This is a time for moderation and careful, forward looking budget management. Instead, we are about to gut federal spending. The cost is going to be a return to severe economic recession. Everybody in politics knows this perfectly well, and so do economists left, right and center. Indeed, agreement is practically unanimous. Except it’s not what you hear on talk radio. Far from it.

It is being done, essentially, by the far right, and its purpose is to create enough disgruntled voters to insure their election in 2012. Will it work for them? Certainly, a lot more people will be out of work by next November. But I suspect that they will understand why very clearly. During the Bush Administration, the right never once protested an increase in the debt ceiling. Dick Cheney even said that debt didn’t matter. But now it does? I do hope that this level of cynicism is not lost on the American people.

As a moderate, I am not a fan of extremes. I do understand why people embrace them, though. They do so out of frustration and anger and desperation. It’s why the Russians ended up captured by Bolshevism. It’s why the Nazis got enough traction to gain power. But, you’ll notice, in neither case did the extremists gain power by popular vote. Neither party, prior to gaining power, had more than 20% of popular support. The Bolsheviks and the Nazis both stole power, and in the end ruined their countries. Now the Tea Party, with a minority in congress, virtually no representation in the senate, and a following of under 20% of the population, controls the federal government. And that is an accurate statement. Were it not for them, the debt ceiling issue would never even have been linked to debate on larger budget questions.

I do not like extremes. They do not help us. Their 20th Century track record is abysmal, and if we continue to be drawn to extremes in the 21st Century, the result will be the same. Both moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans have a great deal of value to offer our country. The far left and the far right should be left far behind.

18 Comments

  1. I am bitterly disappointed
    I am bitterly disappointed that a tiny minority of Tea bagger nut jobs that could have been out voted and vetoed held the US Government to this. It is a sham on ‘majority’ rules…there is obviously more to this. Oh well there goes the vacation home purchase!

    In fact that goes for extremes and PC angles. Bottom line… majority rules in in a democracy!

  2. With all due respect, James,
    With all due respect, James, a pure democracy is not much better than a mob mentality, which is why our founding fathers had the wisdom to create a representative government, to provide a buffer against such a mob scene. However, that being said, the representative government has gone terribly awry in the last several generations, for whatever reason. The Tea Party started out with noble intentions, that primarily based upon the concept of libertarian government, but it seems that they too have gotten sucked into the black hole inside the capital beltway, where no light escapes. Sad.

  3. While I agree with the Tea
    While I agree with the Tea Party’s goal of cutting the Federal budget down to a more realistic level and having a balanced budget, you CANNOT do this overnight without MASSIVE shocks to the country. Every penny being spent by the government should be open for everyone to view and every item should be debated as we as a country decide our priorities. However this process should take at least 3 or 4 years, not overnight !!

    What upsets me most is that these people have no qualms about cutting Social Security and Medicare which will cause the elderly to suffer and some to die YET they have no problems with a Defense budget that is eating almost HALF of our budget. Is it wise to layoff teachers and have elderly go hungry so that we can buy another aircraft carrier ??? Are the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan more important than the well being of the most vulnerable in our own society ??

  4. I am disgusted with how this
    I am disgusted with how this has been handled by those who “represent” us. The whole agreement concerns me. What the heck is a “super congress” and will it be considered a 4th branch of our government?

  5. We may not need ideology, but
    We may not need ideology, but we need new ideas, and fast. How about letting the taxpayers select where their tax money goes directly? We have the technology for secure financial transactions; why not let verified voters select online from a list of tax destinations? For those who want to drill down, they could choose to finance kite-flying in Togo; others might be satisfied with block allocations to “foreign aid” or “health care” or “bribing despots in Pestholistan”. Congress is eager to let the courts and the Executive perform their Constitutional functions, so they could hardly kick if the public actually got a say in where its money is spent. What do you all think? And while we’re at it, why not let people vote for representation directly, without regard for location or political affiliation? If I want to give my vote to Ron Paul or Michael Moore or Whitley Strieber, why shouldn’t I be able to? Proposals like this were never possible previously, but we have the technical ability to do it now – to enforce transparency. We need some way to get people to feel like they have more control over their lives, or they will demand it at gunpoint eventually. And eventually may be a lot closer than anybody expects. Putting transparency first is one big step back from the abyss.

