Is it more of a sin to tell a lie on Sunday, the “Lord’s Day” than on any other day? Apparently not for Congress. They seem to have gone completely off the rails. They apparently think that “God,” that ephemeral entity that laid down rules thousands of years ago but who allowed humans to handle the real punishment, has totally abandoned the idea of morality.
Or maybe Neocons simply feel that they are not only above U.S. law but the laws of God. We know that Jack Abramoff was not concerned about “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” Terry Sanford and John Ensign were little concerned about “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” And apparently Lindsay Graham among others, including his leader, Mitch “the Turtle” McConnell, is not concerned about “ Thou shalt bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Which really simply means, doesn’t it, not to tell a lie?) That’s pretty much what the truly religious people believe, like those who sing in groups about God and make people faint and fall backward when they touch them on the forehead.
But if we somehow have kept to a calendar that says that what we call “Sunday” today is really what God calls the Lord’s day…, that is if we are in sync…then these politicians should certainly not be telling lies on the Lord’s day because another rule says you’re not supposed to mess up on the Lord’s day.
But in complete contravention of that rule, here, for example, is what Senator Lindsay Graham of the formerly Confederate state of South Carolina had to say this Sunday on Meet the Press:
“The policies the president has pursued over the last couple of years with his Democratic colleagues–the stimulus bill, Obama health care–I think has made economic recovery more difficult. He’ll find a partner if he’ll come our way when it comes to creating jobs and controlling spending. The mandate of the last election was pretty clear to me that the Democratic policies from 2008 to ’10 were rejected by the American people because they created too much debt and they grew the government too much. So if you want to reduce the size of government, I think you’ll find a willing partner in the Republicans.”
Well, here is the problem with that statement. The President’s policies over the last two years have…not…made the recovery more difficult. On the www.recovery.gov web site you can actually track where the stimulus funds went, what the projects were, how many people were hired, and so on. And besides, we know what happened with the stimulus. The projects have been promoted by Republican politicians in every possible newspaper…and they always show up in the photos…when credit for jobs is given.
The stimulus created about two million jobs. It would have been more, but one-third of the stimulus was a tax cut insisted upon by the Neocon Republicans. It would have created more but some of the Neocon Governors refused to take it. They turned down jobs and projects for political posturing.
The new Neocon governor of Wisconsin is going to turn down 5,000 jobs. Neocon Governor Christie of New Jersey, whom no one…not even someone in New Jersey who is unemployed and out of unemployment insurance…should ever, ever call “that Fat Slob”…turned down funds to create the needed new tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan, one of the largest and one of the most needed construction projects of this era, for political reasons. All these Neocon governors must have been waiting for the tax cuts or tax cuts for their rich patrons.
So that’s lie number one, that the President has done nothing to help create jobs. It is hard to see how over 200 filibusters in the Senate by these Neocon, Senate (we must be honest; we have to say it) “Sinners” denying funds for jobs bills could have been helpful
But here is how Graham and the Neocons multiply their lies while telling one big whopper. What Graham doesn’t say is that he and the other Neocon Senators obstructed several bills, including one that would have released tens of billions into the financial markets, not for spending but to back up hundreds of millions in small business loans.
It was called, appropriately The Small Business Jobs Act. Neocons filibustered it in July. We can’t go over all the jobs bills they filibustered, like the Cap and Trade bill, which would simply have given huge incentives for corporations to create clean and alternative energy corporations. But suffice to say that they filibustered more times this last year than all Senates did in all sessions of Congress in all the years of the 1950s and 1960s combined.
They filibustered those bills in order to make the President look bad and in the process they directly prevented about 5 million jobs. Jobs that people would have today. But they don’t care about Americans. They work for what are now International corporations. Remember the big bru-ha-ha about the money for 9/11 responders who are dying of cancer and respiratory problems from their time at ground zero of the terrorist attack…looking for bodies and clearing out the rubble?
One Neocon Senator put a hold on it and then all the Neocon Senators filibustered it. They did so not because they didn’t want to help firemen and policemen, although it is pretty clear that they don’t…they hate workers, especially union workers. They did so because, in order to pay for the roughly $9 billion dollars it will take to do the research, to compensate workers laid off and thus without any health care (you can thank the Neocons for that, too) the Democrats said it was time to close a couple of corporate loopholes.
Under Bush II, and Cheney, laws were passed in the days when they had a Neocon President, Senate and House…up until 2007…that said big U.S. corporations can move off shore, to Bimini or the Cayman Islands, set up a little office, claim that they are international corporations, and pay no taxes. Of course they don’t lose their citizenship, or don’t have to suddenly pay import duties or have any other obligations. They just get a huge tax break.
