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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Inauguration Day Madman

January 25, 2009


The Opposition's "Plan"

After eight years of constant screw-ups and policies which benefitted only the Bush (and Republican) "base of haves and have mores"., it's hard for me no to look at any proposal which almost any Republican legislator, or group of GOP legislators without skepticism.

But I'll try.

With a picture of the two leaders of the New GOP in the background (Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell). I read the alternate plan proposed by the House minority. The problem is that the two major supporters of the GOP plan (Boehner, McConnell) don't even mention their ideas on their own official web sites. Outspoken Rep. Eric Cantor (REPUBLICAN-VA), the House of Representatives number two minority representative's last bit of "news" on his web site was dated December 16, 2008. It's berated Governor Tim Kaine (DEMOCRAT) for a thirty-cent tax increase. But no mention of their "idea".

"Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) today commented on news of Governor Kaineís plans to impose a 30-cent tax increase on cigarettes which will result in thousands of job losses."
-Cantor's web site (http://cantor.house.gov/121608.htm)

Even the RNC web site fails to offer even the slightest glimpse of the minority party plan to fix America's economic situation - the one which grew out of control under their stewardship.

A Reader's Digest version of the GOP plan (because there is no other version) merely claims that new jobs will be created (although they're still waiting for the estimates made by their "experts" - and we all know how well those "experts" predict things, don't we?), although they don't really know enough to guess how many. They do, however. talk about - you guessed it - tax cuts.

It's all they ever talk about.

As usual, their tax-cut-as-a-cure-all idea centers around giving those at the bottom a small cut.

"It called for reducing the current 10 percent bracket to 5 percent, affecting a taxpayer's first $8,350 in income, and lowering the existing 15 percent bracket to 10 percent, covering income from $8,351 to $33,950.
"Small business owners could take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income,"
-The AP regarding the GOP economic recovery plan

What the Republicans don't get - and what they apparently never will get - is that pennies aren't what is going to make people go out into the market and buy the things thy need to buy in order to make our economy sputter-start again. It will require big bucks into the pockets of the average American to allow them to plan that vacation or have a down-payment on a new car or even to pay off debt. (That's also a way to get money back into the financial industry, to get them to begin lending again.)

Giving people back an extra $417.50 a year - or $8.79 per week won't even pay for a sandwich and a Coke, let alone recover the economy. And as far as the small business tax break is concerned, the devil is in the details: Just what do they classify as "small business" anyway? Is it the mom and pop shop on the corner or the mega-million dollar global corporation which only employs a dozen or so employees domestically. Surely they couldn't mean to do that...

Could they?

Even though government grew faster and larger than ever before under their flawed and failed leadership, in their bid to classify the Democrats as "tax and spend Liberals", the Republican minority is going to call any rescue package a "tax-and-spend" package.

"We understand that there will be spending in the final bill, the Democrats have made that completely clear,"
-Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Cantor

And they can't wait to blast it.

Along with new ideas like paying for two-thirds of the cost for health care for out of work Americans, the Obama administration is thinking differently while, at the same time, the GOP leadership offers up some of George W. Bush's same old stale ideas. While it's important that President Obama includes the GOP leadership in the conversation, their advice must be taken with their past "accomplishments" in mind.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to "Spring is in the Air," Richard N. Pierson Jr., MD writes:

Victoria Brownworth was superb on Thursday. This 80 year old (unretired) professor of Medicine feels just the way you do, likely for eleven different reasons, but the response is just the way you write. We, our six children, and our twelve grandchildren, will see Obama, and his challenge, through different eyes and experiences, but, Please God, with similar uplift, and similar dedication to "make a difference". Thank you, Victoria Brownworth.

In response to," The Senate seat Clinton vacates will be a hard one to keep regardless of who gets it (I'm putting my money on Andrew Cuomo, the current New York State Attorney General and son of former Governor Mario). Cuomo has both the pedigree and, more importantly, the experience for the job, although Rep. Maloney would be just as good a choice," Pat Thompson writes:

Weird choice, a NRA member. I hope she gets stiff competition in 2010 and loses her seat to a gun control advocate. And maybe Andrew Cuomo could run for Governor of NY.

