Canadians, eh! Music Night, March 27 2015

NPR came through for me yesterday with their Heavy Rotation suggestion, a Canadian duo called Whitehorse and this song. When I got home I didn’t hesitate to buy the whole album. Hope you like it. (Does the opening remind anyone of a classic song used as the title for a story and a film employing this imagery?)

The Watering Hole; Friday March 27 2015; The Great American Con Game

The Congressional Progressive Caucus recently released their proposed “People’s Budget” for official consideration. It’s a Federal budget proposal designed to serve “. . . the values, needs, and hopes of all our people, not just the powerful and the privileged.” In brief synopsis, the People’s Budget enables investment in:

  • Infrastructure and Transportation:  …
  • Education:
  • Social Security:
  • Hunger:
  • Environment:

The investments will be paid for by raising revenues in several areas, including:

  • Taxing the Wealthy Fairly
  • Stopping Subsidies for CEOs
  • Keeping Jobs and Corporate Profits at Home
  • Taxing Wall Street
  • Rationalizing Defense Spending

In re the Taxing the Wealthy Fairly proviso, the tax rates would be adjusted according to income, as follows:

$1-10 million: 45 percent
$10-20 million: 46 percent
$20-100 million: 47 percent
$100 million-1 billion: 48 percent
$1 billion and over: 49 percent

It should be noted that the highest of the new tax rates is still lower than the top bracket in place during most of the Reagan administration.

The (limited overview) bottom line is that if said budget is approved and carried out, it

Creates more than 8 million good jobs by 2018.
Increases functionality of Worker Protection Agencies.
Includes a four percent raise for federal workers.
Provides Paid Leave Initiative and Child Care.
Supports a minimum wage increase and Collective Bargaining.
Repeals sequester and all Budget Control Act spending caps.
Increases discretionary funding to invest in working families.
Reverses harmful cuts and enhances social safety net.
Invests in veterans, women, communities of color and their families.
Allows states to transition to single-payer health care systems.
Invests in clean and renewable energy and green manufacturing.
Implements comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship.

And last but by no means least, it also mandates that public financing of campaigns to curb special interest influence in politics becomes a replacement of the ‘Citizens United’ Supreme Court travesty.

How in the world could anyone, Republican and Democrat alike, not be in favor of such an egalitarian budget, itself a clear and obvious effort to broadly support the well-being of common folk — PAID FOR simply by raising the wealthy/corporate tax rate stream to a level not as high as was in effect during most of St. Reagan’s presidency?

I decided to find out. Earlier this week, I signed a petition of support for the People’s Budget, a petition that was forwarded to Cory Gardner, my new Tea Party Senator (that’s the “Elections Have Consequences” Cory Gardner). Gardner’s boilerplate response proved to be quite revealing in that it essentially spelled out the reasons the country continues to suffer its economic malaise. Gardner says:

Our nation’s debt stands at a staggering $18 trillion and continues to grow with Washington’s out-of-control deficit spending. Without changes in our budget, the Congressional Budget Office projects that amount could rise to $27 trillion in ten years.

The President’s budget is a disappointment, full of new spending and fewer opportunities to come to the table with the new Congress and work towards a responsible budget for our nation. It tries to justify its massive spending increases with more taxes, fees, and budgetary tricks. We need real spending cuts that will slow and reverse the growth of our national debt and reforms that aim to eliminate waste and abuse at all levels of the federal government.

During my time in Congress, I have continued to vote for spending cuts, deficit reduction, and greater fiscal responsibility. We need a responsible plan that leads to a balanced budget while keeping our nation’s promises which is why I have remained committed to passage of a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. Achieving a balanced budget and restoring economic stability continue to be my priorities moving forward. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address our nation’s spending problems and find responsible solutions that reduce our nation’s debt. As legislation concerning the federal budget comes to the Senate floor for a vote, please rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind.

The red and underlined highlights are my own, of course, added to help summarize The Great American Con Game which, according to Gardner, demands responsible solutions, a balanced budget, economic stability, and keeping our nation’s promises — all without more taxes, fees, and budgetary tricks. I can’t help but note that the People’s Budget takes care of all of his legitimate concerns (and many more) with the exception of the ones that are greed-based, the ones best solved by Taxing the Wealthy Fairly and via those budgetary tricks such as Stopping Subsidies for CEOs, and Keeping Jobs and Corporate Profits at Home, and Taxing Wall Street. Unfortunately for the common man, each and all of those revenue-raising propositions are,  to Teabaggers, as evil and irrational as is — heaven forbid! — Rationalizing Defense Spending.

In the final analysis, Gardner is simply parroting the central points of what can reasonably be called The Great American Con(servative) Game and in the process is conclusively demonstrating to the world that he’s no more committed to finding responsible solutions concerning the federal budget or to restoring economic stability and keeping our nation’s promises than are any other of his fascist Teabagger compatriots. Their sole interest has nothing to do with honorable governance, with defending and supporting the Constitution. Their goal is to gratuitously arrange the transfer of ALL wealth and power to the banking and corporate elites, to the 1%, by any means possible — even as they completely disregard the long term damage their greed-based policies have already inflicted and will continue to inflict on “We the people” and on the nation itself. The defining words of such policies and attitudes are as simple as they are familiar: Fascism; Oligarchy. Not exactly Constitutionally-based descriptors of what the country is on the verge of becoming, and most certainly WILL become if and when an unchallengeable Tea Party majority should ever assume full control of the government.

All that having been said, I’ve decided to assign my ‘attitude summation’ concerning today’s Great American Con Game, aka the Republican Party, to Albert Einstein who once pointed out that

“This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once.

To which I can only add Amen, Amen.