The stink over Washington D.C. is rising so high, jets flying over it at 35,000 feet will have to drop the oxygen masks for their passengers. It just keeps getting worse. There seems to be no end of wasted tax dollars, gross negligence in oversight responsibilities, bribes for legislation, and the pursuit of doubling our national debt to $10 trillion dollars and more. But my representatives are not responsible for this.
The promise of leaner government, halting wasteful spending, and the threat of a veto pen from 1994 to 2001 actually began to bear fruit from 1998 to 2001 as deficits were reduced, a surplus was achieved, and checks and balances between the Democratic White house and Republican House coerced each other toward the promise of better government. Then a Republican was elected President and with Congress in full control by Republicans, it all went downhill from there. The lies about Iraq, torture, and spying by the NSA and FBI and Defense Dept. on Americans and politically vocal interest groups here in the US, have been and are being well documented. But, my representatives had no part in all that.
After 2001, incumbents gave the same promises of peace, prosperity and freedom. And yet, if actions speak louder than words, they utterly gave up trying to live up to those promises. Anyone remember the Prescription Drug plan for Medicare passed in 2003? The White House assured Americans it was not going to even come close to the higher figures touted by the Congressional Budget Office, who estimated the costs to run closer to the 500 billion range. The White House insisted it would be less than 400 billion. But in February of last year, USA Today reported:
New administration estimates released Wednesday showed that the Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost taxpayers $724 billion over its first full 10 years, far higher than earlier estimates...
While the Washington Post reported on Feb. 9, 2005:
As recently as September, [the Bush appointed] Medicare chief Mark B. McClellan said the new drug package would cost $534 billion over 10 years. Last night, he acknowledged that the cumulative cost of the program between 2006 and 2015 will reach $1.2 trillion...With estimates coming in this year confirming a growing 1 plus Trillion dollars, it is abundantly clear that what started out as a payback legislation to wealthy pharmaceutical special interests has turned into a cash cow for the industry. This is due directly to the quid pro quo between Republican leaders in the White House/Congress and the pharmaceutical industry. The Republicans overtly defeated amendments to the bill to permit competitive bidding for Medicare drugs under the program which would have saved tax payers 10's of billions. Now the taxpayers are reaping the debt and losses in coverage built into this corrupt legislation. But my representatives had no part in this.
I have been writing for years, that the national debt is going to become a grave issue after it is too late to reverse it. It has increased about 55% since 2000 to 8.2 trillion dollars and the rate of increase shows no sign of slowing. The White House and Congress blame Katrina and Rita, and Iraqi insurgents, and Democrats, and terrorists, and globalization and a few corporate bad apples like Ken Lay. I have been managing my budget and income all my life, responsibly, and like most Americans, I know that I need to have a reserve pad built into my budget for unanticipated expenses. Adding a a rainy day reserve into my budget means cutting back on other non-essentials so my income will equal my expected spending even when the unexpected happens.
This is not rocket science. Working Americans know what a budget is, and most know how to manage it. So, why are we going to see deficits again this year exceeding 400 billion dollars? Why are we going to witness a doubling of our national debt to over 10 trillion under Republican rule? My representatives send me newsletters saying it was not their fault we are running up this national debt.
Some CEO's, making as much as $200 million a year, are cutting jobs and wages for their workers. And our government is cutting taxes for these CEO's, rewarding their lack of performance even more, all the while our nation plunges deeper and deeper into debt. While cutting taxes for the very wealthiest, we are seeing cuts in educational programs, school lunch programs, food stamps, police and other 1st responder spending.
My representatives keep trying to convince me there is no relationship between cutting taxes for the wealthiest, and the cuts in support for America's children, schools, safety officers, and food support for the indigent and poor. Doesn't anyone see this is paving the future for crime waves unseen in decades? Lack of education, poverty, and lack of supervision and police, breed crime waves. But, my representatives tell me they are working hard on the problems facing America.
While our government sends billions overseas to Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq, and a host of other nations, my representatives say they support Americans. As our government maintains a wide open border policy leaving us vulnerable to terrorists smuggling in at will, my representatives say they want to be reelected to protect and safeguard you and me.
While our government keeps raising their salaries, they refuse to raise the outdated minimum wage.
While our government sends thousands of American soldiers to die, and 10,000 soldiers to be maimed and wounded in Iraq, they ask for my vote so they can safeguard Americans. While our government looks to underfund and cut funds for long term care and treatment of our returning veterans, they ask for my vote so they can work to build the best military in the world.
Its not my representatives' responsibility, they say, that their campaign promises for peace have not been realized. It is not our fault my representatives say, that while a few million Americans are becoming more prosperous, 10's of millions are unable to afford basic health insurance, day care for their children, financial support for their aging parents, or skills upgrade training to find a job to replace the one lost at GM, Ford, or Chrysler, or Xerox, or Hewlett Packard, of Delphi or any of a host of others.
They say it is not their fault that government has grown fatter and far more wasteful of our tax dollars despite their promises of smaller and more efficient government. They say they are not corrupt as they donate bribe money for legislation to charities as if we won't ask why they didn't refuse it in the first place.
Do the Democrat and Republican elected officials who are, or are about to be, indicted for taking illegal bribes, putting aside the huge legal ones, tell us they are responsible and sorry? No. They get before the cameras and say they will be proved innocent. I suspect their logic is: they are innocent by virtue of everyone else being as guilty as they. Pres. Bush said he had no recollection of meetings or a relationship with Abramoff. Now we learn of a photo history of their having meetings together in the White House with Abramoff representing his tribal lobby groups.
The President went before the American people after Katrina and said he didn't think anyone could anticipate the consequences of Katrina. Now we learn the White House was well informed, and handed documents spelling out those consequences before Katrina made landfall. The President is saying he is not spying on Americans in reference to the NSA spying, while saying nothing about the defense department spying on Americans trying to do nothing more than highlight the tax dollar corruption and fraud perpetrated by Haliburton in the amount of billions of dollars. But none of this is the responsibility of my representatives.
My representatives are the good guys, public polls say. It's all of the rest of you out there with the corrupt, inept, and profiteering politicians that are giving my representatives a bad name. Now if all of you would just vote out your incumbents, and leave mine alone, this country would look to a far brighter future, my representatives appear to say.
The odd thing is, when I look up what all of your representatives are saying, I can't tell the difference between yours and mine. It is like an echo chamber. But, you know, they may be right. It may not be all their fault. I mean 94 or 96 percent of them get reelected, election after election, by you and me. That would appear to indicate there is another faulty party to all this corruption, waste and incompetence in government. Those who keep voting them back in saying, "It's not my guys who are responsible". But don't look to your representatives to admit such a gullible constituency. That is their ace in the hole.