Friday, January 16, 2015

New Features of the GOP Congress

We have only dealt with the GOP congress on a national level for a little over a week and already they have taken big steps to change reality. Living in Michigan, we have experienced some of their tactics for much longer. It is surprising how good they are at institutionalizing their beliefs! The depressing thing is that many of the things they are doing sound too much like an evil villain in a movie for normal people to even think it is true!

In Michigan there have been several worrying actions. One of my favorites is due to the fact that Republicans (majority of them) don't believe that climate change is occurring. Because of this belief, they think regulations on smog and green energy production is expensive and useless, lungs be damned! So, they are currently talking about reclassifying incinerators as renewable energy! Just to make my point more clear, incinerators generate electricity by burning tires, plastics and dog poop. This reclassification would help hit the 10% of renewable energy by their deadline of next year...

I am a firm believer that we need to ensure that our representation is based on the group of people they represent. I am not going to get into gerrymandering here, that is fun for another time... The House of Representatives is elected by the small area of people being represented by that district. The Senate is elected by the state that they serve, makes sense so far, right? The President is currently elected by State (or worse in some states)... the same as the Senate! How does that make any sense? The President represents all of the citizens, he/she should be elected by all of the citizens! Well in Michigan Republicans are in talks of making it so that almost half of the electoral college could go to the loser of the state. These would be similar to the House of Representatives vote! If this was in place for 2012, Mitt Romney would have been President even though he lost the popular vote substantially!

Lets talk about the National level. Republicans are called "Conservatives" but, for the longest time I associated that word with fiscal responsibility. Well, Republicans don't feel the same way... They have changed how the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) does calculations on how proposed bills will affect the economy and deficits. They call it Dynamic Scoring. What it actually means is that if you cut taxes, it means that it will add jobs and increase revenue (tax income)... Now let me just give you an example of what that means so that you can understand the absurdity. They argue, if the government makes $20 per hour and they cut their income to $17 per hour, all of a sudden they will make $23 per hour! Therefore our deficits, which have been going down steadily since Obama was elected, will increase dramatically because this new math almost forces congress to increase the deficit. Who needs road repairs, Internet, or a new power infrastructure, we just want deficit!

One last thing before I go. Another misplaced belief of the Republican party is that they are going to protect us! This week they passed a bill that would remove funding for Homeland Security if Obama doesn't throw 2.25 million people out of the country. I understand that the Republicans don't appreciate the power of Executive Orders but, that is no reason to put our country at risk, especially with the recent attacks in Europe.

Lets hope that the GOP realizes (soon) that now that they have control of both houses they don't have to continue to be the party of "NO" and can start pushing through valid legislation that could actually help everyday Americans...

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