Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's the Economy, Stupid!

"It's the economy, stupid," in American politics was a phrase widely (but usually imprecisely) quoted after Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign. It was coined by Democratic Party strategist James Carville. In order to keep the campaign on message, Carville hung a sign in Bill Clinton's Little Rock campaign headquarters with the following three points, roughly in haiku form:
1. Change vs. more of the same
2. The economy, stupid
3. Don't forget health care.
(from Wikipedia)

I would like to, Ragin' Kajun-like, offer my own haiku to President Bush:
Lead by example
Ban earmarks and use veto
Weed out bad apples

Of course the surrent crop of politicians is corrupt. Both sides of the aisle are suspect. Politics has become a business that encourages graft and corruption and even in today's media spotlight, they get away with it most of the time. Ask yourself why anyone would raise and spend millions of dollars to win a job that pays a hundred thousand a year. It's obviously because there's some money and power that comes with the job, but doesn't show up in the tax returns.

Example: Rep. Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia is under investigation for steering $178 million in federal money to nonprofits in his district run by people who are regular contributors to his political campaigns. In addition to this, The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Mollohan's income and assets grew from the mundane (no more than $565,000 in 2000) to the magnificent (about $6 million, give or take a couple hundred thou in 2004). I guess all that campaign money was well-spent after all!

Make no mistake, this is not the exception in today's political arena. Many famous examples could be brought up, such as Hillary's incredible luck in the futures markets. These people are corrupt and they will fight tooth and nail to remain that way. They keep their constituents in line by adding on earmarks that seem to benefit the local populations (though, think about it-that's your money your politicians are awarding you!), by prostituting the public's fears and hatreds and by keeping the people separated by class and race divisions. All the while, lining their pockets and leading the country down the primrose path. Our children and grandchildren will pay the price.

Bush came out early in his campaign to say that Social Security was broken and needed to be fixed. Any idjit knows that statement is true, but throw a little class and racial division at the people and they'll believe the sky is green. Voila! Shot down.

Now we have a little immigration problem. It isn't Bush's problem, it's been there for years, quietly ignored. People are fed up with the idea that illegal aliens can come and go across our borders with impunity, all the while reaping the fruits of our social services at taxpayers expense. Now, what Bush should do is shoot straight and say it out loud: Illegal immigration is against the law. Can't do it, though. Might upset a poll somewhere.

Here's an example of what is going on right now in congress, regarding the spending of your money:

"President George W. Bush requested an emergency appropriation of $92 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and another round of hurricane recovery. The House approved the request, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has loaded the measure with $14 billion in new spending, most unrelated to national security or hurricane recovery.

"Senators are now readying floor amendments to add as much as $10 billion more in spending. The Senate should reject all additional spending proposals, strip all items not part of the President's request, and go one step further by identifying offsets to pay for the bill's new spending. The President should draw a line in the sand by promising to veto any supplemental that is either beyond the scope of his request or above its total funding."

- Brian Riedl and Alison Acosta Fraser of the Heritage Foundation

Now I'll bet you much waste could be trimmed from that orginal $92 billion, but instead of doing that your representatives and senators will tack on another unnecessary twenty plus billion, just for good measure. And then during the upcoming elections, they'll blame George W. Bush for the entire amount, saying he is a spendthrift! If you don't believe me, I've got a $700 million dollar railway in Mississippi I'd like to sell you...(Yeah, two Republican Senators want to destroy a railway recently rebuilt after Katrina at a cost of nearly $300 million, to build a new $700 million dollar highway! REPUBLICANS!)

I for one, believe that people would find it refreshing for a politician to tell it like it is, just once! Stand up and do the right thing, and for God's sake USE THE VETO!

Oh, and in keeping with my beer theme this year, I like beer! Bet you didn't know that, did ya'?


Hawkeye® said...

You like BEER?! Who'd a thunk it? Oh yeah, and BTW, the rest of your article was pretty good too.

As much as I hate to admit it, the Republicans have turned into out-of-control spenders... just like the Dems used to be when they were in charge.

Must be something with the water there in D.C. Whaddaya think?

Regards (:D)

mig said...

I second that Veto Toast!

Beerme said...

Update: Just to illustrate how WRONG these poll-pandering Republicans can be, look at today's headlines. It's right back to the Seventies in the Congress as our Republican Senators and Representatives return from their Easter break, to-gasp!- complain about oil company profits!

Both Hastert and Frist, our Republican leaders, have asked Bush to investigate oil company profits to determine whether the evil corporations might be price gouging the American consumer. Now, if that's not pandering to polls-and abandoning free-market prionciples in the face of all logic-I don't know what is!

Now, I presume that Hastert and Frist know that this allegation is nothing but media spin and hysteria-hype, but they'll pander to the polls to make themselves look like good consumer watchdogs, anyway. It's not what's good for the country, it's what's good for a few votes.

I haven't been as ashamed of a Republican since Delay claimed there was nothing to cut from a bloated and earmark-packed Transportation recently...

Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it...

Hawkeye® said...

BTW, Where have I heard that phrase recently... "It's the economy, stupid!" Hmmmmm... it'll come to me.

camojack said...

I think the haiku said it all, mon ami.

contratimes said...

A couple of years ago I purchased and read Paul Begala's book, "It's STILL the economy, stupid!" It was a patently awful book. For me, one of its most infuriating qualities was Begala's dependence, for much of his source material, on the reports and editorials published in newspapers. Such sources for economic news during a Republican presidency, and an election cycle, are often rife with problems.


BG (my initials, which stand for Beer Good.)