Noticing the Contrast . . .

14 02 2011

. . .between FL Gov. Rick Scott unveiling his anti-human government budget at a Baptist megachurch in tiny Eustis, for cheering TEA partisans, and President Obama doing his the-ability-of-a-human-mind-to-think-is-a-terrible-thing-to-waste budget right now, in a public middle school classroom near Baltimore, televised for all the people who still are able to believe in promoting, protecting and providing for one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And then to go learn how, and help do it.

See also Can Thinking Parents Save Generation Joshua?

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20 responses

14 02 2011
JJ

What’s Scarier Than the Debt? Who’s Trying to Fix It:

As you’ll see from Mr. Lew’s whiteboard, we can shrink a deficit, and we can at least try to do that smartly. Lopping off programs for child nutrition now might help reach arbitrary goals for cuts; it will also mean fewer kids ready for school later.

. . .remember that as scary as the deficit is, this is not a permanent problem. “The deficits that seemed so frightening in the 1980s were tamed by little more than a couple of moderate tax increases (by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton) and the economic boom of the 1990s, to the point where the federal deficit faded as a political issue,”

. . .The lesson of recent history is that what needs doing can certainly get done, if we have a functioning Congress. Steve Benen writes this morning that we may not. The House includes 93 freshman, he says, and “a lot of these lawmakers literally don’t know what they’re doing.” And yet they’re steering the Republican majority from fiscal conservatism into fiscal radicalism.

14 02 2011
Nance Confer

Would that be the same budget proposal that includes cuts to heat for poor people?

The same budget proposal that strikes me as a calculated political move more than a real attempt to govern responsibly? “See, we tried to cut the budget but the Rs wouldn’t pass what we proposed (because of course they won’t, just on principle). Anything that happens next is not our fault.”

14 02 2011
JJ

My power went off two minutes into the speech because some careless, law-breaking private contractor working in a yard across the street, cut the electric line for several blocks. It’s been temporarily rerouted but a dozen men have been working all day with special trucks and stuff, at public expense of course, and it’s not permanently replaced yet. I’m so mad at the biggest screw-ups ( demanding we end all government and public services as if that’s WJWD) that I can’t muster any indignation for the very smart left-leaning man who merely disappoints me.

14 02 2011
JJ

Not that I disagree this is all calculated politics, all around. I expect no budget at all and maybe no raising of the debt ceiling —

15 02 2011
Nance Confer

From my limited understanding, that sounds about right. So we have a do-nothing President and a know-nothing legislature. And gas prices are up and food prices are rising. But DH is working a little. Hey, good news! Maybe the mortgage will get paid this month. WTF are these people thinking?!

15 02 2011
JJ

{{Nance and family}}

Honestly? I think he’s not do-nothing. I think it’s domestic wartime as much as foreign wartime, and there’s no winning to be had on any front — not one! — only negotiated peace here and there, and it sucks.

15 02 2011
JJ

Maybe historians (not the textbook fantasists in Texas but actual historians) will call this the Iceberg Presidency, not just because everything is underwater and people are drowning although they are, but because it’s almost all under the surface, silent and unseen.

Screaming and fighting for spots on the lifeboat and gnashing of teeth is all up on deck, and it’s not saving a soul.

15 02 2011
Nance Confer

Not to distract you from being angry with corporate America — goodness know they deserve all of your wrath.

But we voted for Mr. Obama knowing things sucked. And would continue to suck. And the fight would be hard.

So I keep a share of my anger for him.

Not the worst player in the mix but not the hero we voted for.

I would rather see him fail at passing something like a cut in breaks to oil companies to be directed to heat the homes of the poor rather than fail at passing another slam at the poor. We’d all still be cold and poor, I suppose, but it would at least be the right fight to be having. And who knows what could happen if we ever started off in the right direction?

Nance

15 02 2011
JJ

I think you and I are good people to be really thinking about this, sans soundbites, all the smoke and fury signifying nothing. 🙂

I have all that going on inside, too. After what happened with the bailouts and stimulus and health insurance reform and DADT — during which I felt angry with everyone including the good guys, hopeless and helpless with rage that no one would fight back much less do the obvious right things and do them the obvious (to me) right way — budget time is here so we’re finally directly on the issue that is controlling all of those other issues from underneath: money.

And now I wonder if the 2012 money isn’t really what the president cares most about, but the money that’s pushed America to the brink of frank plutocracy, and this as one last chance to fix THAT (by being smarter and sneakier and better disciplined, playing the long game) without which no one can fix anything and it’s game over?

15 02 2011
Nance Confer

So the plan may be to get re-elected and THEN do something big moving in the right direction?

Hope, anyone?

15 02 2011
Nance Confer

BTW, I live in the land of obnoxious anti-Obama bumper stickers. I saw one today — So far, hope hasn’t been that great — and I wasn’t completely sure if the driver was just another R or a disgusted D.

16 02 2011
JJ

I wasn’t thinking his whole strategy was to wait for reelection, only that this first budget proposal is not where it will wind up or even where he means it to go. It’s a long and wicked road between now and that next election.

That’s true in any budget process but on top of that, I still want to believe this very smart and moral man knows how close we are to losing everything to takeover from within, and that he’s really got game, not just playing games. Something like that.

Did you hear btw, that our brand-new “let’s get to work” Gov Scott got all huffy because when he sent one of his brand-new muckety-mucks (four days on the job) to a legislative budget committee to present his thoroughly corrupt privatization of prisons plan that enriches corporate contractors but fires 600-plus public workers, a GOP legislator asked some tough questions?

So now none of his aides will go back to that committee, that’ll show them, and all of his surly subjects.

