Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Racial Profiling

Who do you think the right wing is going to blame if a terrorist gets through screening at an American airport and succeeds in blowing up a plane?  There is no doubt in my mind, that they’ll blame President Obama. 

Rush Limbaugh claimed: “A young male Muslim Arab puts explosives in his underwear.  Now everybody has to be groped. We know what they look like.  We know what national origins most of them come from.  We know these things.  That’s why we have intelligence agencies. Those agencies profile those countries all the time.  But for some reason, when it comes to air travel, we are to suspend all logic and reality and pretend that everybody’s the same, regardless of these factors.”

Actually, only 3% of passengers get patted down. Fox News has cooked this story up to push for racial profiling. It’s typical of the right-wing media to claim something is horribly wrong, because they’re goal is to repeatedly blow up stories to divide the America people. 

The fourth amendment is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The amendment doesn’t exclude the right of young Muslim males to be secure in their person. Therefore, racial profiling is a civil rights violation, and it’s very dangerous place for our very diverse society to go. It could result in trading our safety and liberty for a shorter security line at the airport.

The best case against profiling is that it doesn’t work. The former Bush Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff insists: “I think relying on preconceptions or stereotypes is actually kind of misleading and arguably dangerous.” 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Highest on Record

A recent headline in the “New York Times” announced: “Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter.” 

Corporate profits as a percentage of U.S. economic growth reached their highest level in the past three decades. Profits had plummeted to the lowest point ever, when the recession hit. Today, Corporate profits are nearly at their highest point ever as a share of GDP. The recovery of corporate America has been much faster than anyone anticipated, however the recovery hasn’t trickled down to the average workers.

For Wall Street bankers and CEOs, the booming economy has been very profitable, but given the fact that it’s been so very profitable for the corporate titans of America, you would think those that benefited greatly from the White House’s policies would have paused to give thanks, but you’d be wrong.

On the same day, the headline in the “New York Times,” reported: “Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter,” a very different headline appeared in “Politico,” saying: “Obama outreach not enough.” That article reported, that business leaders are now complaining that Obama “needs to drop the name-calling, try to see their point of view better and step up with some specific proposals.”

After reaping record profits over the past two years, business leaders are now demanding capitulation, while whining about President Obama’s tone, complaining they don’t get to bring foreign profits back to the United States at really low rates, and gripping about Wall Street reform, because it has changed the way they choose corporate boards.

In the run-up to the midterm elections, corporate America donated millions to Republican candidates. The American Chamber of Commerce spent about $130 million attacking Democrats and the White House for too much government interference in the private sector. Millions of those political donations were made possible by an economic recovery produced by the Obama administration’s policies, that had led to those record profits. Those very profitable corporations then took that money and sunk it into ads attacking Obama and his party for being anti-business.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hail the Comeback

Recently, President Obama and Vice President Biden traveled to Kokomo, Indiana, to visit a Chrysler plant that was shut down when the company declared bankruptcy last year and then later reopened after the federal government stepped in to save the auto industry.

Obama told the workers in Kokomo: “We made the decision to stand with you because we had confidence in the American worker, more than anything.  And today, we know that was the right decision. Don’t bet against the American auto industry.  Don’t bet against American ingenuity.  Don’t bet against the American worker.  Don’t bet against us.”

Some Americans may not remember, that the auto loans pushed through by Obama and Democrats in Congress last year were incredibly unpopular at the time. The president took an great deal of criticism for trying to hoist the entire American auto industry on his shoulders and was mocked as the car dealer in chief.

Obama assured potential new car buyers: “If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you’ll be able to get your car serviced and repaired just like always. Your warranty will be safe.  In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”

The decision to invest in the auto industry came at enormous political cost for Obama.  He was condemned as a socialist, however ultimately, it worked.  It benefited both the auto workers who didn’t lose their jobs and all three American auto companies are now profitable again.

On the same day that our president traveled to Indiana to hail the comeback of the American auto industry, there was additional positive news concerning America’s slow but steady economic recovery.

It was announced, that the U.S. economy actually grew at a faster pace over the summer months than was previously estimated.  We’ve had five straight quarters of economic growth, thanks to the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that was passed on 2/13/09, three weeks after Obama took office.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Offensive Sign

In a letter published in the Oneonta Daily Star on 11/20/10, Robert Blanton expressed his concerns regarding a sign in front of the Milford Center Community Bible Church, that read: “Too many talk like Christians but live like Atheists”

I can understand the reasons, Mr. Blanton considers the sign offensive, but I support the congregations right to freedom of speech. It would have been much more accurate, if the sign had read: “Too many talk like Christians but don’t live like Jesus Christ,” or “Too many talk like Christians but fail to live by the Golden Rule.” Suggesting, that Atheists are bad people goes against the Golden Rule and is an indication of ignorance.

Atheists and Christians appear to be incapable of being intellectually honest, because they can’t admit that when it comes to the existence of a Supreme Being they don’t “know.” Reasonable people recognize that no amount of scientific evidence can prove or disprove the existence of a creator.

Truth revealed through scripture is subjective truth predicated by one’s faith. Faith is the antithesis of skepticism and objective truth. Logic suggests that a God would expect us to acquire vast amounts of objective information and make maximum use our ability to reason. Thus, we would be making use of the greatest gift a Supreme Being might bestowed upon mankind. Otherwise, we demonstrate a capacity not significantly greater than a flock of sheep.

