In a bold statement, Senator Mitch McConnell must have encountered a “senior moment” because he momentarily lost his talking points. He actually had the nerve to tell the truth before the video tape could be doctored, snipped or hidden. He told the American People the objective of the Republican Congress. He said that the Republicans have only one goal.
Not to improve jobs. Not to improve the economy. Not to offer a secure future for Americans. His answer was that the top goal was to defeat the President, to make sure that all his plans for the American people are denied…so that the Republicans will have a better chance to defeat the President. The goal of Republicans, he said, is to defeat the President. Nothing about government, jobs, security…just pure Neocon politics.
And so the Tea Party members got just what they deserve. Not responsive government, but more Republican politics as usual. The Republicans have lied and lied and lied. To start with, they lied about taxes, telling you that the rich need more tax cuts or business will suffer. Would Republicans lie merely because the new Supreme Court ruling has permitted American billionaires and their corporations to give them more than $2 billion, with a “b” in this last election?
The corporations, almost none of them with headquarters or in any way involved in Nevada, gave Sharron Angle, who says she wants to repeal health care reform, privatize Social Security, the Veterans’ Administration and Medicare….$14 million. And she wants to cut taxes on the rich. Well, that got their attention.
Let’s establish one fact, for once and for all, and dispel these lies about tax cuts growing the economy. There is no correlation at all between tax cuts and the economy. Every economist will tell you that there is no correlation between tax cuts and economic growth. Yes, it does make sense. But it can also seem perfectly normal to fly an airplane straight and level, only to come out of the clouds and find that you are flying upside down. Not every trick is a wonderful, joyous accident of nature. Some economic factors are too good to be true and are therefore, like Credit Default Swaps, not true but very dangerous.
Here are the facts. A CBO study done during the first Bush administration under Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican appointed by George H.W. Bush, proved that tax cuts only recover something like one percent of the money they cost the Treasury. So if you cut revenues by 20%, you will only get back .5% to 1% of that money coming back to the Treasury.
If this is true, why do you hear the opposite more often than the truth? Because Fox News and all the Right Wing radio talk show hosts are themselves multi millionaires who work for billionaires. Billionaires, and this is the insidious part, very often don’t care about this country…their corporations are headquartered in the Bahamas or in Dubai. And the Bush tax cuts gave them $120,000 for every million they make, every year, for ten years.
Now they want to make that permanent, while 15 million Americans are out of work because of the Wall Street tricks of many of those billionaires…who right now often pay no taxes at all!
So the only relevant fact is this: since 1980, we have had steady tax cuts, down from 91% on income over a million or so on billionaires, down to 35%. And they still want more. And the result has been a $13 trillion national debt…for which they blame YOU. They want to cut your Social Security. Remember…Social Security is retirement funds that YOU PAID FOR. It never had a deficit. The funds were stolen to pay for government, while Republicans were spending more than we took in to fund wars and tax cuts for the rich.
So the only…the only…outcome of tax cuts will be more and larger deficits. Call your Congressman; call your Senator and scream bloody murder because they are out to gut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And they will if you don’t speak up NOW!
This election proved that, with enough money, the Republicans can persuade enough people to do stupid things, to let us know we should be very, very scared. A Republican Senate bloc in the Senate who would hold up unemployment benefits for Americans and will not provide job opportunities at the same time are not the kinds of people you want to trust.
Tax cuts do not affect the economy, but they do have an effect on government. There is a difference between having that tax money in the Treasury and not having it. We will either retire the Bush tax cuts and subtract $4 trillion from the $13 trillion debt, making it $8 trillion or we will add $4 trillion to the debt, making it $17 trillion. That is the one, single decision…whether or not to literally give more millions to the very rich at the expense of the federal government…in other words to the other 98% of Americans.
We should have no extensions…none at any level…to the Bush tax cuts. We need to start refinancing this government. It spends, because of our current obligations, about 20% of GDP and we now collect…thanks to all the tax cuts…only 15% of GDP in taxes. That 5% of lost revenue has been costing us an average of $850 billion a year. That is why we are in trouble. Not because of entitlements. We paid for those entitlements.
The only problem we have is Medicare. Medicare is expensive because the insurance companies have driven the cost of health care through the roof. But health care reform…despite the lies…will cut that by $15 billion a year and when it is fully implemented will make insurance companies compete (which is why they are spending billions to get Republicans to talk about repealing it) and that will drop prices by at least 30%.
