In President Barack Obama Weekly Address for 12/8/12 he urges people to push their congress to come to a compromise before America goes over the Fiscal Cliff.
President Barack Obama points out a few of the highlights of what will happen if we end up going over the Fiscal Cliff if Republicans in Congress can not come to a reasonable compromise. If the recent history of the Republicans are any indication there is little hope that any compromise will be made.
Here are a few of the key points of what will happen as laid out by President Barack Obama in this weeks weekly address.
- Tax Cuts end at the end of 2012.
- All Families will see a typical tax increase of $2,200 going over the Fiscal Cliff.
- Congress can pass tax cuts on everyone’s income up to $250,000, including those that make more.
- 98% of Americans would not see a tax increase.
- Congress can pass tax increase on income of over$250,000.
- 97% of American Businesses would not see a tax increase.
Here is the videoof President Barack Obama Weekly Address for December 8th, 2012.
President Barack Obama is at it again. He is pushing Congress to pass legislation to keep middle class American’s from getting a tax hike of $2,200 in lieu of the upper 2% of American’s paying their fair share. It is not a surprise to anyone that Congress is once again up to their same old destructive tricks. The Senate has already passed a bill that will stop America from going over the fiscal cliff and the Democrats in the Congress are ready to pass this same bill.
The frustrating this is that both Democrats and Republicans have publicly agreed that they do not want middle class taxes to go up. So what is the deal Republicans? Do your job, pass this bill and then please, for the love that is all that is good, figure out how to work with Democrats and solve this deficit problem that Republicans created in the first place.
President Barack Obama urges you to call, email, or tweet your representatives and tell them how important it is to pass this legislation. You don’t want your taxes to increase. Neither do the Republicans or Democrats. So do it. Get it done. Do your jobs and lets get to other pressing issues that are facing America. When you tweet your representatives, make sure you include the hash tag #My2k. Let’s bombard them with popular support so we can get this done and avoid the fiscal cliff.
President Barack Obama’s Weekly National Address for December 1st, 2012
This week President Barack Obama talks about the economy and what we need to do to keep it moving forward. The main focus of this address is on who is going to be paying more or less taxes in the years to come. The Bush Era Tax Cuts needs to come to an end so the most wealthy in this country are paying their fair share. President Barack Obama also stated that the middle class tax breaks need to be extended to keep the slow recovery of the middle class moving forward. The President said that the voters choose the vision they wanted for America in the recent election. Congress now needs to step forward and pass these middle class tax cuts immediately as a sign of good faith that they understand what the American people want and will work towards helping the people in America.
It is definitely time that the Congress stop what they have done over the last two years and push to get this issues resolved. They need to remember what compromise is and move forward to get legislation passed so that we can improve the rate of the recovery of America and move us into the future.
Here is President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address in its entirety. Its just a couple minutes long so please take the time to watch it.
Election Day 2012 is tomorrow, are you ready to vote? Make sure you know who and what you are voting for. It is very important that everyone that is registered to vote get out and get their vote in tomorrow. We live in a great country and it can only become greater if we all do our civic duty and vote in our countries elections. Elections are the very core of America and the democracy we all hold so dear. It is the responsibility of every American to vote in every election. Only then can we truly be the masters of our own fate.
Make a plan. Schedule a time to hit the polls and grab your friends and family that still need to vote. It is a lot of fun and there is a certain sense of pride and accomplishment that can be felt when we do vote.
Most people in America have already decided who and how they are going to vote. However if you are still undecided here are some of the big issues that are on everyone’s mind this election year.
- If you are a college student, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you are a firefighter, police officer, teacher, or any other government worker, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think that the health care industry should profit off us being healthy instead of being sick, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you are a woman, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you are on unemployment, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you are one of the 47%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you are one of the 99%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you depend on Medicaid, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you depend on Medicare, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you depend on Social Security, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you don’t have a job now, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you depend on PERA, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you depend on a retirement fund, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you don’t want to see another financial crash, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you know that a person’s health is vital to our pursuit of happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you know that cooperation and bipartisanship is the only way to move forward, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you know that every human, without exception, has inalienable rights to freedom and happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you know we solve problems through kindness and cooperation, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you know woman deserve equal pay for equal work, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you lost your job in the great Republican Market Crash, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you live on the coast, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you do not enjoy disastrous weather, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you realize a balanced approach to fiscal responsibility is the only feasible way to dig this country out of the financial hole we are in, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you remember the downward spiral of our country prior to 2008 and want to keep us on the path the repairing that damage, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you report less than 1,000,000 dollars on your business taxes, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you report less than 250,000 dollars on your income taxes, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you show up at the polls this year and you can’t vote, , vote for Democratic candidates next election.