Life experiences can lead one to doubt the existence of a Supreme Being, but people of faith seem to have had life experiences, that lead them to an opposite conclusion. Nevertheless, it’s intellectually dishonest or at best a poor choice of words for one to insist that there is or isn’t a God. To suspect, to believe or have faith in either position is understandable, but for somebody to insist that they “know” there is or isn’t a God seems irrational to me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shipping Jobs Overseas

Clinton created 23 million jobs, and Bush loss 2 million American jobs in the first 2 years of his presidency. Clinton provided tax breaks for the middle and lower incomes, who in turn spend the money. Bush provided disproportionate tax breaks for the wealthy, who put the money in offshore tax shelters. Nevertheless, uninformed voters reelected Bush for another 4 years. Fifty percent of Bush’s tax breaks will have gone to the wealthiest one percent of Americans by the end of December.

Eleven times over the last four years, congressional Republicans voted to preserve tax breaks, that encouraged corporations to ship jobs overseas. Nevertheless, uninformed voters handed the Republican party control of the House.

Recently, on ABC, billionaire Warren Buffett rebutted claims that the Obama administration is unjustly hurting business orders with high taxes by saying that in fact, the wealthy have never had it so good. He added: “I think that people at the high end, people like myself, should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it.”

Obama and congressional Democrats have created more jobs in the past year, than Bush did in eight years. We were losing jobs, when the Republican were in control of all three branches of government, and their only solution was more tax breaks for the wealthy. 

It should be of great concern to all Americans, that test scores from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment showed that American 15-year-olds trailed their peers in most industrialized countries. The average science score of American students lagged behind those in 16 of 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. American students were further behind in math, trailing counterparts in 23 countries. Those disappointing scores in math and science have sparked calls for improvement in public schools to help the country keep pace in the global economy.

Republicans will soon to be in control of the House. Perhaps, they’ll tell us what they plan to do, other than just saying NO.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Unhappy Thanksgiving

These are economic times that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. According to a new poll from the National Employment Law Project, 73 percent of Americans, say it’s too early to cut back on unemployment insurance with an average weekly benefit of $310.00 a week.

In the 75-year history of unemployment insurance, we have never denied benefits to people when unemployment was at this level. Unfortunately, the elected Republican leadership has absolutely no idea what it’s like to go hungry or to go without a roof over their head.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner is worth $3.6 million. Eric Cantor the second-ranking member of the House Republican leadership has $4.9 million.  Darrell Issa, who will become the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is worth $303 million. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is worth $19.9 million. Those are the Republican leadership, who are making the decisions on the unemployment in this country. 

The Congressional Republican tax cut plan would add an additional $700 billion to the deficit over the next ten years, while giving America’s wealthiest people an average tax break of $100,000. Our Congressional Budget Office has found that giving a huge tax break to the wealthiest Americans is one of the least effective ways to stimulate our economy.

It’s difficult for many Americans to understand how the millionaires in Congress can vote against extending unemployment benefits, at the same time they’re insisting that Congress must renew Bush’s tax cuts for people make more than $250,000 a year.

On 11/18/10, congressional Republicans voted with the 4 % of Americans who think that the national debt is the most important issue out there.  The Republican Party couldn’t have picked a worst time to turn their backs on their fellow Americans.

They’ve just given million of jobless Americans very little to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

START Treaty

The new START treaty would reduce both Americans and Russian arsenals down to 1,500 warheads and 700 launchers, because the big issue in the 21st century is the problem of keeping Russia’s nuclear material secure and out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists who have openly voiced their desire for a nuclear weapon or radioactive dirty weapon.

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new START Treaty back in April, but it hasn’t taken effect because treaties require Senate ratification, and Republicans have delayed for months, during which America has been unable to inspect Russia’s nuclear stockpiles.

Since, the treaty was signed, Russia has allowed our military access to northern Afghanistan supply routes to get vital material to our troops.  Five months after signing the treaty, Medvedev outlawed the sale of tanks, aircraft and ships to Iran, and canceled the deal five years in the making to sell Iran $800 million of S-300 missiles.  Missiles that if Russia allows the sale would help Iran defend its nuclear facilities.

Obama said that ratifying the new START treaty with Russia must happen this year, and explained that failure to ratify the treaty this year would not only mean losing our nuclear inspectors in Russia, but also undermine the international coalition pressuring Iran, put at risk the transit routes used to equip our troops in Afghanistan, and undo decades American leadership and bipartisanship on nuclear security. 

Republicans insisted, that the U.S. needs to modernize the arsenal that will remain. Therefore, Obama increased spending on nuclear modernization by 20 percent over what Bush did, by announcing another $4.1 billion. If not ratified before this Congress adjourns, they’ll have to start all over in committee hearings, even though, they’ve already had 20 hearings. Senate Democrats have got to continue emphasizing, that this is a matter of national security. 

Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina told an attack group that if they’re “able to stop Obama.., it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” For Republicans the ratification of the START treaty isn’t about making the world safer, it’s about insuring, that Obama will not be reelected in 2012. It’s the Party of No, playing political games with our national security.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Dream Act

Although, versions of: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” are shared by 21 world religions, many Americans don’t subscribe to the Golden Rule. Likewise, many members of Congress disregard this ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others. It’s also called the ethic of reciprocity and is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights.

There are nearly 2.5 million undocumented youth living in the United States today, who will not be able to share the American Dream even after they’ve earn a college degree, because without a Social Security number, even a diploma from an Ivy League university is essentially worthless in our country.

