Bruce Bartlett is not exactly what one can call a lefty, socialist, liberal, or any other typical slur so casually slung about by the right wing reactionaries who have taken over the Republican party.
Bartlett was in fact a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush. Pretty serious GOP credentials, I would say.
Regarding the fact that the GOP has basically for the past few years done everything in its power to sabotage any economic recovery, Bartlett had the following to say at a symposium hosted by the New America Foundation in Washington D.C.
“Basically we’re still stuck in the situation we were three years ago and we haven’t made any progress at all except that our problems are much worse because of political reasons, because we now have a crazy party in charge of one of the Houses of our Congress and they won’t allow anything to happen because it’s in their vested interest to make things worse,” Bartlett explained in his typically exasperated way. “Plus they have a theory that is completely nuts…. I’m very depressed. I’d love to see some program like this [paper] enacted. I see zero chance of it happening. The most we can hope for is that a complete crazy person like Newt Gingrich gets the Republican nomination, the Republicans lose so badly that they lose control of the House and don’t get control of the Senate and then maybe in a year we can finally talk about doing something rational such as what is discussed in this paper.”
Little more needs to be said than the following.
- It is time to let the Bush/Cheney tax cuts for the super rich expire.
- It is time to end the bleeding of money into the pockets of the war profiteers, and bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, as fast as possible.
- It is time to hire repairmen and women to fix America. There are nearly three TRILLION dollars worth of failing key infrastructure in America that tax money needs to be targeted to repairing and replacing: roads, bridges, dams, water systems.
- It is time to end socialism for the corporate oligarchy. The tax breaks (many pay NO TAXES AT ALL) and subsidies to the oil industry and all the other corporate welfare clients of Congress must end. Now.
- It is time to end the ludicrous concept of corporate personhood, and stop the flood of secret money into vicious political ad campaigns, usually without attribution or clear exposure of the source of the money, that is poisoning and threatens to destroy our Democracy.
- It is time to end the attacks on Medicare and Social Security. Both programs are financially solid now, and will be for the 50 and 75 year planning periods for each just by extending the taxation on payroll that is paid into both programs past the current cutoff at $180,000 for Medicare $110,000 for Social Security.
It is simply outrageous, in fact disgusting and appalling, to see the GOP proposals to destroy Medicare, which operates at a 5% operational cost and 95% medical loss ratio, meaning only 5% of monies paid in go to overhead, the rest goes to medical expenses. Private insurance under the Health Care Reform Act which only this month is going into effect forces private insurers down to only the 20-25% ration.
Most importantly, Medicare and Social Security are NOT welfare or “entitlement” programs, other than in one sense: American citizens have paid their entire lives into both programs. These are savings programs, and the government is holding that money in trust funds. One of the biggest GOP lies is the idea that Social Security contributes to the deficit. It has NOTHING to do with the deficit. NOTHING.
Worst of all, even citizens who, like my wife and I, are now in retirement and at an age to start Medicare benefits, with Social Security starting first of 2012, are not exactly receiving it free. Every month we pay a total of hundreds of dollars in Medicare premiums; Part D prescription monthly premiums plus all co-pay drug costs; and we also are paying over a large amount monthly for supplemental Blue Cross coverage to pick up what Medicare does not cover. The total monthly outlay for just the premiums, not including the uncovered costs of medications, is $630 per month. In all honesty, I do not see how many who are retiring, especially if they are dependent solely on Social Security, can afford the total monthly costs and still pay for lodging, food, and basic necessities.
Not a day passes that does not see another act by the GOP and too many Democrats in Congress that is rooted in one thing: money for themselves and the 1% of the richest Americans, and the corporate oligarchy.
These successful efforts to stall the recovery, and keep as much money in the hands of the 1% and the corporate oligarchy as possible, may continue, at least until the next election. But at what price? The death of American Democracy? The death of the Middle Class? The death of the aspiration that America is a place where all can succeed at honest work that will provide medical care and insurance even into their old age?
Recent polls show Congressional approval rates at all time lows, at one point at 9% approval or below.
A greater percentage of Americans approve of polygamy than the United States Congress, according a set of polls.
Last month, a New York Times poll found that Congress’ approval rating fell to an all-time low of 9 percent. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that 11 percent of people found polygamy “morally acceptable.” Additionally, 30 percent of Americans expressed approval of pornography.
The Fix posted a telling chart created by Senator Michael Bennet that compared Congress’ approval rating to a slew of unpopular people, things and ideas. “U.S. going communist” received an 11 percent approval rating, banks netted 23 percent and the BP oil spill received a shocking 16 percent
This all tells me one thing. A lot of members of Congress will not be returning after November 2012. Once can only hope that those elected in their place are not as stark raving mad and dissociated from reality as the current Tea Party, GOP, and too many of the Democratic Party who no longer stand or vote for the core principles of the party going back to FDR.