Nel's New Day

October 26, 2011

‘We Can’t Wait’

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 6:42 PM

“We can’t wait to make Barack Obama a one-term president,” tweeted Reince Priebus the chairman of the Republican National Committee, in response to Obama’s determination to make all the changes he can legally do without Congressional approval. “We can’t wait,” said a release from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), “for President Obama to stop campaigning for more failed ‘stimulus’ spending and start working to find common ground.”

Obama started the “we can’t wait” cry by saying, “we can’t wait” for Congress to address the nation’s housing crisis when he declared new regulations to help people threatened with foreclosures on their homes. He also promised to establish easier rules on repayment of college loans. “Until they [Congresspeople] act, until they do what they need to do, we’re going to act on our own, because we can’t wait for Congress to help our families and our economy,” the President said.

Another thing that cannot “wait,” according to Obama, is to help veterans get jobs. He plans to get unemployed veterans, with their higher average of unemployment, hired in health care, where the demand for new jobs is growing faster than in any other sector. “Military medics gain invaluable health care training,” said Mary Wakefield, a top official at Health and Human Services. “It’s important for us to find ways to put their good skills to use once they return home.”

Republicans are angry because Obama told 200 donors in San Francisco that “The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own.’ If you get sick, you’re on your own. If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own.

“I reject an argument that says we’ve got to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from exploiting people who are sick. And I reject the idea that somehow if we strip away collective bargaining rights, that we’ll be somehow better off. We should not be in a race to the bottom where we take pride in having the cheapest labor and the most polluted air and the least protected consumers.”

This is the position that conservatives had announced. In the most recent debate among the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney said that the solution to the nation’s housing crisis is “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

Convinced that the only way to decrease unemployment is by an equal decrease in regulations and taxes for corporations and the wealthy, Republicans are finding petty ways to complain about Obama’s attempts to help people in the United States. Obama’s goal is to help people; Republican goals are to help the wealthy and erase regulations.

“Business owners are reluctant to create jobs today if they’re going to need to pay more tomorrow to comply with onerous new regulations,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Obama’s “excessive regulations that unnecessarily increase costs” just “make it harder for our economy to create jobs,” said Boehner.

Yet regulations from Obama’s Republicans predecessors didn’t seem to offend these nay-sayers at all, even expensive ones. Obama’s White House approved 613 federal rules during the first 33 months of his term, 4.7 percent fewer than the 643 cleared by George W. Bush’s administration in the same time frame, according to an Office of Management and Budget statistical database.

According to the non-partisan Government Accountatility Office, new regulations in the last 12 months cost $8 billion to $9 billion, a decrease from 2010. Yet the 12 months of 1992 saw the record cost of regulations under George H.W. Bush–$20.9 billion in current dollars. Regulations in the last year of  Ronald Reagan’s term cost $16 billion in today’s dollars. Yes, that was St. Ronald.

Even if  some of Obama’s regulations seem expensive, many of them stop even more expensive outcomes. For example, new controls on deep-water oil drilling may cost the industry $180 million but save them $16.3 billion in one oil spill like the one caused by Deepwater Horizon. Some of the administration’s rules, like those governing coal ash, will actually help create thousands of jobs. Of the 10,361 mass layoffs last year, only 61 were attributed to regulations.

When McClatchy asked small business owners why they have been hesitant to hire, “none of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it.”

Small businesses have cited the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath. Rip Daniels, who owns four businesses in Gulfport (MS), said, “What is choking my business is insurance. What’s choking all business is insurance.” Zajic Appliance in south Sacramento was hurt until sales of bank-owned properties picked up. California used some of its federal stimulus money to pay for a “Cash for Appliances” program last year, a rebate program for purchases of energy-efficient washing machines and refrigerators. Other small firms say their problem is simply a lack of customers.

Lynn Swager, a co-owner of Brass on Ivory in Edgewater (MD) that sells, rents and repairs musical instruments cited the Internet as her main problem. She said, “There are so many things that are accessible on the Internet that they can purchase for less than I can purchase from my distributor. It is really, I think, killing a lot of small business.”

Now for those who “can’t wait” for a holiday, today begins the five days of Diwali, the new year Hindu Festival of Lights to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and drive away darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge. Celebrated by a gathering with family and friends with contemplation and prayer, Diwali reminds people of obligations to those less fortunate and the triumph of good over evil.

With a belief in this celebration, conservatives would cooperate with others in the need for regulations on food, water, land, business, education, corporations, etc. to care for our planet and our people while allowing freedom of women’s reproductive choice, religion, and civil rights including those for LGBT people. Understanding Diwali would explain the need for a safety net for the poor and elderly. All those who support Diwali would thus support the teachings of Christ.

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