Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Deal or No Deal?

The NFL Players Association have voted to accept the Owner's offers and so come fall we'll have NFL football.  Our nation's economy may be in free-fall and we may have defaulted on outstanding debt.  But, at least we'll have Monday Night Football, even if Howard and Dandy Don are long since dead.  And so all will be good, as long as we can afford to keep the TV set running!

If you're intently following every zig and zag of the Debt Limit talks you're exhausted by now.  Maybe you have a good idea about what all this means or maybe you're totally confused.  After all, there are all these competing TV ads telling us to cut all that waste and fraud (but don't touch my subsidies or my benefits or raise my taxes).  Now, I'll admit that I've thrown my lot in with one side of the debate (I'm not against partisanship, as long as at the end of the day the parties remain committed to achieving the common good).  I'm also a political realist and not a political purist -- so I understand that politics is the art of the possible.  At the end of the day our political system is set up so that you have to come to a middle position, especially if one party doesn't control all branches of government.   So, the question is:  Are these two parties (sorry independents, you really don't have a stake in this game) willing to set aside their political goals for the sake of the country.  And what are the goals?

Well, for the GOP it's real simple -- they have to make it impossible for President Obama to be re-elected.  The only way they can do this is for the economy to remain in the doldrums.  If the economy improves (that is unemployment goes down), they can't get the White House back.  Plus, they want the Senate in their hands.  

What do the Democrats want?  Well, they want to re-elect the President, even if he doesn't always do what the party purists want him to do.  They also want to take back the House and retain control of the Senate.  To do this they need to make sure the economy grows.  

So, with these goals in mind, you can see who has more political interest in growing the economy, at least in the short term.  [If you're an Independent and you want to see things improve sooner than later, I think you can see who to get behind!]

Now, in the end everyone could grow up and do what is right and lay aside their political goals, but that's going to be difficult.  We live at a time when, despite the expansion of communication devices, people seem less informed than ever before.  Part of this is that there are so many competing venues that people simply can't discern truth from fiction.  Ultimately many simply opt out.  My word of advice is to say that this isn't a good idea.

I don't believe that any form of government or any political party platform is divinely ordained.  I do believe that democracy, for all of its faults, is the best form yet devised.  It can be messy, but it's also the only form of government that allows people the opportunity to participate in their own governance.  But, if you like living in a democracy you have a responsibility to make sure it works properly.  That's the difficult part.  We have to act like adults in the way we vote and hold our leaders accountable.

Since there's a crisis brewing, maybe now is the time to get to work.  Of course, there's always football!

3 comments:

Brian said...

Henry Clay (The Great Compromiser) would not do well in this political climate.

I'm sad that the "compromising" seems to be the Republicans getting 90 percent of what they want. Even at that they are campaigning on the president being uppity.

I notice the words being used in this national "debate". Nobody says rich and poor any more. The rich are "job creators". The poor are..... That's right, nobody even talks about the poor anymore. The Dems talk about working americans, middle-class, etc, but never utter the word poor.

The New Testament reveals a savior who talks a lot about the poor. I'd sure like to see our politicians acting more like Jesus and less like Judas.

John said...

Politicians are not prophetic, but opportunistic. why would anyone be surprised that they appeal to their constituencies and ignore, if not exclude, those who cannot or will not vote for them?


And the choice of language, refusing to say the words "compromise" or "rich," is intentional and the height of cynicism.

The whole thing is being driven by the wealthy, (not all, just the most opportunistic) and it is ALL about maximizing profit. Anyone who suggests that Republicans are about job creation are confused or lying.

Those individuals and companies who profit most by the planks of the Republican party are the least likey to create jobs - insurance companies, banks, oil companies, Wall Street traders. They work with money, finding ways to multiply it and keep it. Manufacturing concerns, companies most likely to expand payroll, are rarely well treaated by Republicans. TheRepublican resistance to the auto-company bailout being the best example of this.

Gary said...

Raising the "debt limit" is unlikely to help the economy. What it will do is make richer, at least on paper, the bankers who will buy bonds with the money the Federal Reserve prints. (the banks own "The Fed", to which the government gave the authority to print money. The bankers then "buy" that money for a small fraction of the face value, and then use the money to buy government debt, which you and I must repay). It's a great system, if you are a banker. And those banks spend lots of that printed money on politicians to insure that their little game is kept in tact. The banks win, the politicians win, and the taxpayer foots the bill. Can you say "SUCKER"? Personally, I'd love to see this corrupt system collapse.