Blogs » Politcs Plus » Trust, ideology, and the role of government



Trust, ideology, and one's perception of the role of government, is keeping us from rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. The stock market is not an indicator of our economy, but more of an indicator of our frustration and anxiety. The president will present his jobs and deficit cutting plan in about two weeks but the fact that it is still in draft form doesn't keep the leaders from the opposition party from trashing the bits and pieces that are leaking out. There will be plenty of time to work out the differences, if that is the objective. Right now, Congress is at 13% approval and just 26% approve of the way president Obama is handling the economy, so it’s obvious the trust is not there. We won’t get any serious negations going until after the elections.It's no different at the local level,is it really the 11% increase or is the lack of trust of those imposing it or is it a "no tax increase" ideology?

I have to admit that I was wrong because I thought Governor Rick Perry had limited powers, so I really didn't pay much attention to him. A poster (vet43) informed me about his role in the agriculture and food production industry and last night, I heard an investigative reporter talking about his use of power in appointing the Board of Regents at the University of Texas, and several commissions of which he expected them to fall in line, unlike his predecessor. I expect a little of hyperbole (like Bachmann's promise of $2 gasoline) but right now, more than ever, our country needs some serious solutions. The governor said that he knows how to create jobs. That's great, and for argument's sake let's give him the net 75,000 jobs he said he created since 2008. He also said that he did it with less regulation, tort reform, and low taxes. Texas didn't really have a bad housing crisis because we have strict mortgage financing laws, and I won't even mention that oil was selling for $146 a barrel. We actually lost 40,000 private-sector jobs, but we gained 115,000 government jobs. Republicans don't like public-sector jobs, but government hiring went up in Texas by 7%, at the state level it was 8.4%, and a local was at 6%. I would like Governor Perry to tell me how tort reform, fewer taxes, and less regulation played into his job-creation stump speech. His other claim to fame is how he kept property taxes low in Texas, balanced a budget, and still had $6 billion left over for a rainy-day fund. The rainy-day fund is supposed to have ~ $6 billion, but does it? The other night a Texas legislator said that we cut ~$5 billion from education and deliberately underfunded Medicaid knowing full well that it would be backed stopped in two years. I can't see how a man can brag about his accomplishments when our state leads the nation in the number of children without health insurance, we're fourth in the poverty rate, last or near last in education, and have the highest number of minimums-wage jobs. The governor is running on an anti-government platform which is OK, but he should at least be grateful for the $17 billion stimulus money that helped balance our budget. He's not the only governor that has used accounting tricks to balance the books but if he would have said “we are in this together" I wouldn't have any problem with his rhetoric. I wasn't going to vote for Rick Perry anyway, but if he were elected to be our president; I wouldn't have any trust in him.

I wanted to insert a segment from last night's Jon Stewart show ;to illustrate how ideology is tearing us apart, but it needed a lot of cleaning up. My last blog was about an article in the New Times where Warren Buffett told us not to coddle to the rich. This angered Fox News so much, that one pundit called the poster child of capitalism, Warren Buffett, a socialist. The pundits at Fox called it class warfare. It starts off with a guest on Fox saying that $700 billion you would gain by taxing the top 2% over 10 years was just a drop in the bucket the other pundits said the problem was the 50% that do not pay any taxes, and this provided the material for Jon Stewart. I'm paraphrasing, but he said that the bottom 50% owned 2.5% of the wealth, that's if you look under the cushions and counted that old beat-up car that doesn't work, to arrive at $1.4 trillion. The Fox pundits even showed how the poor are well off because 99.6% of them own a refrigerator. He said if you took half of the $1.4 trillion that would be the $700 billion, and then you wouldn't have to tax the top 2%. Take it all, problem solved with money left over. If you get a chance, view the YouTube clips because they are hilarious. As an extra benefit, you get to see all the talking points used by our local center right posters. It does point out conservative hypocrisy.

In all seriousness, the root of a problem is the role of government. The austerity only crowd wants to starve the beast, so it won't have any money for social programs. The don't touch Medicare, and Social Security people want to preserve those programs without reforms. I've always favored Bowles-Simpson because it was a balanced approach, and the spending cuts are back loaded until the economy shows signs of recovery. It's obvious that we don't have a truth certain, but we need to try something and modify it as we go along.