Last night my answering machine recorded a Republican robo-call. The call said that “A lot of people are upset with Washington DC because nothing gets done. Patty Murray is part of the problem” The joke/deception of course is that they expect the public to believe it. Republicans by obstructing and stopping a lot of legislation from being passed by the US Senate through their threat of the filibuster, prevented many things from getting done. The joke/lie is that the Republicans expect us to believe it is the Democrat’s and Patty Murray’s fault. Is enough of the public really gullible enough to believe it’s the Democrats fault? And when one looks at what Democrats accomplished in Congress over the last two year’s (see below) it’s obvious the Republicans are lying about what Congress did.
Unfortunately with the country still fairly evenly divided politically it doesn’t take a lot of voters to change the makeup of Congress. The answer in the current political climate is that enough people will believe the Republican joke/deception/lie such that Republicans will be even more able to obstruct Democrats from moving the country forward with needed reform.
The right wing free market and corporate deluging of the media has been intense. The public is being fooled by the Republican storyline because voters are looking for a scapegoat for the country’s problems. It is a lot easier to blame someone – like the Democrats- because they are in power, than it is to work for solutions. And the Republicans have been more intent on demonizing the Democrats for political gain than they have been on advocating for solutions that will benefit the majority of Americans that are not wealthy.
Democrats inherited a colossal problem It is for multiple reasons they are not faring well in this election. There will be endless discussions of this over the next few days. Reasons listed will include the Democrats not boasting about their accomplishments enough, Obama not providing a clear vision of his future for America, the question whether the Government is responsible for the state of the economy or whether it is private enterprise and Wall Street greed driving things, the issue of the news media preferring to cover conflict rather than resolution, the huge influx of hidden corporate and special intererest money and a Republican noise and propaganda machine that set the agenda for what this election was about rather than the Democrats.
Obama’s role in the Democrat’s plight can somewhat be explained when he publicly said he was concentrating on getting things done rather than dealing with politics and outreach to the public. The deactivating after his election of his grassroots organization that helped him get elected was obviously a serious mistake. It’s re-activation in this Election season comes too little and too late for many Democrats.
There are many candidates and elected officials that have had good ideas but who did not see them come to fruition. It is not enough to be “right”. You must also bring the people along with you. And you must keep them with you. It is not enough to win a legislative battle if you do not win the public perception battle that this is progress and is good for them.
A few reports by the news media note that both Congress and the President have accomplished a lot in the last two years. But it is too little recognition too late. The reports are true but the Republican death song has been going on too long to really get people’s to stop and look.
If some people perceive that Congress couldn’t act these last two years, they certainly will see much more inaction with more Republicans in Congress. And you will see the Republicans continue to blame the Democrats of course for any inaction, regardless of Republican inaction or their obvious intent to do as little as possible to pass anything the Democrats or Obama wants..
The Republican plan of action will be to obstruct most everytihing unless they get exactly what they want. The reality is it doesn’t matter what Obama does as long as the Republican goal is power and not solving our nation’s problems. Their goal as Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said is to make Obama a one term President. And they will not give or do anything that they think will make Obama look good.
While much was watered down that Obama and the Democrats passed, like financial reform and health care, a lot else did get done from a Democratic perspective. Two female Supreme Court Justices The Lily Ledbetter Act for equal pay for women. More student loan money. Withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. But so much is in what people think, not the reality. The reality is that Congress did get a lot done, despite what the majority of the voting public may believe. If people perceived that Congress couldn’t act, they certainly will see much more inaction with more Republicans in Congress.
Actually here’s a list of 42 things Democrats and Obama accomplished. It’s unfortunate that the Republicans have been able to spin a false picture to the American voters. Regardless of the vote today, this list stands. It remains to be seen what will get done with more Republicans in Washington. This will be the record to compare with two years from now. Thanks to rescue truth. for this list of “Democratic Accomplishments you may not Know About”.
