The year started with uncertainty. The economy still staggering along, the presidential nomination for the GOP still up in the air, the war on Unions and Women playing out daily as the days and months went by, all while the future of the Affordable Care Act all hanging in the balance. It was easy to see that 2012 would be a pivotal year in American politics from the beginning. That the outcome of the election, both for the Presidency and Congress, would shape our future in ways an election had never done in America before. What wasn’t clear was how the American people would vote, what would be the driving factors, and what the outcome would be.
We did vote. We voted for investment over austerity. Still, here we are facing a manufactured fiscal cliff and another battle over the debt ceiling with a tea-party minority holding the GOP in the House hostage, and the rest of the country with it. We voted, but Congress didn’t get the message. No, Republicans in Congress got the message, they simply don’t care to heed it. They have no desire to fix the economic inequality that has devastated our economy. They have no motivation to find a compromise because they view compromise as a weakness. What they desire, what motivates them, is the decimation of our government. They aim to bankrupt and delegitimize it. Their only goal is to break the backbone of our government, the middle class, and the various social safety nets, that have been hard fought for by Democrats and Republicans alike, since the New Deal.
Lets get one thing straight. The debt ceiling has nothing to do with spending, but everything to do with paying back the money that’s already been spent. Our Constitution gives the spending power to Congress, not the President. The Constitution also charges Congress with the responsibility to pay for the debt the country incurs. The GOP knows this. The fact that they would use such a potentially crushing tactic to get the cuts in Social Security and Medicare that they want is beyond shameful, it’s treasonous. They’re nothing less than economic terrorists. There is no other way to define holding the full faith and credit of the United States of America hostage.
They refuse to raise taxes. It seems that no one told them that allowing a temporary tax cut to expire isn’t actually raising taxes, but that’s beside the point. They look at our $16 trillion deficit and grin. Sure, they tell us that the debt is the problem. They love to tell you it’s President Obama’s debt even, but what they don’t tell you is what’s really driving the debt up, and the majority of it is unfunded temporary tax cuts that were set to expire two years ago. If the deficit is the biggest problem, as they’d have you believe, the temporary tax cuts would have expired on schedule. But they’re still here, dragging America deeper and deeper in debt. For 12 years now, America has been spending money we don’t have, as our debt rises, to give money to people who don’t need it. Talk about wasteful spending.
Speaking of spending, we’re doing a lot of it. And sure, there are cuts that should be made as well as cutting out waste and fraud, but the GOP doesn’t offer that. They want social programs cut. From earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare, to entitlements like education and infrastructure, to social welfare programs like housing and food. And here’s the kicker; they don’t want to cut these programs to pay for the debt, they want to cut them in order to grant deeper tax cuts for the wealthy. They aren’t deficit hawks, they’re crooks.
You know, when President Obama was first elected we all expected “hope and change.” It is, after all, what the American people voted for. What wasn’t known then was the rise of the tea party. Sure, it was there, it was even almost rational, but it morphed. Hijacked would be a better word. Few could have known what was coming, I know I didn’t. So, there wasn’t a lot of hope and change, well, not the kind that was voted in anyway save but the ACA (which is bigger and better than most realize) there hasn’t been much progress. That’s actually a good thing when put into perspective.
President Obama has managed to keep the middle class alive. Struggling, but alive. He’s been able to /mostly/ stop the foamy mouthed tea party from decimating this country, from turning it into a free for all with no moral compass. From sending women’s Rights back to the 50’s. From ending the social accomplishments, of both The Republican and Democratic Parties, that have been put in place since the New Deal. From turning our environment over to those who care only for profit.
When it comes down to it, America elected a Champion when we needed a Guardian.
I, for one, am grateful he’s been able to be the Guardian President that America needs.