Dec 27, 2010

Wanted: A President and a Congress That Walks on Two Legs Instead of One (Not the 111th) Part 2

A President and a Congress that work together ... continued

The wealthy, until G.B. and now Obama came along, have remained in higher tax brackets as a result of their superciliously high incomes, stock options ... And as a result, their particular minority group does everything that it can, along with the help of politicians, corporate lobbyists, shelters ..., to avoid paying their fair share of tax given their exorbitant wealth, income, bonuses, dividends ...

Now they will rightly argue, on the other hand, that they pay more taxes, incrementally, than the majority of taxpayers put together. And what they are saying is true, however, their share of the pie is exponentially higher, percentage wise than the vast majority of American taxpayers.

Here is a thought for the wealthy, why not just take in less and permit others who need more in order to survive, to earn more? And, as a result you will be taxed for a lesser amount, and you will still have gargantuan income, dividends, royalties, bonuses, wealth, houses, cars, airplanes ...? Hee hee hee!!!

Nah, that wouldn't work, you might have to give up a million dollar yacht that you seldom see anyway (I see them parked at Marinas in the Bay Area), or an estate or two that you rarely visit anyway. Sadly, at the same time many Americans are struggling to make ends meet and they are working 2 or 3 jobs in order to make it.

Now for the paupers who make, let's say $60K a year or less and can hardly make ends meet, imagine if as a result of the efforts of corporate lobbyists, your company or you personally came into a windfall or other nefarious and ill-gotten gain? What might you be doing if you knew that the tax man was on his way to take away let's say 30 or 40% of what you are about to or have just taken in? I guarantee that most of you would join the Republican Party and Uncle Mitch and Cousin John Boehner!

Most Americans do not earn 6-figures and therefore they do not have the same sense of urgency to avoid the tax man or skirt the tax laws (as they do), even though the ones at the bottom of the rung need (tax) breaks that could offset their tax burden even more than the wealthy who are at the top along with top wage earners.

Why? Because, they make less, are barely getting by while the cost of living continues to rise, wages are slipping and unemployment insurance checks won't cover the mortgage. I can still recall years ago when one of my expected paychecks was to be $15K for that 2-week pay period; I couldn't wait to, as the kids say in the hood, 'to get paid'.

Conversely, I almost fainted when I saw the take home amount. Folks, I took home just over $7K. And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't join the party of John Wilkes Booth, the Republican Party. Eek!!!

Here is something else to ponder before you join the other side, many of these wealthy moguls pay more in taxes than the average middle-class American will earn in a year, or intergenerationaly, in 10 lifetimes,
If you still don't get it, let me put it another way, they will earn and pay more in taxes than all of your descendants put together will earn in 5 or 6 generations after you are gone.

It is as Hegel once explained when referring to man’s inhumanity to man. He said that it was 'based upon ‘the ownership of property and the pursuit of power through class struggle! We can see what he referred to at work in America on a daily basis.

A hard-working American who earns a decent wage will still earn less than 2M in a lifetime.
Many of the richest Americans earn that much in one day, some in a week, others in a month and a few every hour.
How do they do it, did you ask? The fact of the matter is that they either make up the rules or control the individuals who do.

It's nothing new, and that is why they, by any means necessary, fought hard to take back control of the government from the Democrats, if just the House and the democratic President for now. On the other hand, while the average American man or woman works hard to earn their money, the ones who still can, the other side pays those in power, hires political lobbyists or garners political power themselves in order to inveigle the rules that will result in either them or their friendly accomplices keeping or acquiring an even larger share of the American pie.

Republicans, and too many Americans remind me of a man who lies to a woman in order to get what he wants, and after he gets it, she will still give him more of what he wanted even after she recognizes how he got it in the first place. And too many Americans, like the Republican's paramour, give the playboy Republican Party a pat on the back or butt cheeks for their witty seduction - in this instance, the democratic President!

In the latest version of the Obama-Reagan New Deal, America’s middle-class and former heart and soul workforce, will receive a one to three-hundred dollar a week unemployment insurance payoff check (for a year apparently). And the wealthy who claimed that they wanted to shrink the deficit, will continue to receive what they have been getting and promised during the Bush years, an extension.

They could care less about the consequential expansion, according to the GAO, of the deficit thereafter.
It begs the question: Where do Republicans and naive Democrats live at anyway, in Shangri-la, la-la-land or both at the same time?
The former appears to be true when it comes to voting, selecting or electing leaders. So where does that leave the rest of America? In my opinion, and to borrow a phrase from Dr. Collins of Human Genome Project fame, when he invoked the phrase “A Thinking Man': What action or inaction should a thinking man take or not take under the circumstances? And, what should he or she, for that matter, be thinking about?

