Do you really think there still are free lunches in these unsettled times? No, that went out with good government and selfless politicians. You only need to be blitzerkrieged by Wolf or given the bumsrush by Rush to know otherwise.
A few evenings ago I was bathed in stardust listening to the majesty of Les Miserables. To the barricades they went and, when it was all said and done, good triumphed over evil, sacrifice trumped selfishness, and all was right with the world.
Then I turned the set off.
When I awoke it was the same old things. The order of business once again, was divisiveness and "breaking news" kept on its petty pace repeating over and over again, the social misery of the day. This one misspoke, off with his damn head, that one filed a suit for damages based on a physical similarity to Kim Kardashian, and while Barack and Mitt fiddled, the nation burned.
Summing this up it was all about getting elected or re-elected. No one had any substance about the belweather issues like the eocnomy, jobs; but plenty about paying taxes, size of government, you know the sorts of things we must have gotten pretty used to by now because WE ACCEPT IT right here, right were we live. There is not a dimes' worth of difference between the inattentiveness, lack of openess, failure to focus..... yes, everyone loves the middle class and no one knows how to do a damn thing about their travails thinking I suppose, that talking about Joe's gaffes or Ryan's attraction to Ayn Rand makes any difference.
Well, looks like most of us feel the same way about how we live and are managed here because we sure have expressed little interest or passion on the topic. And, I do not mean negative gotcha interest or passion. I strongly believe in something very basic and that is that if you are in elected office, you are representing an entire district, city, or nation whatever the case may be. And that means that a poorly conceived and dangerous stop light on the corner of Main and Division; one that has accounted for a number of casualties, including yours truly, is important to all of you. It is just as important as say, a similar traffic light in zip code 10804.
So, I turned to Talk of the Sound and read about an apparent new resident, "Dearalexandria", relaying stories not dissimilar to those seen in the mean streets of Beirut this very day. She equates it to South L.A She might be right; but, she is a voice and we should listen to that voice. So is the pseudonym posted John Galt. Yes, he is the anti-hero from Atlas Shrugged and maybe his story is real, imagined.... don't know. What I do know is that he needs to be heard.
Barck hands out index cards it is alleged at his briefing to ensure "softball questions" are posed. Noam does not read TOTS I am told. Congress and our City Council do not spend time in ensuring that the correct, game changing issues are placed before the community. Actually our officials do much better I think with the exception of not stepping up and demanding that their districts are represented at public forums or committees by people of their choice, those who represent their communities.
Yesterday, MSNBC played a promotional piece by Al Sharpton talking about the tax inequity laws of our nation. Yes, it is a serious issue; I would have liked it more if Sharpton would have mentioned his personal anathema to paying taxes in the first place.
But, we are enablers as I have often said. This city would not be focused on the wrong things if you cared enough to say... Enough! The conversation would or should turn to taxes, expense management, lack of proper emphais on commercial development, the need to clean up our visible downtown district, a war of crime and support for our first providers.
It would be better if we had a clergy that would echo togetherness as they were taught and not divisiveness which is more acceptable meat for the congregations. We would prosper if we stopped our twisted view of diversity and adopted ways and means shown to us by Mandela and King.
No, we must pander, obfuscate, ignore, until such time as it comes shriekingly to your doorstep. Then, then, you are doomed because by not being part of the solution, you remain part of the problem.
I am an ignored citizen; partly because I am the new minority whipping boy, the OWG and partly because I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, you are not much better off. There is a cost of ignoring someone cut to the bone cradled by our new neighbor, dearalexandria. There is little cost to the so called "riot" in the park. We always had that and it is really racist to think otherwise.
The interesting thing about racism, sexism, homophobia is that we are being increasingly exposed to the other side of the coin. People of color with real issues are being lumped with all others who are rampant whiners. The glass ceiling is really more plexiglass than glass and real victims of this are also being lumped with the opportunists. And, we see reverse racism and sexism being more and more exposed.
But, what does this have to do with Washington or New Rochelle? Actually a whole lot. You have to fall under some aspect of political correctness to be part of the team in both sites. This cuts down on true conversation, real choices, lasting bonding and friendships and, government, the loss of some of our best and brightest. I would like to hear an "Amen" for Hilary Clinton and wonder how deep our quagmire would be if she were not on board.
