What happened to our Democracy?

         What happened to the great country of America? Why do we not prosper like we did in the 1950s-1970s? What caused the greatest nation in earth to come back to the pack? If you listen to Republicans it is all liberals fault, their policies and entitlements. If you listen to Democrats it is all conservatives fault, horrible policies, war mongering and the trickle down economy. But what caused our current predicament. This is an average high school educated Americans opinion on our decline.

America was very successful in the decades following WWII. There are several reasons for this. I believe first and foremost was the conditions other countries were in. Germany, England, Italy, France, Japan and most of Europe was decimated by the war. This essentially left the world at Americas mercy. We were the only developed country that wasnt decimated and we took full advantage of that. Second was the rise of labor unions. They leveled the playing field with corporations causing better pay and benefits. Workers were happy and American made meant something. Third was the gap in income. It put us in a position where employees believed in their employers. Corporations werent cutting corners for a profit.

When CEO pay began to grow quicker then employee pay we saw the beginning of the decline. Companies off shoring work to make a higher profit despite products that were not made very well. Union membership particularly in the early 2000s declined sharply. NAFTA wad created to help Americans but it worked against us. This was the beginning of the end. Then banks began to work against us. I to this day do not completely understand what they did, but they destroyed pensions, credit, peoples lives and the American economy. Too big too fail and too rich too prosecute.

You may ask “Why all this about the economy and jobs?” It all contributed to the political climate we live in today. The decimation of unions took away one of the major checks on corporations power. Easieast example is Walmart. They make billions in profits, get all of their product from overseas and essentially pay minimum wage. They typically cap employees hours so they dont have to offer benefits. All the while their employees are in every government program that is offered because of the low pay. Walmart is one of the largest employers in the country. Any attempt at unionizing is dealt with harshly. People getting fired, hours cut amongst other things. Workers no longer recieve living wages, all the while corporations and the super wealthy gain more and more of the pie.

Why does any of that matter? Well that is quite easy. 94%. 94% of the time the politician with the most money wins. 94%, a ridiculous number. That means that the people with money get their politician of choice. That means that said politician then works for the cause of the wealthy. That causes an ever growing gap in income inequality. When corporate backed politicians are in charge, corporations essentially are in charge. Take the Stand Your Ground Law, a mess of a law. ALEC writes papers called model legislation, which is a bill that is given to their bought congressmen, who then work to get it passed. Congress no longer works for the people, it works for its puppet master.

Money has bought our government, big money, corporations and super wealthy. These people have destroyed our democracy. We are now at the mercy of our corporate overlords. It is funny to think that not only do you buy their product in a store, but we all bow at the altar of the wealthy. This is what these wannabe oligarchs, feudalists or monarchs want from us. For a while the people were silent, but many are waking up. But it is too late? Can we retake our democracy? Is America the new Rome? I certainly hope not. But in my opinion we are balanced on a precipice.

I realize that this is not the most concise description of our fall. But just open your eyes and look around. People stand up for a tax evader like Cliven Bundy but demonize Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. When was racism so prevelant, the 1950s. How about the constant attack on women? It seems like a calculated attack to keep rich men in charge of things. The election of President Obama, a black man, seems to upset the apple cart. Why else would certain people say their first and most important priority was to make him a one term president. Democracy is not conservatism or liberalism, it is a combination of all of them. We need to overturn Citizens United, put term limits on Senators, Representatives and Supreme Court Justices. We need to be able to assess their jobs and have the right to immeadiatly fire them. Our democracy is on the line. Lets save it.

Why do people think the poor are ruining our country?

       I find it odd that people attack the poor for asking for a living wage. I find it odd that a poor person is demonized for getting food stamps or heat assistance.  I find it odd that people complain about a poor family getting a large income tax check. Why are the poor being so scrutinized?

How many poor people write checks to lobby a politicians? How many poor people have money in tax havens to avoid paying taxes? How many poor people can pay $10,000 to sit at a dinner in order to get an audience with a politician? How many poor people write bills that are brought to the floor of Congress for a vote? How many poor people are convicted of ripping people off for millions? Killing their retirement? Draining their nest egg? NONE.

