Deconstructing The Absurdity

Archive for the ‘Republican Party’ Category

Can enforced mandatory voting in a post-industrial United States increase political efficacy?

In Democratic Party, Elections, Electoral process, Republican Party, U.S Congress, U.S States, United States of America on June 3, 2016 at 9:49 am

vote

An outline of the problem

Political participation can assume various forms: protesting, voting and actively engaging in campaign activities, however in industrial democracies, more people vote than engage in a routine mass political behavior. A participatory culture creates an atmosphere where citizens depict a heightened enthusiasm for politics and take pride in the institutions and its roles in public life (Jackman 405). But interest in matters of state and policy framing is dependent on individual experience and relationship to the sociopolitical environment. Sociologist Andrew Perrin posits that we fabricate a “democratic imagination” from experiences in civic life along with other domains such as work, family, and neighborhood. This democratic imagination drives the motivation of getting involved in politics, how to do so and when to stay away (Perrin 2).

A relatively new trend in the American political system is emerging where public engagement with the policy framing process is on a steady decline towards a deep legitimacy crisis. In the 2014 U.S midterm election, a meager 36.4 percent of the eligible voting population showed up to the polls. According to the New York Times editorial board, this national election cycle marked a 70-year low in terms of voter turnout going back to 1942 when 33.9 percent of adults reportedly voted. The excuse in 1942 was reasonable as most young men eligible to vote were fighting in the Second World War (Montanaro et al).

The detrimental aspect of the 2014 midterms was the disproportionate outcome when viewed across the lines of race and ethnicity. According to the latest U.S census data: 75 percent of the population is Caucasian; 12.5 percent Hispanic or Latino (of any race); 12.3 percent African-American; 3.6 percent Asian. The United States has a tremendous mixture of ethnic groups with different expectations from government, however, the exit poll data from the last election shows a grim picture when it comes to representation from the above-listed communities. In the race for the U.S House of Representatives, 75 percent of the voters were white and the next significant number is 12 percent from the African-American community followed by eight percent of Hispanic voters (NBC news). Read the rest of this entry »

America’s fetish with Donald Trump needs to end. Now!

In Donald Trump, Elections, Republican Party on August 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm

If you have been following the news at all, it would be hard to miss the numerous stories regarding business mogul and presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump. Mr. Trump announced his candidacy earlier this year and following a bizarre pattern of bigoted statements and comments, shot up in preliminary polls as the months went on. Whether it was referring to Mexican immigrants as “rapist who are bringing drugs and crime to the U.S” or bullying Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly post Fox News’ much hyped first Republican debate. Univision replied to Mr. Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants by withdrawing partnership with the Trump organization and Fox News owner Roger Alias demanded an apology from Trump for his behavior with Kelly on and off air. Yet! Trump remains unfazed and unapologetic to anyone he may have inadvertently hurt or offended.

However, the real fascinating aspect in this debacle is the radical following Mr. Trump has garnered since announcing his candidacy. For various reasons, reasonable or not, followers of Mr. Trump have increasingly grown in numbers. As time goes by, ardent followers are becoming almost blind supporters of Donald Trump’s political rhetoric. This brings up a real problem with an American society that is heavily into the idea of politics, but seemingly avoids understanding the needs of the country or the policy forming process. Proof is in the policy proposal’s put forth by the Trump campaign, which when considered in context doesn’t hold a lot of weight in the process of forming policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking Down The Policy of Taxing

In 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Republican Party, U.S Congress on December 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

During the 2012 political campaign we got to hear a lot about the tax policy and how unfair the United States taxing system is supposed to be. We also heard the slogan “Tax the rich more” several times. All this talk about the inequality of taxes levied on the citizens in this country made me dig a little deeper into the tax system to find out what was really going on. Who needs to be taxed, what tax breaks should be eliminated, who is not paying and why is our focus not on changing the tax policy?

How is it that tax rates have gone up and down over the years but it has never been enough to fix the budget or the economy. That leads us to draw the conclusion that somewhere the money is not coming in. Someone is not paying the fair share.

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A study done by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez examines the progressiveness of the U.S Federal Tax System. The research which was published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that the most dramatic changes in the federal tax system almost always has taken place within the top 1 percent of income earners, with relatively small changes occurring below the top percentile. The research also suggests that any debates within the Congress on the topic of tax and tax policy also affects the top 1%. Topics like permanent reduction in tax rates for capital gains and dividends and repealing of the estate tax all concern the top income level of the society. In essence, the tax issues of the marginal voter never gets discussed making the policy of taxing in the United States extremely unfair. An opinion post on Bloomberg online carries the headline, Forget the Fiscal Cliff, Fix the U.S Tax System. The post talks about all the things wrong with the U.S Tax System and provides some ideas as to how we could fix those issues. Authors of the post, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers argue that, “The real danger, is not that we’ll fall off the cliff. It’s that Congress will solve the problem badly, missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design a better tax system.” The study done by Piketty and Saez only proves their [Steven and Wolfers] point. Read the rest of this entry »

Another page added to history, one more step towards change; DADT is repealed!

