Home » OPINION » Columns » BILL CRAWFORD — Will Republicans fumble the ball to Chuck and Nancy?
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2017 file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, left, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds a news conference on Capitol Hill to respond to the Republican tax reform plan in Washington. Top Democratic leaders in Congress have abruptly pulled out of a planned meeting with President Donald Trump after he attacked them on Twitter. Trump tweeted early Tuesday that "I don't see a deal!" with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Schumer and Pelosi are shooting back with a statement asking for talks with top GOP leaders in Congress instead because, they wrote, “we don’t have any time to waste.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

BILL CRAWFORD — Will Republicans fumble the ball to Chuck and Nancy?

BILL CRAWFORD

Despite Republican leaders’ wayward fall from debt frugality into tax cut frivolity, shifting teams now to Chuck and Nancy would be a fiscal calamity. “Chuck and Nancy” is a Trump euphemism for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

 
Republicans deserve criticism for abandoning their long held top priority to reduce deficits and debt in order to pass deficit-busting tax cuts. But Chuck and Nancy have never made deficit and debt reduction a priority.
 
Certainly, Democrats think Republican tax gifts to big corporations and the wealthy will sweep them into power next year. But with Chuck and Nancy at the helm, that’s unlikely. Democrats’ pathway to victory requires a convincing appeal to the centrist Americans that Republicans have abandoned, i.e., a surge toward moderation. That’s not the political position New York and California Democrats like Chuck and Nancy espouse.
 
As one long-time Mississippi Democratic officeholder told me recently, “It seems that there are no people in Congress who put the country above party. The whole goal of both parties is power. Link that to campaign contributions. A pox on all their houses!”
 
He’s not alone.
 
“I have lost all hope of any real fiscal reform or responsible governance,” one of my more conservative, military retiree friends said. “I truly believe that our pols have realized that $20.2 trillion is not going to be paid back, or even paid down… ever!  As the owner of the printing press of the world’s reserve currency, they have decided to optimize the climate for business or possibly a loftier goal of elevating the standard of living to the highest level possible (measured in big screen TV size) for the longest period possible.“
 
Hold on. It appears Republican leaders are now admitting economic growth won’t generate enough revenue to pay for their big tax cuts and talking tough about spending cuts. Their plan, however, may be the sort of miscalculation that actually puts Chuck and Nancy in the game. 
 
“Let’s cut Social Security to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.” Sound like a smart strategy to you? That story is building. 
 
“Florida Senator Marco Rubio admits that the Republican tax cut plan, which benefits corporations and the wealthy, will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it,” reads a Newsweek story. 
 
“Republicans are making no secret of their plans to go after these critical retirement programs,” says a Reuters story. “It is the flip side of their plan to expand the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Cutting spending by these programs might be used to offset some of the cuts.”
 
“We’re going to have to get back next year to entitlement reform,” added Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
 
Everybody with common sense knows that Social Security and Medicare need to be modified and/or shored up. But in politics, timing and message are everything. Just hinting, if not outright saying they’re cutting Saying Social Security to pay for tax cuts fumbles the ball to Chuck and Nancy on the 10-yard line.
 
“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” as former Sen. Alan Simpson says.
 
 
Crawford is syndicated columnist from Meridian ([email protected])

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2 comments

  1. Anyone who has ever taken economics 101 knows that trickle-down or Reagan economics has never worked for the good of either the poor and middle class, further more it does not produce economic growth.

    Republicans espousing tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy as a way to produce economic growth are liars and the truth is not in them. Money from the tax cut to big corporations will be used for CEO’s, CFO’s, other top brass of the corporation and to give a modest dividend. Which does not create any jobs, it is the RAPE of the poor and middle class working people.

    Millennials are having an increasingly difficult time emulating the financial success of older generations in the developed world. Millennials is defined as the subgroup born from the early 1980s to early 2000s and are the children and grandchildren of the Baby boomers. There is a currently a huge wealth disparity between generations, as millennials struggle to reap the financial benefits of their overall wealthy societies. Here are reasons why young people are struggling to make money:

    Student loan debt: Millennials is truly the first group in the modern era to be plagued with such high levels of student loan debt. In the United States, young people have excessive student debt that is increasingly hard to pay back and a huge burden. Young people in the US have almost $1.5 trillion in student debt. Even though millennials are the most educated generation, they must spend years paying back their debt and often cannot even find jobs after graduation.

