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!