I’ve been thinking, all the way back to 1980 if not before, that it was time for a new thinking man or woman to emerge and take front and center on the American political stage. For similar to what author Derrick Bell wrote about in his book entitled, ‘Faces At The Bottom Of The Well', that “if we keep doing what we have been doing, we are going to keep getting what we have been getting” with male leadership, in other words the same ‘old deal'.

I have got to 'give it up' to the Republicans myself, for they won the House back by using their same old tired yet tried and true tactics. And with a minority group of voters and cross-over democrats; by instilling fear in the shaky electorate along with subterfuge and obfuscation they got back what they believed rightfully belonged to them, control of Washington DC and control of the money supply!

Having said that, Republicans, you may have fooled some of the people, but you didn’t fool me! I am proud to say that I neither voted for Obama nor the other side during the General Election just over 2 years ago. Instead I voted my conscience.

And as a result, I have to give it up for myself and others like me, who saw through a political ruse from the beginning. Did I loose by voting my conscious during the mid-term election? Nay, we got rid of the Republicans who screwed up our state, and the rest of America ought to follow suit. These boys don't believe that you have to pay for what you get in the form of taxes.

Republicans aren’t that smart, they are simply smarter than the majority in the opposition. Besides that, too many Republicans at the top of the food chain are ruthless and without conscience, even the Buck-eyed one, a man who is seemingly adept at crying crocodile tears.

And in this latest iteration of political chess, they captured the king, the naive neophyte, save-the world, Nobel Peace Prize receiving acolyte and undercover Scotch-Irish brother 'President Obama'. You also dispensed with the rooks, mainly former democratic congress persons on the left. But you didn't leave it there, you throttled the Bishop, clerics from the left and finally the pawns (the obtuse non-Republican voter).

Mr. Obama is unlike former President George H. Bush Jr., a man who should have but never capitulated, although his dad, 'read my lips and no new taxes 1-term President George Bush Sr. did - and you got him for doing that'. Obama surrendered his position and that of his supporters without a fight. The latter makes him a poor general. But all of this would have provided great entertainment, except for the fact that the stakes were so high.

Factually, Obama was never up to the task of taking on Republicans, their vast Right-Wing Conspiracy subset, or dealing with the issues facing the nation, to my way of thinking. If anyone was ready, and I am not stumping, however, the 'female' who stood up to the vast Right Winged Conspiracy of Ronald Reagan fame, was Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

All of us know that she would have cleaned your clocks, as I would have done had I run. You were correct in inveigling independent voters to choose Obama over Hillary, checkmate! And as a result of doing so you got the queen, the one who would haven taken you down!

Factually, I believe that Obama was too obtuse to know that you were using him to knock out the queen, Hillary Clinton. He didn't understand that you folks would go after him, the much easier target after he was. By the way, how many 'political days', will you folks allow him to continue on as lame-duck President before you drop the final hammer on him? Will you be giving him 2 more years after all.

I have predicted before that erudite females are our hope for the future that is if the shaky Union is to survive the legacy of Ronald and his deal that has been resurrected in Mr. Obama, and often practiced by other male leaders. For now, why don’t we simply take down the stars and stripes over Washington DC, and raise the Red States of America flag.

It would appear that the majority of states in the Union, , aside from California, Vermont, New Jersey and a few more progressive states, has apparently been lost to a man who is both mixed in terms of his race and his politics.

Again, many Americans who believed that they voted for the ‘right man’ several years ago have discovered of late that they have been dealt completely out of the game in spite of their would-be champion. And as I mentioned before, for the foreseeable future many Americans will have to be satisfied with unemployment checks instead of employment checks – well, until time runs out in about a year from now. What then? Perhaps, the wealthy will begin to loan money to the rest of the nation, with interest of course, in order to make even more money. Tee hee hee!

The win that I am concerned about is not one that benefits the President, elected Representatives and a minority group of constituents. I am more interested in the one that does the most good for the majority of the American people. One that makes the latter purportedly look good, is not one that I will celebrate at the end of this year or any other one. Throwing the bums out of Washington would be a win-win, as far as I am concerned. Permit them to celebrate being unemployed for awhile as too many Americans have had to do since and before they held office!

On the other hand,
I am pleased to live in a progressive state,
where the Republicans who recently held power in this state, having promised to save it but instead nearly destroyed it, have all but one, been vanquished. Now that is something to celebrate about at the end of the year. Happy Days are Here Again in the great state of California...!

