Showing posts with label John Boehner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Boehner. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The People Have Spoken: Compromise!

It is amazing how close the anecdotal survey mentioned at the end of my last post came to predicting the 2.2% popular vote plurality for Obama (only a tenth of a percent off).  I wonder how many professional polling pontificators were as accurate!  Assume Florida is finally called for Obama, and that seems most likely at this point, the final Electoral College tabulation will be 332 for Obama vs. Romney's 206.  Here the survey of 289 vs. 249 was too pessimistic, although calling the winner.

This was no mandate for Obama, nor should it be. His political campaign of 2008 underestimated the depths of the economic crisis and the ability of a mere President to affect meaningful economic change.  Too many promises were made, indeed. Perhaps he has a more sober view of reality with the onset of his second term. 

Looking at the results vs. 2008 clearly shows that the American public is dissatisfied with the status quo.  Obama's popular plurality in 2008 was 52.93% or 2.63% more than 2012.  That doesn't sound like much except when you look at the absolute vote itself, with Obama getting 9.6 million less votes than in 2008.  Less people voted, showing the disenfranchisement of the country as a whole.  We are all sick of the shenanigans of both parties.

But if Obama is listening, hopefully they are across the aisle as well.  Senate's Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's gave an ominous post election speech saying, "They [the American public] gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives...Now it's time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office...To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way."

It sounds like more of the same.  Will Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner get the message as well?  Boehner said "The American people also made clear there's no mandate for raising tax rates." Doesn't sound encouraging that Boehner is still drawing a line in the sand that there can be no tax increases in any compromise. Another game of chicken with the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling?  Any sane person knows this cannot be merely addressed with spending cuts.  There will have to be some tax increases, a more progressive tax scale such as in the Clinton era.  Our economy did fine then, why not now?  Ok, guys, time to compromise.  The election results seem to be shouting that message. 

Antidote du jour...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peacocks Preening

The bird moved forward a little. Then it turned its head to the side and braced itself. It kept its bright, wild eye right on us. Its tail was raised, and it was like a big fan folding in and out. There was every color in the rainbow shining from that tail....The bird made this strange wailing sound once more. 'May-awe, may-awe!' it went. If it'd been something I was hearing late at night and for the first time, I'd have thought it was somebody dying, or else something wild and dangerous. --- Raymond Carver, Feathers

It has been that kind of "wild and dangerous" week in Washington, the showing of the feathers -- May-awe, may-awe! -- the Democrats crucifying the oil industry in Congressional Hearings, with the irony of Jay Rockefeller, a great-grandson of Standard Oil Company's John D. Rockefeller, grilling oil executives over tax breaks, even though the "mere" few billion yearly in such breaks wouldn't even move the needle on the national debt. And, of the $4 dollars being paid at the pump, those tax breaks are negligible. Not that I understand their need for those tax breaks: let the politicians battle that one out. But what I do understand is grandstanding when I see it. May-awe, may-awe!

What our Congressional leaders should be addressing is the need for a national energy policy, but we've been talking, talking, about that ever since the gas lines of the early 1970's. We have the technology but not the will to do what is necessary and every administration has kicked that can down the road.

It shows the dysfunctional nature of our government and we are paying for it, literally, in our national debt, at the pump, and at the supermarket, etc. Senator Rockefeller, when you made your political accusation to the oil executives, " I think you're out of touch, deeply profoundly out of touch," you should have been addressing Congress instead.

Speaking about being out of touch, we also had the preening of the Republicans, best represented by House Speaker John Boehner's remarks at the New York Economic club: "It's true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible...but it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process." May-awe, may-awe! As Congress would like to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion, that means $2 trillion in cuts which sounds idyllic, just like ending oil tax incentives. But we are supposed to hit the debt ceiling within days or weeks. Can one imagine Congress being capable of engineering $2 trillion in cuts in such a short time? Impossible. So there it is, an implied ultimatum to the President: no tax increases and show me the $2 trillion or we don't care whether there is a default by the US on its debt. Catastrophic for our country, but that's the Rambo image our "leaders" like to project, no matter what the consequences to our economy and jobs. May-awe, may-awe!