Printed letters, October 16, 2013

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William McKnight’s letter (“Obama plays power politics to decimate Republican Party”) aptly illustrates how local Limbaugh-lemmings – relying exclusively on that drug-addicted bloviater and “FoxNoise” for misinformation, while failing to read and/or comprehend the contradictory facts all-to-occasionally reported by the Sentinel – can maintain a woefully ignorant and ass-backwards understanding of recent events.

First, “so many Obama administration scandals have piled up” and have proven to be fact-free partisan political theater that “Congress and the people” rightly ignore them – recognizing disingenuous Republican demagoguery for what it is:  snake oil. 

Second, while “conservative” propagandists perpetually insinuate that President Obama “appears to have more knowledge than he is willing to admit”, they offer no evidence that such allegedly “suspicious” knowledge violates his duties and/or oath of office—thereby impliedly conceding that President Obama is smarter, better informed, more responsible, and even more “conservative” (albeit only half-White) than they dare admit to their ever-gullible “base”.

Third, the American public (but not McKnight) knows that “what is [really] scary” is “Tea Party” Republicans’ refusal to recognize the well-documented consequences of their two-pronged strategy to “shutdown the government” and manufacture a default – clearly proven by their ongoing tactic of “intentionally not negotiating on the debt limit”.

Fourth, what is also “scary” is the Republican-controlled House’s (and Scott Tipton’s) recent embrace of anti-democratic authoritarianism – changing its rules on October 1, 2013, to guarantee a prolonged government shutdown by rescinding the long-standing “privilege” to call for a vote on the Senate’s “clean C.R.” bill (previously available to all 435 Representatives) and restricting it to only the Republican Majority Leader. 

By rejecting “Tea Party” Republicans’ unprecedented and deliberately extortive tactics, President Obama allowed the Republican Party to shipwreck (“decimate”) itself on the political shoals protruding between the Scylla of self-destructive ideological extremism and the Charybdis of responsible pragmatic governance.

While R. Lance Wade’s letter (“President must accept onus of spiraling national debt”) – quoting then-Senator Obama’s 2006 comments – was intended to discredit the President, Wade actually proves how prescient and fiscally “conservative” Obama was and remains.

Thus, first, years before there ever was a “Tea Party” or any “Ryan Budgets”, junior Illinois Senator Obama was warning his colleagues of the consequences of continued profligate deficit spending – then, by rhetorically (only) “fiscal conservatives”.

Second, when President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, he inherited the largest national debt and annual deficits in U.S. history, two off-budget wars, and the ballooning expenses of Medicare Part D (all financed with deficit spending). 

Third, “conservative” Republican President Reagan’s “VooDoo Economics” tripled the national debt, while “compassionate conservative” George Bush doubled it again. 

Fourth, while the national debt has increased by 50+% during President Obama’s tenure, he also instituted accounting reforms which resulted in a $2.7 trillion increase in reported debt and has reduced federal deficits every year he’s been in office – a cumulative 50% since 2009.  No “Tea Partier” or “Repugnican” ever did that.

Fifth, a New York Times study found that – since 2001—the deterioration in our national budget situation is attributable to four factors:  the Bush Recession (inherited in 2009 by President Obama) = 37%; policies enacted by President Bush (including “the Bush Tax Cuts”) = 33%; policies enacted by President Bush and extended by President Obama (including TARP, two unfunded wars, and Medicare Part D) = 20%; and policies initiated by President Obama (including the Stimulus, the auto “bailout”, and ObamaCare) = 10% (now 20%). 

So, if President Obama must “eat his words”, he should relish them.  Even though only a former “community organizer, President Obama has shown more “fiscal conservatism” against mindlessly obstinate obstructionism—than any Republican ever did.

Diane Wolfe’s letter – “Tipton’s office conveniently closed during the shutdown” – aptly documents one more reason why Congressman Scott Tipton has forfeited his legitimacy as Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District’s elected Representative.

On Sunday, “Tea Partiers” demonstrated near the White House – carrying Confederate flags and demanding that President Obama renounce the Koran!  Meanwhile, Alpine Bank is admirably assisting federal employees victimized by the mindless government “shutdown”– because Congress passed a law guaranteeing that they will be retroactively paid for not working.

Moreover, as the AP reported in the Sentinel (“What happens if U.S. breaks borrowing limit”), among the impacts of default will likely be non-payment of Social Security and veterans’ benefits.  Because the “Tea Party” is substantially populated by both older Americans and veterans, they were “protesting” to further fester a self-inflicted wound that may prove especially septic in Grand Junction and Pueblo.

As The Denver Post reported two years ago—“Grand Junction suffered biggest decline of personal income in U.S. in 2010” (August 10, 2011) – a significant portion of both Grand Junction’s and Pueblo’s local economy depends on “transfer payments” (e.g., Social Security, veterans’, and extended federal unemployment benefits).

Statewide, transfer payments contributed between 28% of income gains in Boulder and 70% in Pueblo.  Grand Junction, Pueblo, and Greeley were the Colorado metro areas “most dependent on government support to boost incomes.”

Thus, local businesses, realtors, and car dealers should be bracing for another “Bust” if the dysfunctional Congress fails to avert default by raising the debt limit, and Tipton’s constituents should be asking themselves why they elected an irresponsible “Tea Party” Congressman who supports policies that threaten to devastate local economies and impoverish many of the gullible lemmings who trustingly voted for him.

Both the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and The Pueblo Chieftain should call for Tipton to resign.

Letter-writer Lynda Akers (“Punitive federal closures reveal disturbing facts”) should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and “FoxNoise”, because—“as the punitive government shutdown continues, some very disturbing facts are emerging” about the extremists who promised, planned, orchestrated, and now celebrate the debt-increasing “government shutdown”.

While closing the WWII Memorial was regrettably inconvenient for visiting veterans, the real “travesty” was the sorry spectacle of a Texas “Tea Party” Congressman—who voted for the shutdown—publicly berating an innocent National Park Service (“NPS”) worker for performing her sworn duty to enforce the law that he and his fellow fools enacted.

Since August 2011, guidance for managing an orderly government shutdown has been promulgated in Office of Management & Budget (“OMB”) Circular No. A-11, which required federal agencies to publish “shutdown contingency plans”.

Therefore, cynical “Tea Party” perpetrators – while disingenuously feigning “surprise”—knew that the NPS plan required all facilities to be closed unless “they are deemed essential for health and safety reasons, are needed to support on-going excepted NPS activities or are located in urban areas where full NPS law enforcement coverage is continued due to the inability to control visitor access.”

Nevertheless, because major monuments in D.C. remained open in the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns (when there was no “sequestration”), the House Committee on Natural Resources is holding a hearing this week to substantiate as-yet-unverified anecdotal reports that NPS “rangers were instructed by their superiors [President Obama?] to make the shutdown as painful as possible” – which was “Tea Partiers’” intent in the first place!

Finally, President Obama made no “exception” for an “illegal immigration, pro-amnesty rally”.  Indeed, eight Democratic Congressmen were arrested for illegally demonstrating without the required permit – as 15,000 supporters marched from the National Mall to the White House in support of comprehensive immigration reform.

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