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Author Topic: Why Washington Is Broken  (Read 1917 times)

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Offline RobbyR

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  • Posts: 333
Why Washington Is Broken
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:16:41 PM »
If the US Government were a business or employee, they'd have been fired long ago for their lousy management of the economy and the ability to get anything done at all. A bit of history, just so we're clear on how we got into this dreadful mess. First of all, signing the Free Trade Agreement known as NAFTA in the 1990s was a disaster for American workers and job creation in this country. It strengthened faceless multinational corporations and made outsourcing American jobs the norm. The disastrous deregulation that occured in the 80s, 90s, and 00s made financial services a massive business that led to bloated corrupt banks and unaccountable business practices and investments.

Then of course came George Bush and Iraq. It was a war of choice, not necessity, and he installed tax cuts when we were spending billions on a war of choice. My theory is maybe he had a teeny tiny dick and felt inadequate so maybe he felt like he would go get Saddam Hussein to make him feel better. At any rate, we all know how it turned out. It bankrupted us, and ruined our economy. When he left office, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. I lost my decent paying job in December, 2008. To this day, I have not found a job that payed as good as the one I lost then. So I blame Bush and his corporate cronies and war mongerers for our economic problems too.

I also think America started going wrong when we stopped MAKING things. You can's sustain a great prosperous country on McDonalds, Walmart, and lousy service jobs. I grew up hearing about my uncles and cousins talking about working for unions in the mines, for Ford, GM, and the WPA. They made good money and built the infrastructure of this country and were proud of their work. They could point to it and say, "I helped build this". Now, it seems there is hardly any middle class left if any at all. What the hell do we build anymore? Big Macs? We need to stop outsourcing and somehow incentivize corporations to keep jobs here. If we don't, we will sink. Successful countries make things, they don't survive on imports.

Everyone I know is struggling to make ends meet. I have had to take two jobs that are totally outside my field of study because of lack of jobs. Since the Republicans apparently want to destroy unions, which provide dignity and protection for workers, people would have to be like the Chinese, who work for pennies and in crap conditions. I really hope some more politicians start standing up for unions and worker's rights.

Now to the current fiscal cliff issue. This whole thing is a total farce and disaster for people. Where the hell has the urgency been? People should be clear, if we go over the cliff, everyone's taxes will go way up, and if you're like me, making about $40,000 a year, by about $2,000. Plus, we will face tons of cuts in programs and also defense. The politicians have been on vacation, dilly-dallying around, and talking out of their asses. It seems no Democrats talk to Republicans anymore, or vice-versa. This is a recipe for disaster. We need to go back to the days when people had drinks and smoke breaks together, and could hash things out. Seems all they do now is get on cable tv and talk out of their ass and then run home when the day is over. Someone needs to remind the politicians who they work for. I hope we can avoid going over the fiscal cliff, but I do not have much optimisim for the future of government in its present form, because the politicians all seem to have sticks up their asses. Maybe they need more sex,  ;) or maybe install wet bars in the Capital!  8) I stopped watching and following politics closely long ago, because it's just too negative. I'd rather watch the History Channel and recall a time when big ideas could get done for the greater good.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 06:20:34 PM by RobbyR »
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mitch777

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 06:39:30 PM »
slavery was abolished in the civil war and look how long it took to remove seperate drinking fountains.
being gay was considered a mental disease in the 1970's and 40 years later...
progress is slow without ENOUGH public demand. period.
those of you who have a congressman/congresswoman who impeeds progress need to voice your opinion loud and often to make change happen.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 09:54:55 PM »
Oh, honey...the politicians are still getting plenty of sex and booze.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline zach

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  • Posts: 1,484
  • not fade away
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 09:58:42 PM »
plenty of sex and booze.

somebody call for me?
gonna go up to the mountain, for to find a little peace
looking over the valley, for the beauty i see
out across the hills, forevermore

Offline bocker3

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 10:38:57 PM »
slavery was abolished in the civil war and look how long it took to remove seperate drinking fountains.
being gay was considered a mental disease in the 1970's and 40 years later...
progress is slow without ENOUGH public demand. period.
those of you who have a congressman/congresswoman who impeeds progress need to voice your opinion loud and often to make change happen.

