capnbuckle: (Default)
(Standard disclaimer: I am not an expert. I am not a political scientist. And I couldn't be happier about that.)

And by "farce", I mean the 112th Congress. Republicans and TP-ers aren't happy that the President "failed to take the lead" on proposing entitlement reform.

“With regard to our long-term unfunded liabilities – the entitlements – we are waiting for presidential leadership,” the Senate's top Republican Mitch McConnell said. “We know and we'll say again that entitlement reform will not be done except on a bipartisan basis with presidential leadership.” (link)


Really? Sorry, but I'm not buying it. They didn't need presidential leadership for their health-care repeal. When they want the spotlight, they sure seem to be able to take the lead, themselves. But now they don't want to. They want to play political games to turn the liberal supporters of the Democratic party against each other as much as possible before 2012.

What they really want is for the President to choose between his supporters. They want to divide his camp against him. They have no real interest in cutting the federal deficit, or else they wouldn't be fighting so hard against tax increases for the American aristocracy. (And don't kid yourself: We damn sure do have an American aristocracy. Granted, a handful of serfs per decade manage to carve out new peerages for themselves, but not without the blessings, and venture capital, of the current aristocracy.)

What I fully expect from the 112th Congress is for the GOP to use its control of the House agenda not for the benefit of the American people, but for the benefit of the GOP: To deliberately game the agenda to force Democrats and the President to "take sides" on issues that are controversial among liberal supporters. If there is any real benefit to anyone other than the American aristocracy, it will only be secondary...or accidental.

“The one person who can make a difference is the president and there are plenty of us on both sides of the aisle who are ready to work with him when he steps forward,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, said. (link)


Translation: "The one person who can make a difference toward our goal of making Obama a one-term President, is Obama himself...if he'll just be kind enough to make the no-win choices we offer him so that we can add that to our talking points when we tell all of his supporters how he cheated them. We really want him to take the lead so that we can more easily turn his supporters against each other and against him before 2012."

This is just more of the same crap, just from new faces. And in my opinion, any one of the TP-ers that says different is lying. Not that my opinion has ever mattered.
capnbuckle: (bad day)
EDIT: Please note that I am not an economist/expert.

(Perhaps I've been listening to too much NPR, lately...)

Sara Palin, the Tea Party, and the rest of the Republicans are insisting that we have to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They claim that the rich Americans are predominantly small business owners, and "increasing" their tax burden will stunt job creation and choke off the economic recovery. I'm having difficulty believing that.

Even with almost a decade of the Bush tax cuts, there was no increase to median income, even "during all those years when the U.S. economy was growing and top earners were seeing their incomes rise."[1]

The Republicans and the Tea Party[2] expect us to believe that allowing the rich to keep more of "their money"[3] will result in more jobs being created. If that were the case, then it seems to me we shouldn't have had a recession, at all! "...Despite these economically rough times, the rich got 8 percent richer." If the rich got 8 percent richer, then where is the supposed 8 percent job growth that should have coincided?[4] Instead, unemployment essentially remains stuck at 10 percent.

"Wall Street caused this recession and yet Wall Street recovered from it while the rest of the country is suffering..."[5]


The Tea Party and Republican supposition, that the Bush tax cuts will create jobs, looks even more suspect when you examine the the numbers. During the eight years of the Bush administration, during most of which the Bush tax cuts were in effect, 1.8 million jobs were created. But remember that the expiration of these tax cuts for the rich returns their tax rates to those in effect during the Clinton administration. During the Clinton administration, on average, 2.9 million jobs were created every year. Each year during the Clinton administration[6] saw more jobs created than during the entire Bush presidency. In relation to the total (nonfarm) labor force, there was an average of 2.4 percent increase per year during the Clinton administration. During the Bush administration, the era of the Bush tax cuts, the average increase was only 0.2 percent per year.

The Bush tax cuts have provided little benefit to anyone other than the rich. The gains by the rich have simply not materialized into greater prosperity for the rest of us. In fact if any conclusion can be drawn from the facts at hand, it's that the Bush tax cuts, themselves, have stunted job creation.

It's time for the rich to pay the bill for the mess from which they profited. It's time for the American aristocracy to shoulder their share of the burden. It's time for the Bush tax cuts to expire.


[1] "Income Was Stagnant Way Before The Recession Started", Jacob Goldstein, NPR. And yes, I do realize that median income is not the same thing as employment. But the flat median income mirrors the chronically anemic job growth during the Bush administration.

[2] Really, can we go ahead and drop the pretense and just call them the "Me" Party? ...as in: "What's in it for me?" or "I don't want to pay for it if I don't see anything in it for me."

[3] I really hate the argument that tax is "the government taking _my_ money". Our local, state and federal government provide services from which, by and large, we all benefit whether directly or indirectly. It's not your money. It's owed for services rendered. Now quit whining and pay the bill.

[4] Yes, I realize that only a portion of that increase in wealth should impact jobs. But presumably only a portion of the prior wealth actually provided jobs, in the first place. It's quite simple...if only a slice of that pie went toward jobs, however small...then if the whole pie increased by 8 percent, then that slice of the pie also should have increased by 8 percent. If the slice doesn't increase, then that just demonstrates the inherent lie in the Tea Party and Republican position on the Bush tax cuts.

[5] Timothy Noah, author of a 10 part series on Slate Magazine, "The United States of Inequality", as quoted in "Superrich Americans Driving Income Inequality", on NPR.

[6] I did not say that the Clinton administration created jobs. I only said that jobs were created during the Clinton administration. Put down your pitchforks.

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