The Ties that No Longer Bind

Posted: February 21, 2011 in AZ, Border Security, Class Warfare, Healthcare, Illegal Immigration, The Economy

I’ve talked about the destruction of the Middle Class before and here it is again, knocking up against our heads, shouting to be noticed amongst all the chaff being thrown up by Republicans. What do I mean by chaff?  Have you ever seen or played a computerized fighter jet game?  Well, one of the tactics of in avoiding enemy fire is to release chaff, objects released by your plane that attracts the enemy’s fire and misdirect it away from your plane.  That’s what the Republicans are doing on both the national and local stage.

In Arizona legislation such as SB1070 and the proposed birther law are example of their chaff.  On the national level, the focus on Planned Parenthood to supposedly stop abortions*, blocking funding for the President’s Teleprompters, useless and symbolic only attempts to repeal HCR, etc.  So if you see a social issue being raised by Republicans right now, it is because they want  you to focus on that and not on the fact that they have not produced legislation that will in any way shape or form provide new jobs to help the U.S. Economy to continue its recovery.  That’s because that is what the American people want most.  As of the 2010 Midterm elections, 93% of people felt that the Economy was a very important issue.  And it is the one thing that Republicans cannot or will not help the people with.  Instead they throw out chaff issues and they are whittling away at the Middle Class.  Below are just a few more recent signs of how the Middle Class is declining and how the Republicans are leading the charge to make it continue.

  • The fight in Wisconsin by the Republican Governor to take away collective bargaining rights is a blatant attempt to bust up unions.  The state’s budget was fine until Gov. Walker gave tax cuts to businesses and to Health Savings Accounts (you know those accounts that you have to put money into to pay for health care costs not covered by insurance, the kind where you must have money up front, which most people don’t have….).  Now the Gov. has a deficit and he wants to balance the budget IN THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT as was given away thru the tax bills by taking pay and benefits away from unionized state workers.  Oh, and by the way, he’s trying to take their collective bargaining rights too.

If not for unions, not only would we not have safe working environments, we wouldn’t have the development of such a large Middle Class.  Destroying unions will ensure that this method of social upward mobility is gone, putting a chokehold on an important relief valve for poverty in the U.S.

  • Retiring Boomers are finding that their 401k’s aren’t quite enough to support them in their waning years.  This is due to a combination of factors.  First inflation has increased the cost of living faster than gains could be made through investments in the stock market.  Second, the stock market took a plunge recently, if you hadn’t noticed and the value of 401K’s dropped drastically just before the Boomers were set to retire.  Third, this is the first generation that will be relying more on 401K’s than on pensions.  Old-fashioned pensions are a dying breed (see the first bullet above about destruction of the unions and you’ll know why) and they provided a much greater level of fund security for retirees than 401K’s and social security can provide, because pensions are backed by the U.S. Government.

So who is opposing federal backing of anything?  Republicans.  Who is trying to refuse funding for the SEC and for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–the very agencies that should protect us from further abuses and dangerous speculation by the big banks?  Republicans.  Who is still pushing the idea of privatizing social security, even though the history of 401K’s show that people will not invest their money wisely AND the history of the market doesn’t show enough stability?  Republicans.  Who keeps including Social Security as an entitlement in need of reform along with Medicare and Medicaid, even though it isn’t an entitlement, it doesn’t add to the deficit and is solvent until 2037?  Republicans.

  • Under the hoocoodanode category….its now being reported that the states ignored warnings that they were going to have to put out more in unemployment insurance than they budgeted for.  Federal auditors have been telling the states since 1988, yes for over two decades now, that they weren’t putting away enough money for the unemployed.  The states ignored them and kept giving tax cuts to businesses.  Now they’re claiming, ‘we didn’t see the recession coming’.  Poppycock!  You don’t need to see a recession coming to plan for it.  We don’t see earthquakes coming but we can build to specifications that will help us withstand the sudden upheaval.  In Arizona (I can’t speak for other states) the state has been run by Republicans since the beginning.  Don’t even try throwing up Napolitano up as an example where I’m wrong.  She still had a Republican dominated legislature and they fought over budgets year in and year out.  It was wonder our government ran at all during her tenure.  And who did the state’s cut the unemployment reserve at the behest of?  The business community, of course.  And who has been in bed with the business community lately? Republicans.**  States like mine are now trying to borrow from the Federal Government and balance their budgets the budgets on the backs of the poorest and sickest of us. Once they’ve pillaged them, there won’t be anyone left to take from but the Middle Class…if there are any of us left.
  • The number of houses still going through the foreclosure process or yet to go through the process is mind-blowing.  How can the economy possibly absorb those numbers and not crash a second time?  Who is blocking any and all efforts at both a Federal and State level to do something about it?  Republicans.  Who is proposing to get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Republicans.***

These examples are only a few and I will keep adding to them over time.  The ties that bind us are weakening.  America is being destroyed and isn’t being done by the Black Panthers or Acorn or Planned Parenthood.  It’s being destroyed by the likes of the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Big Business and the GOP.  Our gradual slide to serfdom has begun.

*I say supposedly because no federal funds go to pay for abortions provided by Planned Parenthood.

**That’s not to say that I don’t think some Democrats aren’t in bed with them too, they certainly are.  However, I see individuals who are corporatist on the Dem side, whereas I see an entire party who runs in lockstep to what American businesses and the Chambers of Commerce want.  While both are equally disgusting, the organized and lockstep movement is inherently more dangerous and harder to fight.

***I don’t think everyone should own a home but the ability to finance a home was a means of social upward mobility.  These agencies loaned to people who traditional banks and businesses would not….you know, people of color, divorced women, etc, at a time when such a thing was desperately needed.  Doing away with those agencies is not necessarily the answer.  But no one is talking about smart solutions, they’re just slashing at the things Big Business tells them to, health of the nation be damned.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703959604576152792748707356.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/2010_Elections/abc-news-poll-2010-midterms-revolt-status-quo/story?id=11570169&page=3

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/05/gop-defund-finreg/

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/145339-top-dems-want-social-security-off-the-table-in-spending-battle

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110219/ap_on_re_us/us_broken_budgets_a_warning_ignored

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