Monday, March 17, 2014

Frustrating Politics

If you follow American politics, you know that we're not in a good place. As someone who wants the nation to move forward with new, progressive policies that guarantee freedom for everyone, that take care of those who need it, that open our country to those who share our dream, and that let us peacefully coexist with the rest of humanity, I find the current environment particularly frustrating, especially since those who want an aggressive America on the world stage, who favor business interests over human interests, and who want to push a particular version of antiquated morality on the rest of us are doing everything they can do halt any forward progress.

And that's not what bugs me the most. What's absolutely crazy is that those who would return us to the dark ages continue to get elected. They've so maligned progressives and confused the electorate, they've convinced tens of millions of people to vote against their own interests. 

A huge majority of Americans want the minimum wage raised. Republicans would like to reduce the minimum wage or repeal it all together.

A majority of Americans want unemployment benefits extended. Republlicans are preventing that from happening, hurting millions who are out of work and hurting our economy in the process.

A large majority of Americans want sensible gun regulations. Republicans want to dismantle what regulations we have.

A large majority of Americans want affordable health care for everyone. Republicans want to destroy the progress we've made with Obamacare and return to the bad old days.

A majority of Americans favor gay marriage and access to women's healthcare, including contraception and abortion. Republicans want to push gays back in the closet, deny them rights, and take women's control over their reproduction away from them.

A majority of Americans don't want us to attack any more countries. Republicans want us militarily involved in Syria and Iran.

And yet Republicans continue to win elections. It's insane.

Of course this is due to relentless propaganda, a neutered media, and the gerrymandering of House districts. And also the short-attention spans of much of the American public.

If we don't get our act together, we're doomed.

Bob Cesca, my favorite political blogger, details ten of the most egregious Republican lies they've used to control the agenda. It's worth a read.  Check it out here.

Here are a couple I especially like:
10) Obama Doubled The Deficit.
This was a favorite of the Mitt Romney campaign. Throughout 2012, Romney repeatedly said, “The president promised to cut the deficit in half. He’s doubled it!” No. No he hasn’t. First of all, this line depends entirely on voters not understanding the difference between the deficit and the debt. See previous “simpleton” remarks. Indeed, the president has absolutely cut the deficit by way more than half in his first five years. When he took office, the deficit for 2009 was projected to be $1.4 trillion. The deficit at the end of 2014 will be $514 billion, just three percent of GDP. That’s a nearly one trillion dollar reduction in five years. Not only that, but he boasts the lowest year-over-year increase in government spending since Truman, and he’ll be one of just three presidents who left office will a lower deficit than when he arrived. The last Republican do leave the White House with the same record was Eisenhower more than 50 years ago.
7) Tax Cuts Do More To Stimulate The Economy Than Food Stamps And Unemployment Benefits. 
According to Moody’s Analytics:
–Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.61 in economic growth.
–Every dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.74 in economic growth.
–But every dollar spent on rolling taxes back to Bush-era levels only creates $.32 in economic growth — that’s a 68 cent loss on investment.
Go read the rest.

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