â€œItâ€™s time for new leadership in WashingtonÂ â€“ time to clean House ofÂ do-nothingÂ legislators; those who are part of the problem and not a part of the solution should be voted out of office, whether Democrat or Republicanâ€ â€“ Juanita Bratcher
By Juanita Bratcher
Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine
Itâ€™s disgusting and mind boggling that a bunch of old men are determined to obstruct and deride President Barack Obama’s agenda andÂ are shortchanging Â the business of America and the American people. And, pathetically, theyâ€™re getting paid in the process for their poor job performances!
Can you imagine that? For the last four years weâ€™ve had pretty much an unproductive Congress. If these people worked in the Corporate World they would have gotten pink slips a long time ago. Think about it! Have they done anything significant for the American people in the last four years or so? Thereâ€™ve been very little work on their part, and very few results, if any. The only things they get an â€˜Aâ€™ for is squabbling, chaos, bickering and grandstanding. Weâ€™ve witnessed this over and over again, and the American people are â€œsick and tired of being sick and tiredâ€ (in the words of Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer) of the â€œcat skirmishesâ€ and the â€œdog fightsâ€ that have become common place by some members of Congress.
The most recent occurrence was Sequestration. On March 1, 2013, Sequestration set in because Washington legislators didnâ€™t come up with a plan to abort it happening. Their actions will be devastating.
When signing the order authorizing the government to begin spending cuts of $85 billion from federal accounts (results of inaction on Sequestration), hereâ€™s what President Obama said:
â€œNone of this is necessary. Itâ€™s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. Theyâ€™ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole.â€
On the eve (February 28, 2013) of Sequestration setting in, President Obama made the following statement, posted on his website, www.whitehouse.gov:
â€œToday, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit.Â And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families.Â They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.
â€œI believe we should do better.Â We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way â€“ by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes.Â Thatâ€™s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed.Â But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote â€“ threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.
â€œTomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward.Â As a nation, we canâ€™t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another.Â Middle-class families canâ€™t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington.Â We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction weâ€™ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise.Â Thatâ€™s how our democracy works, and thatâ€™s what the American people deserve.â€
Speaker of the House John Boehner, in a February 28, 2013 press release posted on his website (www.speaker.gov) Â had this to say about Sequester:
Embarrassing: Senate Democrats Fail to Pass a Single Sequester Replacement Bill in 15 Months
WASHINGTON, DC â€“ House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement after the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation replacing President Obamaâ€™s sequester:
â€œItâ€™s embarrassing that after 15 months Senate Democrats still havenâ€™t passed a single sequester replacement bill. Â The American people deserve better.Â Republicans in the House passed legislation almost a year ago in May, and again in December, to avert the presidentâ€™s sequester and help put us on a path to a balanced budget. Â Now that todayâ€™s political stunt to raise taxes has failed, itâ€™s time for the president and Senate Democrats to do the hard work that is necessary to pass a bill in the Senate so we can begin to resolve this issue.â€
Weâ€™ve had four years of an unproductive Congress and it seems that the next four years will be moving in the same direction. All of these “manufactured showdowns” between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill areÂ holding this country at bay. And thereâ€™s so much negative talk on the part of Washington Republicans. Not only are they trying to deride the presidentâ€™s efforts but they are ignoring the will of the majority of the American people who voted for Obama. Sure, they were elected by voters, too, but they were elected in individual states and not the country as a whole. Obama was elected by people from many states, all across the country. He won the popular vote and that of the Electoral College. And he had ably laid out his agenda for America if elected to a second term.
For the past four years, the Republican leadership in Congress â€“ in both the House and Senate â€“ has traveled down the same destructive and obstructive pathway. And it appears that we can look forward to another four unproductive years. There has never been so much bickering from such a powerful body that legislates the laws of the land, consisting of representatives from districts all across the country. What happened to the art of compromising if it’s good for the country and its people?
Many of these stop-gap obstructionists are old men still living in the past and it appears that they would rather let the country go to â€œHell in a basketâ€ rather than put the country back on track, Â just to prove a point â€“ whatever that might be. Since they failed in their quest to make President Barack Obama a one-term president (their outcry when Obama was first elected president) now they have resorted to trying to stifle his agenda for moving the country forward, and the American people are being held hostage in the process.
Many of Obamaâ€™s detractors want the American people to believe that everything the Obama Administration proposes will be DOA or will fail. And they have moved to kill off any legislation Obama wants or supports; and they come up with pretentious and false accusations that Obama is divisive and dividing the country â€“ which is an outright fallacy.
Thereâ€™s not really much at the moment that Americans can do about their obstructionist actions but in 2014 voters will have the opportunity to boot them out of office if theyâ€™re up for re-election; not only in Washington but in some states where politicians are trying to take away basic rights from citizens. Donâ€™t you wonder about their purpose, these power grabs and of wanting to strip people of their basic rights as citizens? Is it to make them more subservient because of their power grabs? We, the people, must stand up in defianceÂ of those who show any inklings of that lame philosophy by voting them out of office. Every American is entitled to unalienable rights and the pursuit of happiness.
It is mean-spirited to do things that punish and cause suffering to others for no apparent reason. Those are not the teachings of God and neither is it sound reasoning on the part of those who inflict suffering â€“ whether intentional or not. There are people that are really suffering in this country. And of all things, after Obama announced he would like to see a minimum wage increase of $9.00 the howling started immediately. And many of those who condemned such action had emphatically stood up against a tax increase for the rich many times over. Are they saying the 47% donâ€™t need a decent minimum wage which would barely take care of themselves and their family?
To give Americans a better perspective of what the Sequester is all about, this information was posted on www.whitehouse.gov.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SEQUESTER
The Sequester – What is it?
Harmful automatic budget cuts â€” known as the sequester â€” threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.
These cuts will make it harder to grow our economy and create jobs by affecting our ability to invest in important priorities like education, research and innovation, public safety, and military readiness.
Have questions about what the sequester is, and why American families and our national economy face this threat? We’ve put together the explainer below using some helpful background information President Obama laid out in a statement. Check it out:
What Is the Sequester? Why Now?
In the last few years, President Obama and both parties in Congress have worked together to reduce our deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a combination of spending cuts and increased tax rates.
In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they couldnâ€™t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion â€” including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years â€” about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts would start to take effect in 2013.
â€œThe whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; letâ€™s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.” â€”President Obama
â€œUnfortunately, Congress hasnâ€™t compromised, and as a consequence, harmful cuts â€” known as the Sequester â€” begin March 1.
â€œThese cuts will jeopardize our military readiness and eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research, and donâ€™t take into account whether they eliminate some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or cut a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.â€
The American people are tired of the squabbling in Washington and they are tired of seeing a failing economy due to a handful of legislators standing in the way of progress, keeping this country from growing the economy and creating jobs so that it will bounce back and continue on the road to a solid recovery.
Itâ€™s time to clean House. Those who are part of the problem and not the solution should be voted out of office, and hopefully, American voters will make a strong effort to weed them out and do that in the 2014 elections.
Get smart, America, vote them out of office (whether Democrat or Republican) and put someone there that wonâ€™t bicker about anything and everything, but will learn the art of compromising when necessary in doing whatâ€™s best for America and the American people â€“ and that is to move this country forward and not engage in those things to divide the country.
Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, Songwriter and Poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.