May 24, 2011
Where are the Democrat Grown-ups?By Steve McCann
The United States faces momentous problems, potentially the most devastating issues in its 222 year history. Yet there is a political party, the Democrats, and their titular leader Barack Obama, who act as of this entire chapter in American history is a video game of gotcha with their political opponents who are at least seriously trying to solve some of the long term dilemmas the country faces.
It has become increasingly difficult to describe the childish machinations going on in the nation's capital. Nothing seems to adequately fit in light of the serious nature of governance and the responsibility to insure the security and well-being of 310 million people. There appear to be no adults in the Democratic Party or the vast majority of the Left in the United States.
On the overwhelmingly important issue of spending and taxes, the Republicans in the House through Paul Ryan have proposed and passed a budget plan that makes a serious and viable attempt to bring the nation back to solvency within a reasonable period of time. The emphasis, as it should be, is on spending not increasing an already over-bearing tax structure.
The total national debt over the past three years from Obama's inauguration through the end of this 2011 will have increased nearly $4.3 Trillion (31% of the aggregate national debt from 1789 to the present). What do the President and the Democrats in the Senate propose? First: no meaningful long term spending reductions, and second: tax increases of every sort and description that would be ill-advised in a booming economy but absolutely reckless in today's anemic economic environment.
The Democrats in the Senate have floated a plan to implement a millionaire surtax in order to force the Republicans to accept tax increases. They are, along with the administration, beating the well worn drum of class warfare by continuing the old Marxist line that all our problems can be solved if we just tax the rich whom those evil Republicans want to defend at all costs thus taking food and medicine out of the mouths of the poor and middle class.
They know full well that even at a 100% tax rate on the rich the massive budget deficit would still exist and get worse without meaningful spending reductions.
Nonetheless the President, in his grossly inadequate 10 year budget plan, wants to boost taxes by nearly $1 Trillion; meanwhile the Democrat Senate has one-upped that proposal by promising that their long-awaited budget will include $2 Trillion in new taxes. (That will really give a boost to the private sector to invest and create jobs.)
Another major issue facing Americans today is the price of gasoline. The Republicans have passed in the House a bill to restore and open new areas for drilling and exploration as they understand the root cause of the problem is too little supply. That same bill was defeated by the Democrats in the Senate.
Instead the Democrats tried to hike taxes on oil companies by demonizing them for making a profit. The President joined in on the chorus by stating: "They are making tens of billions of dollars each -- huge profits -- while you are struggling to fill up your gas tank." Meanwhile he ignores the tens of billions his crony capitalist allies on Wall Street and elsewhere are recording.
This tactic is now so overused that it prompts yawns among the general public as they also realize the problem is too little supply of oil (which is in abundant quantity in the US) and dependence on foreign sources. Further, the by-product of more oil industry taxes, which results in less oil exploration, is the exact opposite of what is needed to bring down gasoline prices.
But it's fun to beat up on the oil companies whenever gas prices skyrocket due to domestic government policy or international factors rather than tackling the real problem: extreme environmental policies which to mitigate would run afoul of a major Democratic constituency.
However, the most egregious example of the unserious and childish aspect of today's Democrat Party has been their reaction to the elephant in the room: the promises made (or unfunded liabilities) of Medicare which are estimated to be nearly $26+ Trillion and is thus on a massively unsustainable path. This situation has elicited dire warning even from liberal sources:
Treasury Secretary Geithner: "We should not wait for the trust funds to be exhausted to make reforms necessary to protect our current and future retirees. Larger and more difficult adjustments will be necessary if we delay reform."
The American Medical Association's J. James Rohack MD: "The longer it takes to reform this system, the greater the cost. Across the board cuts in Medicare do not get to the root cause of the cost challenge and can hamper patients' ability to receive care. The ultimate goal should be to achieve better value for our health care spending."
The House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, have offered a serious Medicare plan that will utilize market forces to rein in costs and to protect the basic program for the future. However, they have proposed these changes only for those under 55 allowing all current recipients and those over 55 to experience no alterations in their current plans. What have the Democrats offered: Fear.
Per the Investor's Business Daily:
Apparently the really comfortable Democrat fat-cats on Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues in Washington D.C. as well as the Upper East Side in New York find it of the utmost importance that their power base and standard of living not be disturbed by the rabble in the rest of the country. They are still of the mindset that the majority of the masses are content to be entertained by the goings-on in the celebrity world and these problems can be kicked down the road for someone else or a future generation to solve. Today they are simply opportunities to bash and intimidate the opposition so they either capitulate or by the incitement of fear among various vulnerable groups will be defeated in the next election.
But the future of the country is not a sporting event or game of one-upmanship set on a high school campus. The United States faces extraordinarily difficult times both domestically and around the world. It does not need to have in positions of power those whose mindset is their own status, narcissism and ideology. If they cannot grow up and get beyond their adolescent psyche then they need to get out of the way and let the adults take over so there will still be a country, society and economy that will allow not only this self-important group and their progeny to continue with their lifestyle but allow the rest of the country to experience growth and prosperity as well.