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Final conclusions from the election

Gin and Tacos has a fantastic rant about the overwhelming mandate delivered by the American people in the recent election. Yes, other pundits have attributed lots of other meanings to the election, but I think we can all agree that they have no idea what they are talking about. Ed humbly submits the following as the true meaning:

The 2010 midterm elections were a mandate for the new GOP sorta-but-not-really majority in Washington. The American voter has clearly demanded:

1. Social Security reform that guarantees my current level of benefits, alters someone else’s, and cuts everyone’s Social Security taxes to boot.

2. A world-class national infrastructure that can be built and maintained without tax dollars.

3. A balanced budget that doesn’t sacrifice any of the government programs – especially the sacred military-industrial complex and the various old age benefits – that we like.

4. Clean air without pollution controls, clean water with a neutered and underfunded EPA, and businesses that do socially responsible things without any regulation whatsoever.

5. Consumer goods at Made in China prices that create high-paying jobs in America.

6. Giant trucks and SUVs that drive like Formula One race cars, look cool, fit into small parking spaces, cost under $18,000, and get the fuel economy of a Toyota Prius.

7. Complete freedom and complete security at the same time.

8. An America that acts like a swaggering, sociopathic asshole on the global stage yet is beloved by all the nations of the world.

9. Wars against every enemy, real or imagined, all of the time, with no U.S. casualties and no effect on the budget.

10. Incredibly rich and rewarding professional lives while supporting our employers’ right to do whatever they want to us without recourse.

11. A vibrant, consumption-based U.S. economy with good jobs for anyone willing to look for one resulting from free trade policies that encourage money and capital flows to cheap labor markets.

12. A highly educated workforce produced by a school system that requires no tax dollars to achieve excellence, students who have no interest in learning, and a virulently anti-intellectual society.

13. Closed borders and an endless supply of cheap labor to keep prices low.

14. To buy whatever we want irrespective of what we can afford while maintaining the drumbeat of personal responsibility.

15. Health care that is cheap, superior, and readily available to me without the danger of the same being enjoyed by anyone I deem undeserving.

It couldn’t be any clearer: we want a government that will resolve every problem we currently face with solutions that require no effort, no sacrifices, and no money. And I have no doubt that we have elected a group of people brave enough to promise exactly that.



  1. Jason Ray wrote:

    This is very funny, but I don’t believe it is accurate. I believe that the voters are angry about the situation in Washington, frustrated about the economy, frightened about the deficit, and desperate about jobs and housing value. The mid-term election results were all about those emotions, and the Republican rhetoric about smaller government, cutting taxes, and focusing on the jobs situation resonated. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure it’s only rhetoric and when it doesn’t translate into action the Republicans will be hit upside the head as hard as the Democrats just were.

    Jay Leno’s one liner I thought was exactly on point – “Do we give control to the people who got us into this mess, or give control to the people that have proven they can’t get us OUT of this mess.” Bottom line – voters think things are a mess and want someone to get us out of it, and they will remain extremely fickle until they are convinced someone (or some group) is actually makes progress towards that goal. I am disappointed that the Democrats (and Obama) didn’t get as many kudos for the positive things they DID do, but I think the Republicans (as always) did a far better job of staying on message and hammering home emotional talking points. The Democrats need to figure out how to do the same.

    There will always be people screaming about any changes to any major programs or deductions, but I don’t believe the majority of voters want all the problems fixed without any cost. They do want the cost to be bearable, and they do want it to be FAIR – meaning don’t cut taxes for millionaires and then cut my mortgage interest deduction to pay for it.

    Fixing our nation’s fiscal position has to focus more on revenue growth than spending cuts – you can’t shrink your way to success. And the best kind of revenue growth is expansion in the GDP that results in a bigger pie, rather than the government getting a bigger slice of the current one. All of the projections I’ve seen in the last year (including deficit commission’s initial leaks) are based on one questionable assumption – that we will NOT have a significant expansion of the GDP. That’s how we’ve gotten out of these kinds of holes in the past (most recently under Clinton thanks to the explosion of home computers and the Internet) and that’s what we need now.

    I am not sure what the federal government can really do to prime that pump, but things like the R&D tax credits and support for potentially promising new categories, like green technologies, are the right approaches – and I have to give Obama credit for pushing them.

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    I just read a commentary in christian science monitor about how we have to cut social security benefits and medicare benefits. so those that have the lowest incomes have to make the highest percentage of sacrifice to pay for Bush’s mess, while the rich lobby to keep their tax cuts. They don’t care about restoring the money Clinton left to Bush. Sickening.
    Oh, Boehner was raised as a Kennedy Democrat until his parents were brainwashed by an Actor playing the roll of President. They then switched to Republicans. the power of the media at work even back then.

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  3. patriotsgt wrote:

    Isn’t # 14 what our government already does?

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  4. jonah wrote:

    If the republicans are always good at staying on message then how did the democrats win in 2006 and 2008?

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  5. Sammy wrote:

    There’s a website that mixes the only alcohol I drink AND Mexican food?? Holy juniper berries!

