Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 rr's missing 3rd R

Our United States current Democratic Party administration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden learned with the rest of our citizenry last week who their primary opposition’s vice presidential candidate would be.

Given that this man has been a very visible U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, actively involved in offering very controversial budget proposals in the past year or more, I am constantly amazed when I keep hearing news reports that many in the general population have never heard of him.  I find this more than just troubling, since I am always interested in knowing what government leaders are doing, or not doing, on my behalf.

When I think of  what this nation, people in every little town and on every farm have endured during the days of Wall Street and the banking world’s upheaval – the challenges we continue to face – how could people not be aware of or concerned about individuals such as him who are potentially instrumental in formulating plans they claim are needed to extricate us from this maze?

During the approximately 11 weeks remaining until our November election, we have the opportunity to thoroughly acquaint ourselves and others with as much as we can learn about these candidates, their beliefs, past actions, and plans that will significantly affect our lives and that of our children, grandchildren, future generations.  

A most succinct fact presentation of pertinent issues with information about these  candidates has been provided at Ronni Bennett’s “Time Goes By” yesterday and the previous day (8/14 and 13.)  

Whatever ones views about how to resolve our nation’s budget crisis, or if one has no view yet, I strongly urge you to read and give serious consideration to the facts she presents about Social Security solvency, Medicare’s and Medicaid’s healthcare dismantling.  The radical surgery proposed for these programs may not only be unnecessary but if done, and this was a true medical procedure, could be considered malpractice.  

Following is a slightly edited comment I was motivated to leave at TGB on those subjects.   

There can be little doubt about the goals of Republican Party Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, now that he’s selected Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate I concluded independently before reading here (TGB.)   [Romney has since been trying to distance himself from Ryan’s positions to keep from losing support.] 

Clearly the 2 rr’s (Romney and Ryan) every effort is directed toward channeling citizen monies to those wonderful financiers on Wall St. who did so much to bring us the Great Recession. The financiers and bankers are doing fine, but the same cannot be said for too many Americans.

I think it's incredibly naive to think this nation would have recovered much better under an administration run by the 2 rr's, or would now with what they propose.

I agree with an approach of gradually reducing this nation's debt and not at the wholesale expense of reducing/eliminating support for those whose life experiences have necessitated their needing assistance as the 2 rr's budget would impose.
I believe there is value in offering individuals a hand up to get back on their feet when circumstances have created such a need. After reading one comment, [possibly from a troll] I do have to wonder why anyone would assume their children and grandchildren would sit around and not work just because assistance was available to others in need?

I, too, recall family members stories that old folks feared going to the poor house before the creation of Social Security as a safety net.   They knew of those who despite  lives of hard work, had unexpected health, accident, or business upsets that destroyed their financial base leaving them destitute.

I know of individuals who suffered such life setbacks.  They would likely have ended in a poor house had it not been for the safety net of social security and/or disability with Medicaid insurance coverage.  Incredibly to me was that they continued to support  the political party and candidates who were the very ones persistently trying  to undermine those safety net programs.  Those  beneficiaries were intelligent reasonable people in other ways, though locked into their ideology, but were blind to life's realities -- their own reality, right in front of them. 

Were they living today they would probably vote for the 2 rr's who I think of as capable of readin' and 'riting but lacking a 3rd R in 'rithmetics higher functions -- those that combine mathematical complexities with practical reasoning through rational thought. 

I see nothing that the 2 rr's propose that hastens the creation of jobs and begins to return to prosperity a decimated middle class in this nation.

I believe the 2 rr’s will try to privatize portions of Social Security  -- this would be a disaster as we should have learned from the recent financial markets collapse.  

I do see the 2 rr’s power play $$$ grab to consolidate control of our government into the hands of the uppermost  % of the wealthiest citizens and corporations – however unintentionally, or intentionally.

We must ask ourselves if this is the American Dream we want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations?


  1. I shudder to think what would happen if R and R got elected. Even worse if the Senate Democrats are overrun by the Republicans. All I can do this year is to vote for Democrats. What else can I do?

  2. One thing Romney/Ryan have done is to overestimate the size of their base and to exclude all dissent. I'm not worried. I know they will lose. What bothers me more is the waste of time, money and resources it will take to deal with them.
    I would rather do other things than deal with these turkeys, that's for sure!

