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    The psychological pathology of the Republican base →

    When the Ryan plan robs from the poor to give to the richwithout concealment and without apology — and when poor, working, and middle class conservatives support itanyway, what can you call it but chronic Obama Derangement Syndrome? Stockholm Syndrome? Unforgivably stupid?

    Ryan’s Budget: tax cuts for the wealthy, austerity for the rest of us

    Chairman Ryan’s budget proposes $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts (and about $200 billion in defense increases).  The $5.3 trillion in cuts includes $1.2 trillion in cuts to nondefense discretionary programs; this $1.2 trillion in cuts is beyond the cuts needed to comply with the strict funding caps that the Budget Control Act established.  Several hundred billion dollars of these additional cuts would very likely come from low-income programs.

    Paul Krugman calls it fraudulent.

    Pink Slime Economics and the Most Fraudulent Budget in US History

    […] And when I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.

    And we’re talking about a lot of loophole-closing. As Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center points out, to make his numbers work Mr. Ryan would, by 2022, have to close enough loopholes to yield an extra $700 billion in revenue every year. That’s a lot of money, even in an economy as big as ours. So which specific loopholes has Mr. Ryan, who issued a 98-page manifesto on behalf of his budget, said he would close?

    None. Not one. He has, however, categorically ruled out any move to close the major loophole that benefits the rich, namely the ultra-low tax rates on income from capital. (That’s the loophole that lets Mitt Romney pay only 14 percent of his income in taxes, a lower tax rate than that faced by many middle-class families.)

    Read it all…

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities spells out what Priority #1 is for Paul Ryan and the Republicans in the House who passed his budget last Thursday: making the rich richer.

    Tax cuts for the rich, forever and ever, Amen.

    As noted, these regressive new tax cuts would come on top of the Bush tax cuts, which also were costly and provided disproportionate gains to the highest-income households.  Combined, the Bush and Ryan tax cuts would provide an annual windfall of nearly $400,000 apiece, on average, to people with incomes over $1 million (see Figure 3).  For these people, their tax cuts would be eight times the average total after-taxincomes of people in the middle 20 percent of the income scale.

    The Bush tax cuts contributed significantly to the emergence of large deficits over the past decade and would prove even more unaffordable in coming decades if policymakers extended them.  Yet, instead of letting them expire as the economy recovers, the Ryan budget would “double down” by extending them and adding another round of costly, regressive tax cuts on top.

    Here’s an important reminder to all the people who support the Republican Party’s outrageous and disgusting income redistribution scheme out of some weird desire to control other people’s lives:

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #news  #politics  #religion  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #class war  #income redistribution  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #2013  #cbpp.org  #Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  #dog marriage  #fraudulent  #GOP  #obama derangement syndrome  #Paul Ryan  #republican budget  #Republicans  #republicans hate obama more than they love america  #ryan budget  #social issues  #stockholm syndrome 
    NJ Gov. Chris Christie: friend of corporations and the wealthy →

    Pat Garofalo points out how NJ Governor Chris Christie has been literally handing his state’s treasury over to corporate interests:

    Back in November, we noted that New Jersey was foolishly set to give the food company Goya $80 million to create just nine (nine!) jobs. […] One program Christie has run doled out $900 million in tax credits. The companies receiving that largesse “have promised to add 2,364 jobs, or $387,537 in tax credits per job, over the next decade.” In one instance, Campbell Soup was given $42 million to create jobs in Camden. When the company proceeded to cut 100 jobs, Christie merely slapped it on the wrist, reducing its tax credit to $34 million, with the stipulation that the company add five jobs per year over a decade after it regains its previous employment total. For those keeping score, that’s $34 million for 50 jobs.

    The NYTimes reports Christie has approved a record number of corporate tax subsidies:

    Since taking office in 2010, Gov. Chris Christie has approved a record $1.57 billion in state tax breaks for dozens of New Jersey’s largest companies after they pledged to add jobs…The critics pointed out that even when the promised jobs have not materialized, the Christie administration has merely reduced, not withdrawn, the subsidies. And they say that the administration is mortgaging the state’s future by forgiving so much tax revenue for the next 10 to 15 years.