Most working poor are making $9 or less. They are working 40-60 hours a week trying to care for their family. Yet these are the people that are destroying America. These are the greedy ones because they want a living wage. They are working for Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and other large Corporations. Corporations making billions of dollars a year in profits but cannot afford to pay $10 or $11 an hour. Paying upper management a couple million or billion dollars a year and giving out major bonuses. I am sorry, that is the greedy fools on Wall Street and the Financial Sector who decimated our economy. But it is the poor who are getting to much.

These same people who complain about the poor support Republicans. Believe our country is moving away from the Constitution. They believe that the Free Market is in the Constitution. In fact they do not know anything about the Constitution except part of the Second Amendment. These are people who are lower middle class, which the Republicans destroyed. They believe the American Dream is dead because of Democrats, President Obama giving everything to the poor. These poor ignorant fools know oh so little.

Republicans want to abolish the minimum wage, they voted against the VAWA, they voted against every jobs bill and short changed the Administration every chance they had. They have blocked more Presidential nominees than ever before and have passed less bills than any other Congress. Did the poor do this? Did the poor create and give millions of dollars to SUPER PACS? It has to be the poor, right? It couldnt be the party that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck support. Those really loud Tea Party people say President will take our guns. The poor have alot to do with that as well.

Class warfare has taken an ugly turn. The less poor are now attacking the lower poor. People are not concerned about the rich fleecing us. But are upset about another poor person getting more than them. This is what Conservatives want. They want the peasants fighting amongst themselves. I know the $80 billion used for welfare hurts our country more than the $200 billion used for corporate welfare. Yes, these billion dollar corporations get subsidized by your tax dollars, then get large bonuses but cannot afford to pay $10 an hour. Seriously, before you speak, THINK. RESEARCH and LEARN. Spouting what FOX NEWS says is ignorant. Considering they went to court to make it ok to falsify news. And won. HAHA! I bet the poor had a lot to do with it.

The disrespect of the Republican party and their media.

              I took the time yesterday to watch Bill O’Reilly interview President Obama. I would say it was quite nice of the President to grant an interview to a man that perpetuates lies about him daily. Bill O’Reilly has complete disdain for President Obama and showed it by interrupting him continuously.  But it is hard to bully a man who will not let you.

When Bill O’Reilly interviews a conservative he lets them speak. Any liberal, Democrat or person who disagrees is attacked with impunity. I sometimes watch just to see how and what conservatives think. Most, not all, tend to bully their fellow debater. Cutting them off, speaking over them, not answering questions they are afraid of the public knowing the answer to or just plain changing the subject. Sadly this is the state of our government today. If you dont agree, you are the enemy, compromise viewed as weakness. Unfortunately this has caused our gridlock.

I watched Michelle Bachmann debate Bernie Sanders. It was a joke. A educated person debating a 5 year old. Michelle Bachmann used all the tactics above. When asked her stance on Social Security, she said she would gladly answer. Yet for some odd reason, she refused. She has over the years said some very questionable things. Why wouldnt she answer a question that many Americans want the answer to? Dont you think that is a bit conspicuous? Look at her record and that of Bernie Sanders. You will see who makes actual sense.

I then watched Paul Ryan in an interview. He said that President Obama is a lawless President. He said it is not the amount of executive orders but the scope. That President Obama is making laws and that is Congress’ job. But he stepped away from impeachment talk. If the President was lawless and disregarding the U S Constitution shouldn’t those sworn to uphold it hold him accountable? If he is lawless, should he not be impeached. Paul Ryan is another blowhard playing to his base.

Although this is a small thing, it drives me nuts. Conservatives refer to President Reagan, President Bush and Mr Obama. Neither of the first 2 are president anymore. President Obama is a sitting president. Afford him the same respect as Governor Romney, Senator Paul, this is disgraceful. President Obama was voted in by an overwhelming majority of people, HE IS THE PRESIDENT. Just because you disagree with his politics or are hurt by him being in office doesn’t diminish that he is PRESIDENT.

