Between the spring 2011 budget fight, the debt ceiling debacle, and the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the United States has cut almost $1.5 trillion in spending over the next decade, plus saving roughly $200 billion more in lower interest payments.
In fact, at the Wall Street Journal breakfast featured in the video, reporter Lori Montgomery brought up all these previous cuts point blank with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan’s rejoinder encapsulated the entire bizarre kabuki dance: “That was last session. We’re going forward now.” Montgomery and the other reporters literally busted out laughing in response. (Ryan’s logic doesn’t even work on its on terms. The new tax revenues in the fiscal cliff deal were part of the last congressional session as well, but he wants to count those.)
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the budget ledger, the country will raise only $630 billion in new tax revenue over the next decade. That’s the context in which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insists “the tax issue is finished,” even as both he and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claim to be seeking a “balanced” agreement. As a result, everything from Medicare, to the military, food safety, air traffic control, nutritional support for women and infants, disaster relief, law enforcement, and health research looks likely to get the axe.
Here’s a look at the top seven loopholes and giveaways that Republicans think are more important than protecting our economy, jobs, the middle class, and the most vulnerable among us:
- Extra tax breaks enjoyed by the wealthiest Americans — $520 BILLION
- Tax break for companies that ship jobs overseas — $168 BILLION
- Special tax breaks for the largest oil companies — $25 BILLION
- The loophole that allow people like Mitt Romney to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class workers — $21 BILLION
- Tax deductions for vacation homes and yachts — $10 BILLION
- The corporate jet loophole — $3 BILLION
- Special write-offs for horse breeders (aka the Bluegrass Boondoggle) — $126 MILLION
BOTTOM LINE: The Republicans are choosing to protect millionaires and special interests like Big Oil and Wall Street instead of funding our military and programs vital for the middle class and the health of our economy.
Republicans have taken to calling the deep cuts that could reverse our hard-won economic recovery ‘Obama’s Sequester.’ But a July 2011 PowerPoint obtained by John Avlon shows the opposite may be true.
Some of the nation’s biggest corporations donated more than a million dollars to launch a Republican nonprofit that went on to play a key role in recent political fights.
Like the nonprofit groups that poured money into last year’s elections, the decade-old State Government Leadership Foundation has been able to keep the identities of its funders secret. Until now.
Just last year Republicans agreed the sequester would crush our economy.
But now Republicans are saying they will let the sequester happen.
Could it be that Republicans need to stop the recovery because they think it is the only way to win?
They have already shown that they are willing to sabotage the economy.
It is time for the Republicans to care about the middle-class and stop playing politics!
As we come to President Obama’s second inauguration, it is encouraging to see that at least some in the media are finally focusing on the what happened during the president’s first inauguration. Considering the dire straights that the economy was in at the time, it is really hard to believe that these Republicans gave a damn about what might happen to the American people.
On the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration, a group of top GOP luminaries quietly gathered in a Washington steakhouse to lick their wounds and ultimately create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.
“The room was filled. It was a who’s who of ranking members who had at one point been committee chairmen, or in the majority, who now wondered out loud whether they were in the permanent minority,” Frank Luntz, who organized the event, told FRONTLINE.
Among them were Senate power brokers Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn, and conservative congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan.
After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything. The new president had no idea what the Republicans were planning.
Read more about the Republicans sabotage attempt at The Audacity of Nope.
Executive Summary of the Public Action Campaign Report:
Since Republicans lost the majority in 2006 and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became minority leader in 2007, the United States Senate has seen an unprecedented level of filibustering and obstruction. McConnell has been at the helm of a scorched earth policy of blocking nearly every bill and nominee that comes before the Senate, imposing an anti-democratic super-majority requirement to advance any legislation or appointment. This has meant little to no work on a wide range of lingering problems from anemic job growth to unwarranted giveaways of tax dollars to oil companies to the highest rates of inequality since the Gilded Age. This report links the big trends and donors in McConnell’s enthusiastic fundraising career with his willingness to foment legislative dysfunction, which serves to increase his power and enrich his corporate donors while leaving American families to struggle. The eight cases of obstruction examined in this report span several important policies and highly competent judicial and administrative nominees. These cases are among the many instances where McConnell placed the interests of his big money donors ahead of Kentuckians and everyday families.
On the very day debate began on a bill to repeal subsidies to Big Oil, an astonishing $131,500 in campaign contributions passed from the hands of oil donors in Midland, Texas into Mitch McConnell’s re-election war chest. Three days later the bill failed by filibuster.
Companies that lobbied against bringing jobs back to America and ending tax breaks for offshoring have given McConnell one million dollars to win his elections and look out for their interests. Big McConnell donors such as GE, Microsoft, and Exxon Mobil also have billions in untaxed profits stashed overseas.
Despite once supporting transparency, McConnell has led the effort to block the DISCLOSE Act and keep Americans in the dark about the money flowing into elections. Wealthy individuals and companies spending millions in secret money have overwhelmingly helped elect Republicans, an essential step in McConnell’s ambition to become majority leader of the Senate.
Sen. McConnell took the unusual step of filibustering a district court nominee, former trial lawyer Jack McConnell, who was vehemently opposed by the insurance industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after Jack McConnell won a multi-billion dollar case against lead paint companies. Sen. McConnell has received $1.7 million from insurance interests, and has taken tens of thousands of dollars from one of the lead paint companies in the case and its parent company.
Robert Reich breaks down how the Republican Party “routinely shills for its super-wealthy patrons” while the middle-class languishes due to being “more afraid of facing primary challenges form right-wing kooks than of standing up for what’s right for America”
Well said, Mr. Reich!
Too good not to share, even if it is a day late.
27 lies in 38 minutes, bullying the moderator-this seems to fit:
As fact checkers busily highlight the myriad number of lies and distortions offered by Mitt-Etch-A-Sketch-Romney during last night’s debate, and the spinners spin their polls with impunity, I find it interesting that the debate tactic itself has not yet been discussed nor properly analyzed. In fact, the lies and distortions offered by Romney in last night’s debate are the very ESSENCE of his tactic — and is therefore quite pertinent to the discussion. Romney used a debate tactic known as the Gish Gallop.
The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop thusly:
Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more ‘talking points’ that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it’s not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.
1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.
2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they’re bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.
It is quite apparent to those of us who have closely followed this election, that this latest sketch drawn out by Romney completely contradicts major policy ideas stumped on the campaign trail by him over the last few months. Since Obama could no longer debate the substance (or lack thereof) of Romney”s policy ideas, it threw Obama off his game. We have seen Romney do this before in the primaries. Obama needs to be prepared for it in future debates. Call it Etch-A-Sketch, call it the Gish Gallop, call it lies…it’s all about the same. But it is a known debate tactic. And, like Romney, it is dishonest.