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  6. starluna wrote:

    Jason Ray – I interpret this differently. I don’t see what ginandtonic talking about the emotions behind the voting behavior in this last election. First, the blog posting is criticizing the election results are presented in the media. If you look at his analysis, he is saying that, contrary to the media portrayal, the Republicans did not get a mandate in this election. They won in the places where they have always won and Democrats lost in places where they have not traditionally won.

    Ginandtonic does not provide the basis for his list of demands. But I would conjecture that they are based on the platforms of those elected this time. Or possible on polling or survey data on what voters say they want/are complaining about/claim is the most important thing, etc. They seem pretty on point to me when I think of the conversations I’ve had with people over the last couple of months, as well as the few TV ads I subjected myself to.

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  7. starluna wrote:

    Sammy – I too loved the title of the blog. Makes me hungry. And thirsty. Gin is good for a sore throat, right?

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  8. Jason Ray wrote:

    Jonah – re Republicans losing in 2006 and 2008, staying on message can only help so much. The direction of the country and the economy, combined with the wars and having Bush in the White House, was more than anyone could mnessage through – but they sure tried.

    Starluna – thanks for the thoughtful response. I was reacting to the posting here, and did not read the entire original blog – shame on me.

    That said, I think it’s been obvious for some time that what swings the elections left or right are the independent voters – who went heavily Democratic in 2006 and 2008 and heavily Republican in 2010.

    And so while I agree that the media depiction is well captured by Ginandtonic’s points (and that people always want to have their cake and eat it too)I disagree that the majority of voters really expect to get it all without sacrifices. I think they expect there will be some pain, and what they want is action and fairness – aand we shouldn’t lose sight of that, especially if we want to get things done 🙂

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  9. patriotsgt wrote:

    Jason – you hit the proverbial nail on the head with your last statement. I think most everyone would role up their sleeves, pay more taxes, do with less services and perhaps less pay/benefits. BUT – they want to see that Washington is serious and begins by making spending reductions first. If they see politicians practicing what they’ve been preaching, they would gladly pitch in. I know I would.

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  10. starluna wrote:

    I would not be willing to pay more taxes if my tax increases go to pay for tax cuts on the wealthiest. I am opposed to the removal my mortgage tax deduction in order to pay for a reduction in corporate taxes or top marginal tax rate, as proposed by the deficit commission.

    If you’ve seen the latest business reports, productivity is up. Given that unemployment is up too, this means that most people have already rolled up their sleeves. Wages and earnings of the majority of workers has not increased, which means that most people are earning less for their effort than they used to (the exception being the wealthiest whose income does not come primarily from wages). And, most cities and towns are already having to do with fewer services, including basics like adequate fire protection.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  11. patriotsgt wrote:

    Starluna – well said and exactly right. Everyone, including the wealthy, corporations and even middle class and poor should contribute. If we let all the Bush tax cuts expire, did away with corp tax breaks, perhaps even abolished the IRS and went to a flat tax. But all that is pointless unless those running the Gov’t stop growing it, and start reducing it (lets start with TSA).
    I’m with you on not giving up a penny until I see some commitment from the other side.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  12. starluna wrote:

    I don’t agree with a flat tax. Flat taxes are regressive, as are consumption taxes. As it is, the entire tax system is largely regressive, with lower income people paying a significantly larger proportion of their income into tax coffers than wealthy people.

    I do think we need to be more clear about what who you (in the general sense – not anyone in particular) are referring to when you say “the government.” Some people want to get rid of the TSA. Fine. But I live next to an airport (literally). The last thing I need right now is to have an airplane explode over my house, regardless of whether it is because of terrorism or because of loopholes in the airline safety system.

    And as much as I would love to keep that extra $140 I paid in various state and federal taxes in my last paycheck (about 40% of which I will get back when I do my taxes), I actually like the fact that there are federal student grants available to make my expensive private university classroom a bit more diverse than it would otherwise be. I also like that my state has a state university system, considering that it pays my husband’s salary and gives us a pretty good health insurance plan. Our state universities are otherwise totally underfunded, but at least we have some opportunities for lower income folks to get a good college degree without incurring the kind of crippling debt that my private university students do.

    Perhaps we should be talking about the changes we would like to see in our world and what role various actors, public and private, play into making that happen. For example, I would like TSA to stop it with the shoe removal thing. I’ve traveled to places that have significantly more experience with terrorism and never had to take off my shoes. I’m used to it now, but I’d rather not have to do it, especially knowing that it doesn’t really make us any safer. Although, I do take some satisfaction in seeing the holes in the socks of business travelers wearing expensive suits and traveling with $5000 laptops. I’m not sure why, but it makes me smile whenever I see that.

    I would also like to see more regulation of food safety. I would like to see Congress close a number of loopholes in our anti-discrimination laws. I would like there to be more college and vocational training grants and few loans. I would like a more comprehensive public health surveillance system. I would like more comprehensive environmental protection laws. I would like more oversight and regulation of the operations of the financial sector. This is just what I am thinking of before I’ve had my third cup of coffee. If “less government” means not being able to do some of these kinds of things, then I certainly don’t want “less government.”

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink