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John Galt?

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: July 23, 2011, 03:13:35 PM

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Silent majority fed up with Washington

The brilliant but disgraced President Richard Nixon once gave a speech in which he spoke of the "silent majority" in American politics.

These were the people, he observed, who didn't wave signs or march in the streets. Rather, they were the people who quietly went about their lives, going to work, raising their families and giving back to their communities.

Nixon gave this speech in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War. But more than four decades later, his basic observation still rings true. For if there was ever a time that a silent majority existed in American politics, it is today. The current debate over raising the debt limit is a good example.

The debate is dominated by the political extremes. Those on the far right would rather have the federal government default on its financial obligations than give ground on what is anathema to most conservatives: raising taxes. Those on the far left would rather risk default than give ground on what is anathema to most liberals: reducing entitlements.

Caught between these two extremes are those Americans who want their leaders to set aside ideology and do what's best for the country. This is America's silent majority. These are the Americans who watch ESPN and HGTV at night instead of MSNBC and Fox. They vote in most elections, although they've been known to miss a primary or two. If they contribute to a campaign, it's usually to a local candidate or a friend who's running for the school board.

They supported the Democrats in 2008 and the Republicans in 2010. They're sympathetic to the tea party, but only to a point. More than anything, what turns them off about politics is the pettiness and partisanship coming out of Washington.

They voted for Obama because he seemed like a different kind of leader, and then opposed him two years later because he ended up being not that different at all.

They're willing to give him another shot next year, because they like him. But they're keeping their eyes open for other possible candidates, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as well.

If you had to put a label on them, it would most likely be independent, but there are also some Republicans and Democrats in the group. Political consultants are frustrated by them because they're unpredictable. But if you ask them, they'll make it perfectly clear what they're looking for. They're looking for results from their leaders, not rhetoric, because they want government to work. To that same end, they're looking for value, not values, from Washington, because they want to know the tax dollars they are sending to our Nation's capital are being put to good use and providing some sort of return.

This is America's silent majority, and they are underrepresented in American political life. Polls released over the past few days bear that out. Eighty percent of respondents to a Washington Post/ABC News survey reported they are "dissatisfied" or "angry" about the way the federal government is working.

Along those same lines, a USA Today/Gallup Poll found that at least two-thirds of those surveyed said members of Congress from both parties gave priority to their political interests above the country's best interests.

So what's the solution? Above all, Washington needs to figure out a way to free itself from the grip of the political extremes. And the best way to do that is to make sure America's silent majority is heard. For example, since many Americans are looking for results, we should establish a Sunset Commission, as Texas Sen. John Cornyn and other Republicans have recommended, that would put a time limit on every program and subject them to performance reviews.

Similarly, since many Americans are also looking for value, provide them with a taxpayer receipt, as the Third Way and other centrist Democrats have recommended, so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent on a programmatic basis.

Of course, these kind of common sense policy solutions will be for naught if the federal government defaults on its fiscal obligations. Which is why the most important thing the President and Congress can do right now is come together on an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

Make no mistake -- raising the debt ceiling is a bitter pill to swallow, and something that would call into question America's commitment to live within its means. Unfortunately, failure to raise the debt ceiling would also call into question our commitment to another important principle -- the principle of paying our bills on time. This, in turn, could lead to fiscal chaos and, experts warn, result in an economic "death spiral" that would drive markets into the ground.

But it's not just the experts who feel this way. The American people do, too. In fact, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this week revealed that 55 percent of the American people believe that failure to reach such an agreement would create serious problems for our nation. This is America's silent majority talking. Amid all the rhetoric and finger pointing, isn't it time our elected leaders listen to their voice?

