Monday, February 1, 2010

Political Instability?

Does anybody think our political system needs a Viagra?

I sure do, with all the problems our nation faces at home, not to mention the threat of extremist violence overseas. Now more then ever is the time for our nations parties to get something done.

President Obama took the GOP delusion head on last week by answering questions from many of the administrations critics. The questions themselves illustrated the utter incompetence of certain members, and the grandstanding nature of others. But their was an underlying either lack of knowledge, or ignorance, on issues such as the recession and debt.

But what I find to be strange is how a stay at home dad can understand the need for government spending during a recession, but a congressman thinks its the cause or a contributing factor to the recession. These factual untruths are what has me and many others around the world, wondering if we are politically stable enough to cure our ailing nation.

Thomas Friedman wrote this yesterday from Davos, Switzerland.

As a political barometer, the Davos World Economic Forum usually offers up some revealing indicators of the global mood, and this year is no exception. I heard of a phrase being bandied about here by non-Americans — about the United States — that I can honestly say I’ve never heard before: “political instability.”

“Political instability” was a phrase normally reserved for countries like Russia or Iran or Honduras. But now, an American businessman here remarked to me, “people ask me about ‘political instability’ in the U.S. We’ve become unpredictable to the world.”

This should be a wake up call to our nations congress men and women, but the partisan divide seems to continue to carry the day. As the President said last week to the GOP convention, "It is time to stop thinking about job security." But why would the GOP compromise to solve problems, when their obstructionist position is working so well for them, in terms of winning elections?

Freidman continues.

Banks, multinationals and hedge funds often hire foreign policy experts to do “political risk analysis” before they invest in places like, say, Kazakhstan or Argentina. They may soon have to add the United States to their watch lists.

You can understand why foreigners are uneasy. They look at America and see a president elected by a solid majority, coming into office riding a wave of optimism, controlling both the House and the Senate. Yet, a year later, he can’t win passage of his top legislative priority: health care.

“Our two-party political system is broken just when everything needs major repair, not minor repair,” said K.R. Sridhar, the founder of Bloom Energy, a fuel cell company in Silicon Valley, who is attending the forum. “I am talking about health care, infrastructure, education, energy. We are the ones who need a Marshall Plan now.”

Maybe I'm delusional and the GOP platform of the status quo, is the best way for our nation to succeed? Maybe we should stop all spending right now across the board, during the worst recession since the Great Depression, because the debt is the problem, Right? But didn't the Hoover administration do that in 1937? Plunging our nation back into recession.

Maybe our educational system is fine the way it is. But doesn't a child drop out of school every 9 seconds?

I am sure Banking regulation can be put on hold, and if another investment bubble is formed, the banks and wall street will surely be more responsible. Won't they?

But without another bubble to drive our economic GDP growth, how will we grow?

I'm sure without cap and trade legislation, our nation will be the leader in exporting energy technology world wide, and Big Oil, Gas, and Coal will be willing partners in this new energy technology strategy. Right?

Not to mention when the economy is back on its feet again, how will we tackle our debt burden, without major reforms to Health Care and Social Security?

Do you see a pattern here? For the past eight years we have been putting off our nations problems at home, to fight a problem abroad, a problem we created in Iraq, and a problem we are now finally addressing in Afghanistan. Many of the same players that led our nation eight years ago, while they were in power, are obstructing the new administrations plans to drive our nation forward. This is fact, just like it is a fact, that we have a huge recession, an education, energy, health care, debt, and social security problem as well. These problems are not debatable, so why won't they try to help solve them?

The simple answer is, the lazy GOP politician has painted Obama as this Bolshevik leader who is leading our country towards destruction. This only leaves room for the strong GOP leader to compromise for Americas well being, and progress, while the others can't possibly vote for anything Obama because they have stoked the flames for to long with misleading claims, which leave them no room whatsoever to compromise.

Can you see why the world thinks we are unstable?

Friedman concludes.

It is a shame because here we are as a country scrounging around for a few billion more dollars of stimulus to help our unemployed and small businesses — when the biggest stimulus of all is hiding in plain sight. And that is ending our political paralysis and the pall of uncertainty it is casting over everything from the cost of my health care to the cost of my energy to the way our biggest banks can do business.

If the two parties could get together and remove the clouds of uncertainty over those issues, remove the growing sense that our country is politically paralyzed, you would not need another dime of stimulus money. Investment and lending would take off on their own. If, however, the two parties continue with their duel-to-the-death paralysis, no amount of stimulus will give us the sustained growth and employment we need

You decide.

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