This doesn’t mean I agree with President Obama on everything he does. It does mean he is President, deal with it. Do not be disrespectful to the American people by hurting them to tarnish his legacy. We have been hurt enough by dirty bank practices and financial practices. It is time to stand with the people and the will of the people. But maybe your corporate sponsors wouldnt like that? You have to please your corporate masters.

Would I or could I do it different?

      Every day each and everyone of us passes judgement on someone or something that we think should be done different. But upon further reflection am I actually being a hypocrite with my judgement?  Is it truly fair, I don’t think fair is the right word, is it morally right on my part? What actually gives me the right to pass judgement?

I judge the criminal that robs the convenience store. Is it legally wrong, absolutely, so it is easy to judge. But what if in this case he was robbing it to feed his family. Does that make it less legally wrong? No, but is it morally right? If I couldn’t feed my family I would like to think I would do anything I could to feed them, but could I? I am a law abiding citizen, could I break that law in that instance? What about the man or woman who murders their neighbor, then we later find that neighbor molested them or their child. Is it less wrong? No. But is it morally right? I know if you hurt my kids I will hurt you, but can it truly ‘ve justified?

Those examples are easy. What about the hedge fund manager who pilfered the retirement accounts of a bunch of middle class workers? Could you say that you are % 100 sure you wouldn’t do the same in his position? The opportunity to not have another financial worry for several generations by hurting a bunch of people you dont know or care about. I would like to deny vehemently that I wouldn’t and I really believe I wouldnt, but what if? What about the banker who illegally forecloses on peoples homes in order to recieve a very large bonus? If your job and a huge bonus were on the line, would you do the right thing or the easy thing? I would like to say I would do the right thing, but I am not in their shoes.

What if you were a judge who could put a kid who was guilty away longer and make a nice chunk of change or place them for the appropriate time and just make your salary? We look on this with disdain, with good reason, but are you positive you couldn’t be tempted to do the wrong thing? The politician who takes a ton of cash to vote in favor of a corporation at the cost of the people and the government you were elected to uphold? The promise of wonderful vacations and enough money that your kids dont have to worry. All for a vote, the politician isnt hurting the people the corporation is. I will say I would do the right thing. But what if?

I have made alot of mistakes in my life. I couldnt be the person I am without those mistakes. My decision making has improved with age. There are certain things, little things, that I have always done. A person drops cash, I give it back, a woman leaves her purse, I chase her down or a cashier gives you to much change, you give it back. But do these things really say that I would do the right thing in the circumstances above? What prepares you for those experiences? For me, all I wanted was to make enough money to pay my bills, feed my kids and take a nice little vacation each year. Of course there is more, but I dont need I to be rich to achieve them. So I am confident in saying I would do the right thing. Are you?

George W. Bush, the President Republicans refuse to acknowledge.

               George W. Bush was President from 2001-2009, he oversaw the decimation of the American culture. He deregulated the Banking Industry,  Wall Street and just about anything else that had lobbied for his support. He oversaw the Housing Crisis, the Great Recession and a huge difference unemployment spike.

He started 2 wars that weren’t payed for and oversaw the largest foreign attack on American soil. He took a budget that was in the black and he created a National Debt that exceeded almost any created by an American President before this. He created more than half of the economic problems we still face today. The Bush Tax Cuts cost us about $4 trillion towards our National Debt. He created the polarization that exists in politics today.

He lied us into war. Not only did he lie but he provided false information to Congress. He did it again with the Banking and Housing Crisis. He gave out $750 billion to the banks without any rules or restrictions. None of the banks were required to pay anything back. The TARP funds President Obama gave out have all been payed back and he attempted to put restrictions on bonus payouts as well as CEO pay. He was unfortunately overruled by a pro-bussiness Congress.