- If you think it is wrong to buy elections, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think it was about time that someone brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think our environment is worth protecting, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think that every America equally share the burden of balancing our national budget, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think that everyone deserves to be healthy whether they are rich or poor, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think that people of all origins deserve a chance in America, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you think that women’s health care is important, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a better education for your children, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a chance to afford education, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a government that focuses on real problems, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a President that can get things done even when an entire political party’s singular goal is to undermine him, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a President that nurtures and grows foreign relations, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want a President that sticks to what he says, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want American businesses to pay taxes in a country that makes them successful, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want bridge the income gap, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want cheaper drug prices, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want healthcare to be better and cheaper, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want jobs to be created in America and the jobs that are here to stay in this country, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want our schools to continue to improve, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want to expand our energy independence and versatility, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want to have a real shot at the American Dream, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want to make a positive difference in America’s future, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want to move America back to being a world leader, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want to see the reckless behavior of Wall Street stop, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
- If you want us to push forward into the 21st century instead of falling back into the 20th century, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
But if you want to take a step back in time, forgot about the costly illegitimate wars, the economic crash, don’t care women’s health, corruption, and cronyism that brought our country down so fast, vote for the other guys.
The bottom line is that everyone needs to get out and vote. So make a plan, talk to your friends and get out there and participate in one of the most important things that you can do as an American.
We are just under a month away and it is time to make sure that everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the United States of America is prepared, registered, and eager to vote in the upcoming presidential general election.
I would love to see Americans set a new standard this year for voter turnout. I would love to see the American people finally step up and show the world through their political actions that we are the premiere democracy we all hope and wish to be.
To this end I have whipped up this quick Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics checklist to make sure every eligible voter in America is registered and ready to make a responsible political vote come November 6th.
Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics
Number 1: Make sure you are Registered
With the voter fraud and ID laws that have been enacted in many states, many eligible voters have been purged from the system. Many of my friends and family who have been active in every election for years were removed, so don’t believe for a second you are immune to these voter purges. Make sure you are registered! Just Google “Register to vote [your state]” and pick the website that is a .gov.
Number 2: Make sure you have the Required ID(s) to Vote
Some of the voter fraud laws have restrictions that only those with certain types of ID or proof of identity can vote, even if you are registered. So be sure to have the correct ID ready and available. You should be able to find out this information when you verify your voter registration at your state’s website.
Number 3: Decide how you will Vote
In most states you have the ability to either vote in person at a polling place or to vote by mail. The preference is yours but I would suggest figuring out exactly what you are going to do so you are prepared come election day. If your state has been part of the new voter fraud laws you may want to vote by mail this year as the polling places are going to be stuffed and chaotic with many voters that will not be able to vote due to these new restrictions and laws. It might get really ugly. So to avoid these you may want to vote by mail this year. Or at the very least have a mail in ballot ready should your polling place be packed on Election Day.
Number 4: Know where you will Vote
It is important to find out ahead of time where your polling place is. Depending on the state you might have a very specific location where you have to vote or you might have the freedom to vote at any polling place in your district.
Even if you plan to vote by mail it is important for you to learn where these ballots have to be turned in should you need to turn it in at the last moment.
Number 5: Learn when you can Vote
This is also important as it can save you a headache come November 6th. Many states now offer early voting. This has really helped to alleviate Election Day woes of long lines and confusion at the polling places. Most early voting starts around a week ahead of Election Day, but your area may be different. Make sure you know so you can take advantage of it.
Employers are federally required to give their employees time to go vote. So don’t let your work schedule stop you from getting out there to vote!
Number 6: Learn about the Presidential Candidates
Make a point to go out and learn about all of the political candidates for president. Read through the top issues they are campaigning on figure out who best suits your ideals, values, and beliefs. Then please make a point to do some research on them. Don’t limit this research to just the websites, media outlets or talk shows that support your candidate. Also search for those that represent the other side as well as those that are try to be unbiased and neutral. You will never ever hear the truth from a single source so do yourself a favor, become broadly informed.
