Posts Tagged ‘budget’

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BITCHING IS NOT AN OPTION

April 3, 2009

bitching

The opposition continues to whine about the President’s 2010 Budget: “This will bankrupt our country!”  and “We can’t sustain this type of deficit spending!”  And still more: “Why do we have to do all of this now?”  And the knee-slapping: “Let’s just work on one thing at a time.”

They think they’re helping. They’re not.

How can they discuss projected spending for the next 5 years and not discuss projected income?

To be fair: They can’t.

To be truthful: They don’t want to.

They are under the illusion that temper tantrums are constructive.

boehnerfist

They’re not.

Why not offer solutions? Because they can’t. Nearly all of them are not qualified. Those that might be, don’t have all the information and resources that are at our President’s disposal.

All they offer is ideology. Apparently, that’s all they have. We’ve been there – done that. It doesn’t work. The previous administration had its chance to lead. It failed and our house crumbled. There’s no need to look back, other than to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes.

We have now elected someone new to lead. That leaves two choices for the rest of the politicians in Washington. They can follow or get out of the way. If they have creative, constructive, progressive, NEW ideas, by all means, they should follow our President’s lead by joining in the conversation. If they don’t, then they need to get out of the way.

I have been involved in my share of negotiations, board meetings, brainstorming sessions, co-authorships, team building and the like. The #1 understood message? Bitching is not an option.

buildinghouse
I look at this crisis as if we’re building a new house on an existing foundation. The footer (Constitution) is good. The blueprint (Obama Recovery Plan) is fine. We just need to rebuild the structure (country and government).

We have a new general contractor. He’s put together groups of “builders” who will take on the monumental tasks necessary to complete the construction. So what should the rest of us do? We should understand that this construction will take time, lots of money and sacrifice. The top wage earners will have to pay more in federal income taxes. Those who drink alcohol or smoke, may have to pay more for these products as a result of increased taxation to help fund projects that benefit all of our citizens. The estate tax may have to go up a 3 or 4 points.

As I wrote in 2007, “I believe we don’t mind paying taxes for those things that make our lives a little easier and safer.”

So far, we Americans are patient. The President’s popularity is as high or higher at this point in his presidency than Bush I or II, Clinton and even Reagan. You have to go back to Kennedy to find anyone with a higher popularity in the first 60 days and he didn’t have to deal with two wars, an economy in crisis and loss of credibility around the world.

It’s time to grab a hammer.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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NO BEEF?

March 28, 2009

wheresbeefTwo weeks ago, the Obama Administration showed their brilliant strategic thinking by suggesting that Rush Limbaugh is now the leader of the Republican Party. Rush and the media took the bait – hook, line and sinker. (See Checkers and Chess)

Here we go again.

As is customarily done by the minority party, the Republicans are criticizing the President’s 2010 Budget. On March 24th the President asked why the Republicans have not presented their budget plan. At that time, there was no Republican plan – only amendments. Then two days later, their “budget” miraculously appeared.

I put the word “budget” in quotes for a reason. Here’s their plan. For those that don’t want to read through it, here’s a quick two-point analysis and the reason for my title:

(1) The plan is 19 pages. I’ve had to present small church budgets that had more pages. Here’s the President’s plan – 142 pages.

(2) There are no real numbers in the plan. Let me repeat this in case you missed it: THERE WERE NO REAL NUMBERS PRESENTED IN THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET PLAN.

Huh?

Here’s the gotcha: The Republicans are the opposition / minority party and therefore, are not required to present a budget. So why would these seasoned politicians allow themselves to be baited into doing something that they didn’t have to do? Then, to add insult to injury, they try to fake their way through a press conference presenting a pretty blue binder with less pages inside than a grocery store newsletter.

The Republican leaders have been in Washington for years. Don’t they know how to play the game better than a former junior senator? They campaigned saying that then candidate Obama did not have enough experience to handle the presidency.

Really? It seems to me the “rookie” just sidelined his opponents – again.

Needless to say, the questions started flying from the press about the lack of numerical data in the plan. It was obvious the Republicans were not ready.

In a very weak attempt to respond, Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), had to back track on calling the document a budget, instead calling it a blueprint for the budget that they “…will present next week.”

Maybe that’s when they’ll add the beef.

boehner2fingers

At this moment, I’m actually starting to become genuinely concerned about the state of the Republican Party.

Okay, the moment passed.

Now, I’d like an 10oz. Angus Burger, medium well, with fries and a cool one.

wheresbeefwbeef

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com