Republicans in the Senate Thursday dealt President Barack Obama the third in a string of defeats on his stimulus-style jobs agenda, blocking a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines.
Supporters of the failed measure said it would have created tens of thousands of construction jobs and lifted the still-struggling economy. But Republicans unanimously opposed it for its tax surcharge on the wealthy and spending totals they said were too high.
The 51-49 vote fell well short of the 60 votes required under Senate procedures to start work on the bill. Every Republican opposed the president.
A couple of years back, in conversation with Gil the Jenius I proposed that Puerto Rico was the future of US Politics. As this news confirms, unfortunately, I was right on the money. In one of the few times ever, Puerto Rico is actually leading the United States in something, partisan politics.
When politicians place party before people, Puerto Rico is what you get: record unemployment, record murder rates, and complete administration immobilization. Let's face the facts here, it's common knowledge that during a party change in the Forteleza, one of the first things they do is kill any programs started by the other party's administration.
That has devolved into daily acts in the US and Puerto Rican Congress to sabotage every initiative of the opposing party for simple political gain. The unwillingness of our political parties to work together for the greater good of the people, is reflected in the greater unwillingness of its' citizens to reach consensus on anything.
The chaos we are witnessing in the Occupy Wall Street movement is merely the tip of the iceberg; here in Puerto Rico we have daily public assissinations. I believe that all of this discontent comes from a larger problem, a lack of unity. Not since the Civil War has the United States been this fractured. The failure of our political systems only reflects the failure of our democracy to serve the interests of the people.
In Puerto Rico, ever since we created political parties that are based on the status of Puerto Rico, we have been a fractured society. In the end, what we have in Puerto Rico is simply the future of partisan politics in the United States. When political decisions are made based upon how they will be perceived by party faithful, it doesn't really matter who is in the Forteleza or the White House. When compromise is seen as a weakness, all progress will be blocked. When we seek out how to blame our problems on the opposing political party, we fail to lead. When we are willing to jeopardize our future, simply to prevent the other political party from claiming progress (winning), we all lose.