    Anyone with eyes can see the GOP agenda is simple: get all the money into the hands of the wealthy and the corporations now, by whatever means necessary. Period. Meanwhile, how will Christie pay for this huge loss of revenue (for decades to come)? Austerity measures:

    You’d think that this income redistribution scheme would somehow benefit Christie personally one day, wouldn’t you? Stay tuned…

    — 2 years ago with 2 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #$1.57 billion in state tax breaks  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #a record amount of tax breaks  #campbell soup  #chris christie  #GOP  #goya  #job creators  #New Jersey  #new jersey's largest companies  #Republicans  #tax subsidies 
    image above: From CTJ — the companies who are shifting their tax burden onto the rest of us (some have done so for a decade or more).
…
26 highly profitable corporations paid ZERO taxes last year, while taking in billions in profits 
Think Progress reports that not only are corporate taxes at a 40 year low, despite what the GOP and Fox News want you to believe, but that 26 highly profitable corporations paid NOTHING in taxes last year. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice found that 30 major corporations had made billions of dollars in profits while paying no federal income tax between 2008 and 2010. Today, CTJ updated that report to reflect the 2011 tax bill of those 30 companies, and 26 of them have still managed to pay absolutely nothing over that four year period:
– 26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years! …
– In total, 2008-11 federal income taxes for the 30 companies remained negative, despite $205 billion in pretax U.S. profits. Overall, they enjoyed an average effective federal income tax rate of –3.1 percent over the four years.
Amongst the 30 are corporate titans such as General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, and Mattel…. Continue reading

And here are a couple of facts from the CTJ report:

Had these 30 companies paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate over the 2008-11 period, they would have paid $78.3 billion more in federal income taxes. Or put another way, over the four years, the 30 companies received more than $78 billion in total tax subsidies. Wells Fargo alone garnered $21.6 billion in tax subsidies over the four years, followed by General Electric ($10.6 billion), Verizon ($7.7 billion), and Boeing ($6.0 billion).
In 2011 alone, 24 of the 30 companies paid effective tax rates of less than 4 percent, including 15 that paid zero or less in federal income taxes in that year. For all 30 companies, the average 2011 effective federal income tax rate was a paltry 7.1% — only a fifth of the statutory 35 percent federal corporate tax rate.

Imagine the potential programs and services our country could have (health care for all, single payer), or the many programs and services that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney might not even think about cutting, if corporations actually PAID a 35% corporate tax rate.
And with all this money they’re shoveling into their corporate bank accounts, from both profits and zero tax liability, where are the jobs? And why is the Republican Party trying to make the case that corporations need even more tax cuts and another tax loophole, like“repatriation holidays” for corporate stashes overseas?

A POLITICO review of annual reports and Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows that a dozen of the most vocal corporate critics of U.S. tax policy finished 2011 with more than $455 billion in cash, investments and other earnings held by foreign subsidiaries — up from $381 billion the year earlier.
The companies have avoided U.S. taxes on almost every penny of their international profits by keeping the money offshore.And nearly that entire haul has been designated by top executives of those firms as “permanently” or “indefinitely” reinvested abroad, partly because of the 35 percent U.S. tax rate companies must pay to bring home foreign money.
[…]U.S. multinationals have hired an army of lobbyists to sell the idea of a tax holiday to Congress, so they might repatriate a pot of overseas profits estimated at more than $1 trillion for as low as a 5.25 percent rate. The companies — along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — argue that repatriation would serve as an instant stimulus of sorts, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to flow in to the economy.
Critics disagree. They say the proposal is bad tax policy.
As evidence, the critics point to a 2004-05 tax holiday that brought some $312 billion back into the U.S. Most of that was spent on dividends and stock repurchases — not building or hiring.  Continue reading…

These corporations and rich CEOs need to remember that the rest of us don’t mind their success, we mind that they’re robbing us and the country blind for their profits. Or as Elizabeth Warren said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” 

    image above: From CTJ — the companies who are shifting their tax burden onto the rest of us (some have done so for a decade or more).

    26 highly profitable corporations paid ZERO taxes last year, while taking in billions in profits

    Think Progress reports that not only are corporate taxes at a 40 year low, despite what the GOP and Fox News want you to believe, but that 26 highly profitable corporations paid NOTHING in taxes last year. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice found that 30 major corporations had made billions of dollars in profits while paying no federal income tax between 2008 and 2010. Today, CTJ updated that report to reflect the 2011 tax bill of those 30 companies, and 26 of them have still managed to pay absolutely nothing over that four year period:

    – 26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years! …

    – In total, 2008-11 federal income taxes for the 30 companies remained negative, despite $205 billion in pretax U.S. profits. Overall, they enjoyed an average effective federal income tax rate of –3.1 percent over the four years.

    Amongst the 30 are corporate titans such as General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, and Mattel…. Continue reading

    And here are a couple of facts from the CTJ report:

    Had these 30 companies paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate over the 2008-11 period, they would have paid $78.3 billion more in federal income taxes. Or put another way, over the four years, the 30 companies received more than $78 billion in total tax subsidies. Wells Fargo alone garnered $21.6 billion in tax subsidies over the four years, followed by General Electric ($10.6 billion), Verizon ($7.7 billion), and Boeing ($6.0 billion).

