Sunday, September 19, 2021
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The US Senate Has No Sense Of Itself

[h/t RCP]

Turns out the Senate had their first vote yesterday during the holiday week they promised they’d give up in order to get something done about the deficit and the debt. And it’s precisely because they care so much about “making the hard decisions” and “doing the People’s business” and getting down to the nitty gritty, and making some real progress on fixing the mess they made with our economy and our country, that they decided their first order of business should be to express a sense of themselves through a bill formally titled “A bill to express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit.”

The money quoted text of this little beauty, according to the RCP piece:

SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON SHARED SACRIFICE.

(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.

(2) Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.

(3) Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.

(4) Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.

(b) Sense of the Senate รขโ‚ฌโ€œ It is the sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.

Excuse me?

Why did only 8 Republican Senators vote no, and 8 more couldn’t even be bothered to show UP for the vote? Sadly, this news makes it quite clear that the fight isn’t even between the left and the right anymore (83 out of 100 in the Senate have this “sense”).

This fight is between the governing and the governed.

Many of the individuals that voted in the affirmative on this pandering mess will, themselves, fall under the category of “$1,000,000 or more” and they want us to believe that they, too, mean to share the sacrifice. But do any of them even know what real sacrifice is?

I say no.

We are in a crisis in this country unlike at any other moment in our history. At every other point where we found our Republic under fire or in distress, in need of pulling together as a nation and standing up against an enemy (“foreign or domestic”), we did so by joining arm in arm and fighting together for a common cause. What we’re seeing now, however, is quite a different thing altogether; the people solely responsible for creating this enemy are standing before us and pointing fingers at US, their own countrymen, attempting to pit one group of us against another. Worse, they are demanding that only 1 percent of us even bother to “take up arms” (write the checks) against this enemy of their creation. Heck, when we started this little experiment called “Democracy” at least we had 3 percent engaged in the fight… a far better “army” than the one we’re standing up now.

This is no way to lead, and it is not the way to find a solution to the problems that we all face… together.

Shared sacrifice indeed. How many of our Congressmen are unemployed? How many have had their homes taken away from them, forced to move in with relatives or share homes with friends (or even strangers for that matter) just so they won’t have to sleep in their cars (if they haven’t been repossessed)? How many have had to drop out of college, or deplete their life savings while ultimately losing their homes anyway, or take jobs at 30% to 70% CUTS in their pay just so they can eat or pay their utilities or buy enough gas at these ridiculous prices in order to get to whatever job they DO find themselves lucky enough to have?

None.

And this gets us to the root of the problem; the American people have sacrificed enough. There is nothing left to give, and there is nothing more they can take from us now except our pride and our dignity. And even those are receding at a fairly brisk clip. The answer is NOT to further the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” but rather to bring us all together to fight our common enemy: Congress itself.

I offer a consideration of this article at Powerline by Steven Hayward in which it is suggested taxes should be raised on every American, rich and poor alike in order to pay down the debt and increase revenues. THAT, my fellow Americans, is shared sacrifice. It is NOT Congress taking more from one group of us in order to give more to another group of us.

We Americans, by and large, truly DO want to be able to pay our fair share. If only Congress (the People’s common enemy) would get out of our way so that we could find meaningful employment and work together (against them and their policies that have brought us to our knees), we would be far more likely to solve this crisis. And we would be far more likely to save our childrens’ futures.

The sacrifice to be shared is to be shared by all of us, not just the ones who are already carrying the burden of decades of mismanagement of the public trust AND it’s treasures… and the creators of this mess can’t be trusted nor believed when they tell us who should be made to clean it up.

[Note: Have you contacted your Congressman and told him/her they’ll be fired if they don’t join WITH us against this enemy?: Cut, Cap, Balance…do it now or go home.]

haystackhttp://unwashedphilosopher@gmail.com
There's not much to say... I come from a long line of Appalachian folk that landed in America long before flipping off the King was even a twinkle in the eyes of our founding fathers. We have been Carpenters and coal miners... Soldiers & Sailors and pig farmers and Sunday morning circuit-riding preachers. Hell, I'm told we have even been fairly decent bootleggers too.

21 COMMENTS

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Outstanding piece, ‘Stack. As pathetic as this resolution is, what’s scary is that apparently a majority of GOP senators are no on record as being in favor of taxing those who create jobs at an even higher rate.

