David A. Schwinghammer
· Soldier's Gap
· Seminary Boy, a memoir
· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine
· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight
· Bereavement Blues
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7
· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'
· The God Particle
· Empire of Sin, book review
· SCIENCE AT THE EDGE, book review
· Obama, a Modern Caesar?
· Americans Need to Pull Together
· Voices of the French Revolution, book review
· Great American Scandals
· Odd Man Out, book review
· Portrait of a Killer, book review
· Capital in the 21st Century, book review
· Widow's Peak
· Alumni Game
· Girls Who Wear Glasses
· The Do Drop Inn
· Ode to Neve Campbell
· Jacks or Better 101
· Never My Love
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I f conservatives want to attack liberal causes, they should expect reprisals.
Ever since the Republican party gained control of most state houses and legislatures and the United States House of Representatives, they’ve been targeting liberal bastions. In Wisconsin Governor Walker has taken aim at the public employees unions; in the House or Representatives Republican bills pursue federal funding for National Public Radio, The National Endowment for the Arts and Planned Parenthood. The Environmental Protection Agency will have trouble getting funding to combat greenhouse gases, and of course, the new Health Care Act has become the Republican Moby Dick.
Two can play this game. If the Republican party is serious about cutting unnecessary expense in the Federal government, here are some conservative sacred cows that need to be pole axed:
The Pentagon. Anybody think almost 900 billion is too much to spend on weaponry we’ll never use against a bunch of camel jockeys? President Eisenhower gave a speech at the end of his second term warning against the military/industrial complex (one of the reasons conservatives never claim him). What’s difficult is cutting serious defense money without hurting the economy. It would mean defense contractors would have to lay off workers. But they know that. They’re too big to cut. However, if you can cut a billion dollars from education (As Walker recently did in Wisconsin), which will mean layoffs for teachers, why not layoffs for war mongers? Republican knew they could never get young Americans to fight a phony war in Iraq, so they sent the National Guard, which was never intended to fight a foreign war. They’re also paying them ridiculous salaries. Have you heard the commercial where the young girl is bragging about her college being paid for because she’s in the Guard? We can’t pay teacher pensions, but we can pay soldiers for fighting an illegal war. Then there’s the matter of China. China hasn’t fought a war lately. They have a two trillion dollar reserve; they loaned money to a conservative president to fight his war in Iraq while he cut taxes at home, despite conservative abhorrence for communist governments. Nobody seems to care about the possibility of China’s economy going the same direction as Japan’s. Because of these loans (which admittedly the democrats are also making), we can’t let them fail. Pretty stupid in my mind.
Non-profits: Okay, it’s time for these big churches to pay their fair share. It’s against the law for them to be involved politically, and they certainly were in 2010. Blue Cross Blue Shield is also supposed to be a non-profit, but they’re paying millions in salaries to their executives with large bonuses.
The Chamber of Commerce: Should they really be a conservative front group? Aren’t they supposed to attract business to small towns? Not all businesses are conservative. Besides, do Republicans really care about Mom and Pop stores, your local barber, or the gas station on the corner? Nope, “The business of America is BIG business.”
Lobbyists: These people are the scum of the earth. Jack Abramoff is the only one to do prison time so far, but Ralph Reid, former head of the Christian Coalition was also involved in the rip-off of Indian tribes. He was also Southeastern campaign manager for Bush. Lobbyists have their very own building across from the capitol; they spent more time in the White House than Dick Cheney. They’re responsible for the proliferation of guns in this country and in Mexico (80% of the assault weapons used in the drug wars in Mexico come from The U.S.). 270,000 people have died from gun accidents, suicides and murder in the last nine years, but the “Pro-lifer” conservatives could care less about them.
Oil companies: The Federal Government is paying them to search for new oil. We also give money to millionaire farmers, money intended for small farms.
Off shore tax dodges: Wiki-leaks was supposed to be coming out with a report on famous names who have numbered Swiss accounts (tax dodges). But that was before their leader was arrested on a sex charge. And how many international American companies hide money in Europe and Southeast Asia?
The Fairness Doctrine. Ronald Reagan did away with this just before he left office. Why the democrats went along with him is beyond me. Anyway, shouldn’t we hear the other side once in a while? Rush Limbaugh crawled out from under a cow pie and went on the air right after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed.
The democrats probably won’t do any of these things. After all, they had their chance with a big majority in the House and Senate, but they can do a better job with public relations. The collapse of the economy wasn’t caused by Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac making stupid loans. The loans were made on a local level by mortgage brokers and banks who were making variable interest loans on “flipped” housing. When the rates went up, the rich took off and the poor were stuck with a mortgage they couldn’t afford. Mortgage companies still refuse to negotiate on houses that were appraised at a higher rate than they were worth. The government is afraid to prosecute, if Republicans would let them, because of what this would do to the economy.
Mortgage companies were also foreclosing without proper paper work. Fanny and Freddy’s looser regulation came with the approval of Bush and conservative Federal Reserve Chairman Sidney Greenspan. Fanny and Freddy didn’t create derivative hedge funds to hide bad mortgages, and the teacher retirement agencies aren’t broke because of liberal pensions. They’re broke because they invested in Blue Chip stocks like General Motors. They were also stupid enough to invest in the Internet bubble. Two bubbles in a matter of fifteen years means a shortage of something like three trillion dollars in public employee pensions programs. But who’s responsible, the TRA’s or dog-eat-dog capitalists (who are still selling derivatives) who would sell their own mother down river if they could make a buck?
Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP,is available at Amazon.com, used and new. Please check it out.
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David A. Schwinghammer