Yes. Un-American. Can we just admit it now? Is it all right to finally say that Romney and the majority of Congressional Republicans stand in opposition to every value that has made this country truly great?
I'm not as good a human being as President Obama. To him, every American, even those who hate him or play games with the economy to get him out of office, are always worthy of dignity and respect.
He works for all of us. I would expect nothing less. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't have the grace of our President.
I can't read yet another report about Congressional Republicans blocking a jobs bill without being stunned by how un-American their actions are. This time it's not the American Jobs Act that would have created, at minimum, approximately 2 million jobs and boosted our GDP. They've been blocking that for over a year now, our people's desperate need for work be damned. The unemployed are, after all, only part of the not rich enough 47% that Romney and his party can't be bothered with. That includes our Veterans.
Today all but five Senate Republicans underscored that point by blocking a jobs bill that would help our unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Yes - our sons and daughters who risked their lives, health, and sanity to serve this Nation are apparently not worth the effort.
You see, the Republicans are concerned. They don't know if such a bill would really help our Veterans. After all, according to Sen. Tom Coburn (R. Okla) we just don't know if a Jobs Corp would work!
Republicans also said that job-creating provisions in measure - including establishing a veterans jobs corps to employ veterans in conservation, recreation, and resource management projects on public lands; and as firefighters and police officers - are untested.We'll get to the Senator's hand wringing worry about the deficit in a moment. But first, lets provide him with some information that may rest his fears regarding the efficacy of the Veteran's Job Corps Act. No doubt this will come as a surprise to the good Senator, but the United States actually has a history of successfull job corps programs. We even have one now! It's been part of the US. Dept of Labor since 1964.
"Nobody knows if it works," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). He warned that if Congress does not begin to exercise some restraint on spending, the deficit, which has topped more than $1 trillion in recent years, will ultimately undermine the nation's economy.
Success Lasts a Lifetime with Job CorpsThere's even a Performance Results at a Glance page, complete with an interactive map for the Senator's perusal.
Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life.
If he cares to read it at all. You see, while he had no problem voting for TARP, he was a vigorous opponent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That Act awarded funds to the Job Corps.
Job Corps was awarded funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to be used for construction, rehabilitation and acquisition, as well as operations needs. Since the act was signed into law, Job Corps implemented "green" student training programs and commenced construction projects at centers across the country, helping create and retain jobs.Jobs. Those things that our Veterans and all our people need in order to eat and keep a roof over their heads. Jobs. Being able to hold our heads up with some dignity. Jobs. Being able to provide for our families. Jobs. Being able to contribute to our communities. Jobs. The very thing that the American People tell Congress again and again that they want, even if it means spending tax dollars to create them.
Sen.Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), said today that "Americans don't trust us." He's absolutely correct. Why would we?
The American people have repeatedly told the Senator and his Republican colleagues to pass the American Jobs Bill. a bill that would create approximately two million jobs, just for starters, and increase our GDP.
We've made it clear how we want our tax dollars spent. We've made it clear that we want our families, our neighbors, our fellow citizens to be able to hold their heads up again, free of fear and worry about where their next meal is coming from. We've made it so clear that we jammed the Hill switchboard to the point of breakdown.
We know the American Jobs Act will help our people and grow our economy. We are smarter than Republicans wish to think and, as hard as it is for them to comprehend, what happens to our fellow citizens matters. Greatly. That is why we actually do take the time to read and check out the facts. Like these -
On September 8, 2011..........President Obama laid out a series of policy proposals known collectively as the American Jobs Act. The plan included stimulus spending in the form of immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers to encourage consumer spending and job growth, and efforts to shore up state and local budgets to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public safety officials."Failed stimulus?" Not according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The American Jobs Act never became law....because Republicans opposed it from the start, blasting it as another form of “failed stimulus” that wouldn’t help the economy. (They ignored the fact that the first “failed stimulus,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, wasn’t a failure at all.) One month later, the GOP blocked the bill in the Senate, preventing the creation of more than a million jobs and the added growth that multiple economists predicted would occur if the bill passed:
–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.
–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs.
–Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
–Goldman Sachs estimated it would add 1.5 percent to GDP.
CBO's Estimates of ARRA's Impact on Employment and Economic Output for the Second Quarter of 2011Of course, that could depend upon on one's definition of "failed." I've come to the conclusion that what actually works for average Americans IS bad policy for most of today's Republican Party and their nominee.
