Latest news on the debt ceiling crisis and a “Fable about Elephants.”
Debt Ceiling / Deficit Talks break down again: On August 2, the current federal debt ceiling will expire. If this happens the country will descend into chaos. For example, seniors will no longer receive their social security checks (that’s me). Many government operations will close down which will put the economy in a further tail spin. If you’ve been reading Ekos-Squared, you know that I’ve been critical of President Obama’s willingness to compromise on issues of vital importance to families and communities without rallying the enormous latent power of grassroots support at his finger tips on issues of importance to the majority of Americans — Social Security, Medicare, Education, Public Safety, Public Health and the Environment. Having said this, Mr. Obama can’t be accused of not trying to avoid the abyss with good faith negotiations. On the other hand, the Republicans have fully embraced the ideology of the extreme right, i.e. the Tea Party, Grover Norquist, et al. As a result, GOP law makers are refusing to budge on their “no increase in taxes” stand. Even the reasonably moderate Orin Hatch (R-Utah) last week told his Senate colleagues that the poor must be willing to sacrifice more to shrink the federal debt. (But the wealthy should keep their tax breaks and loopholes). Last night GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walked out of the White House and rejected the President’s latest offer. All of this has inspired the following fable.
The Story of the Elephants. Many years ago there were three elephant leaders that held the most important leadership positions in Pacadermia. The Grand Old Pacaderms (GOP) believed in personal responsibility and good parenting. They were solid supporters of education for the wee ones. They believed that everyone should be able to reap the rewards of their hard work. They championed small, local enterprises. They were strong defenders and fought off any beasts that dared to attack Pacadermia. They believed in compromise with their political adversaries The PacaDems for the good of Pacaderms.
Abe the elephant on the left believed that Pacadermia should be a “nation of the elephants, for the elephants and by the elephants.” Teddy the elephant in the center was rough and tumble and a great believer in conservation and created national parks and Mitt the elephant on the right believed (or used to believe) that all elephants should have access to good health care.
However, over time the GOP party began to change. Unlike their predecessors they began to champion the wealthiest elephants — those who owned huge estates and who earned huge profits by dominating the caravan trade, and by charging usurious interest rates for the loans they made to others. Over the years, the wealthy pacaderms were living “high on the hog” while the great majority of elephants had less and less. As a reward from their wealthy patrons, the GOP pols received huge campaign contributions.
The GOP’ers stopped caring about the majority of elephants who were struggling with severe drought and famine. They used every trick in the book to get and consolidate their power and in order to preserve the perks of the rich, they proposed to slash medical and income support to aging and poor elephants.
Slowly but surely GOP’ers began to change in appearance; free from the need to roam the savanna for food, water their trunks shrunk and their legs got shorter. Their ears shrunk because they didn’t want to listen to other views or the pleas common pigs. Nor did they want to be confused by the facts.After, several years they no longer resembled elephants. Their appearance, today is rather remarkable.