Most of these undocumented young people have lived in the this country, for many years. They were brought to America by their parents when they were young, and shouldn't have their dreams denied when they finally graduate and look to enter the work force.

Do we really want, a 3 year old child, that was brought to America by a parent and attended a public school or private schools, and achieve high grades for 12 years to be label a lawbreaker for the rest of his or her life?

In 2001, the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, co-written by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was introduced into Congress to address this issue. If passed, the DREAM Act would allow undocumented students who have graduated from our high schools a pathway to legal residence and citizenship after earning a college degree or serving two years in the military.

The following is a list of specific requirements one would need in order to qualify for the current version of the DREAM Act.

Must have entered the United States before the age of 16.

Must have been present in the United States for at least five consecutive years prior to enactment of the bill.

Must have graduated from an American high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into an institution of higher education.

Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application.

Must have good moral character.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Defense Budget

A few months ago, a bipartisan group of House members, led by Democrat Barney Frank and Republican Ron Paul began putting forward serious proposals to address the runaway Pentagon budget. We could actually see some defense cuts this year for the first time in a long time, because Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressmen Frank and Paul may have some new allies among the new crop of self-proclaimed fiscal conservative. Some of the most conservative new members of Congress understand that, the elephant in the room is that we’re spending $700 billion a year on defense. 

This is an enormous opportunity to cut defense spending, because fiscal conservatives won’t have any credibility at all, if they don’t look at defense spending. Senator Sanders’ office looked at spare parts that our military is purchasing and not using.  The Pentagon is putting $25 billion of unused spare parts in warehouses every year. Every time they build one F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an extra engine in built as a spare part.  The Pentagon is purchasing a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated cost of $323 billion, making it the most expensive defense program ever. The Pentagon wants to stop building two engines, but those engines are built near the future Speaker of the House John Boehner’s home district.  Therefore, it’s unlikely to happen.

Our military budget was substantially increased, when we were fighting the Soviet Union a major world power. But, we’re still spending tens of billions of dollars a year on weapons systems to fight a country, that no longer exists. Today, our military posture should be preparing to fight international terrorism and we need to make major changes in the way we deploy weapon systems.

Furthermore, there is massive fraud within the defense industry. A recent report reveals how major military contractors are ripping off the government.  They‘ve been fined billions of dollars, for cheating the government. These contractors claim, that we’ll build these weapons systems for $5 billion, but it end up costing taxpayers $15 billion.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Repeating Lies

Although, Obama was not on the ballot last year, but propagandist spent $115,000 on ads undermining his accomplishments.

Joseph Goebbels insisted: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Regarding, the subject of making America safer, we must disregard the lies, and examine the numbers on how Obama stacks up against Bush, when it comes to killing, capturing, stopping or disrupting the plans of terrorist. 

Drone strikes have killed more than twice as many terrorists in the 18 months of the Obama administration, than they did in the last four years of the Bush administration.

With regards to convicting terrorists, our civilian courts in the last 18 months have convicted more terrorists than Bush’s military tribunals did in the last four years of his administration. Terrorists plans have been disrupted, and the jihadi chat boards are full of comments complaining, that Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have gone silent because they seem to be afraid of being tracked by the drones.

Obama’s aggressive counterterrorism policy stacks up very well in comparison to that of the Bush administration. Obama has sought to developed good will in the Muslim community at every opportunity, in Cairo, at the U.N, and most recently, by visiting Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

Obama’s message to the Muslim community is that I understand who you are.  I understand the greatness of your civilization and its contributions to our civilization.  I recognize that you’re much more than the source of terrorist murderers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Three Million Jobs

Florida Congressman Alan Grayson is not in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which would average out to about $83,347 a year for each person in the top 1 % of the income bracket. He provided a list for lawmakers, and on the House floor of the many ways those individuals making an average of $1.4 million a year will be able to use that extra cash.

One possibility is, that they could buy an $83,000 Mercedes Benz E-Class car. Rep. Grayson pointed out: "And each year, when they get tired of their brand new Mercedes Benz E-Class car, they can just give it to somebody 'cause they can afford another one. They could give it to a spouse, a sister, a son, a daughter -- anybody. Every single year for the next 10 years, the Republican tax plan is to give millionaires enough money for a Mercedes Benz."

Other things rich people could buy with those tax cuts, would include a $64,000 Hermés bag, a bottle of Chateau D'Yquem wine from 1787, 20,000 jars of "their favorite mustard" Grey Poupon, and 800 luxury cigars, each of which they could light with a $100 bill.

Grayson noted, that President Obama's proposed tax cuts for the middle class, by contrast, would be received by unemployed people and needy parents who need the money in order to pay the mortgage, pay the rent, pay their car payments, their credit card payments.

Rep. Grayson concluded, that a better idea would be to take a hundred billion dollars a year that would be saved by not extending the tax cuts and use it to create jobs.

He explained: "Do the math: we have 14 million people in this country who are unemployed, and we have 13 % unemployment in my district. Here's an idea: let's take that hundred billion dollars and give three million Americans a job. Let's give three million Americans a working wage, an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, and that will revive our economy."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Opportunity and Responsibility

The Republican Party has an easily understood motto of smaller government, weak regulations and tax cuts for the rich.

Democrats should consider simplifying their political platform with a slogan, that is easily understood and that all Americans can get behind. 

