Things are not going well for republicans this week. It seems they over played their hand. Especially the republican governors. Their state houses have shutdown and legislation is dying. They told the constituents that the anti-union bills were what they wanted. Were they ever wrong on this. They took a stand and railed against collective bargaining, the people who do the work and fund state governments, only to have it backfire. We have fake telephone calls, threats of firings and they still don’t get it. In Indiana, deputy attorney general said “use live ammunition.” It is logical for a republican to say that since their real issues are the Second Amendment and religion. The people have shutdown state governments now it is time to shut down the federal government.
In the case of the federal government, the neocons, republicans in Washington are making the same mistakes that state governments have. Our spending cuts are what the American people want. Do we really want 55,000 instructors and teachers in Head start to lose their jobs? Do we really want fewer food inspectors in the USDA? Do we really want cuts in NOAA, the US Marshall service, food and safety inspection services, FDA, Job training programs, the CDC, LIHEAP? I find the LIHEAP interesting. It is a program used to stop northerners from freezing to death in the middle of winter. Do republicans really want the American people to freeze to death to say $400m? The answer is yes. But as they say this is what we want. These cuts would ave a huge and devastating effect, impact on public services.
Besides, it’s not as if the Republicans are proposing to replace these programs with more efficient alternatives They say that their party’s hard decisions were necessary to show that they are serious about returning our nation to a sustainable path. These are the same Republicans who insist upon tax cuts that benefit only the very wealthiest Americans and place an even greater burden on the federal governments resources. They are home now, and hearing from their constituents. The teapots by now are hearing from their constituents about service cuts that the tea party say we want. Remarkably, they did not cut their fringe programs, “abstinence-only-education, and “faith-based-initiative.
The government shutdown is mostly about fighting for political power by the republicans rather than a serious attempt to rescue the nation’s finances. The Republicans are going to fail. they want to win over the public, hold the upper hand for the political fights ahead. The sad part is the amount of money being fought over is only a tiny fraction of the country’s budget deficit. It is all just smoke and mirrors, making it seem that our lawmakers are really struggling over the deficit when, the truth is, they are still dodging debates over the big five in government spending: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Society, defense and taxes.
The major obstacle to a major deal on the budget is the “no new taxes” pledge made by Republicans. Remember, that Republicans have repeatedly voted for increases in spending through the last decade, including the biggest deficit-financed entitlement in the last 50 years, the Medicare prescription drug benefit. In 2001 the massive tax cuts did not lead to reduced spending. Instead, the tax cuts were followed by big increases in spending, boosting the deficit from both sides. The Republicans must violate there no new taxes pledge.
There are solutions to the budget deficit: The Value Added Tax, Payroll taxes and higher gas taxes.
The VAT is a money machine because of its ability to raise great amounts of money. It could be used to close deficits. Revenue increases would result in in reductions in spending.
Higher gas taxes: We need to stop being cry babies over the price of gas. Compared to what the Europeans pay, 1.59 euros a liter, that comes to $8.76 a gallon. We are just going to have to pay higher taxes and cut spending to cut the deficit.
So let the Republicans slam the door and shutdown the government. When the uprising starts against the federal government as it did against state governments they will get the message that lawmakers work for the people. They should truly represent the people.
- Government shutdown – who wins, who loses? (politico.com)
- The coming shutdowns and showdowns: What’s really at stake (blogs.berkeley.edu)
- Government Shutdown 2011: Winners & Losers (huffingtonpost.com)
- Memories of 1995 haunt GOP as shutdown talk grows (sfgate.com)
- House GOP scrambles to avoid blame for government shutdown (dailykos.com)