Left And Right Politics

…plus the cream in the center.

Debt Ceiling Sham

Posted by Billy On July - 20 - 2011

This week Senator Tom Coburn, (R-Okla) unveiled a major plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade, which also includes tax increases of $1 trillion, tax increases Coburn’s fellow Republicans oppose. The debt ceiling debate has become a sham and the American people are the ones that will lose after it’s all said and done. Then again, the American people are the ones that lose each and every time politicians negotiate.

Coburn’s plan is a joke of what needs to be done to get the economy and the country back on track fiscally. From raising the retirement age to 70 to start collecting Social Security to even proposing that many veterans pay more for their medical care as well as prescription drugs. There are other items of concern in his proposal such as cutting funding for community development grant, student aid, farm subsidies, housing subsidies for the poor and medicare. These things being mentioned are “hot points” for political battles. Just the mention of these items will put someone on the defensive, but let’s be for real, we need to get EVERYTHING in order fiscally if we want to survive as a nation.

Coburn’s plan also includes eliminating $1 trillion in tax breaks over the next ten years. A move that has set off an uproar from the anti-taxation group, Americans For Tax Reform. The plan will prevent taxpayers from claiming the mortgage interest deduction from their second home as well as limiting it to homes worth $500,000. He would also ease taxpayers into higher tax brackets more quickly by using a smaller measure of inflation to adjust the brackets.

Senator Coburn’s figure of $9 trillion in savings doesn’t include an additional $2.4 trillion in cuts to Social Security that will be funneled back into the program. Added to the fact of Coburn’s plan of raising the retirement age, his plan also calls for future benefits to be topped out at a less generous measure of inflation and hinder benefit increases even more for the top 40% of earners.

“I have no doubt that both parties will criticize portions of this plan, and I welcome that debate,” Coburn told reporters. “But it’s not a legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own.” It’s too bad that many have offered some great ideas, but the powers that be won’t listen to them for the simple fact is that they don’t like the plan.

As a Libertarian, I’m tired of the political moves of the Democrats and the Republicans which will always leave the American people out in the cold while they live the high-life. There are so many unnecessary programs that the federal government is involved in. Many of which, they shouldn’t even be involved in. If the Senate would write the overdue budget, we would be able to see what and where we can cut to save the country. Too bad the democratic controlled Senate has not written a budget in over 800 days. What are they waiting for? I’ll tell you. As long as there isn’t a budget in place, they (politicians) can spend without any checks and balances. It’s just a spending frenzy that isn’t being monitored.

When politicians talk about how much money this program or that plan will save over a period of five, ten, or twenty years, it’s a joke. What they’re doing is what is known as “creative accounting. President Clinton did it during his term by saying that his administration had a surplus of $9 billion and the Democrats like to say that G.W. Bush destroyed and spent it all. In actuality there was never a surplus, it was all “projected” surplus and that is not the same thing as actually having the money in the bank.

Government Is Spending Our Money On The Government

Posted by Billy On July - 18 - 2011

On Thursday, GE, General Electric announced that they made plans to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles, namely the Chevy Volt, with nearly half of them to be purchased during this calendar year. The rest will be bought as they (vehicles) are brought to the market. GE is a conglomerate of many other companies and is in the position to make these cars more mainstream. As it is now, General Motors has built 10,000 of these vehicles so far this year, but have only sold roughly 400. With General Electric stepping up to make this commitment, General Motors, feels it will give them the boost they (GM) need.

This news comes out only one day after the City of New York has decided to add seventy electric cars to the NYPD. Mayor Mike Bloomberg made the announcement by saying the Big Apple will lead by example, hoping to entice other urban cities to follow suit.

What I find disturbing about these two press releases is that the two entities that are buying electric vehicles, one is intertwined with the current administration and the other is a government entity. To add to the fact that the manufacturer of the Chevy Volt is the General (Government) Motors a company that took a major bailout of tax payer’s money to keep themselves from going bankrupt. There is a major conflict of interest here in these deals.

As it is General Electric’s Chief Executive Officer is Jeffrey Immelt, The man whom president Obama hand picked to be on the energy commission. This is also the one company that had a ZERO tax liability in 2010. Is it me or does anyone else see a problem with all of this? Immelt is quoted “Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles will also drive clean energy innovation, strengthen energy security and deliver economic value.” It’s all amazing how this is exactly what the Obama Administration has been pushing since he starting running for president. Too bad green energy is still in it’s infancy and the government has no business footing the bill at this point. The government is not is the business business and should step back and allow the free market to work through the kinks of the industry to really see if it’s profitable and worth the risk.

At this point with regards to electric vehicles, it’s too soon for local governments to invest tax payer money into it before the industry improves the efficiency of its product. Currently these vehicles will only go as far as forty miles on a single charge and then has to be charged for hours before being able to do it again. How is that going to be efficient for the different departments of the city of New York to do it’s job, especially the NYPD? Let’s not even get into the price tag for one of these vehicles. They are nearly double the price of a standard gas powered car that the police are using now. It will take years, if not decades to seen the benefits of these vehicles. Once these vehicles have been improved to go much further than they do now, then I say yes, let’s do it.

