Last night Tim Griffin, my area's congresscritter, held a telephone townhall. This is the first time I was free to listen and I was amused at the discussion. Mr. Griffin spent half an hour on the phone and answered several questions without saying a single thing.
"Yes, we need to make changes."
"Yes, the country is over-regulated to the point that businesses can't function."
"Yes, the debt load is a baaad thing."
He took several very good questions and spouted the same nonsense throughout the conversation. He responded solely in platitudes, there was not one suggestion from him of doing something that might genuinely make a difference. He did discuss the proposed changes to Medicare, which he backs, without mentioning how long it will take for those changes to have an effect and that per the CBO the budget is likely to implode well before any effect from those changes could make a difference.
He pointed out several times that Zeroman's proffered budget was defeated without even a single yes vote from his own party and that Congress has at least put forth a budget while the Senate has not, without mentioning that the budget from Congress doesn't even begin to straighten out the financial mess this country is in.
He admitted regulation is stifling business and innovation in this country without mentioning that Cap and Trade was defeated, but the EPA has decided to implement it anyway in the form of regulation and Congress is doing nothing to stop it.
He did mention Libya, but had no suggestion of what to do now that Zeroman has ignored Congress' sternly worded letter about the War Powers Act.
Now, I'm not surprised by this, but I am tired of it. Anyone with one eye and half sense is aware that the fiscal policies in this country are unsustainable. That we need to cut, lots, and everywhere.
That when the budget for the agency that oversees farming is 3/4 of everything earned by farming in this country there is an obvious problem.
That when an agency created 40 years ago to wean the US off foreign oil has demonstrated no success, yet has a budget larger than most other countries in the world, there is an obvious problem.
That when an agency created to improve education has increased spending per child by an indecent amount while actual education is notably declining there is an obvious problem.
That when agency created solely to deal with 4 entirely legal substances goes so far off the rails as to contribute to murder there is an obvious problem.
That when there is agency whose sole function is to harass children and the elderly, while abrogating the rights of the citizens of this republic, there is an obvious problem.
And that the solution is not to throw more money into these agencies, but to eliminate them. Save the money and get government out of the people's business. Yet none of this came up.
The few suggestions from the folks on the call about savings were brushed off with the line, "but that is a very small proportion of the budget". Apparently Mr Griffin has never heard the sayings, "Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take are of themselves" or "A penny saved is a penny earned". But then, it's not his money.
There were about 200 people on that phone call and the Congressman did a few polls while it was on. I was ticked off to find that 24% of the respondents thought that increasing taxes as part of a deal to increase the debt ceiling limit was ok. I was surprised to find that 67% of the respondents think the debt ceiling should not be increased at all. I was more surprised to find that my views are not only not as far out of the mainstream as I thought, but are much in line with many of my neighbors.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Griffin will listen to his constituents, but I'm not counting on it.