    In 2011 alone, 24 of the 30 companies paid effective tax rates of less than 4 percent, including 15 that paid zero or less in federal income taxes in that year. For all 30 companies, the average 2011 effective federal income tax rate was a paltry 7.1% — only a fifth of the statutory 35 percent federal corporate tax rate.

    Imagine the potential programs and services our country could have (health care for all, single payer), or the many programs and services that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney might not even think about cutting, if corporations actually PAID a 35% corporate tax rate.

    And with all this money they’re shoveling into their corporate bank accounts, from both profits and zero tax liability, where are the jobs? And why is the Republican Party trying to make the case that corporations need even more tax cuts and another tax loophole, like“repatriation holidays” for corporate stashes overseas?

    A POLITICO review of annual reports and Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows that a dozen of the most vocal corporate critics of U.S. tax policy finished 2011 with more than $455 billion in cash, investments and other earnings held by foreign subsidiaries — up from $381 billion the year earlier.

    The companies have avoided U.S. taxes on almost every penny of their international profits by keeping the money offshore.And nearly that entire haul has been designated by top executives of those firms as “permanently” or “indefinitely” reinvested abroad, partly because of the 35 percent U.S. tax rate companies must pay to bring home foreign money.

    […]U.S. multinationals have hired an army of lobbyists to sell the idea of a tax holiday to Congress, so they might repatriate a pot of overseas profits estimated at more than $1 trillion for as low as a 5.25 percent rate. The companies — along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — argue that repatriation would serve as an instant stimulus of sorts, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to flow in to the economy.

    Critics disagree. They say the proposal is bad tax policy.

    As evidence, the critics point to a 2004-05 tax holiday that brought some $312 billion back into the U.S. Most of that was spent on dividends and stock repurchases — not building or hiring.  Continue reading…

    These corporations and rich CEOs need to remember that the rest of us don’t mind their success, we mind that they’re robbing us and the country blind for their profits. Or as Elizabeth Warren said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” 


    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #vote!  #politics  #news  #GOP  #Republicans  #mattel  #corporations  #boeing  #general electric  #zero taxes  #verizon  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #billions in profits  #repatriation holiday  #offshoring profits  #offshore accounts  #lowest tax rates in 40 years  #where are the jobs? 
    …
Unfortunately, this would explain a lot. What it doesn’t explain is rightwing Christians who support this behavior with their politics and, particularly, Christian leaders who justify it. I’m sure we’re all familiar with those sections in the Gospels that celebrate gluttony and greed.

How Wealth Reduces Compassion: Scientific American
But why would wealth and status decrease our feelings of compassion for others? After all, it seems more likely that having few resources would lead to selfishness. Piff and his colleagues suspect that the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior.
Given the growing income inequality in the United States, the relationship between wealth and compassion has important implications. Those who hold most of the power in this country, political and otherwise, tend to come from privileged backgrounds. If social class influences how much we care about others, then the most powerful among us may be the least likely to make decisions that help the needy and the poor. They may also be the most likely to engage in unethical behavior. Keltner and Piff recently speculated in the New York Times about how their research helps explain why Goldman Sachs and other high-powered financial corporations are breeding grounds for greedy behavior. Although greed is a universal human emotion, it may have the strongest pull over those of us who already have the most.

So when we wonder, “When will the one percent feel they have enough money?” Now we know the answer: NEVER.  When Romney says he’s not concerned about the very poor, he means it. We also know the one percent will continue to take more than their share as long as we allow it. Why wouldn’t they?
Related: 
US income growth: the one percent got 93% of it in 2010 while everyone else divided up the remaining 7%

    Unfortunately, this would explain a lot. What it doesn’t explain is rightwing Christians who support this behavior with their politics and, particularly, Christian leaders who justify it. I’m sure we’re all familiar with those sections in the Gospels that celebrate gluttony and greed.

    How Wealth Reduces Compassion: Scientific American

    But why would wealth and status decrease our feelings of compassion for others? After all, it seems more likely that having few resources would lead to selfishness. Piff and his colleagues suspect that the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior.

    Given the growing income inequality in the United States, the relationship between wealth and compassion has important implications. Those who hold most of the power in this country, political and otherwise, tend to come from privileged backgrounds. If social class influences how much we care about others, then the most powerful among us may be the least likely to make decisions that help the needy and the poor. They may also be the most likely to engage in unethical behavior. Keltner and Piff recently speculated in the New York Times about how their research helps explain why Goldman Sachs and other high-powered financial corporations are breeding grounds for greedy behavior. Although greed is a universal human emotion, it may have the strongest pull over those of us who already have the most.

