Friday, February 24, 2012

How Reaganomics changed America

It has been 30 years since the election of what could be the worst president in American history, we are finally starting to see the results of his policies and they are even worse then we could have imagined. In 1980 we went from electing a president to electing a puppet of corporations and Wall Street, one who was weak on foreign policy and weaker on domestic policy.

Before the Wall Street puppet came to town it was common to have one parent stay home with the children and you could live on a one income household. Reagan cut the taxes for the wealthiest Americans in half and began to run of the largest debt increase in history and doubled the debt ran up by ever president before him combined. The price of everything started to increase at record paces while wages stayed flat or decreased for the majority of American. The days of having one parent working and living a decent life where over and now you where lucky to get buy with both parents working leading to the latchkey generation.

No longer would there be family vacations or a parent to stay home and help their kids with homework or encourage them to go outside and play. The new American dream would now being happy to just have food on the table and the ability to take your kid to the doctor if something was wrong. The only thing that trickled down from Reaganomics was Poverty and hunger.

The children who where left home are now grown up and starting to become parents, to them it is common for both parents to work and no one to take care of the children. They grew up in a generation where they where left at home or if their parents both had good jobs they where raised by babysitters, it seems second nature to them to plop their child in front of a TV or video game.

When I was younger (grew up in the 80’s) it was common for neighborhood kids to get together outside and play but as I got older it was less and less common. Today you almost never see a group of kids outside playing hide and seek or war. Looking back I now know that I grew up poor but didn’t know it at the time because my parents would sacrifice things they needed for us children and we never saw them worry about how to pay the next bill or put food on the table.

Today because of deregulation started under Reagan and continued on through the last 30 years things have gotten even worse, the wealth gap is larger then any time in history and families are struggling to get by more now then any time in history. Parents can no longer afford to send their kids to college if they are lucky enough to graduate high school. The republicans like to blame all this on President Barack Obama even though they have run the country for 20 of the last 30 years and it is their “trickle down economics” that believe if you deregulate and allow Wall street to run free that they will get rich and share the wealth with everyone else.

At a time when their policies have lead to record poverty and over 40,000 people a year are dying because they can not afford health insurance the party of Reagan wants to take away those safety nets and gut programs like Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps and other programs that help the most needy among us. Their policies have decimated the middle class and put people into poverty and now they want to just completely destroy that class also. Now they want poor people who can not even afford to feed their children or buy medicine they need to survive to pay more in taxes.

Reagans policies destroyed this country and the traditional family now the republican party want to put the final nail in the coffin. They give Ronald credit for bringing down the soviet union but the truth is he did more to destroy America then he ever did to defeat the soviets. It seems each generation has got more entitled and I’m afraid to see what the future looks like especially if the republicans get their wish gain power since their policies favor the rich and powerful over Women, Children, the environment and seniors. One day they will learn that when the rich has all the money they can make all the high tech things they want but if no one can afford to buy them it won’t matter and when people revolt and stop waiting in line for the new I-phone and have their kids go out and play instead of buying the newest video games then and only then will the rich take notice and start to fear the working class and realize that Reaganomics has ended..

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm the problem

One day in 2004 I was sitting around on my massage chair watching my 60 inch television and it hit me, I am what is wrong with America today. I don’t know exactly when but we have gone from a country of hard working men and women who where happy just getting by to a possession society where we had to have the newest and biggest toys.

My parents never cared what they had, all they cared about was that myself and my brothers had cloths on our backs and food on the table. Our big expense was a family vacation once a year to Sea World or another amusement park, we got things we wanted but on special days like our birthday or Christmas. Both my parents worked 40 hours a week and for a while my mother had a second job, our best memories aren’t when they bought us things but when we spent time together as a family.

Since that day in 04 I have scaled back my life, living within my means and not going out and buying things I really don’t need. Our phone was out for a few days and with my father being disabled and the closest payphone over a mile away I broke down and finally got a cell phone. When my giant television went I broke down and bought another one and yes it is a big screen but in my defense my “job” is staying awake and taking care of my father between 7pm and 8am so I watch a lot of shows. I am still using a VCR to record shows and haven’t invested in any other recording devises even though tapes are almost impossible to find anymore and when I went into a store looking for some the girl working thought I was crazy.

When you walk down the street and see a couple hundred people standing in a food line looking for what might be their first and only good meal in a couple days then you see a couple thousand people standing in line waiting to be the first person to put down 500.00 for an I-Phone it really makes you wonder about priorities. When you consider yourself poor because you don’t have the newest phone or the hottest video game maybe you should think about the people who are really hurting, the ones who have lost their home and are living in their car or on the street.