- Barak Obama for the Democratic Party- www.barackobama.com/
- Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party – www.garyjohnson2012.com
- Jill Stein for the Green Party – www.jillstein.org
- Mitt Romney for the Republican Party – www.mittromney.com
- Virgil Goode for the Constitutional Party – www.goodeforpresident2012.com
Number 7: Learn about which Representatives are up for Election
These are the politicians that are going to represent your political will at the national level. These are very important as they will have your state issues in mind. They will also follow their party line to some degree. This can be very tricky as often times these two things conflict politically. When it comes to your representatives look to how and what they voted for. On occasion you will have a representative that doesn’t yet have a voting record so you have to take their word on faith. This can be difficult.
- US Congressional Votes Database – http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes
- United States Senate Voting Record – http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/a_three_sections_with_teasers/votes.htm
Number 8: Learn about your Local Representatives
Local political representatives are often harder to learn about due to many are often running for office for the first time. Generally this is where many politicians start. If they like being a politician and are liked by the people they often move up to the state level.
However, these politicians are the ones you can easily go out and talk to. They will have town hall type meetings in the area. Will often respond directly to email or phone questions. This can make it more personal but also allows you to find out where they stand on issues directly.
You might have to do a little digging depending on where you live to get good information on them but most local newspapers do a great job of going through the candidates that in your area. So pick up your local papers special politics additions to get the bead on which local politicians you want to support.
Number 9: Learn about the Local and State Issues up for Vote
You should be able to learn about the local issues that are coming up for a vote through your local newspaper and their website. You should also receive a voter booklet to help you learn about the issues.
Often times these are the same issues you will hear about quite a bit leading up to the election. These are going to be votes to change the local budget, approve taxes for schools, constitutional amendments, and a myriad of other political issues. You may only have a couple to look into or several dozen depending on your location.
Even though it may seem arduous, these local issues are going to be the ones that directly affect you so it is very important that you learn about these issues. Try to watch the news on these up until the time you vote as there can be some last minute changes and information that comes up on these local political issues.
Number 10: Create a Voting Cheat Sheet for Yourself
Whether you are voting at the polling places or you are voting with a mail in ballot make sure that you create a cheat sheet for yourself so you are sure you are voting how you want to. It is easy to get pressured, nervous, or forgetful when it is time to pull the lever and pick your circles. It’s important to make sure that you know exactly how you want to vote when the times comes.
Most states have sample ballots that you can print off. This is the best route to take as it should be an exact copy of the ballot you will fill out. Mark your answers on it and any notes that you want to add. Then when the time comes, double check the official ballot you are filling out is the same and you can quickly mark down your answers.
This assures that you vote how you want to vote and you speed up the process for everyone when the time comes.
The Final Touch to being a Responsible Voter in Politics
All of these tips and tricks should help you make an informed decision about what is best for you, your family and your area.
The very best thing you can do, after becoming an educated and responsible voter, is to speak to those around you about how to follow these steps and become a better citizen of these United States of America. At times it is hard to see how our one vote in millions makes a difference. It does, and it can make a dramatic one at times. However, these effects are often hard to see immediately and can lessen our civic excitement and duty.
However, by being a responsible, educated voter in America you are one of millions that is working to shape our future as a people and as a nation. Only through the power of the people will we be able to assert our will past the demagogues, the mountains of money, and those bent on keeping the people disenfranchised, and instead bring this country to a better place. By voting, you keep the reins in the hands of the people. By asserting yourself and helping others to become better voters you help the people to keep the power. And only by showing that we the people of the United States of America are engaged, educated and insistent can we hope to make a brighter future for our children and the generations to come.
See you are the polls on elections day!
I always look forward to these Presidential Debates because we get to see what the candidates are going to say and they are put on the spot, and face to face, with all of the political rhetoric that they have been firing at each other for months. Not only do they have to answer the questions that are presented by the debate moderator they often slip these other counter points into their responses. More often than not it seems to draw the presidential candidates into a more real and genuine response instead of those that are tailored by their publicist.
The Republicans have Mitt Romney as their candidate this year and I really do not feel that he is going to be up to the challenge of truly and honestly competing with President Obama at the podium. These Presidential Debates should be very interesting and unless Mitt Romney begins to truly solidify his platform beyond the catch phrases he is going to be in a world of trouble come these Presidential Debates.
I have discussed these Presidential Debates with many others and they seem to feel that though President Obama will likely dominate the Presidential Debates they are not going to be nearly as interesting as they might have been with Rick Perry or Herman Cain. Both of which have incredibly interesting personalities which may have been far more entertaining. What are your thoughts on these debates?
