Monday, May 24, 2010

Week of 05/24/2010

Where are the REAL Reformers?
– by David Matthews 2

I have a simple question…

Whatever happened to REAL reform in America?

Seriously, where is it? Where are the reformers?

The so-called Tea Party crowd continually whines about wanting “their country back”, but they don’t really know what that was or how to get it back other than they don’t like the people in government right now and they want THAT to change.

“Taxed Enough Already” they claim. Really? Can you prove it with your own tax returns? Probably not. Unless you’re rich enough to bankroll groups like the Tea Party crowd.

Okay, presuming you don’t like the tax system as it is… what do you want to change it TO? Flat tax? Value-Added Tax? FairTax? Or do you just want another batch of tax breaks and let everything stand?

They don’t know! That’s the problem! They don’t KNOW what they want; they just don’t like things as they are right now!

“Less government”. That’s another tricky mantra. But less of WHAT kind of government? Less FEMA? You want to clean up the Gulf oil yourself? Less military? Oh, no, can’t do that! Gotta support the troops! Less federal law enforcement? No, need more Immigration people! And don’t forget the p0rn0-p0lice and the FCC! Gotta “save the children”! Less federal money for education? HELL NO! “No child left behind”, right? Highway funding? You’ve got to be kidding!

Again, they don’t KNOW what they want; they just don’t like what things are right now.

Well how about the LEADERSHIP of these “don’t like things now” people? There IS leadership, right? There are people they can back, right?

Scott Brown, maybe? You know, the guy who took Teddy Kennedy’s seat in the US Senate?

Sssss… oooh… sore subject. He wasn’t even in the chair long enough to get splinters before he began to flake and campaign against someone who wasn’t even running. Then he began to broker deals with the Dems. He’s already behaving like the establishment.

How about Rand Paul? He just won the GOP nomination for the Kentucky Senate Seat running on the full “Tea Party” rhetoric. Surely HE would be…

Sssss… oooh… he just criticized the President for exercising his free speech. Not good. And GOP elites are trying to deal with him, or else let the media totally destroy him.

Senator John McCain has gone from “Maverick” to “Establishment”. Sarah “Quitter” Palin is off milking the world of TV for her own projects. The whole “Tea Party” group is essentially ten thousand Indians and no chief.

It’s a pity too, because maybe if they DID have a leader they could be pointed in the right way. They could at least decide what they want to do to change things instead of just not liking how things are and crying about wanting “their country back”. (Here’s a hint: it never was really “theirs” in the first place.)

You know, I seem to recall that professional wrestler Sergeant Slaughter used that as his catchphrase to go from a bad guy back to a good guy. It was a series of props and tours and speeches and then finally he waved his flag and said “I got my country back!” Pity the Tea Party crowd can’t be appeased in the same way.

Well the truth is that there ARE some problems that need fixing, and we can’t wait to let the Tea Party crowd scratch their butts and grunt like troglodytes as they try to get their act together.

So let’s see how that great mainstream fixer President Obama is handling things.

Healthcare… he let the career politicians in the Congressional committees run secret meetings (so much for transparency), didn’t deliver on single payer, didn’t deliver on public option, REQUIRED that all people get insurance whether they could afford to or not, and made so many deals that there has to be a FIX to FIX the FIX.

Finance Reform… well that’s still being hashed out by Congress, but both the House and the Senate have watered-down what they WANTED to pass. They ALREADY caved to the big banks and to Wall Street last year with credit card reform, and it is clear that they’re caving to them this time around with the overall reform.

Energy… well that hasn’t become an issue so far, other than the HUGE oil slick in the Gulf that pretty much put the kibosh on the whole “Drill Baby Drill” rhetoric.

The economy hasn’t exactly been doing too well either, despite the cheerleader rhetoric that Obama’s people have been giving. Long-term unemployment is a serious issue, as are bank shutdowns and foreclosures. And rather than dealing with those problems, Obama’s people have watched as GOP insurrectionists drive millions into abject destitution for political purposes by playing chicken with unemployment assistance. They’re using short-term solutions to deal with a LONG-term problem and then wondering why nothing is working!

Let’s get brutally honest here… America is getting short-changed in ANY kind of actual recovery program! The people who are SCREAMING for reform don’t know WHAT kind of reform they want, and they’re turning to leadership that is pretty much absent. And the people INSIDE the system are serving up nothing but screwjobs on top of screwjobs and hoping things will get better.

Listen, folks, THERE ARE groups and ideas that will bring the kind of reform that the Tea Party people are claiming to want. Stop listening to the pop icon puppets and start paying attention to those REAL alternatives.

YES it means leaving the GOP. YES it means actually snubbing the “mainstream”. YES it means turning OFF Fox News. It means voting third party. It means doing some research and actually making some decisions.

You want change? You want REAL change? Fine. Figure out WHAT kind of change you want. THEN start working on making it happen.


BrentSTL said...

This response to David's commentary this week comes from an old high-school friend of mine named Doug Hartman. I posted a link to David's comments on my Facebook page Monday morning and Doug gladly took the time to respond to it.

Because of the length of Doug's response, I had to split this into two parts, but it's presented as Doug wrote it.

Thanks Doug and David!!


To be sure David's article touches on lots of things, but I will take a stab at some of it.