In 2012 Presidential Election, Democratic Party, Presidential Debates, Republican Party, Tea Party, U.S Congress on September 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

At 12:00 am on September 20th 2011, one of the most discriminatory policies existing in the United States military ceased to exist. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy is now officially history. For the past decade and more the idea of letting LGBT As per the December 21, 1993 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, it was legal policy (10 U.S.C. § 654) that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Any person engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were to be discharged.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice, passed by Congress in 1950 and signed by President Harry S Truman, established the policies and procedures for discharging service members.

The one thing I love about America is how as a country we have learnt so much from our past and made changes. Slavery, civil war, civil rights, assassinations, integration, wars and finally 9/11. Every event has had a devastating impact on the American society and we always learnt something valuable from it. That learning is what made and makes the United States such a strong country and by strong I don’t just mean hard power. I am talking about social and structural power. The mistakes we made us stronger and a better country. So why is the whole sexual preference concept so alien to the American community? As a culture America is perhaps the most open and progressive culture in the western world. Popular cultural trend is mostly set by America and American institutions/people. The question mark is still on the sexual preference being such a taboo. In a free country like this, how can the people discriminate against someone who has a different sexual preference? How can you discriminate against Americans who have sacrificed their lives and are on the battlefield fighting your security or maybe even your pride?

Herman Cain is one person on the GOP hopeful roster who you’d think would be against any kind of discrimination. Considering he is a “representative” of the African-American community he would know not to discriminate a fellow human being on any basis. Cain has supported the military’s ban on homosexuals and says he would have never repealed it as president. As for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA – a proposed bill that would prohibit “discrimination” against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity), the conservative commentator explains that he “would veto that relative to special rights to homosexuals.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of The American Jobs Act

In 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Republican Party, U.S Congress on September 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Warren Buffet has gone on record saying that his secretary pays higher taxes than he does. President Obama just released his jobs plan which he has been promoting an awful lot these days. He also has said that he is ready to work out the tax code with both Republicans and Democrats. The American jobs act was released to the public sometime ago. Let’s weigh in on the key points of the plan:

  • Cuts payroll taxes: The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold. Perhaps, Perhaps! The only point that both Republicans and Democrats might agree when this bill comes to a vote. Republicans LOVE tax cuts and this is a perfect opportunity building up to 2012 making the point that the GOP isn’t opposed to tax cuts for the middle class. Democrats have been pushing for payroll tax cuts for a long time now. It has been extended temporarily for a while but President Obama. Experts say that this might create 8-10 millions jobs in this painful economy.
  • Tax cuts for veterans:  A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans; This provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans. Veteran unemployment is at 12% and this tax breaks would go a long way in helping veterans seeking a life after the military.
  • Tax credit for employers, employing: A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers. Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers when hiring. Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth.
  • Modernizing public schools: The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Republican Health Care Plan: Don’t get sick! If you do, die quickly [VIDEO]

In 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Elections, Health Care, Republican Party, Ron Paul, Tea Party on September 13, 2011 at 1:08 am

I was watching the Republican debate tonight on CNN and there was an odd moment. While Ron Paul was explaining his stand on health care he was posed with a hypothetical question. The question to him was, “Let’s say there’s a guy who’s doing well and earns a decent income. He doesn’t want to pay $200-$300 a month for insurance because he thinks he’s never going to get sick. Then something bad happens and he needs treatment for 6 months at a stretch. He goes into a coma for instance. What do you say to him then? What happens to him?” Ron Paul has a very idealistic answer. He says the person should have had a heath insurance or a medical plan. He was then reminded by Wolf Blitzer, the event’s moderator that he doesn’t have it or didn’t deem necessary. Basically Ron Paul didn’t have an answer to it. So he came up with something like, he should have had it. Does he think that the state was going to pay for his medical bills or the church should take care of him. At this point Blitzer asked him whether the state should just let him die. Although Paul didn’t say it the audience did. There were cheers like, ‘YEAH!’ and ‘Let him die’. It was a terrible moment and probably the most sickening thing I’ve heard from an audience in a Republican debate so far. There are people who want to wait and watch a fellow American/human being die. Rep Alan Grayson (D-Florida) rightfully said, “It’s sadistic.” Paul interjected to offer an explanation for how it was, more-or-less, the root choice of a free society. He added that communities and non-government institutions can fill the void that the public sector is currently playing. He said that while he was working in the medical line the “churches never turned anyone away.” He added, “We have given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves, assume responsibility for ourselves, that’s the reason the cost is so high.” Read the rest of this entry »

Rick Perry on the issues [VIDEO]

In 2012 Presidential Election, Elections, Republican Party, Tea Party, Texas, U.S States on September 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I just wanted to post this video. I think this says it all about the capability of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s handling of crucial issues. I bet he is as fickle minded when he was governing Texas and hence the Texas mess we see today..

