Friday, July 29, 2011
A Wrong That Must Be Righted
By R.A. Monaco
July 29, 2011
As the world's currency, the United States has already stepped off the cliff towards financial disaster. It will be the sudden stop that brings the pain of this reality home, not the fall--we are already falling. This fact is masked only by cop-out news reporting and a media that portrays modern American politics as having two parties that share blame equally while failing to expose wrong for being wrong. In short, the media has done Americans no favor and this, too, is a wrong that must be righted.
The failure of our news media is itself a problem because it rewarded the extremists tactics that reflect nothing more than political self interests. The good in all this is understanding what is happening in these moments where the economic future of the entire nation is being blackmailed by GOP extremism. This fabricated predicament highlights a fundamental conflict of interests that exists within our current election campaign finance structure.
Clearly, it has been shown that carrying out the agenda of prospective election campaign finance supporters is more important to politicians than the well being of our nation which is thundering towards recession and creating even more job uncertainty while serving to further sabotage an already tenuous economic recovery.
While the budget deficit is a serious problem it is not an immediate one. Failing to put the debt ceiling in a priority perspective has already damaged and continues to undermine our economy. Creating a debt ceiling crisis is deliberate sabotage. It's certainly not too over-the-top to use the word treason when you think about what is driving this agenda. Let's not mix words--what has taken place is a media responsibility. Wrong is wrong, say it! Nothing in this debt is about compromise or the best interests of America.
The fact is that Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage and undermined the essential business of government to leverage a partisan agenda that would never have been enacted through legislation. How is it that our media headlines don't say those very words and why isn't this being explained? The malice intended by the manufacture of a debt ceiling crisis can be inferred and should be explained in terms that reflects truth--not fabrication of failed compromises.
Let us understand that the interests being served here are not those of voters. The fact is that there is no downside for outrageous policies. Significant damage has already been caused to our economy in part because our news media continually fails to say and explain exactly who to fault and why.
One would expect that government dialogue and partisan debate would center on things like, "what policies have succeeded before and are most likely to lead to the best life for the largest number of people?" The media treats this uncertainty as being equal when this is not at all the case. We know that, when it comes to economics, a market economy with significant government roles has been the only proven successful model. Where is the media--say it!
We also know that the government has promised more benefits than it can currently afford while the sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years. Yet, the republican agenda continues to advocate for corporate tax avoidance while seeking a tax holiday for corporations who keep their revenue outside the U S. and are allowed to continue to plunder our markets without tax accountability or social responsibility. The problem here is that, while there are a great many things that we don't know, our political system is not even trying to find solutions. More simply said, the GOP is transparently creating issues for their next campaign at the expense of voters.
We live in a political environment when prosecuting Roger Clemens for purportedly obstructing Congress is more important than holding Wall Street scoundrels accountable for the harm they created or Bank of American accountable for forging documentation to foreclose on American homes. Too often, our political system is distracted and preoccupied with self interests. Only in America would a want-to-be politician like Meg Whitman, for example, spend $140 million dollars of her own money to be elected to a job that pays less than $250 thousand per year--why? Not much imagination is required.
We do have politicians like Bernie Saunders who scold their legislative brethren, but few listen simply because the best interests of Americans are not even on their political radar. These days, nothing is more important to politicians than getting funding for the next elections cycle--when voters will once again listen to empty promises and our news media will fail to call a wrong, a wrong.
When does the media start to take aim at the fact that what has happened in Washington isn't about policy but only about making Obama look bad. When are Republicans held accountable for placing a priority on making Obama a political loser over the interests of the nation? That is the job of the news media yet they continually present these as issues of failed compromise.
Never in history has it been more difficult or necessary for Americans to have individual critical thinking and evaluation skills because for the most part, they're on their own in sorting through the mess that the news media seems to ignore or maybe not understand. These days news reports have established a practice of splitting-the-baby, so to speak, instead of informing the public--wisdom is not at the center of this tragedy. On that same note, it has taken Obama far too long to wrap his head around that, if in fact he has yet.
After exploring all alternative options, America may do the right thing but the price has already been far too high and more of the same seems a guarantee. Our economy is weak and getting weaker, growth was slow and is slowing, unemployment is rising sharply and
instead of coming up with policies to strengthen our economy we are being ignored while extremist politicians are being allowed to create another epic self inflicted economic blunder.
Adding a requiement for a balanced budget amendment is even more reckless than the current political debt ceiling antics. Consitutional amendment by extortion is clearly an indication of need for change. Unfortunately, 2012 elections offers no real hope because without election finance reform that would align the interest of voters with that of their elected representatives more of the same is guaranteed.