Thursday, September 6, 2012

Balancing the Budget & Reducing the Deficit

The Republicans want to reduce spending and they don’t want any increases in taxes; and they also claim they want to balance the budget and reduce our nation’s debt. When will they get serious?
by Charlie Leck

Former President Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic faithful last night at the party’s convention was pretty interesting to the political analysts. He spent a lot of time talking about the fact that his administration delivered four surplus budgets in eight years. How? The big kahoona said that the question required only a one word answer: arithmetic!

In fact, it required more. It required some will on the part of Congress to look carefully at spending. It took something of a welfare reform. And, some taxes had to be raised. As a result of that economic sensibility, and as a result of cooperation between the two branches of government AND THE TWO PARTIES, a lot of momentum was built up in the nation’s economy. People did quite well under Clinton. The employment situation was good and a lot of people got rich.

That’s fact!

It’s also fact that under the Obama administration the President cannot get that kind of cooperation from the loyal opposition. Republicans aren’t willing to compromise on Obama’s efforts to increase revenue through reasonable hikes in income tax rates. Most Republicans are doing their work under a silly pledge they signed not to increase taxes one single penny. That pledge is at the heart and soul of the nation’s economic problems. If Republicans were able to agree to some hikes in taxes, they could then bargain for some of the reductions they want in spending.

Almost every sensible economist in America recognizes that we need greater tax revenue as part of a plan to kick-start the American economy again. Even normally reasonable Republicans know this, but they are caught in a political trap because of the recreation of the Republican Party into something that can’t even be described or accurately labeled – somewhat inclined toward the Tea Party; and somewhat obligated to the Libertarian movement; and somewhat wary of the Christian-right; and greatly obligated to billionaire funders! This strange conglomeration does not a tasty stew make! And, it makes leadership nearly impossible.

How does a leader in the Republican Party make progress on a plan to rejuvenate the economy when he has to worry about radical questions about immigration, religion, language, abortion, contraception and pledges on taxation? (Take a look at the Republican Party platform!) How does a Republican leader move the country toward cooperation with the Democrats when he owes so much to a handful of billionaires who funded his campaign in return for certain pledges of allegiance?

Republicans don’t want to talk about any of these issues and they won’t. This will be one of the most issueless campaigns you’ve ever seen. Romney, and that fellow from Wisconsin, will agree to talk about only one thing and that’s drastic reductions in spending and services in order to reduce the national debt. I’m convinced that they are willing to sacrifice the middle class in order to move the nation toward a greatly reduced deficit.

There was a remarkably insightful article in this week’s issue of Politics in Minnesota that indicates the Republican strategy will be to deAmericanize Barack Obama. Remember Romney’s comment up in Michigan about “at least” he and his wife were born in Michigan and had birth certificates to prove it. That’s part of the process. It’s a claim that America will not look like America under an Obama administration. The article makes sense and explains a bit the silly and provocative film documentary that is running right now around the country that shows Obama as a foreign character, leaving the country looking unlike America (whatever the hell that means). The article claims that the entire Republican campaign will be light on issues and heavy on portraying Obama as un-American.

It’s going to be an ugly and contentious campaign – starting Friday morning! Tighten your chin straps.

Why not become a follower?
If you read my blog regularly, why not become a follower? All you have to do is click in the upper right hand corner and establish a simple means of communication. Then you'll be informed every time a new blog is posted here. If all that's confusing, here's Google's explanation of how to do it! If you don’t want to post comments on the blog, but would like to communicate with me about it, send me an email if you’d like.

1 comment: