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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Questions, Expectations and Courtship

Most people think there's distinct differences between Republicans and Democrats.

There isn't.

Now I concede on social and 'hot button' issues- topics such as gay marriage, abortion, burning of flags, etc,  there are distinct differences.  And this is because both parties find these topics relatively harmless and allow the extreme elements of both sides to express themselves and parties pretend these people matter.

But on important issues.. the economy in particular, there's very little difference.

Last week in a previous posting, I quoted the incoming Commerce Secretary stating during confirmation hearings that the Administration supports lowering the taxes on companies i.e. corporations.    I also provided a quote from Obama's Secretary of Treasury, Geithner stating that the Administration feels it is important the taxes of small and medium businesses go UP to keep the size of the government where it currently is.  Quotes found in link below:

Funny, but Every Single Republican presidential nominee and Every Republican in Congress agrees with these two Democrats and the Administration when it comes to cutting taxes, and yet calls Obama a 'socialist'.  Funny how liars think..

Found this quote today in the New York Times- pretty innocent stuff, no 'gotchas'

"President Obama traveled to Manhattan on Thursday for several fund-raising events, including an extravagant dinner for some of his administration's top Wall Street supporters. The $35,800-a-plate dinner... was hosted by a committee of bankers, private equity executives and hedge fund managers"

As I said nothing illegal or 'gotcha' about it.  Yet, ask yourself some questions:

1)  Why would anyone spend $35,800 for a plate of food?  I don't mean that humorously.  I mean- what would someone feel they had to gain from spending that much to meet the President?   A photograph?  A story to tell their children?

2)   A follow up would be, what would someone feel they had to gain from donating that much money to the Democratic Party, which traditionally (prior to Clinton) put concerns of Main Street before Wall St.? Wasn't this the exclusive domain of the Republicans-- to rub elbows with riff raff and money-hungry monsters dressed in fine attire?

3)  Is it more likely someone would spend that much money in the hopes the President would 'Finally' listen to their concerns and fulfill their needs, or as a thank-you to a man who already has served the banking and finance community well?  And what expectations does someone who spends $35,800 for dinner have for 2013 and beyond?

There used to be a time the Democrats were distinct from the Republicans on issues of economy, taxation, war, providing social services, etc.   It is no accident things changed.

It used to be that the biggest contributors to the Republicans were Wall St 'fat cats' and Democrats got their money from unions. As unions weakened in the 80s thanks to Reagan in particular, they were donating less and less, and a booming Wall St was donating more and more.   In 1988, a genuinely liberal Michael Dukakis got severely trounced by George Bush Sr. and the disparity in 'war chests' was profound.

The Democratic party decided afterwards they would change tactics.  Because they allowed 'liberal' to turn into a dirty word during the '88 campaign, no longer would they embrace 'traditional' Democrats and in 1992, when they backed Bill Clinton, they supported a very Wall St friendly candidate and in turn, money from the financial sector was being placed in the Dem party's coffer.

Clinton did good things in office during his eight years but he also got NAFTA and the Free Trade Act passed, which has completely decimated the American manufacturing base and stunted workers' wages in all non-technical fields.  And in was Clinton who passed the Welfare Reform Act which to the delight of Republicans made it very difficult for the poorest people to get government assistance to survive.

Fast forward to 2008- Obama is elected President.  And before he is even inaugurated, he fires his entire economic team and replaced them with Wall St Clinton-cronies.  And the rest is history.  No 'Jobs Act' passed.. No extension of benefits for '99ers' (those out of work 99weeks and unable to receive any more assistance).. No law placing a moratorium on evictions or foreclosures..  Nothing.

Well.. not 'nothing' I suppose..  Trillions of dollars did find their way into the hands of Wall St and the stock market.. so I guess that's "something"

I end with this thought to consider:  When a man pays for lobster on a date, he's expecting more than a kiss on the cheek.    And when a Wall St. man pays $35,800 to eat "Maine lobster salad with roasted beets, duos of Black Angus beef, braised short ribs with young spinach, and roasted tenderloin with stuffed potato and hen of the woods", he's expecting more from the President than a handshake.

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