Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Another GOP Veteran Can’t Figure Out Today’s Republicans

Long-time mainstream Republican, David Frum, writes that he can’t understand the direction of today’s GOP.  Hardly part of the odious “liberal media,” Mr. Frum was a speech writer for Bush I and has written often for the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine. In a piece entitled ” When did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality?” he writes:

This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners. When I entered Republican politics, during an earlier period of malaise, in the late seventies and early eighties, the movement got most of the big questions—crime, inflation, the Cold War—right. This time, the party is getting the big questions disastrously wrong.

This sounds a little like David Stockman’s comments back in April.

More GOP Welfare for the Rich

Last week Congress reinstated legislation to provide for FHA backing for mortgages between $625,500 and $729,750.  Doing so just means that folks who want a loan above $625K will get taxpayer-funded support for that additional $105,000.  Do families that can afford homes costing three-quarters of a million dollars really need help from the rest of us?  No but the GOP wants to be sure they get their votes as well as more big campaign donations from mortgage bankers and well-healed realtors.

At the same time Congress cut funding for the Home Investment Partnerships Program that assists low-income families renovate and purchase homes.

Why Regulation is a GOOD Thing

I get so tired of the Republicons incessant harangue that environmental regulations “kill jobs.”  They would have us believe that if we just let companies pollute the water, foul the air and pocket more taxpayer dollars unemployment will go to zero and we’ll all be as wealthy as the average GOP Congressman.  However,

it turns out that sensible environmental regulations are actually good for business, as well as for the trees, fish and birds. Smart regulations create new jobs in industries that make pollution-control equipment or that provide environmental services. They encourage businesses to employ the most efficient equipment and methods. They help other industries to flourish that couldn’t otherwise, such as fishing, agriculture and tourism. They increase productivity by keeping workers alive and on the job. They benefit our children by keeping them free of poisons that can weaken their bodies and minds.

The Phantom GOP Jobs Program

An open email to my congressman, the do-nothing Dave Reichert of Washington:

So where is that GOP JOBS PROGRAM?

The unemployment rate for Americans ages 25-34 is at 26% and your solution is tax cuts for the rich and deregulation. We’ve had a decade of that with Mr. Bush and President Obama. How about a different approach? Something that would actually help put America’s middle class back to work?

Republican Joy: Getting Rid of those Unemployed Freeloaders

The Republicans must be rejoicing.  The number of people collecting unemployment benefits is declining.  Some 2 million Americans have been unemployed so long they are no longer eligible to receive unemployment checks.   The average duration of unemployment is now at 39 weeks, approaching the record of 41 weeks back in the days of the Great Depression.  At the same time, the unemployment rate dipped to 9.0% thanks to tens of thousands of people who has just given up looking for work.

So we have the Republican plan to fix unemployment.  Just let people go jobless until they give up and are no longer eligible for benefits and guess what?  The Government spends less and the unemployment rate declines.  Never mind that millions of Americans are going hungry and homeless.

Republican Jobs Program? Just Pray

I guess the Republican House will get around to some kind of jobs program some day.  But today they had to take time to pass a resolution affirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States.  Never mind the First Amendment and the notion of separation of church and state.  Unemployment?  Not a big deal.  The deficit?  Not so critical any more.  But there’s plenty of time for this kind of nonsensical, non-legislation.

Why Congress Doesn’t Care About the Rest of Us

The average net worth of members of the current Congress is $3.8 million.  No wonder those folks don’t have a clue about the hardships of the millions of unemployed Americans or the working class that has seen income flat for the last twenty-five years.  No wonder, either, they are so intent on preserving tax advantages for multi-millionaires. What a bunch of self-serving hypocrites.