Historically, the Democratic Party has stood for opportunity and responsibility. They want to invest in a better education system so that a kid growing up in Dillion, South Carolina have just as much opportunity to get a good education as a kid growing up on the upper west side of Manhattan.

Responsibility is another issue, that all Americans can relate to as well. During the 1920’s, the economic policies of three Republican Presidents resulted in the Great Depression. A responsible FDR took office in 1933, with the unemployment rate at 24.9%. He immediately increased spending on New Deal programs, and followed that by spending on WWII weapons.

From Ronald Reagan's presidency to the end of George W. Bush's our national debt went from $930 billion to $10.6 trillion, an increase of $9.67 trillion. If you subtract the $1.54 trillion added to the debt during the Clinton years, there was a $8.13 trillion increase under Reagan and the two Bushes. That means 84 percent of the debt incurred from Reagan to Obama occurred in the 20 years under Republican presidents.

Clinton cleaned up after Reagan and the first Bush and left us with a giant surplus. The second Bush got us into a $3 trillion war in Iraq, while borrowing money to lower taxes on the richest Americans. He handed Obama 2 wars, a sever economic crisis, and another huge deficit.

Americans hired Obama to clean that up the economic collapse, created under Bush, but many unemployed voters got impatient, because the Obama economic team couldn’t clean it up quickly enough. Not unlike FDR in 1933, Democrats took the more responsible route, by starting to clean up the mess, that a Republican President had created. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Same Old Priority

Republicans recognize, that as long as they don’t allow taxes to be raise, especially on the very rich, that they’ll most likely get re-elected. It’s unrealistic at a time when we’re involved in two wars, but they continue to get away with it, because a majority of Americans continue to be short-sighted, impatient, angry, frustrated, misinformed or willing to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell announced: “Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.  But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending, and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all of those things is put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things.” 

Obama suggested cooperation: “What’s going to be critically important over the coming months is creating a better working relationship between this White House and the congressional leadership that’s coming in.  We can‘t afford two years of just squabbling.  What we need to do is make sure that everybody’s pulling together, Democrats and Republicans and Independents.”

Republicans don’t have any interest in working with Obama or improving the lives of the American people because they’re really only interested in regaining power.  McConnell is acting like this past election vindicated the Republican strategy of obstruction. His ultimatum to Democrats is that the White House has a choice.  They can change course or they can accept the Republican vision of government that the American people rejected in 2008. 

Amazingly, Senator McConnell and future Speaker of the House, John Boehner think they know exactly what the American people want, but they don’t. They’re unable to explain why voters in nine Bush states voted for Obama in 2008. The bottom line is they’ve ignored Obama, by going down the road of obstruction. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why So Long?

What took the Tea Party folks so long to get angry?   


You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.


You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.


You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed. 
You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.


You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. 
You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.


You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.


You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.


You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.


You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.


You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.


You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.


You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits. 


You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed. 
You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.


You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks. 
You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades. 


You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.


You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and a woman became Speaker of the House and they decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you folks, but helping fellow Americans who are sick makes you very angry. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sen. Sanders’ Reaction

The following is Independent Senator, Bernie Sanders reaction to deficit reduction plan:

“The Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan is extremely disappointing and something that should be vigorously opposed by the American people. The huge increase in the national debt in recent years was caused by two unpaid wars, tax breaks for the wealthy, a Medicare prescription drug bill written by the pharmaceutical industry, and the Wall Street bailout. Unlike Social Security, none of these proposals were paid for. Not only has Social Security not contributed a dime to the deficit, it has a $2.6 trillion surplus.

“It is reprehensible to ask working people, including many who do physically-demanding labor, to work until they are 69 years of age. It also is totally impractical. As they compete for jobs with 25-year-olds, many older workers will go unemployed and have virtually no income. Frankly, there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.

“Despite all of the right-wing rhetoric, Social Security is not going bankrupt. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security can pay every nickel owed to every eligible American for the next 29 years and after that about 80 percent of benefits.

“If we are serious about making Social Security strong and solvent for the next 75 years, President Obama has the right solution. On October 14, 2010, he restated a long-held position that the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll taxes, now at $106,800, should be raised. As the president has long stated, it is absurd that billionaires pay the same amount into the system as someone who earns $106,800.

“With the richest people in this country getting richer and the middle class in decline, it is absurd that billionaires pay the same amount into the Social Security system as someone who earns $106,800.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Balanced Budget

The top 1 % of Americans have seen a huge increase in the amount of money they’ve made. The money they’ve made is more than that earned by the bottom 50 %, of Americans. Congress must start taking a hard look at the huge loopholes and tax breaks, that very wealthy individuals and large corporations have been getting. Every year, we’re losing $100 billion in revenue because of money being stashed away in tax havens in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.  In the year 2005, one quarter of America’s largest corporations didn’t pay a nickel in taxes after earning $1 trillion in profits.

Last year, ExxonMobil made $19 billion in profits.  Not only did they not pay any taxes, but they got a refund from the IRS for $156 million.

Bush’s tax cuts have brought about a steep decline in the middle class. Clearly, Congress shouldn’t punish middle class working families, who are already hurting in order to balance the budget. It should be increasing taxes on those people who have made out like bandits for decades. 

For the last 25 years, 80% of all new income went to the top 1% of Americans. Those are folks, that you would think Congress would look at to bring new revenue into the system, and not our working families.

