Tag Archives: unemployment

I Get Blogging and Rick Santorum Gets Some Love

So, I drifted past an email from WordPress just the other day and it came to my attention that I haven’t posted anything since November. It’s not like I quit having opinions and I’m always excited to share them. So after an extended hiatus, Independent Kansan is back. It’s good to see you all again. There is much to talk about as Republicans and Democrats bicker away. The President is running for reelection. Republicans are trying to pick his opponent, and I’m just trying to live my life like most of us. So here are some random observations I’ve been having lately.

1) Mitt Romney is more out of touch with the average american than anyone in the world. I swear he has no concept of what it’s like to be an average guy. I’m not saying it’s bad that he’s wealthy. I don’t even mind that he’s running for office because he appears to think its a cool thing to do. When he makes a quip about how he’s not worried about the extremely poor or when he breaks out his stump joke that he understands America because he’s, “unemployed too,” he just  comes across as totally detached. I’m amazed he was ever the front-runner.

2) Rick Santorum is finally getting some of the attention he deserves. Mr. Santorum and I don’t agree about anything but that’s fine. At least there is little in my mind that doubts his conviction. When comes out and says he’s against abortion, even in extreme circumstances, I don’t think he’s saying that for political reasons. I can respect that. When Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich says some of these things I’m pretty sure if I had the right poll numbers they would change their minds pretty quick. I’ve long said I thought Santorum would make a great VP candidate. He may be proving that VP is beneath him.

3)”Class Warfare” should be stricken from the English language. I’m so tired of hearing about how a 1% or 3%  raise in taxes on millionaires is “Class Warfare.” How is it not class warfare that wages for the middle and lower classes haven’t kept pace with inflation. Or that the rich do not pay social security or Medicare taxes on all of their income.  The rich in this country have it as good as they have in decades. After WWII people making over two hundred thousand dollars a year had that income taxed at 91%. We’re worried that currently millionaires might pay 34%, and that’s if most of their income doesn’t come from investments. I hat e to be the crazy liberal here, but taxing these people will not hurt them, and it won’t hurt you and me.

4)Republicans should continue to fight for the rights of the wealthy. They’ve started a trend here and every fight where they push back on unemployment and a tax cut for working people just to prevent 1% on millionaires. They are writing the campaign commercials that will lead to their demise.

Anyway, I’ve been needing to get that out for sometime. I gotta tell you it’s good to be back. I’m not optimistic, but I hope maybe we can have a real conversation in the coming months. To begin with I’m going to write about a series of electoral reforms I think we need in this country to help give democratic power to the people. I hope to see you there.

Obama Did the Right Thing

Pres. Obama recently struck a compromise with congressional Republicans over the fate of the Bush tax cuts.  Many liberals (myself included) wanted the President to pick a fight. At some point he has too. Compromise is seemingly great. In fact, our country was built on it, but many see Pres. Obama as being to eager to compromise. This was the perfect issue to pick a fight with Republicans.  The only difference between the President’s plan and Republicans plan was an extension for people whose lives would most likely not be affected but a minor tax increase. The wealthiest Americans would see their income tax rates rise from 36% to 39.6%.  No wealthy American was going to lose their house over 3.6%, but many middle class Americans are losing their houses right now.

I recently wrote that Democrats needed to take a stand and show Republicans for what they are; obstructionist whores for corporations and the rich.  Democrats could have done it. They could have won, but they didn’t. Instead, the President chose to compromise. So, the rich get to keep more of their money. That won’t help stimulate the economy though. It’s generally accepted that the rich will spend about what they would anyway. The rest will be saved to insure they remain rich. So despite all this, why should we support Pres.  Obama? We should support him because it was the right thing to do.

As part of this compromise unemployment benefits are being significantly extended. The portion of payroll taxes that workers pay will be cut. Both of these measures should help to stimulate the economy by putting more money into the hands of a large number of people.  Unemployment benefits are a direct government investment in our economy. People who collect them will almost immediately spend them. They have to. Those benefits pay for groceries and housing. They are a direct injection of money into the economy. So, while the wealthiest among us will have lower taxes, the least fortunate will be able to support themselves and as a result support the economic recovery.

This was not a bad compromise, but Pres. Obama must take advantage of it. He may not have done it for the politics, but he should promote the politics of it. Republicans refused to do anything unless the rich pay  lower taxes.  Economists agree lower  taxes for the rich  are  not the most effective way of stimulating the economy. Putting money in the hands of the most Americans can do much more.  Republicans held up the business of the country to ensure their wealthy friends would keep their money. Pres. Obama compromised to make sure the economic recovery would continue while ensuring unemployed Americans could put food on their tables. He was right. They were wrong. Pres. Obama needs to make sure that America knows it and does not forget.