Saturday :: Mar 3, 2012

Weekend Ponderings

by Steve

Several item of interest this Saturday:

Of course he's a repugnant piece of slime, and of course he should lose all of his sponsors, but Rush will always be popular with the cretin base of the GOP. Clearly, Rush, Santorum, and the other cavemen of the GOP don't understand all the reasons why women use contraception, but there are a lot of women in the GOP cheering Rush on even though they fully understand the full medical benefits. It's just that these slugs like ugly political attacks against those that don't agree with their politics because there is a malignant gene in the Republican DNA, and no amount of sponsor boycotting will change that. And if a woman is a slut for wanting contraceptive coverage, what does that make a man who wants his Viagra or Cialis covered?

Alleged Growth in Government Debt
I hate to ruin the GOP's narrative about our debt and deficits, but the facts show that non-interest federal spending, as a percent of the GDP, will fall to 20% of GDP by the end of this decade. Better yet, it'll fall further if Obama allows the Bush tax cuts to expire, if he allows the trigger cuts to hit next January, and if he pursues a Simpson/Bowles solution on Medicare and Social Security.

Sure, all of this will be difficult, but the narrative that Obama has piled trillions in debt upon the country is a bald-faced lie told over and over again by Republicans, the conservative media propaganda machine, and your ill-informed neighbors. Changes can be made to entitlement programs that won't harm people which will rein in costs, but the next time a winger rants at you about runaway spending, remind them that the vast majority of our debt came about due to George W. Bush's wars, tax cuts, and his recession, and that 90% of entitlement spending goes to the elderly, the disabled, and working families just like them.

Campaign Messaging
So even though your clueless neighbors will still spew falsehoods repeated from Rush and Fox, and will never let facts get in the way of a closed mind, Obama still needs a message that will lead to re-election. Sure, I’m hoping that the Romney/Santorum slugfest goes on several more weeks, so that the little demagogue can keep reminding us that he doesn’t believe in states’ rights at all, and in fact insists upon a national government that dictates morality. But you’d have to think that at some point, the GOP will get around to letting Romney have this nomination, at which point he’ll want to pivot and try to look reasonable again, assuming his unfavorables don’t keep going higher than they are now.

This country can benefit from a real debate this fall about saving the middle class, and what needs to be done about our economy. As expected, Romney hasn’t yet disclosed in any detail what exactly his jobs plan is, and how his tax proposals would rebuild the six million lost manufacturing jobs since 1999. What we do know about his tax plan is that it will add trillions in debt while shrinking the revenue base and ensuring more tax benefits for the top 1%. Obama at least has a jobs plan, and a budget and tax package that cuts trillions in debt with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and targeted spending cuts. But as the Atlantic noted recently, until government develops a plan that can overcome the damage done to the middle class by globalization and automation, the United States is destined for long-term decline, and neither Mitt Romney nor any other Republican have any plan to deal with that except for the usual failed supply-side Kool-Aid. Republicans don't want the government to be involved in anything except the Defense Department and your bedroom, but they aren't serious about the economy until they explain what exactly their plans will do to bring back millions in manufacturing jobs, and what they'll do to retrain the lost generation of workers into new industries, yes, with government involvement. Without that, the GOP is talking empty promises once again.

But the Democrats still need a solid message to drive this home for November. Research done on the president's State of the Union message finds that voters respond positively to arguments based upon fairness and expanding economic opportunity and security for the middle class, whereas arguments touting recent job gains and a resurgent America don't register. Clearly, the electorate doesn't feel confident enough yet to be told that these job gains are here to stay, which is why you hear Obama remind people that more needs to be done. Furthermore, with two-thirds of the country believing America is in decline, the public doesn't want a rah-rah speech about phony fist-pumping, which is quite often what you see with the GOP. What they want to see is a plan and not the usual bromides. And what Obama needs to give them is a specific plan and optimistic vision of how we get back to middle class opportunity and fairness for all, and why a Democratic congress is essential for that to happen.

Steve :: 3:00 PM :: Comments (8) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!