S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Risks and rewards

[2/9/09] For far too many of these recent years corporations have been in charge, running a corporatocracy that eventually ran the U.S economy into the ground, all the while assuring everyone that they knew what was best. The house of cards is tumbling, as illustrated by the recent resignation of the top enforcer at the SEC, Linda Thomsen, for lack of enforcement in the Bernie Maddoff scandal. Now we know -- painfully -- that deregulation, tax breaks for the wealthy, lobbying to influence lawmakers to favor business interests, has not worked well. Republican rule has been repudiated by a good sized majority of voters.

Despite being in the distinct minority in numbers in the U.S. Congress, Republican Senators and House members are acting as if they are the majority party. When it comes to the pending "stimulus package" there are big risks in this for both Republicans and Democrats. Analysts are not sure what the voters will think of whatever is passed by Congress and signed by the President. Most of us are such novices at economic theory that we do not really know what to think. For more on this, check out Steve Clemons on "2 cows economics." Watchdogs think that spending too fast will cause government oversight to suffer.

Republican tactics are varied and often effective, particularly with the mainstream media. That is why President will go on the road and on prime time TV, taking his message directly to the people. It appears that the Republicans in Congress have pulled out all the stops to defeat the bill, in their effort to win at any cost. Examples include accusations of Democratic "fear mongering," inflammatory messaging strategies, as well as Republican fear mongering and hyperbole.

What we must be afraid of is unreasoning fear. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that fear is dangerous. He was not fear mongering, himself. He was saying just what Senator Byron Dorgan (d-N.D.) was saying, that we all must work to build and support confidence in the American way of life and in her people.

Those at the center in both parties will probably have the last say in what is passed. Senate Democrats are putting pressure on Speaker Pelosi to embrace most of their stimulus package. Economist Paul Krugman is not sure that is a good thing, as he wrote in a recent column titled, "The Destructive Center." Memeorandum summarizes,

"What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses? — A proud centrist."

The vote will come in just a few hours on the floor of the Senate. Each senator has potential risk or reward for whatever decision they make. Let us hope that each one remembers the mandate, the gift, the privilege he or she has in representing us. Let us hope that it is only a handful of them who squander it.


See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject: "Republicans Still Do Not Get it"

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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