Saturday, May 28, 2011

The 99ers Revenge

Almost 7 million jobless Americans have already exhausted all their unemployment benefits and now have no income at all. Many are known as "99ers" - - - those who've been out of work for 2 years or longer.

There are over 3 million more Americans who are currently receiving federal extended jobless benefits. Last December the congressional Republicans had voted to approve the funding for them for one more year, but only in exchange for 2 more years of tax cuts for the rich.

Now Republican governors and state legislators all across the country are reducing or eliminating those benefits in exchange for more tax breaks for corporations. By the end of 2011 we will have close to 10 million jobless Americans with no income at all, thanks to the Republicans for the deregulation of the banks (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), allowing for the outsourcing of jobs (free trade agreements), and for the Bush tax cuts for the last 10 years (inheritance taxes, capital gains taxes, and corporate taxes*).

Just recently the Republicans voted along party lines to continue oil subsidies for oil companies but at the same time also complained about the debt. The Republicans will end food stamps for the poor and cut off Social Security and Medicare for the elderly; yet they will be generous with corporate welfare. They don't legislate for THE PEOPLE and small businesses, they represent the rich and large corporations.

The Republicans have been refusing to nominate Elizabeth Warren of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to reign in the very banks that have caused this country so much harm. It was the banking industry that gave so much money to the Republicans in lobbying for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. (Also, see my post on the Inside Job).

Bill Maher asks, "30% of this country will always vote Republican...I'm just asking...why?" (Especially if you earned less than $250,000 a year.)

 * Bush Tax Cuts

Apparently, America's job creators can create a lot more jobs when their taxes are higher - even much higher - than they are today. The epic failures of the Bush tax cuts for America's supposed job creators hardly end there. The U.S. poverty rate began rising in 2005, well before the onset of the December 2007 Bush recession. As David Cay Johnston document, average household income fell after the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, dropping to about $58,500 in 2008 from $61,500 in 2000. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that the Bush tax cuts accounted for almost half of the mushrooming deficits during his tenure, and, if made permanent, over the next 10 years would contribute more to the U.S. budget deficit than the Obama stimulus, the TARP program, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revenue lost to the recession put together. As the data show, the Bush tax cuts provided a massive payday for the wealthy, helping fuel record income inequality."

1 comment:

  1. David Michael Green, professor of political science: "I confess that I have spent most of the last dozen years or so with my jaw firmly attached to the floor, incredulous at the idiocy of which Americans are capable. There were more votes cast recently for American Idol than there were in the 2008 presidential election. Need we say more?"