Why we're divided, how to overcome it

We need to send a more coherent message to our leaders, and they need to put aside their self-interest for once

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We will have to raise federal revenues at some point. The budget will never be balanced without it.

But neither can it be balanced solely by raising taxes. And honestly, with the reports of rampant waste that our own government watchdogs have alerted us to, we’d be fools to hand the feds more of our money without requiring broad spending reforms first.

Meanwhile, if anyone tells you we can make ends meet without touching Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, they are lying like a Persian rug, all pretty and bold. Every expert we’ve talked to, from both the liberal and conservative persuasions and everything in-between, has told us the same thing. Common sense alone tells you something has to be done, when such “mandatory” spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of the federal budget – and when we know we have promised ourselves $60 trillion to $100 trillion in future benefits that projected federal revenues don’t cover.

THESE ARE the facts. They are uncontroverted. And yet, our leaders in Washington carry on as if none of this is happening. They lurch herky-jerky from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis to government shutdown deadline and get next to nothing done. The U.S. Senate hasn’t even passed a budget in over two years. Each deadline, each impasse that comes along, they wait till the last minute and then, when there’s no other choice, they run to the bank and borrow just enough to get the government by for a few months, penciling the next fiscal crisis on their calendars.

And tossing surprise and secretive spending measures in there for good measure. Precisely what the country doesn’t need.

Some of those calendars on Capitol Hill, by the way, no doubt feature breathtaking scenes of some of Washington’s great monuments – which makes you wonder: How can these people get up in the morning and drive to work or get driven by their chauffeurs and not have the sight of those inspiring monuments remind them of the awesome and urgent responsibility they’ve taken on in our behalf. It makes you ill inside if you think much about it. And it makes you understand why this Congress has the favorability rating of a flat tire on a rainy night.

THE FEDERAL government of the most powerful, most important country on Earth is broken, and these are the people who have broken it on their merry way to interminable careers on our backs and nice side incomes and regal retirements – all while they fritter away yours. Did you know that this and past Congresses have spent all your nest egg – and then some – in order to make their day-to-day spending look less outrageous? And that even now they’re trying to buy your silence with that sugary spending, one interest group, one lobbyist-paid round of golf at a time?

History will record that both parties share the blame for all this. While Barack Obama is the biggest spender perhaps in human history, his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, doesn’t lag far behind. And many observers wonder: Would we have spent less under a President Al Gore, who might have prompted a Republican Congress to be less complicit?

That said, the most biggest problem right now is the Democrats’ tactic of class warfare and their insistence that the key to our problem is soaking the rich. They know the numbers don’t support their case; that you could confiscate all the wealth from the so-called “1 percenters” and the omnivorous federal government wouldn’t be satiated. Rather, it’s an electoral ploy – a particularly cynical and destructive one, considering they’re willing to throw the country under the bus in order to whip up indignation for 2012.

LIKEWISE, REPUBLICANS at some point have to admit publicly that more revenues will be needed. A mindless “no new taxes” refrain won’t play well when the national debt is $15 trillion and climbing by the second.

Why is this rocket science?

In addition, Donald Trump, of all people, recently told an interviewer that “nobody knows” why Washington is so hopelessly divided. Nobody? Really? Good grief. We can give you several reasons off the top.

Rocket science, then, explained:

First, since 1994, the two major parties have been nearly equal in representation – after decades of monochromatic Democratic rule in Congress. Of course you’re going to get divisions!

SECOND, VOTERS have continued to send mixed signals about what they want. We jump back and forth between politicians and parties based largely on their likability, and without regard for their governing or fiscal philosophy. Many blame the extreme left or right for the country’s goofiness, but at least those folks know what they believe. It’s the mushy middle – unmoored by principle or ideology – who push the pendulum back and forth, depending on which pretty face or well-funded candidate seems to be on the rise. Of course you’re going to get divisions!

There’s also a huge divide in America between those who want government to redistribute wealth and those who don’t.

Then there’s the problem of careerism. These folks in Congress get re-elected and re-elected and re-elected no matter what. They learn very quickly that, however the country fares, if they just spend enough money in their states and districts – and please enough special interests to amass huge war chests – then they can enjoy the fine dining of Washington for decades.

If they were football coaches with this kind of win-loss record, they’d have been tossed out on their stumps years ago. But we can’t seem to help ourselves.

CAN YOU SAY “term limits”?

