Monday, June 28, 2010

The Priorities Of Republicans 2

Mitch McConnell

"The only thing Republicans have opposed in this debate are job-killing taxes and adding to the national debt." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "What we're not willing to do is use worthwhile programs as an excuse to burden our children and our grandchildren with an even bigger national debt than we've already got."
What he is talking about is last Thursday's defeat of the Democrat sponsored American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Bill. It lost in a 57 to 41 vote, with every single Republican voting against it, and one Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska ("Hell, I even thought I was dead 'til I found out it was just that I was in Nebraska," - Little Bill Daggett).
This occurred after the Democratic leadership spent weeks paring down the bill in order to reduce its impact on the federal deficit, from $134 billion to just $33 billion, cutting provisions to help seniors, the poor, and those out of work (which by the way, is essential to continue the economic stimulus which keeps the country from sliding back into recession, and possible depression). And what did the democrats get for that effort? They got a big Republican FU, that's what they got. Not one Republican changed their vote, and subsequently the bill failed. Apparently the Democrats didn't learn their lesson when they spent a year trying to placate the Republican obstructionists while attempting to get bipartisan support for health care reform.
Here's a little FYI for my dear Democratic friends in Congress, a lessen the President has apparently learned through painful experience: THE REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT TO HELP! THEY WANT TO SEE YOU FAIL AT EVERYTHING YOU DO. DON'T TRY TO GET THEM TO HELP BECAUSE THEY WON'T!
Maybe this is why: Sen. Debbie Stabenow ((D-Mich.) one of me heros)) said she believes Republicans are trying to prevent the economy from improving in order to foster an anti-incumbent mood come November. "Cynically, for them, it doesn't serve them in terms of the elections in the fall if things are beginning to turn around," she said. "If they can stop the recovery from occurring, if they can create as much pain as possible, the cynical view is people will be angry and either drop out and not vote at all or vote against those in the majority."
And what does that make Republicans if she is correct, which I suspect to a large degree she is, to allowing the country to slide backwards toward economic insecurity, causing millions of its citizens to face growing hardship and unemployment, for the sole purpose of politcal posturing, that makes them in my opinion nothing less than traitors. Don't give me that crap that they just disagree with the Democrats in how to keep the economy growing, they know what they're doing all to well. And they don't offer any plans of their own (Republicans wanted the bill truncated or paid for with deep spending cuts, and continued tax cuts for the rich. Spending cuts for the Republicans means cuts in badly needed social programs, not cuts in the bloated defense budget. Democrats did succeed in moving one spending bill Thursday, with the House of Representatives voting unanimously to delay for five months a 21% cut in what Medicare pays doctors. Under the legislation, Medicare, which covers more than 45 million mostly elderly Americans, will boost its physician payment rate by 2.2%. After Nov. 30, Medicare will impose another deep cut in payments to doctors unless Congress comes up with yet another measure to avert it).
The Republicans say they are all worked up about the deficit, that they won't vote for anything like unemployment benefit extensions unless they're paid for. Republicans have short memories, and they want you too, dear readers, to forget certain facts as well, like that the Republicans are the ones responsible for the current deficit. When President Reagan took office the national debt was $995 billion. When he left office it was $2.87 trillion and climbing fast (we are still paying for the Reagan tax cuts). Bush's 2001 tax cuts and continued military increases dramatically worsened the problem. Bush's ended his presidency with a record single-year deficit of $1.4 trillion (that's what happens when you start two unfunded wars and continue tax cuts for the wealthiest of us all at the same time). The deficit was $482 billion in the 2009 budget year that was inherited by Obama, which did not include the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, one could say two major expenditures (it is odd that the Republicans in Congress didn't have any concerns about the deficit under a Republican president). When Obama took office he included the two wars in the budget, and passed the economic stimulus package, which arguably kept the country out of a recession, proof of which is... we aren't in a recession now! These measures rose the deficit to a 2009 total of $1.42 trillion (The President's current budget proposals forecast a deficit decline to $1.17 trillion in 2010 and $533 billion by 2013). By golly, without those two wars, and the Bush era economic crisis also inherited by Obama, this country would be in spanking good shape! But no, the Republicans don't want you to remember those nasty facts.
One has to keep in mind that the Republicans have the voice of America in their collective back pocket, where they can just pull them out anytime they want to see what the majority of Americans want. Right now they're saying that Americans are all worked up about the deficit just like they are, and all of the spending going on under the Obama administration. Americans are more concerned about that than anything. This, the Republicans figure, gives them a free pass to obstruct something like the Jobs Bill, as McConnell stated above. The national media, not surprisingly, backs up their claims. A May 19th Washington Post article states:
"With voters up in arms over the mounting federal debt, congressional Democrats are growing increasingly queasy about adding to the nation's tab, with some arguing that additional spending to prop up the economy and help the unemployed should be paid for or abandoned."
But golly gee, there doesn't appear to be any evidence for their claim (how unusual).