The findings of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are not known, because it will require the support of 14 members of the 18-member commission. However, we do have the specific suggestions from its two chairs, former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

The fiscal commission is expected to include recommendations to raise the retirement age for Social Security and cut Medicare benefits. Those recommendations will be met with deep opposition from Democrats and some Republicans, because the commission chairs suggested a 70 % cut in benefits and a mere 30 % increase in revenues.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Archie Bunker

The Oneonta Star published the following letter, that had been submitted by Gilbert Williams of Walton, N.Y.



“After the 2010 election, Archie Bunker might get his wish when he sang, "Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again." You know, our president from 1929 to 1932, during the Great Depression. There was no Social Security, no unemployment insurance, no Medicare, no Aid to Dependent Children. It was no-no-no for any social benefits and yes-yes-yes for the ultra-rich.



“In the '32 elections, Franklin Roosevelt and an overwhelming Democratic majority were elected. Despite the Republican minority's cries of socialism and communism, the Social Security Act was passed in 1935.



“In 1965, another Democratic president and another Democratic majority Congress passed the Medicaid Act. Once again, this was assailed as socialism and communism.



“In the past two years, with another Democratic Congress and president, a health bill was enacted. Again, we hear cries of socialism and communism.



“Now we have an ultra-right party called the Tea Party looking to do away with these social benefits. Hey Archie, they're right down your path.”

********************************************************************************************************************************

Younger Americans may not remember,“All in the Family.” It was an American situation comedy that was broadcasted from January, 1971 to April, 1979, and ranked #1 in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976.

The comedy revolves around Archie Bunker, a working-class World War II veteran, who was an outspoken bigot, and prejudiced against everyone who was not a U.S.-born, politically conservative, heterosexual and a White Anglo- Saxon Protestant.

Archie longed for simpler times when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song "Those Were the Days".

The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, woman’s liberation, abortion and the Vietnam War.

I suspect, that Archie was the original Tea Party Patriot.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Starving the Beast"

After World War II, Congress invested about 30 % more every single decade on education and the standard of living for all Americans nearly doubled every decade until 1980. 

The earliest use of the term "starving the beast" in reference to a political-fiscal strategy was in a Wall Street Journal article in 1985 where an unnamed Reagan staffer was quoted. In 1980’s we started starving the beast (the beast being our government).

In his first Inaugural Address, Ronald Reagan claimed: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” When Reagan came into office, we were the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet, and the largest creditor.  The consequence of Reaganomics has been that in just 29 years, we’ve become the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods, exporter of raw materials. Today, we’re in debt more than any country in the world. 

For decades the middle class has lost money, income and jobs. Instead of providing the best education in the world, in 2007, our eighth graders we’re ranked 11th in science, 16th. math. Nevertheless, some Republicans want to eliminate the Department of Education and would have us cut education by 20 %, thereby reducing financial aid for eight million students and leave our community colleges without the resources they need to prepare our graduates for the jobs of the future.

China, South Korea, India and Germany are not cutting education by 20 %, because they understand that a countries competitiveness will be determined by how well they educate their workers for tomorrow. 

Presently, Americans have the lowest tax rate, in generations at about 15 percent.  Congressional Democrats are willing to keep taxes low if Republicans can show them where money is being spent, that is not needed by the American people.

Republicans continue to claim, that government can’t work, that it’s the problem. They’re going to be proving that and that’s not in our country’s best  interest.  They’ll have 18 months to show that they’re alternative approach is in the public interest. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Madam Speaker

In 2002, Nancy Pelosi was the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. As the senior House Democrat, she was briefed extensively on the intelligence leading up to the vote to give Bush the power to invade Iraq. Pelosi said there was nothing in that intelligence, which indicated that Iraq was an imminent threat, and voted against the Iraq War Resolution.

The election of 2006 determined a shift in power in Congress. In January 2007, Nancy Pelosi become the first female Speaker of the House and Harry Reid became Senate Majority Leader.

Very little could be accomplished to address economic issues, because when Republicans lost the majority in the Senate, they started using the filibuster, thereby necessitating a 60-vote supermajority for every single substantive vote in the Senate.

In 2007 and 2008, Bush had veto power over every spending and economic proposal passed by in the House, but he didn’t have to use it, because Senate Republicans made sure nothing of significance reached his desk, until Bush signed into law the TARP bailout of Wall Street on Oct. 3, 2008.

According to the House records, since Obama became president, House Democrats passed over 240 bills, although most of them died in the Senate. The Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on 2/13/09, three weeks after Obama took office.

The opposition spent $75 million on vilifying Pelosi, because she had been so effective in getting important legislation passed in the House.

Immediately, after the 2010 election, soon to be former Speaker of the House, Pelosi pointed out: “Over the last four years, the Democratic House Majority that progressive voters had made possible took courageous action on behalf of America's middle class to create jobs and save the country from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Transformational President

In early 2008, Obama said that he wanted to be a transformational president and the 2008 election provided him with a rare opportunity. The Democratic party was dominating both houses of Congress and the White House. Our first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi formed an alliance with Obama to deal with important issues, and not things that were designed to help Democrats win the next midterm elections.

Neither, Obama nor Pelosi were interested in short-term political gain, but took on hard legislative fights. They could have come into office and claimed, that they couldn’t deal with health care, because of the economic crisis. However, 24 days after Obama was sworn in, congressional Democrats passed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act without a single Republican vote in the House.