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/07/23/zickar.silent.majority/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn


I have to say that the CNN writer nailed this one. If Congress and the President continue to ignore the "Silent Majority" like they did with the budget, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, TARP, Obama's Stimulus Package, etc. then they will soon start becoming less silent, and they will certainly make a statement Nov, 2012.


alldaway

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#1 : July 23, 2011, 03:38:42 PM

Unfortunately, Obama's approval ratings have climbed the last few days, so I am not sure I agree.  Liberals are infuriated with Obama's supposed concessions, while Tea Baggers are not willing to compromise.  So much so, it makes Bill O'Reilly look sane with his interview with Bachman recently.

Reality is, the Americans want to increase taxes across the board and restructure Medicare to save billions on this entitlement to avoid a debt default.

Morgan

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#2 : July 23, 2011, 03:47:32 PM

34% - Was TARP Passed Under Bush or Obama?

In numerous polls, the public has voiced their displeasure at the much maligned bank bailout, but most don't know which president signed the controversial act into law. Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly believe TARP was passed under President Obama. Another 19% admit they do not know which president signed the bank bailout into law. Notably, there is no partisan divide on the question. Just 36% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 34% of Democrats know that the government bailout of banks and financial institutions was signed into law by former President Bush. And Democrats (46%) are just as likely as Republicans (50%) to say TARP was passed under Obama.

http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1057

kevabuc

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#3 : July 23, 2011, 04:01:12 PM

Unfortunately, Obama's approval ratings have climbed the last few days, so I am not sure I agree.  Liberals are infuriated with Obama's supposed concessions, while Tea Baggers are not willing to compromise.  So much so, it makes Bill O'Reilly look sane with his interview with Bachman recently.

Reality is, the Americans want to increase taxes across the board and restructure Medicare to save billions on this entitlement to avoid a debt default.

Cut, Cap and Balance was a compromise, just one that Washington knew it couldn't, or wouldn't be able to work within. 

Reality is, most Americans need to be checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for enabling disorders if they support increased taxes. Raising taxes for Washington is like giving an alcoholic a case of Jack Daniels.

\"The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.\" -Cicero. 106-43 B.C.

John Galt?

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#4 : July 23, 2011, 04:07:26 PM

Unfortunately, Obama's approval ratings have climbed the last few days, so I am not sure I agree.  Liberals are infuriated with Obama's supposed concessions, while Tea Baggers are not willing to compromise.  So much so, it makes Bill O'Reilly look sane with his interview with Bachman recently.

Reality is, the Americans want to increase taxes across the board and restructure Medicare to save billions on this entitlement to avoid a debt default.

Obama's gang wants to "increase taxes on the rich" and all the more educated Americans know that is just lip service and that it won't help because it is too small a drop in the bucket. Te opposition want's ridiculous guarantees for stuff that just isn't within Congresses power to grant (like a Balanced Budget Amendment). The silent majority doesn't want more taxes, but does understand shared sacrifice. They are willing to accept a tax increase IF the near 50% that pays NO income tax, starts paying their fair share.

The other thing is the silent majority KNOWS that for every dollar the Govt. spends, only 1/3rd or less gets to where it is supposed to go. They see hundreds of billions spent for "shovel ready jobs" and not ONE DAMN SHOVEL has even been bought. They see $787 Billion in a stimulus plan spent (borrowed and spent) and see that $288 billion was in tax cuts that were not checks sent, but payroll deductions reduced-so instead of consumers getting a windfall check to spend, they got an extra 50 cents on every paycheck-BFD. And they see that $224 billion went to paying people not to work even longer by extending unemployment benies. And they finally see that the $275 billion for Fed contracts, Grants, and loans has almost entirely gone to paperwork expenses like getting EPA, DOT, DOI, DOA, etc. approvals for projects, filing right-of ways and permits with state and local govts., fighting zoning boards, etc. etc. etc. So $787 billion spent and the only people that got busy were the bureaucrats that approve or deny requests.

Where are the shovels?


John Galt?

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#5 : July 23, 2011, 04:10:37 PM

34% - Was TARP Passed Under Bush or Obama?

