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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Faux Interviews with Typical Dem and Rep Senators

The following is satire.

While it is a work of fiction, we assure you that if a common everyday person ever had the opportunity to sit down and grille our elected officials of both parties on financial issues including the stock market and the current state of the economy, the answers given would be eerily similar in content and tone...

We start with a Faux Interview with a Democrat Senator...
Ants & Grasshoppers:  Thank you Senator D for taking the time to talk to us.

Senator 'D':  My pleasure.

A&G:  Let's start by discussing the stock market.  Currently as of this interview, the Dow is just over 15,000..  This makes you feel...

D: Relieved.  Overjoyed and Relieved.

A&G:  Those are actually two contrasting emotions.  One is celebratory and the other an expression of de-stressing.
D:  Well I do feel both.  You've no idea the damage to the US economy that Bush perpetrated while in office.  We were in a very scary place in the autumn of 2008..And then to see the market continue to drop for 5 months after..

When Bush took office is 2001 after that hanging chad fiasco down there in Florida (~laughs), the economy was in good shape.  President Clinton was paying down the deficit and we were progressing as a nation.  No wars.. everyone living in peace and safety... Then Bush is in office-- 8 years and darned well nearly destroyed us all!

A&G:  We have to stop you for a second.. Isn't it true the reason President Clinton was able to pay down the deficit while lowering taxes across the board was by taking revenue from the Social Security fund which taxpayers pay into?

D:  Perhaps but that's not important..  The deficit was being paid and besides, every President from Reagan on has used that fund as a 'borrow now, pay later' jar.
A&G:  And when you say we all lived 'in peace and safety', did you not forget the World Trade Center was first attacked in Feb 1993..  We also had numerous bases around the world attacked by Al Quida and the Yemen bombing was in 2000?

D:  I do not appreciate you twisting my words..  I meant by 'peace and safety' that we were involved in no wars.

A&G:  But President Clinton did send troops to the Balkans and to Somalia...

D:  I Repeat.. We were not in any Wars...  You press people aren't too smart are you.  Clinton-- Peace; Bush-- 2 Wars;  Clinton Strong economy; Bush-- near death of America.   Is that clear enough for you?
A&G:  Hm.. So let's go back to the original question-- you feel overjoyed that the Dow is over 15,000-- why?

D:  What a silly question... Why not?!   It means for all intent and purposes we have fully recovered as a nation economically, and the President deserves much if not all of the credit.  It means people are working.. shopping.. borrowing...  corporations are thriving..  the banks are strong..

When Americans hear and see 15,000, they should feel quite proud that they live in the greatest nation on earth and that their President rolled up his sleeves and cleaned up Bush's mess in only 5 years.  Its quite amazing really...

A&G:  You can't be serious?

D:  (sternly)  What do you mean?
A&G:  The Dow has grown artificially to 15k based solely on Fed policies of Quantitative Easing and dollar devaluing.  They're currently pumping $85 billion a month into the markets indefinitely with hints of expanding that amount if necessary and little to none of that wealth is trickling down to the populace

D:  Sure it has!

A&G:  It has?

D:  Didn't you see last week's release of the April jobs report--  169k new jobs were created!  And that's in only a month! Unemployment continues declining...

A&G: This nation needs 250k jobs a month created at minimum to keep up with inflation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are fudging the numbers by not counting those who've been out of work more than 12 months or are discouraged as part of the statistical labor force...
D:  I am very close to getting up and leaving this interview-- I will have you know that..

A&G:  Look Senator.. respectfully... Every question we ask, we're getting partisan nonsense.  We can wrap this interview up very quickly if you can just answer a couple questions without this needless spin and blame

D: (long silence)  Well... ask..

A&G:  How does Dow 15,000 matter in the lives of the everyday person?

D:  As I said before, its a source of pride.  And people like seeing wealthy people getting more wealthy.. makes them have something to aspire to.  And everyday people get a boost from their pensions and any personal investments.
A&G:  At the expense of killing off the saver...

D:  The saver will kill this nation if allowed.  After what Bush did in office, the only way to jump start the economy is when money is circulated, not saved.  That means purchasing and more importantly, borrowing with interest.  Besides the saver can always enter the stock market too.

A&G:  Why has the President not seriously taken on the role of job creator and at least propose legislation to expand hiring?

D:  He has.. When he tries, the Republicans in the House obstruct passage or the Republicans in the Senate filibuster.   He wants to create jobs believe me.. He's being prevented...
A&G:  Recently the Senate passed a bill forcing businesses on the Internet to start charging sales tax... why:

D:  Its the fair thing to do.. Right now its an unfair playing field.. Bricks and mortar stores can't compete.

A&G:  But don't bricks n' mortar stores hold great advantages over online merchants such as immediate access and acquisition of the item bought, no extra shipping expense and overall easier and quicker returns/refunds?

D:  I stand by what I say..  It's unfair to corporations.

