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 â€“ 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.
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?
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.]