Rule number one—always remember that the current Republican Party is out to get you unless you are a multi-millionaire and a donor to the Republican Party.
Republicans at the top are all millionaires, like Dick Cheney who left government only for a few years to clean up as President of Halliburton by using his Defense Department contracts to earn them $12 billion and $50 million for himself. Rush Limbaugh became the 400-million-dollar man by signing a ten-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks to push propaganda for Right Wing media that promote the welfare of huge international corporations.
This blog has cataloged the millions in annual income of dozens of individuals like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and others who live their entire lives getting up every day and promoting the ideas of billionaires like BP Oil and Exxon and the pharmaceutical companies and the health insurance companies. As Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York says: they are in the pockets, a wholly owned subsidiary of the rich.
Now they want to pass another tax cut for the rich. Republican Senators like Mitch McConnell and Jim DeMint are only in office because of their skill in passing legislation to cut taxes for giant corporations and the very wealthy, to offshore jobs, to cut government services and wages for the Middle Class. They are telling all the stupid people who will listen that a tax break for the rich is really a tax increase on small business. Do you buy that? Is DuPont or General Dynamics, or Boeing or General Foods, or Aetna or Pfizer or American Hospital Corporation a small business?
Were the Republicans trying to help small businesses when they sent manufacturing overseas so that their volume pricing could drown small businesses? Were they trying to help small business when they promised to support the Chamber of Commerce programs that allow huge international corporations to get away with paying no taxes at all, corporations like EXXON/Mobil for example, while small businessmen must scramble to find deductions and scramble to make a decent living.
This tax cut for the rich would involve only 1.9% of small business owners. All others would not be affected by the top tax rate whatsoever. But those who truly do have incomes of over $250,000 per year would pay about 4% over what they pay now, which is, on the average, less than a third of their annual income in actual taxes paid. But the government is so far in debt because of these clowns that we are thinking of cutting Social Security…which we paid for…so it is like stealing our money to give tax breaks to the rich. If we let the Bush tax cuts expire, as they should, we would gain $4 trillion and be able to reduce the debt by that amount, bringing it to about $9 trillion.
Small businessmen will not be affected by these tax breaks virtually at all. Small business people would be seven times more likely to be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (for those that earn less than $44,000 ) than they would be to need a top-income tax break. Ninety-eight percent of small business owners are not in one of the top two tax brackets at all. Look, this is not just a stupid mistake. This information is well-known to Republicans. This is another lie. This is more propaganda to try to hurt the American middle class.
Remember this: the government runs on about 20% of GDP. Currently revenues are running at only about 15% of GDP. The significant difference in government revenues has resulted from a great reduction in excise tax and corporate income. Income taxes have remained relatively constant but payroll taxes have gone from about 1.5% up to 6% or 7% of GDP.
The American People must begin to pay attention. The Republican Senate has filibustered–in other words, has prevented from passing–400 bills sent to them by the Democratically controlled House of Representatives
They don’t want jobs. They want Americans scrambling to find food scraps. They don’t see the welfare of the average American family as an ethical or moral issue. Most of them, like McConnell and DeMint and Vitter have no morals anyway. Their whole lives, like those of people like Jack Abramoff and his unindicted best friends, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, are one, long publicity stunt.
David Stockman is a long-time Republican who was the Budget Director under Ronald Reagan. He is a hard-core Conservative. But Stockman, like Paul O’Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury says that the tax cuts are a scam. They will not hurt anyone and they will help the economy by infusing the federal coffers with $4 trillion over time.
According to Stockman, the national debt has gone up 14 times what it was in 1981 but the overall economy has grown only 4 times. The Republicans are relentless in not only their pursuit of more riches for the rich, but they are also quite ruthless in their endless generation of propaganda.
Even challenging Conservative Republican Stockman, whose fiscal credentials are impeccable, they will not surrender to the truth…that tax cuts are another form of huge deficit spending…perhaps the worst kind because they help none of the 14.8 million people unemployed or the 15 additional families under the poverty line. Stockman feels that the answer is both tax increases and some cuts in entitlements and the military budgets. The alternative, Stockman says, is almost certain economic disaster.
You can hear the politics in the comments of Congressman Mike Pence. Pence, a long-time Neocon, says: “I don’t think raising taxes is going to get anyone hired.” Well, the fact is that raising taxes has nothing to do with the economy.
Reagan cut taxes to 28% but unemployment fell and a Recession ensued. Later he increased rates to 35% but unemployment began to go down. The factors that caused the 1981-84 Reagan recession had nothing to do with taxes. The Recession was caused when Paul Volcker stopped printing money in order to end inflation…which he did…with a Recession.
Mike Pence knows as well as Stockman that the tax cuts, without appropriate spending caused $5.16 trillion in deficits coming into the Bush Administration. The Republican Bush Administration, in which Pence was a leader, had the opportunity, with a virtually balanced budget, to reduce the national debt. But they did the opposite. They literally stole another $8 million from the American People, which they borrowed for us from other countries, like China.