A&G:  Hmmm..    Um.. Lastly-- What do you think are the biggest challenges the President needs to address in his last 3+ years in office?
D:  Gun control is a biggie.. Dealing with that pesky Israel situation..  That Prime Minister over there is worse than Bush.. He does not respect or obey the President as he should..  Lastly, continuing the successful fight against global Terror, especially domestically.

Americans can be scarier than the enemy abroad sometimes..  But anyways, when successful gun control legislation can be enacted, then that's a good beginning.

A&G:  So nothing economic of concern?

D:  No, not really.  The economy is overall fixed.  It just takes time for John and Jane public to see it..
And now a Faux Interview with a Republican Senator

Ants & Grasshoppers:  Thank you for giving us some of your time..

Senator 'R':  Don't mention it

A&G:  We'll start with the same question we asked your Democrat colleague concerning Dow 15,000 -- How does this make you feel?

R:  Wonderful-- many of my backers have recouped their losses from 2008 and then some and corporations and banks are starting to recover.

A&G:  What is needed for corporations and banks to fully recover?
R:  Less regulation... Dramatically so.  Let the businesses govern themselves.. Get the government out of the way of business doing business.. That's most democratic.  And we need to overhaul the tax code especially on corporations and the highest tax bracket...

A&G:  You're talking about Trickle Down economics?

R:  Yes I am.. companies who make money will hire more and that means more jobs for people..

A&G:  Temp jobs mostly..

R:  Temp jobs are jobs..  People taking control of their lives.. Feeling pride and dignity in what they do.. Earning a paycheck instead of taking from the government like some riff-raff...
A&G:  But certainly you know temps barely make a livable income with supplemental income from a second job and/or another person fully contributing to the household..

R:  And what's wrong with that?!  If someone has to work three jobs to survive, good for them I say.. that's what America is all about.. determination to succeed.

A&G:  How is working for $8-9/hr with no benefits or job security a 'success'?

R: (irritated)  We live in a Free country.. If someone doesn't wish to earn $8/hr for their job, they are free to quit and find better wages, and someone else will step in and do that job and appreciate the $8.

A&G:  Onto another topic, how would you grade President Obama's handling of the economy since he took office in 2009?
R:  Overall..  D- and that's being generous.

A&G:  Forgive us for saying but that does seem pretty harsh considering many of his economic policies have been quite similar to Bush including making parts of the Bush tax cuts permanent, waiving the collection of the Social Security tax and allowing Bernanke to run amok to do anything he likes to prop up the market so only the wealthiest see real benefit....

R: Are you serious?  Obama is a Socialist... He wants wealth redistribution.. To take away from those who've earned to give to those who do nothing but sit on their butts and collect unemployment checks!

A&G: We stand by our previous statement.. For five years, he's done little to nothing to help the middle class, working class or institutional poor.. Obama's policies have only helped the elite... and yet you call him a 'Socialist'... why?
R:  Because he is!  Obama wants to confiscate wealth and tax the job producers to death.. That's a fact!

A&G: Why in the last 4+ years, have no jobs legislation been so much as discussed, much less enacted?

R:  Ask the President-- We haven't received anything

A&G:  That's not how it works and you know that... The President can not propose legislation.  A Senator or Congressperson must do so..  So once again, why haven't you as a party?

R:  The worst thing right now in this bad economy is to overspend.  And an expansive, bloated Federal government is part of the problem.. We're certainly not going to support increasing it..
A&G:  But isn't it true that government jobs overall provide fairer wages and benefits and greater job security than private sector jobs?

R:  Exactly..that's the problem.  When you're job is protected there's no incentive to work.  And all government jobs do is inflate wages so the private sector can not compete.

A&G: Last night, the Senate passed a bill to tax purchases done on the Internet.  It still needs approval of the House where many Republicans are vehemently oppose.  Yet you, a Republican supported it in the Senate...  Why?

R: The lack of state tax collection is hurting corporations like Amazon and Wal-Mart and if they go under, they will take tens of thousands of jobs with them.
A&G:  Certainly you know these major chains are making huge profits and nowhere near that doom scenario you describe?

R:  Look, we don't have the $$ to give to the states to prop them up anymore.  They need every penny of revenue they can receive.

A&G:  Then why not, for example,pass a law where states collect sales tax on every market transaction, whether it be to Buy or Sell?   Or place a 2% fee on homes purchased that sell for more than $1.2 million, just as ideas...

R:  (laughs)  Are we done here?
A&G: Wrapping this up, what in your opinion needs to be done to improve the overall economy?

R:  As I said before, less corporate regulation and lowering across the board of taxes for businesses and personal income taxes.  The more $$ in their pockets, the more they have to spend.  A flat tax would actually be the fairest and most sensible way of simplifying the tax code...

A&G:  So you propose an Income tax where someone making $30k and someone making $3mil pay exactly the same percentage?

R:  Yes, that is fair..  If the flat tax is 20%, then the person making $30k only pays $6,000.  The person making $3mil still has to pay $600k   That's quite a difference.

A&G:  So the $30k wage earner is left with $24k and the one with $3mil is still left with $2.4 million..

R:  Right..  That's fairness.