A New Low: Eric Cantor

In Republican Party, Tea Party, U.S Congress, U.S House of Representatives, U.S Senate, U.S States on September 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

Republican hypocrisy has been a pretty open issue. But today once again a Republican member in Congress has proved that being a politician means loosing all sense of humanity. House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) is asking for spending cuts to offset any spending done for disaster relief. YES! You read it right. Cantor wants to play politics when there are places who are still stuck without communication and waiting for relief. It’s nothing new for Republicans and specially Cantor to ask for spending cuts for just about anything. Even if nothing is being spent, they will end up asking for spending cuts. But, this is a brand new low for Cantor and the party he represents. HOWEVER! Do you think if Cantor’s district was devastated by a natural disaster he would have maintained his position on spending cuts? The 2004 emergency supplemental was proposed after five hurricanes hit the United States, including Tropical Storm Gaston, which did damage to Cantor’s home district of Richmond. Cantor voted against an amendment to an emergency supplemental bill for disaster aid that would have “fully offset” the cost of that supplemental with “a proportional reduction of FY05 discretionary funding” elsewhere. He wrote a letter asking for federal funding for his district. The federal assistance provided to Richmond following Gaston totaled nearly $20 million, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. 

But today it’s a different story. Cantor said, “Just like any family would operate when it’s struck with disaster,” Congress would “have to make sure there are savings elsewhere” to pay for the aftermath of the storm. “We are going to find the money,” Mr. Cantor told Fox News recently. “We are just going to have to make sure there are savings elsewhere to continue to do so.”

The situation has worsen since the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund is down to $713 million as a result of recent emergencies like the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. That has prompted FEMA to delay consideration of long-term rebuilding projects that have not yet been submitted by local authorities.

Would Eric Cantor have a different view had Virginia taken most of the damage? Well at least not all Republican politicians agree with Cantor. New Jersey governor Chris Christie said, “Our people are suffering now, and they need support now. And they (Congress) can all go down there and get back to work and figure out budget cuts later.” Well at least someone gets it.

Tax Breaks, No Tax Breaks! Make up your mind..

In Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Tea Party on August 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

It’s not really a very big secret to the conservative agenda. Republicans want lower taxes. Well at least that what they kept saying right? The Tea Party and all the Republican party members have always rallied for more and more tax breaks for Americans. Bush introduced the ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ which significantly brought down what people were paying to the United States government. The outcome of that was pretty bad but hey, we’re past that right. RIGHT?

So, we can safely confirm that Republicans love low taxes. But do they want lower taxes for everybody? Here’s where it gets weird. In his weekend radio broadcast, President Obama called for an extension to the payroll tax holiday he signed into law last year. This law benefits every working American lowering the 6.2 percent tax that funds Social Security to 4.2 percent. So you’d think that the Republicans would jump to this idea and be be all for it. But YOU’RE WRONG! GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed a payroll tax holiday in June as nothing but “sugar-high economics.” Meanwhile, presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would prefer to see the payroll tax cut on the employer side,” instead of for the employee. Both sides pay an equal amount for a total contribution of 12.4 percent per worker. Social Security payroll taxes mainly benefit middle and working-class Americans, as the tax only applies to the first $106,800 of a worker’s wages. Hence, no matter how much money someone makes, they will see a maximum benefit of $2,136 from the holiday — a chump change compared to the savings for the wealthy from the Bush income tax cuts.

“It’s always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn,” says Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), “but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again.”

This statement otherwise says, tax cuts for the very rich good good good but tax cuts for regular, average and working class Americans bad bad bad.

What I want to know is Grover Norquist’s view on this. His own people are OPPOSING a tax cut. Does this violate his pledge in anyway. Well, we have to wait on that I guess.

First one bits the dust, Tim Pawlenty drops out [VIDEO]

In 2012 Presidential Election, Republican Party on August 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

It was made formal by T-Paw on ABC’s ‘This Week’.

I’m announcing this morning on your show, that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president. But I’m very, very grateful for the people of Iowa, the people of this country, who I had a chance to make my case to, my supporters and staff and friends who have been loyal and helpful. I really appreciate all of them. I wish it would have been different.

Pawlenty finished third in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday. “I’m from a small state and I don’t have a big national financial network, a political network, so measure of us was can you get some lift out of Ames if you will to get to the next round and that didn’t happen unfortunately. I wish it would have,” Pawlenty told ABC’s Jake Tapper.

Pawlenty’s success chart started looking bleak the day candidates like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul joined in. He was hoping to be the other option to Mitt Romney which at the time sounded plausible as Romney was and will always be anything but the Republican blue-eyed boy. His polling numbers and his media presence plunged and it didn’t help when his campaign started taking on Bachmann and her migraines. In fact he lost a lot of Evangelic conservative support after taking on his fellow Minnesotan. To his credit he did try to show Mitt Romney down by playing the Romneycare card. He fell flat on his face when he was asked to respond to his comments in the first Fox debate. Tim Pawlenty was caught on the wrong foot and could barely slide away from the question while Romney stood across the isle with a smile on his face. His other comments to stir up his base failed even when he criticized Obama or the Democrats. His very casual and dispassionate approach and an absolute lack of media handling skills made him an unfit candidate, specially when he was up against media/spotlight hogging Bachmann, Perry (now), Romney and Palin (maybe). Read the rest of this entry »