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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Games: You shouldn’t be surprised when the GOP lets you down.

Games: You shouldn’t be surprised when the GOP lets you down.

This past weekend the Republicans in the House used sleight of hand and before our eyes turned their promised $100 billion in spending cuts into $61 billion.  Yes that’s right even after the Tea Party organizations reminded them about their Pledge to America where they promised a $100 million in discretionary spending cuts in year one, the establishment Republicans forced the Tea Party backed freshmen class to accept a $61 billion compromise. Yes the same establishment Republicans who back in September promoted their “Pledge to America” to sell Americans a bill of goods that they had no intentions of keeping.  If they had intended on keeping their promise the Republican leadership in the House wouldn’t have started from $31 billion in spending cuts, forcing the freshmen Republicans to come off their $100 billion position. Call me old fashion, but wasn’t there a time in this country when your word was your bond?  Well this apparently is not the case anymore.  It is becoming very clear to me that this pledge was nothing more than an election year gimmick.  They used it to sell themselves to an electorate that was already upset with Washington’s out of control spending.  They wanted to convince us that they were the party willing to move in the direction of fiscal soundness.  How’s that working out for us?

When I see these sleight of hand shenanigans going on it Washington, it reminds of the process that goes into purchasing a new vehicle.  How many of you hate dealing with salespeople at your local car dealership?  Why do you hate dealing with them?  I know the reason why it’s not one of my favorite things to do; because car salespeople are masters at saying the right things and steering the conversation in the direction they want to close the deal.  Even when you’ve done your homework and are prepared, they have you right where they want you the moment you step onto their lot.  A simple rule of thumb to remember is not to worry about the payments, settle on a final price and seal the deal from there.  The final price is the key.

Have you ever wondered why the MSRP for a selected vehicle you find online is so much lower than what your local car dealership is selling the same vehicle with the same options for?  Well it’s because they are jacking up the price by adding a little of this and a little of that at the dealership.  They a fixing the game before you even step out of your car to look.  Once you get there they always seem to have some type of promotional rebate that promises to take a certain fixed amount off the car, but the rebate only last for the next three days.  This is designed to hurry up the decision process.  We tend to make hasty decisions when we feel rushed and they know this.  It applies pressure; after all you don’t want to miss out on a $1,000 rebate for a vehicle that has already had its price artificially inflated by all the little add-ons.  They ask you where you want your payment.  What can you afford?  They let you drive the car and inspect any trade in you might have.  If you drive your trade in off the lot after they have offered you a price for it, they tell you it might impact that price.  You sit down with the salesperson and they start throwing numbers at you.  They use some strange math you have never seen before and steer you towards additional add-ons and extended warranties.  Pretty soon the sale price number is going higher and higher.  But this is ok because they have managed to keep your payments in the range you were looking.  They find some no name bank or worse yet their own financial institution who is more than happy to enslave…I mean finance you for the next seven years at seven percent interest.

Your heart starts to race because you feel the deal coming together.  Heck not only is it the car you have always wanted, they even have it in the color you were looking for.  You begin to justify the increased costs in your mind as you start to buy into the sales pitch.  You’re willing to give a little here if they give a little there.  As all these things play out in your mind your hand moves closer to the pen to sign the contract.  Then finally you cave in and sign the papers and you’re happy for it.  You have the car you have always wanted with all the extras.  It doesn’t matter that the final price even after the rebate is a higher, you have your prize.  You ignore the fact that for the next seven years you’re locked into paying for an overpriced vehicle with slightly higher payments than you originally wanted.  It doesn’t matter that the interest you pay is going to increase the total cost for the vehicle by one-third of the original cost; you bought the car you wanted.  This is how it’s done day after day at car dealerships across America and a large majority of us fall for this game all the time.  So why should we be so surprised when politicians do the same thing to us and we fall for it.

They’re telling us how much they’re going to cut instead of what the final cost will be.  If they were serious about reducing spending they would have given us a final budget number.  This would force them to spend less and find areas to trim the budget.  This is not something they have a desire to do, so they throw some numbers at us that mean nothing in the scope of things.  They played us and we fell for it.  So it doesn’t surprise me when they don’t follow through with their promises.  When have they ever?  The truth is we are being a bit naive to think they will actually rein in their own spending.  I mean these are the same clowns that got us into this mess and now we’re asking them to fix it.  The current Republican leadership doesn’t have the courage or the desire to limit the size of the monster they helped create.  If you think I’m missing the target in regards of the similarities between the tactics your local car dealership uses and what politicians are doing take a look on our latest government shut down threat.  The current continuing resolution ends on 4 March.  The House just passed their spending bill to keep the government operating for the rest of the fiscal year.  It contains $61 billion in cuts that the Democrats in the Senate already said they will not support.  There is an impasse that needs to be addressed.  So what do our elected representatives decide to do to resolve their differences before next Friday; they take the week off.  You got to be kidding?  Is this some type of sick twisted joke?  Nope, this is the game they’re playing.