Although, both, Obama and Pelosi favored a single payer healthcare system, it soon became apparent, that the votes weren’t there in the Senate. Fortunately, Obama and Pelosi didn’t give up easily, because they’re pragmatist, who don’t allow the perfect to become they enemy of the good. Obama avoided making the same mistake the Clintons had, by insisting, the legislative branch of government do their job. Consequently, there is no such program as Obamacare. The Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law by Obama, but it wasn’t the program that he wanted. Instead it was the best that a Democratic Senate was able to come up with.

Comprehensive healthcare has been talked about, since Teddy Roosevelt, but President Obama, Speaker of the House, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid got it done.

Regarding the Affordable Health Care Act, Obama said: “Every time this country has moved forward, it's because ordinary Americans like these summoned what's best in each of us to make life better for all of us. And it's because we as a people find the will to cobble together out of all of our differences that American sense of common interest and common purpose that's always been required to advance the dreams of all of our people.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Civil Rights Act

A civil rights bill was called for by JFK in a speech to the nation on June 11, 1963. That landmark piece of legislation outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, and ended racial segregation in America.

It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the as public accommodations.

Its effects were far-reaching on the country and had an immediate impact on the South. It prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government, and in employment, invalidating the Jim Crow laws in the South. It became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing, or hiring.

Both, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Vice President Johnson had pushed for the introduction of the civil rights legislation. LBJ predicted that the Democratic Party would lose the south.

Andrew Reinbach has pointed out to readers of the Oneonta Star on line:

“While it’s true that the KKK and the Old South in general was solidly Democratic in the years following the Civil War, the reason for that was that the Civil War was prosecuted by Republicans, and Southerners couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the party that defeated the South.

“This condition persisted until the LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. He was told it meant the Democrats would lose the South, but he pushed the Act through anyway. The prediction was accurate: Led by Senator Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, the south turned solidly Republican.

“If you start with a wrong premise, you reach a wrong conclusion. In this case, the historical facts suggest very strongly that today’s Southern Republicans are the heirs of the Confederate States--people considered traitors at the time. And ignoring the fact that Democrats outside the South widely approved the Civil Right Act, and generally had nothing to do with the so-called Dixiecrats, is cherry-picking on a vast scale.”

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Grave Danger

Recently, Duncan Smith had the following letter published in the Oneonta Daily Star.

“The idea of America is currently suffering an attempt at radical revision. An accurate and evolving history, one that accounts for all the messy and ambiguous details of events, is necessary to help us understand how we got to the present.



“We also need myths, narratives based in history but designed to define and clarify who we are and want to become.



“Myths help shape action in ways that complex histories cannot. Myths are dangerous, however, when they diverge too far from careful and inclusive accounts and encourage self-defeating acts.



“There is, for example, a concerted and well-financed effort afoot to convince us that our Constitution is founded on Biblical principles. True, its authors were Christians, but of many stripes. Key founders believed in a creator God but not in a deity who was actively engaged in present events.



“Like other thinkers of the Enlightenment, they felt it fell to rational men to shape their own institutions without appeal to distant, fixed authority.



“Accompanying this blinkered view of our founding document is an attempt to portray the Revolution as a spontaneous, popular uprising that swept away tyrannical rule. This view underplays the vital role of the intellectual leadership that gave definition and direction to raw discontent.



“Without the long and hard work of the Continental Congress and generals like Washington, even French assistance and British bungling would not have been enough to turn justified grievance into a successful Revolution.



“These new myths are designed to undercut forever trust in government and the possibility of thoughtful progress. If the Constitution is given the authority of scripture and thus loses its role as a blueprint for evolving self government, if raw emotion is seen as always superior to thoughtful choice, representative democracy and, indeed, America itself, is in grave danger.”



Monday, November 08, 2010

Government Spending

A new study from by the Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University suggests that many of us don’t like government, but we like a lot of what government does for us.



Questions about the role and size of government have become an increasing part of the political debate. Most Americans acknowledge that not every government program is successful, but on balance government involvement has improved the lives of the majority of people in the United States.  As budget deficits increase the pressure to shrink the federal government, we encourage people to remember the positive role that government has played and continues to play in our society.

Over the past two years, our government has played an important role in stabilize the economy. Although, the economy is still far from strong, things could have been a lot worse if the government hadn’t stepped in.



The Pentagon budget is out of control, and recent proposals by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to cut around the edges do not adequately address the problem. A proposal to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA. is part of Secretary Gates’ restructuring plan, but it brought predictable protests from many of the congressional representatives and state officials committed to Virginia’s welfare.

A bipartisan group of representatives, led by Democrat Barney Frank and Republican Ron Paul are beginning to put forward serious proposals to address the runaway Pentagon budget, however many members of Congress are wary of joining in. Even though, past experience suggests that states are much less dependent on military contracts than many people believe, and state economies can be resilient when those contracts leave.

Congressman Barney Frank suggests, that we let NATO defend itself, and he doesn't understand why we should continue to subsidize Western Europe and Japan.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Corporate Master

MSNBC has placed Keith Olbermann host of Countdown on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report, that Olbermann had donated $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway, in violation of their standards barring employees from making political contributions.

NBC claims, a journalist donating money to a political candidate raises conflict of interest questions. Olbermann is an obviously opinionated host of show, that is very popular with progressive Democrats. Olbermann is held to a different standard, because NBC, and it's parent company General Electric don’t adhere to these same independent journalistic standard.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle. The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. Last year, GE spent $32 million on lobbying, and recently contributed over $1 million to the successful "No on 24" campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations.

