Do not blame me. I tried to keep this from happening but failed. Maybe we should blame Rush, Sarah and Karl for their superior propaganda work. Maybe we should blame Barack, Harry and Nancy for their lack of the same. But, do not blame me.
Washington is all atwitter (the emotion, not the networking site) concerning the 2010 lame-duck session and the expectations for the 112th Congress. The country is on the road to gridlock, making New York’s Long Island Expressway look like a ride in the country.
Here are the key issues: tax cuts, unemployment benefits and the “new” Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Should the United States and Russia have nuclear arsenals that can destroy the entire planet 500 times over? 100 times? How about 10 times? No? So why are our conservative senators delaying a vote on this treaty that will reduce the number of nuclear warheads and allow for better verification? It is not for the salvation of man.
The conservative leaders of the Senate, the branch of Congress that gives consent and approval of treaties (Article 2, Section 2, clause 2), are claiming there has not been enough discussion. With more than 30 committee hearings and more than 900 questions asked? Not enough? Try the Internet. You will find more information concerning new START than Carter has little liver pills. So, what is the problem?
The Republicans do not want to give the Obama administration a “win.” That’s it. It has nothing to do with national or world security. It has nothing to do with the human race. It has to do with image.
If you are interested in the numbers and summary of the new START, see the proponent’s position at the Union of Concerned Scientists' website and opponent’s position in The Economist ... wait a minute. Even this ultra-conservative publication is repeating, in nicer terms, what Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and his gaggle of followers: idiots!
How about unemployment benefits? Do conservatives have the semblance of a heart? The gang of 143 conservative House Republicans think that providing additional benefits for the 9.6 percent of unemployed Americans “provides nothing other than a free ride.” What’s wrong with this statement? The Wall Street Journal estimates this will affect 2,000,000 Americans come January 1.
The conservative millionaires in Congress seem to think that the unemployed are sitting on their butts, guzzling beer and watching reruns of “Leave It To Beaver.” The Gang of 143 wants to block the bill that would improve the economy, allow citizens to keep a roof over their heads, and buy groceries and clothes for their families.
Why? Because the conservatives do not want to give the Obama administration a “win.” That’s it. Nothing to do with the economy or national debt. It has to do with image.
Finally, the expiring Bush tax cuts. Yes, we all benefited from these cuts, so what’s the problem? The Republicans are fighting for the top-tier earners to keep their tax cuts.
Christiane Amanpour talked with Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and Ted Turner on ABC’s “This Week” about the responsibilities for those of great wealth. Buffett said the rich can certainly afford the 2 to 3 percent tax increase and, “There is no (real) sacrifice among the rich,” including not helping those who are in need.
In order to keep the cuts for 98 percent of Americans, the Republican leadership is demanding the retention of the cuts for the upper two percent, those making $250,000 and above. If the Democrats refuse, then all of the Bush era tax cuts will expire and our taxes will go up.
Why? Because the conservatives do not want to give the Obama administration a “win.” That’s it. Nothing to do with the business or helping neighbors. It has to do with image.
Image does not put food on our tables. Image does not keep a roof over our heads. Image does not help find jobs. Image only causes confusion of the real issues. Melinda Gates said that with wealth comes responsibility. Where is the conservatives’ sense of responsibility? Try to find it, I dare you.
David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.