The 112th Congress? Watch the self-immolation begin

The “TEA Party” as new special interest


Well, the Republican party being in the majority in the House of Representatives as the new year of 2011 begins. And what is it that they hope to accomplish? From what I can tell from the news trailers on CBS Evening News 2 January 2011 and also KREM 2 News; not much that would be considered good.  Take for example the GOP in the HoR want to ram through a repeal of Health Care Reform a “TEA Party” demon before President Obama’s State of the Union address.  Or at the least, defund it.  Let’s put it bluntly, if Health Care Reform was not high on the list of the American citizens in 2009 and 2010, but rather jobs and the economy was, then the only thing the GOP are doing is demonstrating a total lack of concern for economic recovery in this nation.  And also starting right off the bat to demonstrating nothing but opposition to our Democratic President.

Now for the hypocrisy R us that was evident from GOP who as freshmen in the new Congress started bleating about waste in the bureaucracy.  I guess it wouldn’t have occurred to them that they are now part of the bureaucracy and that Congress has always controlled who gets what money, inclusive of earmarks.  Who among their members gets what in taxpaid perks and privileges.  And whether they wish to gild their offices in gold-plating which has been a matter of public knowledge for some time.  Before they cut anyone else’s programs, perhaps they should look at living on highly reduced pay.  Not only should they not vote themselves a pay raise, they should cut the amount of money they get from the taxpayers by some $100,000.00 and live on maybe a middle class income.  Bet that would greatly collapse the debt as well as waste in the federal government.

What was just as hilarious?  The argument that they needed to investigate waste.  You do realize that to conduct such an investigation requires money?  My prediction for the so-called “moralists” that the “TEA Party” pushed into Congress, that waste in spending is only wrong until the powers that be get their hands on it.  After that, nothing changes.  The failures that the Democrats did in fact exhibit between 2009 and 2010, will just as likely be the Republican party failures as well.  Those failures of the GOP were on full display in the “lame-duck” session of the 111th Congress.  Look for this to get worse in the next two years.  In fact, the GOP failures were bad enough to earn the rancor of Charles Krauthammer.

Watch for intraparty wrangling between “TEA Party” Representatives and the old guard, such as incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner.  At least according to what was discussed on CBS Evening News, anyway.  Won’t that be fun.  The GOP marched in lockstep during the two years of the Democratic majority in Congress.  Watch that monolith break apart because the radical “TEA Party” types prefer to go their own way instead of working toward party unity.  Indeed, the “TEA Party” movement absolutely insisted on those they put into Congress not get co-opted at all by the likes of Boehner, McConnell, etc.  If the GOP party leaders can not depend upon the “TEA Party” radicals when it comes to any kind of legislative agenda, it will mean the GOP have ultimately  shot themselves in the foot.  They spent so much time over the course of two years whining away about Obama’s “socialism,” that they will also find themselves failing to come to grips with the pressing needs of this nation in the next two years.  Too much bickering, too much in-fighting, not enough thinking of what’s good for the American people.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I saw this bit of news on PBS News Hour.  Of a major company that set up in jobs poor Michigan because of the depressed real estate market.  That by only 5% more in investment, they could put people back to work here in the U.S. rather than off-shore jobs as had other U.S. based multinational businesses.  Because of a depressed real estate market!  Is there some thought here that part of the reason why businesses did off-shore jobs was because the real estate boom made it too expensive to continue to operate in this country?  You won’t here that coming from deflect-the-blame types such as the typical Republican, Republican apologists such as Fox News Channel or how dare government regulate anything “TEA Party” movement.  But consider this, some of the biggest chunk of change that can come out of any business bottom line besides taxes:  is after all the price of property, taxes on property, property insurance, utility services, property maintenance, then labor, and what ever state laws take effect before the company may start up.  Further, if this is a company that plans to operate across state lines, then federal rules and regs will also take effect.    There is a lot of work that goes into starting up a major company or corporation.  But if reduced real estate prices take less of a bit out of the bottom line that encourages businesses to actually stay home, that should actually be looked into, and not just by PBS.  After all, it was never necessary that the real estate market become as super-heated as it was.  With all the dire consequences to follow.  But, the damage to the economy happened on the Republican party’s watch.  Will they have learned anything from their two years as a minority party?  Don’t bet on it.

What about the jobs?  The Democrats were ousted from their super-majority status in November 2010 because of massive voter frustration owing to the super slow pace of recovery.  While the GOP are making some noises about “jobs,” repealing Health Care Reform and jamming their opinions of federal activism down President Obama’s throat seems more their sole concern than what would be best for the American people.  If the economy had not recovered in the first two years of the Obama presidency that ushered in a GOP majority into the House of Representatives, then repealing Health Care Reform should be the very last issue of the GOP agenda.  Affordable medical care and equally, affordable insurance continues to be a must and a basis for a stronger economy and jobs recovery.  Make it an obvious, that this actually is not something the GOP are all that interested in.

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