Facts To Keep In Mind
When Listening to Politicians!
First: It is the fault of and/or neglect of Congress that created the current financial crisis.
Summarizing: Congress cannot be counted upon to protect individual consumers, investors or businesses. Congressional allegiance remains with campaign contributors and lobbyists.
Second: We, as a nation, have been spending and making commitments beyond our income expectations –
Summarizing: As individuals, we must be prepared to review our positions and accept that we may need to change our expectations and be prepared to make sacrifices if we are to dig out of this mess.
Third: It’s not getting any better! Nor are there signs that the environment will change in the near term.
1. Increasing political posturing and rigidity is paralyzing chances of effective leadership. We remain unable to effectively control our national debt. It is primarily for this reason that Standard & Poors has downgraded the U.S. debt and Moody’s is warning of the same downgrade by 2013.
2. “Entitlements” like Social Security and Medicare are being viewed as targets to reduce costs even though these funds are secured by U.S. treasury bonds. The treasury has assured the world that they would pay interest on the debt to foreign nations but reimbursing Social Security for the loss of revenue created by "Economic Stimulus" may be delayed indefinitely according to some members of the recent "Super Committee." .
3. The current "Employment Tax Relief" is draining the Social Security trust fund at an estimated rate of about $1.3 billion @ year.
4. Republicans have proposed allowing individuals to “opt out” of Social Security and manage their own accounts. However, at the same time, Republicans are attempting to cut support for agencies that help protect consumers and investors. Specifically:
5. Meanwhile, the Democrats are attempting to load hundreds of new and revised regulations into the above agencies and commissions to such a degree that businesses are refusing to move forward with investments and hiring due to this extensive uncertainty. Not the least of which is the changing health care legislation.
6. Now, add in the phobia against allowing the government to increase taxes to help balance and/or reduce our national debt. We do need tax reforms but political rigidity is tying our hands. Some taxes do need to be raised and some taxes need to be reduced.
Summarizing: Political self-interest, phobic rigidity, finger pointing and over-zealous attitudes pro or against business have crippled the nation’s ability to find an effective future path. The individual citizen is being sacrificed for political interests.
Fourth: If you still think that we still have a “Two Party” system in Congress, Think Again!
1. The Democratic side is now split between the old-guard Democratic members and the 83 member ultra-liberal Progressive Caucus. This caucus operates within their own wants and some have even suggested a primary challenge to Obama because he made a deal with “Satan” i.e., the Republicans.
2. The Republican side is now split between the old-guard and the 60 member ultra-conservative Tea Party Caucus. The Tea Party members have no specific allegiance to the GOP and openly oppose compromise with the GOP when it means moving away from their specific agendas.
3. We now have four distinct factions that rigidly function independently and show little signs or any intention to negotiate away from their philosophical base. Still too early to know if the "occupy" movements will become a political factor.
4. And, there are even more significant caucuses: Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Women’s Issues Caucus, Urban Caucus, Dairy Caucus – and the list goes on and on!
Summarizing: No one faction has sufficient votes to set national policy but have sufficient votes to block progress and compromise. The extreme levels of rigidly and hostility is becoming ingrained in these factions even if it paralyzes our government. Dogma has risen to such levels that Congress has become dysfunctional.
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