I don’t know about elsewhere, but on the public radio station I listen to, the President’s address on Saturdays is followed by what the announcer calls “the Opposition response.” This annoys me to no end. Response is for debates and conversations, not addresses. I find this very disrespectful to the position of POTUS. I’d rather hear the “Opposition” give their own address later as a stand alone statement without staging it as a refute.
I am saddened that Obama’s call to stop oil subsidies (you think gas is expensive NOW, it’s subsidies that keeps it so low. Europe pays twice as much than we do and it has forced them to live a lot more sustainably. If the US paid the real cost of oil instead of the cost lowered by subsidies, then solar, wind, and bio would be much more competitive price-wise) was met with pushback that we should be paying less. I believe that, as Thomas Friedman writes in “Hot, Flat & Crowded,” we are driving in a car with poor brakes, in the fog, towards a cliff. The Opposition today seemed to think that we should continue full speed ahead and somehow the cliff either doesn’t exist, or we’ll have time to change our habits as we plummet off the precipice. Yeah, that’s what’s bugging me today.
Had I sat down to write this a few days ago I would have started with my annual contribution check to hubby’s and my IRA accounts. We use our tax refund each year to help with the contributions to either our retirements or our kids’ college funds. We’d write those checks even without the tax refunds, but they do make it easier. What I don’t do is put that refund back into the economy with purchases. So, I wonder, how many people are actually stimulating the economy with their tax savings as the politicians insist is happening? And that top bracket that’s supposed to be using the savings to create jobs — is it really their personal tax savings they would be using? Wouldn’t it be business taxes that define better when jobs could or could not be created? Am I misunderstanding that taxes to businesses and taxes to individuals are different? Do the Bush tax cuts apply to everything equally? Because I’m thinking that yes, it’s unfair to tell the top bracket that they personally are making too much money and should give some back in the form of letting those tax cuts expire for them only. Let my bracket pay too. The Clinton years weren’t so bad. I say let the Bush era cuts expire for everyone — with the exception of the very lowest tax bracket only — because THESE are the people who really could use a little extra cash in pocket.
When I’m queen I’ll let the tax cuts expire for all but the poorest; I’ll cut or at least modify corn, soy, and oil subsidies; I’ll invest in public transportation, wind, solar, and finding a way to use all that fryer oil we create to run the cars we love; I’ll cut military spending, not by asking the military to do more with less, but by rethinking just how and where we want to use the US military (see Weinberger), and by reinstating war bonds or a war tax; I will give women choices; I will recognize civil unions for matters of legality like property, taxes, child custody, and medical decisions, and let marriages be recognized only as spiritual unions governed by individual churches, temples, and other places of worship (so they can define it however their books require); and I’d like to make universal health care a reality, though I don’t really know how to do it (I’m pretty sure vouchers that are not inflation-proof is not the answer, and maybe capping pharmaceutical prices or bulk purchasing power is).
Since I’ll never actually BE queen of the United States, now all I have to do is vote for a politician who’s platform comes close to what I’ve outlined above. Ha. I might as well renounce my citizenship and move to Canada right now.