Just A Coupl’a Thoughts …

I’ve said before that these next two years are going to be chaotic and annoying, and already my angst levels are high, though not as high as they were at this point six years ago!  So, I have just a couple of thoughts at the moment to share with you.

The keepers of the purse …

Y’know … the people on the right-hand side of the aisle, also known as Republicans, sure do make a big fuss over saying that Democrats are not fiscally responsible, that they just spend, spend, spend, with no thought to a balanced budget or debt reduction.  Funny though … last year the U.S. deficit (the difference between assets and liabilities) fell … from $2.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion.  Now, as I recall, the Democrats were a majority in both chambers of Congress, and we had a Democratic president as well.  So, it seems to me that the Democrats do just fine with managing finances!  I guess those Republicans just need something to say to make themselves feel superior, eh?  Oh, and in case you’re wondering … the last time the deficit was erased and the budget fully balanced was under another Democrat – President Bill Clinton.

And speaking of those pesky Republicans …

In the days following the January 6th violent insurrection, additional security measures were taken in the Capitol, one of which was to install metal detectors, known as magnetometers.  Threats against members of Congress are at an all-time high, with 9,625 such threats in 2022 alone, so the safety of our lawmakers should be of primary concern.  But once the Republicans won a very slim majority in the House of Representatives, they had the magnetometers removed from outside the House chamber.  Why?  Who knows?  I do seem to recall that pistol-totin’ Lauren Boebert complained about having to pass through the detectors, ‘cause you know she can’t go anywhere without her gun, so maybe she whined long and loud enough.  Or maybe they’re already working with the likes of the Proud Boys to plot the next attempted coup and want to make sure they can get in with their guns.

But in an additional move to risk the safety of the members of the House, they lifted the smoking ban on their side of the Capitol building.  A number of representatives lit up stinky stogies (cigars) just because they could.  An interesting tidbit … former House Speaker John Boehner smoked so many cigarettes that new carpets, a fresh coat of paint and an ozone machine were required when Paul Ryan took over his office.  Guess who paid for all that?  I wonder if some of the non-smokers will file a lawsuit against their colleagues?

And that’s all the serious stuff I have the stomach for this morning, so how ‘bout some ‘toons?

19 thoughts on “Just A Coupl’a Thoughts …

  1. I could imagine that you represent the part of the American people who try to look behind what has happened and how everything looks now. I understand that this is confusing, takes trust, and makes the ground wobbly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, as an independent and former member of both parties and someone who reads the newsletters from the Committee on a Responsible Federal Budget, it is clear that two things are true.
    – Neither party are doing enough to deal with the deficit and debt
    – Democrats have a far better track record of dealing with it than the Republicans

    The last statement will surprise many, but it is true. There is no doubt the Republicans beat on their chest and claim they are the better financial stewards on this issue, but like with other things, the facts do not match up with the rhetoric.

    Whether it is George W. Bush being handed a surplus budget from Bill Clinton, then proceeding to do a tax cut over his Secretary of Treasury’s objections (whom he fired) to put us in a deficit mode again;

    Whether it is invading Iraq under false pretenses to burn through more of our budget;

    Whether it is neither party doing anything about the report prepared by the Simpson-Bowles Committee on Deficit Reduction;

    Whether it is the last piece of major reductions occurring under Obama after a budget deal was not reached (yet, don’t give him too much credit, as it was a fall back stance);

    Whether it is the Trump tax bill in 2017 providing more tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations adding about $2 trillion to the debt over ten years; and’

    Whether it is both parties passing pandemic relief which did not recognize need;

    the Republicans have not been a leader on this topic (and Democrats have not been great). In fact, the GOP tends to only bring this up when they are not in the White House. When Trump was handed the keys to the third longest growth period in Gross Domestic Product, it should have been a time when we paid down the deficit. The tax bill changed that, as it did with Bush.

    Mind you, Democrats are not doing enough either, but at least they are doing something on occasion. But neither party are prepared to do what is necessary – spending cuts and revenue increases. The math will not otherwise work and do not let any politician, and I mean any, tell you otherwise. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • All good points! The Republican idea is to lower both income (lowering taxes, particularly on the wealthy) AND lower spending (starting with what they call ‘entitlement’ programs such as Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, section 8 housing, etc.) The Democrats, on the other hand, would raise taxes on those making more than a half-million per year in order to fund the programs to help those who are truly in need. Seems to me a no brainer. Like you, I am not affiliated with either party, but I lean far more toward the left of the political spectrum, especially these days.


      • Jill, as the numbers painfully bear out, we must increase taxes and cut spending both. This was true back when the debt was $8 trillion at the time of Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction committee report and it is more true today with numbers 3 1/2 times that. So, both parties need to come to grip with some painful decisions. Again, any politicians who says we can solve the problem with either course is being deceptive or naive. We must do both. Full stop. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed, but we can find other areas besides social services to cut spending … like maybe all the perks given to members of Congress? Or military spending? But no … the first place they fixate their attention on is programs that help people. Sigh.


          • Jill, these are fine, but they are small potatoes. Defense is the biggest budget item and could use some cuts. Social Security and Medicare needs some cuts, just to finance themselves, but their numbers are in the bigger deficit calculations. Simpson Bowles recommended $2 spending cuts for every $1 revenue increase back in 2010. Now it will require at least a $1 for $1 ratio in spending cuts to revenue increases abd that won’t be enough. People call for a Balanced Budget, but what we need is a surplus budget. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • Agreed that the defense budget is the biggest chunk of the pie and definitely needs to be trimmed … maybe even revamped. I would only disagree on Social Security and Medicare. Those aren’t ‘entitlements’ … we paid for them with every paycheck. Most seniors who depend on SS to survive would be devastated by any reduction of benefits — I know I certainly would. I’m betting that we could find many, many areas of waste in our government that would be better cut than taking food out of the mouths of people who innocently handed over nearly 8% of every paycheck all their lives for a bit of future security.


              • Jill, I don’t think they are entitlements either. Note we pay for 1/2 of Social Security with the employer paying the other half. I don’t think you need to worry about Social Security going away, but it does need some tweaking to make sure it is financed. As for those who want to turn it into mutual funds, a lot of that is driven by an industry that wants the fee income – they see it as a bonanza. Keith

                Liked by 1 person

                • True … our contributions are matched by our employer. If tweaking means making sure the department is run at maximum efficiency and the rules are being followed, I’m for it, but if it means taking money from those who most need it, then no. You are right, though that the investments need to be managed carefully and I do not see privatization as a feasible option. I still think they could find a better place to start cutting costs, though …


  3. And you still got, the two evils, fighting for control over the country, and now, we will see, if the people of the U.S., those who are eligible to vote, and are, registered to, those who actually, go to the polls on, election day, have, enough BRAINS, to tell, the, difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, since the next general election is nearly two years away, we have time to try to educate people and urge them to use their vote, since it is really their main way to make their voice heard. Time will tell.


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