Friday, July 15, 2011

Who is to blame?

Both sides always want to blame the other.  It's not just the debt, the economy is a great example.  Republicans want to blame Obama for not fixing the mistake that happened on their watch.   Democrats want to blame Bush for creating the problem and the current congress for not fixing it.

Honestly, the recovery is not anyone's fault.   If we truly knew enough about how to fix it, it would never have happened in the first place.    Obama did not have a free hand to do whatever he liked, neither did Bush or Congress (either the Democratic Congress or the Republican one).   Even if they did, the President quite frankly does NOT have the power to fix the economy.

We generally don't know how to fix the economy - despite what a bunch of economists and politicians say.  If they really did know how to fix the economy, we never would have had the problem in the first place.  Yes, both sides have ideas - but honestly we have tried those ideas before (and in smaller scale in the states) and they do NOT work.  No matter how often you say "TAX CUTS WILL GROW THE ECONOMY", you can't argue with the fact that they have in fact NOT grown the economy.  Similarly, claims that stimulus spending will save the economy also fail flat.   Both sides say "we didn't do enough", or "your tax cuts destroyed my stimuli" vs "your stimuli destroyed my tax cuts".    But when it comes down to it, if either thing worked at all, their effect would have been much greater.

The Debt Ceiling is another issue, same story.

It is true that people don't want to raise the debt ceiling.  Neither do the Democrats. We wish we had never hit it.  But the GOP is the party that took Clinton's Surplus and turned it into Bush's Deficit.  Raising the debt limit is not a concession.  It is something that needs to be done that NEITHER side wants.  It is something that we need to do, like taking out the garbage. 

If you want to get something for agreeing to do it, you get the grateful thanks of the nation, nothing more.  Insisting on more is like a child saying "I will take out the garbage if you send me to Space Camp."  Then when the parent replies "I will send you to Space Camp if you take out the garbage and wash my car".   Why?  Because the garbage is a base chore that MUST be done, even if you don't like it.  It is not 

So, while we can't fix the economy or keep the debt limit where it is, when it comes to blame, that is a different story.   We definitely have the power to blame people, and we try it all the time.

There, the Democrats have a huge edge.  They have a reputation for being wimpy and failing, while the GOP has a reputation for being dogmatic.   For example, Cantor (R) says that they will not under any circumstance accept any tax icnreases - not even a tiny one on jet plane owners.  While the Democrats cave and allow cuts in medicare and social security in exchange for tax hikes on the rich equal to $1 in increases for every $4 in cuts.

But when it comes to blame, however, the wimpy guys have a big edge.   You see, the hard line can help you get more of what you want - but only if your opponent really is wimpy.  If on the other hand, he is smarter and stronger than you thought, then when the crap hits the fan, nothing gets done and you get stuck with the blame.   When the bully beats up the wimp, they both get in trouble for fighting, but the bully gets the blame.

Yes, the hard core conservatives will blame Obama - they always do.   Claiming that you stuck to your guns may go over great with your base, but they don't matter.  They always would have voted for you, just as the hard core liberals will always blame the GOP.  Convincing those guys only helps you run the election, it won't win it for you.

When it comes to The Blame Game, the independents are the people that matter.

And independents are by there nature middle of the road people that do not like it when you take a hard line.   They prefer, hell, they ARE 'the wimpy guy that takes a moderate stance.'

Only they don't think they are wimpy.  They think they are reasonable, and  the hard core, 'line in the sand' guy is to blame.

And you know what?  They are right.  Both about them being reasonable as opposed to wimpy and about who is to blame.

About 67% of Americans (Source) believe that the rich should take a tax hike to help us get out of the current situations.  Only 25% said no to any tax increases.  Republicans counter that the Obama plan would be a tax hike on everyone, not just the rich.  But they don't offer ANY tax hike of their own.   In effect they admit they are going against the will of the american people and are claiming that Obama is lying when he promises to do the will of the people.

But even if Obama is lying - wouldn't you rather go with the guy that claims he gives you what you want rather than the guy that refuses to do it at all?     The problem is that the 25% that don't want any tax hike are the Republican base.  That is why the GOP is doing what they want, instead of what the majority wants.  

But too bad, 25% of Americans don't get to tell the other 75% what to do.  Instead, the 67% get to tell the 33% what to do. That is how Democracy works.

And that is why 48% will blame the GOP, while only 34% will blame Obama about the debt ceiling issue.  It is also why come election day, Obama will win again - and probably pick off a few GOP House Representatives who foolishly tried to keep their base happy instead of their entire district.

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