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The mid-term elections

Friday, November 5, 2010

What happened this past Election Day was predictable. We threw a lot of the Democratic bums out after we threw the Republican bums out just two years ago. The 2008 campaign and election was anchored by the Obama phrase, "Change you can believe in" and the people responded to that in a significant way, electing a Democrat as president as well as electing a Democratic controlled House and Senate too.

Just two years later, it turns out a majority of us didn't "believe" in the change and threw out a lot of the Democrats that were caught up in the Obama wave and sent to Washington and now we're hoping better things for the new group. This has happened practically every off-year election for Democrat AND Republican presidents for a very long time. And in many cases, like this year's election, we send people back to Washington just like the ones we kicked out two years ago.

That's because the electorate is fickle and transitory. If the government isn't giving us what we want, when we want it, we throw them out and send the other brand back in and then we continue to repeat that process over and over.

If we did that with our own jobs, friendships and relationships, we would be roundly criticized but when we do it in the voting booth, it's evidently OK.

The electorate in general doesn't like taxes and nobody in their right mind would. We hold our noses and pay them but, like castor oil, it doesn't taste good.

So the mantra during this election year campaign was to extend the Bush tax cuts and make sure there are no new taxes, as long as the things we like are maintained. We don't want Social Security touched, or Medicare, Medicaid, or Defense, or set-aside programs for farmers or Pell grants for students. We want streets and highways we can drive on, quick responses from our fire and police departments and quality teachers to educate our children. It's the taxes that support the OTHER people's programs we don't like and want abolished.

We've all heard that we can't have it both ways but that's what we want. Consequently, for the next two years, we'll have a Republican House, a Democratic Senate and President, and that means not much is going to get done. Anything passed by the House will be rejected by the Senate. If the reverse was true and we had a Democratic House and a Republican Senate, the result would be the same. Not much would get done.

Our system of government is in crisis because the people we elect don't live up to their campaign promises. They don't go to Washington and do what they said they were going to do because they get caught up in the culture of Washington. The power they suddenly have goes to their heads, the money flows freely and they forget about the people back home. It's not unusual for middle-class people to get elected and sent to Washington and come back home rich.

The system is broken and nobody knows how to fix it.

I have an idea. Even though we live in a "free" society, we have to live with the conundrum that we have more laws prohibiting more behaviors than any other country in the world so I think we might as well add one more. I think breaking a campaign promise ought to be criminally illegal and upon conviction, the guilty party would go to jail, just like someone does for stealing your stuff. Because that's what politicians do.

They steal your stuff. They steal your hope, your faith, and the trust you gave them when you voted for them. They smile, look you in the eye, shake your hand and promise to go to Washington and do things they either have no intention of doing or know in advance that they can't do.

Like so many criminals, they don't care how they get what they want as long as they get it and the main thing far too many of them want is the power and prestige of the office they will hold and, in seeking that, they forget about the pledges they made to the people back home.

Whether Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea partiers or Libertarians, we should hold them accountable to the promises they made and if they don't live up to them, put 'em in jail.

Maybe that would get their attention.

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Mike, although I agree with this article to a certian degree, it's hard to let you off the hook so easy when you comment about us not liking taxes, but we want our stuff.

This is just too easy for bloggers, pundits, and firebrands to "hit and run" us conservative folks with.

First of all, I don't really like taxes either, but unlike some short minded right wingers, I know are they necessary. I know that our "stuff" needs paid for and someone has to pay for it. Everybody knows that.

The problem is though, why are my taxes being spent to pay for Nancy Pelosi's private 737 and her $101,000 booze bill last year? Nancy is wealthy and she can afford her own John Jameson whiskey!

Why are our taxes being used so our Royal family can take extravagant vacations when nearly everyone else in this country is suffereing and sacrificing?

Why do our taxes get used to buy these guys expensive bottled water while they're in session? Can't they get their own?

Why do we need to put Harry Reid up in the Ritz Carlton?

These are MEARLY well-known examples of tax dollars wasted. Truth be told, there is far, far more, and some things, no-doubt, we'll NEVER know about.

So why, are we supposed to be happy paying taxes when we clearly see it being wasted on ungrateful, out of touch, do-nothings, when we know darn well, if things were handled on a more state level, we would have far more control of our tax dollars than when we send it to DC to be squandered?

There is your story. I don't particularly think your assumption that the electorate is just steamed about paying taxes in general and flip flops every cycle as you laid out just because of the reasons you gave.

I voted for republicans because right now they seem to be the only ones willling to cut spending. I don't think they can really cut programs, but do I think they can start cutting the slush funds? YES!

Do we really need to spend $2 billion to send our King to India for 10 days? That is a heap of money leaving our economic system!

I am going to hold any party to the fire to start spending wisely. I don't mind paying my taxes, but let's start using it to pay for what it's for. I'm not going to stand for this Royal Family crap anymore. President Obama is parading around like he's our king and not to be held accountable for the money that is spend on his daily acitons. Likewise, congress under either party is becoming like the extended Royal family as they seem to think they can do whatever they want with our money.

I would love to have Clinton back with his thrifty GOP congress. That was the best of times! Since then, it has been nothing but a mess. Millionaires in congress, living like millionaires on OUR money!

One reason I think congress is simply out of touch is that over 60% of them are millionaires, while only .4% of Americans are millionaires.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 4:31 PM

When I read this column, I had a nearly uncontrollable urge to check the weather report for Hell.

I suspected that it must have frozen over, because I agreed with you on just about everything in this one.

Yes, the outcome of this election was predictable, in general. But did anyone truly expect the largest Congressional power shift in half a century?

My take on the appropriate role of government is very simple. It was instituted to preserve/defend our rights and liberties. Rights and liberties, mind you, which we already HAD, not which are doled out to us by government.

Even more specifically, none other than George Washington stated, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is FORCE." That being the case, I believed that government should only appropriately intervene in areas in which FORCE is absolutely required.

Take a good hard look at the current state of our government and weigh its behavior against that standard.

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 11:55 PM

It's too bad there's no requirement or even an informal understanding that statistics and figures quoted in postings be accompanied by a citation as to their source. For instance I'd be interested in where Justin 76 got the figure for the cost of our duly elected President's trip to a nuclear-armed ally in a region of vital interest to our security. I've heard the wingers passing around ridiculous amounts like eleventy trillion a day,a 2,000 person entourage and a naval battle group in the Indian Ocean but figured no sensible person would believe the gruntings and droolings of our Limbaughs and Coulters. Guess I was wrong.Given that India is a nuclear-armed nation as is their neighbor Pakistan with whom they've been at war sporadically for nearly half a century and whose aid we're relying on in the region in our effort to reduce or eliminate terrorism I can't think of any reason not to have made the trip. Add our economic entanglements with the subcontinent and there's even more reason to have gone. Let's just for grins compare the cost of this trip to the flight G.W. bush took to a naval aircraft carrier seemingly only for the sake of displaying his codpiece then we can discuss relative value. My only dispute with Mr,Hendrick's thesis would be that people do not dislike taxes so much as they dislike not receiving fair value in return for the expenditure. But, since fair value is a highly subjective concept I suppose the debate will continue for some time to come.

-- Posted by davis_x_machina on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 7:50 AM

Im just glad Republicans dont waste out tax dollars.

-- Posted by president obama on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 12:56 PM

The revolution is comming!!!



-- Posted by kaygee on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 6:54 PM


Tune into something other than the big talker. Read a news paper.

-- Posted by hulapopper on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 7:28 PM

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Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night