After writing this article, news came out about the electric car company Green Vehicles closing it’s manufacturing plant after the city of Salinas invested $500,000 into the company with the hopes of creating 70 new jobs and bring in $700,000 annually in taxes.

Washington DC Needs Diapers

Posted by Billy On July - 15 - 2011

debt talks
AP Photo- Charles Dharapak

With all the talk about the debt ceiling and the politics being played out, I think it’s time to ship diapers to Washington DC. Obama, along with congress have been trying to come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling or not. Obama want to raise it $2.4 trillion, Congress wants to keep it down to about $1.4 trillion. Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader and seven other Congressional leaders met yesterday to work out what can be done to accomplish this task.

Of course, in true form of politicians, nothing was done except Obama and Cantor had their feelings hurt and walked out of the meeting. Depending on who you talk to, you will get different comments as to what happened behind closed doors. Either way you look at it, our political leaders are more concerned about their chances in next year’s election instead of what’s right for the country. Obama (like the kid in the playground with his marbles) is threatening to veto any bill that is put before him if he doesn’t get his way. The president said that he’s concerned for the American people. So if he is, why isn’t he eliminating programs that are draining the system?

The big problem that politicians are faced with, is if they have to close portions of the government for any length of time, the American people may realize that these programs weren’t needed in the first place and there won’t be a need to be reinstated once the crisis is over. Obama has used scare tactics this week by saying he can’t guarantee that the social security checks will go out in August. He knows that will not be the case and saying it just shows you how he’s willing to play ball.

Every time the threat of the country (or State) having to shut down part of the government, politicians will always use the tactic of claiming that the police, firefighters and medicare will be the programs that will be affected. This isn’t the case since there are so many other ones (parks, museums and rest areas) that can be cut for the time being (if not permanent).

So in the meantime, politicians will sit there and use spin tactics to scare the people and in turn whine and complain about the way things are getting done. If you think about it, the government is working exactly the way our politicians have set it up to work…poorly.

Obama Press Conference

Posted by Billy On July - 11 - 2011

Today Obama had his fifteenth press conference since he took office thirty months ago. This time he was discussing the debt ceiling and how the politicians can not come to an agreement. If you tuned in to hear anything of substance, then you pretty much wasted your time.

Once again President Obama wanted to play the blame game as well as campaign for his next election. He spoke for roughly 20 minutes on how the debt ceiling needed to be raised and the hurdles which laid in the way from the Republicans. Several times he stated that if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, America would default on it’s obligations to pay it’s debt. That is partially correct, but not entirely. Never during his speech did he mention cutting spending unless you count the times how the only spending cuts that would be affected are the ones tied to seniors, children and the “less” fortunate.

The biggest game politicians play is striking fear into the American voter. To do that, they need to inform people that the spending cuts that that are available to do are the ones that will affect these three categories of people. Don’t get me wrong, I do care and I feel those people shouldn’t be sacrificed to rein in the spending spree that politicians have been on for the last 20 years.

After Obama finished speaking, he allowed a few questions from the press. During the nearly thirty minutes of questions, only six questions were asked. Why? Because Obama once again went into campaign mode, blaming the “other”side of not doing what needed to be done. Each question was about 20-30 seconds long, but his average answer was seven minutes. One question that was asked, “What contingency plans do you have Mr President if an agreement can not be reached before the deadline.” His answer was short… “We will meet the deadline of August 2nd.”
Another question was asked in regards to a bill towards the minorities in this county finding employment. This time his answer was not short, but very lengthy. He stated off by saying, “I’m not going to talk about the bill.” Then continued with a very long winded answer which was more towards a campaign bullet point than anything a president would say during a press conference. Another big problem we’re having in this country is the lack of a backbone from the main stream media. the other questions that were asked were “easy”, “softball” questions at best. None of the reporters have the “guts” to ask serious straight forward questions to the president. Add to the fact that when the president goes off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the question, the reporters should remind Obama what the question was and ask him to answer it this time around. The president works for us. it’s only right that he answer questions the public want to know.

One comment Obama made really disturbed me. He said, “America’s democracy will only work if people listen to other people.” America was not built on democracy, it was designed to be a republic and nothing more. I spoke about it in a recent post about the difference between Democracy vs Republic governments. I feel president Obama has no intentions of keeping this country free and set by the “rule of the land”.

The only way to save this country by it’s own financial failures is by cutting spending of many programs that are not needed or required to run the federal government. Both the Republican and the Democrat politicians need to look at their district and cut programs without worrying about how it will affect their next election results. We as Americans need to keep a careful eye out on all of them before the next election and clean house no matter what political party they are affiliated with.