The Democrats wanted to close down that loophole and take some of the money to pay for desperately ill and financially strapped first responders, as they are called. Their financial problems, as are those of over half the people who go bankrupt every year, were caused by their health problems. So, it is a serious, serious problem. But the Neocons would not do it if it meant closing loopholes and making these giant corporations pay some taxes.
So now Senator Graham says that the “American people” voted against the President and in favor of the debt that he, Graham, says the President’s policies created. He lies by conveniently blaming the President rather than the annual $500 billion in deficits that were already being run up by the Republicans because of tax revenue deficiencies for the previous 7 years. Between 2001 and 2007…even before the Bush Wall Street Crash and the Bush Great Recession, the Neocons had run up $6 trillion in additional debt on top of the $5.5 created by Reagan and Bush I.
In 2008, while Bush was in the last quarter of the last year of his Presidency, his policies of ignoring the rampant corruption and looting of government and the lax regulation of Wall Street caught up with the economy.
This was an economy not being run by Democrats but by Bush-Cheney Neocons. They were looting everything in sight…mortgages, banks, investment funds, pension funds, Native American casinos, National Parks…everything…and putting the money into their pockets…draining everything just like Bernie Madoff…who still lives, by the way, even though his son and his partners all literally killed themselves from shame.
And then, in the Fall of 2008, just like their surrogates in the Senate have done for the last two years, Hank Paulson came to Congress and said…someone (but we know who, don’t we?) has caused the markets to collapse. And, Paulson got down on one knee, literally, and rather than singing “Swannee River” begged Congress to prop up the financial system, which, he said, has no money, just fake pieces of paper called “credit default swaps” that are worthless. So we did.
The evenly matched Democrat-Neocon Senate of that time and the Democratic House of Representatives said…ok…we’ll do it to save America from a world wide Depression. But even with that the market dropped from 11,000 to 6,500 and we lost 7 million more jobs in less than 12 months. We already had built up a 7% unemployment rate under Bush, who lost so many jobs during his time in office that his net, even after the economy recovered from his negligence in allowing 9/11 to happen, was only one million jobs–only 1 million jobs in 8 years! We need 200,000 jobs a month, every month just to keep the economy growing at a normal pace.
So, on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, Senator Graham lies again by deliberately ignoring the additional $300 billion in lost revenues from the 15 million unemployed caused by Bush’s appointing a regulation-hater to eliminate supervision of Wall Street, causing a stock market crash. He further deliberately ignores the annual $300 billion in unemployment and welfare costs caused by Bush’s negligence…and his own negligence as a Neocon Senator approving everything that Bush did. Instead, he lies and blames these deficits and the Great Bush Recession on President Obama!
Is it a lie to hand some one a bill and say “you pay it” and then call them a “debtor?” You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to know that answer. But apparently Senator Graham thinks we are dumber than 5th graders. After all, South Carolinians elected him…didn’t they? He must think…wow…I can get away with anything.
But it was Sunday. Apparently that is an equal opportunity lying day. There was also this last Sunday another man, a black man, African-American, by the name of “Dr.” Stephen Carter, ( I guess he’s a “doctor,” a Ph.d.) a law professor from that Bastion of Brilliance, Yale University…Dubya’s alma mater…Law School. Carter is an obvious equal-opportunity candidate turned professor. After all, what do you do with someone who is too dumb to do anything else but regurgitate what he recently learned?
So Carter is asked by Meet the Press’s David Gregory about politics. He is asked: what about personal sacrifice, which is what the President is asking of those who are doing well…very well…like Yalees…in this society? So he says–
“I don’t want to say–I, I think it’s awkward to talk about asking for sacrifice. Government doesn’t ask for sacrifice, government tells people to sacrifice. But putting that aside, I do think there’s actually room for compromise even on the tax issue. I think that most economists would agree. Our corporate taxes are the highest in the world. Our capital gains taxes unusually high compared to our competitors. And capital is fluid, it flows over borders, it’ll go where the rates are low. But our personal rates are relatively low compared to the rest of the world, and our tax base is shrinking. So it may be that the room for compromise is over time, not while the economy is still soft. As the economy strengthens, reducing corporate tax rates, reducing the capital gains tax rate, adding the tax base–that is, taxing more people at, at a lower rate, the way the deficit commission wants to do that. Something like that, a compromise fashioned that way, I think, would help put our tax system in a rational, nonpartisan way.”
Well, of course, the government doesn’t tell anyone to sacrifice. They don’t even ask. The rich get more tax breaks than a lot of billionaires (who are becoming a little worried about the unrest among the great mass of Americans) say that they want. And the only sacrifice of life and limb is being done voluntarily by the poor who enter the military or the illegal immigrants who enter the military or the firemen and police who went to the World Trade Center and can’t even get their health care covered.
