Responsibility and irresponsibility to whom, a people, a political party, a pledge…
As we’ve sat back, watching this debt ceiling debate rage on, I continue to be struck by what Democrats and Republicans deem to be okay, what they consider to be responsible.
It is responsible for both parties to give three trillion dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country, under the pretense this will create jobs…but it won’t. It didn’t when Bush first gave these hand-outs to our country’s wealthiest and since Obama renewed the tax cuts…nope, no jobs yet.
It is also responsible to call Social Security and Medicare “entitlements,” even though they aren’t. I’m paying for them now under the understanding I get them back later…how about you? But, it is responsible for both the GOP and the Democratic President to take this money away from you, to reduce a deficit the GOP created with those tax cuts for millionaires and a few odd wars. It is responsible to bail out banks who caused the recession that led to a drop in revenue, while at the same time leaving the middle class and poor to suffer even more by not helping them with their foreclosures, which are being done fraudulently by the same banks the government bailed out after causing the recession…and it is responsible for us, the American people to ignore this cycle.
Oh, and it is responsible to sign pledges to help oneself get elected to office, despite the fact these pledges keep one from being free to exercise conscience when it is needed most.
Also, it is responsible to play politics and tricks while the economy inches closer to a crash, displaying loyalty not to your country, but to a political party. It is responsible to do a short debt ceiling deal so each party can take another crack at the narrative, all over again, and during an election year when politicians are always known to be at their most responsible. Why? Because it is responsible for everybody to distort and misrepresent facts (lie) for the party’s political gain.
It is responsible to preside, willingly and knowingly, without attempting any sort of change, over the greatest separation of wealth in any industrialized country, by far, just as it is responsible for both parties to allow the deregulation of commodities markets which drive the prices up on food and oil, thus allowing financial institutions to make even more money on the extra money you pay and place it directly into their already burgeoning vaults.
And through this debt ceiling debate, it is responsible, as the people’s representatives to blatantly ignore what every poll of the American people has to say: make a deal built on balance: tax the rich and cut spending). Why? Because it is responsible to place more importance on a pledge to one man (Grover Norquist) than to the populace of your nation.
Essentially, the White House, Republicans and Democrats are deciding it is responsible to cut programs for the poor that help keep people from destitution, while at the same time keeping programs for the wealthy to help those with a great deal of money, get even more and most importantly…it is the responsiblity for us, the American citizens to sit back and accept what they decide is in our best interest, the politicians, the financial institutions, their lobbyists…all because we will have the chance to engage later in very responsible acts, such as voting.
Yes, it is the height of responsibility for us to accept our political representatives utter disregard for what we, the people of this country feel is most important.
Why is that?
Perhaps because truth in fact, Democrats and Republicans in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court know little to nothing about responsibility and irresponsibility…to us.
A demonstration perhaps?
Simple, all one need do is take a look at what these elected leaders would consider irresponsible, should we, as Americans decide their responsibility is anything but…responsible.
They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to, on the same day, suddenly withdraw all funds, save the minimum at the following banks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, because crashing the banks that crashed our economy would be the height of irresponsibility.
They would consider it irresponsible if we demanded these corporations, lending institutions and investment firms begin to at least pay the same tax rates we have to pay, because those same corporations, lending institutions and investment firms find it responsible to stop lending and to defraud investors, while the corporations cut the jobs they are supposed to be helping create.
They would consider it irresponsible to consider, there might be a better way to manage our affairs then a one party system that is equally corrupted by high finance, these same institutions that place profits over Americans well-being, confidence and security…
They would consider it irresponsible to take protests personal, to the homes of every CEO involved in causing the recession, and every politician who did nothing to prevent, stop or fix it.
They would consider it irresponsible to shut down Wall Street by demonstrably large protest…every day, after day, after day…
They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to be upset over the fact that if a debt ceiling deal is not reached, while Social Security checks, Veterans Benefits and the like may not go out, Congress will continue to receive their salaries.
They would consider it irresponsible if demands were made to actually take care of the elderly, the disabled and the sick.
They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens to start demanding justice, and stop being content with platitudes and condescension, especially if we demanded jobs programs through infrastructure repair, or that rather than defunding the EPA and Planned Parenthood, we demanded they defund the insurance industry and oil and natural gas companies.
They would consider it irresponsible to begin considering laws optional, much in the same way Wall Street and politicians do, everyday.
They would consider it irresponsible to imagine a Robin Hood scenario being played out in every town and every city across this country, just as they would consider it irresponsible to stop paying for food, and it would be especially irresponsible if people tried to align with the police to defend us against political and financial encroachment.
They would consider it irresponsible to engage in widespread, community meetings, and begin to have conversations about how everyone can help take care of each other, especially if your community organizations start linking up with other community organizations to the point we started to do it ourselves, for ourselves…and if successful, should any politician try to step in and take some sort of credit, it would be irresponsible to marginalize their presence the way they marginalize our hopes.
They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens, as a rule, to interrupt and sabotage any live remote news coverage by any major news channel, especially by pointing out that each of these news channels are owned by the same set of corporations that profited and continue to profit on your suffering, just as they would consider it irresponsible to start engaging in selective, but mass property damage on a nationwide scale…again targeting the institutions that made it possible for this country to default, for you to lose your job, for your pension to have suddenly been disappeared.
Because they would really consider it irresponsible if people watched less television, consumed less and had a lot more conversations about just how responsible politicians and their supporting industries were being, and also about what the people might do about that sense of responsibility.
They would consider it irresponsible if politicians were no longer able to go out-of-doors anymore without having to clean off the spit once they’ve returned back indoors, or for me as a social worker who works crisis lines to point out how many more calls I am getting from people who are unemployed, out of options, and the places they would normally go to for help, either are out of funds or no longer exist anymore because wealthy people didn’t have enough money to create the jobs they forgot to create.
A few politicians would also find it irresponsible to point out Ayn Rand was not an American icon, she was a parasite who fed off the government she claimed to both detest and find obstructive, and she deserved to be disappeared, just as quickly as the financial institutions disappeared your savings.
Oh yes, and one party would consider it the height of irresponsibility for their constituents to wake up and realize gay discrimination and God won’t keep their jobs from being outsourced, their health care rates from going up and their future options being undone, while another party would consider it equally irresponsible for their constituents to wake up and realize how they no longer represent the middle class and working people because they need the same campaign contributions the other party does, and how they have been coasting on legacy since the Carter administration…and financial institutions would consider it irresponsible for either parties constituents to wake up…
Especially if citizens should, when they wake up, consider their notions of irresponsibility and responsibility to have been in error, and consider that now is as good a time as any to make the institutional predators of this country very uncomfortable.
And some might wonder, would doing that be irresponsible, or responsible?
Hard to say for sure…
Have a nice day.