    So when we wonder, “When will the one percent feel they have enough money?” Now we know the answer: NEVER.  When Romney says he’s not concerned about the very poor, he means it. We also know the one percent will continue to take more than their share as long as we allow it. Why wouldn’t they?

    Related: 

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #99%  #one percent  #psychology  #study  #the poor  #the wealthy are greedy  #the wealthy believe greed is morally defensible  #the wealthy have less compassion 
    I won’t be eating chicken: USDA to lay off hundreds of inspectors, let poultry slaughterhouses inspect themselves →

    What could go wrong? Here is one of those Republican austerity measures that all of us will need to accept so that millionaires won’t have to pay higher taxes:

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    As early as next week, the government will end debate on a cost-cutting, modernization proposal it hopes to fully implement by the end of the year. A plan that is setting off alarm bells among food science watchdogs because it turns over most of the chicken inspection duties to the companies that produce the birds for sale.

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line.  Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    And from Mother Jones:

    But Food & Water Watch’s investigation of the USDA’s longtime pilot program to test the new procedures casts serious doubt on the food safety claim. Using the Freedom of Information Act, FWW obtained inspection documents from slaughterhouses in the pilot program for the first eight months of 2011. The reports relate to the 20 to 80 randomly selected birds the USDA inspectors looked at during each shift to check up on company-hired inspectors. The results, from FWW’s summary, make pink slime look downright appetizing (full report here):

    Company employees miss many defects in poultry carcasses. The inspection category that had the highest error rate was ‘Other Consumer Protection 4′ for dressing defects such as feathers, lungs, oil glands, trachea and bile still on the carcass. The average error rate for this category in the chicken slaughter facilities was 64 percent and 87 percent in turkey slaughter facilities. In one turkey slaughter facility, nearly 100 percent of samples found this category of defect.

    It gets worse. In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” One inspector’s report contained this unsettling anecdote:

    I observed a section of intestine wrapped around the rotating paddles in the neck chiller. The intestine was approximately 1 1/2 feet in length, contained fecal material. Additionally, numerous other pieces [of] digestive tract materials, such as chicken crops and esophagus were also observed in the neck chiller…This regulatory noncompliance would potentially allow for the cross contamination of necks by digestive contents material such as ingesta and/or feces.

    Ugh. FWW reports that the public has until April 26 to comment on the program, which could be rolled out as soon as October. Meanwhile, the USDA has made clear that it wants to institute the new rules.

    It’s all about money. The GOP cares about the corporations, their CEOs, and their profits — not the employees, and definitely not the public health.  Oh, and it also looks good to their ignorant teaparty base to be able to say they had a hand in laying off hundreds of federal workers. That’s gotta be the icing on the cake. That these feds protect our food supply doesn’t matter a bit. It’s the U.S. of Corporatism: profit over people.

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    Anyway, if you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how much it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful:

    Salmonella Questions and Answers

    — 2 years ago with 174 notes
    #FAIL  #income redistribution  #journalism  #news  #politics  #security / safety  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF 
    LAST DAY to submit comments on USDA’s proposed rule: allow chicken slaughterhouses to self-inspect →

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THIS PROPOSED RULE

    More austerity / deregulation for the American people, endangering our food supply, health, the factory workers, the humane treatment of the animals, and federal jobs — all to allow the industry to maximize profits:

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line. Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    CLICK HERE TO READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS

    The problem for workers, advocates say, is that the presence of human inspectors serves as the primary governor of line speed in plants. With USDA inspectors out of the picture, the proposed rule would allow some plants to move from a maximum of 70 to 140 birds per minute to a maximum of 175, a potential boon to the efficiency-minded poultry industry. – USDA Poultry Plant Proposal Could Allow Plants To Speed Up Processing Lines, Stirring Concern For Workers

    If you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how many carcasses it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful

    According to OMB Watch, a government accountability newsletter, cutbacks at the USDA have coincided with a significant rise in salmonella outbreaks. The group says 2010 was a record year for salmonella infection and 2011 saw 103 poultry, egg and meat recalls because of disease-causing bacteria, the most in nearly 10 years. – Yahoo! News

    In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” – Mother Jones

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS 

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF 
    …
Austerity on steroids: the Ryan / Romney / Republican economic ‘method’
Big spending cuts to social programs +Tax increases on lower-income people +A reduction in the size of the federal workforce= Immediate job growth and a more robust recovery?
Hardly.
Jamelle Bouie outlines what’s wrong with the current Republican economic policy (emphasis mine):