Peace & Grace

P.S. And if any of the other states in the Union would be interested in having either a rejected Whitman billionaire gubernatorial candidate; a failed mega-rich governator named Arnold, or a wealthy but used Fiorini to drive (or any other Republican that won't stay in Orange county where they belong), I know where you can get any one of the above for cheap. At any rate they really don't belong here in the Great State of California, not even in Orange County!

Dec 17, 2010

Wanted: A President and a Congress That Walks on Two Legs Instead of One (Not The 111th)

Now I know what I want for Christmas, it is a Congress and President that work together, not one or the other that simply attempts to score points - for them.

America needs a Congress that works, so that unemployed Americans can get back to work! In fact, the last minute 'hail Mary' pass by the 2010 Lame Duck Congress and President Obama contrary to the opinion of some is nothing to cheer about as far as I am concerned.

Part I

I listened to a KGO radio talk show into the wee hours of the morning as well as just before sunrise. According to the talk show hosts and the majority of the calling public, the year 2010 ended on a high note for President Obama and the lame-duck Congress.

Many of the callers were singing praises to President Obama in deference to his recent mid-term election upset. Was I missing something I thought, or was it time for someone to do some critical thinking? So I volunteered myself to do some critical thinking and here is what I concluded!

If you were to believe the press, similar to what frequently occurs on the gridiron between two vying teams, President Obama and the 111th lame-duck Congress pulled out a last minute upset, especially President Obama. And after sealing their victories, along with the President each one of them flew home to celebrate each of their respective victories with family, friends and constituents.

Well, I ask you: Were either the press or callers in to KGO's radio talk shows throughout the night and early morning, correct? Did the 111th lame duck Congress and President Obama score a comeback? Was there really anything to cheer about?

Frankly, I cannot see how the year ended in a way that favored the majority of American people, and the latter is what really mattered. Or on the other hand perhaps I missed something, or have some of the American people, like our representatives have done forgotten what a representative government is supposed to be all about? The way that it is suppose to work is that representatives in Congress are voted into office in order to represent the interests and the will of the people of the United States of America.

I couldn't help but wonder what the 50-plus Democratic Representatives, who were sent home for supporting President Obama's policies in addition to the unemployed, underemployed, homeless American (outdoor citizens) ..., would have to say about the purported great finish by Congress and the President.

If anything, they might agree that Mr. Obama and his new friends in Congress (the Republican majority in the House) did well for themselves, however, I seriously doubt whether any of them were singing praises to Obama. And along with the newly retired Congress people, I seriously doubt whether the voting public that was responsible for Mr. Obama's election to office two years ago), were impressed with him or Congress as a result of the just passed legislation.

The Democrats who remain in the House, the President's de facto party are lambasting him given their feelings of having been betrayed 'or ransomed' as one of them put it given the recent Quid Pro Quo taxation surrender with Republicans. They feel the same as their counterparts that they are leaving behind do. Why? Because they supported the President and policies that they didn't agree with (some of them), and as result lost their seats in the House while watching the President play footsie with and seemingly switching over to the other camp).

Sadly, most of them were not paying close enough attention when candidate Obama, explained during the run up to the election, that one of his true heroes was the late,’ let some crumbs fall from the rich man’s table Ronald Reagan ...’. The latter's policies, having often been referred to as 'Trickle-Down' or what President George Bush Sr., when competing against Ronald Reagan referred to Reagan's economics as, 'voodoo economics'. Or, did he say 'deep doo'? Hee hee hee! Actually, he was referring to another issue when he invoked the phrase, deep doo doo!

The Republicans and their newly co-opted 'Republican undercover brother leader, President Obama', have proven one thing for sure, and that is that deficits don’t matter to them in the scheme of things after all. What matters and mattered to them, in spite of what they said before, and have been saying recently (that resulted in their getting the House back) was and is that they got an extension on their tax breaks.

So I ask you, who in America ought to have been happy with the year end events given the scope of the legislation that was passed (since the mid-term election changed the face of Washington DC)?

Well, members of the gay community are happy and they should be, given that the federal government only did what it should have done a long time ago, and that was to eliminate the discriminatory practices that it sanctioned for years against same-sex tax paying American citizens.

The fact that the federal government discriminated against a subset of Americans for so long is nothing new. If you don't believe it, just ask any American, well with the exception of white American males. The latter have always believed, and many still believe that ‘this land is their land …"!

Should the American people be enthralled given that Congress ratified yet another nuclear proliferation agreement with Russia, the harbinger of the former Soviet arsenal? Well, if you believe that Russia poses a threat to the United States or, the Republican Party for which America currently stands, okay. On the other hand, weren’t we told that Middle-Eastern …terrorists posed the current serious threat to America? Er herm, and what has been done about that for that matter by the lame-duck President and the 'greatest lame-duck Congress in American history?

