Take Heart

 Posted by
Aug 032011
 

I never cease to be amazed at people’s ability to deny reality. Like children they cover their ears and hum to block out any voices that dispute their beliefs. (As I typed the above two lines, the Ed Show put the results of a poll on my TV screen: 77% of Americans think that our congress acted like children.)

“I want to believe what I believe and don’t bother me with the facts,” has been the clarion call of Republican voters for a long time. But the GOP has been so bold of late, so outrageous, so clearly unconcerned with their constituents or the majority’s interests that the illusion may be cracking.

How can the GOP rationalize their refusal to fund (even temporarily) the FAA? For more than a week 4,500 FAA employees and 75,000 private construction workers have been laid off. To buy their vote, much as they did with the debt ceiling they are demanding that the Democrats agree to action on something unrelated to the bill in question. As a result, more than 80,000 Americans are newly in the unemployment lines and hundreds of safety & improvement projects are on hold. The fact that the FAA adds over $30 million every day to the government coffers from the taxes we all pay on airline tickets hasn’t moved the GOP.

Nothing can be done about this now since Congress decided that (after working evenings and a weekend) they deserved a four week vacation until after Labor Day. To recap: they put 80,000 Americans out of work and simultaneously cost the U.S. $1.2 billion in revenue. Nice job you guys. Much like the backlash from trying to cut Social Security, I can’t see how you will sell this at home.

On another front, most Americans may not understand the details but they do know in general who is to blame for the collapse of the world economy. They know why they’re unemployed. Everybody seems aware of the questionable (or illegal) deals made and the stunning bonuses CEOs took out of our tax payer funded bail out. I suspect that the majority of folks don’t understand that this was made possible in large part due to the deregulation pushed by the GOP. This is a shame but can’t be helped until a network of progressive voices can be created, matching the radical right wing echo-chamber. I am hopeful that this tide will turn fairly soon.

The Democrats haven’t done much but they did manage to pass a watered down bill creating the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The Republican response: “We will block any person nominated to run this agency.” What? Are the Republicans actually hell-bent on publicly standing up for the idea that corporations have the right to defraud us? That the simple notion of “buyer beware” is adequate protection? Seriously, do they think that you or I, as an individual can match-up evenly with a huge multi-national bank or mortgage company? Or do they simply approve of our lopsided odds? I know what I think but it is what the conservative voting public thinks that counts.

It has been said by every economist other than the ones on Faux News and from right wing think tanks that addressing our economic problems with only spending cuts will do harm to our fragile economy. Cut spending = higher unemployment. High unemployment = less demand for products. Less demand = companies not needing to have more employees. What’s so hard about that to understand?

Conservative politicians like to talk about the risks of raising taxes on the rich and corporations. They claim that this will hurt the “very people” that will create the jobs we all want. They ignore the evidence to the contrary. During the Clinton years, the taxes were substantially higher and the economy produced 500,000 jobs a month. Economically, nearly everyone prospered and at the end of the Clinton presidency we had a surplus.

The radical right in the House of Representatives either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about what would result if we defaulted on our debt. I even heard a Tea Party idiot say that he thought he would craft a bill to lower the debt ceiling. The only way to explain this is that his head must be full of santorum. Some simply don’t care and some do understand and do care but used the ignorance of others to force the Dems into a corner. A corner that contained no good options.

The Vice-President described the Tea Partiers as terrorists. I don’t disagree but would suggest that they are more like common criminals. They subjected the whole country to a “stick-up” and promised to do it again, and often. I am hopeful that Republican voters will wake up and give them the boot. Like is about to happen in Wisconsin.

I said is a couple places that I was hopeful and I am, a little. The right wing oligarchs and corporatists have a great deal of money to promote their views and we don’t. We have something else on our side: the truth. To put it another way, all they have is greed. We have people that aren’t in this for themselves alone, like Tim DeChristopher. We don’t need the Koch Brothers to fund us to take a side on an issue. We can think for ourselves and act accordingly.

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