I’m not saying having a roof over your head or a refrigerator to keep your food cold makes you rich but maybe we should be a little more thankful for the things we do have and remember that there are people in this country who are not even blessed with these. America is the richest nation on earth and to have children going without food or healthcare is a disgrace and for people to fight for their “right” for lower taxes and trying to take away safety nets for the poorest and oldest among us is a disgrace. I’m not rich but would be more then happy to pay a few more dollars and give up the newest gadget if it means a child would get to live longer or a grandparent can get the medicine they need.

I don’t have a million dollars in the bank but I do have a roof over my head and my family to me that is worth more then any amount of money can buy. It took me over 25 years to realize that but I’ve never been happier then I am now, even without the hottest toys or newest car. As long as I have people who love and care about me I will always be rich.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why people can't pay their mortgages

Every time I turn on the television I hear republicans blame homeowners for the collapse of 2008, you often hear “people taking out mortgages they could not afford”. After saving my parents house from being foreclosed I decided to see whose fault it really was.

Before I get into it there is a brief history, in 2004 my father went in for semi routine surgery and because the doctor ended up mentally and physically disabled, being in the hospital for almost six months and about his time their lawyers secretary helped herself to over 150,000.00 of their money leaving them broke. To get my father home we had to take out a mortgage on the house to add wheel chair ramps and a downstairs bathroom. The mortgage was for about 40,000.00 and the payments where about 300 dollars a month.

This left them with my mothers working and my father unable to, they are living on her 350 dollar a week salary and his 1,000 dollar social security payment. When they took out the mortgage the person who sold it to them didn’t give them much details and wanted no money down, the mortgage has went up to about 400.00 a month which would still be easy to pay if it wasn’t for the cost of everything else going up.

When the Loan was taken out till now

Gas went from 1.85 a gallon to almost 4.00

Electric bill went from 65.00 to over 100.00 a month

National Fuel went from 95.00 a month to 130.00 a month

Television Bill went from 75.00 a month to 140.00 a month

Water/Garbage bill went from 70.00 a month to 110.00 a month

Health insurance went from 120.00 a month to 200.00 a month

Cost of food has went up anywhere from 10% to 50% in that time.

The ONLY thing that has not went up is the take home pay while Social Security has increased at an extremely low pace. With the cost of living almost doubling over those 7+ years while wages staying stagnant THAT is what is making it harder for Americans to pay the mortgage they once could afford. Yes there are people who took out mortgages they can not afford but there are millions of hard working people who could afford those mortgages at the time but now do to know fault of their own can no longer make the payments and there are lower educated and elderly people who where in fact ripped off by the banks they trusted.

To blame the people who took out the mortgage is easy but is the simplified version of what is really happening, until people find jobs and wages start to increase with the cost of everything else people will continue to lose their homes and things will never get better. This is “class warfare” at it’s lowest and should be called what it is.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Republicans have a record and it's hate

I hear conservatives crying that they are portrayed as uncaring about most Americans and the earth, they often mock those comments so lets take a look at their voting records and see how much they care.

Voting Record on Women

In 2010 republicans voted unanimously to not give women equal pay/rights in the workforce as men, this is no surprise since they have been fighting equal rights for women for over 50 years.

They voted to redefine rape as “forcible rape” and if you where drugged, didn’t fight back hard enough or where young and raped by a relative it did not qualify as rape and if you chose not to have the attackers baby getting an abortion would be next to impossible.

Abortion Audits - A women could not use tax credits to buy insurance that would cover abortion and if they did have one they need to prove it was because of forcible rape/incest or to save their lives. This would turn the IRS into the abortion police.

In Oct 2011 they passed the “Let women die” bill that would allow hospitals to refuse an abortion even it it meant that the mother would die.

When you add all this to the republicans fight to take away funding from planned parenthood, the UNFPA and other organizations that protect women and offer care It’s pretty obvious that they think Women are second class citizens who need to have their vagina and uterus regulated and don’t deserve equal pay or rights as men.

Voting Record on Gays

They want the language stripped from the “Violence against women act” that would protect gays and transgender people and are willing to kill the bill just to get it. They don’t want gays to be protected form domestic violence or other crimes.

They fought to their last breath to prevent gays from serving openly in the military and have said many many times that as soon as they return to power they will overturn this and start throwing gay people out of the military again.

They are almost unanimous in their distain for “gay marriage” even though the definition of marriage has been changed multiple times over the years. Using the same arguments that they used to try and fight against interracial marriage they have claimed it will “ruin” marriage. To many Americans it’s a civil rights issue and that it’s time gay people start getting fair treatment.

