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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Republicans criticize while they're living in glass houses


Image result for glass house picture
Republicans campaigning on their "glass houses" issues should remember the proverb about not throwing political stones.

Republicans are clearly dazed by the number of their political candidates claiming to be qualified to run for the leader of the free world and President of the United States. Candidates are clearly confused by the limelight, because their campaign strategies are pointing in the wrong direction when discussing their political positions on issues. Apparently, they have subscribed to the Pogo cliche "we have met the enemy and they are us".

Here's the short list of how Republicans, who live in political glass houses, have blocked the progress they collectively project and blame to others. Rather than accuse others for a lack of economic progress under the current Obama administration, the Republican candidates would do well to look in the mirror.

1.  Budget sequester - Republicans refused to lift a self imposed federal budget sequestration. They let stand a procedure in United States law that limits the size of the federal budget. Sequestration involves setting a hard cap on the amount of government spending within broadly defined categories; if Congress enacts annual appropriations legislation, that exceeds these caps, an across-the-board spending cut is automatically imposed on these categories, affecting all departments and programs by an equal percentage. The amount exceeding the budget limit is held back by the Treasury and not transferred to the agencies specified in the appropriation bills.  All it takes to life the sequestration is a simple majority vote of the US Congress, but the Republican leadership prevents this from happening.  Meanwhile, money needed to support the military and infrastructure programs cannot be included in the federal budget. (Nevertheless, money for wars seems to be exempt from this cap.)

2.  American Jobs Act - Republicans have refused to support efforts to put more Americans back to work in good paying jobs by blocking a vote on the American Jobs Act. This obstruction has had a ripple effect across the nation by putting infrastructure projects on delayed maintenance schedules and preventing the expansion of public transportation programs. In other words, blocking the American Jobs Act has set back our nation's ability to develop high speed trains and improved highway systems. In fact, it's the middle class who are most impacted by Republican obstruction of the American Jobs Act, because they're most likely to benefit from its implementation via better paying jobs and efficient mobility.

3. Obamacare funding blocked - Republicans have stopped attempts to implement access to health care via Obamacare funding.  Senate Republicans are calling on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to block any spending bill that pays for a program they deride as an “ObamaCare taxpayer bailout,” a move that could prompt another shutdown. The 14 Republicans, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), are targeting a temporary ObamaCare provision that aims to reduce the risk for insurers accepting new customers through the government-run exchanges. By blocking initiatives to expand Obamacare, or to provide support for the Medicaid expansions that many states are reticent about, the Republicans are preventing many jobs from being supported by the extension of access to health care for all Americans.

So far, Democrats haven't used this "glass houses" argument against Republicans. Instead, typical of Democrats who wait too long to respond to vitriolic political attacks, the Republicans are getting away with blaming the Obama administration for being unable to pass legislation to get something done in Washington DC. Incredulously, it's really the Republicans who are obstructionists, Yet, Republican finger pointers are getting away with projecting blame for non-progress, while Democrats let Hillary2016 get hammered about email messages containing boring content and some low level confidential information.  

As the 2016 political campaign launches into the public interest, the Democrats should immediately politically hammer Republicans where they hurt most - in their Pinocchio "non-truth" moments (which are numerous). Let's stop the daunting email non-controversy currently being stoked by Republicans and get those glass house issues cracked.  

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