Polling Report points out the debt/deficit ranks well behind jobs and the economy when people are asked to rank the top problem facing the country. The spread is 49-5% from a CBS/New York Times poll, 47-15% from Fox, and 35-20% from NBC/Wall Street Journal. This would indicate that unemployment/job creation is at the forefront of the American psyche, not the national deficit, as the Republicans would have you believe, because their actions, in blocking the Jobs Bill helps to keep unemployment high, and actually stifles job growth, hindering the policies Americans care most deeply about.
First, McConnell and his cronies promise to obstruct the passage of a Jobs Bill because dealing with the jobs crisis will increase the deficit; then they complain about the government's failure to deal with the unemployment crisis.
And what does the failure of this bill mean for America? "Failure to pass the bill means 200,00 jobless a week" will lose much needed benefits and will, according to the CBPP (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), "cost the economy 900,00 public and private sector jobs in 2011." 1.2 to 2 million Americans overall will lose unemployment benefits. It stops much needed aid to financially strapped state governments in order to keep police, firefighters and teachers on payrolls. "By blocking an up or down vote on this legislation, Republicans in the Senate obstructed a common-sense package that would save jobs, extend tax cuts for businesses, and provide relief for American families who have suffered through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
The Republicans cry over the supposed 36,000 oil workers who may face joblessness due to the administration's moratorium on oil exploration rigs (that $100 million has been set aside for by BP), but don't seem to care a fig about those 1.2 to 2 million their actions may throw into deep poverty and homelessness (further exacerbating the economic recovery) "Tough shit," Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) so elegantly put it when he single handedly held up similar legislation to extend unemployment benefits last February. This is an example of the priorities of Republicans, party before country, gain power by whatever means, that's all that matters to them.
To add insult to injury, and continue the full circle of Republican hatred, once Americans lose their jobs, which of course Republicans have facilitated, Americans become suspect. Suddenly citizens without jobs are lass than.
Contrary to current economic models in which unemployment benefits boost the economy because unemployed people will spend those benefits rather than save them, and thereby pumping money back into the economy, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting "because people are being paid even though they're not working." Unemployment insurance "doesn't create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Kyl said. This man is clearly an idiot. But he's not the only one.
Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) says that helping those who are unemployed is creating a dependent class, and that the current economic downturn and policies may bring back the hobos of the Great Depression. Hobos! That's what you are if you find yourself out of work due to the Bush recession. “I believe there should be a federal safety net,” Heller said, but he questioned the wisdom of extending unemployment benefits yet again to a total of 24 months. Again, high unemployment due to the Bush recession + unemployment benefits stimulate economy.
One reason why unemployment benefits should not be extended is that recipients will just use the money to buy drugs and booze. The people in Utah know that, despite providing no evidence for their claim, and support efforts by their Sen. Orrin Hatch to provide mandatory drug testing for those getting cash assistance from the government, like unemployment benefits. "A lot of people are saying, 'Hey, it's about time. Why do we keep giving money to people who are going to go use it on drugs instead of their families?'" Hatch said.
"A decade ago, Michigan implemented mandatory testing in three welfare offices. Out of 258 new and continuing applicants tested, 21 tested positive for illicit substances. All but three of these women tested positive for marijuana only. In light of such experiences, few states have chosen to pursue similar efforts," said Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
Medical marijuana, by the way is legal for almost half of the total population in America, therefore blanket drug testing could punish those who are simply following state law and their doctor's advise.
These are examples of current Republican attitudes which frame their priorities. They are not for America. They are not for family. They are not for God. They tell you that they are, but they lie, and their actions prove it.
Republicans are only for themselves. And even if you are a Republican, have always voted Republican, and hold to traditional Republican ideals of small government and fiscal responsibility (which the current Republican leadership does not), your representatives in Congress will drop you like a hot potato at the first sign you don't adhere to their agenda, or it becomes inconvenient for them to assist you.
Like if you lose your job.
Or you can't pay your mortgage.
Or you don't have health insurance.
Because that's what they do, and that's who they are.
Am I being to harsh, to quick to judge, unfair, biased, one-sided and partisan.
Yes, and delightedly so!
The Republicans seek to broaden their power to obstruct in the November elections. As a country we cannot allow them to do so. They had their chance during the Bush years, and they blew it. They want you to forget about all of that though and return them to power so they can do it again.
It time to obstruct the obstructionists.
It's time for the insanity to end.


  1. At the end of your rant, you say, "It's time to obstruct the obstructionists (republicans)". But, then go onto say, "it's time for the insanity to end".

    Quite contradicting, in my honest opinion. Typically of liberal thinking. Your perspective is always right in your perverted perspective of the world. The liberalization of this country over the last 50 years has deterierated the morale compass of past and current generations. You have a warped sense of direction, please correct it (see a conservative physchologist).

  2. Thanks for the advice, but I'd rather put 11 inch steel spikes through my eyes