Monday, July 26, 2010

We are funding the Taliban in Afghanistan

If there is any clearer demonstration of the likely impossible challenges we face in Afghanistan it is this.

We are funding the Taliban

While we fight them

They may well be getting more money from us than from the Poppy/Herion trade.

We need to leave Afghanistan
Sooner rather than later

Do Conservatives ever get tired of being Lied to by other Conservatives

The whole Shirley Sherrod disaster just bring a question to mind.

Are Conservatives tired of being lied to yet?

Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves - A Lie

Terry Schiavo really was in a Persistent Vegatative State despite Bill Frist's Lie

President Obama was not born in Kenya - A Lie

President Obama does not hate America or White People - A Lie

The health care bill did not use federal funds for abortion - A Lie

The health care bill did not provide subsudies to illegal aliens - A Lie

There were no Death Panels or anything like that in the bill - A Lie

President Obama is not a Socialist - A Lie

Acorn was never accused of Voter Fraud - A Lie

Passing the 1993 budget with its Tax Increases did not destroy the American Economy - A Lie

Passing the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act did not destroy the American Economy - A Lie

Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Queda - A Lie

And they are still lying about the human contribution to Global Warming.

And Shirley Sherrod is not a racist.

And it was the Bush Justice Department, not the Obama Justice Department, that decided no prosecutable crime was committed in the New Black Panthers case - despite the lies we were being told.

In almost every issue we face as a nation Republicans/Conservatives have lied to everyone.

Shirley Sherrod is only the latest example.

You would think Conservatives would get tired of being lied to.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Unemployment Insurance

I don't know if there is a better example of the difference between Liberals and Conservatives than the debate over extending unemployment benefits in the midst of this current recession.

Conservatives in this current debate have insisted that any extension of unemployment benefits be paid for in some way. Given that Conservatives seem to reflexively oppose any proposal that raises any taxes in any way for anybody, that means that they insist the some other program get cut enough to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits.

Liberals in this debate argue that in the current economic recession, the stimulative benefit of extending unemployment benefits more than justifies the small impact such an extension has on the current deficit or the accumulated debt.

Conservatives are, as usual, wrong on the issue. Allowing 1.2 million Americans fall off the edge of Unemployment Insurance because extending that insurance might add a whole 0.3% to the national debt is both cruel and insane.

Senator Jon Kyl, the Minority Whip in the Senate, stated his firm belief that we as a nation could not justify increasing the national debt by $10 billion dollars to extend unemployment insurance but he is equally firm in his belief that retaining the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest of Americans, at a cost of almost $700 Billion, is obviously justified despite its direct impact on the national debt. Almost 70 times the impact on the national debt of the unemployment insurance extension he opposes.

In doing so he talks about the stimulative impact of the tax cuts and ignores the stimulative impacts of unemployment insurance despite studies that show that every 1 dollar or tax cuts results in $1.03 in economic activity while every 1 dollar in unemployment insurance payments results in $1.63 in economic activity. Unemployment insurance payments have a far far greater stimulative impact than tax cuts and add far less to the deficit than the tax cuts yet Republicans/Conservatives like Senator Kyl are always in favor or tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the rich and almost always opposed to unemployment insurance that benefits those in need.

Any wonder that I am a Liberal??

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Boomer Apologizes

I recently turned 56 years old. My generation dominates the political stage and the management of business large and small. We run the biggest companies and the non-profits and we fill up the upper reaches of bureaucracies across this land. We dominate the Congress of the United States and most state Legislatures. Our President is a Boomer.

And we, as a generation have screwed our children and theirs. We weren't even subtle about it. Our children are inheriting a world where global warming will probably kill millions and displace even more. Much of the Gulf of Mexico becomes a dead zone every year because of the crap we put into our water. Same for much of Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. Most of our rivers have excessive levels of mercury in them from burning coal. We are in the middle of a mass extinction that will rival the worst of the mass extinctions in our planet's history. Most of the major industrialized nations have large accumulated national debts that our children and theirs will have to pay for. We are bequeathing to generation X (or what every you want to call those who are destined to follow us) such horrible eating habits that our children will likely not live as long as we did because we seem to insist on feeding them crap that only barely resembles food while at the same time starving our school systems of the resources they need to have active physical education programs and healthy meals. We were more willing to spend money building prisons than finding ways to prevent crime. Coming out of this recession, those who follow will be faced with years at least of sluggish economic growth and little or no growth in real wages for the vast majority of our people. And the debt that we are leaving them will prevent them from taking some of the bold actions that might dramatically alter the world they will have to deal with.

I can point to people and policies that my generation put in place as the cause of many of these problems. I can talk about this policy or that policy that could have prevented some of these problems. As a Liberal I would make a good case that Liberal policies would have prevented or reduced these problems.

But we as a generation didn't effective address them.

We still have time. We are not yet leaving the stage. We can still make things better. But based on what we have done so far, I am not hopeful.

So I apologize to the generations that follow the Baby Boomers. We appear to be leaving you a massive mess. A mess that some of us predicted but we, collectively, could not muster the will or consensus to fix. I hope you do a better job than we did. I have to believe that, right now, our parents generation, sometimes called the Greatest Generation, are pretty disgusted with us.

I hope you, the generations that follow, can forgive us.