And isn’t the ratification of the treaty by Congress desirable, given that the war with Iraq is also over, well that is (unless you include the approximately one-hundred thousand paid mercenaries and professional soldiers that are still a part of America's war effort in Iraq, along with roughly 50,000 American troops).

And let's pretend that what we were told before
, things are going to be better this time around for all Americans, will come true. However, given the resurrected 'social contract with America', that has been resurrected in President Obama and a democratic majority (that was recently flipped over to a republican majority in the Senate), one has to wonder where exactly is America headed now?

Frankly, I am neither hopeful nor convinced that we will see any improvement for the majority of Americans anytime soon (as a result of 'the ransom', or, given the legislation that just passed. Why? The latter promises 2 years of extended tax breaks for the rich (both democrat and republican), out-of-control spending, taxation without true representation for the majority of Americans and an additional year of extended unemployment benefits for Americans. The questions that come to mind are 'then what'? And, will millions of jobs have been created over the course of 2011 for displaced, downsized and repositioned American workers?
The fact of the matter is that the wealthy will have enjoyed 10 years of tax breaks under 2 administrations at the end of 2011, while too many Americans have had to and will have to depend on unemployment checks instead of employment checks, in order to survive. Is that something to pop the corks on champagne bottles over as some will be doing on New Year's Day.

As a result of the actions of the 111th Congress an American minority will continue to suffer, even though it was the taxpayer’s money that bailed out banks, corporations ... and therefore the wealthy via TARP and the Reinvestment Act. And what of the taxpayers, they have been left it would seem to fend for themselves while the wealthy (including politicians) lavish in their new found and inherited wealth.

Until I listened to the morning callers, I could not help but wonder whether all of my detractors and critics who felt that they knew more about politics than I did during the run up to the general election, despite my experience and years spent in Washington DC and political circles, learned anything? After listening to some of the individuals who called in to praise the President and the lame-duck Congress, then I understood better how obtuse the American electorate really was and is, when it comes to selecting or voting for a political candidate.

Clearly, the call in audience for the most part still could not see the forest for the trees either! In fact, I tried to educate my challengers before by explaining that the overly confident wannabe kid-President who lacked experience at the Federal level was not quite ready for prime-time. He was never prepared to govern given the enormous complexities that America and the world was facing at the time, not many were.

His ego coupled with being cheered on by the naive, got the best of him! To say that he pulled it out at year's end, ignores the serious issues that still ipso facto face the American people.

In my learned opinion, a wonderful opportunity was lost in terms of changing America and the world for the better given the naïveté of the President and the voting public at the time. It would appear that our young President is for now, firmly in the grips of the Republican Right. Fortunately he is a flip-flopper, and perhaps in time he will flip back to the will of the non-Republican majority of American people before he leaves office.

The questions that linger are these, have Americans learned anything about placing their trust or destiny into the hands of politicians? Will the hurting American electorate make similar mistakes in future elections. How are the American people going to extricate themselves from the current economic and political mess? Has Mr. Obama learned, of late, a thing or two about the gentleman's game in Washington DC really works, or just it really takes to lead a nation? More and more I am beginning to wonder, just who in fact is ‘this mixed man’, Mr. Obama?

The issues that confront America and the world in a post Ronald Reagan Great Society Reformation can be traced back to the candidacy of ‘get tough, we will show them, destroy the unions and there is nothing wrong with greed presidency of Ronald Reagan'. Mister deer caught-in-the-headlights President Obama, it would appear, is the heir-apparent of the diminutive Ronald Reagan New Deal legacy.

It was Ronald Reagan who provided and bequeathed America with the ongoing second version of a New Deal, which was the same old Rich Man v. Poor Man deal. And the legacy of the current 'Obama New Deal' means this: A whole lot of Americans, America’s allies and other 3rd world nations and people are ostensibly, in trouble.

For similar to former president and puppet George H. Bush Jr., Mr. Obama is the most recent puppet being jangled and dangled by puppeteers on the Right in a Republican marionette show.

Is it any wonder then that Republicans and others in the wealthier economic class groups fight so hard to maintain control of the government and to prevent a redistribution of income and wealth (including men like televangelist Pat Robertson)?

In order to help you to understand what I mean, consider how you would be feeling if you came into 5B for example, as a result of successfully playing the derivatives game,indirectly receiving TARP funds ... as many of the wealthy did some years ago.

And, as a result of your new found wealth the government taxed you in accordance with the existing tax code? You would likely seek to hide your wealth as they have done and are doing. Hey, here's a thought Republicans, share the wealth and then all Americans would want what you do: JUST READ MY LIPS!

Peace & Grace

Please read Part II