  3. Glad you posted this along with links to TGB. I am uncomfortable with Dems being too complacent about this election. What the Repugs have working for them is a toxic mix of racism, lack of education, and anger about everything from bad economy to hot weather.

    Sunday afternoon in Portland, Or., I visited the Obama campaign office where earnest young woman spoke with me. But left with no bumper sticker, button! Have not heard back from them and it is late Wednesday morning in the Rose City.

  4. It is frightening to think of how uneducated the general populace are about the workings of government. And of how easily they are swayed by demagoguery. I do wish that critical thinking was a mandatory subject in elementary school and continuing through college.

  5. As one who worked in local, state, and federal government (executive and legistlative branches) and for a large corporation and several small businesses, I think I know quite a bit about the workings of the Federal Government.

    1. The Ryan Budget plan was passed by the House and tabled by the Senate so it is dead and gone for this session of Congress which ends 12/21 of this year.

    2. The Ryan Budget plan was bipartisan (co-sponsored by Wyden-D in the Senate) and I think some Democrats in the House voted for it as well as all the Republicans.

    3. The Ryan Budget plan reduces and simplifiesthe tax code to two rates and states that deductions, mostly taken by large corporations and wealthy tax payers, "will be reduced and/or eliminated."

    Anyone who knows how the Budget process works, knows the House
    and Senate will decide on which deductions to eliminate. Ryan didn't specify them because it is not his decision to make alone.

    4. Regarding health care, Medicare was cut by Obama to accomodate the ACA and by the same amount Ryan proposed in his now dead budget bill.

    5. Romney has not distanced himself from Ryan but he has said he would restore the cuts made to Medicare to accomodate the ACA. He has also said that he will introduce his own budget plan as is the right of every president.

    Presidents as the chief executive and administrator of the federal government are charged by law to deliver a budget annually to the Congress which can vote it up or down, ammend it, and/or submit a its own bill. The Senate and the House must vote the same bill or have a reconciliation over their two bills.

    The House of Representatives reviews the Presidents buget. All government funding originates in the HR through the appropriations process.

    The PBS News Hour hosted several discussants on the topic of Ryan's budget bill this week.

    I think it is irresponsible to claim that folks who lean toward the right don't care about their fellow citizens. I certainly care about the survival of Medicare for my children, now in their late 40s and early 50s, none of whom will have Medicare unless something is done. I also care about my grandchildren in their 20s who will foot whatever debt they inherit.

    The time to act is now. Demagoging those who propose solutions instead of working together (as Mr. Obama suggested when he praised Ryan) would be a wonderful thing. The Simpson-Bowles Commission had the answers, if only Mr. Obama had listened to his own commission.

    You can spend what you don't have, print more money and end up like the Weirmar Republic. Surely, that is not the best course?

    Dianne (who has given this subject too much thought)

    PS Thanks again for being courageous and creating this forum. I won't write about it on my blog owing to my sensitivity to criticism. ~D

  6. Glad you feel comfortable posting your thoughts here. Accepting criticism is sensitive for most all of us, I think.

    Your description of how legislation processes through both Congressional bodies to reach the President for signature is helpful to any who might be unfamiliar (or forgot) how government works. My Jr. High School civics class covered this well, but I don't know how much government is actually taught to public or private school students today.

    Any comments I made about the Ryan Budget recognizes the legislation's status, that nothing more will occur with this Congress. No doubt the bill could be revised, or not, and re-introduced in the next Congress. As for bipartisanship, often there are individuals who vote issues outside their political party's stated position for a variety of interesting reasons. Unfortunately, we didn't have more negotiation, compromise and cross voting in the past four years, then maybe we wouldn't have had gridlock -- or be at such odds today.

    I think there is every reason to believe this Ryan Budget will be resurrected in some form should Romney and Ryan be elected and/or the House and Senate gain even more members of their Party. Mr. Romney has not done a very good job of articulating exactly what his budget is, so it's reasonable to me to think he would simply present a variation of his running mates plan which might be why he selected Ryan.