The problem, of course, is that all available evidence points to the opposite. In Europe, austerity has renewed the economic crisis—the United Kingdom, for example, is growing at a rateslower than it saw during the Great Depression. At home, austerity at the state and local level—by way of balanced budget requirements—has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a significantly weaker economy.
[…] The least you can say is that this was disasterous; if states and localities had the funds to keep all, or most, of the jobs they’ve shed over the last three years, the economy would be in much better shape, and the recovery would be on a stronger path. But this is one of those areas where the administration didn’t have much control; given the extent to which Republicans have rejected friendly compromises over the last year, there was no chance that they would accept tens of billions in new relief for states.
Mass layoffs for teachers, police officers, and other public servants—this is the inevitable consequence of GOP budget cutting, should Mitt Romney win the election. Someone should ask the former Massachusetts governor how he intends to “fix the economy” with his coked-out version of European austerity.

What Ryan, Romney and the Republicans won’t do is entertain a tax increase on the wealthy, or a reduction of subsidies / loopholes for profitable corporations (corporate welfare), or go through with a formerly agreed upon reduction in defense spending. Isn’t that what ending wars should automatically do — put money back into our own country?

    Austerity on steroids: the Ryan / Romney / Republican economic ‘method’

    Big spending cuts to social programs +
    Tax increases on lower-income people +
    A reduction in the size of the federal workforce
    = Immediate job growth and a more robust recovery?

    Hardly.

    Jamelle Bouie outlines what’s wrong with the current Republican economic policy (emphasis mine):

    The problem, of course, is that all available evidence points to the opposite. In Europe, austerity has renewed the economic crisis—the United Kingdom, for example, is growing at a rateslower than it saw during the Great Depression. At home, austerity at the state and local level—by way of balanced budget requirements—has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a significantly weaker economy.

    […] The least you can say is that this was disasterous; if states and localities had the funds to keep all, or most, of the jobs they’ve shed over the last three years, the economy would be in much better shape, and the recovery would be on a stronger path. But this is one of those areas where the administration didn’t have much control; given the extent to which Republicans have rejected friendly compromises over the last year, there was no chance that they would accept tens of billions in new relief for states.

    Mass layoffs for teachers, police officers, and other public servants—this is the inevitable consequence of GOP budget cutting, should Mitt Romney win the election. Someone should ask the former Massachusetts governor how he intends to “fix the economy” with his coked-out version of European austerity.

    What Ryan, Romney and the Republicans won’t do is entertain a tax increase on the wealthy, or a reduction of subsidies / loopholes for profitable corporations (corporate welfare), or go through with a formerly agreed upon reduction in defense spending. Isn’t that what ending wars should automatically do — put money back into our own country?

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #lass war  #income redistribution  #opinion  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #3. preserve defense spending  #austerity  #Europe  #GOP  #Great Britain  #mass layoffs  #Mitt Romney  #Paul Ryan  #politics of resentment  #Republicans  #The Republican Strategy 
    Race to the bottom with Romney! →

    The politics of resentment (or how to gin up the rubes):

    ROMNEY THINKS federal workers’ pay and benefits are ‘unfair’ — “We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve,” Romney said. Among the other items Romney listed as unfair: “urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice,” “politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses,” and “requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing.” – GovExec

    Of course, if regular people think it’s ‘unfair’ that Fortune 500 CEOs make 380 times what average workers make or that multi-millionaires, like Romney, pay less federal tax on their incomes than we do, Romney considers that class warfare. Mitt and the Republican Party need the working and middle class to resent each otherand not think too much about him and his wealthy friends and how the Bush tax cuts increase income inequality in our country.

    Here’s an idea: what if the private sector was expected to offer a living wage and benefits too? Or even create some jobs with all the money they’ve been hoarding? For the GOP, it really is a race to the bottom: how many Americans can they get to work for minimum wage and no benefits? And how easily can they get their conservative base to agree that people with good wages and benefits are their enemy? (Very easily, unfortunately.)

    Those corporate CEOs are only making 380 times more than average workers — shouldn’t we all suck it up and take even less money so that CEOs can earn 400 or even 500 times more? Republicans have so brainwashed their base that the rubes would actually be okay with that idea — as long as a Republican, any Republican, was in the White House.

