Friday, November 11

Turning a Corner - as Republicans Fall, Democrats need to Rise

Crossposted on Dailykos:

Politicians love to say say that Polls don't matter but then again, maybe they do. Polls and approval ratings of Congress are currently abysmal.

From Survey USA
: Is the country headed in the Right Direction or the Wrong Direction?

Right 29% - Wrong 66%

Polling Approve or Disapprove of the way Congress is handling it's job?

Approve 32% - Disapprove 64%

This happened at the same time when Republicans were crushed in this years mid-term elections.
With President Bush facing his lowest job approval ratings and polls showing widespread dissatisfaction over the country's direction, the GOP suffered a series of bruising blows — from decisive losses in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races to the clean-sweep rejection of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot initiatives and even the resounding defeat of Randy Kelly, a Democratic mayor in St. Paul, Minn., who was hurt politically because he campaigned last year for the president.
It might just be me, but I think this may have something to do with the way Congress seems to have lost it's nerve to dropping the budget cutting axe on poor children, women and the elderly.

House Republican leaders were forced to abruptly pull their $54 billion budget-cutting bill off the House floor yesterday

There is growing dissension in Republican ranks over spending priorities, taxes, oil exploration and the reach of government

A battle between House Republican conservatives and moderates over energy policy and federal anti-poverty and education programs left GOP leaders without enough votes to pass the $54 billion budget-cutting bill

The budget measure had been framed by GOP leaders as one of the most important pieces of legislation in years


GOP Plans Failed
The House budget vote was supposed to reestablish the Republican commitment to a smaller government

Moderate Republicans made it clear that was not the way they wanted the party defined

The GOP leadership had already abandoned a provision in the budget that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling

But it was not enough to secure the votes of moderates who said remaining policy changes were hitting the nation's most vulnerable citizens just as the party was preparing another round of tax cuts that would benefit the most affluent


Rep. Pelosi Comments
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said, "I think that the Republicans are feeling the impact of the election and feeling the heat of our arguments about why this budget is a bad one."

Pelosi said, "Democrats were united and made those issues too hot to handle for Republicans."

Pelosi called the cuts "anti-family, anti-taxpayer and anti-American."

Pelosi said, "By having to pull it today, it is a failure on the part of the Republicans."
The trick of course will be for Democrats to articulate a vision that will protect the most vulnerable in our nation, maintain national security and eliminate the deficit without sounding like "tax and spend liberals". One way to address this is to simply let the current Bush Tax-Cuts expire, but that IMO isn't enough. Dems also need to offer offsetting tax credits for private investment into public projects. Republicans and Conservatives are fond of saying that the private making can find more efficient ways to solve problems - well, then I say let them.

Rather than simply giving resource rich persons and companies tax cuts for doing nothing other than existing, we should tie those cuts directly to how they take responsibility in their community.

  • Hire more American workers rather than persons from overseas - get a tax credit for it (Which was a Kerry Campaign Proposal).
  • Provide quality healthcare for all your workers, get a tax credit for it. Protect their pensions, get a credit.
  • Invest in environment-friendly materials, tools and products - get a credit.

Each and every time that a private company or person spends his own dollars in a way that prevents the government from having to do it - each time they take public responsibility in some way - they should get a credit to be applied against the Bush cuts after they expire. It's possibly they might come out with even lower taxes than they have now -- but more importantly, the need for government expenditures to help the helpless would decrease as well because more people will have better jobs with better benefits - rather than the continue Wal-martizing of America with increasingly diminishing expectations and higher corporate profits.


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