Feeling threatened and scolded isn’t the best start to a town hall meeting with your U.S. congresswoman.
“Disruptions and rudeness are not going to be tolerated,” warned Vicky Hartzler’s chief of staff, Eric Bohl Thursday at the White Rose Pavilion in Warrensburg.
Mr. Bohl advised the crowd of some 50 people to be respectful. If not, he noted there were several police officers around the room to keep the peace if necessary.
Sure makes you feel welcome and willing to speak freely.
Meanwhile, a U.S. debt clock projected on the wall ran like a stopwatch while we waited for Hartzler to arrive and then personally greet everyone in the room – eating well into the one-hour allotted for the town hall.
So, we were all greeted with a heaping dose of fear from the start. Fifteen point six trillion dollars and counting.
Then she plowed into an “update” on the state of the national debt. Apparently we spend more than we bring in, something no responsible person does in their own home. And to fix this, Hartzler said lawmakers (Republicans) want to spend less and balance the budget.
Really? Somehow I don’t feel “updated.”
She supports Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and when questioned about the morality of the budget that cuts taxes for the rich while decimating social programs, Hartzler was ambiguous. Individually, we should reach out to the poor, she said.
“As far as the budget goes, we need to balance it and we need to look at ways to help everybody and so a lot of the people that make a higher level of income they’re job creators,” Hartzler said. “We’re trying to help people get more jobs and I think the best thing the government can do is create an environment that those who are poor, who can’t find a job to be able to go find a job. The way we can do that is to help encourage job creators to have the capital and to set the policies where they feel comfortable creating the jobs to help people.”
Yes, the tired “job creator” argument and trickle-down economics. We might as well privatize social security like the Republicans wanted some time ago. It’s all a gamble anyway, right? And we all want job creators to feel comfortable. So, suffer poor people because the job creators are here for you.
Back to the deficit. Hartzler reminded us that China is our largest creditor at 29.2 percent. But guess what China is doing with the money? Arming themselves, of course.
“They are spending our money actually to advance their military,” she said. “Basically since we pay enough money to China just on the interest to the debt we owe them to be able for them to purchase three Joint Strike Fighters every week with $50 million left over.”
I ran out of fingers. How many strike fighters is that? And where is China housing them? Whatever. Maybe that was hypothetical. She did say with certainty that China has unveiled a new stealth fighter and a “1,500 mile aircraft busting bomb,” and 14 nuclear subs are under construction to our one.
I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure “aircraft busting bombs” are also called missiles, which have been around for quite some time.
What she failed to mention is that China is a nuclear power, and they’ve long had the largest standing army around. So, why should we be quaking in fear now? China also has debt problems of their own while completing an astounding number of public works and infrastructure projects.
Back in America, Hartzler says our budget woes are tied to the unemployment rate. Get us to full employment, about 4 percent unemployment, and we should see enough revenue to pull us out of the slump. The problem is that the Senate is blocking all of the Republican jobs bills while too many regulations stand in the way of corporations.
Oh, and 78 percent of small businesses are not hiring because of the president’s signature health care bill.
That’s quite the sweeping generalization – a fallacy of reasoning.
Apparently Hartzler is embarrassingly uninformed because Obama signed the bipartisan jobs act today – ironically the same day she fussed about the Senate holding up job-creating bills.
Or maybe she’s playing the fallacy-by-omission card.
But what’s an ideology without fear and fallacy anyway? A productive one, that’s what.