With both parties only playing to their base in order to get re-elected, and until Americans decide once and for all – 2012 would be a good time – what kind of country we want, loggerheads may be our lot. We just went through it again this past week.

Except for one thing. There’s one possible exit strategy.

That’s if enough members of Congress get fed up with the disaster they’ve been wallowing in and the crises they’ve been dragging us through, and rise above their own leaders to come together to get things done, no matter whom that may benefit or hurt in the coming elections.

Democrats, drop your blind allegiance to higher taxes. It’s not the time for sucking more capital out of the private sector. Take something, a prescription-strength something, for your allergic reaction to the words “spending cut.”

REPUBLICANS, LET it be known you’ll agree to higher revenues if the Democrats agree to substantial spending cuts. The two parties could quickly agree to trillions in deficit reduction almost overnight if they agree to a package of 90 percent spending cuts to 10 percent revenue enhancements, for instance.

Why is that rocket science?

And why can’t y’all give a little when the country is hanging in the balance?

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shrimp for breakfast
5460
Points
shrimp for breakfast 12/18/11 - 01:36 am
0
0
I've been screaming TERM

I've been screaming TERM LIMITS for years. These carrer politicians care about one thing. Re-Election. They don't care about you and me. If they did they would compromise and actually start getting something done. We the people have the power to throw the bums out but for some reason we keep re-electing them over and over.
Nothing will change until we drop the dead weight and put people in office that WILL do what needs to be done.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 12/18/11 - 08:31 am
0
0
AC, you know very well that
Unpublished

AC, you know very well that congress will NEVER pass term limits. Neither will they ever pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. They don't like laws that restrict how they spend our money, or how long they can stay in power. Forget it...not gonna happen!

Riverman1
84930
Points
Riverman1 12/18/11 - 09:51 am
0
0
A successful football coach

A successful football coach always picks his jobs carefully. This county is the SEC bottom feeder, Vanderbilt, these days.

dichotomy
33552
Points
dichotomy 12/18/11 - 11:08 am
0
0
I think it is obvious that a

I think it is obvious that a balanced budget amendment is the only way this country will ever get a grip on spending. We have truly reached the butt end of the old joke about taxes. "How much did you make this year? Send it in to the government." Why? Because that's how much we owe. We owe 100% of GDP. We owe 100% of everything we make this year. If your feeble brain can't quite grasp that fact, then you should recuse yourself from voting. And don't give me that "tax the 1%" bull. If you took everything the 1% made this year, you still could not even make an interest only payment on the debt. A balanced budget amendment, which would by definition force spending cuts and tax increases on everyone, is the only way out of this mess. It would give cover to Democrats to make unpopular spending cuts and to Republicans to raise taxes on EVERYONE and close tax loopholes. Term limits is another good idea but I don't think it would be necessary if we had a balanced budget amendment. With no extra money to steal, there would not be any incentive for them to want to stay there for life. The job would no longer be fun because they would actually have to work and make hard decisions. The only other thing that would be needed to go along with the balanced budget amendment is fixed tax rate(s) that would require a 2/3s majority of both the House and Senate to be raised. I don't care what initial rate or multiple rates they set as long as businesses could be fairly certain that the tax rates are stable and 100% of the people put a little something in the bucket. No more free rides for anyone.

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 12/18/11 - 11:16 am
0
0
A major contribution to the

A major contribution to the 'division' in DC is the demonetization of politicians which began in the early ninety's with Newts GOPAC. This idea promoted by so many AM radio pundents has taken a toll on the American electorate's political soul. Think about it, 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all', the compromise many have made with this axiom can only be justified by a philosophy that accepts; 'the end justifies the means', again a compromise of the ethical standard in my faith that; You cannot do evil to produce a good. peace and good to all in this Holiday Season.

robaroo
779
Points
robaroo 12/18/11 - 11:37 am
0
0
This is amazing - an

This is amazing - an editorial I agree with 100% ! Thank you AC for bringing up the deficit issue.

The reason we keep electing the Bozo's is because we want Santa Claus for our congress. We want large benefits from the government, but we don't want to pay for them. So, we elect congressmen who will pander to us. They make the worst possible choice - maintain the status quo and borrow the amount needed to make up the difference.