Fox News parent company of News Corp's donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. According to the Washington Post GE gave $245,000 to the Democratic governors and $205,000 to the Republican governors last year.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough a former Republican congressman contributed $4,200 to Republican candidate Derrick Kitts in 2006, but when that was revealed, MSNBC dismissed the problem, by claiming Scarborough hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter.

MSNBC's treatment of Olbermann is in sharp contrast to Fox News' handling of Sean Hannity, who gave $5,000 to the campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who is a Tea Party favorite. Furthermore, Hannity was this year's keynote speaker at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner.

Olbermann explained his donation: "I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level."

MSNBC should explain why their parent companies can lavish enormous amounts of money on political candidates, without causing concern regarding conflicts of interest. The hosts on MSNBC news shows aren’t allowed to make political donations, but their bosses are free to give money to politicians without threatening the journalistic independence of the show, that they own.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Trickle Down

Ten years ago, Congress passed broad income tax cuts, but in a cynical accounting trick designed to mask their long-term impact, they scheduled these cuts to expire next January. We’re approaching that cliff, and millions of Americans are facing thousands of dollars in higher taxes on January 1st.

Obama is fighting to extend the tax breaks for middle class Americans. Under his plan, the tax cuts would be permanently extended on incomes up to $250,000, which includes 98 percent of American taxpayers. Many claim it isn’t fair, but it’s crucial to our economy.
 


Middle class Americans saw their incomes shrink during the last decade, and have borne the brunt of our current recession. They need relief, and America needs a strong, thriving middle class.  Because middle class families are most likely to spend the tax break money quickly, these tax cuts give our economy a much needed shot in the arm.



It’s a logical suggestion, but the Republican leadership in Congress don’t agree. They're holding those tax cuts for the middle class hostage, and demanding that we extend tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.



The Congressional Republican tax cut plan would add an additional $700 billion to the deficit over the next ten years and give America’s wealthiest people an average tax break of $100,000. Our Congressional Budget Office has found that giving a huge tax break to the wealthiest Americans is one of the least effective ways to stimulate our economy. 



Adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit while doing very little to grow our economy, put people back to work or strengthen America’s middle class is exactly the kind of economic policy that got us into this mess in the first place.

From 2001 to 2009, the average wage of middle-class families in America declined by 5 percent. Those at the top were getting very wealthy, but the middle class, which is the heart of our economy were finding it harder to get ahead. 

Rather than borrow $700 billion to give tax cuts to the very wealthy, congressional Democrats should consider allowing Bush’s tax cuts to expire for all Americans.



Friday, November 05, 2010

Dirty Secret

A message from Retired Gen. Wesley Clark:

“America has a dirty secret, and a mortally dangerous problem. You will occasionally see it mentioned in the press, but almost no politician will give it more than a passing reference. Many despair of finding a solution; others fear offending powerful constituencies. Scholars now consider it so banal that they seldom study it. Most businessmen accept it as a sad, sorry fact of life, though it makes some of them very rich. It’s an $821-million-a-day addiction to foreign oil. That’s $300 billion a year, or about $1,000 for every American—man, woman, and child. In June we sent $27 billion abroad; in July it was over $29 billion.

“Our dependency on foreign oil costs more than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s about 60 percent of the total U.S. trade deficit. If we weren’t sending the money away, it would be enough to repair America’s woeful infrastructure in a few years. Enough to send every child in America to college, and fix public education to boot. At a time when we’ve lost 8 million jobs, it would be enough to hire 3 million Americans at $100,000 per year, or almost 8 million at about $40,000 per year.

“If a foreign country came here and said, “Pay us this tax,” we would consider it an act of war. Yet when a political party discusses trying to recapture $300 billion a year in taxes, it’s political suicide. Americans pay billions of dollars per month to foreign countries—some of them incubators of terrorism, nearly all of them unstable dictatorships—and it isn’t even a campaign issue.

“But this tragic situation also presents us with the greatest opportunity in a decade to recharge America’s economy and build a platform for renewed economic growth. I want to tell you how it can be done. And without a tax on gasoline or carbon.

“I’m in the energy business. When I left the Democratic presidential race in 2004, I returned to investment banking and consulting. The opportunities were in energy and commodities. Climate change was emerging as yet another energy-related threat to our national security, and as a national security specialist I thought I could add value in this area. Over the last few years I have served on the boards (or sometimes the advisory boards) of an oil refinery, an oil exploration and production company, a shale gas company, an electric cable producer, a wind turbine manufacturer, an electric car company, two wind development companies, a solar energy developer, an ethanol producer, a biodiesel producer, and an ethanol advocacy group. Along the way, I have spoken at wind and solar conventions, biofuel meetings, and electric and hybrid automobile groups. My knowledge of the energy sector has also come from consulting with governments and foundations, and studying policy papers. But, fundamentally, I’m in business, and I’m focused on energy because it’s the key to saving our economy from decline and creating the jobs America needs.”

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Try, Try Again

President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House’s West Wing 31 years ago. They were taken down by Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan. Solar panels and a solar water heater will be installed again on the roof of the White House this spring.

In October, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a series of six new solar power projects on public lands including the first ever solar power plant on public lands and the largest solar energy power plant in the world. A revolutionary new solar power plant in California will employ 1,000 people, and power nearly 140,000 homes.

The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed national standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency the first ever greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty cars, vans, buses and trucks.