    And while the top 1% may earn 20% of the income in this country, conspicuously absent from the ‘Sense of the Senate’ is the annoying little fact that they also pay 41% of the taxes. Would seem to me they are already paying twice their fair share.

  2. If the Senate wants to share our sacrifice, better late than never I guess, let them pass this email I’ve been receiving. It would say a little more than the bs above.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. No Tenure / No Pension.
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    • You know, nessa, this is awesome…sad, mind…but awesome.

      Sad because nary a [redacted] one of ’em would EVER sign on to this…though I’d vote for them everytime their name came up if they did.

      They’re kids and grandkids as well.

      heh

  3. As the Valley Girls are wont to say “O….M….G !” The Title of your piece says it all, ‘stack. They do not, in any adult sense, have a sense of themselves. I know that in America nobody is supposed to be ‘above’ anybody else, but it’s always been accepted, going back a couple of millenia, that Senators were supposed to think a little bit. I would bet you that some of the Republicans who signed on to this gibberish, this insult, about a “meaningful contribution” when they were running for election or re-election went on TV and mocked the Clinton people’s characterization of taxes as ‘conributions’.. Proceeding now to look for names.

  4. How do you explain that? How do you explain, as a Republican, and many of them call themselves ‘conservative Republicans, signing on to a statement of class envy, of punishing achievement, of blaming high earners for stagnant wages? This is nothing more than classic redistributionist rhetoric and these people voted ‘aye’? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Even if they claim that it was merely a tactic in the ‘bigger fight’, or something, you just don’t……….. Somebody with access needs to get McConnell, even though he voted ‘nay’ to explain this. At this juncture, we don’t need 33 different explanations, this is a Republican Caucus and a Republican Party matter now.

    • The Republicans cant stay on message because the leadership like Eric Cantor is just fine with a little Donk lite.

      They take up the language of the left with ease, hoping that the NYT might annoint them as what . . . thoughtful?

      How hard is it to remember cut-cap-balance? But Cantor can’t quite get there. He just has to talk loopholes and revenue enhancement.

      Stuck_on_stupid.

  5. If they wanted to ‘share the burden’ at least they could have advocated for a ‘minimum’ tax of 1 or 2 percent for *everybody*. At least that way those close-to-50%-of-the-population who are ‘entitlementists’ would have some skin in the game.

  6. My grandma had a saying, “Many hands make light work.” She was a pretty smart chick. Way smarter than all our Congresscritters put together.

    If everyone chips in on the government burden, not only is the burden lighter for all of us, but it gives everyone “skin in the game” so to speak. Right now, about half of America doesn’t care how much money Uncle Sugar wastes, because they don’t pay the [redacted] bill. Stupid way to run a country, if you ask me.

  7. Also: Liars, Damn Liars, and Statistics

    I’m going to bring this data from the 2000 and 2010 census (the time period where the Sensible Senate is concerned about household income declining)

    Even though the overall household size declined between 2000 and 2010, some household subgroups increased in size. For example, households where the householder had less than a high school degree increased to an average of 2.87 people in 2010 from 2.67 people in 2001.

    Other highlights:

    The percentage of households headed by a married couple who had children under 18 living with them declined to 21 percent in 2010, down from 24 percent in 2000.
    The percentage of children under 18 living with two married parents declined to 66 percent in 2010, down from 69 percent in 2000.
    In 2010, 23 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15.
    The percentage of children under 18 who lived in a household that included a grandparent increased from 8 percent in 2001 to 10 percent in 2010. Of the 7.5 million children who lived with a grandparent in 2010, 22 percent did not have a parent present in the household.

    Yes, that’s right, the size of households declined. That might have influenced the income numbers, mightn’t it?

    Also, households with not even a high school diploma increased. Possible link to income?

    More stay at home moms. (Wow, that’s a surprise!) Possible link to income?

    Fewer married couples heading home. Possible link to income?

    More grandparents moving back in with kids. They don’t typically add a lot of income to the family budget.

    Summary: You can’t trust your Congresscritters to even give you numbers right.

  8. There is actually one bottom line to this struggle, Haystack, and you nailed it: between the governed and the governors. Seems while we march forward we have to watch our flanks and our backs.