Regardless of who you are supporting in the upcoming elections it is important to watch these as they should help you forge your opinions come the general election. Mitt Romney is going to have to get studying and practicing for these debates because he is going up against a skilled and seasoned challenger who many agree is a master of debating.
2012 Presidential Debate Information
The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced the formats for the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates, each of which will be 90-minutes long. Moderators will be selected in August.
- First presidential debate: October 3, University of Denver, Colorado: Domestic issues, questions selected by moderator.
- Vice presidential debate: October 11, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky: Domestic and foreign issues, questions selected by moderator.
- Second presidential debate: October 16, Hofstra University, Hampstead, N.Y.: Town-hall meeting format with questions from undecided voters.
- Third presidential debate: October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida: Foreign issues, questions selected by moderator.
Make sure to tune and and watch these important debates Presidential Debates. We often get some real insight into what and who these presidential candidates are and what their platforms and plans are for the United States of America for the next four years. Even more importantly, we often see who is not going to be up to the challenge of being the President of the United States.
It’s strange how we allow ourselves to be manipulated and convinced that something that is at the very core of humanity is somehow bad, somehow evil. Since the dawn of propaganda, political leaders have been turning innocuous words into words with unsavory connotations. But twisting a word around for your own political purposes, and therefore misleading people about the idea that word represents, just stifles communication.
In this era of sound bites and quick headlines, it seems we have diluted politics and our extremely complicated social and political issues down to labels, and one of those labels is socialism. The trouble is, for me as well as millions of others, socialism isn’t a bad word.
First, let’s take a look at the actual definition of socialism.
- A political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles.
So in the most basic sense, socialism is a political system and/or government controlled by the people with equity and fairness as the guiding principle in all decision making.
The problem is, as politicians who have made socialism the boogeyman certainly understand, all the scary things going through your mind as you ponder the word are not true. So let’s bring the big bad boogeyman out of the darkness and take a look at some of the basic principles of socialism, and apply those principles at both a micro and macro level.
We wouldn’t even exist today as a species if we did not have instinctual social and socialist habits. Humans were never the biggest or the strongest of creatures in the animal kingdom. In fact, as far as superior animalistic traits go, we are runts of the animal kingdom in almost every way. One of the most important things that set us apart from the rest of the animals is our intelligence.
Humans are smarter by far than any other creature. This “big brain” of ours figured out, in our early history, that the only way for us to survive is to work together as a social unit, to be socialist, with each member of a social unit helping the others in the unit. Not only did this socialist behavior save our species, it was the driving force behind how incredibly well we have thrived over the long journey of our evolution.
Now down to a closer view, something closer to home: our family structures. We instinctively cling to our families due to this socialist drive to work together for the benefit of the family unit. If we did not have a social nature, we would not have friends, families, or even groups working together for a greater purpose, such as businesses.
When we consider family, friends, and community, the happiest and most successful work together, as a cohesive unit, with each member doing his or her share, and one or more members doing more when necessary:
- When Dad hurts his back and can’t work, Mom and the older children work a little harder to help pay the bills.
- When a member of the church or book club who lives alone is diagnosed with cancer, the congregation or her friends bring over food, money, help with housework, and anything else they can do while she battles the disease. Now she can focus on getting better, not just surviving. They each give a little but the patient gets a lot.
- When a woman gets pregnant, the family pitches in for food, clothes, baby gear, and tons of advice. They will help out after the baby is born, and she can focus on the care and well-being of the baby. The family members have a vested interest in the well-being of the next generation.
- When a friend loses his job and can’t afford the rent, friends and family may loan him some money until he can get on his feet again. If that isn’t enough, someone will offer a place to stay, to be safe and not worry about where the next meal is coming from.
These are just a few of the socialist things we do, but we don’t call it socialism. We call this being neighborly or simply doing the right thing. We have learned that helping others makes us feel good, and if we help others when they need it, we will get help when we need it. This behavior strengthens the bonds of family and community, and smoothes the ups and downs of life. These supportive behaviors create a feeling of belonging and security, benefiting each member. Not only is this socialist behavior good for us, it is good for our families, neighborhoods, and local communities.
However, when we take from others for ourselves we may benefit ourselves in the short term, but we know we weaken ourselves in the long term. By taking from those around us we ultimately weaken ourselves.
Just imagine the chaos and misery if these ideas of socialism, equity, and fairness were frowned upon and discouraged. If families and communities truly lived by some candidates’ political campaign speeches, it would in fact destroy our family and communities:
- When Dad hurts his back and can’t work, the family abandons him as so much dead weight. If he can’t bring in any money, what use is he?
