[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
91°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Dec 17, 2012

charlievignolaElections have consequences.  We’ve all heard that axiom countless times before.  Republicans were fond of saying it when George W. Bush was president, and Democrats bemoaned the choices he made during his eight calamitous years in office.

But apparently the GOP thinks elections no longer have consequences, based on how they’re dealing with the upcoming fiscal cliff.

To hear them talk, you’d think John Boehner and Mitch McConnell weren’t even aware we had an election more than a month ago and their side got destroyed.

Look. When you lose, you have to accept certain realities.  Like, the deal you thought you could get on spending cuts last year is off the table now.  You gambled that your side would win, so you punted on all of the tough choices, and you blew it in spades.  Time to lick your wounds, buck up and face the cold, stark reality.

But Republicans evidently believe that if they just deny reality long enough, it’ll go away.  Never mind that this pathological willingness to ignore the truth is what blindsided them on election night when their warm, comfy bubble of “skewed polling” was so rudely popped.

What’s really shocking is that Republicans refuse to accept responsibility for the fact that the fiscal cliff is a nightmare of their own party’s making.  After all, they’re the ones who refused to let the Bush tax cuts expire when they were scheduled to, despite a decade of failing to create the jobs and prosperity we were promised. And they’re the ones who held the debt ceiling hostage to extreme spending cuts in the summer of 2011, resulting in the ominous sequestration we’re now facing.

Republicans have been demanding that the only rational way to deal with the fiscal cliff is to make brutal spending cuts in programs like Medicare and Social Security to help reduce the deficit and the debt.  But here’s the dirty little secret no one is talking about: Those programs have nothing – repeat, nothing – to do with the fiscal cliff.

What the Republicans are trying to do is conflate these issues, making the public believe they are somehow connected – you know, similar to how they suggested there were connections between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks to justify the Iraq War.  Some people even think these social programs are the whole reason we’re facing a fiscal cliff in the first place.  News flash: they’re not.

For the record, Social Security is fully solvent through 2035, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security trustees, and it has its own dedicated funding through payroll taxes.  Is Social Security an impending disaster in the short term?  Not by a long shot.  So why in the world should it be on the table for spending cuts at this particular time?  Because the GOP philosophically hates the program and feels this is a prime opportunity to start whittling it down. That’s why.

Is Medicare a long-term problem?  Yeah, sure it is – just like all health care costs in America are a long-term problem.  In the last 10 years alone, health insurance costs have nearly doubled, while the income of average Americans has actually dropped by 7 percent.  Anyone who’s been paying any attention to the issue knows America pays more for health care than any other nation but gets worse outcomes in a number of important areas.

What this means is that we need to discuss long-term solutions to America’s health care challenges in a more thoughtful and comprehensive way.  Making rash decisions because of some self-inflicted deadline that involves unrelated matters is a ridiculous way to handle the problem.

The other interesting thing is that the Republicans keep expecting the Democrats to be the first ones to put controversial spending cuts on the table.  Sorry, gang.  You lost the election; you’re the ones whose political gamesmanship backfired big-time, so you’re the ones who get to blink first and clearly state what entitlement cuts should be put on the table.  It’s not campaign season anymore, where you can continue to be evasive about what loopholes you’d close to justify cutting taxes again.

The truth is that Republicans are scared of the political costs of telling sick, poor and elderly voters they’re going to suffer because they refuse to ask rich people to pay a little bit more in taxes.  And they should be scared.  But you know what?  Tough.  You want to embrace Ayn Randian economics?  Man up and own it.

Republicans were hoping to take a meat cleaver to these popular programs in response to the “chicken little” frenzy they’ve ginned up over the past few years about the national debt and the deficit.  It’s all part of a long-term conservative strategy known as “starve the beast”: If you deprive the government of revenue, it can’t spend it on social programs, so it’ll be forced to cut them.  It’s a clever gambit, but Americans aren’t stupid.  If they were, we’d be looking forward to the inauguration of President Michelle Bachmann next month.

Instead, America re-elected President Obama, and not by a little but by a lot.  It was a decisive rebuke of Republican policies and philosophies.  As a result, Republicans have lost the opportunity to have their ideas dominate the political landscape for the foreseeable future.

It’s time for the loyal opposition to throw away the sour grapes, accept the inevitable and do the one thing they’ve consistently rejected for the last four years: Compromise for the good of the American people.  It’s what the voters want, and it’s the GOP’s best chance to get back in the game and restore the luster of its damaged brand before it’s too late.

 

Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

3 Comments

  1. CVS says:

    Such tripe. The tax revenues are high, even in this recession. It seems an impossible task to get liberals to admit that spending is the issue. We’ve proven beyond all possible doubt that revenues aren’t a problem – we have some of the highest tax revenues in history.

    Oh sure, liberals *love* to tell us about two unfunded wars. Wake up, babycakes: over the course of ten years these two wars have amounted to an estimated cost of $1.4 Trillion … and that’s a CRAPLOAD of money – or one year of Obama deficit spending. http://costofwar.com/

    So cut the crap, liberals. You don’t *really* care about the cost of these wars, do you? You care to make political points, score jabs, and hope that no one looks up the info for themselves. Yep – the wars cost a lot of money, but not as much as having a Trillion+ dollar-a-year president spending like trust-fund kid on permanent vacation.

