Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “debt ceiling”

Bipartisan Rant: Thank You, I’m Not Alone (by Roger Ingalls)

Often, my head and heart burn with frustration when I can’t find the words or intensity to express myself. Like many people, I have complex thoughts, little spare time and no soapbox to pair vocal-passion with words.

Every once in awhile someone comes along and says exactly what I want to scream to the world. This gift was given to me on Tuesday. My eyes teared-up as I said to myself, “thank you…I’m not alone”.

In a rare bipartisan rant, Dylan Ratigan let all sides have it during his MSNBC show.

I implore you – the readers of this post – to watch this four minute video. It will make you smarter and hopefully move you.

This is the shortest post I’ve written, I can’t add anything to what Dylan Ratigan said. Every point he made was a homerun.

I take solace knowing others see the world as I do and, oddly, it’s comforting to see the growing frustration. Frustration will eventually lead to action.

A change is gonna come!

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Deficit Straight Talk: Bush Out Spends Obama 3 to 1 (by Roger Ingalls)

I’m tired of the Republican trash talk about how fiscally irresponsible the Democrats are when it comes to government spending and economic policy. Those that point fingers and yell the loudest are usually the ones with something to hide. It’s time to set the record straight.

Republican administrations are responsible for nearly 80% of the $14 Trillion deficit. This massive debt building started with Ronald Reagan and skyrocketed under George W Bush. The chart below must be painful for conservatives to look at, especially for the followship that can comprehend such data (Democrats are in blue and Republicans are in Red, source: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury). Democrats have historically maintained or decreased the deficit while the Republicans recklessly spend.

click chart for larger view

Let’s compare our two most recent presidents. The chart below is from the New York Times and is based on data from the Congressional Budget Office. This chart shows contribution to the deficit from policy decisions made during each administration. Obama’s figures are forecasted as a two term president. As we can clearly see, Bush’s massive debt is three times greater than Obama’s.

click chart for larger view

Most striking is the debt contribution from Bush’s tax cut policy that predominately benefited the wealthiest Americans. This policy change alone increased the deficit by $1.8 Trillion and is the single biggest debt building event in American history.

Conservatives are hell-bent on maintaining the Bush tax cuts arguing they help stimulate the economy by giving the rich more money to invest (a revisit of the failed Reaganomic trickle down philosophy). Just one problem, it doesn’t work. GDP growth during Bush’s presidency was a dismal 1.66% – the lowest since the 1940s. Even if the negative affects of the 2008 financial crisis are removed from the data, the Bush era is still a 60 year low with a GDP of 2.39. During this same six-decade period, the Democrat administrations of Kennedy/Johnson, Clinton and Carter had the best GDP growth performances (5%, 4.3% and 3.7% respectively). Does it get any clearer than that, folks? This data comes from the U.S. Dept of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Takeaways:

1)      The Republican policy of lowering taxes to benefit the rich and sold to main-street America as a growth stimulus, does not work. It failed under Reagan and it was catastrophic under Bush.

2)      Republicans spend heavily on defense because it is an easy sell to the public and it benefits big businesses that contribute heavily to their political campaigns. Keep in mind, 75% of the jobs created in America come from small businesses, not the big ones chased by Republican politicians.

3)      To offset their heavy spending, conservatives try to look responsible by cutting social programs that help the poor and elderly. They sell this by highlighting government excesses that they have created in the first place.

4)      Financial policies created by Democrats have historically out-performed Republicans ones because they are inherently balanced with responsible spending and appropriate taxation for a modern society.

Important Note: The Bush tax cuts now expire at the end of 2012. We must hold our representative’s fingers to the fire and make sure they don’t vote to extend this rich man’s benefit package. Again, trickle down Reaganomics never has and never will work!

Closing Challenge: Show me some unbiased government data that even remotely suggests Republican financial policies are better for main-street America than the ones used by Democrats. Real data, not uneducated Tea Party trash talk!

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Constitutional Treason: Boehner Debt Ceiling Conspiracy? (by Roger Ingalls)

U.S. Constitution – Article 3 Section 3, Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

(Canter and Boehner from Getty Images)

July 27, 2011, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, admitted that many members of his caucus want to create economic chaos by not approving a new debt ceiling limit. He unwittingly said this on Laura Ingraham’s conservative radio program.

Raising the Debt Ceiling to allow our country to pay its bills has been a relatively routine congressional process since the early 1900s. In fact, it has been elevated more than 100 times since the 60s. A small group of fanatically-right House freshman and Tea Party members are refusing to vote in favor of raising the ceiling until their desired changes to the US Constitution are made. Yes, they want the laws that have governed our country for over 200 years changed or they will send the United States of America into economic chaos.

(from loosechangeguide.com)

These Representatives appear to be using a strategy similar to the warfare tactics used by al-Qaeda when they brought down the World Trade Center. Al-Qaeda destroyed property and killed many people but their goal was to cause financial harm.

The United States is a free-market country and harming it by not allowing payment of obligations, ruining its credit rating and financially crippling its citizens is an act of war. If these House members have discussed, planned or intend to cause economic chaos, as stated by Speaker Boehner, they have commited an act of treason.

As citizens of this still Great Country, we should demand a congressional investigation into the possible treasonous activities of John Boehner and his caucus.

Call, fax, email, text and Twitter your Senators and House members to demand an investigation. Post on Facebook, Twitter, email and call your friends and family to encourage them to do the same.

We must not let a small group of fanatics dictate how we are governed.

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

The Debt Limit: A Republican Shell Game (Roger Ingalls)

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned that the U.S. government will default, if the debt ceiling isn’t increased by August 2, 2011. He goes on to says, “this would have severe consequences for the economy”.

Lately, the debt limit or ceiling has received a fair amount of press because the Republicans are refusing to vote affirmatively to raise it. Keep in mind that the debt ceiling has been increased approximately 75 times in the past fifty years. Increasing this limit is nothing new and has occurred more frequently under Republican administrations.

The conservatives are trying to handcuff the Obama administration with their no vote. Newt Gingrich orchestrated the same failed-maneuver during the Clinton administration. Republicans won’t increase the limit until the Obama administration makes more budget cuts. Essentially, they want to remove $2.4 trillion from the budget over the next ten years. The President will not cut the budget until tax breaks given to the rich under the second Bush administration are eliminated and tax loopholes are closed for big business. So here we sit, stuck in political mud.

The solution is simple. Look back in time and see what worked. During the Clinton administration, the U.S. had one of the best economic eras in its history. Just undo the George W. Bush  craziness that’s still in place; bring back the Clinton tax brackets, get rid of the mid-2000 corporate tax loopholes and roll back expenditures on Defense. We don’t even need to cut Defense spending all the way back to the 1990s level.  We can double the Clinton-era Defense spending and still save $3 trillion over the next ten years which is $600 billion more than the conservatives want.

The Obama administration needs to man-up and get rid of the irresponsible financial policies put in place under G.W. Bush, as promised. Republican politicians need to quit the political sound-biting and do something constructive for the middle-class.

The debt limit discussion is just a diversionary storm in a water-glass.

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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