House Speaker John Boehner appears to be under attack from an intransigent House Republican caucus that will not allow him to retain any credible leadership if he agrees to a debt and deficit reduction plan that includes any tax increases of any kind. While select Republicans in the Senate agree with the deficit commission recommendations and the Gang of Six proposal—which recognizes the need to increase revenues to deal with escalating deficits—, radicals refuse to agree to any compromise. It seems Speaker Boehner is being held hostage by a radical Tea Party revolt in his party, whom he is not prepared to anger.
Part of the problem is rhetorical. On issues of debt, deficit, entitlements and security, routine use of hyperbole has so distorted debate, that much political discourse now distorts what is actually happening in policy. Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (OK) told Meet the Press, falsely, that “the government is twice as big as it was ten years ago; it’s thirty percent bigger than it was when Pres. Obama took office.”
Continue reading “Boehner Stands Alone between Reason and Unreason”
Spain’s May 15th movement is often called the revolution of the indignados, indignant at the failure of elective government to solve the problems that increasingly define the lives of ordinary people. The complaint, succinctly, is that the powers that be are collaborating in a systemic failure to live up to the rigors of a healthy, legitimate social contract.
Working people, young adults with university degrees but next to zero job prospects, families pushed from their homes by a real estate boom now shown to be a speculator’s wild west show, congregate, organize assemblies, vote on matters of policy, and demand meaningful political change. They argue together, though often in clashing voices, that the political system is rigged against the majority of ordinary citizens.
Continue reading “Fragility of the Social Contract”
GOOD.is has released this infographic illustrating the significant disparity between the current demographic makeup of the United States Congress (both houses combined) and the actual population of the United States. There is a clear drag on progress in most Americans’ access to Congressional office, and it appears the composition of Congress would shift to the Democratic party, given the current policy platforms and voting tendencies of distinct (and overlapping) demographic groups.
Continue reading “Wide Disparity Between Demographics of Congress & US Popupation”