Congress is sold out to the highest bidding special interest groups. They will only change when we voters elect responsible leaders willing to make the hard choices.

harley_52
23645
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harley_52 12/18/11 - 03:29 pm
0
0
Tax revenues are maximized

Tax revenues are maximized when everybody is working and paying taxes, not drawing unemployment. Raising tax rates is counterproductive to increasing tax revenues because it draws capital out of the market into the government where it is frittered away by politicians and bureaucrats.

We don't have a problem of taxing too little, our problem is spending too much.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/18/11 - 05:48 pm
0
0
As long as we continue to

As long as we continue to maintain a two party system, the spending party in Washington will continue. They've got us right where they want us.

If the fools in Washington DC don't start listening to what the people want, then I see states seceding from the United States in the very near future. The first conservative state who leaves will get my business - I'll move there in about 15 seconds for a chance to get away from the madness that has gripped this nation.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 12/18/11 - 06:02 pm
0
0
Unfortunately, many liberal

Unfortunately, many liberal leaders and their followers remain unschooled in basic economics and continue to believe only that Republicans are "bad' for wishing to restrain spending. More to the point, the U.S. and its citizens can ill afford to allow liberals to see their foolish, high-minded experiment to its logical end.

At this point, the United States and many global states face, at least, the following:

1. A continuing global financial crisis.
2. A continuing global unemployment crisis.
3. A burgeoning, spreading debt crisis that threatens, probably, all of the 'elastic' fiat currencies of the world, most especially the Euro, and certainly the U.S. Dollar!

ACES is on the right track calling for a re-balancing of revenues and expenditures. Unfortunately, hence far, few in the media have even called the current economic mess what it really is: A depression.

As such, it's a financial disaster and steadily falling dominoes that is QUITE immune from pedestrian solutions AKA 'monetary policy, fiscal policy.' On the other hand, the capitalist system WILL right itself, and much more quickly, if our leadership will refrain from stopping the necessary de-leveraging and financial adjustments that are taking place.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 12/18/11 - 10:06 pm
0
0
If you believe a person who

If you believe a person who thinks killing unborn babies is a good thing has enough wisdom to help this country you have an amazing mind.

JRC2024
9085
Points
JRC2024 12/19/11 - 12:53 am
0
0
Sold out, abortion is a

Sold out, abortion is a religious and moral decision and another porblem that is not connected to running a country. Do not try to connect the two.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 12/19/11 - 07:54 am
0
0
not one more dime til waste

not one more dime til waste and fraud is all but elimnated from spending..also everyone who VOTES must pay some federal income tax.. social security is not an income tax..eveyone who votes for these jokers must have skin in the game period...and we need more state rights in spending...no more federal unfunded mandates for the states otherwise spending is just transferred to the states...

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 12/19/11 - 08:31 am
0
0
We are divided BECAUSE that

We are divided BECAUSE that is the way the polititians want it-IT IS THAT SIMPLE. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 12/19/11 - 11:02 am
0
0
The problems in Washington

The problems in Washington will continue and there is no reasoning behind these "great ideas" based on this inane rant by the ACES. What the ACES is asking for is never going to happen because it defies reason. The only way the Constitution will be amended, so that term limits will be added for Congress, is for Congress pass that resolution. Does anyone want to walk up to their boss and say no matter how great of a job I am doing, I want you to fire me in eight years? Do you think congress will do that? Stop asking for it, unless you put people in who are committed to their job in representing what the people want. Congress will always pass a salary increase, but never pass a salary decrease. What makes you think they then add a termination to their cushy job?

Next, we are divided because there is class warfare going on everyday. The same people who complain about Obama making things into class warfare were some of the people complaining about Section 8 housing coming to Columbia county. What is the difference? No taxing on the rich, but poor people can't come to our neighborhod to live. We live life in complete doublespeak. No on abortion, but yes on the death penalty. If life is so precious, why do we kill people in the state's name? We are divided because so many little things divide us easily, race, religion, gender, sexual prefence, and so forth. Only people who can see above there own needs and make clear paths through the muck need to be in Washington, people who will not fold to the rants of a local newspaper, but wise people with compassion, understanding, and good reasoning. This is why we are divided and broken. Term limits and budgets woes, are just the tip of the iceberg.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/19/11 - 11:32 am
0
0
onlysane1left: “No on

onlysane1left: “No on abortion, but yes on the death penalty. If life is so precious, why do we kill people in the state's name?”

