I have often said that President Barack Obama could be a really good president, particularly if he distanced himself from the party leadership and its endless rhetoric. Obama, like most presidents set their agenda and then let the party leadership distribute it across the land while they retreat to the oval office and wait for the results. But, I felt that the president let the leadership dictate the agenda at the onset. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Harry Reid set the tempo during Bushes lame duck session and as Obama entered the Oval Office it wasn't so much about his goals per se, as that stale old party line. On Wednesday, however, I believe that Barack Obama has finally separated himself from the same old rhetoric and told us what he in fact would and wouldn't accept. Believe it or not, I happen to agree more with what Obama had to say than Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity, a.k.a. The Great American Austerity Plan has to offer.
Hey, I always said that I was a former Democrat turned Independent. When ever, and where ever, I voted Republican it was because their idea resonated better at the time than the very stale dream the Democrats were peddling over and over again. It is true, though, that I will remain fully committed to a smaller government and less layers of bureaucracy. That will not change! Nor will my idea that we need real and meaningful Immigration Reform as opposed to Illegals just being granted another amnesty with a slap on the wrist and a meager fine.
Government, however, still has an obligation to the people when it comes to some guarantee of social programs; i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc.. Let's face it, many of us are merely one misfortune away from financial ruin.
Government, though, needs to work smarter and leaner. Government waste has always been an issue as has the immense power of special interests that jack the cost of everything through the roof. Like I have previously said - we need to stop overpaying for everything from prescription pills to missiles. Bloated bureaucracies with their enormous staffs and incidental costs must be reined in as well. To say that the governments house is in financial disarray would be an understatement and as such, that must be the very first place that our elected yokels need to attack with vim and vigor.
I probably agreed, in principle, with 75% of what President Obama had to say on Wednesday. I do not believe, however that Social Security and Medicare should be given a bigger part of the blame for our runaway deficit over the root cause - which is the defense budget. The defense budget, with all its many money streams, is the single greatest contributor to the National Deficit. Matter of fact, anyone who has ever been in the military will tell you how appalling it is with what the average base throws away daily just in food.
Of course, the greatest waste of money in the military is the extravagant costs associated with weaponry - all purchased at a premium cost. Bullets costing five to ten times what they are worth do not kill any less effectively! Then again, there is a hell of a lot of "military research" projects that linger on for decades without conclusion or just outright abandoned after billions have been spent. The defense budget, for all practical purposes, is a giant black hole sucking good money after bad. Fighting a war on three fronts is absurd too.
While I mostly agreed with the president, his plan offered very little in the fine details. Sure, it can be considered that much of his speech today was the opening salvo in a bid for re-election according to the political pundits, but I am still encouraged that he at least put everything on the table for review and/or compromise. If the GOP refuse to sit down and bargain in good faith, they essentially cut off their own nuts.
GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner immediately shot down Obama's desire to let the Bush Era Tax Cuts expire for the wealthiest of those on top of the economic food chain was a game-stopper - well Mr. Boehner - Fu$k You! Any politician that continues favoring the rich avoiding paying their fair share, I will vote against them. Period! When the rich pay less in taxes than I do, then that is my game-changer.
In previous posts, I said that the Tea Party Caucus was a bunch of phoneys that reside at the far right extreme. That wasn't said without lack of merit or proof. I telephoned Adam Kinzinger's office and made my opinions known, particularly regarding Paul Ryan and his smoke and mirrors, Path to Prosperity. Since then I have a received a form letter thank you from Adam Kinzinger in which he again laid out the same old rhetoric of the extreme right while ignoring every single comment I made.
Well, was he even listening? Of course not and that is exactly what this Tea Party Caucus fraud is all about. But I am not one to be snubbed so I took the time to call Kinzinger's office again and this time I was more direct with his aide. I said as easy as it was for our diverse district to elect him and rid itself of Debbie Halvorson, it will be just as easy to rid ourselves of him. Our district is not your typical locked-in on any one ideology or another, rather what we want is representation that will reflect our wants and desires for our district. It will go with the candidate that adheres to that principle and given that many of us here want reform, we also do not want this bogus caucus to stick it to what is left of the middle class.
So here is the deal - politicians better get the message that their continued rhetoric is unwelcome. Since President Obama offered a clearer compromise position that is more in line with my way of thinking on how cuts should be handled, I strongly suggest that John Boehner not stick to hard to the notion that the rich will again continue to screw over the rest of the citizenry with their plethora of tax breaks.
America is a funny place - if you mess with the middle of the road too long - you may just get run over.
And right now Obama's plan sounds way better than Boehner and Ryan's.
Tags: Politics: Obama Budget Plan: President Obama: President Obama: Paul Ryan: Path to Prosperity: Tea Party: Tea Party Caucus: John Boehner: Economy: Illegal Immigration: Government Benefits: News and Opi