    High housing prices and cost of living: In United States, the housing situation is also a dire issue for millennials who must compete for places to live with their older and more wealthy counterparts.

    The Great Recession: The situation is tough for young people as they were hit hard by the Great Recession, and their labor market situation has not improved little since.

    Unemployment: The lack of jobs is a very serious problem. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of individuals in their thirties still living at home. This can only lead to a lower birth rate and a population that is becoming increasingly elderly.

    Health Care: Increasingly, health care is becoming more expensive especially for the poor and middle class as they struggle to make a living. Often health care insurance is neglected because the Millennials are young and in good health. For this reason and because the population becoming
    elderly, taxes must rise to pay for anyone who is unable to pay for health care in case of emergency. Millennials are also neglecting many health related issues because of lack of health care insurance, such as preventive health care.

    These are problems we must address now and urgently. Kicking it down the road will hurt our children and society as a whole. The labor market for millennials has improved very little since the end of the recession, while older age groups have not experienced the same slow recovery. Young people are earning less at work and paying more for rent and bills, resulting in lagging disposable income growth for young people compared with the past few decades.

    We need to address the following issue most urgently otherwise the United States is going to need to bail out the Millennials and this new generation’s student debt. This has very serious consequences for all of us.

    We need to address the right to all United States citizens to a quality education and enact a bill guaranteeing right to an education for all. From pre-kindergarten through college or university level should be FREE to all United States citizens.

    We need guarantee the right to medical care to all United States citizens by creating a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care.

    We need to establish a program and training that will employ more poor and middle class individuals to guarantee a job to all United States citizens.

    Establish an environment that will not tolerate bulling, discrimination, retaliation or harassment of kind of any individual based upon race, color, religion, political affiliations, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (21or younger), age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Demand equal pay for men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace.

    We as a society must become more color blind whether Black, White, Red, or Yellow, we are all brothers and sisters. Accepting and abiding by one of the most spiritually advanced and personality building code, a true Code of Ethics. A Code of Ethics that teaches everybody how to live their lives in the best way.

    Brothers and Sisters for your reading pleasure and spiritually uplifting:

    “Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we did not have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he could not afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We did not know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I do not know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.

    Mississippians need to think as they say “OUTSIDE THE BOX”. Being a Democrat or Republican destroys the individual, I like to believe that all Mississippians are or want to be an individual. An individual is someone: Listen to the Wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows. We as Mississippians are responsible for our own actions, we need to speak out and create a more responsive party that represents all Mississippians. Call it what you may but we are all Mississippians and Americans and we must ever strive to obtain all the blessings and rights of Life, Liberty, Health, Education, Welfare, and the Pursuit of Happiness for ourselves and our prosperity, so help us God (Spirit That Moves Through All).

    A true Christian, Muslim, Jew, or any member of religious orders DO NOT CHEAT OR LIE. Only politicians and lawyers Lie and swindle their bothers and sisters. And for WHAT? Perhaps a front row seat in HELL.

    Mother Earth is always remembered as from her we all have come and all shall return.

    Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone and often. The Great Spirit, Lord Creator, God, Jehovah, Allah, Great Son, Jesus or what ever your Deity is called will listen only if you speak. Search for yourself, by yourself. Don’t allow others to create your path for you. It’s your road and yours alone. Others might walk it with you, but nobody can walk it for you. Do not take what is not yours either from a person, community or culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours. All people make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven. Negative thoughts cause illness of the mind, body, and soul. Practice optimism. Nature is not FOR us, but a PART of us. Animals, plants and every other living creature are all part of our worldly family. Children are the seeds of our future. You need to plant love in their hearts and shower them with wisdom and precious life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to mature. Thanks are given to the animals, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers, seas and the four powers of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Not forgetting all human beings; elders, children, and teachers, red, yellow, black, and white. Be honest at all times. Honesty and truthfulness are the tests of one’s will within this world. Keep yourself balanced. Work out the body to empower the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional pain. Make conscious decisions regarding who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your actions. Respect the privacy and personal space of those around you. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially holy and religious objects. THAT IS FORBIDDEN.

