At least, that's the conclusion I have to draw, if I am not to conclude that Ann McLane Kuster's definition of "grass roots" is not simply a euphemism for "money plants." Ms. Kuster has garnered some media attention recently in consequence of her failure to vote for the Democratic budget proposed by the Senate and brought to the floor of the House by Republicans as a sort of stunt. Rumor has it that the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is counseling some Democrats to vote along with Republicans to solidify their bi-partisanship, which, IMHO, is a lot like the homeownership -- not designed to take one where anyone wants to go.
Of course, the head of the DCCC, Steve Israel is not a member of her staff, so Ms. Kuster may just have been super impressed to be lobbied by one of the party's big-wigs.
However, the speech she read on the floor of the House probably was prepared by her staff and, to be charitable, does not reflect the progressive agenda she claimed to represent during the election, when a real Republican was turned out of office she now holds.
Calling the sequester "mindless" and then proceeding with her comments as if this creature came crawling out of some black lagoon, instead of having been set up by Congress to punish an electorate for voting wrong, may be a result of her being a novice in the legislative trenches. But, if that's the case, Kuster would be well advised to follow the example of her more experienced colleague, Carol Shea-Porter, the Representative from New Hampshire's first district, and desist from orating until she knows what she's talking about.
Actually, contrary to Kuster's assertion, there is much question about the so-called "deficit" among economists, many of whom realize that dollars not flowing back into the Treasury in the same amount as they flow out, both as Congressionally authorized spending and in interest payments for dollars the private sector is storing, instead of using for exchange and trade, are largely the result of what can only be called hoarding. Moreover, this hoarding is not going to be reversed by Congress taking dollars away from people who are most likely to spend.
A Democratic Congresswoman calling for "balance" is such a retro thing. Is there no understanding that Republicans are merely throwing back words that Al Gore threw at them two decades ago?
But, what has prompted my suspicion that Representative Kuster is ill-advised isn't the above or her disastrous vote in the House Agriculture Committee undermining the Dodd/Frank effort to bring Wall Street speculation (another kind of hoarding) with our dollars under control. No, what I'm reacting to is the virtual barrage of communications from the Congresswoman's campaign staff--all looking for more money because:
1) there's an FEC reporting period deadline coming up
2) a former Republican office holder is angling for the office to which she was just elected
3) Republican opponents need to be scared off
We know that our people-powered campaign is incredibly strong. But the thing is, we have to make sure that we show our strength when the GOP and our opponent former Speaker O'Brien pore over our report when it's filed. He is right to be scared of our prolific grassroots fundraising machine.What do you want to bet the same verbiage is being sent out to registered Republicans by a coterie of campaign advisers and consultants and fundraisers that are all cut from the same cloth as the ones Kuster seems to have hired on?
Not a word in any of these missives about the Congresswoman's accomplishments towards fulfilling her "bold progressive" promises.
But, what's most galling is that the plea to "send money" is going out willy nilly to Democrats in the state, regardless of whether they reside in the second district, while efforts to communicate back with the Congresswoman's office are rebuffed, if the emails aren't originating in the right zip code. Ms. Kuster only has time for people who can/could vote for her.
Step One - Zip AuthenticationRegrettably, while I can understand that not every email communication can be answered, the directive to "verify residency" is not acceptable from a public servant. I'm not voluntarily spending another penny to elect someone, who thinks in terms of words flowing one way and dollars flooding back.
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Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the district. Please enter your zip code to verify residency and go to the next step:
Nor, for that matter, does it strike me as efficient to organize yet another group, the United Solutions Caucus, with a majority of people (21 Republicans) whose agenda is designed to fail, because that's where they think their power lies.
The new members of Congress have been meeting over the past several weeks to design a framework for addressing our fiscal challenges by streamlining government, simplifying the tax code, generating new revenue, and cutting spending – while protecting Social Security and Medicare. The group announced today that it will formally organize and continue meeting as the United Solutions Caucus.One gets the impression that these "new members" have no clue that Congress' job is to manage the currency, spend dollars to promote the general welfare and protect our natural resources from destruction and depletion. Nor do they seem to realize that "revenue" refers to currency coming back into the Treasury, whence it issues, and that the way to do that is by collecting taxes, especially from individuals and groups who are sitting on cash.
While the MZM graph also shows the flow of money slowing to a trickle, I like this graph better because the plunge of M2 is more precipitous, and the salutary effect of the 2009 stimulus (Congress releasing more dollars into the economy) more obvious.