CBO’s Estimates of ARRA’s Impact on Employment and Economic Output
Looking at recorded spending to date along with estimates of the other effects of ARRA on spending and revenues, CBO has estimated the law’s impact on employment and economic output using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies and drawing on various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy. Because those sources indicate a wide range of possible effects, CBO provides high and low estimates of the likely impact, aiming to encompass most economists’ views about the effects of different policies. On that basis, CBO estimates that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the second quarter of calendar year 2011 compared with what would have occurred otherwise:
They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent,
Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.5 percentage points and 1.6 percentage points,
Increased the number of people employed by between 1.0 million and 2.9 million, and
Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.4 million to 4.0 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers).
The effects of ARRA on output peaked in the first half of 2010 and have since diminished, CBO estimates. The effect of ARRA on employment and unemployment are estimated to lag slightly behind the effects on output; CBO estimates that the employment effects began to wane at the end of 2010 and continued to do so in the second quarter of 2011. Still, CBO estimates that, compared with what would have occurred otherwise, ARRA will raise real GDP in 2012 by between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent and will increase the number of people employed in 2012 by between 0.4 million and 1.1 million.
What else could explain their actions and policies?
GOP senators block Dem ‘insourcing’ billWhat else explains keeping the American Jobs Act blocked for over a year?
By Ramsey Cox - 07/19/12 02:39 PM ET
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked an "insourcing" bill from Democrats that would have ended tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.
The Bring Jobs Home Act also would have given a tax incentives to companies that bring jobs back to the United States. The measure failed to advance on a 56-42 vote, with 60 votes needed to end debate on the bill.
Earlier in the week, Republicans also blocked the Disclose Act, which would have required the disclosure of campaign contributions of more than $10,000.
The method Republicans have used to block all jobs legislation in the past two years is the same. A jobs bill comes up, it is filled with positive things for the economy, Republicans filibuster debate, this shields them from having to make floor speeches on why they don't want tax breaks for small businesses... etc.What else explains their taking the debt ceiling hostage, further endangering our economy and standing in the world?
Why? Well, if the economy recovers too strongly before an election, Republicans will lose power. If jobs numbers look too good, people will want to keep the same party. By Republicans blocking all jobs legislation and keeping jobs numbers from improving they believe this is their ticket to power.
In other words, if you and other Americans suffer just long enough it will pay off for Republicans.
They sacrifice the citizens' jobs with the hopes that they will create more Republican jobs in Congress.
For if we hit the debt ceiling, the government will be forced to stop paying roughly a third of its bills, because that’s the share of spending currently financed by borrowing. So will it stop sending out Social Security checks? Will it stop paying doctors and hospitals that treat Medicare patients? Will it stop paying the contractors supplying fuel and munitions to our military? Or will it stop paying interest on the debt?What else explains their refusal to stop subsidizing big oil's obscene profits?
Don’t say “none of the above.” As I’ve written before, the federal government is basically an insurance company with an army, so I’ve just described all the major components of federal spending. At least one, and probably several, of these components will face payment stoppages if federal borrowing is cut off.
And what would such payment stops do to the economy? Nothing good. Consumer spending would probably crash, as nervous seniors started wondering how to pay for rent and food. Businesses that depend on government purchases would slash payrolls and cancel investments.
Furthermore, markets might well panic, especially if interest payments are missed. And the consequences of undermining faith in U.S. debt might be especially severe because that debt plays a crucial role in many financial transactions.
Exxon Mobil’s Tax Rate Drops To 13 Percent, After Making 35 Percent More Profits On Rising Gas Prices In 2011
By Rebecca Leber on Mar 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Exxon Mobil, the most profitable of the big five oil companies, made $41.1 billion in profits last year. Although Exxon made 35 percent more profits since 2010, its estimated effective tax rate actually dropped. Citizens for Tax Justice reported Exxon paid only 17.6 percent taxes in 2010, lower than the average American, and a Reuters analysis using the same criteria estimates that Exxon will pay only 13 percent in effective taxes for 2011. Exxon paid zero taxes to the federal government in 2009.
Reuters compares the 45 percent tax rate Exxon claims it pays to the effective rate estimated by Citizens for Tax Justice — a rate that’s even lower than Mitt Romney’s tax rate. Chevron, which made $26.9 billion profit in 2011, paid 19 percent:
Citizens for Tax Justice considers U.S. profits and U.S. taxes paid only. By that measure, Exxon Mobil paid 13 percent of its U.S. income in taxes after deductions and benefits in 2011, according to a Reuters calculation of securities filings.