And Bill Henning corrects:

Carolyn McCarthy's (from Long Island) husband was killed by Colin Ferguson. She was not really mentioned in the Senator sweepstakes.

Caroline Maloney is from the east side of Manhattan.

And Colligan adds:


Carolyn McCarthy, not Carolyn Maloney became a Congresswoman after her husband was killed on LIRR

With my apologies to the fine Rep. from Long Island. -NG

I response to Chief Justice John Roberts forgetting the correct order of the President's oath of office, Pat Thompson writes:

The newest justice, and the youngest was made the Chief Justice -- and he can't read or remember a 35 word oath? It almost seemed like he intended to do that -- spoil the moment. That guy will be with us for perhaps the rest of our lives.

In response to, "Joy is one of those feelings we rarely have after the age of five or six. It doesnít come readily to those who have dealt with lifeís harsher moments or who have gained the perspective that comes with adulthood. Excitement is almost always tempered in some way and joy rarely has the purity it had for us as children," Pat Thompson writes:

Yes, my joy was tempered by the thought that both of my deceased parents would have loved to see this day and were not here to enjoy it. And also tempered by the knowledge that the right wing would do everything and anything it can to destroy this man. As he walked down the street, I couldn't watch until he got back into the car, because I was sure some sniper would blow his head open, the way they did my first President, John Kennedy -- I was 16 when he died, and I loved him dearly. On my 21st birthday, his brother, who I had been campaigning for was also shot and killed. So my joy is tempered by that reality.
And by the reality that our financial, environmental and military have been decimated by the 8 Bush years, and it will be near impossible to bring the country back from the brink. But I am still thrilled to know that the rest of America has caught on and Bush's approval rating is now so low, and best of all -- he is gone. May God bless Barack Obama, so he can perform miracles. Or at least do things better than Bush did.

And in response to, "He is the first American president from a multi-ethnic and multi-racial family, with a white mother, African father, Indonesian half-sister, white, black and Asian in-laws," Pat Thompson writes:

He is also our second (partly) Irish American President, and Joe Biden is our first Irish Catholic American Vice President. I'd like to point out that the Irish, although white, were persecuted as much as African Americans. In the late 1850's half of the population of Ireland either died in the great famine, or immigrated on coffin ships. (not much better than the slave ships) If and when they got here, the were either immediately conscripted into the Union Army (after 1861) or found signs everywhere stating "No Irish Need Apply". Bare survival was the first generation's story, after more than a million of their relatives starved to death in Ireland, while England did nothing. Food such as beef, barley, dairy products were shipped to England from Ireland, while the serfs, the tenant farmers, literally starved to death when their potato crop failed. Once they had a foothold in America, there were neighborhoods they couldn't live in, clubs they couldn't join, schools they couldn't go to. John Kennedy was our first, and only Irish Catholic President. Barack is our second part Irish President. Yes, his father was African. We must also remember that our continent's original citizens, the Native Americans, were mainly wiped out, or placed on reservations. No Native American President yet. And half the population is female -- and although we finally got the vote less than 100 years ago, there has not been a woman President or Vice President yet. We still have a long way to go!

In response to, "Clinton, like Obama, also inherited a Bush recession. But since 41 only had four years to run the country into the ground the recession was less severe," Victoria Brownworth responds:

Actually it was 12 years, not four, because it was the Reagan Bush era that destroyed the economy. People forget, because Bush 2 was so egregious, making us even think Nixon wasn't that bad, that prior to Bush 2, the worst economy in U.S. history, except for the Great Depression was under Ronald Reagan, and Bush 1 followed his lead. Yet despite a Republican majority in Congress, and endless Republican-led investigations, Clinton managed to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Just in time for Junior to come in and make a mess of things.

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-Noah Greenberg