    Related:

    — 1 year ago with 36 notes
    #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #vote!  #politics  #news  #GOP  #Republicans  #Mitt Romney  #federal workers  #income inequality  #The Republican Strategy  #one percent  #shiny object  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #politics of resentment  #wages and benefits  #unfair 
    The (nonpartisan) chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling
[…] Here’s something else to keep in mind while gazing at this chart:

“In 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over.” — University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, The rich are different; they get richer 

    The (nonpartisan) chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling

    […] Here’s something else to keep in mind while gazing at this chart:

    “In 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over.” — University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, The rich are different; they get richer 

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #bush deficit  #Bush tax cuts  #chart  #deficits  #for the rich  #George W Bush  #nonpartisan  #obama deficit  #President Obama  #the stimulus should've been larger 
    The Koch-Arends-Rove Swiftboating Ad on the President was aired nationally, for FREE, by ABC’s This Week 
Then the round-table discussed it, as if it were anything but a political hit piece in a campaign season. That’s your liberal media, plebs.

What Everyone Should Know About The Secretive Group Trying To Swift Boat Barack Obama
The group’s leader and sole employee, Joel Arends, told Mother Jones, “Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president.”
…
3. Arends also tried to Swift Boat Obama in 2008. Arends, under the auspices of a similar group called “Vets for Freedom,” ran an ad accusing Obama of refusing to meet with wounded soldiers from Illinois. [NPR,7/5/08] …
4. Arends worked as a consultant for the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Properity. “Though he doesn’t list it on his public resume, around 2006 Arends went to work for Craig Dewey, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy outfit that’s Astroturfed everything from the tea party and the Wisconsin union fight to public-school segregation.” The Koch Brothers and their allies have pledged to spend $100 million to defeat Obama. [Mother Jones, 5/4/12; HuffingtonPost, 2/3/12]
7. Arends helped promote a documentary advocating war with Iran. Arends appeared on a panel in South Dakoa promoting the documentary Iranium, which strongly suggests beginning a war with Iran, in March 2011. [Flier; ThinkProgress, 11/3/11]
8. Veterans for A Strong American is fully endorsed by Karl Rove. The man known as “Bush’s Brain” tweeted his support of their first web ad. [Twitter,5/3/12]
Continue reading…

    The Koch-Arends-Rove Swiftboating Ad on the President was aired nationally, for FREE, by ABC’s This Week

    Then the round-table discussed it, as if it were anything but a political hit piece in a campaign season. That’s your liberal media, plebs.

    What Everyone Should Know About The Secretive Group Trying To Swift Boat Barack Obama

    The group’s leader and sole employee, Joel Arends, told Mother Jones, “Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president.”

    3. Arends also tried to Swift Boat Obama in 2008. Arends, under the auspices of a similar group called “Vets for Freedom,” ran an ad accusing Obama of refusing to meet with wounded soldiers from Illinois. [NPR,7/5/08] …

    4. Arends worked as a consultant for the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Properity. “Though he doesn’t list it on his public resume, around 2006 Arends went to work for Craig Dewey, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy outfit that’s Astroturfed everything from the tea party and the Wisconsin union fight to public-school segregation.” The Koch Brothers and their allies have pledged to spend $100 million to defeat Obama. [Mother Jones, 5/4/12; HuffingtonPost, 2/3/12]

    7. Arends helped promote a documentary advocating war with Iran. Arends appeared on a panel in South Dakoa promoting the documentary Iranium, which strongly suggests beginning a war with Iran, in March 2011. [Flier; ThinkProgress, 11/3/11]

    8. Veterans for A Strong American is fully endorsed by Karl Rove. The man known as “Bush’s Brain” tweeted his support of their first web ad. [Twitter,5/3/12]

    Continue reading…

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #class war  #FAIL  #income redistribution  #media  #military  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #abc  #abc's this week  #joel ahrens  #john kerry  #karl rove  #Koch brothers  #media fail  #one percent  #rightwing  #secretive group  #Swift Boat Veterans for Truth  #This Week  #veterans for a strong america 

    Why Mitt Romney? “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to hold a pen” — Grover Norquist

    The GOP has selected Romney as their presidential candidate exactly because of what Bryan Fischer publicly mocked him for recently: “if Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? 

    Paul Krugman explains why that quality is a perfect choice for the establishment Republicans — Mitt’s the candidate who will do and say anything, the one who can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted:

    [Paul Krugman] said Romney would be wedded to Ryan’s economic policy prescriptions which have become too entrenched on the right: Above all, massive tax cuts for the rich and draconian spending cuts on programs for the less fortunate, which Krugman argues will amount to an “upward distribution of income plan.”

