You Can’t Be Serious

I feel like our whole political system is one big April Fool’s joke.

The word that perfectly encapsulates the way I feel about most politicians out there is “unserious”.

Let’s start here in Pennsylvania. We’ve got a Republican governor who wants to balance the budget. So what does he do? Does he impose a natural gas tax? Does he seek money from very profitable companies looking to drill for gas in Pennsylvania?

No, of course not. Because he took a lot of money from those people. Instead, he slashes $1 billion from education. Because education isn’t that important! It actually stuns me that the party that does its best to protect “family values” continually assaults, though legislative policies, the very people it purports to protect. I guess once someone is born, he or she is on his or her own.

Let’s look nationally at the drive to defund Title X in the name of “balancing the budget”. Taking money away from Title X isn’t going to balance the budget. It’s going to bump a lot of poor, low-income families over to the roles of Medicaid, which is going to cost the government MORE MONEY. After all, Title X also supports things like STD and cancer screenings, which help people stay healthy. But of course, we don’t really care about keeping people healthy, which is why we’re going to repeal healthcare reform, too.

Let’s look at the perennial assault on abortion. Now, make no mistake, I am anti-abortion. But it seems to me that rather than working to restrict access to what is a legal medical procedure, the government (and/or private insurance) could make it a less necessary evil. Sponsor sex education in schools, including talk about abstinence. Give low-income families access to low-cost family planning and birth control options (see Title X). Encourage work places to provide affordable daycare options. Expand healthcare so that it covers birth control.

We have Rick Santorum out there talking about how Social Security is in trouble because of our country’s “abortion culture”. Really, Rick? You don’t think Social Security is in trouble because our government borrowed freely from that entitlement for years? (In my opinion, Santorum is beyond unserious; he’s a downright embarrassment, to Pennsylvania, to the Republican party, and sometimes even to Catholics. I honestly wince sometimes to think that Rick and I are of the same religious faith.)

The government is, once again, teetering on the edge of a shut down. But no side is being serious about what needs to be done to balance the budget. No one is saying, well, let’s look at Social Security. Let’s look at defense spending. Let’s look at the tax code and loopholes, and figure out how to structure the former and close the latter so that the government actually gets its money.

Let’s look at what ever the hell happened in Libya. I’m still quite confused on this one. We want Qaddafi out. Okay, fine. But our efforts seem, to me, again, to be unserious. We dropped some bombs; we declared — with the support of the U.N. — some sanctions, and a no-fly zone. And then, we pulled our planes from the efforts. Not that I want us to launch yet another war over in the Middle East, but I’m not clear on what we are trying to do in Libya — or how we’re doing it.

As with most of my political posts, this is ranty and rambly and pretty much going no where.

So, Dan and I are taking the kids and moving to Italy.