Here are recent examples shaping public opinion about the Republican Party. Senator Shelby's single-handedly applies a blanket block of 70 Presidential appointees because of earmarks for Alabama – a proposed USAF tanker contract, and financing he sought to build a counterterrorism center in Alabama. Disagreeing about individuals is appropriate, fully vetting appointees before the Senate is appropriate if done without malice – but the motive to block appointees for state earmarks is "wrongheaded." Now Senator Bunning from Kentucky make a Republican statement about spending and blocks a bill extending government highway and transit programs affecting over 2,000 federal and construction workers, and unemployment benefits for 400,000 Americans. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars are working on 41 construction projects to rebuild infrastructure, and Senator Bunning holds working class Americans paychecks hostage because he wants to make a point. Where was Senator Bunning when the Republicans decreased taxes from 1997 through 2007 and increased spending while seeing a net loss of over 583,000 jobs between 2001 and 2009?
Senator Jim Bunning was a pitcher…not a catcher…which would be the only reason to flash the middle finger for a fastball to a reporter. But Senator Bunning's antics just don't play good baseball either – when do you see a hitter sacrifice runners in scoring position just so the hitter can get on base? Senator Bunning is sacrificing federal workers and construction workers who are working and paying local, state, and federal taxes so Senator Bunning can make a point and get on base. Workers who contribute to their community economics by earning wages and spending in grocery stores, retail stores, buying appliances, homes, and cars. This certainly isn't the "perfect game" Jim Bunning had in 1964. Republicans spoiled the Democrat "perfect game" majority when Senator Brown was elected. Massachusetts umpires ruled the big issue is not health care, it's JOBS! Yet Senator Bunning's antics put Americans out of work and leaves 400,000 Americans without jobs unsure about their unemployment benefits. Flashing signs to the public and holding jobs hostage by the Republican Party is like throwing pitches intentionally to hit the batter. He would be tossed out of the game in Major League Baseball for unsportsmanlike conduct to the fans for flipping the bird. But this isn't baseball, and I'm not calling for any apology.
What I am calling for is leadership from the minority party to act "in-good-faith" with the majority to resolve health care, jobs, economy, cap and trade, financial reform, deficit, national debt. Americans deserve the best leadership and follower-ship from elected leaders. Right now, there is a party with vision and solutions and a party of bitter obstruction. Solutions will not happen overnight. Debate and bi-partisanship will be needed to resolve these issues. Spending might be necessary until a recovery firmly rooted. Then it might be appropriate to increase taxes to pay for Iraq, Afghanistan, Stimulus 2009, TARP, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That's how economics work. We know it takes government spending to soften economic recessions, and we know if we increase taxes too early, we can reverse recoveries. We know we have to tax to raise revenues to pay for the programs Congress passed as spending resolutions and included in the budgets signed by President Bush and President Obama. Congress and the Presidents' acted on their best intents to secure Americans from terrorist and soften the economic challenge we face.