There is no doubt our form of government is in for radical change. The well-organized Tea Party has held firm to its principles, holding Congress hostage to its doctrine of protecting the rich at the expense of the shrinking middle class and the growing class of the working poor.
Moderate Republicans are losing influence in their own party. Considered too far to the left by extreme Tea Partiers because they will not support the tea bag agenda, they’re all targets for replacement in future elections. Due to the infighting of the Republicans and a lack of a strong presidential candidate, Obama and the Democrats have a slim chance of maintaining control of the Senate and White House. In this case, slim is better than none.
We should have known what was coming during the discussion of the debt ceiling. When Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, became speaker of the House, he told the world he didn’t know what the word “compromise” meant. Spoken like a true autocrat, he felt he knew what is best for the country and conciliation was not an option. Standing firm on the Tea Party demand for cuts in spending, no taxes on the rich and no increased revenue to pay the nation’s debt, Boehner was bragging about getting 98 percent of what he wanted in the bill.
While Boehner was gloating over his morning cup of tea, Standard And Poor lowered our bond rating from AAA to AA+. We now have the same bond rating as Russia and Spain. The rating could have been avoided if a compromise for increased revenue and taxes on the rich were included in the bill. Thanks to Boehner, taxpayers will pay billions more annually on higher interest rates. Interest on credit cards, mortgages and bank loans for small business and corporations will add cost to the consumer. And, not that the Republicans really care, but America has lost its prestige in the eyes of world investors and in international money market exchanges.
Republicans argue President Obama and the Democrats didn’t have a plan. On that point, they’re right. The Democrats pointed fingers at the rich and corporate tax breaks but didn’t outline a specific plan for new sources of revenue except to raise taxes. Well, here is a plan they might consider.
Economists claim that business and corporations are holding more than $1 trillion because of uncertainty in the political arena and jobs market. Since Republicans don’t want to tax businesses and corporations, they should consider giving corporations tax credits for increasing employees salaries. A pay raise would create taxable income and money for consumer spending, thereby increasing sales tax receipts for the states. Instead of layoffs, new hiring would ease the unemployment rate, demand for manufactured goods would increase and both Democrats and Republicans would be happy.
During the recession in 2008, the civilian working force in the United States was about 155 million people. Of those, there were 145 million employed. Using those same stats, a $2 a day increase in pay for each worker would stimulate the economy by $290 million daily or close to $75 billion annually at no cost to government or taxpayers.
On Sept. 13, Nevadans will determine if they want more of the same Republican extremism in Congress. It will be interesting to see if Republican right-wing conservative Mark Amodei can win the Congressional District 2 seat vacated by Dean Heller with the same Boehner mentality. His challenger, State Treasurer Kate Marshall, a Democrat, might have a chance to beat him in the predominantly Republican district if independents and reasonably intelligent Republicans cross over and vote to protect our Democracy from the half-right, all-wrong Tea Party.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at email@example.com. His website is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.