    “You’re never going to get people in the Republican Party accepting the idea that unemployment and food stamps insurance are expansionary,” he said. “That they are actually policies that are good for employment. They’re too wedded to the notion that the undeserving poor … are the cause of unemployment. So I think they’re basically incapable of doing what needs to be done to support this economy.”

    […] Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, arguably the most influential outside figure among modern Republicans, says Romney’s role would be to rubber-stamp Ryan’s agenda.

    “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget,” he told New York magazine. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” Of course, the GOP would still have to deal with rebelling Democrats, but a president on board with the broader approach would open up a major opportunity to advance at least parts of Ryan’s vision.

    Read all: Electing Romney Is Like Electing Paul Ryan 

    The GOP just needs an empty, wooden horse (Romney) to get elected — they’ll be the Trojans hiding inside, gripping their Paul Ryan Budget (tax cuts for the rich – austerity for the rest of us).

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #3. preserve defense spending  #establishment gop  #grover norquist  #Mitt Romney  #Paul Ryan  #Republicans  #ryan budget 

    Campaign ads for people who should listen to them (but won’t)

    Obama super PAC launches Bain offensive – “Whether the companies they came in and worked with made money or not, was irrelevant. Bain Capital always made money,” Wells says in the ad. “If we lost, they made money. If we survived, they made money. It’s as simple as that.” Wells warns: “He promised us the same things he’s promising the United States. And he’ll give you the same thing he gave us: nothing. He’ll take it all.” […] The key message point in the Priorities ad is the argument that Romney and Bain were making money through a rigged game, in which they’d be sure to turn a profit regardless of how their acquisitions fared.

    And here’s a video reminder on what kind of people would never be swayed by such “information” or “reality” when it comes to voting for anyone but the Republican (even Romney) on any presidential ticket:


    INTERVIEWER: So, something’s not working here.
    TOOTHLESS GUY ON FOOD STAMPS: That’s right.
    INTV: Voting Republican hasn’t worked for you.
    TGOFS: But it could.
    INTV: But it hasn’t.
    TGOFS: It hasn’t but it could.

    Take that Obama! Let the eagle soar! 

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #alexandra pelosi  #bain capital  #Bill Maher  #corporatism  #GOP  #gst steel  #job creator  #job destroyer  #let the eagle soar!  #Mississippi  #Mitt Romney  #pat wells  #plutocracy  #President Obama  #priorities usa  #profit over people  #Republicans  #rigged game  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy 
    For someone who doesn’t consider herself wealthy, Ann Romney chose an extremely expensive hobby / therapy 
While most people with MS (or any other pre-existing condition) would be grateful to have health insurance and / or simple healthcare in general, Marie Antoinette has said she doesn’t consider herself wealthy yet she explains her dressage hobby as a form of therapy for her MS:

Ann Romney and dressage: A pricey private world[Romney] soon fell in love with dressage, a fussy Olympic sport that is also called “horse ballet.” In dressage, a horse moves in delicate, dance-like steps to music as the rider, formally clad in top hat and tails, imperceptibly guides the animal.
Because it requires tremendous muscle control, dressage also provided Romney unexpected therapeutic benefits.
“Riding exhilarated me; it gave me a joy and a purpose,” Romney told the Chronicle of the Horse magazine in 2008. “When I was so fatigued that I couldn’t move, the excitement of going to the barn and getting my foot in the stirrup would make me crawl out of bed.”

The article says, “Dressage is not for the faint of wallet; it requires healthy outlays of cash for upkeep, training, transportation and veterinary care. It attracts some of the world’s richest people…”  Apparently so:

A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign would not discuss the costs associated with Ann Romney’s horses. “We are not required to disclose this information,” said Amanda Henneberg in an emailed statement.
The woman who bought Super Hit, Catherine Norris, testified that it cost $2,400 a month to board him at the Acres.
Insurance documents in the court file indicate that from November 2006 to November 2007, Ann Romney paid $7,800 to insure five horses against mortality and theft for amounts ranging from $50,000 to $135,000 per horse, which she said was far less than their value. “I self-insure for the rest,” she testified. “Just expensive to have insurance.”

That’s five horses at approximately $100,000 each. A pittance, she’ll assure you! Ann and Mitt not only want to repeal Obamacare on his ‘first day’ if he wins the election, but they want to close all Planned Parenthood clinics which provide multiple health care services for low income women. So you see, Marie Antoinette gets dressage as therapy and you get a bottle of Jack Daniels and a piece of wood to bite on. And? Ann has explained, patiently, that you just need to be wealthy inspirit, because that’s worth more than money (or a job, a car, a home, food, or medicine).
Deal with the cake you’re given to eat.

