Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Republicans sell out, just like I knew they would

There is quite a bit of anger in the country about the economy and the role and cost of government. The anger has manifested itself in the emergence of the Tea Party. Of course the people in the Tea Party want free stuff they just do not want to pay for others free stuff. This view has manifested itself in the joke the Republicans came out with called the"Pledge to America". After reading it I ain't buying it and they should not be selling it. It is weak. Here are the highlights or lowlights depending on your view:

On page 5 they say "If we’ve learned anything over the last two years, it’s that we cannot spend our way to prosperity.  We offer a plan to stop out-of-control spending and reduce the size of government". Sounds good until the very next line, With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt.  We will also establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending from this point forward. "  The budget last year was $3.5 trillion and the government took in $2.1 trillion leaving the deficit at around $1.5 trillion. The Republicans are going to cut $100 billion, that isn't even reducing the deficit by ten percent, and you still are spending one trillion more than you are taking in as revenue. They also exempt the two biggest items in the budget spending on the elderly (that means no cuts to SS and Medicare) and our troops. Those are the two biggest items in the budget. The entitlement spending consumes 58% percent of the current budget and we are spending $800 billion a year on our military not to mention the billions wasted on supporting the national security state apparatus that was built up during the Republicans last stint in power. If we are going to get rid of the deficit and pay back the debt as their manifesto claims then we have to go after the parts of the budget where the big money is, entitlements and the military.

The Republicans did not need to put this out. People were angry at the Dems for healthcare and the economy and the Republicans were on track to take back Congress and possibly the Senate. They got badgered into this by the Tea Party and talk radio and they will regret it in two years when the deficit is still not under control, the economy is worse off, and Obama beats them over the head with this document.
Freezing federal hiring and other gimics will not get it done. They need to get rid or stop funding entire Departments like Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Commerce etc...right now. Reducing spending to 2008 levels just isn't going to get it done folks. The people in this country are angry at the President over healthcare and upset and confused about why the economy is not recovering. But do they really want SS means tested? Do they want the retirement age raised to 70? Do they want all people under 50 excluded from SS and to wind the program down over the next 25 years? Of course not. Do the people in the Tea Party want both wars shut down and the troops brought home right now followed up by a 90% cut in Defense spending? Of course not. However that and much worse needs to be done "reduce the deficit and pay back the debt" as they say in their document. I wish them Gods speed but I will remember those famous words from the Who classic "Wont Get Fooled Again", you remember the lyrics, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss". Lets just say I will believe it when I see it. I know these amerikan people, they want free shit and they want someone else to pay for it. This election is not going to change that mindset.

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