What a Tangled Web, 2012 Part II

I was accused by one of my siblings on the other side of the political aisle of offering a biased review in Part I of the 2012 Platform. I am trying hard to not be too biased, but admit freely and without shame to being on the side of the Democrats more often than not this year. This hasn’t always been true, not every year since my turning 18 and voting for the first time in 1976 for Jimmy Carter. While I did not regret my vote for the man I still consider the most honest politician elected as President in my lifetime, my next vote went to Ronald Reagan, a vote I continue to regret to this day. Oddly, I liked the first George Bush despite his association with Ronald Reagan and though I voted against him when he ran the first time, I voted for him for a second term. That second term was the last time I voted for a Republican for the Presidency, it was also the last time the GOP put a reasonably sane and moderate person before the general public to vote for.

I like a government that works. I believe in Democracy and Transparency, two things I think we are seeing less of these days, especially at the federal level. It is my belief the only way a government works well is when there are tensions over policy and position that can be debated towards a compromise that is best for the American people as a whole. We, that is this nation and our politics have been dominated by a two-party system that has

All American Rocky and All Russian Drago duke it out

polarized us, put us into corners rung the bell and sent us to the center of the ring like prizefighters. We are bloody. We are brutal in our attacks, at every level. We are willing to beat each other down, willing to beat strangers, friends and even family members with platforms and ideology until one of us cry uncle simply to make it stop.

Today I want to pull apart the economic platforms of our two parties, for what they are worth. Neither party is terribly forthcoming in their plans.

DNC – Jobs

GOP – Jobs

Open Markets – yes Open Markets – yes
Small Business – President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to continue cutting red tape for small businesses, helping them sell their goods around the world and access the capital they need to grow. This includes tax cuts for small businesses that make new investments, hire more workers, or increase wages. Small Business – We will reform the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs for our families, friends and neighbors all across America. We will encourage investments in small businesses. We will create an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion. We will serve as aggressive advocates for small businesses.
Since 2008, there have been 18 small-business tax cuts, altogether, the President’s Small Business Jobs Act accelerated $55 billion in tax relief through 2011.
Infrastructure – We support long-term investments in our infrastructure. Roads, bridges, rail and public transit systems, airports, ports, and sewers are all critical to economic growth, as they enable businesses to grow. That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress have enacted infrastructure investments that will sustain our Highway Trust Fund and provide states, U.S. territories, and communities with two years of funding to build needed infrastructure. These investments are critical for putting Americans back to work and strengthening America’s transportation system to grow our economy. The President has proposed to go substantially further, including a significant up-front investment in our infrastructure followed by sustained increases in investment paid for with part of the savings from winding down our overseas wars, together with reforms that will better leverage government dollars and target significant projects. We will continue to partner with local communities to support their sustainable development.  Infrastructure – We oppose any funding mechanism that would involve governmental monitoring of every car and truck in the nation. Amtrak continues to be, for the taxpayers, an extremely expensive railroad. The public has to subsidize every ticket nearly $50. It is long past time for the federal government to get out of way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the northeast corridor. The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.
The DNC has big dreams, it is true we have a crumbling infrastructure and need to address it. It is also true there are billions being spent on wars and Nation building at home should be a high priority, but we first need to deal with balancing a budget and getting our nation out of hock. Though the DNC platform address our debt and deficit; maybe it is me but I think there needs to be a balance between the privatization strategy of the GOP and big dreams of the DNC.
Insourcing– The Democratic Party believes in insourcing so that America can out-build the rest of the world again. We want to cut tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and for special interests, and instead offer tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, betting on American workers who are making American products we sell to the world that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America.

We Democrats also recognize the economic opportunities created by our nation’s community colleges.That is why the President has invested in community colleges and called for additional partnerships between businesses and community colleges to train two million workers with the skills they need for good jobs waiting to be filled, and to support business-labor apprenticeship programs that provide skills and opportunity to thousands of Americans. The President also proposed to double key investments in science to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, encourage private sector innovation, and prepare at least 100,000 math and science teachers over the next decade.

And to make this country a destination for global talent and ingenuity, we won’t deport deserving young people who are Americans in every way but on paper, and we will work to make it possible for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to stay and help create jobs here at home.

Outsourcing – That will be critically important if States establish Personal Reemployment Accounts, letting trainees direct resources in ways that will steer them toward long-term employment, especially through on-the-job training with participating employers.

We can accelerate the process of restoring our domestic economy-and reclaiming this country’s traditional position of dominance in international trade-by a policy of strategic immigration, granting more work visas to holders of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math from other nations. Highly educated immigrants can assist in creating new services and products.