It is a far cry from the 35 percent top corporate tax rate.
Still, the three-year average for telecom companies is 8 percent; for information technology services companies, it is 2.5 percent, according to CTJ.
What else explains Mitt Romney's chief energy adviser Harold Hamm's testimony during a Congressional hearing?
In a congressional hearing Thursday, Continental Resources CEO and Mitt Romney’s chief energy adviser Harold Hamm asked to preserve the oil industry’s billions in tax breaks, although his company pays little in federal taxes. The oil firm has earned more than $1.8 billion profit over five years by dominating the oil shale boom in North Dakota.What else explains Senate Republicans defeating a bill that would help our sons and daughters returning home from war to an unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans at 12.7% — more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average?
In his prepared testimony, Hamm defends tax breaks by pointing to his own company, saying, “Continental’s effective tax rate is 38%!” But according to Citizens for Tax Justice, Continental paid an average 2.2 percent tax rate, or $40 million, over five years.
Hamm claims a higher tax rate by including deferred taxes the company hasn’t paid. It’s a popular tactic, used by oil companies and the American Petroleum Institute. CTJ shows that Continental Resources has paid federal income taxes as low as 0.1 percent in the last five years:
G.O.P. Blocks Veteran Jobs BillThis does -
By LAWRENCE DOWNES
Veterans won’t be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order — he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year. The bill’s sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn’t matter, since the bill’s cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.
The vote was 58-40; the bill needed 60 votes to proceed.
It would be easier to admire the Republicans’ late-breaking fiscal scrupulosity if their motives — denying the Obama administration any kind of victory this year, whatever the cost to jobless vets — weren’t so transparent. It’s probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a “nay” on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren’t a fact of nature. They’re a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.
“It’s unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war, many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war,” Ms. Murray said in a statement after the vote.
And so does this -
How can Congressional Republican actions be described as anything but un-american? How can their actions be seen as anything but abusive to the very people they have sworn to serve?
And that debt that they all say they're so very, very, worried about? Not really.
They created most of it in the first place, after all. It didn't matter to them when they voted to keep two wars off the books, give tax breaks to the fortunate few, or broke the economy.
It doesn't really matter to them now. The debt is just another weapon used to harm President Obama's re-election. In the Republican equation of what it takes to achieve and hold political power, that their hostage taking of the debt ceiling harms the American people is not a bug, it's a feature. The pain given to average Americans by Republican votes against jobs or raising the debt ceiling or anything else is the desired result.
It's all woven of the same arrogant ignorance, disdain, and unconcern voiced by the Republican candidate for the Presidency, "I don't care about the poor," Mitt Romney.
Indeed. Or the unemployed, seniors, the disabled, the hungry, our Veterans, our businesses on Main Street or our history as a Nation.
Today's Republicans have turned their backs on the lessons learned by the generation that returned home from battle fields in Europe and Asia after World War II. That "Greatest Generation" is so named, in part, because they went on to build the greatest economy the world had known.
They were the good guys who saved the world from fascism and then turned around and rebuilt the countries they had defeated. They created the greatest economy known to man - one based on values of shared sacrifice and reward. They believed that progress stemmed from our collective efforts, not from narrow interest-group wrangling or the Ayn Rand go-it-alone playbook.The Greatest Generation became who they are, not alone, but with government programs that paid for education, job training, and housing. Together they created the largest expansion of the middle class in history. Our people and government working together made manifest the American Dream that future generations inherited and built upon.
Today's Republicans are destroying that dream. They are betraying what the Greatest Generation and its heirs fought so hard to build and safeguard - all in the name of political expediency.
Four of the Republican Senators who voted today against the Veterans' Job Corps Act helped write it. It was a bipartisan bill, until it was time to vote during a Presidential Election.
There is no arithmetic that makes sense, nor virtue to be found in what they are doing.
As President Clinton said, none of it adds up. Just do the math.
9:37 PM PT: There is another Greatest Generation, a generation of Civil Rights leaders that risked it all to make life better for All of America's people. Those rights so dearly paid for are under attack. blue jersey mom has written a powerful diary honoring them and what we need to do to ensure that the rights they fought and died for are not lost.
Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 2:17 AM PT: These are the 40 Republican Senators who voted against the Veterans' Job Corps Act, among other things.
Early voting is happening in thirty states. Please get your absentee ballots now and vote. The tide is turning and we will defeat those who treat our Veterans and us, so contemptuously. .