Thursday, September 15, 2011

Too Scared to Change

It has come to my attention thanks to Shady_Grady that the Democrats are hesitant to pass President Obama's $447 billion (paid for) American Jobs Act. They instead want to pass the bill piece meal instead of in one fell swoop. In the Senate they want to bring up parts that will fail to make Republicans look bad.

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu has a problem with only closing loopholes for oil companies which makes sense since she represents the interests of oil rich Louisiana. Others have a problem with the payroll tax cut. Republicans have a problem with tax increases. Basically it's safe to say that everybody has a problem with this bill. My take.... So What.

It seems that the culture of the American political system has shifted. No longer do people run for office to make the hard decisions necessary for the American people that only government can make. No longer do people run for office to make a difference in their neighborhood, community, district, and state. That's the reason they give for running for office but it's not the truth. They run for office because they figure if they play it right they'll have a job for life sailing through every election. They figure if they play it right they'll have free benefits, better vacation time than teachers, and opportunities for their children generally only available through nepotism. That is the reason politicians now run for office. It is not to change anything because if it were they would realize, and show in their actions that not every vote is going to be easy. Not every vote on every bill to create a law is going to exactly line up with ideological beliefs of how government should run, how government should work, and what government should and should not do.

For months Democrats and Republicans alike took turns at busting President Obama's balls about doing more for the economy, doing more to create jobs, doing more to get Americans back to work. John Boehner and Eric Cantor facetiously questioned in press conferences, daily briefings, Sunday news shows, and in twitter townhalls, "Where's your bill Mr. President?Where are the jobs?" Maxine Waters toured the city as HBIC of the CBC telling Obama to man up and help his people, and telling the Tea Party to go to hell when she probably really wanted to tell them to kiss her ass.

Now the President has got his shit together, presented a damn good bill that is a mix of tax cuts for the Republicans and tax increases for Democrats. It shows he is business friendly and continues to prove Cornel West right on the point Obama is just a corporate puppet for the Wall Street oligarchs and plutocrats. Yet the tax increases on the richest Americans like the President himself and many in Congress -- which King Rich Warren Buffet asked for -- also appease Cornel West who's asked his "Dear Brother Obama to do more for the small man, the impoverished and disenfranchised."

During the President Obama's speech last Thursday, he said some form of "pass this bill right now" 15 times. Furthermore he said what the passing of the bill will do for America.

  • ...Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers' wages.
  • Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year.
  • Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America.
  • Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work.
  • Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America's veterans.
  • Pass this bill, and hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people will have the hope and the dignity of a summer job next year. And their parents -- their parents, low-income Americans who desperately want to work, will have more ladders out of poverty.
  • Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job.
  • Pass this bill, and the typical working family will get a $1,500 tax cut next year.

But those weren't just pretty words of what the President wanted the bill to do. When you go to and click on the banner that says American Jobs Act: Read the Bill everything laid out in the speech is in the bill.

The ball is no longer in the President's Rose Garden. It has now been passed to the halls of Congress where we see the people that we elected to the House and Senate to do our bidding are too scared to do their job.

No more can Democrats or Republicans say "It's the economy stupid" in reference to the President because it is now out of his hands. What does it matter that corporations like BP or Goldman Sachs no longer have a way to get out of paying their fair share of taxes when small business owners can now hire the chronically unemployed putting more money into the pockets of the people that power the economy.

For months Republicans and Democrats alike have been saying the solution is simple. Put Americans back to work. Give them jobs. Now the President has laid out a plan to allow both the private and the public sector to do that and no one in either chamber on either side of the aisle can muster the strength to say "let's do this." All we get is a lukewarm, "It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of bother parties and help put Americans back to work." John Boehner, I'm looking at you.

I call B.S.

For the Democrats running scared like batty boys in Kingston and Republicans unsure of what to do now that the President has asserted his position in the bully pulpit might I suggest you all, men and women alike, grow some because clearly the President took yours.

This bill is not going to be an easy pass with a simple majority. It's not designed that way. But just because it is not a simple pass does not mean that it shouldn't be passed. The depth of this economic crisis does not allow for a simple bill with an easy fix where everyone involved comes out looking like a smiling young Eddie Murphy in the intro to Raw. This is not the time for politicians to play the role of Captain Save-A-Country to win the accolades of constituents who've been waiting the better part of the three years for a little bit of help.

If we want to escape from the no-man's land abyss of non-recession/non-recovery, something dramatic must be done. The drama need not be partisan bickering. The drama need not be passing the bill piece meal. The drama should surround a healthy debate of why this is the best that can be done, and if it's not a counter measure it should be offered to do something a little mo' better. The drama should not be of politicians running scared because they're afraid to do what's right for fear of supporting the legislation of an unfavorable President in an election season. I'm sorry but get the fuck over yourself. It's not about you, Mary Landrieu, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Maxine Waters, and all you other members of Congress. It's about us - We the People of the United States - who need a little bit of help trying to reform our more perfect union.

With that said, I leave you with the immortal words of Pops from Friday:

"You win some. You lose some. But you live, you live to fight another day."

Ladies and gentlemen of Congress. Republicans and Democrats. Tea Party, Blue Dogs, Liberals, Progressives, and Conservatives. You all can't win this battle if you only focus on your ideology and fundamental differences. Someone will lose. But what does it matter if one of you loses if the entirety of America wins?

However one thing is certain, if none of you stands up to fight for this bill, all of you lose. Which means the country loses. And you don't want that...

Do you?

1. What do you think passing the American Jobs Act will come down to?
2. With Democrats already shirking their responsibilities, does this prove that Democrats simply can't lead?
3. If Obama were a Republican President would we even be having this conversation?
4. How long do you think it will take before the bill is passed?
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