Unfortunately Pence is a liar and a liar who is hurting huge numbers, tens upon tens of millions of Americans.
Pence says that raising taxes in the worst economy in 25 years is a “profoundly bad idea.” Well, here’s another profoundly bad idea…several profoundly bad ideas that Pence was responsible for—the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003. The Iraq War. The Katrina disaster, the BP disaster. The Wall Street meltdown. All these things were the deliberate effort of the anti-government Republican Party of which Mike Pence is one of the foremost leaders.
Now, he says, the Republicans have learned their lesson, but even as he says this, he wants to cut Social Security for those “40 and under” and cut Medicare and repeal the cost-cutting provisions of Medicare while leaving those parts, like the Prescription Drug Bill that are costing us a fortune. And while doing to the next generation, he wants to give the same tax break to billionaires that Bush gave them.
Of course the reason that Pence has found “fiscal religion” is that he is obligated to pay back those millionaires and billionaires who gave the Republican Party $2 billion dollars in paid ads to help them lie their way to victory in the 2010 Mid-term elections. Here are more bad ideas that Pence is responsible for: tax cuts for billionaires that cost this country about a trillion of the $14 trillion in debt and a trillion of the $9 trillion since Bush II took office. He is responsible for promoting the war in Afghanistan, which was OK, and then abandoning it, which was not. That war, extending it rather than ending it, cost us a trillion dollars.
Then he voted with his other Republican leaders in the House, as well as the Senate, for the Iraq War. Not only was it illegal and immoral but it also cost us another trillion dollars. So the two wars and the tax cuts alone cost us $4 trillion…all of which Pence promoted. During the entire Bush Administration, we had a structural deficit which cost us about $400 to $500 billion a year.
In the last year of the Bush Administration, after Wall Street collapsed and Bush gave them $700 billion to get out of the mess they were in and that raised the 2009 deficit to $1.8 trillion. Then Bush left another trillion and a third for Obama in a recession that was like a raging fire, heading for Depression until the Fall of 2009, when the Stimulus turned it around. That cost another trillion.
Pence’s idea that tax increases damage the economy are, as Stockman says, wrong. Pence says that raising taxes on the rich “who create jobs” is a huge mistake. The huge mistake is in thinking that these super-rich individuals whom Pence has helped to send jobs to China and India will be more or less inclined to create jobs here because of taxes is preposterous.
Pence says that he voted against the bail-out bill and against the stimulus bill. That is believable. When Hank Paulson came to Congress and said that we had 24 hours to bail out several banks or the whole system would collapse, Pence didn’t care. Why should he care about perhaps 50 million Americans out of work? He has consistently voted against bills to help 15 million Americans out of work. He wants to cut off unemployment, reduce the minimum wage and kick children off their parents’ health insurance.
And the stimulus bill? It created 3 million jobs and is still creating them, building roads and schools and repairing bridges. Pence doesn’t want that. That costs his billionaire friends money and they don’t use all that stuff, so why should they pay taxes? Pence would rather have the money go to billionaires and let them decide whether to spend it on yachts and jet planes rather than on roads and bridges.
Programs like MEET THE PRESS at NBC and THIS WEEK at ABC do little good in trying to get at the truth. Even Christine Amanpour, who is an experienced interviewer with often difficult Middle Easter heads of state, had a hard time balancing the facts with Pence’s relentless politicking for the wealthy.
Mike Pence has the nerve to say, knowing that he is lying: “The last thing we need to do with 9.6% unemployment is to raise taxes on the job creators.” Of course, these are not the “small business” job creators. These are the billionaire hedge fund managers, corporate CEOs, top health care and pharmaceutical industry executives, not the average small businessman who is seven times more likely to be in the bottom quartile of the economy than he is to be in the top income bracket. Fewer than 2% of small businessmen would be in either one of the top two income brackets.
Stockman, and most economists don’t see the multi-billionaire recipients of the proposed tax cuts as “job creators.” These are the CEOs of health insurance companies who put the money in their pockets, averaging over $14 million a year in income. And the Wall Street crowd, the hedge fund managers who will take home a total of $144 billion in bonuses, the largest in the history of Wall Street.
Mike Pence and his gang are riding high. They have a popular cable television channel behind them and over 5,000 radio stations playing their message. Over 90% of the media that broadcasts political content is Conservative content. Perhaps the next two years will be a bonanza for the Republicans. But the American people may discover the truth and realize that they have been betrayed.
Large corporations control the Supreme Court, the last bastion of truth and freedom for the People. If you cannot ultimately take your case to the final arbiter and find an honest decision, then we are no more a free society than any Latin American or third world dictatorship. Large Corporations control the Republican Party which for the last two years has stymied the will of the People with 400 filibusters.
And now the Republican Party controls Congress and have already predicted that they will hold hundreds of millions of dollars (of our money) in investigations in order to prevent any new legislation, such as more health care legislation or more restrictions on how much gambling banks can do with your money.
Better fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.