- When an acquaintance gets cancer, it is probably because of something she did wrong. If she survives, it was meant to be. If not, that’s just the way of things.
- When a woman gets pregnant, that is her problem. If she can’t afford prenatal care or a car seat for the infant, well, she should have thought about that before.
- When a friend loses his job and can’t afford the rent, his friends tell him he better find a new job quickly, since it’s much harder to look for jobs while homeless.
These scenarios might seem silly, but Republicans have been busy introducing bills to include drug testing requirements before receiving welfare while at the same time baulking at the idea of drug testing for themselves, even though both are paid through taxes. They are also actively and specifically blocking women from access to health care. And the one that takes the cake, this ridiculous obsession with repealing health care reforms that are supported by the majority of Americans. What makes this so amazingly hypocritical is that the majority of the health care reforms were originally conceived by and pushed for by the very party that now opposes them. Look to Senator McCain’s work with First Lady Hillary Clinton during the Clinton administration and the shining example of this health care working, Romneycare.
Yet wouldn’t these same politicians help their family members, community members, and friends, if they were to fall upon hard times? A politician’s community is so much bigger; it would seem they would understand the benefits of socialism more than most. After all, they are supposed to be representing the community—understanding the hard times that its members face, and trying to make things better.
What makes the morality of needless suffering so terribly wrong when you are talking about someone you know and love but when you are talking about someone you don’t morally righteous?
The fact is we must have social interaction to be successful; rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, we all benefit from socialism. It has made us who we are today and is the key to our success. We all know this and the idea and practice of socialism can and should be the same at the macro level as well as the micro level.
Socialism is not a bad word; it is the way we progress and the way to success as a nation.
This is the ninth part of a multiple part series taking a deep dive into our current political and economic crisis in America. Partisan politics, unfettered corporate spending and recklessness along with a shift in our social acceptance of debt, is having far reaching and potentially devastating affects on our way of life, on the American Dream. With each installment we will take a closer look at some of the major pieces of this very complex puzzle and try to understand them and bring them into perspective. Use this opportunity to take a broader look on the political and social economic state of America and how each of us, as a small pieces of the puzzle, can make a difference.
In Debt or Indentured: All the Issues
With all of these issues hitting the American middle class, it can be easily seen how people can become distracted from looking at the big picture since the picture becomes so blurred through media and politics. There is also the amount of work Americans do, they are left with little time to invest in looking into the politicians that they elect. President George W. Bush said to a divorced mother of three in Omaha on February 4, 2005 “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that”. This should not be uniquely American to expect people to work three jobs and still barely get by. Not to mention, how much money does this struggling woman have to pay out of her three jobs to have her children looked after so she can work more? This is also an example of how politicians on both sides of the aisle think that Americans hard work is endless, yet the middle class does not demand change.
Is it audacious to think that the America middle class would demand remotely close the subsidies and tax breaks that industries and the wealthy receive currently from the government or be bailout by the government in the middle class’ time of need? The American middle class worker barely has time to demand more than a thirty second sound-bite from the politician that they will vote for…if they vote at all. A tactical attempt has been made by those in the echelons power within the United States to divide the middle class and ensure that they are more focused on surviving day to day, paying their debt, and living in fear than being able to see through the smoke filled barrage of sound clips and view the entire picture. Not able to see or feel powerless to change a government that is not serving them. The American middle class must find the time to challenge the status quo and demand tangible changes that would directly better middle class families’ everyday lives. To this point, instead of looking at the turmoil that middle class is experiencing, the American middle class is told they should not look for handouts from the government and they should take pride in pulling themselves up by their bootstraps (even though the entire financial system was bailed out to the tune of over a trillion dollars). The middle class instead is encouraged to spend more, even if that means going further into debt. An example of this was reported by Time Magazine’s Justin Fox (Editorial director of Harvard Business Review Group and author) in 2009 about statements made by then President George W. Bush directly following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where President Bush stated, “Take your families and enjoy life, the way you want to be enjoyed.” Fox goes on to quote Boston University Historian Andrew Bacevich in his conclusion that “Bush seems to have calculated – cynically but correctly – that prolonging the credit fueled consumer binge could help keep complaints about his performance as Commander in Chief from becoming more than a nuisance.” Politicians, Democrat and Republican, will put their own aspirations ahead of those of the country unless a conscious society, predominately made up of the middle class as the majority within America, is willing to hold them accountable for their actions and words.
