Deficit Turkeys

With a little less than six weeks remaining in the 2010 Midterm Election Cycle, the political gamesmanship (read: bullshit) is quickly reaching a fever pitch. While the art and pseudo-science of shoveling b.s. via television, radio, and glossy mailers has become status-quo, this cycle is unique in that it started in November of 2008. Sean Hannity led Fox News out of the gate quickly, labeling our nation’s economic woes as the “Obama Recession” almost three months before the man was sworn in.

Everything else, federally speaking, from that moment forward became part of the Rove concept that is the permanent campaign. Party politics has long been a thorn in the side of democratic process, but this cycle took the problem from the level of the common cold, and elevated it to potentially terminal cancer. For two solid years, a significant portion of the media (the number one cable news network and a super-majority of a.m. talk-radio) has spent every day in criticism of the President. For every day of this 18 month old legislative cycle, the minority party has been committed to defeating every proposal of the majority without so much as a single rational counter-proposal. (Cutting taxes, dear friends, is not the wonder-drug that makes wonders.)

The Republicans have successfully defined all of the key terms in American politics; bipartisanship means passing conservative legislation, fiscal responsibility means cutting programs unrelated to the military and cutting taxes on high income businesses and individuals, and patriotism means pretending that we are always correct and will always be strong…just so long as we keep the blanket pulled up over our collective eyes. Eight years of conservative policies ending with a downturn eclipsed only by the Great Depression, and conservatives have successfully convinced many Americans that it is the Democrats who have “had their chance”. To make matters worse, the programs, passed by Democrats, that kept our nation from going over the barrel, have been successfully recast as bankrupting deficit monsters.

Ah, the deficit. Tax and spend Democrats. Big government. The great mythology of our time. The American public is familiar now with the “trend” of the debt and deficit, but most do not understand the causes of either. What Americans do know, is what they have consistently told pollsters of every stripe for 2 years now…they want Washington to focus on jobs, not the deficit. And, as it turns out, the citizens are correct. Fix the jobs outlook, and the deficit will close. The lost revenue due to people and businesses not having income to tax is substantial. The spending on band aids like extended unemployment and food stamps is substantial. The spending on items like the stimulus and auto bailouts, while substantial, was temporary.

The deficit that is really crippling our nation, is the deficit of common sense. When a party can double the deficit, then accuse the other party of deficit explosion, then demand that deficit expanders like the failed Bush tax cuts be extended, they should by quickly thrown to the wolves. In our nation however, the conservatives, far from being eaten, are rising on a wave of public discontent. Republicans have been playing games like this for years, and they get away with it because Americans universally appreciate the brass cajones that it takes to try these stunts. Americans, also universally, despise the pandering and meandering approach to process that progressive politicians have embraced. The direction of polling during this cycle indicates that Americans respond to politicians who stand for something…even when that something goes against the grain. Democrats have shown a predisposition to trying to hide their successes. A homeowner who breaks into his own window might easily be confused for a law-breaker by the casual observer.

The health care battle showed us that Americans were capable of loving the details of a bill while simultaneously hating the bill itself (and everyone who proposed to vote for it). The conservative deficit turkeys are now constructing the final plan to destroy the universally popular Social Security and Medicare programs with full public support. The conservative mainstream media has been led into the so-called debt crisis by agents of billionaire Peter Peterson, and they continue to ignore the easy to read information available to all ECON 101 students: there is no short-term debt crisis, and there is no long-term debt crisis that can’t be fixed by finishing the job of getting control of health care costs.

What does exist is the tantalizing potential, for bond investors and other Wall Street operators, that is represented by the $1 trillion in annual FICA taxes that could be routed directly into their clutches by “privatization”. Rain or shine, whether grandma has bingo money or not, the Street will turn that trillion into tens of billions in fees. More than 95% of FICA taxes end up right back in the communities they were assessed in; spent by the senior citizens that collect retirement benefits on rent, utilities, services, food, entertainment, medical care, and presents for grandchildren. Without being able to guarantee the number, it is nonetheless clear that 95% of those monies harvested by Wall Street will not end up back in the community. Big banks, their officers, and investors have made a killing during this recession. The deficit turkeys want the execution to accelerate come this November.

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Animated Balls: Election 2012

Episode 1: It's Hard to Choose Just One

Episode 2: Occupy Wall Street

Episode 3: 999! The Cain Train to Prosperity

Episode 4: Small Government

Episode 5: Newt is Forgiven

Episode 6: A Candidate with Big Balls

Episode 7: Why We Must Elect Rick!

Episode 8: Don't Make Me Use the "S" Word!

Episode 9: Santorum & Obamaville

Episode 10: Settle for Mitt!

Episode 12: Austerity and Obama's Debt!

Episode 13: From My Cold, Dead Hands!

Episode 14: Ryan is a Bold Choice for VP!

Episode 15: Mitt Romney's Taxes

Episode 16: Mitt & Me; 2 Peas in a Pod!

Episode 17: Mitt and the 47%

Episode 18: The PA Voter ID Law

Episode 19: The Boss is Running!

Episode 20: Benghazi Has Legs

Episode 21: Grover, the NRA, and the GOP

Animated Balls: A New Frontier!

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