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In follow up to last week’s blog post; you probably know by now that a 2-part deal was finally reached late last Friday to avoid a government shutdown. First, the House and Senate passed a one-week spending bill that addressed the immediate threat – giving Congress and the White House time to finalize the second part: a fiscal 2011 spending deal (on which they have agreed in principle) before an April 15 deadline.
By the way, if you are curious about how your Representative voted on the stop-gap measure, you can view the detail of this New York Times map here. The one-week spending bill enacted by the House and Senate contains $2 billion in spending cuts to transportation, housing and community development programs.
With a shutdown essentially averted, attention has already shifted to how the two political parties will likely talk about fiscal matters during the 2012 Presidential election campaign. Obama senior adviser David Plouffe told NBC’s Meet the Press that the President will deliver a speech on Wednesday to outline his ideas on deficit reduction and how to reign in Medicare and Medicaid spending.
As I catch up on this weekend’s analysis of the behind-the-scenes budget negotiations I find myself wondering if the true impact of these spending cuts will be felt fully in time for voters to decide whether we have patriots or mad hatters in Congress. What do you think?
As I write this blog, a shutdown of the federal government seems likely. Congressional leaders, intent on reigning in government spending, can’t agree on a budget for fiscal year 2011 – which ends in September. As this graph points out, we certainly have reason to be concerned about government spending.
But should spending cuts be the only priority? That seems to be the message if you are a Tea Party Republican.
Dante Chinni at The Patchwork Nation has offered an interesting perspective in his blog post this morning entitled “The Shutdown Showdown.” He offers an interesting study of the demographic profile of Florida’s 5th District, represented by Republican Rich Nugent. Dante’s blog essentially poses the question what will voters that have given rise to the ”no compromise” political ideology of the Tea Party do when the government shuts down – or if the kind of cuts to entitlement programs proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan were to be adopted.
While the Tea Party movement prefers to invoke the spirit of Boston colonists in 1773, their influence on public policy is more closely resembling the Tea Party found in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. As you may recall, the Mad Hatter asked Alice a riddle that does not have an answer. The Tea Party Republicans seem to pose the same type of riddle: When is a government shut down like a path to prosperity?
Here we are, just days before the Midterm elections and I’m fighting the urge to tune out. Yep, I’ve had it.
People who know me well, know that I love politics and debate about policy, etc. I’ve been active in political campaigns both local and national…worked tirelessly up until the last vote was counted…but this year I’m definitely feeling the effect of what may go down in history as the most contentius of election seasons. If you doubt it, listen to NPR’s story that aired this morning on the relative truth of this year’s political ads.
The endless negative ads, the robo calls at all hours, the tsunami of fundraising emails have worn me down. And if you listen closely to the campaign rhetoric and the media accounts of this election cycle, you’d think we should rename our country “The Divided States of America.”
I’ll be traveling on election day so I’ve already cast my absentee ballot…which was a nightmare in and of itself for a number of reasons. But I’ll spare you the details. So I’m essentially done. Maybe a few last “get out the vote” calls, but no more contributions, no more attention to untrue political ads. It’s over.
I hope that when all is said and done that, as a country, we’ll pause and take a slow, deep breath and stop to consider how extreme this election cycle has been and its true effects – beyond that of simply getting any one candidate elected over another. How many votes will be cast on Tuesday based on a candidate’s actual stand on public policy?
State and national political parties, and candidates in 2012 – you’re on notice: I, for one, expect better from you next time around. Our democratic process has been on shaky ground since the 2000 presidential election and this year has seen the worst. Clean up your act – the American people deserve…and expect better!
I came across an editorial this morning that points out that a couple of the biggest assumptions on which much of this election cycle’s anti-incumbent fervor is based are, in fact, false. With the mid-term election now less than 30 days away, there is mounting evidence that the government’s actions with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and other government-financed rescue efforts actually worked.
While the economy is not where most would want it to be, it appears it could have been much worse. In this blog I try to address topics related to marketing and brand communications more than politics…but this is definitely where the fields intersect. Read “Reality vs. perception – TARP, rescue plans worked” here. It will be interesting to see if perceptions about these programs can be shifted.