Statesman – a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.
Demagogue – a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions and prejudices of the people.
‘Mugging’ Goes Viral
During the recent payroll tax debate, congressman Steve Israel (D,2), sharpened his partisan angst against House Republicans when he accused them of trying to “mug the middle class” for insisting on a full year extension of the current payroll tax rate instead of a much shorter two month stop gap measure.
Only in the Orwellian world of Washington politics can increasing the deficit be considered good for ‘job creation’ and temporarily extending existing tax rates be considered a ‘cut.’ But this is the world in which congressman Israel thrives, a world where short term gamesmanship and photo-ops are rewarded with successful re-election bids.
Also, I find it ironic that a career politician such as Mr. Israel, who has spent many years collecting a government paycheck, can dictate to the American people how much of theirs they should be allowed to keep.
As the congressman’s press releases and speeches indicate, members of the opposition who fail to fall in line with Mr. Israel’s ‘bread and circus’ policies are accused of not acting in a ‘bipartisan’ fashion. However, voting records indicate that if anyone is not acting in a ‘bipartisan’ fashion it is Mr. Israel, who votes along party lines 93% of the time and has supported President Obama on every spending initiative thus far, rubber stamping anything that comes out of the White House.
Further, the congressman fails to mention in his press releases that in the original version House bill (HR 501) he voted against was a provision that would, “reduce spending from areas throughout the federal government, including a freeze on congressional salaries, in order to protect the Social Security Trust Fund, whose solvency would otherwise be diminished as a result of the payroll tax holiday.” I guess this is not something you want to share with the voters if you are trying to convey to them that you are the ‘protector of the middle class.’
In short, congressman Israel's incessant bursts of demagoguery may be good for his career, but not for the long term economic health of the country. He has repeatedly failed to address excessive government spending during his tenure, reign in the monetary policies that depreciate the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar and has done nothing to help bolster the savings of the American people.