Friday, February 7, 2014

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

Tell me what these items have in common...

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Obama administration mischaracterized concessions made by the Iranians to the U.S. and its allies in the nuclear agreement finalized in mid-January. "The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments," said Zarif

  • The Congressional Budget Office released a report Tuesday that estimates by 2021, a larger than expected number of working hours will be lost by 2021. According to the CBO, the number of working hours lost will be the equivalent of losing 2.3 million workers. As more of this program is known, the CBO has had to revise upward its estimates of working hours and job equivalent losses. last year, the estimate was an equivalent of 800,000 jobs by 2021.

  • In 2013, a record 20% of American households were on food stamps. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 23,052,388 households on food stamps in 2013, and increase of 722,675 from the previous year.

  • According to documents obtained by Congress, the IRS was attempting as far back as 2010 to change their regulations to cover their targeting of conservative groups for delays in approving their tax exempt status. An e-mail from Treasury Department attorney Ruth Madrigal to IRS officials  stated that she didn't know who in the IRS was "keeping tabs" on these non-profits but she was ready to assist and wanted to keep them "off-plan", or out of the scrutiny of the public and the oversight of Congress

Now I will admit that these seem to be rather disparate events, but there is a common thread that runs through them.

And that commonality is that our government, elected by the people and for the people, has turned against them.

Well, at least those that have values and political opinions that are contrary to the ruling elite in Washington.

Now, before you say these are just the ranting of an angry conservative, let me ask you a question.

Are you better off today than you were in 2008?

And the corollary to that question is "are we as a nation better off than we were then?"

That question tends to evoke an evaluation that centers around finances. That is certainly an important element, but one must also consider that question in light of national security and equal treatment under the law.

Theses are the filters through which we will evaluate the efficacy of our leaders in Washington and the direction in which they are taking the country. And these filters are applicable to Republicans and Democrats, liberals or conservatives.

The American people are being mislead about the foreign policy with a very dangerous nation, and those misconceptions can have troubling and potentially disastrous consequences. We as citizens depend on policy makers and especially the leadership in the White House to protect our national interest and promote security.

Think a nuclear Iran meets either of those criteria?

Yet we are being told that everything is under control and we shouldn't worry.

And that sentiment is contradicted by the statements from Iran's foreign minister.

We have enacted laws and created an economic environment that is costing our country jobs and is promulgating financial misery. Ostensibly, Obamacare was crafted to make our healthcare system better. Instead, it is costing jobs- lots of jobs- and has compromised the quality of healthcare in our country.

Now, given the facts that this piece of legislation is a travesty that is bad for the nation, one would think that our elected leaders would be quick to fix these problems.

But they have dug in their heels and steadfastly refused to do so.


Any number of reasons can be proposed for the recalcitrance of our leaders, but I will propose one: power.

When our government controls our healthcare and so many other aspects of our daily lives, their power is enormous and potentially harmful. Witness the IRS targeting of conservative groups that stand in opposition to this administration.

The federal government can use its immense power to thwart opposition and make it financially painful for individuals or groups that are not favored.

Right now, it is conservatives that are experiencing the ire of those in power. In the future, it could be those of a liberal bent.

And that is the entire point of post.

We have a government in Washington that is not working for the common good. Nowhere is the question being asked, "What is good for the country?"

Instead, decisions are made through the filters of benefit to the political party and personal gain to those in power.

And by doing this, we have sown the seeds of our destruction as a nation.

Now that may sound dire, but the reality is that under girding the greatness of this country was a sense of shared sacrifice, and actions were taken with the common weal in mind.

That perspective is gone.

These examples, and I am sure you can cite many others, indicate that our collective focus is no longer collective, but self centered. The attainment of power and wealth have superseded the desire for the benefit of the body politic.

Now this sounds dismal, and frankly, it is.

And it will not change until we as individual citizens demand it change. It will not change until we put people in Washington that are statesmen and not politicians.

Until then, it is my hired gun defending my interest against your hired gun defending your interest.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not Pollyanna-ish thinking we all should get along and sing Kumbyah. Governance and politics is a rough and tumble affair. I understand that.

But until we lift our eyes and regain the vision of the potential for greatness in this country, we will continue to muddle along with each group trying to get theirs to the detriment of other groups.

We must require our government to be "of the people", not just select groups.

Fail to do so, and the future of our great nation is not bright.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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