Again I think it’s pretty obvious that they not only dislike the gay population but consider them a second class citizen who do not deserve the same rights as every other American.

Record on the Poor, Minorities and Seniors

This doesn’t take a lot of time to see what they think of these 2 groups. They are passing “voter fraud” laws all over the country that will restrict the rights of many Americans - mostly poor, black and old to vote. There are very few convictions for voter fraud and the majority of convictions are republicans so this is a ruse to suppress the vote total using the fear card.

While they passed a Medicare drug expansion they didn’t pay for it and added trillions of debt onto the Medicare program and as we can see it wasn’t to help the seniors but was a huge handout to the drug companies who helped write the bill and worst of all is being used to kill Medicare. They added it as a way to help seniors knowing fair well that it would put stress on the system and they could later use that to try and end the program, which they are currently trying to do. They want to turn the program over to the free market insurance companies who will have the rights to deny coverage and refuse life saving surgery so they can make a profit. This will cost seniors both money and their lives and must be the “death panels” that Sarah Palin was talking about.

Republicans are passing anti-immigration laws all over the country that they believe will prevent illegals from coming here looking for work. Putting the pressure on the police to find them and then deport them they still refuse to put pressure and fines on companies that hire them. They forget that Ronald Reagan made millions of illegals legal and never did a thing to close the border or stop them from coming.

It looks like Blacks, Seniors, Poor people, Mexicans are all second class citizens in republicans eyes just like Women and gays. They may joke about being show as hating these groups but their voting record proves they don’t think these Americans deserve the same rights as their rich white friends. Until these groups get better lobbyists and start bribing (I’m sorry lobbying) republicans nothing will change.

This doesn’t even show how many anti-environment laws they have tried to pass that will poison the air and pollute the water all in the name of “free market” and for profits. They cry about the debt we put on our children yet have no interest in leaving them any clean air to breath or water to drink..

My final ruling on conservatives is they are --- Hypocrites at best, evil money hungry liars at worst

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Greatest Liberals

I keep being called liberal and I have learned that it’s not a dirty word and will wear it as a badge of honor, to me Liberals are the ones who change the world. With that said, who would I consider some of the greatest liberals in History? I’m sure that everyone has a different list and that to some the people on mine aren’t liberal but to me a liberal is someone who goes against the convention and fight for what they believe no matter the cost.

4. FDR - The man who brought us the New Deal - the most important thing he brought us would have to be Social Security, while many are trying to end the program today there is no question that it helped pull many, many seniors out of poverty and allowed them to live their golden years with some dignity and respect. Roosevelt also gave American workers the right to form unions to fight back against the rich and powerful who where taking advantage of them, this led to many bloody battles between union workers and rich company men but helped to build one of the greatest labor forces the world has ever seen. And while it didn’t pass he proposed a second bill of rights to the constitution that would guarantee workers fair wages and treatment.

3.Kennedy, King, Johnson - These 3 men where key in ending segregation and giving minorities the same rights as everyone. Martin Luther King Jr. was a key member of the civil right movement while John F. Kennedy championed that all men are equal. Sadly Kennedy was murdered before he ever got to see the Civil Rights Act passed and it was Lyndon Johnson who signed it into law. While we still have racism today it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in the 1960’s, Lyndon Johnson knew that by passing and signing the Civil Rights act knew it would cause problems and even said "We have lost the South for a generation", and to this day the south still holds it against the Democrats. The fight for equality cost Martin Luther King Jr. and John F Kennedy their lives but it was a fight that needed to be fought and these brave men where leading the charge.

2. Abraham Lincoln - The man who freed the slaves. While this is a very oversimplification of the facts what it boils down to is that Lincoln did help all men become free and no longer property. Many, Many men and women died for the cause and to bring the country back together and it eventually lead to President Lincolns own murder. People can argue exactly how much impact he had on the end of slavery and in fact many believe it was not his place since they feel black men where property of rich white men and the government can’t take your property. Not only was President Lincoln right then but even recently the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government can take you property if it’s in the best interest of the community.

1. The Founding Fathers - These where the first and most important liberals of America, they changed the world when they decided it was time for men to be free and decide their own destiny. While other countries either had kings or queens or where ruled by someone else it was a group of farmers and businessmen who had enough and decided to take on the greatest army in the world. After years of fighting The United States of America was born, free men where given the change to set up their own system of Government and to elect the people who would represent them. It wasn’t perfect and still isn’t but when done right it is the best system of government in the world.