  2. Senator Marco Rubio and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan both Republicans are making no secret of their plans to go after Social Security Medicare and any other Federal Retirement Plan to pay for the tax cut plan, which benefits big corporations, the wealthy, and the vote of Senator Bob Corker for the tax cut bill.

    Republicans see cuts these critical retirement programs, as the flip side of their plan to expand the federal deficit by $1.7 to 2.0 trillion through tax cuts for big corporations, the wealthy, and the vote of Senator Bob Corker for the tax cut bill. Cutting spending for these programs might be used to offset some of the cuts.

    This would not be the first time Republicans have dipped their fingers into the Social Security Trust Fund, the Civil Service Trust Fund, Railway Retirement Trust Fund, Medicaid, and cut Medicare in the 1980’s. I would like to remind everyone, these are not give away programs, each and everyone is funded by investment of ordinary citizens of the United States because of their work and earnings. Individuals pay taxes on these moneys at the time they are working and when they retire as well. Medicare is funded and taxed during your working years, just like Social Security, and when you retire you continue to pay for Medicare.

    Republicans view the trust funds as free money to be used at their pleasure, only the taxpayer and voters are stupid, stupid, stupid enough to allow this to happen.

    Mississippians need to write and call their Congressmen and Senators demanding these programs be protected and expanded. Too many Mississippians are making hard choices between eating, prescription drugs and housing costs, how about heating/cooling (use the sun or breeze), and water, perhaps as many as 639,000 out of a population of just 2,896,600, that is over 22 percent of the population. In a state with unemployment is above 6.5 percent.

    At this time the state of the State of Mississippi is deplorable at best, ranking 51st poverty; 46th unemployment; only 77.6 percent completed high school; 20 percent of youth not working or in school; women on earn 76 cent for ever dollar paid to a man; 14 percent of unemployed receive unemployment; and 22 percent do not have any form of health insurance. This is outrageous for this State.

    Mississippians must pass laws enforcing mandatory attendance in school pre-kindergarten (age 5) through 12th grade (age 21). Have alternative educational program whereby student could option to go to a Trade School. Trade school would begin in the 9th year with the first two years meeting the minimum trade program math, science, technology, etc and taught by person having experience in the subject being taught, school class room hours required would be 5, trade requirements 3 hours; third through fifth year would be taught by a Master in that profession and would be for 3rd year 4 hours classroom 4 hours trade; 4th year 3 hours classroom and 5 hours trade; 5th and final 2 hours classroom and 6 hours trade;
    A Standardized State final examination an oral for 20 percent, written 30 percent, and practical 50 percent. A second part is a State Licensing Examination for the grade of Journeyman. Journeyman must work under supervision of a Master of his profession.

    To earn a Master in a profession, a Journeyman must work 3 years under supervision of a Master, receive a recommendation of the Master and return to Trade School for 2 years where in addition to the technical, teaching, required record keeping, and Supervisory Initial and Human Relations in Supervision.

    Set a minimum achievement level for each and every grade state wide.

    All graduates from the 12th grade diploma would carry a statement that said student (name) awarded the diploma by the Mississippi State Board of Education. To receive the diploma it would be necessary to fulfill certain requires in Language (American); Foreign Languages to include Latin, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese (Standard Chinese), etc.; Literature; Economics; Investments; Mathematics; Arts; Science to include General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics; History (World, State and Indigenous Peoples, United States; State and Federal Government.

    Pass laws requiring and enforcing equal pay for equal work, black, white, red, yellow, male or female.

    Require all employers to pay unemployment insurance for their employees if more than 5 employees or pay employees wages until a job can be located for the employee at or above his current wages and within 20 miles of employees home or present job location, commute can not exceed 50 miles from employees home unless employee agrees.

    Enact a Medicare-for-all Single-Payer Health Care bill that guarantees all citizens of Mississippi, physical, preventive, emergency, and integrative health care, prenatal and new health care, mental, vision, ear, dental, prescription drug, physical and occupational rehabilitation, and emotional health care.

    Get employers, utilities, and corporations to support Mississippi Education One through tax-exempt deductions, gifts, grants, trusts, and endowments. Money would support schools, colleges, university, technical training programs and Mississippi Education Television. Use Educational TV to offer school, college, and university programs and accredited courses.

    Encourage entrepreneurs and companies to innovate through tax incentives.

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