Monday, April 28, 2008

Will Congress be there when we need them? (reprint)

-----------Reprinted from 1/31/07

So let’s see, the housing market is going to hell. The tax base for that market is also going to take a dive. State governments are going to be in trouble. Revenues counted on are not going to be there as projected.

[Update 4/29/08: California's Governor Schwarzenegger has increased the projected budget shortfall from 10 billion to 20 billion.]

Let’s move to the Federal Government. Everything is moving off shore. The tax base has to be less than last year and the projection was for a better year this year. Transfer payments for Social Security, Medicare and Medical are increasing. There is that giant sucking sound coming from Mexico (A Ross Perot metaphor) is there a solution in sight?

Think about it from a Congressman’s point of view. 40% of his constituents are Republican, 40 % are Democrat and 20 % are lunatic fringe elements. (I classify lunatic fringe as people that vote left or right on one issue only, i.e. gun control, abortion etc). Divide all of these figures in half and you have the actual voters. So we have about 20% Republican, 20%, Democrat and about 10% hanging from the ceiling.

Let’s figure that you got elected to Congress. You want to get re-elected, who do you cater to? Answer: the 10% hanging from the ceiling; gays, lesbians, abortionist, pro life, gun fanatics, anti war demonstrators. What don’t you touch? Answer, the “Silver Foxes (AKA retirement central)” and any item that is still working. Why? If you mess with something, say a retirement program and things go wrong you will be blamed. Even though Social Security is in a bad way and the Medicare payments are escalating, there is no call to fix it. You cannot be a Knight in shinning armor unless there is a Dragon. So why fix it if it isn’t broke?

In effect, your Congressman isn’t going to do a damn thing. Inaction will keep him or her re-elected. To face the problems, realistically would be a grand vendetta, but in reality it would be political suicide.

So what do we have to look forward to? Answer, a country that might be fed up with Democracy. It happened to the German Republic in the 1930’s, voting got them nowhere. They threw the bums (Legislative body) out the hard way.

There is a humorous twist for buffs that think history repeats itself. Germany was the essence of Democracy in the early 20th century. Adolf Hitler, Austrian born became the leader of Germany. Today we have Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, governor of California, and there is a move to amend the Constitution so he can run for President. I don’t by any means mean to compare Arnold to Adolf, but the similarities jump out at you. The coincidence was too tempting to pass up, but it does make you wonder, what if---hmmmm

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved


Anonymous said...

Republicans are crazed idiots
Democrats are crazed idiots

Trust your political party and get the shaft.

I would like to know what is so great about either party?

Politicians are thieves and liars. All of them.

Sackerson said...

Scary, Jim. I think it's all got a lot to do with the way that we've become more economically interconnected, and how much of that is routed via the State and big business. Less depends on personal initiative and more on collective will, which can be fickle and is easily manipulable. The question is whether the modern economic base can continue to function as a democracy that even remotely resembles the thinking of 200 years ago. But there is still a strong sustaining cultural theme of freedom in America, which could help people maintain the general tenor of the Constitution. One issue for people to decide is, is it worth being a little poorer to be a little freer?

I'm Not POTUS said...

I have an alternate perspective on the voting public.
Based upon the Bell Curve distribution theory.

The rims on both ends (left,right) chock full of dense crackpots. ie militant green, fanatic religious zealots. (this is where all the noise comes from)
from the rim edge to the toe of the bell faces you have the groundtroops of the left and right. Folks dedicated enough to politics to spend time, money and effort in political parties and the tools that they elect to offices.

The vast majority of the bell is made up by the 73.7% of the rest of us who are just trying to get by.

The important thing to do for our future well being is to convince this vast center that their priorities are ill served by the fanatics of both sides.

Convince them (73.3%)to not vote for any Democrat or Republican in the next elections will be the only chance to right the ship of state.

Whomever gets into office from the 3rd parties won't accomplish their agendas because all of them will be forced to cooperate towards the middle. They have to show results if they want to stay and consolidate power.

K street influence peddlers will run around like headless chickens, most will not adapt to this black swan event.

The 2 party system must go down. Or we will.

I don't make any promises for what comes next, but whatever happens will be better than what we have now.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 1:54

I wouldn't go so far as to call them idiots--I do consider them to be dangerous.

The average voter wants a free ride and your Congressman can provide it. The trouble is, its a ride to the Poor House.

Although "Crazed Idiots" has a nice ring to it.

Thank you for your comments

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

You touch on two interesting points, world interconnectivity and democracy's survival.

I think the third world is set up for starvation. They make all of our toys for 20¢ an hour wages. These people will be the first to be unemployed (starved to death).

Democracy is an ideal that can be afforded by the middle class. If we ruin the middle class, the tax base disappears. The French Revolution of 1789 was a little like that.

We live in interesting times, thanks for your post Sack

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi I'm not Potus

I see it a little different. 40% Republican and 40% Democrat and 20% Lunatic fringe. Only half the population votes so it 20 20 10. It doesn't matter who gets elected, they will not repeal Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. The end result in 20 years is that there is no money to pay benefits.

These programs were sound when created, they have been added to so much that they are no longer what was intended.

The thing that eludes the average voter is the fact that the government could run out of money to pay benefits. The concept sounds impossible, but it is a real possibility.

We both have different models, I can't really argue that mine is any better than yours.

Thank you for your comments