Democracy = Every Eligible Citizen Votes November 2010

Get Out The Vote for November

Register to Vote for November! Photo Credit: Dewey reads up on the election by angela n. on flickr cc

Change happens in different ways. Sometimes it is dramatic, sometimes it is gradual over time. However, even a slight change can create a great change over time. The fact is that there has been a lot of positive changes happening since President Obama took office.

The Positive Results of Promised Change under the Obama Administration include:

  1. Passage of Significant Healthcare Reform for the first time since establishment of Medicare in 1965.
  2. Formally ending military operations in Iraq after 7 long years of a war of choice that we still do not have a satisfactory reason for initiating.
  3. Passage and implementation of a Financial Stimulus Package that prevented a Depression in the United States and possibly the world.
  4. Establishment of a Financial Consumer Protection Bureau and other financial reforms like the Credit CARD Act to protect consumers from unfair predatory lending practices by banks and other institutions.
  5. Concrete efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
  6. Restarting the Middle East Peace Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
  7. Re-establishing the United States efforts for promotion of dialogue and diplomacy around the world as a means of promoting goodwill and resolving conflicts.

Voting is a Right and a Privilege

Coffee Party: How We Began

The Coffee Party is a true grassroots organization started by diverse individuals who want to restore dialogue and cooperation to the public discourse on how to solve problems facing all Americans. This organization is nonpartisan and encourages respectful dialogue and civic participation that includes all voices from every corner of the U.S. Their website provides ways to connect with other people in solving issues confronting Americans across party lines.

In the above video, the founder of the Coffee Party, Annabel Park states:

We need cooperation in order to solve problems. You know if you have people that are out to obstruct even dialog, then we can’t have a functioning government.

The midterm elections on November 2, 2010 are extremely important. Democrats who hoped President Obama would have done more by now need to ask themselves if their expectations are reasonable. First of all President Obama inherited a big fat mess from the previous Republican administration. Also, he pledged to create a hands-across-the-aisle approach to working together with Democrats, Republicans and Independents. He sincerely made efforts. However, as we saw in nightly media attacks on Obama that continue in bizarre and slanderous ways, the majority of Republicans had no intention of working together with President Obama in any significant way. Even when President Obama incorporated their ideas into legislation, they did not vote for important bills.

The results of 8 years under Republican President G. W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney  showed us how much destruction of the economy, the environment, American foreign policy, and U.S. standing in the world could take place in a short time. Deregulation of the financial system lead to a black hole of crazy exotic derivatives that we still do not know the full extent of costs.

When Obama inherited the economy, it was a disaster. After years of de-regulation it was a wild west on Wall Street in the midst of the sub-prime derivatives craze.

Lessons from History in Japan and the U.S.

What can we learn from history? Democratic President Bill Clinton inherited a recession from President H. W. Bush.

What did he do to get us out of it? He spent lots of money to stimulate the economy, create jobs which ultimately created tax revenue from all the people working. Clinton spent his way to a healthy economy. Then, he balanced the budget AFTER he got us out of the recession — not before. Remember that Clinton left G. W. Bush with a surplus of $127 Billion Dollars according to the LA Times article. However, when President Obama took office he inherited a record $455 Billion Dollar Deficit from G. W. Bush!

American history shows us in general that cutting government spending and balancing budgets simultaneously does not get us out of a recession.

A lesson we should learn from the “lost decades” of Japan was that they held back on spending during their economic crisis in the 1990s which slowed down their economic recovery. Paul Krugman recently wrote in the New York Times:

Like their Japanese counterparts, American policy makers initially responded to a burst bubble and a financial crisis with half-measures. I’ve lamented that fact, but at this point it’s water under the bridge. The question is: What happens now?

Republican obstruction means that the best we can hope for in the near future are palliative measures — modest additional spending like the infrastructure program President Obama proposed this week, aid to state and local governments to help them avoid severe further cutbacks, aid to the unemployed to reduce hardship and maintain spending power.

That is a history lesson we need to learn from and remind Republicans when they spout inflammatory rhetoric about tax cuts, balancing the budget and not putting more stimulus money into the economy to create jobs. These are failed policies as history shows us.

Boehner’s Economic Recipe is Half-Baked

The current Republican recipe for job creation espoused by John Boehner is a half-baked cake, it’s inedible and poorly made with the wrong ingredients — basically a recipe for economic disaster as Paul Krugman alludes to in his NYT article referenced above:

It’s hard to overstate how destructive the economic ideas offered earlier this week by John Boehner, the House minority leader, would be if put into practice. Basically, he proposes two things: large tax cuts for the wealthy that would increase the budget deficit while doing little to support the economy, and sharp spending cuts that would depress the economy while doing little to improve budget prospects. Fewer jobs and bigger deficits — the perfect combination.

Lessons to Learn from Clinton

Under Clinton the economy did well with the rich not having any exhorbitant tax cut. History shows that when the rich get a tax cut, they do not spend for jobs. Instead they mostly spend for their own investments and consumption items, not creating jobs. Under Clinton, the rich paid more of their fair share and the economy did well. Clinton balanced the budget in two budget cycles and left President G. W. Bush with a record $127 Billion Surplus.

Based on the $455 Billion Deficit created during Bush’s 8 years from supply side and trickle down theories it is clear these did not work and will never work. However, Republicans still cling to variations of the trickle-down theory which history shows are failed policies. There is no such benefit in the trickle-down theory except for the very rich.

All eligible voters, especially those people who want a return to civil discourse, it’s time to register to vote and get out there and vote on November 2, 2010. The tea partiers are riled up, now it’s time for the rest of America to get out there and do their civic duty – VOTE!

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