But, what about the national issues and by extrapolation, the right local issues. I have posted recently on this.. read "Malice in Wonderland" for one and there are many others.
Now I would like to highlight a solution to our DC dilemmas, thus yours and mine, and by simple again, extrapolation, echo the words thrown at Dreyfus by saying to our Mayor and Council.... "Je Accuse"... I accuse you of not being focused on the real problems and needed solutions, by closing your doors to honest dissention, and for being too tired or disinterested to address the smaller problems, the death light at Main and Division, and the bigger issues, attracting, sustaining and supporting a robust growth in our property tax base.
You know me to be Socratic not sophmoric or sophistic. Now, let me highlight anew the two most noble yet neglected OWGs in our nation; the Honorable Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. It is past time to introduce you to the highlights of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform they chaired and the report they submitted to both parties, our President and our Congress in December 2010. They call it the Moment of Truth.
Whenever I feel hopeless, angry, nonplussed or plain pissed off I return to this and wonder why we have enabled our government to ignore these findings. They are going to be redeemed shortly once Barack or Mitt can figure out how to explain the lack of attention to these findings and recommendations and how to claim discovery.
Under Guiding Principles and Values..
. we all have a patriotic duty to make American better off tomorrow than it is today. (Same for New Rochelle don't you think?)
. don't disrupt the fragile economic recovery.
. cut and invest to promote economic growth and keep America competitive.
. Protect the truly disadvantaged.
. Cut spending we cannot afford.
, Demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington.
. Reform and simplify the tax code.
. Don't make promises we cannot keep.
. The problem is real, and the solution will be painful (lesson lost thus far on New Rochelle who are in constant data denial)
. Keep American sound over the long run.
This is all covered in great depth in the report.
The above is covered in outline on pages 12-13. Below is an annotated version of their six part plan to address the issues.
Part 1 - Achieve nearly $4 trilion in deficit reduction through 2020 more than any effort in the nation's history.
Part 2 - Reduce the deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2015 (2.4% excluding Social Security reform), exceeding President's goal of primary balance (about 3% of GDP).
Part 3 -- Sharply reduce tax rates, abolish the AMT, and cut backdoor spending in the tax code.
Part 4 -- Cap revenue at 21% of GDP and get spending below 22% and eventually to [email protected]%.
Part 5 -- Ensure lasting Social Security solvency, prevent the projected 22% cuts to come in 2037. reduce elderly poverty, and distribute the burden fairly.
Part 6 -- Stabilize debt by 2014 and reduce debt to 60% pf GDP by 2023 and 40% by 2035.
Sadly, the two year anniversary of benign neglect of these findings come due at the end of 2012 and massive recalculations will be necessary even if adopted. But, of course, the Mayans may have something to say about that even given the readapted reading into the Mayan Calendar that speaks to an "age of community ethos and enlightenment." If so, City Hall and Washington better get their acts together now.
The solution tracks cover (1) discretionary spending cuts, (2) comprehensive tax reform, (3) health care cost containement, (4) mandatory savings, (5) Social Security Reforms to Ensure Long Term Solvency, and (6) Process Changes.
Oh, breaking news.... from Simpson and Bowles to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.... concerning Moment of Truth ---"Call Me Maybe?"
Hate to burden you but you are needed at the battlements and now! If a crime is committed, a citizen injured or maimed downtown, you need to raise a ruckus. This is your community! Is your only advice to Dearalexandria is Move?
Look in the eyes of your children if they are not too bloodshot from playing the latest video explosions or blasting out som ho/bitch aria and, well, take it away and tell them they get it back when mommy and or daddy return from a city hall meeting demanding parity and justice.
I do not apologize for the length of this narrative only for the mispellings. One other thing I am sorry for and that is my voice is limited to TOTS and not being used in the community. Wrong zip code, too loud, opinionated, maybe too hopeful even. But, gee whiz.... OMG I am an OWG.
Dedicated to Noam, Jared, Ivar, Shari, Louis, Al, Barry, Barack, Joe, Mitt, and Mr Ryan