Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cat Food Commission II – wasted opportunity

When I read about Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and, unfortunately, a majority of other Democrats on the “Super-Committee” (Which progressives refer to as “Cat Food Commission II”) offering a radically regressive plan to make $500 billion in Medicare cuts, I read a few more sentences. I saw that, sure, fine, okay, the plan would also ask for $300 billion in stimulus funds, but the result of that would obviously be $200 billion in lost consumer demand as people would either lose work from sickness or would spend money they would otherwise spend on other things. I shot out a few letters to my representatives, but I agree with this piece that says the proposal was a horribly wasted opportunity to make a clear statement to the American people as to what Democrats actually want to do and what Democrats really stand for.

Really? Do Democrats really want to see $2 trillion in spending cuts balanced against only $1 trillion in new taxes? At a time of 9% unemployment?!?! At a time when the Occupy Wall Street movement should have been making it absolutely crystal clear to politicians that the time for austerity measures is long over?!?!!?

How on Earth could Democratic politicians have possibly concluded that Republicans were going to agree to new taxes? What on Earth made them think that anybody in America was so anxious for an agreement that they'd take a slowdown in the economy in return for a wildly uneven agreement that would hurt an already-hurting economy still further?

And remember the outcome of the debt-limit debacle. Speaker of the House John Boehner said he got 98% of what his side wanted out of the deal and, not surprisingly, President Obama's approval rating promptly cratered. That's because he gave up far too much in return for far too little.

Sorry, but Baucus' offer is a major FAIL in every possible way that one can look at it. Fortunately for the American people, Republicans turned up their noses at the offer and refused to even discuss it.

Update: Washington Post puts together an excruciatingly bad front page editorial piece (They pretend it's a news piece) that completely misrepresents the status of Social Security. Piece includes link to mailing list with which to contact media and request correction.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Round-up on Occupy Wall Street

6:14 PM PT: Herman Cain is really frustrated because he doesn't understand what the OWS movement wants. "Do they want the bankers to come downstairs with checks in their hands?" he asks. He's totally bewildered and obviously pissed about it. He wants to know what to do to make them go away. And he can't figure it out. And, of course, that's exactly the point. That's the question the OWS movement wants him to be asking. And eventually the Herman Cains of the world will be forced to figure it out.

Daily Kos covers Republican debate of 18Oct2011

A Huffington Post writer explores just why the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has been so successful. BTW, percentage of those who approve of the Tea Party: 27%, percentage of those who approve of OWS: 54%. Heck, New Yorkers like them by a margin of 67%.

Dissenter at contributes another, very typical story about what motivates the OWS movement. My own story on visitng OWS in New York. Our allying of Occupy Philly with Philly Against War. Treasury Secretary' Timothy Geithner's vow to do "more" to help the 99% rings a bit hollow as no one remembers him doing much of anything to begin with. And last Saturday's protests? Wow!!!

Is the Democratic Party close and all buddy-buddy with OWS? Not exactly. Both sides have good reason to keep their distance. The National Review website is convinced that the two are in cahoots anyway. Good round-up of views on Democrats and OWS.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

See, here’s a big part of the problem

Jeffrey Immelt, the former head of General Electric, is America's "Jobs Czar." What's the problem with that? Well, first off, corporate executives don't necessarily know anything about creating jobs for regular American citizens. Their whole expertise, from Mitt Romney (Republican presidential candidate) to Rick Scott (Governor of Florida) to Meg Whitman (Spent $160 million to become Governor of California and lost), consists of doing what benefits them and them alone. Perhaps a few cronies can share in the spoils, but their whole ideology revolves around "What's good for General Motors (Or whatever corporation they run) is good for the USA!"

Because the ideology of business holds that whatever is good for them personally is also good for America as a whole, they simply can't see where what's good for them personally ends and when the good the country should take a higher priority. There never was any indication that corporate executives make good politicians. There are of course exceptions, there's nothing about being a corporate executive that automatically makes one unqualified to be a politician or a political appointee, but when Immelt fired one-fifth of GE and made hundreds of times what the average worker at GE made, there's nothing that should give us any confidence that Immelt has the vaguest clue as to what he's doing.

Please let's get off the idea that corporate executives automatically make good politicians. G.W. Bush was the first President to have earned an MBA and look where that got us!