Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dysfunctional Government – Paychecks Shrink in Recession – Abandons New York and New Jersey – Gives Tax Breaks to Green Energy, Hollywood and the Big Banks – Tea Anyone?

One can no longer tell the difference - image from:

The “Establishment” Government, including the Congress, the Senate and the Administration have clearly forgotten that they were “hired” by the people do to the bidding of the people, and yet, for some reason unknown to the majority of hard-working American’s, they appear to have done the bidding of Bigger Business than the bidding of those that truly need relief – the public who supports the Government in the first place. It has stunned those who have some wits about them into a temporary silence, however, watching the entire crew in Washington turn more towards elections and fund-raising for the past year, while operating the nation without a budget, and pushing off any real cuts in government spending, while increasing entitlements, and fawning for the MSM and its camera’s who will portray a version of the events as they please (or as the preferred political party pleases), in an “all is well, nothing to see here, move along Greek comedy.

One might wonder what happened to the “Mr. Smith’s” who went to Washington to change the tone of the debate, speaking on end for days if necessary, surely something most of those who sit in the hallowed halls of both Chambers are capable of doing. That man, or woman, apparently does not exist once they get into the bubble that is Washington.

For starters, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is in a snit – the Congress failed to vote on the 60 plus billion dollar aid package requested by those who were hit by Hurricane Sandy in late 2012. Suffice it to say, the Republicans are being called out for not voting on a spending bill for aid to the states of New York and New Jersey. Suffice it today that an Executive Order from the White House could have moved things along, or for that matter, or at the least, those Democrats who are crying “foul” from New York, could have used their mouthpiece (the media) to get their message out and force a vote – they did not. The top dogs in the hunt, from Speaker Boehner, to President Obama, to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, to Vice President Joe Biden, were all busy for days on end trying to avoid the “fiscal cliff” that has existed since the President took office and the Senate refused to take up the issue of a budget. We, the people, have seen the nation run, sans budget, for four years, and there will be no change going forward. Therefore, Christie is outraged – in the midst of a major crisis, Christie did what most normal shell-shocked leaders might do – scream for help and attach themselves to the first person of authority to put his boots on the ground – that was the President. The President assured the good citizens of New Jersey and New York, and Govenor Christie that he would do everything possible to get them the aid they needed – in October. There are areas of New York that are still without basic essentials, and it does not appear to be a big enough story for those at the major news networks to be that worked up about – instead – the Fiscal Cliff has been the focus.

What did the good taxpayers get out of the Fiscal Cliff? The middle households got to keep the Bush Era Tax cuts, as long as they don’t make more than $400,000 (which is a fortune to those who are making less, yet, some of those in that bracket are small business owners – they will not, as a result be hiring), that said, the Holiday tax cut (which came from Social Security) has lapsed, expect to see less in your paycheck this week. (This does not include taxes due on Obamacare – get ready to cut back no matter the income level.)

This is what, in a nutshell, happened at the last breath of the 112th Congress: Republican’s sent bills to the Senate, the Senate (Harry Reid, D-NV) refused to even bring the bills to the floor for a vote, the President went to Hawaii to surf, the President “cut-short his vacation in order to deal with the “fiscal cliff”, the House Speaker, John Boehner ( R) got locked in a room with Vice President Joe Biden (D), until they hammered out a “deal” on the cliff. This deal went to the Senate, where it was voted upon, and passed, the House then was in a corner, either pass the bill or let the Government shut down – they passed it, with much hand-wringing. To be fair, there were those that voted no to this “Deal”, but too many elected officials went along for the ride. The Deal: The government gets revenue in the form of tax “hikes” on the “wealthy” – or those making $400,000 or above. The Government also gave tax breaks to those making some serious cash: - in fact,
”$76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren't the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff's edge -- they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week.

The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which passed through the Senate Finance Committee in August, was copied and pasted into the fiscal cliff legislation, yielding a victory for biotech companies, wind-turbine-makers, biodiesel producers, film studios -- and their lobbyists. So, if you're wondering how algae subsidies became part of a must-pass package to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff, credit the Biotechnology Industry Organization's lobbying last summer. (Read the balance, it’s nauseating. – Washington Times)

Therefore, while the entire group of those we hired, were busy trying to get elected or reelected, the Lobbyists, who have some influence in DC with both major political parties, understood what was coming, that the Democrat and Republican Leadership would pull a last minute kick the can down the road deal out of thin-air (more on that) and they would be able to sneak in a few breaks for their clients, the corporations that hire them.

Now there is going to be a call to raise the debt ceiling to cover the costs of this “deal” – which gave the U.S taxpayer $1.00 in cuts (not yet named) in government spending for entitles in the neighborhood of $41 for everyone of those dollars. This is the form of entitlements for both individuals and corporations. Go figure.

Maybe Boehner lost his mind in the back room making a deal with Joe Biden.

Understanding that those in Washington all want to “get along”, is one thing, but, the cliff is still there, its gotten steeper! There’s more debt even with the Millionaires and Billionaires paying more than their fair share, and now those who brung this crew to DC, the lower to middle income families, will be paying the price. We’re not even adjusting for the 3 to 4% (one might hesitate to trust the official party line) on inflation for little things like meat, dairy products and wheat products! (WWLP, NBC Affiliate).