And our taxes are “the highest in the world?” Excuse us, prof, but that’s a lie. If this guy is an authority rather than simply some non-angry, black-man-stooge, then he is lying. Our corporate taxes…the taxes actually paid…are the lowest in the world. Exxon and BP paid NO corporate TAXES last year on billions of dollars of profits. GE got a multi-million dollar tax rebate! Is this guy stupid or a liar?
Dr. Carter wants to “tax more people at, at a lower rate, the way the deficit commission wants to do that.” Is he nuts? In other words, does he really think that we can cut taxes further on the rich and increase taxes on the poor, cut Social Security, cut Medicare and have a viable society? Either Yale has fallen even further from the disgrace of graduating George W. Bush, or Carter is a liar…plain and simple. In other words, this idea won’t work and he knows it.
Well, those two guys are sort of traditional Republicans. South Carolinian Senator Graham in the Senate and Dr. Carter from Bush’s Yale. But how about one of the new Tea Party representatives in the House or the Senate? They are supposed to be straight arrow…just cut the size of the oppressive government…or so they say.
So here comes new Senator Pat Toomey, a good Irishman, presumably an Irish Catholic. He won’t lie on the Sabbath or on Sunday whichever it is…will he? Well, the conversation on sacrifice points in his direction, stating that, hey, Neocons are really not willing to sacrifice their tax cuts or their corporate profits…or anything. But Toomey, with the chance to tell the truth, decides to tell his own version of the truth.
“I, I just, I think this is the wrong–personally, I just think this is the wrong way to construct this discussion and, and focus so much on the sacrifice. Let’s remember, for instance, that under the current tax rates for the first four years in which they were fully in effect, from ’04 through ’07 inclusive, total government and federal spending was just below 20 percent of GDP, revenue was 17.5 percent on average, and we had deficits that were just barely over two percent of GDP, and half of that time below two percent. This was not excruciating suffering that the American people were going through in these years. And yet with these rates, we had deficits that were really quite manageable. We can do this again.”
Toomey says that these tax cuts weren’t so bad, these earlier Bush tax cuts. And, you know, the way he says it, it doesn’t sound too bad, does it? It was “just below” 20 percent and “just barely over two percent.” Just little dribs and drabs.They only led to a “manageable” 2.5% deficit.
Well, 2.5% of the, then GDP of $17 trillion is $420 billion a year. Now Toomey could simply be some dumb Irishman, recently staggered out of a pub. Or he could be a liar. He deliberately soft-pedals the truth to try to slip it over on us. What a creep!
He is not some idealist. He is, in fact, a hard-core Neocon politician who understands that having a deficit of $420 billion a year IS excruciating suffering for those who will eventually pay the bill. He understands fully that these deficits added up to the $7 trillion that Bush added on to the Reagan and Bush I deficits that Clinton had finally brought to an end. Poor Pat. The Irishman telling whopper’s on the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day liar.
And Toomey says…”we can do this again.” Again? We can’t go through another four years of $420 billion dollar budgets let alone another 8 or 10 years. Here’s what we need to do instead. We need to recall Toomey and vote Graham out. We need to fire people like Carter from places of “learning” like Yale.
And we need to raise taxes on the rich to a top rate of 50%, (they were 91% under Republican Dwight David Eisenhower) institute a guaranteed minimum corporate tax of 10%, change tariff policies and bring corporations home or make them foreign corporations. If they don’t want to pay at least minimal corporate taxes, then kick them out, with no special tax privileges or breaks as American corporations.
We do need to create some real “sacrifice” for those who want this country to survive, and for Neocons, even though it is clear from these lies that they obviously don’t. And the poor corporations. During the boom years of the 1950s and 60s they paid 32% of all our bills. Now it is 7%, the lowest of any advanced nation in the world.
American citizens no longer hear “we can’t do that. It can’t be done.” We can do whatever we want. Right now, we do whatever we want, whether it is unethical or immoral. A Neocon Republican Senator can put a hold on the unemployment insurance for a million people, insurance payments that people of this country have paid into…so that he can go to a basketball game. Obviously he is doing exactly what he wants. Clearly, no one told him, “You can’t do that.” In other words, no one said you can’t do that, Senator, because it is wrong. It is immoral, un-Christian.
He did it. He set the precedent. And so did other Neocon Senators. They set the rules. They blackmailed and denied unemployment insurance until the President paid them off with huge tax breaks for the super-rich. So now we no longer need to worry about what is humane or ethical or moral as long as it is legal. The Neocon Senators have set the standards. They represent our ultimate governing body. As long as there is some kind of rule that we are able to stand up before a microphone and cite, we can excuse our inhumanity to our fellow man.
We can do whatever we damned well please. Forget the Ten Commandments.
So watch out, Senators. You made the rules. Now it is our turn.
Here we come.