  6. Here we go again…wave after
    Here we go again…wave after wave of massive layoffs, and escalating costs…the tea party and their wealthy right wing owners assuming control of a government they just strangled…Yes of course they will try and blame Obama, but when their money becomes as illusory as their reason, they may find the publics anger directed toward them, as the states begin to buckle under the strain of too little….look what happened in Europe when the banks through their puppet politicians attempted austerity measures. The Tea party may have also killed the Republican party without knowing it, stabbing their leadership in the back, they will be just as zealous when it comes to picking someone to run against Obama, if Obama survives the wrath of his base to run again for a second term. Hard rimes are ahead for all of us.

  7. We no longer have a
    We no longer have a government that represents the people of the United States. Our government represents banks, large corporations and special interest groups. We can gripe until the cows come home, but until this changes we will continue on the path we’re on.
    “The Declaration of Independence” sumed it up quite well I think.
    Whenever any form of government becomes destructive to the well being of the people, the people have the right
    to alter or abolish it.
    The time has come for Americans to put aside their petty differences and demand that some fundamental changes are made in Washington.

  8. All great Tim, but no
    All great Tim, but no Americans are going to show up with torches & pitchforks until it cripples their zombie lifestyle.

  9. Dunno folks, but it looks
    Dunno folks, but it looks like the crazy train may have finally derailed. My hope is that the tea bagger insanity will be lessened after people get a taste of what they have done, but then maybe not.

    1. if not for the tea baggers
      if not for the tea baggers insanity stirring up the spotlight to bring light on this issue, do think any change would have come? it would be same as always. frankly that is what it remains! nothing will be solved as usual! you know full well they all were going to pass this and claim victory. they wanted to put on a good front. now we have yet another political action commitee to pay outrageous money to for the services rendered. still watch and see nothing will change or get solved, the cost goes up.
      only the government can rake the profit on this one. we are screwed again! we seriuosly need a big time 3rd party and get rid of these old cronies in government!

  10. The light and the
    The light and the dark…Adversity tends to contribute to our growth in consciousness, and all have their roles to play.

    More political parties will not help. WE have to change. What we have in government right now is truly a reflection of many of the American people. We are a nation of consumers who can’t wait to stand in line for the next i-THING. We get caught up in the latest reality show while ignoring actual reality. We appear to totally lack discernment, and while we might get a lump in our throats when Gabrielle Giffords makes a surprise appearance in Congress, we also continue to become enamoured with the likes of the Rick Perrys and Sarah Palins of the world because they are so darn ‘charismatic’.

    We are reaping what we have sown…We need to plant a new crop and being willing to use true blood, sweat, and tears, and a lot of faith to bring it to harvest.

    1. We are reaping what we have
      We are reaping what we have sown at that. It’s time to find a better way to live in the world and sow good things.

  11. @Cosmic Librarian; Well said.
    @Cosmic Librarian; Well said. Character is what we are in the dark.

  12. We are behaving just as we
    We are behaving just as we should given our preponderance of chimpanzee DNA. The Visitors know us better than we know ourselves, having bioengineered us over the millenia from existing primates and observed our collective responses to stressful situations and environments. After World War II they seeded us with a few scraps of technology, knowing full well what we were likely to do with them given our past behavior. The explosive development of microchip electronics have enabled us to concentrate the power of the few to manipulate the behavior of the many. We are stampeding ourselves toward the precipice in helpless panic like a herd of bison. Our starving corpses will soon litter our streets until we have culled ourselves back to more sustainable numbers. Previous diebacks have occured (eg. Atlantis and the Roman Empire) and may occur again until our unseen cultivators finally get our genes right, or they decide to reboot the project with a more promising species.

  13. The Tea Party has it mostly
    The Tea Party has it mostly correct. The problem though is they’re not addressing the total problem. So called “free trade” agreements have slowly gutted the United States, particularly the middle class. The banks continue to siphon off billions of dollars and your friendly neighborhood multi-national conglomerate corporation is sitting on trillions which they will not spend. I don’t hear the tea baggers talking about this at all. Social Security and Medicare are now considered “entitlement” programs? Having paid into both for forty years now and given no choice not to, yes I’m entitled. American poltics is truly broken.

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