Nothing should be changed in the bill. It is already making a major difference in the lives of tens of millions of people. High Medicare costs are merely a reflection of the high overall medical costs. Health care reform will address those costs…no matter what lie or how many different lies the Neocon Republicans tell.
During the recovery act, everyone got a big tax break. In total it was the largest tax cut ever and you can see that it did almost nothing to help the economy. What did help were the jobs that were created to build roads and airports and schools. The stimulus created approximately 3 million jobs in all, between those that were federal and those created from money sent to the states. But with jobs falling at 700,000 a month in the last months of the Bush Administration, 15 million were unemployed before you could say: “newcular.”
So here is where we are today and how far the lying has gone. It is astonishing and frightening. The Fox News Channel, picking up on a phony Indian blog post that was reported falsely by the rag-tag gossip blog, “The Drudge Report” they came out with the news story stating that the President will spend $200 million per day on a diplomatic trip to India. Of course it is preposterous.
We know who is going and while costs are not always disclosed, we know that the press has been told the costs for them…they pay their own way…is $20,000 per person. So if you use that as a costs and take it times the number of people, to total cost is about one percent of what Fox says is the daily cost. Bill Clinton’s last trip…a bigger one…cost something like $4.7 million in total.
These are not vacations or just “getting together.” These trips involved meetings by the military, the economists, the State Department, business leaders…a selected few from each area to try to move ahead with our biggest trading partners.
But Fox, of course, not being journalists and being Republican propagandists neither know the facts or care about telling the truth. They only want to spread more propaganda. If Americans were more discriminating, something like this would simply make them turn off that channel for good. Once you get a mistake that big, it is either gross stupidity or, worse, enormous propaganda…against the average American. Think about it.
Another part of the big lie by the Republicans was that there were 34 warships moving into the Indian Sea. This was debunked by the Navy itself which the Navy Chief of Staff called “ridiculous.”
So the difference between what Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck all parroted from the obscure Indian blog via the impossibly gossipy “Drudge Report” and what real news organizations report is the difference simply between lies and the truth. The real question is this: how many totally outrageous lies will they tell to unsuspecting dupes before these viewers realize that they are being used to pick their own pockets?
The difference between their version…$2 billion…was so completely wrong that it makes one wonder if they have ever taken a trip anywhere. Maybe they are testing just how gullible and stupid the American people are. The only reason that they would do such a thing is to plan even more outrageous lies.
Suppose they were to tell us that Jews were creating all our problems and that we need to round them all up and put them in concentration camps? Oh…so we are wise to that one, eh? Well, then…how about Arab-Americans? Or Hispanic Americans? This same so-called “news” organization is the one beating the drum against a Mosque in lower Manhattan and the one supporting the guy who wanted to burn the Koran. Do you see any resemblance there to Fascism? You should.
The more important factor, much more important than this incident, is the constant, relentless lying that the Neocon-backed media, like Fox and the Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck Axis traffic in every single day. The unending lies about tax cuts are being promoted only for the rich and are condemning Middle Class Americans to lives of ever-increasing insecurity, being forced onto credit cards and then to mortgage defaults and now growing joblessness.
And yet…with neighbors in dire straits…half of all Americans voted in these same people…the very people who caused the problem. The propagandists, using billionaire money tricked the public into voting for more Republicans…Tea Party Republicans, some of them, but people who nonetheless want to back tax cuts for billionaires and cut Social Security and Medicare and repeal health reform for you.
They are driving Americans slowly and inexorably down the income ladder. Each year middle class incomes have gone down in real terms by $2,000 per year over the last economic period while incomes at the top level went from…and this is true, if hard to believe…$350,000 to $1.3 million during that same period.
This is the era of the Big Lie, Hitler’s phrase, which has become a byword, as you can see from this most recent incident, of the Right Wing. Tell the people anything and they will believe it if you say it often enough.
Americans who understand this can no longer simply say, yes, I get it. They must actively spread the truth to others, with meetings, conversations, blogs and participation in politics. The government has always been the fall back position for the average citizen. Today, some corporations and a small percentage of very wealth and politically powerful men have created the myth that government is bloated and evil.
Although the Bush Administration did its best to further than myth in its deliberate lack of response to Katrina, in its reluctance to stop ENRON, in its anything-goes attitude towards Wall Street and its war mongering, government can and does respond to the needs of its citizens.
But citizens have responsibilities, too, towards government. They need to know when the big lie is sending their sons off to war or allowing the super-rich to take over society. The times are troubling. It is time for Americans to come to their senses and act on behalf of all citizens.