Who Lost The Debt Debate?

A poll on cnn.com today asks: Which party won the debt debate? The more important question is: Who lost the debt debate? The answer would be simple, us! The average citizen. The fact that the country can be held hostage to the narrow ideology of a small group means we all lose. If this is what our politics is going to look like moving forward I don’t know how our democracy is going to fair. While it’s true that democracy does not always mean majority rule, I think it’s safe to say that a small group of narrowed-minded people that want to punish others for what they perceive as “leeching off the system” is not very democratic at all. It has increasingly become obvious to me that we have one party in this country that governs based on the best in people and we have another party that governs based on the worst in people. One party assumes everybody is looking to take advantage of the system. The other party does not. I don’t think I need to mention which one is which.

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What Does It Mean To Be A Liberal?

We are witnessing a consolidation of the political left (liberal) and political right (conservative) into distinct parties in America, and I believe this has brought about confusion in political self-identity. People tend to stick with the political party of their parents and close relatives. So even people who hold a liberal view on a particular issue, may still vote for a Republican when they step into the voting booth.

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Budget Debate Nonsense

The current government budget debate is an argument over pennies instead of an adult conversation over dollars. This highlights a fundamental issue that it’s near impossible for people holding temp jobs (elected officials) to solve the really big, long term problems our country faces. There is no real talk about cuts to the big entitlement programs or tax increases to help solve our budget deficit because to do so is seen as political suicide. So instead politicians go after the low hanging fruit in the hopes that the “dumb” American public will be happy that something was done. Then those politicians can run a campaign in the next election saying they cut spending and didn’t raise your taxes. The budget items being discussed don’t amount to much in the way of savings. Cutting funding to public radio (or other low hanging fruit) equates to a family debating whether they should buy a name brand product over a store brand product when instead they really should be discussing whether they need a fancy car or that expensive tropical vacation. I think the real problem is that nobody is paying attention. The average person in this country doesn’t pay very much attention to government, politicians or much of anything that they don’t perceive to have a direct and immediate impact on their lives. Politicians know this and that’s why they go after the low hanging fruit because they know that most people only hear quick sound bites and then move on. So if they can say they cut spending and didn’t raise taxes, to the average citizen that sounds like a good deal and will then reward that politician with another term. There needs to be an awakening in this country. More people need to start paying closer attention to what is actually going on in this country and in the world.

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Why Are Tax Increases Not An Option?

To hear some people talk it seems like there’s always a good reason why taxes can’t be increased at any given time. Bring up the subject, there is sure to be a rebuttal proclaiming tax increases would harm the economy, etc. It wasn’t always this way. But right now we have a very vocal minority in this country that has been really good at pandering to all of us. Nobody wants their taxes increased so it’s a very easy position to take as a politician. But this position also lacks vision and leadership. It’s utterly arbitrary to say tax increases can never happen or that tax cuts are always a good thing. It requires no proof of the claim because the politician who says such things knows it’s a winning position with the public. I say somebody needs to grow a backbone and show some leadership even if it means potentially jeopardizing re-election. Somebody has to stand up and be the adult in the room.

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