In numerous polls, the public has voiced their displeasure at the much maligned bank bailout, but most don't know which president signed the controversial act into law. Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly believe TARP was passed under President Obama. Another 19% admit they do not know which president signed the bank bailout into law. Notably, there is no partisan divide on the question. Just 36% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 34% of Democrats know that the government bailout of banks and financial institutions was signed into law by former President Bush. And Democrats (46%) are just as likely as Republicans (50%) to say TARP was passed under Obama.

http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1057



Relevance to the price of tea in China???


And BTW, Bush signed TARP as President, but Senator Obama was a co-author and staunch supporter.

Also, TARP, as much as everyone hated it, actually worked far better than expected.


Morgan

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#6 : July 23, 2011, 04:11:49 PM

Relevance? To correct the mistake in your post above.

kevabuc

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#7 : July 23, 2011, 04:18:21 PM

One question for you JG. If TARP worked better then expected, were those toxic assets really as toxic as expected?

\"The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.\" -Cicero. 106-43 B.C.

OneTruth

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#8 : July 23, 2011, 04:18:56 PM

you are trying to correct the biggest wind bag and purveyor of bs on the board? good job!

CBWx2

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#9 : July 23, 2011, 04:21:12 PM

Unfortunately, Obama's approval ratings have climbed the last few days, so I am not sure I agree.  Liberals are infuriated with Obama's supposed concessions, while Tea Baggers are not willing to compromise.  So much so, it makes Bill O'Reilly look sane with his interview with Bachman recently.

Reality is, the Americans want to increase taxes across the board and restructure Medicare to save billions on this entitlement to avoid a debt default.

Obama's gang wants to "increase taxes on the rich" and all the more educated Americans know that is just lip service and that it won't help because it is too small a drop in the bucket.

Not all the more educated Americans. Some educated Americans realize that raising taxes on the rich actually helps create jobs more than cutting them does. History has certainly shown that higher taxes on the rich coincides with a stronger job market and recent history certainly shows that cuts for the rich hasn't lead to any substantive job growth.


Morgan

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#10 : July 23, 2011, 04:22:13 PM


Also, TARP, as much as everyone hated it, actually worked far better than expected.

So the silent majority can be wrong?

No Way!

John Galt?

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#11 : July 23, 2011, 04:23:39 PM

Relevance? To correct the mistake in your post above.


What mistake? Where did I post that Obama was POTUS when TARP was signed?


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If Congress and the President continue to ignore the "Silent Majority" like they did with the budget, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, TARP...

Did I write WHICH President? No, I wrote "the President" which can apply to Bush, BHO, Clinton, or Teddy Roosevelt.

Time for you to revisit this for a refresher


OneTruth

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#12 : July 23, 2011, 04:23:53 PM

^that is a fallacy. Some types of tax reduction encourages hiring...but still this is a rich man's ideology they've sold to the public - I believe it was Reganomics where I first heard this

dbucfan

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#13 : July 23, 2011, 04:41:13 PM

OneTruth - OP - moth - whatever - you shouldn't use the word fallacy after the crap you have been putting out there on a regular basis.  Pot/kettle and all that.

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

John Galt?

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#14 : July 23, 2011, 04:41:57 PM

One question for you JG. If TARP worked better then expected, were those toxic assets really as toxic as expected?


Apparently not.

Two things happened with TARP, 1) far fewer companies took advantage of it than expected-originally the Treasury was allowed to buy $700 billion of toxic assets but only $304 billion was actually used. 2) companies repurchased/repaid far faster than expected- Of the $245 billion that went to banks, $186B has been repaid-with interest and at a profit! GM has repaid over $2 billion, AIG has repaid over half.

Because of the terms and interest required by the Treasury, many companies decided "things aren't that bad" and sought help thru the private sector for less interest, and those that did avail themselves found it important to pay off as soon as possible. I think the Amendment which forbade Companies from paying Exec bonuses while TARP money was outstanding had a HUGE influence in the early paybacks.

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