The Obama administration has been making historic investments in high speed rail. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that 54 high speed rail projects in 23 states will receive a combined total of $2.4 billion to continue developing America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.  These investments will ease our reliance on foreign oil and reduce our nation’s carbon pollution.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has outlined the steps USDA will take to reach a national goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel a year in the United States by 2022, with 21 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuel production.

The Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development joined forces to support communities who are providing Americans more housing choices, make transportation systems more efficient and reliable, and support vibrant neighborhoods that attract businesses.  This is good for our communities, our environment and our economy.

Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force has been preparing for and responding to climate change. It has recently released a report with recommendations that will help strengthen the Nation’s capacity to prepare and respond to the risksassociated with climate change.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Moral Equivalent

America is addicted to foreign oil and it’s threatens our economy, environment and national security. It’s projected, that over the next 10 years, America will be sending $10 trillion on foreign oil, which represents the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. Instead of prolonging our addiction to oil, we need to look beyond fossil fuels and invest in new solutions.

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have invested over $90 billion in clean energy technology through the Recovery Act, advanced new fuel-economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, light trucks and heavy duty trucks, and lead by example by cutting the federal government’s own carbon footprint.  But there is still much work to be done.  We must continue to invest in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency to create jobs and compete in the global marketplace.

President Carter recognize that we would no longer be in control of our economy, due to our increased dependency on foreign oil. In a speech to the nation, he predicted: “With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse. Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the president and the Congress to govern. This difficult effort will be the ‘moral equivalent of war’ except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy.”

Carter proposed 10 principles for our national energy plan, but those principles were attacked by oil conglomerates, and when Reagan took over, those principles were ignored and Carter’s programs gutted or terminated. The Republican Party supported Bush’s imperialistic invasion of Iraq, which demonstrates that destruction and conquest has become their choice.

When Reagan came into office, we were the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet, and the largest creditor.  The consequence of Reaganomics has been that in just 29 years, we’ve become the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods, exporter of raw materials, which is the definition of a third world nation.

The invasion of Iraq was an avarice, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat. Control of Iraqi oil and tax cuts for the wealthy are the primary reasons, that today, we’re in debt more than any country in the world.

Voters elected Reagan over Carter and unfortunately yesterday they repeated that mistake, thereby again proving that we get the government, that we deserve.  

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vote Smart

Ten reasons to vote for the Democratic candidate:

1. Democrats enacted major reforms to the federal student loan program for college students, freeing up an additional $60 billion for students that would have gone for bank fees and profits.
 
2. Democrats enacted a “bill of rights” for credit card holders that will prevent credit card companies from gouging ordinary people and wrecking their credit.
 
3. Democrats enacted major reforms to the banking and financial sectors, reining in corporate excesses, so that our nation won’t be hit by the same type of recession that hit us in 2008.  One part of that law is a new consumer financial protection agency.
 
4. Democrats enacted a significant income tax cut for middle-class and working families.
 
5. Democrats enacted significant tax cuts for small businesses on several occasions.
 
6. Democrats enacted legislation to provide better and more comprehensive health care to combat veterans from our recent wars, as well as benefits to their caregivers.
 
7. Democrats enacted a law guaranteeing equal pay for women and raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. Republicans had stonewalled any increase for years thereby, exacerbating poverty and homelessness for working Americans.
 
8. Democrats passed the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Among its provisions are insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime expenditure limits on anyone, even those with major illnesses; no one can be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Medicare is strengthened for years to come and everyone can keep their current health coverage if they wish. The Republican leadership has vowed to repeal health care reform, if they obtain a majority in Congress.  In addition, Democrats expanded the SCHIP program that provides health care for at-risk low-income children, and strengthened the Medicaid program for low-income adults.
 
9. Democrats extended unemployment benefits for those who are out of work and unable to find work.
 
10. Democrats passed the stimulus package, that helped to halt our steep slide into recession, and put millions of unemployed folks back to work.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Choices

A Republican Congress would have us cut education by 20 %, thereby reducing financial aid for eight million students and leave our undervalued community colleges without the resources they need to prepare our graduates for the jobs of the future.

China, South Korea, India and Germany are not cutting education by 20 %, because they understand that a countries competitiveness will be determined by how well they educate their workers for tomorrow.    

The Obama administration gave 95 percent of working families a tax cut. Those tax cuts went to families that needed them, not folks who don’t need them. Congressional Democrats took tens of billions of dollars that were going to banks in unwarranted subsidies and sent that money directly to students, thereby financing millions of young people’s college educations more effectively. Higher Pell Grants, better student loans; a $10,000 tax credit for every young person going to college.  Those are the kinds of choices that voters will be making tomorrow.

Immediately, after the Wall Street reform bill passed, House Minority Leader John Boehner promised that one of the first orders of business would be to repeal that reform. We’ve had the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, and one of their first order of business would eliminate protections for consumers, eliminate protections for taxpayers, go back to a system that resulted in us having to save the entire economy.

Why would voters want to go back to the days where credit card companies could jack up your interest rates without any notice, and could institute hidden fees?  Why would voters want to go back to the health care policies, where insurance companies could drop your insurance when you get sick? 

The Affordable Health Care Act allows young adults, who are under 26 years to stay on their parents’ health care insurance. It prevents insurance companies from dropping somebody, because they’ve got a preexisting condition. Health care reform provides for millions of small businesses to get tax credits so they can afford to provide health insurance to their employees.
Democrats care about protecting Social Security and our environment. The want an energy policy that starts freeing our country from dependence on foreign oil and a foreign policy that fosters cooperation among other nations.