Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Wish I Could Stop Posting Political Rants Like This One



You know what I hate listening to? People complaining about politicians like they're some kind of seperate species or something. Politicians are just employees. Like any employee, they will say or do anything to keep from being fired, or to hopefully get promoted. So when you complain about politicians not listening to The American People, you're in denial. This is a democracy. Whatever problems this country has, they are caused by politicians listening to their constituents. The deficit, for instance. We have a huge deficit because we DEMANDED a huge deficit. We want low taxes and high spending. The state of California is bankrupt for precisely because people get mad when one of two things happen: their taxes go up or spending gets cut. That's just the truth of the matter. And then we act like this is all the politicians' fault. These people who are protesting the massive deficits at the Tea Party rallies? Seriously, this is one of the deepest cases of denial I've ever seen.

I mean, look, it's no secret why we have a huge deficit. We have a huge deficit because we had massive tax cuts with no spending cuts to balance them out. Then we invaded a country with no mechanism to pay for it. Then we invaded another country FOR NO FUCKING REASON! Then we had MORE FUCKING TAX CUTS!!! Oh, and somewhere along the way we got a new Medicare prescription drug benefit with no mechanism to pay for it. And it's all well and good to say that you hold Bush as responsible as Obama now that there's no consequence for saying so, but these people STILL support all the bad policies that got us here. If Obama started proposing deep cuts to defense, they'd be calling him a traitor surrendering to the Muslims. And we already know that they have no interest in cutting Medicare. Aside from the fictional Death Panels, the Medicare cuts were the biggest concrete objection to Health Care Reform. And they explicitly state that they want no more taxes, and would prefer more tax cuts. So I'm sorry, if your platform is deficit reductions without raising taxes, cutting defense or cutting Medicare or Social Security, YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT.

Look at the federal budget. There are only three items that are big enough to make a serious difference: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and Defense. EVERYTHING ELSE adds up to maybe 40% of the budget. The Republicans are trying to convince everyone of a pile of absolute bullshit: that they can balance the budget by eliminating unpopular programs. Earmarks, foriegn aid, PBS, the NEA, the Department of Education, something vaguely called "welfare" (which certainly doesn't include unemployment or other benefits for hard working white people)--and don't get me wrong, we'd probably be better off ending some of these programs--they all amount to approximately Jack Shit. Even farm subsidies, which I was under the impression were pretty massive, are a relatively insignifigant portion of the budget. Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and Defense. That's it.

And here's the GOP's Pledge to America: "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." Get that? Common sense exceptions for Seniors and Our Troops. Fair enough, we don't know the specifics of what those phrases mean, but I know what it sounds like to me. "Above all else, the primary obligation of the federal government remains providing for the common defense against all threats foreign and domestic. We offer a plan to keep our nation secure at home and abroad that will provide the resources, authority, and support our deployed military requires, fully fund missile defense, and enforce sanctions against Iran. We will keep terrorist combatants in Guantanamo Bay not in our local jails and courtrooms. Our borders are a vital part of our security, so we will act decisively to ensure that the federal government fulfills its constitutional duty to protect our citizens and our Nation, working closely with our state and local governments." Gee, that all sounds kind of expensive...

So you can talk whatever shit you want to about the President. He passed a health care reform bill that has created an environment where it may be politically possible to make some serious cuts to Medicare. So he's done more to reduce the deficit than any of these stupid Republican cunts in congress.

Bonus reading: Conor Friersdorf on The Shortcut to Serfdom.

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