“I’ve never seen a governor in my history of being a legislator — and I’ve been through Governor Chiles, Governor Bush, Governor Crist and of course now Governor Scott — I’ve never seen where a governor has told his staff not to come before an appropriations committee to present the governor’s budget,” Fasano said.

Sunshine State News’ repeated attempts to contact the governor’s budget staff were not answered.

Fasano’s main problem with Scott’s budget for the Department of Corrections is a proposal to add more prisoners to the rolls of the state’s private prisons, which he says are already maxed out. Meanwhile, state-run facilities have about 10,000 extra beds.

Advocates for private prisons, however, contend that competition among private companies ensures incarceration is done more cheaply . . .

I already mentioned this is like Scarlett O’Hara’s sawmills exploiting prisoner labor for unregulated private profit, remember? Maybe I’ll work that up as companion power of story to Sarah Palin as Scarlett.

You think Nixon was a dangerous paranoid running an imperial administration? In one month, “Governor” Scott already has cut off the media, hired his own private bodyguards and switched to private planes instead of the two state planes, which again like Sarah Palin he SAYS he is selling (firing another dozen workers, in this case highly skilled pilots and mechanics) to save our state money and create more jobs. All so he can strong-arm US by brute force if need be, like the Wisconsin gov ready to call out the National Guard to help bust public workers peacefully protesting . . .oh, Scott’s probably thought of that too, maybe wants to privatize the Guard as his own personal army, don’t assume Scott doesn’t have Halliburton working on it already, anybody seen the Cheneys lately? . . .

And let us not forget that a Koch-corrupted SCOTUS is responsible for Scott being able to buy our highest state title and power in the first place, hope the president has a strategy he’s not revealing yet to combat that . . .

16 02 2011
Crimson Wife

Health and Medicare constitute the single largest category of Federal spending at 20% of the budget. We need to get a handle on this entitlement spending, especially since the share of the population over 65 is ever-increasing. Why are we so heavily subsidizing the medical costs of wealthy seniors at the same time that we are cutting services to needy individuals?

According to this very interesting U.S.A Today article: “Nearly all additional wealth created in the USA since 1989 has gone to people 55 and older, according to Federal Reserve data. Wealth has doubled since 1989 in households headed by older Americans.

Not so for younger Americans. Households headed by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s have barely kept up with inflation or have fallen behind since 1989. People 35 to 50 actually have lost wealth since 1989 after adjusting for inflation, Fed data show.”

Surely the Warren Buffetts in this country can afford to pay a higher share of their medical costs. Medicare needs to be re-vamped to include a sliding scale where the wealthier the senior, the larger cost share he/she pays.

16 02 2011
JJ

I disagree that health costs including Medicare should be of concern NOW, to anyone in favor of giving the superrich the bonanzas they’ve already begged, borrowed, stolen and bought outright from us, calling it “free” — surely Buffett can afford to pay more in all taxes, and he wants to!

So the real question is, when will our looting be complete and the seniors who CAN’T afford to pay more will just die off, because Scalia and Thomas are on call to do whatever the Koch brothers signal they want, to hasten the process. Florida’s fragile environment especially after the BP plunder, is being served up by Rick Scott even as we speak: he’s firing the whole state environmental protection agency and inviting offshore oil drilling to come on down!

16 02 2011
JJ

I guess, CW, that there isn’t a “we” anymore that binds the haves and have nots in one “people.”

16 02 2011
JJ

I was just informed that Governor Rick Scott has agreed to be the “graduation speaker” at Florida’s dues-paying, conference peddling conservative Christian “parent-educator association.” Figures. Don’t ask me why independent home-education kids would have graduation ceremonies or if they do, why they would be so institutionalized and statewide rather than small at home, truly private. I don’t know these people or understand anything about them.

16 02 2011
Nance Confer

The Warren Buffets of the country are not the concern. He wants to pay more and is not lobbying to keep his tax cuts. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-21/warren-buffett-tells-abc-rich-people-should-pay-more-in-taxes.html) It’s all the other very rich and just rich who don’t get the idea that starving the help is no way to run a mansion.

Yes, increases in healthcare costs are one huge problem that should be addressed. It will not be addressed by guaranteeing private insurance companies millions of new customers and, fingers crossed, waiting for the “free” market to sort it out. But until we control the costs, even if that makes us all socialists, what’s the point of pretending we can figure out a way to handle the expense of healthcare and its fair distribution?

But Mr. Obama’s games with budgets don’t address Medicare and Medicaid expenses.

Until he and other Ds grow the spine to increase taxes to pay for these things in combination with controlling costs (by which I mean not increasing payments to insurance companies or drug companies or any other big corporation along the medical food chain, actually cutting those expenses while NOT cutting services) . . . until some reality that isn’t all this mystical “we’ll cut a million and teach those welfare queens a lesson and that will fix something” nonsense is replaced with real cuts to large items — wars, for instance, oils company subsidies, say, tax cuts to the wealthiest 2%, for example — then there is no reason for me to get too excited about much that Obama does.

Sorry, JJ. Hope, it turns out, does not spring eternal.

16 02 2011
JJ

Nance, since I’ve been invoking Gone With the Wind, I’ll tell you what Melanie told Rhett Butler after bringing her husband home from a whorehouse slash political meeting, half-dead: “It’s not likely I’d question any device of yours.” You’ve more than earned your right to see what you see, and to say so. Imo. 🙂

16 02 2011
JJ

I’d vote for the budget and deficit measures you lay out btw!

17 02 2011
Nance Confer

Thanks, JJ. That’s two of us! 🙂

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