Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for July 26th, 2011

Back Issues, and a Few Thoughts on Politics

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Folks, my back is really acting up at the moment.  Which is not conducive to blogging or any form of writing — nor to a lot of editing, either, truth be told, though it is good for planning.  But I can’t let the nonsense going on right now go by without a few comments, either . . . so here we go.

First, last night’s “face-off” between President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner was, to my mind, rather underwhelming.  These two people obviously don’t like each other, don’t trust each other, would rather not have anything to do with one another, but have to work together to try to do the country’s business — and are failing miserably.  I place more of the blame on Boehner than on the POTUS, partly because Boehner has been a Representative for a lot longer than Obama has been President, and partly because when the Republicans gained control of the House after the 2010 elections, they promised to create jobs — not do all this screwing around.

I keep wanting to ask Boehner, “Mr. Speaker, where are the jobs?”  Because that’s what he, and by extension his whole party, kept saying, and that’s why they got elected — on a job creating platform.  But once they got in there, they decided “job creation” really meant “protect the wealthy at all costs from any form of tax increase, no matter how benign.”  And they’ve acted on the latter belief, insisting even though they should know better that this is what the American public wants them to do — then have pushed the real cost of lowering the deficit onto the middle classes and below, who can’t afford it and are already paying too much, proportionately, as it is.

Now, the Republican argument is that the lower 50% of income earners “pay no income tax at all.”  That is, to an extent, true.  However, we do pay FICA, where many high earners don’t, meaning we’re helping to sustain Social Security; we pay sales tax, and cannot tap into loopholes that get part of those taxes back as can the wealthiest Americans when they buy a new yacht or a second or third home in order to use it for two weeks a year on vacation.  So proportionately, the lowest earners are paying more than the high earners, which in effect gets blood from a stone as low earners have very little to work with in the first place.

Then, with all the picayune nonsense going on in Washington, DC, I’m still having to put up with the Wisconsin Republicans in the state Senate screwing around.  These guys have decided they will pass a bill that agrees with the state’s Assembly bill — that will hold one week of benefits from new unemployment claimants, starting on January 1, 2012 — on August 1, 2011, because that’s just one short week away from the recall elections for state Senators Darling, Cowles, Harsdorf, Kapanke, Hopper, and Olsen.  The Rs have decided to do this because they think that’ll make their Senators look more compassionate, of all things . . . they like the timing, and don’t care that they’re making people who’ve not had any extended benefits since April 16, 2011, wait even more for their money.

Me, I find this behavior terrible.  Shallow.  Rude.  Obnoxious.  And reprehensible, too, because these Senators should know better.

The whole bit of difference between the two bills was there because the Senate Rs wanted to look more compassionate (the Senate voted 30-3 against withholding the first week of unemployment from people, knowing full well the Assembly would pass a different version of the bill so they’d be able to “have their cake and eat it, too.”), yet how compassionate is it to make people wait another week for their money? 

Because, remember, this is a Federal program.  The money is already there.  The WI Rs are just sitting on it, perhaps collecting interest on it, rather than paying it out — so there’s no excuse for this whatsoever.

At any rate, this is why every single last R Senator in Wisconsin (with the possible exception of Dale Schultz) should be recalled — they’ve lost touch with the real people in our state, who are suffering.  And only seem to care about the wealthiest people in the state, protecting wealthy corporations and their tax loopholes . . . then wonder why they’re all in danger of being recalled on the first available date (which for eleven other Rs is January 3, 2012; two are recallable now, Grothman and Lazich, and may yet end up recalled by the end of the year for all I know).

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm