Something funny happened to the people we sent to serve us as the 112th U.S. Congress - so far they have out performed the famous "Do-Nothing Congress of 1948." Not a very good distinction! Now, that should really please the hell out of us all given the fact that unemployment remains locked at an anemic 9.1%. Even a sweeping shift in power during the mid-term elections of 2010 hasn't paid off one iota. Congress has not made any of our everyday lives better. I don't know what it is, but Americans just can't catch a break when it comes to sending representatives to Washington DC. I guess we are just blessed to have two political parties that are more content with obstructing progress than working to resolve the ills of the country by way of diplomacy and compromise.
But, hey, I guess it is just par for the course. Hyper-partisanship has reared its ugly head before and I am sure it will again somewhere in the future. But, the anomaly here is that the so-called Tea Party candidates who swore that they would go to Washington to make thinks happen, have instead, fallen flat on their collective faces. And instead of admitting that they had seriously miscalculated on what waste Americans wanted them to slash from the Federal Budget, they have retreated into a cocoon insisting that their way is the right way even though the majority of Americans scorn their agenda.
It is kind of like what comedian George Carlin once lamented in his Seven Words You Can't Say On TV skit, "it is okay to prick your finger, but don't finger your prick." And that folks, is the current state of politics in America. Politicians presenting false illusions as to where government waste lies, isn't a way to endear yourself with the populus. The fact is, the military budget in all its forms is the greatest waste of our resources. And given we are fighting three wars and supporting umpteen of other useless regimes, that sounds like the most sensible place to begin slashing.
Politicians, especially the austerity happy GOP, must realize that when you have an anemic economy, the last thing you do is attack social programs. Common sense tells you that people across all ideologies have been forced to rely on those programs even more than ever because of it. Personally, I think any politician crazy enough to suggest that therein lies the answer will soon find themselves voted out of office.
Let's face it, people are sick and tired of being unable to find jobs. And by that I mean good jobs! Those Fast Food or part-time positions devoid of benefits that politicians point to as progress aren't good enough. Those aren't exactly the jobs people need to sustain them. They are merely temporary solutions for people who have been forced to accept something far less than their true worth.
Even the official unemployment rate is something of curiosity. What happened to the millions who have exhausted their allowable unemployment benefits? Well? Economists and politicians who are willing to tell the truth will admit that our official unemployment rate is at least 50% higher once you compensate for other economic factors. Seems to me that puts the rate at somewhere around 14%.
One thing is for sure, government assistance is on the rise as more and more are forced onto welfare and other supplemental benefits. Sadly, more and more people have been left unemployed for so long that they have gradually slid down to the lowest rungs of assistance. And with that comes an even greater drain on the economic engine. Yes Sir Bob - the top ten percent of Americans have been able to weather the storm fairly well and have even see the stock market rebound for them. But, that hasn't equated to many jobs being filtered down to the other 90%. Many people are downright down and out! How many foreclosures will see yet?
My suggestion for the 112th Congress is that they get off their collective asses and learn how to compromise. And if necessary, they can start looking into creating another New "New Deal" program. There are more than enough infrastructure repairs required all across this country and maybe it is time to address them? If the country must limp through this Second Coming of the Great Depression,well then at least give them the dignity of working for their benefits. Or do our politicians not think that that would spur somehow economic spending down the line?
Politicians have protected Big Business for far too long. They have profited throughout, yet, where is the reinvestment? It just hasn't materialized, but hey there are more mega-mergers on the way to stifle even more competition. Perhaps it is time for our politicians to stop protecting an enterprise that hasn't given back its fair share. Quite frankly, under their current watch we have seen more jobs, especially union ones, being targeted for extinction. Does it even resonate with our do-nothings that the excessive profit taking has only resulted in putting more people onto the government welfare rolls?
And what about fighting wars on three fronts? They have literally drained the life out of our economy! It seems to me that our military expenditures have been way over the top and at this point, unsustainable.
Like I said before, maybe the 112th Congress should reevaluate their priorities and get off their asses!