Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jack Kelly vs (un-named) regulation

Today Jack Kelly takes on ... regulations: "Jack Kelly / The high cost of regulations Congress should suspend all regs imposed since 2000 and assess whether they've been worthwhile".

I suppose this is supposed to be a populist thing, but I find Kelly blaming all of our economic ills on regulations, with no better than a partisan jab at the increasing income gap, to be entirely unconvincing. Below is the comment I made on the online PG.

Jack Kelly fails to name one example of a regulation he would see eliminated. That in and of itself should raise red flags.

In the last thirty five or so years, there has been steady and even somewhat spectacular productivity growth. But wages at the median, adjusted for inflation, have stagnated. Women have gone to work, families have maxed out first credit cards and then the excess value in their homes in an effort to keep up a middle class standard of living and now those who still have jobs after the great recession started on President's Bush's watch are cutting way back on spending. That strikes me as equally or maybe a more plausible explanation for the slow down in the economy as regulations. But the question is why wages are not keeping pace with increases in productivity, why the increases are going almost entirely to the people at the top, why the wealth is not, as conservatives/Republicans repeatedly reference, "trickling down".

Conservatives only bring this issue up during the Presidency of a Democrat, and always act as if it started at the beginning of the Democrats Presidency. In Obama's case, George Bush left him a ruined economy, totally mishandled by the Bush administration and the Republican Congress of January 2003 to December of 2006. The current gridlock caused by Republicans in Congress has stymied all efforts to improve the economy.

Blaming regulations for problems started in the Reagan administration with anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-union and anti-middle class policies that were all designed to concentrate income and wealth in the hands of the 1% is the height of disingenuous commentary. .

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Jack Kelly is still a populist??? although I confess he is not wrong about Democrats corruption

So today Jack Kelly is still on the populist horse, with this column "Jack Kelly / Regulations for the rich Crony capitalism infects Washington, especially Democrats" He points out all sorts of shifty things Democrats do, and I have to say I don't think he is wrong, at least about a lot of them. Still, I think there remains ideological difference between the parties. Now, are the Democrats as agressive about going after Wall Street as I would like? Nope, but they do still vote to keep food stamps (usually) and for women's reproductive rights (unless they are Catholic or some such thing). It's a pain being a liberal Democrat in this day and age, but it would be more embarrassing to be Republican. Here's my comment about Mr Kelly's column, first published on the PG online.

OK, first of all, the funny thing is how conservatives go from calling Democrats wannabe Communists and/or Socialists (If Socialism can be stretched to include Social Security and/or Medicare as socialist programs, then the word is becoming nearly meaningless) to "Crony Capitalists". I thought Democrats hate capitalism, according to conservatives and Republicans.

But I will say on one line of thought, I actually agree with Jack Kelly. The Democrats are pretty corrupt now. I mean, conservatives thought they caught Harry Reid red-handed in something with the Cliven Bundy thing (and solar somethings, yada yada). Of course they didn't, but I will say they did shed some (more) light on Reid's corrupt escapades in Nevada. And as far as I can see Nancy Pelosi and the majority of other Democrats in Congress are much the same as Reid, to varying degrees.

The thing, in this regard I see no reason to think Congressional Republicans are any better than Democrats. If I am being honest, I believe the number of relatively uncorrupted members of Congress from either party is probably in the single digits. I think that is an unpleasant fact of life we have to deal with.

That said, I will that the difference between the parties that I see is that Democrats of all stripes and ethical inclinations can be persuaded to come together to vote for measures that protect and aid the poor and disenfranchised. Now, that use to be true of some more moderate members of the Republican party as well, but seemingly that ended maybe 35 years or more ago.

See, I could respect the Tea Party as a movement. If the rural poor don't want government aid, I am sure some accommodation could be made. But if Tea Party members really are poor, there is not much that can be done for them in terms of the federal income tax, they probably aren't paying it and in fact are probably getting refunds. So the Taxed Enough Already thing doesn't apply to them, at least on the federal level.

And if the Tea Party people are middle class or rich, what are you complaining about? Living in this country has been good to you. You are pretending you are suffering, while the unemployed and poor in this country really are suffering? This faux populism thing is just kind of insulting to the real poor.