Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tea Party's Cure for Cancer

The Tea Party Republicans are threatening to shut down the entire government unless we surrender to their outrageous demands...and they are delighting in it. Did you hear their cheers?

Their ransom list? Repealing health care reform, de-funding Planned Parenthood, silencing NPR, slashing public education...and they even want to cut assistance for homeless veterans - or else they’ll shut down the government.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are next on their wish list.

The Tea Party (and GOP) say they want a "smaller government" (with an ever increasing population base) and less federal debt, but they only focus on cuts to such things as medical and retirement programs for average folks (or food stamps for poor people) rather than tax increases for the uber-rich to raise revenues - or closing loopholes for corporations or cutting anything in the defense budget.

In 2010, corporate profits grew at their fastest rate since 1950. The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all American households combined. The effective tax rate on the nation’s richest people has fallen by about half in the last 20 years. Companies such as General Electric, Boeing and Exxon-Mobil paid zero dollars in U.S. taxes on profits.

Lately the Tea Party's (and GOP's) tag-line/slogan has been, "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." Oh really????

In 2007 we had $2,568,000,000,000 in tax revenues.
In 2010 we had $2,162,700,000,000 in tax revenues.

That is $406 billion less in tax revenues than we had only 3 years ago - because of tax loopholes for corporations, the wealthy not paying their fair share, and 30 million unemployed or under-employed people who are no longer paying sales, property, or income taxes.
SOURCE: Tax Policy Center

What is this "shared sacrifice" we've all been hearing so much about? All the poor and middle income people seem to be doing all the sharing, but the rich don't want share at all!

Because of corporate outsourcing and mass layoffs, we have set records in the number of Americans on food stamps. Roughly 45 million Americans spend a third of their post-tax income on food and still run out monthly - and one in four kids goes to bed hungry at least some of the time. Over 10 million Americans collected jobless benefits in the last two years and we now have an under-reported unemployment rate of 14% (20% if you count people only working part-time). At the height of the Great Recession we had more people unemployed (today in 2011 at 21 million) than we had at the height of the Great Depression (only 12 million in 1933).

The Tea Party's (and GOP's) cure for less tax revenues is just less spending, not more fair and equitable taxing. I would suggest that the whenever a member of the Tea Party wants a raise to keep up with the cost of living, that their boss just tell them to use less heat and eat less make a "shared sacrifice"-  and to forego such extravagances like medical care. And the Republican members of Congress who draw an annual $174,000 salary should also "share in the sacrifice", and take a pay cut, forgo their government-paid healthcare insurance, and never get another COLA for the history of the congressional institution.

The Tea Party and GOP: "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." Oh yeah? As John Irons at the Economic Policy Institute puts it, "Their cure for this cancer seems to be just less cancer."

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1 comment:

  1. Bud, Isnt it the truth? All that you keep hearing on the news is "cuts to the social programs" for the poor, i.e.,Medicare, Medicaid,etc. I am just like you, I have a bad back, arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc. You are absolutely correct in thinking that it is very hard to apply for any social services, here in Illinois they also treat you like garbage. I have just requested a hearing for my SSD, so I will see what happens. As usual, I agree with everything that you write. Keep up with the posts!