DO REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS HAVE ANYTHING TO TALK ABOUT? ARE ANY DEALS POSSIBLE?

One thing we should all agree on is that we need to sit down and talk to each other for the betterment of our country. If we can’t agree on disagreeing without being disagreeable we might as well send our representatives home because our Republic is done, finished like all Republics before us, dead as a result of factionalism or in modern terms partisanship. If you saw the grim faces at the meeting at the White House with the leadership of both political parties it would appear that there is little hope of bi-partisanship. Concessions are equated to giving in to principle. The idea that the country does better when nothing gets done needs to be rejected before it is too late.

Let us go over some of the key issues of the day and see if there is any common ground upon which a deal can be made between both political parties. Is a deal acceptable to one party in return for another deal that is important to the other party?

For the Republicans out there in the country would you be willing to accept a lower corporate tax rate with fewer tax loopholes that benefit corporations? Some of the tax loopholes make the effective tax rate for companies zero or to where companies get tax refunds.

Are Republicans willing to keep the EPA to protect our air and water and only rid the system of unnecessary rules and restrictions?

If you are interested in insuring the financial viability of Social Security are you willing to extend the age part of the eligibility and to remove the caps on income which alone would make Social Security financially solid?

I agree that states should be able to determine for themselves what the minimum wage should be. But let us ask ourselves whether there should not be a floor nationally for a minimum wage especially for states that do not have one. To live in California it would require a different minimum wage because the cost of living is so high. Shouldn’t each state have a livable wage?

For some of you who might not remember, one of the key reasons why the Great Depression lasted so long and was so severe was because people’s wages were so low that the goods produced were not affordable for too many people so deflation ensued. Profits were not enough to keep the economy running. Henry Ford had the right idea, that his workers should be able to afford the cars that they were making. If you keep lowering wages you can count on having another Great Depression. The Wal-Mart economy might be great when you are shopping for cheap goods but if too many people are making too little then a tipping point will be reached and hard times will be with us for a long time.

For those who think that the goal is not to overturn Roe V. Wade look again!  A personhood amendment is being considered. Some states like Texas and Virginia are making abortions almost impossible to be performed by making clinics few and far between and in Virginia the vaginal probe is like being raped.

Why shouldn’t a woman make the same money as a man for the same job and if they are equally qualified for the job?

As to the ACA, Medicare was not perfect when it was rolled out. Why gut a program which is helping millions who were not insured and why even consider re-instituting pre-existing conditions? Let us make it easier for people to get PPO’s.

How can income inequality ever be good if your income from a full-time job has you live in poverty whereby you can’t afford to either get the training possible to move up the ladder or have the money for the transportation necessary to get to the higher paying job you might qualify for.

The House Rules Committee is the gatekeeper for what bills are voted for or against. If a party holds the House should they not consider a bill proposed by the President of a different political party? This used to be the case but now there is too much partisanship. In the first two years of the Obama administration there were a lot of bills that were passed in the House that the Senate would not consider. Now we hear the same complaint when the shoe is on the other foot. Republicans want their 300 bills passed in the House considered and voted on in the Senate. Many of those bills  would be dead on arrival in the Senate but Republicans want their bills voted up or down. This is the way it should be but each party should have the same chance on bills that are passed. You can’t have it both ways.

So is any deal making possible in the current atmosphere in Congress? It is possible but I doubt that any major legislation will be passed. Look at the body language of those who went to the White House this week after the election. It appeared that they just don’t like each other. Personalities should not dictate what happens. We elected these people to do the peoples business. My bet is that dysfunction continues because that is what corporate America wants. They like the state of power they currently have and any change that threatens their wealth and power they are against. If the legislation would make them more wealthy like the Keystone Pipeline, they are for it. The locals through which the pipeline would go are in many cases against the pipeline. Where are the conservatives when it comes to the rights of individual citizens, where is the small d in democracy when real people who live in the path of the pipeline are against it?

Get ready for 2 more years of gridlock and extreme partisanship. The ship of state is severely listing and is in danger of sinking due to too much hot air and obstructionism.

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