    For someone who doesn’t consider herself wealthy, Ann Romney chose an extremely expensive hobby / therapy

    While most people with MS (or any other pre-existing condition) would be grateful to have health insurance and / or simple healthcare in general, Marie Antoinette has said she doesn’t consider herself wealthy yet she explains her dressage hobby as a form of therapy for her MS:

    Ann Romney and dressage: A pricey private world
    [Romney] soon fell in love with dressage, a fussy Olympic sport that is also called “horse ballet.” In dressage, a horse moves in delicate, dance-like steps to music as the rider, formally clad in top hat and tails, imperceptibly guides the animal.

    Because it requires tremendous muscle control, dressage also provided Romney unexpected therapeutic benefits.

    “Riding exhilarated me; it gave me a joy and a purpose,” Romney told the Chronicle of the Horse magazine in 2008. “When I was so fatigued that I couldn’t move, the excitement of going to the barn and getting my foot in the stirrup would make me crawl out of bed.”

    The article says“Dressage is not for the faint of wallet; it requires healthy outlays of cash for upkeep, training, transportation and veterinary care. It attracts some of the world’s richest people…”  Apparently so:

    A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign would not discuss the costs associated with Ann Romney’s horses. “We are not required to disclose this information,” said Amanda Henneberg in an emailed statement.

    The woman who bought Super Hit, Catherine Norris, testified that it cost $2,400 a month to board him at the Acres.

    Insurance documents in the court file indicate that from November 2006 to November 2007, Ann Romney paid $7,800 to insure five horses against mortality and theft for amounts ranging from $50,000 to $135,000 per horse, which she said was far less than their value. “I self-insure for the rest,” she testified. “Just expensive to have insurance.”

    That’s five horses at approximately $100,000 each. A pittance, she’ll assure you! Ann and Mitt not only want to repeal Obamacare on his ‘first day’ if he wins the election, but they want to close all Planned Parenthood clinics which provide multiple health care services for low income women. So you see, Marie Antoinette gets dressage as therapy and you get a bottle of Jack Daniels and a piece of wood to bite on. And? Ann has explained, patiently, that you just need to be wealthy inspirit, because that’s worth more than money (or a job, a car, a home, food, or medicine).

    Deal with the cake you’re given to eat.

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #class war  #health  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #ann romney  #dressage  #health care reform  #health insurance  #let them eat cake  #marie antoinette romney  #Mitt Romney  #MS  #plutocracy  #Republicans  #therapy 
    Two paths: rebuild our nation and middle class or give more tax cuts to the wealthy, paid for by the rest of us →

    “At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates and two political parties, but between two paths for our country.”– President Obama in his economic speech, 6/14/2012

    “Your vote will determine the debate on which path we take. That’s what’s at stake. Everything else is noise, a distraction.” via: C-SPAN:

    President Obama said that the coming election is about “two fundamentally different visions on which direction America should take.” The president told the audience … he believed in a “vision that Democrats and Republicans used to share,” of a collaboration between government and business that “worked for the American middle class.” In contrast, the president said that “the market is everything” for his presumptive-GOP rival, Mitt Romney — “eliminate regulations, cut taxes, strip down the government and the power of business will be unleashed.” Mr. Obama said the Romney plan, to keep the Bush tax cuts in place and add another $5 trillion in tax cuts from programs that benefit the middle class, “is wrong and I’m not alone.” According to the president, independent analysts agree that those policies would “slow the economy and deepen the recession.” The president added, “You can’t have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.” He then laid out his agenda for government investment in education, clean energy, research and development, and rebuilding the national infrastructure. The Republican’s unwillingness to raise taxes on the highest income earners “is what is keeping us from reaching a grand bargain” on tax reform or bringing down the federal deficit.

    Ask yourself: what is Romney offering you as an alternative?

    Obama told voters to expect ads with “scary music” and a voice telling them Obama is detached from Americans’ suffering and the true state of the economy and that he’s a lightweight with no experience in business. He then said:

    “That may be their plan to win the election. But it’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to grow the economy. It’s not a plan to pay down the debt. And it’s sure not a plan to revive the middle class and secure our future.”

    This was the ultimate appeal in Obama’s speech. He knows economically struggling swing voters are about to get nuked by months of single-minded messaging — the economy stinks and no one seems to be doing anything about it, so get rid of the guy in charge — and he’s trying to get them to ask themselves what Romney is really offering as an alternative. – Greg Sargent

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    image: demnewswire

    — 1 year ago
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #Democrats  #forever wars  #GOP  #Mitt Romney  #more defense spending  #more wars  #obama plan  #plutocracy  #President Obama  #Republicans  #romney plan  #two paths