Ugh......   I have Eric Cantor for my Congressman.  He doesn't care, he got to pick the voters he wanted in his newly shaped district.  I remember times when voters picked their Congressperson, instead of the other way around!

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 10:19:36 PM »
I'd just saw the movie "Heist Who Stole the American Dream" and it was a very informative documentary. 

info
Heist Who Stole the American Dream: Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy. The collapse of the U.S. economy is the result of conscious choices made over thirty five years by a small group: leaders of corporations and their elected allies, and the biggest lobbying interest in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To these individuals, the collapse is not a catastrophe, but rather the planned outcome of their long, patient work. For the rest of the country, it is merely the biggest heist in American history.

Also I saw "Who Stole the American Dream?" on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J5WReyQlT0

info
Published on Sep 14, 2012
Who Stole the American Dream?

The promise of a prosperous middle-class life with decent work, rising living standards, and the potential for a better future has long been the foundation of the American dream. But as America continues to struggle to recover from the Great Recession, it has become clear that the middle class is in jeopardy -- and many of the policies of the last 40 years are to blame.

Examining the political, legislative, and corporate choices that have pushed the middle class to the brink, Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning journalist, producer, and bestselling author Hedrick Smith details the story of this demise. In his new book, Who Stole the American Dream?, Mr. Smith analyzes how "pro-business" policies dismantled the previous American social contract and tells the stories of the people who have been left behind. To reclaim the promise of a thriving middle class, Mr. Smith proposes a "domestic Marshall Plan" based on infrastructure investment, a program to spur the revival of manufacturing, corporate tax reform, and renewed support of our key social insurance programs.

Mr. Smith will be joined in this discussion by Sherle R. Schwenninger, director of the Economic Growth and American Strategy programs at New America.

Participants

Featured Speakers
Hedrick Smith
Author, Who Stole the American Dream?
Producer and Correspondent, PBS
Former Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times

Sherle R. Schwenninger
Director, Economic Growth Program and American Strategy Program, New America Foundation

also, Hedrick Smith Answers Your Questions

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/rick-smith-answers-your-questions.html

« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 10:21:45 PM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 10:42:38 PM »
Fiscal Cliff Is Latest Symptom of Unfair Redistricting

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/08/fiscal-cliff-is-latest-symptom-of-unfair-redistricting.html

On the surface, it looks as though the American electorate deliberately split power between Democrats and Republicans and created gridlock. House Speaker John Boehner’s rejection of President Obama’s bid to raise income tax rates on the wealthy rests on the continuing Republican majority in the House and the claim that House Republicans won a mandate from American voters in November to keep all the current tax rates in place.


But that’s false. Republicans did not win an electoral mandate. In fact, they lost the popular vote for the House of Representatives. More Americans voted this year for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans and yet the GOP wound up with the House majority. That happened once before—in 1996.

By the Associated Press unofficial vote tally, Democratic candidates for the House won a million more votes than Republicans—56,056,564  to 55,028,230—and yet the Republicans got a House majority, 234 to 201.

Most of us know that what mostly stacks the deck is the gerrymandering of congressional districts. After the 2010 Census and the 2010 elections, Republicans controlled the most state legislatures and governors’ mansions and that gave them the power to draw district lines in their own favor.

As we learned in high school history, Gov. Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts pioneered the practice of manipulating the boundaries of congressional districts for partisan advantage in 1812. Since then we’ve passively ignored how this partisan tactic distorts the way Congress writes our laws. But in the past few decades, gerrymandering has become so egregious that it undermines the credibility of House elections.

Right now, this stacked election deck threatens to have pernicious consequences for the winners and losers in Washington’s fiscal civil war. Gerrymandering also makes reaching political compromise much harder, because it makes it more difficult for moderates to win elections, and moderates have historically often been the key to congressional compromise...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,907
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 01:18:32 AM »
I saw these statistics on This Week.  This is a big reason why things are so divisive.  Well, one of many. 





Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 08:22:59 AM »
It's just 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, Wall Street and Wall Street 2, repeat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,907
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 01:22:55 AM »
It appears revenue raised through raising tax rates on the wealthy are being handed back out through pork projects.  Do we really need to help out NASCAR?  What's funny is that many NASCAR fans would say the government shouldn't be spending tax money on healthcare.  I mean, you're suppose to take care of yourself, right?  Well, don't spend tax money, unless it is something you want. 


http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/50381686/

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 04:14:04 AM »
There is only one thing wrong with the US political system and that is how the boundaries are apportioned in the the House of Representatives.

Outside of that, your system works fine.

Bisous,

MtD

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 04:44:58 AM »
There is only one thing wrong with the US political system and that is how the boundaries are apportioned in the the House of Representatives.

Outside of that, your system works fine.

Bisous,

MtD
That and corruption.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline bocker3

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  • Posts: 3,393
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 07:30:52 AM »
It appears revenue raised through raising tax rates on the wealthy are being handed back out through pork projects.  Do we really need to help out NASCAR?  What's funny is that many NASCAR fans would say the government shouldn't be spending tax money on healthcare.  I mean, you're suppose to take care of yourself, right?  Well, don't spend tax money, unless it is something you want. 


http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/50381686/

Ah, but it's only "PORK" if it is going to someone else's district.  If it's going to your district, then it's called -- "serving your constituents".
If they just let bills be about what they are about and not tack on other things it would all work more smoothly.  But then - they wouldn't all be able to "serve their constituents" because their bills wouldn't pass.

Oh and Matty, wise as ever, hit it on the head.  Gerrymandering has led to the mess we know have in DC.  Voters are supposed to pick their representatives, NOT the other way around.

M
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Iggy

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:54:23 AM »
If the US Government were a business or employee, they'd have been fired long ago for their lousy management of the economy and the ability to get anything done at all.

If the U.S. Government were a business we would likely have no social security, no social services, and no college aid, no public schools, etc.

I think the trouble is in trying to make the Government run like a business.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 11:25:02 AM »
Matt Taibbi has another dark and depressing take down of the Robber Barons and the Beltway:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104?link=mostpopular1

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline leatherman

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 11:44:05 AM »
If they just let bills be about what they are about and not tack on other things it would all work more smoothly.  But then - they wouldn't all be able to "serve their constituents" because their bills wouldn't pass.
it's this kind of brokering/compromising that makes it all work though. We'll spend XX amount of dollars on a project in your state, if we spend XX amount of dollars on a project in my state. That's how compromise between the states has worked. If there wasn't such a thing as "states rights" perhaps the federal government, with it's unlimited superior power, could appropriate money for individual projects and maybe that would put the money where it could do the best job; however since we are a collection of states, money can only go to a project with compromises as to where else other money will and won't be spent.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline bocker3

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 06:01:44 PM »
it's this kind of brokering/compromising that makes it all work though. We'll spend XX amount of dollars on a project in your state, if we spend XX amount of dollars on a project in my state. That's how compromise between the states has worked. If there wasn't such a thing as "states rights" perhaps the federal government, with it's unlimited superior power, could appropriate money for individual projects and maybe that would put the money where it could do the best job; however since we are a collection of states, money can only go to a project with compromises as to where else other money will and won't be spent.

Unfortunately, this is how it used to be -- before compromise became a 4-letter word.  Now, when something is in a bill that has nothing to do with the name of the bill, it is decried as "Pork".  Hence my comment about Pork being in the eye of the beholder........

Of course there are also those additions that aren't about the good of any "state", but about the good of a large campaign donor -- i.e. NASCAR, ExxonMobil, etc -- of course, it is dressed up as "jobs" or "economic impact" for that area.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline leatherman

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Re: Why Washington Is Broken
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 07:55:46 PM »
before compromise became a 4-letter word
and isn't that the sad part??

i keep seeing more and more comments about how the problem actually lies with only the uncompromising red Republican conservative religious Southern states - somehow I'm not surprised though, living here in bible-thumping NASCAR TEA-party country  ::)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

 


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