  1. Outstanding piece, ‘Stack. As pathetic as this resolution is, what’s scary is that apparently a majority of GOP senators are no on record as being in favor of taxing those who create jobs at an even higher rate.

    And while the top 1% may earn 20% of the income in this country, conspicuously absent from the ‘Sense of the Senate’ is the annoying little fact that they also pay 41% of the taxes. Would seem to me they are already paying twice their fair share.

  2. If the Senate wants to share our sacrifice, better late than never I guess, let them pass this email I’ve been receiving. It would say a little more than the bs above.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. No Tenure / No Pension.
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    • You know, nessa, this is awesome…sad, mind…but awesome.

      Sad because nary a [redacted] one of ’em would EVER sign on to this…though I’d vote for them everytime their name came up if they did.

      They’re kids and grandkids as well.

      heh

  3. As the Valley Girls are wont to say “O….M….G !” The Title of your piece says it all, ‘stack. They do not, in any adult sense, have a sense of themselves. I know that in America nobody is supposed to be ‘above’ anybody else, but it’s always been accepted, going back a couple of millenia, that Senators were supposed to think a little bit. I would bet you that some of the Republicans who signed on to this gibberish, this insult, about a “meaningful contribution” when they were running for election or re-election went on TV and mocked the Clinton people’s characterization of taxes as ‘conributions’.. Proceeding now to look for names.

  4. How do you explain that? How do you explain, as a Republican, and many of them call themselves ‘conservative Republicans, signing on to a statement of class envy, of punishing achievement, of blaming high earners for stagnant wages? This is nothing more than classic redistributionist rhetoric and these people voted ‘aye’? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Even if they claim that it was merely a tactic in the ‘bigger fight’, or something, you just don’t……….. Somebody with access needs to get McConnell, even though he voted ‘nay’ to explain this. At this juncture, we don’t need 33 different explanations, this is a Republican Caucus and a Republican Party matter now.

    • The Republicans cant stay on message because the leadership like Eric Cantor is just fine with a little Donk lite.

      They take up the language of the left with ease, hoping that the NYT might annoint them as what . . . thoughtful?

      How hard is it to remember cut-cap-balance? But Cantor can’t quite get there. He just has to talk loopholes and revenue enhancement.

      Stuck_on_stupid.

  5. If they wanted to ‘share the burden’ at least they could have advocated for a ‘minimum’ tax of 1 or 2 percent for *everybody*. At least that way those close-to-50%-of-the-population who are ‘entitlementists’ would have some skin in the game.

  6. My grandma had a saying, “Many hands make light work.” She was a pretty smart chick. Way smarter than all our Congresscritters put together.

    If everyone chips in on the government burden, not only is the burden lighter for all of us, but it gives everyone “skin in the game” so to speak. Right now, about half of America doesn’t care how much money Uncle Sugar wastes, because they don’t pay the [redacted] bill. Stupid way to run a country, if you ask me.

  7. Also: Liars, Damn Liars, and Statistics

    I’m going to bring this data from the 2000 and 2010 census (the time period where the Sensible Senate is concerned about household income declining)

    Even though the overall household size declined between 2000 and 2010, some household subgroups increased in size. For example, households where the householder had less than a high school degree increased to an average of 2.87 people in 2010 from 2.67 people in 2001.

    Other highlights:

    The percentage of households headed by a married couple who had children under 18 living with them declined to 21 percent in 2010, down from 24 percent in 2000.
    The percentage of children under 18 living with two married parents declined to 66 percent in 2010, down from 69 percent in 2000.
    In 2010, 23 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15.
    The percentage of children under 18 who lived in a household that included a grandparent increased from 8 percent in 2001 to 10 percent in 2010. Of the 7.5 million children who lived with a grandparent in 2010, 22 percent did not have a parent present in the household.

    Yes, that’s right, the size of households declined. That might have influenced the income numbers, mightn’t it?

    Also, households with not even a high school diploma increased. Possible link to income?

    More stay at home moms. (Wow, that’s a surprise!) Possible link to income?

    Fewer married couples heading home. Possible link to income?

    More grandparents moving back in with kids. They don’t typically add a lot of income to the family budget.

    Summary: You can’t trust your Congresscritters to even give you numbers right.

  8. There is actually one bottom line to this struggle, Haystack, and you nailed it: between the governed and the governors. Seems while we march forward we have to watch our flanks and our backs.

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