That’s an easy one, it’s because some people, like say Ted Bundy, need killing in the worst kind of way.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 12/19/11 - 11:39 am
0
0
you do not need term limits

you do not need term limits to curb congressional abuses of power and spending...just simplify the tax code--to a flat or a compsumption tax. and do away with current tax structure and then pass a constititional admendment to no longer modify the tax code..this would elimnate the vast majority of lobbying since most congressional favours are passed as a addition or subtraction to our tax code..this is why GE that made billions paid zero income tax...no more tax credits and no more corporate welfare and everyone who votes must have skin in the game thru paying income tax..not perfect but a step in the right direction..

FalseHopeLooseChange
5
Points
FalseHopeLooseChange 12/19/11 - 11:57 am
0
0
WANTED: "wise people with

WANTED: "wise people with compassion, understanding, and good reasoning."

Compassionate Conservatives, bound by faith and an understanding of Constitutional limitations, who reject political correctness and believe in the American Dream need not apply.

harley_52
23645
Points
harley_52 12/19/11 - 12:07 pm
0
0
We will never come together

We will never come together as a society until we get beyond racism. Sadly, the Obama Administration has set us back about fifty years and before the election is over it will likely be 100 years. Here's the current Attorney General's assessment of why people are questioning his actions on some Justice Department issues.....

"Holder said some unspecified faction — what he refers to as the “more extreme segment” — is driven to criticize both him and President Barack Obama due to the color of their skin. Holder did not appear to elaborate on who he considered to make up the “more extreme segment.”

“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, according to the Times. “Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/19/justice-dept-silent-as-holder-charges-...

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/19/11 - 01:27 pm
0
0
bjphysicsMonday, Dec. 19
Unpublished

bjphysicsMonday, Dec. 19 10:32 AMnew

onlysane1left: “No on abortion, but yes on the death penalty. If life is so precious, why do we kill people in the state's name?”

"That’s an easy one, it’s because some people, like say Ted Bundy, need killing in the worst kind of way."

Wonder if the heart bleeding anti-DP folks would consent to shipping the Ted Bundys off to an island in the Pacific ala leper colonies and just let them have at it? Give them hoes and shovels, some seed and buckets, a few head of livestock and chickens, and let them fend for themselves.

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/19/11 - 01:44 pm
0
0
I have to chuckle at the ACES
Unpublished

I have to chuckle at the ACES comment about the "mushy middle". Their proposal of compromise is just what the "mushy middle" wants. The right says no tax increase, period; and the left says no spending cuts.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/19/11 - 02:10 pm
0
0
No island(s) for the damned,

No island(s) for the damned, I wanna know We The People, killed Ted; collective revenge motivated by collective outrage. I felt some measure of catharsis when Ted was sent on his way, to bad Gary Ridgway isn’t with Ted now. I’ll say it again:

Some people need killing in the worst kind of way.

allhans
23776
Points
allhans 12/19/11 - 02:31 pm
0
0
I just finished watching

I just finished watching (again) the Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged" movie. How true it has become. Government takeover at its most greedy.

harley_52
23645
Points
harley_52 12/19/11 - 03:01 pm
0
0
bjphysics said "Some people

bjphysics said "Some people need killing in the worst kind of way."

Indeed.

And that people disagree with that statement is something I cannot understand.

And I also can't understand how people can attempt to draw a moral equivalence between the death penalty and abortion.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/19/11 - 04:08 pm
0
0
harley_52: “I also can't

harley_52: “I also can't understand how people can attempt to draw a moral equivalence between the death penalty and abortion.”

I think their just blowing hypocrisy allegation smoke, they understand the syllogism changes when fetal humanity is asserted and subsumed under the class of “innocent human life” while Ted Bundy is excluded from that class during the linguistic calculus. The phrase “sanctity of human life” is shorthand for “sanctity of innocent human life” but even when this clarification is made they come back with their Zombie argument.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 12/19/11 - 04:11 pm
0
0
Actually, I choose to be

Actually, I choose to be divided. Being like others is not my goal.

allhans
23776
Points
allhans 12/19/11 - 04:15 pm
0
0
Amen, Willow. Save us from

Amen, Willow. Save us from being like others.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/19/11 - 04:23 pm
0
0
I like using my conformity to

I like using my conformity to blend in and keep a low profile.

harley_52
23645
Points
harley_52 12/19/11 - 05:32 pm
0
0
I seek to be like others only

I seek to be like others only when others are right.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 12/19/11 - 10:49 pm
0
0
I do want to be like you,

I do want to be like you, harley:) some others, not so much and some others, NO WAY!

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