Folks they’re following the rebate trick that dealerships use to hurry up the pace of the decision process.  They’re creating an artificial crisis to force the hand or at least create the illusion of forcing the hand of the other side.  Not to worry; they will come back on 28 February and point fingers at each other and assert that it’s the other side who wants to shut down the government.  The government will shut down only intensifying the need for some type of resolution.  After all we can’t possibly live without our federal masters.  Both parties will use the shutdown to score points and paint a terrible picture of the other side for their supporters.  In the end all this will be resolved and the final deal will have spending cuts much less than the $61 billion the house bill passed and far less than the $100 billion the Republicans pledged in their Pledge to America.  What’s really sad is that the Republicans will use it as their battle cry for the 2012 elections.  They will declare how they need more Republicans in power to turn this ship around and get their spending cuts passed.  They will be successful with their sales pitch because like car dealerships they know how to say the right things, steer the conversation, and close the deal.  It’s a game folks!  When are we finally going to get this?   When are we finally going to take our political party goggles off and see things for the way they really are?

I have said this over and over again and I’ll say it again; the solutions to our problems rest within each of us and the states.  We have much more say and influence with our own state representatives than we’ll ever have with these misguided fools we send to Washington D.C. every two years.  They are not serving the people.  They are creating the illusion of doing something.  Don’t fall for it anymore.  We must focus our Tea Party efforts at the local level and cut our losses for now with both parties.  Our future resides with our states.  The events happening in Wisconsin and soon in other states facing the same fiscal issues are events we must engage in.  It’s not too late for our states.  We can still turn things around in them.  It’s time to get back to work and change the mindset from the bottom up.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not playing their game anymore.  Both parties are destroying our republic.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • Steve Dennis February 21, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    I am also concerned about the start the Republicans are off to, but I am still hoping that it will get better. It is probably foolish of me to hope so and I will probably be let down because it is hard to believe that the people who got us into this mess will be willing to get us out of it.
    I think that you are right and the answer lies closer to home–in the states. And we are beginning to see states push back but will it be enough? After all, the states have been bribed with federal money for so long that they might not be willing to part with it.
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    • John Carey February 21, 2011 at 10:02 PM

      We can always hope for the best. The problem is reality usually has something to say about it. I’m just extremely frustrated right now with the whole lot of them. I applaud the freshmen class, because they are indeed trying. The problem I have is with the establishment. Those that have been in Washington for far to long.

  • LD Jackson February 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    I fully understand what you are saying, John and I agree wholeheartedly that we need no further political games. We need results. I would caution you, however, to consider one thing before you throw the GOP out with the bathwater. I think it is a bit unrealistic to think they should be able to cut spending like we want it cut in this fiscal year. Keep in mind that they have only just assumed power in the House and they still have to contend with the Senate Democrats, as well as President Obama himself. I think we should expect to see them laying the groundwork for the 2012 fiscal year and elections. If they can regain control of the Senate and the White House, as well as retaining power in the House, then we should expect and require substantive progress. As it stands now, I think they are somewhat limited in what they can do.

    I do not mean this as a rebuke at all, John, and I hope it isn’t taken that way. I just think we should be a little more realistic in what we should expect from the Republicans, less than two months after taking control of the House. I do agree with you that it is completely ludicrous for them to be taking the week off. We have many pressing concerns that need to be addressed and they can not do their jobs if they are not in session.
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    • John Carey February 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      Larry I agree with you that it will probably take another election cycle; however I do not think I’m being unrealistic to believe they should be able to take huge strides here. They do have the wind at their backs. Perhaps it was the Republicans who were being unrealistic when they pledged to cut $100 billion. I don’t think the Republicans are negotiating from the position of power they could be. The truth is a majority of Americans want these cuts and will have the Republicans backs. The problem is both parties are playing games with the lives of others in an attempt and score points. Maybe I should have exercised more restraint in my post, however we have seen the expansion of government with both Democrats and Republicans in power. We are still dealing with the same entitlement program issues that we faced in the 1990s. I’m a conservative first above all else Larry. In my opinion we need to stay on these guys like stink on ___.

      We can’t continue to give them a free pass. They pledged $100 billion in the first year and in the scope of our deficit that’s peanuts. Call me crazy here but I believe they should be expected to keep their word; our word is our bond. If there was any doubt when they threw these numbers out there then they should not have made that pledge. We often make far to many excuses for these guys and fall back on, all we need is one more election cycle and we can turn this around. I don’t mean to sound glass half empty here Larry. I just want what you want; to move in the right direction. Voters don’t forget things like this.

  • S. Prescott February 22, 2011 at 6:23 AM

    At the Federal level, I don’t see a big difference between the parties. They both play the same games and are mostly interested in preserving power. True change in this country is going to come from state assemblies.

    • John Carey February 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM

      I agree. There really isn’t much difference at the federal level. However the states well that’s a different story. There are definitely distinct differences.
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  • Jim Gourdie February 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    I agree with you, John. After all, the $100 billion number is just chump change. Why the need to play games. They act as if there is no urgency. The majority of the public is behand them. Now is the time to be bold not wishy washy. I too am frustrated.

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