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.
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!