But I'm going to make an exception .. because of what's going on with the debt ceiling crisis, and more particularly, President Obama's speech the other night and Speaker of the House Boehner's infuriating response.
Some of what I say may cause people to 'unfriend' me, or whatever, but I'm willing to take that chance as long as they read what I say first.
I'm a registered Republican. The first President I voted for was Gerald Ford, a Republican. I voted for George Bush Sr. in the primaries up to when he lost to Reagan and then became his VP. I liked Bush because he called Reagan's 'trickle-down' economic ideas 'Voo-Doo Economics.' Bush was right. He served as a two term VP to Reagan and I patiently waited for him to ascend to President and go back to his pre-Reagan economic plan. He won but he didn't go back economically, and that's when the Republican Party began to desert me.
So while they journeyed right, I stayed where I was and Clinton came along and got my vote. He took the three trillion dollar plus debt that Reagan and Bush saddled us with and he balanced the budget! In fact, he left Bush Jr. with a surplus! I voted for Gore and imagine if he had won. Cleaner air, higher taxes on the rich, and we'd probably still be in great shape.
Instead, Bush gobbled the entire surplus up with his wars (don't get me started on Halliburton and Cheney) and tax cuts, and ran the National Debt higher than all of the Presidents before him ... COMBINED. With the tax cuts, the rich got richer and the Middle Class essentially vanished. The deregulations in finance led to banks going wild, playing with our money, and when they crashed they took our economy (and most of my 401k) down with them. Then we bailed them out and asked them to stimulate the economy, but they kept the money instead.
We never asked for it back, we never prosecuted anyone ... it just went into their pockets.
Now the billionaire Koch brothers (owners of conglomerates, Georgia Pacific, et. al.), stepped in because with a Democratic President and Senate, they knew that restoring the tax cuts would mean cutting into their stash of money (a note here, the 400 wealthiest Americans have as much wealth as the bottom 150,000,000 Americans).
Anyway, the Kochs knew if they control the media (Fox), and kept saying the same things over and over again, middle class Republicans would rally to them. Middle Class Republicans like catchy sayings.
On that note, here's something Rush Limbaugh said the other day. He said there's no such thing as Global Warming. He said it just feels warmer than in the old days because we have air conditioners now.
Um. Maybe we should ship a few of those air conditioners up to the polar bears swimming around in what used to be ice.
Anyway, the Koch brothers actually got a bunch of their Republican Governors together and launched a massive plan to sell/privatize government assets, strip unions of bargaining power and basically rid themselves of the Democrats, once and for all. They used their Republican-nominated Supreme Court to agree that Corporations can pay whatever they want politically under the guise of 'free speech.' And they took over the media. So while a hundred media covered a twenty person Tea Party rally in Washington, the same media totally ignored hundreds of thousands of angry Wisconsin citizens who closed down their capital. And the same media is ignoring as the right wing Wisconsin politicians are being recalled left and right.
Yes, people are finally awakening to the Corporate agenda led by the Koch Brothers and their stooges.
Anyway, I sent the following letter to my Republican Congressman today, with a copy going to Speaker Boehner. I don't expect them to respond:
Dear Representative XXXX
You are my Representative in Washington, and frankly, I don't feel very represented right now.
You and your colleagues are jeopardizing my daughters' futures, my financial future and our country's financial future with your grandiose scheme to hold our nation hostage in the interest of advancing a political cause that isn't supported by the majority of Americans.
People who know anything about history and economics know that Social Security has nothing to do with the National Debt. And anyone with a memory knows that most of the current National Debt was racked up by the wars and by the bailout made necessary by financial deregulation, rather, than as the Speaker of the House tried to say, the health bill. In fact, Mr. Boehner was conspicuously silent on the true causes of the deficit in his address to the Nation in what was a transparent attempt to shift blame.
So for Congress to use this same National Debt to risk our nation's debt standing, and on the way jeopardizing mortgage, installment, charge card and student loan interest rates is abhorrent.
If you have any plans of being a true leader, you should introduce a bill calling for all Congressmen, Senators, President and other elected national leaders to sacrifice your own government pensions and government health plans, since all of you can afford to get by without these easier than we shrinking members of the middle class can.
Anyway, for now, just raise the debt ceiling as it should have happened automatically to pay the bills Congress already incurred. Or at the very least, take Social Security off the table because it's completely unrelated to the mess at hand.
So that's my two cents. A lot of my friends are Republicans. I don't hate them for disagreeing with me. I think though, that they disagree because they are misinformed (deliberately, I might add). They just don't realize that if they make less than $250k, their Party doesn't represent their interests. And I think it's clearer today than ever.
And what are my credentials you might ask. Fair enough. I'm a Vice President Finance of a multi-million dollar company. I've been a leader in the credit community for twenty seven years, with expertise in economics and finance. I write an award winning bi-monthly article in a credit magazine and was Credit Executive of the Year with the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Credit Management. If that's not enough, I'm a good swimmer (grin).
Feel free to copy it and send to your elected officials, or forward to your friends, or unfriend me. You have the right to do any of these, because this is, after all, America.