I am sure many have noticed the TV ads proclaiming that if Hatch and Romney are elected they, with the help of Mike Lee, will get federal spending under control. They imply that it has been rampant under Obama.
But the percentage data proves otherwise as shown in this graph featured in a Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch article from May 22: Under Obaha, federal spending has been at the slowest pace since Eisenhower brought the Korean war to an end in the 1950s. You might recall that Hatch has been in office all along, supporting Reagan and Bush into a federal spending fiasco. Ever since Obama came into office, Republican leaders have had one goal, to defeat him. They have stopped governing and become strict obstructionists, a party of "no." Alan Simpson, former Republican senator, told CNN recently that the rigid opposition to almost every proposal by the other side has hampered productivity and diminished the chances of reaching an agreement on debt reduction.
He said "If you want to be a purist, go somewhere to the mountain top and praise the east or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issues rather than compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won't compromise and I'll show you a guy with rocks for brains." It is obvious that the Republican leaders have shifted sharply to the right. Moderate leaders are virtually extinct.
In an April 27 Washington Post opinion article, "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem," the authors state "while the Democrats have moved from their 40 yard line to their 25, the Republicans have gone from their 40 to behind the goal post." The article continues. "The GOP has become ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition." How did this happen?
The article presents in detail the individuals and circumstances which have led to the gridlock in Washington today. It singles out Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist for hijacking common sense out of Republican leaders. Grover Norquist has authored the taxpayer protection pledge, which requires its signers to never support a tax increase. Any Republican leader not signing it is likely to be defeated by a candidate of the far right.
Quoting Alan Simpson again: " For heaven's sake, you have Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he'll defeat you. He can't murder you. He can't burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for re-election. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we're in an extremity, you shouldn't be in Congress." I have yet to find out what Romney and Hatch propose to do if their policies are enacted.
If Obamacare is repealed, then what? (see Standard-Examiner editorial of May 27). Romney says he will balance the budget, but his proposals consist only of tax cuts for the rich and corporations, plus a promise not to cut defense spending. Paul Ryan, chairman of the budget committee whose proposals Romney approves, has proposed cutting taxes for the rich while slashing aid to the poor. I am not sure how Romney plans to increase revenues other than "trust me" or "reduce big government."
Romney said concerning JP Morgan, the banking giant that suffered a $2 billion to $3 billion loss recently, that it "was a loss to shareholders and owners of JP Morgan and that's the way America works." His words reveal how he thinks about financial reform. What is wrong with this statement is that JP Morgan, whose deposits are guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers, should not be engaged in this type of speculative investment, and it's our loss.
We need to return to much stronger regulation, stronger than Dodd-Frank, which passed in 2010. But Romney wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, establishing the groundwork for another financial crisis. Looks like we have many more years of looking after ourselves rather than looking to Washington to govern.
If you think Republicans will make a difference in the next four years, you are dreaming.
Kulkarni lives in Perry.