In the same way, foreign students who graduate from an American university with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or math should be encouraged to remain here and contribute to economic prosperity and job creation. Highly skilled, English-speaking, and integrated into their communities, they are too valuable a resource to lose. As in past generations, we should encourage the world’s innovators and inventors to create our common future and their permanent homes here in the United States.

It is an important note on the GOP Platform there is continued support to broaden the H1B and L1 Visa availability during a national unemployment crisis. This means while Americans are without work the GOP proposes to continue to bring in White Collar workers in high paying positions, willing to work on contract thus leaving Americans without access to full time positions. This has been an on-going position of the GOP since 1999, millions have lost their jobs and remain outside of the workforce.
Labor Unions – Support Labor Unions – Oppose and will actively work to bust.

I do not believe America is exceptional, we once were but we have sold our future out and stand in the quicksand of past glory. Could we regain our place on the world stage, rekindle our greatness? Perhaps we can, but not with the philosophy of Manifest Destiny as our standard, not with the drums of war as our song.

Next up? Taxes I think.




  1. Hi,
    Do you really think it is a problem in USA?

  2. Oh, I can’t wait to see your take on Foreign Policy!

  3. Well done, Val, as usual. Well, all except for your vote for Reagan (but then I am equally at fault; I voted for John Anderson!).

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Wow, this is pretty real comment here, Valentine. And to think: so many avoid politics, sex, religion…. !

    I am not that up to date myself, with politics, but forgive – I did not like George Bush. Not in the tiniest, tiniest bit – yet of course, I only had what sound & vision was delivered to me in the half hour news of an evening, while cooking dinner.

    I admire your open views. I agree we need transparency. I am very much a fan of Julian Assange.

    • I think you are talking about George Jr, but George Sr was actually pretty smart and a pretty balanced president. I liked him mostly. Didn’t like his son at all (our last president).

  5. Love your hard work and effort. You break issues down in a way that anyone can understand them. Thank you Valentine!

    • Stacie, I am only taking the Platforms and cutting out all the hyperbole. It is a slog, but that is all the tables are, except where I offer up some condensed opinion.

      Thanks though.

  6. Another informative post. While it is easy to see that you support the Democrats, you seem to respect the views – despite not agreeing – of the Republicans. Republicans I seem to encounter these days seem hateful and selfish. We cannot all agree but politicians should work for the good of ALL Americans. Thanks for looking at both sides. I don’t agree with everything on the Democratic side but I will vote for Obama again. There seems to be such a disrespect and hatred for him that is unbelievable and usually from Christians. Perhaps it is only fear. Enough of my rattling on! Looking forward to taxes.

    • Rattle on all you like, please. That is why I am doing this, I want people to not only express their views (safely) but point out where I might not have done so as pragmatically as I have promised.

      I am walking where I think angels fear to tread right now, trying hard not to spew venom. In some of social agenda items, well lets just say it will be more difficult for me to hold my opinions.

      There are areas in which I agree with reasonable Republicans, this is especially true in Fiscal reform of the past. My problem over the past 25 years or so, well the Republican party has moved away from their Fiscal Conservatism and moved toward Moral Conservatism. The GOP is no longer the Party of my Father, but a different party and one that truly frightens me.

      I was asked recently if I really believed there were no longer ‘moderate’ Republicans in Government, my answer is yes. I believe there is no middle any longer, those who were once moderate who once worked with the other side to reach compromise have either quite of their own accord or have been challenged for their seat and unfortunately lost. When asked why I thought this was, I turned the question around and had to ask them to really think what had changed, what was truly different about this President from any other in the past.

  7. Hi Val – thanks for the info – you can tell you put a good amount of work into this and I just wanted to say that I appreciate it. 🙂 .Other than that – Ronald Reagan was a good guy. He liked jelly beans I mean who wouldn;t be? 😉

    • He might have been, but he was surrounded by advisers with agendas that did not bode well for us as a nation. He was a great communicator, I will grant you that. He was even a good politician, this also I will grant you. He started a ball down hill though that we are still paying for, that ever Republican has picked up and run with. Trickle Down Economics are wrong, they don’t work and we individually and as a nation are not better for them.

      But, good guy? Yes, he likely was.

      • Well – my Grandpa liked him – still had a bumper sticker in 2004 right before he died, I’ll admit that is the basis of my opinion – and the jelly beans.. I was in 5th grade when he was shot.. stayed home from school that day 🙂

  8. The amount of work you put into your posts is truly impressive!

    My worry for this election is that regardless of who wins, congress will continue to be so divided that nothing will be accomplished. Again. The word compromise really needs to become a daily mantra.

    • That is also my concern. We need at a grassroots level to demand of our elected officials they work together to reach consensus. We need to demand they work toward what is best for the nation and its people not what is best for ideological positions and parties.

      No one party has all the right answers. There are good people on both sides of the aisle but you wouldn’t know it these days.

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