Thursday, October 14, 2010
A BUDGET TO NOWHERE...
Almost 3/4 of the federal budget is composed of 3 items: Social Security, Medicare and interest in on the national debt. This week the Republicans unveiled their plan to get "out of control spending" and "runaway deficits" under control if they are returned to power in Washington and they ignored all three.
Trying to show they had ideas and were not just the "party of no", the Republicans rolled out a lot of rhetoric and little substance. The Republicans want to "create jobs", "end red tape", get government "out of the way" and other tried and true Frank Luntz tested phrases, which say nothing and do even less.
As the railed against big government and out of control spending, the Republican plan excluded military spending and other security programs from any cuts. As they talked about repealing the Obama health care reform, they indicated they would keep the most popular items including stopping insurance companies from denying care for pre-existing conditions. However, the head of the Cato Institute, and other analysts, said retaining those provisions will not reduce health care costs and will add to the deficit.
Where Republican hypocrisy arose to new heights was when it was revealed they would preserve permanently, the Bushy tax cuts. Retaining those cuts would increase the deficit by $4 Trillion over the next ten years. So even as they rant about deficits and the national debt, they publically call for tax cuts for the rich and more borrowing to pay for it. One other shining example of their phony values, they made no mention of congressional earmarks, which allow members of Congress to set aside billions of tax dollars for pet hometown projects.
The Republicans promised to make it harder for the federal government to regulate industries. Let's see how that has worked in the past. We have salmonella in our eggs because of the failure of the Agriculture Department to regulate the egg industry. We have had the worst depression since the depression because of a failure of the Federal Reserve, SEC, FDIC and other agencies to regulate Wall Street. The Department of Transportation failed to regulate Toyota and the auto industry even after evidence and complaints of dangerous cars. The Food and Drug Administration failed to regulate pharmaceutical makers who marketed their drugs for purposes, which they were not approved. So if Republicans get back into power, government will regulate even less than it does now. I feel safer.
When asked where's the beef, where are the specific programs to create jobs; where are the specific places they would cut spending to achieve $100 billion in saving; what would they do with Social Security and Medicare; how would they fund two wars and an out of control military budget, Republicans has no solutions to offer. Now that is a profile in courage.
As for the claim they stand for smaller government, House Minority Leader John Boehner said the Republican positions on social issues would not change. They are still in favor of the government controlling private activity in the bedroom. They are still in favor of the government telling a woman what she can do with her body. They are still in favor of government sponsored prayer. They still support the government being able to spy on Americans and they oppose any attempt to let people decide who wishes to be married to whom or let all Americans defend their country, only straight ones.
All in all, the republican proposal is so much cotton candy...all sugar and air with no nutritional value. This isn’t leadership it’s pandering. After two years of saying" no" to everything, they now offer a blueprint which says "yes" to higher deficits, out of control health care costs, burgeoning entitlement programs, continued congressional pork and unrepentant bigotry and homophobia.
In a democracy, the people get what they vote for. I this what America wants when it says it wants to throw the bums out? They want new bums?