The Absence Of A Thing

In a career that ranged from washing dishes and cleaning rest rooms to senior executive accountabilities, I have observed every manner of criticism one might imagine; above, below and sideways. There is a thing or two I’ve learned about criticism. Criticism can be a release of frustrations, it can be an expression of anger or ignorance, it can be a delay against the inevitable; it can be a tactic to divert attention. Criticism can also point out unconsidered flaws and in its best evolution is constructive and contributory. I’ve learned that to focus criticism that is not constructive rests on a simple question; “great, then you’ve got a better idea?” Usually and unfortunately there is no better idea, only criticism.

Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a magnate for all manner of criticism, the exception being the constructive variety. To Democratic Leadership the simple question prevails; ‘then you’ve got a better idea?’

The fact is that for over three years, there has been no better idea. Fact is there have been no recognizable, contextual fiscal ideas from Congressional Democrats in the form of a budget, no fiscal plan, no priorities, no careful allocation of resources, and no addressment of raging deficits. Americans must ask themselves if they are satisfied with nothing more than virulent criticism of those who actually do present a plan?

Republicans addressed the President’s budget with a budget plan of their own. “Hey, we think we’ve got a better idea! They contended that the President’s budget take us off a financial cliff, they are correct, $23 trillion in debt by 2022 is a financial cliff with no guard rails and no soft landing. The reward for actually suggesting a better idea is raging, out of context criticism that ignores those pesky facts. The last Presidential budget went to the Senate floor for a vote; no one, Republican or Democrat, voted in favor of it. This Presidential budget will suffer the same fate should it come to the Senate floor, which it will not. Everyone in Congress knows, based on that vote, the Presidential budget is a recipe for financial collapse and yet……….no better idea from Democrats.

Mr. Ryan questioned Secretary Geithner in hearings regarding debt and deficits. Mr. Geithner eventually told the truth; “no sir, we do not have a plan for reducing long term deficits; we just know we don’t like your plan!” Would not one expect from the Executive Branch some manner of plan? Is that too much to ask fof the irreplaceable man, Mr. Geithner? Apparently so!

There are no cohesive Democratic ideas, unless you consider raising taxes a better idea. That is the only idea we’ve heard consistently. Raise taxes on the rich and the oil companies. Raise taxes on estates, raise taxes on health care related industries, institute 24 new taxes associated with ObamaCare.

It’s an appeal to the Middle Class, ‘we’ll raise taxes on everyone but you.” But with each new tax, prices escalate, the new costs passed on to ….. wait for it…. The Middle Class! You see, the Middle Class is actually where the money is. The Middle Class is where the predictable cycle of tax increases has to hit eventually; if only the Middle Class realized it.

If Democrats really do occupy the moral and political high ground as they contend; the question begs, what are they afraid of? Have we evolved to the point where criticism is enough? If not, where is their budget proposal, where is the Secretary’s approach? Where is the well considered plan?

In this day and age you must pay as much attention to the absence of a thing as you do to its presence. It is frequently more telling!

  • D.D.Mao

    Politics in America today isn’t about ideas!Politics today is based on which party delivers the better services as if government was a hotel concierge when in reality it is the pusher and we are the junkies.

    As an article by the Heritage Foundation stated “The Good Samaritan was a man not the government. A government is not made in the image of God. It has a function not a life.Government is a necessary evil.Government is necessary because man is flawed and it is evil because it corrupts men and usurps liberty.It is the Progressive project to aggrandize government by humanizing it. Government becomes the life that cares,feeds and exhibits concern. Our government does not exist to care it exist to promote freedom and security of our body politic.”……”Wealth redistribution will not be disbursed with perfect effectiveness to the most deserving members of American society. Instead they will be used by politicians to buy a little more time for our failing public institutions, postponing a reckoning with unsustainable pension committments,delaying necessary reforms to our entitlement system, and propping up education sector that doesn’t match it’s cost. The story of the last three decades is not the story of a benevolent government starved of funds by the selfish rich people or fanactical Republicans.It is a story of a public sector that has constantly done less with more and a Liberalism that has defended the interest of a narrow constituency.”

    America is fractured along party lines and while the above quote says liberalism both parties are guilty of this voter extortion.For outside of Rep.Ryan little imagination has been expressed to solve our problems by Republicans. The question to ask is “Is America going to continue to be driven by PARTY or prudence,principle,and pragmatism? The future depends on our answer!

  • D.D.Mao

    Upon Further Review:

    The title of this essay is “The Absense of a Thing”.

    This title could very well relate to our field of Republican candidates. Not one of them can convey a usable plan on how he can take us out of the mess we are in.Don’t tell me “You are the only one who can beat President Obama”.Tell me your vision,your plan on what you are going to do WHEN YOU WIN! All we have seen so far is candidates riding the coat tails of the Tea Party with their white papers written by Joe the Plumber.George H.W.Bush was accused of not having a vision but the candidates offered today make him look like a clairvoyant.

    “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope.We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth….and to listen to the song of that syren,till she transforms us into beast. Is this the part of the wise man, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those,who having eyes,see not,and having ears,hear not,the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part whatever anguish of spirit it might cost,I am willing to know the whole truth;to know the worst, and to provide for it.”……….Patrick Henry at Virginia convention 1775

  • Babs

    Compromise and Common Sense always lie in the middle, never in either extreme. Without that, yes siree, we are “absent of the thing”.

    Common Sense should tell us that promises at this point are just pointless. Not that every politician doesn’t offer them – where’s that space station Newt’s building?

    I want compromise and common sense, and anyone that thinks they can promise me right now how it’s going to roll out on Jan. 1 would be lieing. All I need to know is that someone’s character is a reasonable one that will handle each situation that sits before them with yes, compromise and common sense. And a good dash of experience and a little class for a change.

  • D.D.Mao


    I didn’t mean my comment referring to “vision” to be interpreted as “promises”.I fully understand the emptiness of such endeavors.I would however like the candidates to convey any plans to get us out of this current mess instead of the empty rhetoric,soundbites and cliches we have endured the past few presidential elections.

    Basically I do believe however we are on the same page with my “prudence,principle and pragmatism” and your “common sense and compromise” remarks.

  • I definitely agree with BABS, common sense is one thing that sometimes they neglect or probably they just ignore.
    Very well said.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Alice from fauteuil oeuf