As this is the last issue of the Flipside of the semester, I feel it appropriate to make my very brief wish list to Santa be known since Christmas is fast approaching–my political wish list that is. On my political wish list I have just a few things that hopefully should be addressed by Saint Nick before the spring semester starts up.
The debate over the “fiscal cliff” is annoying. Rather than concede that the American people have placed more faith in the Democrats in this election, the Republican house leadership is insisting that they are the ones who have a mandate to extend tax cuts for the wealthy. When president Obama demanded that the debt ceiling be raised and middle class tax cuts be extended, Speaker of the house John Boehner replied that “everything comes at a price”. He’s deemed himself the most reasonable and responsible person in Washington, yet he is playing with another possible defaulting of American debt—the same game his caucus played last year that resulted in the downgrading of American credit. So please Santa, if you could just kick Boehner’s ass back into reality.
Next on my wish list is another good round of stimulus! What this country needs more than anything is unemployment relief. Borrowing costs for the U.S. are at an all-time low, and what better than to use this as an excuse to start bringing us into the 21st century! We can rebuild and build an infrastructure that reduces pollution and long term costs. I want a damn rail running from Eau Claire to Madison to Milwaukee and Chicago. I could go home at leisure and it wouldn’t be a nightmare to go to the urban centers of the Midwest. The local economy would boom with thousands of new jobs as a direct and indirect effect of such stimulus. We need minor inflation in our currency to finally encourage the movement of the billions sitting in corporate treasuries. So please Santa, get Washington to start preparing us to be on the same competitive stage as China and Germany and Japan, not Siberia and the Sahara. And make sure you get pricks like Scott Walker to accept federal money to improve Wisconsin’s economy rather than making us stand outside with our tongues out hoping the Koch brothers piss some of the millions in new tax breaks they were given.
Last on my list, because I’m not a needy person, is an end to the filibuster in the U.S. senate. The current procedure of the filibuster creates a tyranny of the minority. For the past four years I have watched the filibuster initiated by Republicans, requiring a supermajority of 60 votes, to pass even simple legislation. A majority should be 50 votes in the senate, not 60. I daydream about all the extra things that could have been accomplished had a democratically functioning senate existed. The procedure for filibuster has been enacted more in the past four years than in all of American history combined. It was not created so that the party not in power could obstruct everything to come to debate. Senators use to have to speak the entire time they were filibustering, so that if they stopped speaking, a simple majority vote could pass the bill. But that is no more, and the farce that has ensued is disgusting. So please Santa, please, help the Democrats in the Senate reform the filibuster for future congressional progress, even though the House is horribly gerrymandered, and beyond the hope of even Saint Nick.
Published in the Flipside