack Obama win the presidency. For, like many, I believed. I believed an unprecedented crisis called for a cessation of "more of the same." The nation simply can't afford it. I repeatedly said that if Barack Obama turns out to be another Bill Clinton; we're screwed. Not since March of 1933, when Herbert Hoover handed a flaming torch to Franklin Roosevelt has there been such a stark choice put before those who govern.

That is, play the same game, side-tracking onto issues that fit an ideology, or really DO something about the steady, corrosive dismantling of the middle class in America. The people of the United States do not have the luxury of pretending that this whole mess is just a little hiccup on the road to "recovery"...that is, recovering the status quo prior to the economic collapse in September 2008. In fact, the collapse was nothing more than the end result of 40 years of separating politics from economics.

Mr. Obama has not even assumed the office of president, and already the signs are there of the choice being made. Same 'ole same 'ole....throw the old bums out; put the new bums in, as Stephen King put it once. The first is the S-CHIP program, voted on this week. It involves a $33 billion dollar budget for a very laudable and worthy program. However, in light of current events there is something disconcerting about depending so strongly upon tobacco taxes.

S-CHIP will benefit those of lower incomes who make too much for Medicaid yet not enough to afford private insurance. Congress (and the new President) are ensuring an extension and expansion of S-CHIP by levying a huge tax increase on the lower economic strata. It's simply a fact that most smokers are not well off; in fact most are not far above or are below the poverty line. But smoking is evil, etc., and that's just too bad. After all, it's .....FOR THE CHILDREN!!

So our new government is going to transfer a huge amount of money from the bottom and to the bottom. Now that is an exchange any Wall Street banker can believe in.

Additionally, President-elect Obama is making noises about "fiscal responsibility" that involve Social Security and Medicare. Granted, Medicare is a mess, especially after that ridiculously irresponsible "drug benefit" launched by an idiot president and an equally idiotic congress.

But Social Security has been stolen from EVERY YEAR since the mid-1960's. Remember, even the "surpluses" at the end of the Cinton years wouldn't have looked so rosy if the money stolen from Social Security was not included. If the word "stolen" seems a little excessive, I'm just quoting the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who, testifying before a senate committee many years ago, made that claim. I clearly remember him telling the committee that if General Motors was doing with their pension funds what the congress was doing with Social Security, the board of directors would have been in prision a long time ago. But, legality is not a problem when you're the ones making the laws.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration is making it clear that this "Grand Bargain" is going to require some people in the country to bend over. And it isn't going to happen on Wall Street.

So lately I'm asking myself what the difference is between this new era of "change" and the status quo? A Democratic Party that is more like the Republican Party means the change is in the rhetoric, not the substance. Peeing on my leg and telling me it's raining is not change.

I personally don't matter. The nation matters. And if, through stupidity and myopia the "leaders" in government kow-tow to the elites who have fairly well run us over a cliff and into a manure pile, ....well that DOES matter.

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Blogger Papamoka said...

I do so love it when you go on such a thought provoking rand Duke! Well put my friend and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

1:12 PM  

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