Tea and Sympathy

Ted-Cruz-Wrecking-Ball Thousands of  federal employees returned to work this morning as the 2013 #GovernmentShutdown ended.  With the damage left by The Tea Party, a small faction of the Republican Party being assessed.

Perhaps they intended to create waves and ripples of destruction.  Or perhaps, they were just immature and didn’t realize their actions would take $24 billion dollars from our sluggish economy.   Perhaps, they believed seventeen days of bickering over a continuing resolution and raising the debt ceiling would strengthen our economy.

What I realize is that the resolution passed by Congress only provides, a short term solution.  There still is no resolution of the bigger problem, we don’t have a budget.  So the continuing resolution creates more uncertainty as we creep closer to another potential shutdown in 90 days.

The President in his statement today summed up the shutdown and damage from it with this, “we don’t know how much damage this has caused….we do know it has caused unnecessary damage to our economy.”

And though we don’t know how much, we do know this. Everyday working Americans and the poor were hurt by the shutdown.  We know our economy didn’t create jobs during the shutdown.  We know consumer and business confidence was impacted.  And we know that in the days to come it translates to slower future job growth and less money for consumers during the Christmas season.

That is why it is WE the People’s turn to focus on ways to create broad based prosperity.  It is our turn to rewrite history, by never forgetting the past seventeen days.  By collectively pointing the finger at ourselves.  By looking in the mirror and figuring out how to send responsible elected officials to Washington, that unite, not divide.

In the aftermath of this, it is our turn to remember that government is not the problem.  Not this government, that seeks to play a vital role in taking care of our elderly and our poor?  Not this government that protects our food supply, guards our waterways, expands our technologies, secures our national parks and protects us after a natural disaster.  This government is not the problem!

The Tea Party, that extremist faction of the Republican Party that is spewing hate, waving Confederate flags and trying to return  America back to the ideological age of slavery and segregation, is the problem.  They are a dying breed that is unpatriotic and un-American.  Who instead of passing a budget, immigration reform, gun control legislation, a jobs and farm bill, use tactics to manufacture a crisis that weakens our economy, instead of strengthening it. This government is not the problem, irresponsible governance is the problem.

If we want a resolution that solves the problem, we must take hold.  We must have hope.  We must move FORWARD.  That is why it is time for us to go Back to the FUTURE.

WE, the People must move out of the way those who wish to obstruct us from progress.

WE, the People must take responsibility in removing those who seek to destroy opportunities for upward mobility in wealth and education.

WE, the People must replace them with elected officials who wish to construct the bridges of opportunity that open the gateways for prosperity.

WE,the People must send to Washington, men and women who promote the founding fathers fundamental principle of “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

So let us not forget in 2014, what irresponsible stewards of our American democracy on Capitol Hill sought to do in 2013.  If we do that.  If we vote our conscious in 2014, we will find a responsible resolution to the problems that cause the dysfunction in Washington.

Time Out!

Spear_3301

Politics has become a childish blame game. Right now led by Republicans pointing fingers at everyone but yourselves, in the US Congress. So We The People want YOU to go to the Time Out corner.

My great-grandmother Georgiana used to recite us portions of Edgar Guest’s poem “Myself”.

I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.

Republicans what are you doing for the country, workers and the economy? Can you look yourself in the eye and say you are doing all you can for the American people.   Go to Time Out until you get through this temper tantrum.

Your tantrum hurts America. You have cut wages to federal workers and defeated gun reform with valid mental health guidelines in it.  Now you fight a budget and debt ceiling deal.

You need to stop whining and get Americans working.  We need you to pass a Jobs Bill to get millions of Americans working again.

Stop whining and attacking President Obama.  Senator McConnell you smirked years ago saying your number one priority is making sure the President wasn’t reelected.  Well he was reelected, you lost, move on.

Your whining, pettiness and bitterness hurt the country.  Going after one person while holding millions of Americans hostage in an attempt to do what?

That is the question, What is your end game?  It isn’t ObamaCare.  That’s the smoke screen.  Is it to expose the Cruz/Tea Party element to get moderate, traditional Republicans into office?  There are better ways to do that.

Is it to destroy the President’s legacy?  That’s not good for America?

As elected officials, leaders of your political party, you are failing the American people.  That’s not good for America. You have focused on repealing laws rather than offering ideas to strengthen them.   You haven’t introduced or passed anything to promote strengthening our economy. That’s not good for America.

Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, where is the legislation that puts Republicans at the forefront of pulling the poor from the depths of poverty?  Moves the middle class into the upper middle class?  Makes small businesses stronger and lowers the unemployment rate?

Your attention is so focused on defeating Obama, you forgot to position the Party to win in 2014 and 2016.  Instead you pulled the victim card.  You scream, lie and cheat the American people.  Crying foul and painting yourself as the victim.

It is sickening to watch grown men cry foul, sounding like crybabies.  So you go to “Time Out.”

Sit and reflect on what you are doing that is hurting the country.  You can’t come out until you tell us how you are going to help Americans get back to work.

Stop whining!  American families need to know when this #governmentshutdown will stop.  We need you working for the American people not against them working.

As we wait and you sit in the Time Out corner, I leave you with this portion of Guest’s poem.  Wondering at the end of the day at the setting sun, one day will you hate yourself for the things you have done.

 I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m for bluster and bluff and empty show.

How We Got Here: The Path to America’s 2013 Government Shutdown

The government is shutdown, and the world is watching how America treats its citizens in a battle of wills.  As Ezra Klein said, before the clock struck midnight starting the shutdown, “This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That’s it. That’s why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt.”

Below is info on the path to the shutdown.  Thank you to the budget expert with experience at the White House Budget Office and U.S. Senate for sharing information used below.

Here is what happened.

  • House and Senate have been fighting about the overall spending levels for months.
  • The Republican controlled House wanted the 2014 budget level at $967 billion for discretionary spending.
  • The Democratic controlled Senate wanted the level at $1,058 billion (to include a plan that replaces sequestration responsibly).
  • Democrats agreed to a level at $986 billion, which is the level of the continuing resolution (CR) that was under debate.
  • Democrats took the compromise even though it is below the desired level, thinking they would have a clean CR without any crazy ideological riders.

Fast forward to this past week.

  • The House passed a CR with a provision defunding the Affordable Care Act – (A law passed four years ago and a law tested by an election and the Supreme Court.)
  • The Senate voted against the CR
  • Senator Ted Cruz held his personal version of a filibuster.
  • The Senate voted, stripping out the ideological riders the House put in and sent a clean CR back to the House.
  • The House did not take up the Senate bill.
  • The House in turn attached more riders that are unacceptable to Senate Democrats.
  • The Senate voted and tabled those amendments, sending a third clean bill back to the House.
  • After more back-and-forth, the House asked to appoint conferees to work out an agreement and negotiate.
  • Leading up to this shutdown for six months, the Senate asked 18 times to appoint conferees for a budget conference.  Every time Republicans objected.
  • Not once has the House voted on a clean CR – which the Senate sent to the House.  Meanwhile, the Senate along with the President made it clear that anything other than a clean CR would not pass the Senate and if it was it would be vetoed by the President.

When the House declined to vote on a clean CR passed by the Senate before midnight Tuesday, the fiscal year ended.  Appropriations lapsed and the government shut down.

So now we wait!