According to Republicans Bush 43 did no wrong. He was in fact a patriot. To all Democrats including myself he was the beginning of Corporate America. Corporations got their foothold under Bush and it has continued to get worse through Republucan obstruction. In my opinion Republicans have sabotaged our economic recovery in order to hurt President Obama. That is not a sound economic policy. Nor is the Republican flat out denial of President Bush’s presidency. They got what they wanted with him, yet attempt to deny that is what they wanted. Sadly the only end in sight for these idiotic policies is the decimation of the Republican party.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Congress’s actions may reduce economic growth.

             Ben Bernanke said that tax increases and spending cuts during slow economy can reduce economic growth by 1.5%. He told the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed’s low interest rate policies have carried an awful lot of the burden to drive economic growth. As well as the Fed’s $85 billion a month bond buying program. He said the Fed would happily share the burden with a gridlocked Congress.

Congress focus on the Federal Defecit has been detrimental to economic growth. Republicans have pushed for austerity, wide, deep sweeping spending cuts. They have also supported the Sequester, which has caused many thousands of furloughs, as well as job losses. Democrats and President Obama have pushed for tax increases. They are trying to raise taxes on the super wealthy, as well as trying to get big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

Republicans said that they wanted dollar for dollar tax increases to spending cuts. They got $4 in spending cuts to $1 in tax increases. Any issue President Obama stands for Republicans stand against. Even if Republicans have supported it recently. Republicans have shot down 2 seperate Jobs Bills, one a Veterans Job Bill, that would have created more than 1 million jobs. Republicans inability to compromise has caused the gridlock plaguing America.

Senate Republican Bob Corker said Congress has grown to dependent on the Fed’s efforts to drive growth. Senate Republican Tom Coburn said ” We have let you down. The kindergarten of Congress has let you down by not doing the things to create confidence in the business community.” These 2 Republicans say this, yet support the Republican agenda of obsuruction. They have presented 44 anti-abortion bills, 99 bills about religion, several hundred spending cut bills, 445 Congressional hearings and ZERO bills to create jobs. Democrats have proposed tax increases.

While I realize Ben Bernanke may be uncomfortable calling out a party, someone needs to. President Obama and Democrats do it, but people are swayed by main stream media calling them horrible people. In many cases they tell half the story that suits their political agenda. I do not believe that Democrats didnt do anything wrong. They have screwed up quite a few times. But that pales in comparison to the Republicans intentionally harming the country to hurt President Obama. That is not a successful policy. In fact it has hurt American and no one is holding them responsible.

Conservatives refuse to acknowledge Bush 43.

             Yesterday on Twitter I debated one, then several Republicans. Started off with one, then it became 6. I do not understand how their set of facts and truths are so different from mine. Nor do I understand how they refuse to blame George W. Bush for anything. I actually had one tell me that Bush was trying to fix the Banks, according to them he did not deregulate anything.

As the conversation went on, they blamed Bill Clinton and President Obama for everything that happened during Bush 43’s 2 terms. According to these people Clinton caused the financial collapse and housing market collapse. Bush did nothing to cause this, although he was President for 7 years when all of this happened. According to these people the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were run properly and there was no hidden agenda.

They blame President Obama for not creating jobs, but put no blame on Republican led House, although they shot down a Veterans Jobs Bill and a Jobs Bill. Collectively they would have created as many as 1.5 million jobs, effectively lowering the 7.6 unemployment rate and helping economy. They do not recognize this as happening. They attack President Obama about Benghazi, but say the 11 embassy attacks and near 60 deaths in Bush term were acceptable because we were at war. War on Terror is still in progress, not all embassy attacks happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The whole Republican party philosophy shows here. If they cannot convince you that act like young children. Yes it devolved to them calling names and cursing. If you disagree with their views, you are dumb, stupid, a terrorist and a Muslim. Apparently religious views are no longer protected by their beloved Constitution, which Democrats protect more. This is why Congress is in gridlock. Republicans have own facts and refuse to acknowledge any other views. In my experience many, not all are bigoted, short sighted people. It only matters when it happens to them. Of Trayvon Martin was their child, their opinion of him being responsible for own death would be different. We live in a country of many views and ethnicities, people need to be more open minded.