    There are a significant number of Ryan Budget items that many find objectionable, as there has been with the Simpson-Bowles Commission report. President Obama's Budget positions are not wholly acceptable to many individuals who support him, but there may be an expectation they'll be less onerous.

    I think most of us care about the future for others, as well as our own children and grandchildren, future generations, and the nation -- whatever our views. What happens to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will make a significant difference in the quality of life for many people.

    There are others for whom their quality of life will not be impacted in any way, even if those programs were abolished. Precisely where their priorities are, I'm not so sure. I'm not convinced they understand why some of the program features they so readily cut are critical to preserve. I have come to doubt in recent years that they comprehend on a practical, visceral, rational level, the life experience of the vast majority of Americans. I have difficulty giving these others the benefit of the doubt -- that they truly care beyond their own self-interest.

    I completely agree that the national debt must be reduced. How we go about doing so is the question. I think the Romney/Ryan approach is one of too rapid, reckless, radical cuts that is a dangerous one -- especially knowing how the ordinary peoples/economies have fared in other nations that have done so. I think Romney/Ryan fail to consider the best interests of the majority of American people, and may seriously undermine the very foundation of this nation.

    There are proposals to reduce the national debt over a lengthy period of time that do not necessitate some of the proposed drastic cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. This is a much wiser approach in my view -- one most likely to be accomplished by the re-election of President Barack Obama.

    1. I agree with this: We will get out of the mess the same way we got in by taking Baby Steps. Those drastic cuts scheduled for the end of the year could wreck the economy overnight, and that goes for the expiration of the "Bush" tax cuts, the restoration of the payroll tax, and the cuts to Defense and Social Programs.

      I think Mr. O will probably be reelected, Ryan will be back in the House, and both the House and Senate will be Republican, i.e., many more years of deadlock. The only way forward is compromise, which is why I liked the Simpson-Bowles Commission's recommendations so much. (one can pick it apart, but the nature of compromise is everyone must give up something.)

      You asked me about my vote in November, I am probably not voting for President. Although I have voted in every presidential election but one(Dukakisvs Bush?), I can't pull the lever for O, but neither can I pull the lever for R although my husband thinks he walks on water.

      I am a middle of the road person. I voted for Anderson when he ran against Carter (second term). Both of my sons support O. My daughter, SIL, sister, and several cousins support R. My granddaughters are split on politics.

      I will probably vote for the Democrat running for the Senate, because I love our Senator Mark Warner and he supports the Democrat candidate (Kaine). Also I will vote for lower offices, bonds, etc. I have great confidence in state government and very little in the Leviathan in Washington DC which is far too big.

      PS I too had excellent Civics classes, but learned the mechanics of how Congress works as a very liberal Republican staffer in the 1970s. I never voted for Republicans, however, until Bob Dole and Jack Kemp ran against Clinton for his second term, and that was a protest vote against Clinton for the Monica scandal.

      I still love Bill Clinton (and his politics). I did not vote for Bush either time, and was sick with the Bush-Gore decision, although I am over it now. I voted for McCain. I am truly one of those undecided votes I think.


    2. I have never understood the point or value in abstaining from voting -- I think I know most of the various reasons people sincerely reason about why they choose not to vote and have thought many of them myself at times. each his/her own.....I'm not in the business of judging.

      I know those in Congress and other situations do abstain from voting due to conflict of interest issues, other reasons. But seems to me if there was ever a time when a hard choice had to be made, this is one of those times, however distasteful. My concern is that a high percentage of people not voting will be what can lose this election for Obama which makes a non-vote actually a vote for the opposition.

  7. It is so very depressing to know that the two RR's could get elected. We all must do whatever we can in whatever small or big way, to make sure this does not happen. We must help to get Obama re-elected---End Of Story!

  8. what a nightmare this is! they're going to do the old (and most recent) republican trick of stealing the election--again! and then what is our recourse?

  9. Joared--You hit so many nails on the head, I can't think of anything to add.

  10. To put it succinctly...Ryan scares me even more than Romney. Lord help my children if they are elected.

  11. You have the same sort of problems that we face here in Australia by the sound of it Joared.
    Thanks for the call back although I must admit Your timing isn't ideal I am not posting very often these days but I don't want to quit blogging all together.