Common ground must be found by all American middle class indentured servants in order to free themselves from the this unjust system that has been built to keep the middle class in perpetual debt and fear. The American middle class must put partisanship aside in a time when it has been developed to a fever pitch. Democrats and Republicans cannot look in hate towards their fellow middle class worker trying to survive just as they are. It is time to rise up and demand a change within this country, a time to retire the debt that has burdened on their backs and buried a generation. If common ground cannot be found in the form of the self preservation of the middle class and the redefining of what the American Dream consists of, there may be no hope for this experiment with a middle class in America. But if common can be found and the political muscle of the American middle class can be flexed politically to demand changes that will help them directly in the form of debt relief, tax relief, living wages, educational equality and affordability, common belief that health is a right and not a privilege, and that fear can no longer be a tool used to control the middle class. If this type of unity can be found and the political will demonstrated by the middle class, there can be a redistribution of power in this country and the United States of America will return to a nation governed for the people by the people.
This is the eighth part of a multiple part series taking a deep dive into our current political and economic crisis in America. Partisan politics, unfettered corporate spending and recklessness along with a shift in our social acceptance of debt, is having far reaching and potentially devastating affects on our way of life, on the American Dream. With each installment we will take a closer look at some of the major pieces of this very complex puzzle and try to understand them and bring them into perspective. Use this opportunity to take a broader look on the political and social economic state of America and how each of us, as a small pieces of the puzzle, can make a difference.
In Debt or Indentured: Single Issue Voting
Another reason that the middle class has not unified to demand change from the government and subsequently their employers is that the American middle class has allowed their voices to be divided on the basis of single issues. These types of social issues have dominated American politics starting in the 1980’s with efforts to mitigate the effects of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America. The two major American political parties took strong positions supporting and denouncing legalized abortion in America. Through time there have been litanies of new social issues that have been added to the table to assist in dividing the middle class vote and creating a new type of voter. This new voter will vote on a single issue instead of demanding platforms that address their own personal issues that are affecting their everyday life instead of one single issue that the my only care about because of religious or personal convictions. Some of the issues that currently stifle America middle class voices are: abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, euthanasia, gun control, and illegal immigration. The interesting thing about single issues or wedge issues is that when either party is in control of congress and The White House, little to nothing is done to change the issue. On the face it appears that there is a lack of political will to tackle such monumental social issues, but politicians on both sides ran with those issues central to their platforms.
There are many example of the bait-and-switch of wedge issues by both Democrats and Republicans. One for the Republican’s took place while controlling all of congress and The White House from 2003 through 2007. Almost every elected Republican took a stance in their run for office to work towards the limitation of abortion. Yet during this time period of Republican control, little to nothing was changed to limit abortion in America. This was done even though this wedge issue was used by most Republicans to motivate voters that saw this as a single issue to vote for. The Democrats did the same thing with stem cell research and gay marriage when controlling congress and the presidency from 2009 to 2011. This is sometimes referred to in political communities as pandering to the base or telling the base of the party what they want to hear. Once elected these politicians do not make it a priority to do anything about the issue until close to another election. This maneuver ensures a constant block of voters (mostly middle class) that will come out to vote for their party because the voter cares about this sole issue. This was seen with gay marriage and abortion in the U.S. Presidential Election of 2004 between then President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry and again in the 2008 election between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. Even now in the run-up to the 2012 Presidential Elections, the sound of pandering to single issue voters are being displayed by both Former-Governor Romney and President Obama.
Middle Class Divided
The division of the American middle class is important to both major political parties which have unlimited funds now available to them through the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that classes corporations as individuals protected by freedom of speech through the form of political contributions to individual candidates as protected speech, this reported by Adam Liptak for the New York Times in his article titled, “Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit.” This decision now entitles corporations to spend as much as they like on political contributions to individual candidates (Liptak). The dissenting Supreme Court justices warn, “allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy” (Liptak). This ruling allows corporations to act as individuals in order further influence elections through money. All though as a corporation it will not be able to vote in that very same election since it is not a person or a citizen.
That’s it for this part of In Debt or Indentured. We hope that this has given you some important things to think about. Use some of what you have learned here to look beyond the mere message our politicians are presenting to what the ramifications of these actions has on all of us Americans. Our country started down a slippery slope over a decade ago. We seemed to have stopped the free fall it had become, but do not fool yourself. We are still on the precipice of another long fall. Let’s just hope we all can learn, and grow, from the last spill we took.
Check back soon for the next installment of In Debt or Indentured.