Hey Y'all - Welcome to my world

Sometimes 140 characters just won't cut it so I started writing stuff down....here. Don't get me wrong, I love Twitter but there are times when the Random Thoughts of a Southern Liberal Mind just can't be contained within a Tweet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It is Time for Americans to Start Acting Like Grown-Ups!

Now that the mid-term elections are over and the GOP is about to take control of the House, the GOP filibusters that took place over the last 2 years “hoping” to prevent Obama’s “change” then ridiculing him for not bringing about the “change” he “hoped” for need to be addressed. There needs to be some sort of accountability – not just political rhetoric and ridicule of opposing points of view. There doesn’t need to be a “win at all costs” mentality employed by anybody. When that happens, all American citizens suffer. Sure… the politicians can beat their chests and say they won - but what actually gets accomplished? I think most Americans (including me) are basically moderately conservative fiscally. However, there comes a time and a place when we as a nation need to address the needs of our citizens. No one should starve or be forced to sleep in the streets in this great nation of ours! No one!

Despite what Fox News or any of the Talking Head pundit might tell us, President Obama has worked for the good of our country. Period. One example is the BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund he negotiated. It is probably the most under-reported and significant thing that Pres. Obama has done – and he did it without the help of Congress – and he did it over the objections of many GOP members & TeaParty candidates – and it isn’t funded by taxpayer money. Now that’s fiscally conservative! Kentucky’s new Senator elect, Rand Paul (T) says that it was “un-American to make BP pay” that kind of money. Texas Representative Joe Barton (R) publicly apologized to BP for the “shakedown”. Now by applying their logic, our Gulf Coast Region would be expected to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and deal with the cards BP (a foreign corporation) dealt us – is that that really the American way? Let's ask citizens, small businesses, municipalities to incur clean up costs without income and with no compensation from the offender (after the $75mil was spent)- then see what happens to our economy. The masses can’t pay their mortgages or buy groceries or buy cars or pay cell phone bills or pay medical bills or buy gasoline or…or…or… Then people are forced to crowd the unemployment lines, apply for Medicaid, foodstamps & WIC (all the entitlement programs the GOP screams about) which will eventually cause taxes to rise and so on and so on. The ripple effect is tremendous! How many people who vote the “anti-Obama” party line have collected monies secured from BP by Pres. Obama? Tens (if not hundreds) of thousands……that's how many.

Folks fuss about the left’s spending habit yet (vote GOP) then, despite that vote, take advantage of the Obama programs meant to spark the economy – like the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit or the Energy Efficient Appliance rebate program or the Cash for Clunkers program. It's incredible how Americans so blatantly bite the hand that feeds them!

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. If they do, the majority of Americans (the middle-class) will incur on average about $1,000 a year (approx. $20 week) more in taxes. Significant to some…not so significant to others. Bush II said he wanted to give us a break during hard economic times and he did. He needed to in order to spark the economy especially after the 9/11 attacks. So he sent us a couple of $600 checks and told us to go shopping. This was only a part of the trickle-down economics idea that his father passed down to him. He also cut taxes to the top 2% of wage earners - the ones who benefit the most from the tax break. Trickle down economics didn’t work under Bush I – he even had to go back on his “no new taxes” mantra – and it obviously failed under Bush II. I can’t say for sure that Bush II only wanted to give the rich a break – because we all got a break. But the idea that jobs are automatically created when tax cuts are given or lost when tax cuts are taken away, is false. If it were true, we would not have seen the kind of skyrocketing unemployment rates over the last 6-7 years. Everyone got a tax cut – and a whole lot of people lost their jobs. Historically, there has been a great tax incentive for businesses to have people on payrolls - they can divert income to the employee through wages & cost of benefits (even bonuses!) allowing the employer to avoid incurring income tax on profits. If taxes are reduced as a matter of course, where is the incentive to seek out the deductions from profit through payroll or benefit expenses? There isn’t one. Money will be kept in company coffers or passed to the owners/shareholders – not the employees. The employees lose out and, a lot of times, lose their jobs to cheaper labor markets overseas. Which again, leaves less money to pay mortgages, buy cars, pay medical bills, etc…… History has already proven it.

I’m certainly not smart enough to solve the economic woes of the country or any other of our woes for that matter. But I know there has to be an income stream to pay for what we spend. Sure spending should be cut - but what programs? Likewise, the income stream has to go up - but on who’s backs? The two have to meet in the middle – that’s the only way it works. The problem is that most people believe that government programs are entitlement programs only when they apply to something in which they are not partaking. So… “don’t raise MY taxes” but dammit "Stop Government Spending"! But when you do… don’t you dare touch my Medicare or my Social Security or close my National Parks or cut back on my Veterans benefits or cut back on Space Shuttle launches or cut back on highway maintenance or even ask the elected ones to pay for their own health insurance……. See? It’s confounding. Trying to please everyone all the time just can’t be done.

Americans have to find a way to kick the divided team allegiances and start thinking like Americans again - not football fans.

Adults united and working together….its the only way out of this mess.

….and that’s all I have to say about that. - Forrest Gump

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am not a Left Wing Nut Job....

Odd title, huh?

It seems that I've come under a little bit of fire for being too far to the left in my opinions. Maybe even too loud or "energetic" with sharing them on Twitter. The Twitter energy is probably because I'm a "Johnny Come Lately" to that app and have found quite an affinity for it. I not only get to share my views but I also get to read others view as well. While I've never met any of the folks I follow or who follow me, we engage in small exchanges and share ideas. We also get to see that we are not alone in our ideologies, political or otherwise. It makes someone like me, described as a "Blue Dot in a sea of red", feel warm and fuzzy at times to know that I'm not the only one who thinks like I do.

Occasionally, there are folks that don't see eye to eye with me and they call me on it. They share their ideas and ideologies and links to the stories and blogs that help form their opinions. I enjoy a good civil debate - I've even been known to invite one from time to time. Case in point, my new follower, SouthernIndependent. A good solid American citizen who doesn't share all of my opinions but is, at least, willing to address his differences with me in a civil tone. Good job!

However, I've come across a couple of "attackers" on Twitter. Those that resort to vicious name calling when someone posts an opinion differing from their own. These folks have typically been men and I've witnessed them attacking other women on Twitter too. I find it very sad that any person fulfills some banal desire to attack others or abuse others (especially ones they do not know) simply for stating an opinion. It is amusing that they do not show their faces or their names -they try to be completely anonymous. I find it especially worrisome that those who participate in this sort of behavior also refer to themselves as Christians in their profile or in their tweets. I find it comforting when other Tweeters come to the aid of one who is being attacked. I understand Freedom of Speech - I also understand that it applies equally to every single citizen of this Country - not just those that agree with you or with me - but every single person.

Christian is the term given to those of us who believe Jesus of Nazareth is our savior and for those of us that strive to model their lives after Jesus. Sometimes, I think the term is used too loosely. Now, I haven't read the entire Bible but I have read enough of it to know that Jesus didn't call people names and he didn't wish vicious diseases on people or their children. Jesus didn't seek riches or fancy clothes. He didn't own real estate. He didn't point the finger and lay blame on others for his troubles. Jesus loved his fellow man. He turned the other cheek. Jesus fed the hungry, he clothed the naked, he protected the downtrodden, he healed the sick, and he asked his disciples to give up their possessions and follow him.

Maybe people should apply their Christian values to their politics. I know I do.

I'm turning the other cheek now..........