My guess is, when the Tea Partier’s are saying we want a return to constitutional government, which means limited government, and that means a lot. To begin with the Rule of 545 would end. By that I means that every aspect of every americans life is controlled to some extend by the Federal Government, which is controlled by 435 US representatives, 100 US Senators, 9 Supreme Court Justices, and the President. Those 545 people, in some cases a simple majority thereof, control the 300 million of US. If it seems a little absurd, it is because it is. The founders envisioned a system of governance were power was dispersed and defused through out the land, not concentrated in the hand of a relative few.This gave a lot more people in put into running things and insured true and meaningful diversity in the US. This rules by 545 has implications in most problems we face as a nation. Most of our problems did not arise over night, nor did the rule of 545.

It is absurd the 5 of nine members of the court, could legally choose to create or ignore, amendments to the constitution. How did it happen? It all started with Marbury vs Madison, a case from 1803 where by the Supreme Court began to assert itself as the ultimate of the “ co-equal branches”. If we are to remain a free people we must rediscover our constitution.

As for the Taxed Enough Already portion of the protest: In the beginning, the constitution prohibited direct taxation. The federal government was small and with in its constitutional limits in part because there simply was not the money to do other wise. Well all that has changed, with federal tax rates on individuals in the US reaching has high 97%, during WWII. That is nearly slavery, no one should suffer that. The argument that only the wealthy slaves had to pay that much is hollow. Thanks to politicians of both parties, we now have debts that are beyond comprehension. How will those debts be dealt with?

BrentSTL said...

This is the second part of Doug Hartman's response to David's commentary this week. I had to split it into two parts because of the length of the response, but it is presented exactly as Doug wrote it.


I and the Tea Partiers, suspect it will be a combination of higher tax rates, the devaluing our a currency and the forcing of future generations to pay for it. That is if the system does not just collapse out right. You know, there is a reason Ponzi schemes are illegal, at some point there is no longer the ever increasing amounts of money needed to keep the game going. The result is game over. This is exact model we have for Social Security. Why is the US government allowed to run systems like that while and you or I would go to jail for it? Can the US government somehow change the laws of geometric progression? I don’t think so. This can mean one and only one thing in the end; system failure. What will happen then? Is that the crisis the Rahm Emanuel does not want to waste? I and the TEA Partier s suspect a change in the rules. What kind of change? I also suspect the candidate Obama tipped his hand when he told Joe the plumber...’ we will all benefit when we spread your wealth around.” Hmm. Is he hoping for a return to the 97 % rate?

I have spoken with liberals with much more money than I who think is it a good think for the government to spread wealth around. While at the same time they are unable to explain why the US is the worlds wealthiest nation. When I ask, them should the Gates' and Buffets be required to share their vast wealth with you? The answer is a quick “yes”. When I asked, should you be required to share what you have with the vast penny less populations of the third world? I just get a stare. Show how the their vision of social justice did not include that. But for the globalist from Kenya, they are included. If you think wealth is the result of luck, or cheating, being able to talk quick on your feet and speak in platitudes, or something other than hard work dedication and deferred gratification (saving for the future), sometimes for generations, then you probably do think it is unfair that some should have more than others.

Studies have shown a nearly surefire way to retire comfortably. Got to school, study hard, acquire useful skills, don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, get married for the right reasons, stay married, don’t party too much, and save some regularly, invest wisely. It is the same formula for a nation. Have we been living that way as a nation, or is it more like a TV series based on “ Animal House”.

The Tea Partiers are saying is “this is unsustainable, lets return to the path the country was on for it first two hundred years “. Our great grand parents saw some dark times, but there was a bright future, what do you see in our future?

David 2 said...

First... thank you Doug and Brent for the comments.

You do raise some points that I will be addressing on this weekend's show. I hope you will tune in at on Saturday night at 7pm Eastern Time. If you have problems tuning in with ShockNet, you can also listen in through Apple's iTunes radio player by looking for ShockNet Radio in the Classic Rock section.

Paul said...

David 2 well said. So, now that my family is debt-free and has worked it's BUTT off to save nearly 500K for our upcoming retirement with an income of 5 figures...why do I feel like the outlier? I never refinanced our home to take money out, just to get that lower FIXED interest rate, drove used cars etc. No, it wasn't easy, just dewlayed pleasure. J P Frogbottum

llbigwave said...

Nice article, David. I would like to rehash another angle which has come up before, and I think it applies here as well. The Tea Party and other groups talk about how we need to do something RIGHT NOW. Yes, when the house is on fire, the car is heading for the cliff, or whatever other metaphor you choose, quick action is required. However, that action must also be EFFECTIVE. Racing out of the burning house as quickly as possible sounds like a good idea, until you realize that you didn't call 911 on the way out and you left the baby sleeping in her crib. It is better to stop for a moment and think things through rather than panic and DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW that turns out to be ineffective. In the context of America's situation, stopping and thinking things through is called "debating", where the representative leaders discuss the problem and possible solutions, eventually reaching a collaborative solution which encompasses the best features of each group's ideas. Sadly, no such productive debate goes on in America anymore. We have been reduced to automatically rejecting anything proposed by the "other side", regardless of its merits, and stooping to ad hominem attacks to "support" this rejection. Until we (including our representative leaders) put THE TEAM (i.e., America!) first instead of our individual statistics (i.e., political points), we are doomed to play the role of the sports team saddled with a losing record year after year despite loads of talent. Of course, the Tea Party will claim that what THEY want (if they even know what that is!) is the only thing that is right for America. Go back and reread the last four sentences. :)