    Speaking of vacation … isn’t our president spending about $5 million US tax dollars on his next one?

    Yeah – tell me again how he’s a man of the people.

    Rubes …

  2. JFD says:

    Really? Pretty sad and biased take on reality. The ‘no compromise’ attitude from both sides is what will bring all discourse to a halt.
    Thanks for your smug assessment of where the blame should shift to.
    That’s really going to help.

  3. Reason says:

    Appropriately Mr Vignola’s column is called “Out in Left Field” – but to be more true to life it should be “Way Out in Left Field”. Our government is running $1 trillion+ deficits as far as the eye can see, our outstanding debt now exceeds the GDP of our country, our AAA credit rating was lost last year, our Fed has been printing money to buy our own debt with their Quantitative Easing and we are being
    forced to increase our debt ceiling by trillions on an all to frequent basis at shorter intervals yet Mr Vignola fails to acknowledge we have a spending problem. In fact he just vilifies the GOP for trying to address our spending issues for the childish reason that “they lost the election” as Mr Vignola puts it. He should be reminded that our government was designed to have separation of powers. The House of Representatives, our body of government where all tax and spending legislation originates remained firmly in the hands of Republicans while the Senate remains split. Anyone who cannot see that we need to seriously address our spending, and fast or we will be facing a world that will look all too much like what Greece is going through cannot be taken seriously. Obviously Mr Vignola can’t. His blind ignorance to the fact that spending is our problem and his false rhetoric that the GOP is to blame does nothing to help get our country back on a sustainable path. And that goes likewise for Obama and his fellow Democrats who also are in denial of their egregious spending.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
High School Seniors: ‘Race to Submit’ is on for 2018 College Financial Aid
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
Santa Clarita business owners are encouraged to take the city's broadband feasibility study online survey and participate in the next phase of the study -- in-person focus groups scheduled for October 30.
Oct. 30: Focus Groups in Next Phase of City Broadband Study
Maryama, a band led by CalArts alumna Maryama Mirbagheri (Music MFA 17), was recently nominated for a 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category.
Maryama Nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Award
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has declared Oct. 16-20 "DACA Advocacy Week."
California Community Colleges Ramp Up DACA Advocacy
COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oct. 21: 2017 College and Career Fair at COC
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
Oct. 28: Sheldon Figoten ‘Light Fields’ at COC Art Gallery
The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Names Winners in 2017 Art Classic
Here is the Castaic-Val Verde Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 25 through October 1.
Crime Blotter: Arson, Burglary, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California and New Mexico launched a fresh challenge Tuesday against the Trump administration’s repeal of higher royalty payments to states for oil, gas and coal leases on public lands.
California, New Mexico Challenge White House Favors to Oil, Gas, Coal
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Canyon Country East (Zone 8) Crime Information and Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 24 through October 8, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Theft, Burglary in Canyon Country East
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair
College of the Canyons dominated its match vs. Bakersfield College from start to finish on Friday night, resulting in a 5-1 victory over the Renegades for the Cougars' first conference win of the season.
COC Gets First Conference Win of Season Against Bakersfield College
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Following a two-week layoff, College of the Canyons cross country was back in competition on Saturday, running with a mix of community college and Division I programs at the Sixth Annual UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
COC Cross Country Back in Competition After Two Week Layoff
The race to qualify for the Big West Conference Men's Soccer Tournament continues for CSUN this week with a home match against UC Riverside Wednesday night before the Matadors head to UC Irvine Saturday.
Oct. 18: CSUN Faces Off Against UC Riverside
After 16 years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service for the city of Santa Clarita, Rick Gould announced Monday he's retiring in mid-December.
Rick Gould Retires as City’s Parks & Recreation Chief
High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.
STEM Students Encouraged to Apply for Edison Scholars Program
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, or violence.
National Teen Driver Safety Week Underway
Elder abuse and scams targeting seniors are a growing problem, Santa Clarita detectives said, but there are numerous resources and protections available.
Resources, Outreach Available to SCV Victims of Elder Abuse
Despite rallying from an early 2-0 deficit, College of the Canyons dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Victor Valley College on Friday.
Canyons Rally Not Enough To Hold Off Victor Valley College
The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Cougar Field.
Oct. 21: Youth Baseball Clinic at COC
Sacramento – In an effort to curb the fraudulent use of Disabled Person Parking Placards, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Californians about the proper use of disabled parking placards and the consequences of misusing one.
DMV Launches Statewide Campaign on Use of Disabled Parking Placards
A California State University, Northridge program that provides support to undergraduate students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate degrees in the mathematical sciences has been named a 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education.
CSUN Math Program Lauded 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education
RE/MAX of Valencia will be hosting a blood drive benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Nov. 1: RE/MAX Blood Drive to Benefit CHLA