Saturday, July 04, 2009

Notes on the Tea Party

Some thoughts on today's TEA Party: let me throw in some observastions and I will declare openly; I have been a Republican as long as I remember, but I have never been embarrassed to call my Party out when it errs.

I will say, today's TEA Party was a huge difference from the last. It can actually be described as somewhat non-partisan, where the last was, honest, a thinly disguised Republican cheerleading session. Mind you, nothing wrong with a little turn-out-the vote cheeerleading, but do me the favor of not lying to me about it. I am confident that the T-Party people are NOT lying, I had long discussions with them today. They went out of their way to change that from last time, I do not doubt the sincerity. Frankly some of these folks are rookies, they got co-opted by pros before they saw it coming. As the rock band WHO said, "We Won't Get Fooled Again".

I am not the only long-term Republican looking at other options. I am not going to "out" anyone without express permission, but there are some local Republican heavy hitters who are at least listening to the Libertarians or whomever.

Now, to what I wanted to say today but the Mike time was limited: those of us of my age will remember Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, Republican. When LBJ wanted the Civil Rights Act of 1965 he, who had been mentored by another Texan, Sam Rayburn, counted the votes and thought "Oops". The solid South, then all Democrat was absolute 22-24 segregationist votes. LBJ called in Dirksen to do the heavy lifting in the Senate, and Dirksen agreed, not for credit, but because he was a true believer. And the two of them got it done

And people think Texas is a redneck state! Hah! I have my personal copy of election code, I will put our election laws against those of any state in the union and win that debate. I've been an election judge since 1992, I DEFY any state to show me a more fair, more open, more accessible election system. Been there, done that, on this I know whereof I speak.

The other thing Dirksen was famous for was a quote we still hear from time to time, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, we're talking serious money". Drop the "B" insert a TR, and that's what we are doing today.

Long have I toiled in the Republican vineyard, but the second Bush term left me feeling betrayed. Amongst the political trivia I collect; the last Clinton budget proposal presented to the House (and Constitutionally all spending bills MUST originate in the House; of course the White House has input, but the formal bill MUST originate in the House) originally had the usual Congressional Budget Office analysis of the numbers. Not that bad, for that year, BUT: it was redacted and I only saw it due to a Freedom of Information Act Request. At that time, CBO, and these are bean counters whose jobs are bullet-proof (unless they start behaving like Congressman, Senators and Governors and having affairs with foreign ladies or gentlemen at state expense), these people said in a three page addendum that at current projections, given entitlement spending (Medicaid, Soc Security, etc) by 2030 the average working stiff would be paying 87% income tax.

That is not a misprint. Eighty percent tax is not a fair tax, it is not really a tax. It is chattel wage-slavery, and is politically unsupportable. We would be well into pitchforks and torches time, and if I am still alive, I hope to have the local pitchfork-sharpening and torch-fuel concession.

Nothing in the last two years has improved that forecast. The best numbers I have show an increase of federal deficit of about $14.5 TRILLION in either direct debt or actuarilly anticipated incumbrance. Total national deficit, roughly $22 TRILLION. Our grandchildren will be paying this off and that is if we take the advice of the late William F Buckley and stand athwart history and holler "STOP!"! Oh, and I forgot Health Care, Gee another $10 Trillion that our grandchildrens' grandchildren will be paying

Do y'all remember the collapse of the USSR? We did not defeat them militarily, Reagan's wiseacre comment notwithstanding, we did not bomb Moscow; they went broke. Countries can go bankrupt: it's nasty and it hurts more people than Bernie Madoff dreamed of but it happens. Break this down to personal. When USSR went belly up, they had millions of workers who had been promised pensions, usually 150 or so Rubles a month. Nothing grand, but it would pay the rent on a chintzy apt and buy food. The new Russia has not defaulted on that obligation. What they did is called "Monetizing the debt". You still get the 150 Rubles, paid to the Kopeck: unfortunately, the Ruble has been devalued and that sum now buys one about a loaf of bread a month. And Vladimir Putin doesn't care which bridge you live under, he's busy hunting tigers or something. This has implications beyond what I have stated: Russia has the lowest life expectancy in the industrial world, they claim 66 years and I think they are lying.

Canned food: canned food and ammo to protect it and a hole to hide it all in. To quote the Addams Family Philosopher, young Wendy; be afraid, be very afraid.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you Jim. It's about time we figure out another way than bailouts and "government options."