25 Tax Cuts Passed By Obama & Democrats
1.“Making Work Pay” tax credit
2.Earned Income Tax Credit increased
3.Increased Eligibility for Refundable Portion of Child Credit
4.“American Opportunity” Education Tax Credit
5.First-time Home Buyer Credit
6.Temp. Suspension of Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
7.Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Improvements to Existing Homes
8.Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases
9.Premium Credits for COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers
10.Economic Recovery Credits to Recipients of Social Security, SSI, RR Retirement, and Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits
11.Computers as Qualified Education Expenses in 529 Education Plans
12.Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit
13.Tax Parity for Transit Benefits
14.Health Coverage Tax Credit Expansion
1.Extension of Enhanced Small Business Expensing
2.5-Year Carryback of Net Operating Losses for Small Businesses
3.Extension of Bonus Depreciation
4.Exclusion of 75% of Small Business Capital Gains from Taxes
5.Temporary Small Business Estimated Tax Payment Relief
6.Temporary Reduction of S Corporation Built-In Gains Holding Period from 10 Years to 7 Years
1.Advanced Energy Investment Credit
2.Tax Credits for Alternative Refueling Property
3.Work Opportunity Tax Credits for Hiring Unemployed Veterans and Disconnected Youth
4.Delayed Recognition of Certain Cancellation of Debt Income
5.Election to Accelerate Recognition of Historic AMT/R&D Credits
Fun Fact: 1/3 of the $862 billion stimulus was for tax cuts, something Republicans claim to support … although they still stand against stimulus. I suppose it depends on who gets the tax cuts.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Protection against pay discrimination
Restores interpretation of Title VII of Civil Rights Act that protected women and other workers
Credit CARD Act
Prevents retroactive rate increases
Requires companies to provide 45 days notice before changing rates and other contract provisions
Additional restrictions placed on fees
Prevents companies from taking advantage of students
Ends unfair double-cycle billing practices
Financial reform bill
Establishes Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which seeks solely to ensure financial institutions are being fair to consumers, and improvement in the simplicity in contracts
Prevents taxpayer bail out of financial institutions
Allows the GAO to audit the Federal Reserve
Various mortgage and derivatives reform, etc.
Ends “socialistic” federal subsidies to banks and other financial institutions (Interestingly, Republicans are okay with the kind of socialism that redirects taxpayer money to banks and other financial institutions.)
Eliminates unnecessary “middle-man” in student loan process, which placed financial burden on taxpayers while banks took in profits
Annual student loan payment capped at 10% of income
Saves an estimated $61 billion over 10 years
Children’s health insurance bill
CBO said bill will allow states to cover more than four million uninsured children by 2013, in addition to seven million already covered
Requires states to provide dental and mental illness coverage to children
Provides graphic warnings on tobacco use risks
Restricts advertising to prevent marketing to minors
Health care reform
Insurers cannot cancel coverage when a person gets sick
Requires health insurance corporations to cover preexisting conditions
Eliminates lifetime limits
Allows insurance purchase across state lines
Allows young adults to stay on parents’ health insurance policy until 26
Crime & Civil Rights
Hate crime legislation
Provides protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people
Tribal Law and Order Act
Provide additional means to reduce high rates of violent crime, including rape & sexual assualt within Native American reservations
View the rescuetruth.com post on the Tribal Law and Order Act
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
Expands service and voluteer opportunites
Benefits education, health care, energy, etc.
Cash for Clunkers successfully contributed to 680,000+ vehicle sales in summer 2009
Largest clean energy investment ever made
Reduced deficit by $122 billion
Reduced federal spending by 2%
What didn’t get passed because of Republican obstructionism?
Health Care for 9/11 Emergency Responders
DISCLOSE Act (transparency in elections, specifically campaign financing)
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal
Removal of $75 million cap on oil spill payouts
Elimination of tax incentives for companies shipping American jobs overseas, and creation of tax incentives to businesses bringing jobs home