Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our Congress is Controlled by Children

Again, some history but with present day ramifications. Last December our Republican senators announced that they wouldn't vote in favor of anything until the Senate approved tax cuts for Americas richest 2%. They reminded me of my sons when they were about eight years old.  My sons would stamp their foot or throw themselves on the floor and announce that they weren't going  anywhere or doing anything until they got their way. It was, of course, easier for me to ignore my eight year-olds than it was for President Obama and the Democrats to ignore Senators.

I hated to see the President compromise because I know that compromising with children encourages future bad behavior. He should at that point have gone on vacation but instead he capitulated, or perhaps the right word is appeased. Although the President did gain some things for the rest of us, he was also guilty of enabling the Republicans. We, the other 98% (the poor and middle class) received a tax break; the unemployed continued to receive a badly needed check and small businesses received additional tax breaks which might encourage them to expand.  In addition, " Don't ask don't tell" was repealed. It will be nice to no longer hear about this policy which forced young Americans fighting for their country to hide who they are. The new Start treaty was approved with a great deal of Republican support. This treaty was supported by our military and every living former Secretary of state but was opposed by the child in chief Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

 Sadly my prediction came true  This time they  threatened to destroy our, and perhaps the worlds economy by preventing us from borrowing the money needed to pay America's bills. Once again I think the President should have ignored them and let them continue to stamp their feet and cry but he  instead agreed to negotiate. That was enough to make me wish I had voted for Hilary Clinton We clearly needed a president with some balls and we didn’t have one. The result was massive reductions in spending on programs which benefit the lower and middle class and left us with a promise of more reductions to come. 
This brought us to last week when it became obvious the appropriation for FEMA and other agencies dealing with the emergencies brought on by tornadoes, flood and hurricanes would not be sufficient to meet the escalating costs.

 Eric Cantor, Republican and second in command in the House, said the Republicans would not agree to provide emergency funding for our storm ravaged Northeast unless the Democrats agreed to more budget cuts. When asked to confirm this position his office did. The President must say NO. I can't believe the Republicans will block a supplemental appropriation for storm damage but if they do lets see how their constituents feel about that. Lets see how the Governors (including the tea party backed Republicans) of storm ravaged states react to that. 

The right answer to this threat is a raise middle finger. The children have been spoiled enough.

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