So, the lower and middle income families, who are not on total Government Assistance (or more accurately –on the people who work for a living’s assistance.)are going to be eating less meat, drinking less milk, and forgoing that morning bowl of cereal, as they struggle compensate for the barrage of taxes from Obamacare that are coming down the pike, and the loss of income, no matter how small, from the Social Security payroll tax. One might suggest that we live in Greece, but that’s not accurate. In those nations that offer actual socialism (and are finically unstable at best), every single individual who breaths, pays taxes, unlike those in the U.S. who may not even work and receive a tax refund from the Government (The people that work)!

It’s so incredibly easy to fix this entire mess and yet – those who are in DC cannot see the forest through the trees. Sooner than later, there will be cuts on all levels, from the states to the federal programs that allow individuals how do not work, or cannot find work .(due to the taxes on businesses, and excessive regulations (which are too numerous to rant about at this point) not hiring in the foreseeable future.) What happens when there is no money left to buy a cell phone, fund an EBT card, or public housing, or welfare, or extended unemployment? What happens when the taxpayers, are so heavily indebted, that they end up on the dole as well? Then what?

Some simple steps that have been available since – forever and an easy fix: draw up a reasonable budget, put time limits on welfare and put those in any government program on workfare. Get rid of the EBT card and replace that with food stamps for food only, and household essentials (cleaning aids, etc.) period. Get rid of any government agency that has a duplicate agency, bring the government sector’s payroll in line with the private sectors payroll. Revise Obamacare – by eliminating the exchanges, and instead, allowing insurance carriers to operate across any state border. The aforementioned would increase availability of policies to individuals and families, and drive the costs down. Keep certain provision that is necessary – including the pre-existing clause. Make every government agency accountable for the money they are given in a budget - by insisting that they not only stay within the budget but try to get under the budget. If someone wants to study blueberries in Maine, perhaps they should find private funding. Industries should not be funded by the government – period. Green, blue, purple – if one has a product that is of interest to the public, that business will succeed or not – case closed.

It is time, past time, for those in the trenches, to have options in Washington that are not Democrat or Republican but Independent voices, be they Tea Party, Libertarian, Communist, Green Party, it does not matter – what American needs to survive this nightmare are candidates that will run and be elected but a disgusted public, who are from neither major political party. It would be more chaotic, to be true, but it would be a real blend of voices, looking out for all the people, not just the party or the press.

To those “Tea Party” members of the dysfunctional body – stop running as Republican’s – run as Independents – if you’ve done your job, the people will vote for you. If your one of those Real Progressives, who’s running as a Democrats, run as who you are, a Socialists, people will really vote for you. If you’re a real Democrat or real Republican, run as who you are – with little difference between the parties – that might be a tad risky but more honest.

What happens next? The fiscal cliff will turn into a rise of the Debt Ceiling – again – with no hope to ever paying this back, and what will those members elected to both houses do when the President insists they do not cut anything but defense? Shut down the government until there are real reforms on the table. What could possibly happen if the Government were to shut down? Would anyone actually notice? It has happened before, on several occasions, and it was a real bargaining chip – that turned the Republican Led Congress under Newt Gingrich, and one President Bill Clinton who brought new meaning to the art of negotiations, to the table to hammer out a deal that was ok – but there had to be a shut down first. We survived as a nation – and Clinton will go down in History as one of the best Democrat Presidents to grace the White House. While the Republican Party, under Speaker Gingrich, actually accomplished a thing or two and took the heat for it to boot!

It cannot be expressed enough, there is now a real need to end the two party systems, and to do it as quickly as possible – which would be a return to the original intent of the framers of the Constitution and those who built this nation.

On the government and the mainstream media – down to the local level: Watch this clip from a local NBC affiliate on the incandescent light bulb phase-out – here In the introduction to the clip – the anchor begins with – (paraphrasing) “The Government will not allow the use of 75 Watt bulbs, you now must use”… It’s mind-boggling to watch any newscast, local or national, where a newscaster smiles while they talk about the government as if it is the supreme body that is “taking care” of the little people. There are two problems here, anyone watching the nightly news (and this includes all cable networks, they are all eerily similar) will buy this hook, line and sinker, as they are not aware of one salient fact. Without the taxpayer, without each individual sending money to Washington, there would be no government. Period. We hire the people to run “the government”, we fund the “government”, without the people, the “government is useless. Until the people get that concept, the government will continue to “rule” with impunity.

Once they get hit continually with inflation, new taxes, and fines and regulations, they may get the point. That’s why those who are running now, should consider not running as a major party player, rather as an alternative. Those who are disgusted will vote and one can bet it won’t be for the 22 term member of Congress, or anyone with a current affiliation. Call it naive, call it utopian – it may be, but giving the general public the right circumstance, they will vote not for those who are status qua, but for the regular guy or gal who is standing up for them and has no experience. Just remember 2010, only this time, hopefully those Tea Party Members will run on their own merits (and the Progressives, the Green Party, the Libertarian, etc.)

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