Call me an American Dissident. I believe in democracy and government of, FOR, and BY the PEOPLE. I do NOT believe in the plutocratic corpocracy this country is today, wherein government is made and administered of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy. I believe in wealth which is HONESTLY attained through hard work and merit. I do NOT believe in wealth attained by means of deceit, exploitation, or leverage. There is enough for all in this world. Greed is the major cause of poverty, and both are totally unnecessary.
As I watched last Wednesday's State of the Union address by President Obama, I was struck by the body language of the Republican congressional delegation. It is said that actions speak louder than words, and the actions of these conservative Republicans, though they were perfectly silent, roared louder than an auditorium full of shouting, fanatical Tea Party members.
There sat stuffy Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, looking bored and completely out of it. I also saw a stern-faced Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a sullen-looking Senator John McCain of Arizona, and a pensive Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia. All appeared restless and unhappy to be there. They remained silently and listlessly seated whenever Democrats rose to cheer and applaud the President's words, and most of these Republicans applauded only once, and then very timidly, tepidly, and briefly when tax cuts for small business were mentioned. And these same Republicans - all of whom opposed even the President's Economic Stimulus Plan of early last year, which provided work for some of our unemployed and prevented our sinking into another Great Depression - sat as lifeless as wax figures from Madame Tussaud's when the President mentioned taxing the biggest Wall Street banks which caused the downturn to begin with. When the President suggested taking that money to give to smaller commercial banks for purposes of lending to small businesseses for further job creation, there were only cold, emotionless stares from the Republicans. But the behavior and facial expression which summed up the current conservative Republican attitude best was that of Representative John Boehner of Ohio. His steady, sneering, and hateful glare toward the President spoke volumes.
These Republicans behave like rotten, spoiled little children who haven't gotten their way and will not cooperate with anyone in the least as a result.
It has become obvious that they are united in a policy of total opposition to everything - ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING - this President or his party proposes. They are convinced that stalling his agenda, and making both he and the entire federal government ineffectual, will cause his defeat in 2012 and will result in their regaining total control of the White House and Congress, just like they had under the first six years of George W. Bush's regime. That's all they care about. Achieving political advantage and regaining total control.
The Republicans don't care about the unemployed. They don't care about ever-rising health insurance and pharmaceutical costs, or that 1 in every 6.5 citizens has no health care coverage. They don't care about the poor. They don't care about the struggles of the shrinking middle class; that the rich are getting richer and are leaving everyone else far behind. They don't care that the tax system they put into place has the middle class subsidizing both the poor AND the rich. All the Republicans care about is their return to total power. What a thoroughly disgusting, myopic, and self-centered party.
It got me to thinking: these congressional conservative Republicans are wasting our time AND money. We pay each of our Representatives and Senators a hefty $174,000 per year, plus they have the best health care and retirement benefits in the entire world! But are we getting our money's worth from these Republicans? Have YOU ever been paid $174,000 per year for doing nothing but sitting, pouting, complaining, and producing nothing of value for YOUR institution? I didn't think so. Why should THEY enjoy such cushy treatment?
Consider this: Republicans never submitted a real economic stimulus plan of their own. They never submitted a health care reform package of their own. They never submitted an infrastructure-renewal plan of their own, either. What are they good for, anyway? All they keep repeating, like a mantra, is "lower corporate taxes, keep the Bush tax cuts [for the wealthy] in place, and regulate business less. "But those are the policies which caused our terrible recession! Face it, folks: the Republicans have nothing to offer this country, and they, the supposed fiscally-responsible party, are WASTING OUR TIME AND MONEY!
I think it is time that WE, their EMPLOYERS, start holding congressional Republicans and blue-dog Democrats accountable. I propose that each and every one of us taxpayers INVOICE UNPRODUCTIVE AND OBSTRUCTIONIST CONGRESSPERSONS! That's right: send your least-liked Representative and/or Senator a BILL for the money of yours they have wasted! Hit them with an "OBSTRUCTION FEE" if applicable; a "SPECIAL INTEREST FEE" for voting for the best interests of lobbyists or concentrated capital instead of voting for YOUR best interests; a "MISINFORMATION FEE" for lying to the media, and for lying about and distorting the positions or bills sponsored by progressives; a "BROKEN PROMISES FEE" for lying to the voters, saying they'll vote one way and then actually doing the opposite; and a "GRANDSTANDING FEE" for making dramatic and exaggerated statements like "death panels" or "throwing grandma under the bus" for the sole purpose of getting media attention and photo opportunities. JUST MAKE CERTAIN THE INVOICE'S TOTAL IS EXACTLY $174,000 TO MATCH THEIR SALARY, AND BE SURE TO NOTE THAT THEY SHOULD MAKE THEIR CHECK PAYABLE TO YOU, THE TAXPAYER WHOSE MONEY THEY HAVE WASTED!
I'm serious about this, folks: invoice templates can be downloaded for free. I encourage all of you to send a bill to every waste-of-time-and-money Congressperson who needs one. Doing so will definitely get their attention; at the very least, you'll feel a lot better after you've sent it.