The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘social security’

To spend or not to spend

Posted by keithosaunders on August 14, 2011

I managed to avoid the radio for the majority of my cross-country drive, but there were a few times where I succumbed to the lure of talk radio.  I guess the left-wing media has yet to permeate the talk radio business — 100% of the shows I encountered were hosted by rabid right wingers.  A particular low light was when I stumbled across Sean Hannity interviewing Ann Coulter.  Hannity was flirting with Coulter throughout the interview, which lent it a creepy air.  I would rather imagine my parents having sex than have to picture a Hannity/Coulter tryst.  My god, I just threw up in my mouth.

Most, if not all of the shows, bemoaned the liberal compulsion to spend the country’s money.  Apparently the deficit is the number one problem we have, and should we balance the budget, all of our troubles will be solved.  Forget about unemployment — they do not so much as pay lip service to job creation, except for it being a direct by-product of tax breaks for the wealthy. (read, deserving)

All of this talk of cutting spending got me to thinking…we’ve got an election coming up next year and there is a tangible chance that Obama will be defeated, opening the door for fiscal responsibility Republican style.  I began to wonder what would happen if the Republicans got everything they wanted.

First, let’s assume funding for schools will be slashed by fifty percent.  After all, they are run by the corrupt teachers union and their funding is squandered on things like paid holidays. (and luxuries such as text books)  

All programs related to job training, college loans, and food stamps would be cut by at least 80 percent.  NPR and funding for the arts?  Eliminated. 

This brings us to cutting defense spending, but we all know this is a non-starter.  This leaves Social Security and Medicare, which I  assume would be drastically scaled back.  The health care bill would be repealed, but heck, that may even happen under the Obama administration. 

So what is the upshot?  I envision mass poverty.  With no jobs and rising expenses the middle class would be surviving on a wing and a prayer.  The lower middle class would become homeless, but since funding for shelters would have been all but eliminated, there would be an epidemic of homelessness on the streets of our cities and suburbs. 

Crime would skyrocket and prisons would be overflowing.  Disease would be rampant and emergency rooms would become triage units.  Eventually there would be rioting in the streets and martial law would be declared.

Now, I admit that this is a worst case scenario, but I am assuming that every possible spending cut would be achieved.  Is it so much of a stretch to envision chaos in a society virtually devoid of government? 

My point is that by listening to radio and TV pundits you would think that all of our problems would disappear if only we would cut spending.  I believe that our problems would be exponentially worse.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Meet the new boss

Posted by keithosaunders on December 8, 2010

With the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at least we can put one fallicy to rest:  We now know unequivocally that the Republicans could care less about the federal deficit.  For the past two years the major Republican talking point has been, and continues to be, “smaller government and reduced spending.”  

Let’s run the laundry list.

How about defense?  No cuts there.  

Social Security?  Non-starter.  Leave the senior abuse to the Dems and their death squads. 

Medicare?  Same.

How about federal workers?  Yes!  That will lop a whopping 5 billion off the 3.7 trillion budget.   While we’re at it we’ll cut food stamps, minimum wage, and college grants.  That’s a wrap.

Personally, unless there is much more than meets the eye, I don’t understand the politics.  Obama spent a good deal of time today talking about how the American people were being held hostage by the Republicans and how he didn’t believe in doing harm to hostages.  To these ears that sounded forced and contrived. 

Even when the Democrats held a super-majority in the Congress Obama was constantly playing defense rather than controlling the message.  I get that the Republicans are obstructionists and that their mission from the start has been to oppose any legislation put forth from the new administration.  I feel, however, that Obama holds some culpability for failing to provide a cohesive message.  He claims to care about the middle class but time and again we see an administration that is more corporatist than populist.  From the appointments of Timothy Geithner and Laurence Summers, to the decidedly big-pharma (and insurance company) friendly health care plan, to his failure to prosecute Bush administration officials on war crimes, we see a president who is very much invested in the status quo.

Yes, he staved off a depression, saved the auto industry, and managed to eek out a (tepid) health care bill.  Let’s give the man credit where credit is due.  In the end, though, where is playing it safe going to get him?  Barring a dramatic turn of events in 2012, I fear that the answer will be a one way ticket to Chicago.

Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »