I think it ought to be 26 weeks like we’ve always done, and that sends a message that, hey, we ought to get back to work. A lot of these people don’t want to work unless they get real high-paying jobs, they’re not going to get them ever so they just stay home and watch television. I don’t mean to malign people, but the fact of the matter is far too many are doing that.
Tea Party Freshmen’s Phony Opposition to Spending
You could call it hypocritical, mostly because it is. Tea Party freshmen who claim to be all about cutting spending are practicing an “austerity for you, but not for me” approach to government funding. Elected on a platform of cutting government to the bone, they’ve since gone on to make sure their constituents know they’re bringing home the bacon.
New York Times:
An examination of spending bills, news releases and communications with federal agencies obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that nearly two dozen freshmen have sought money for projects that could ultimately cost billions of dollars, while calling for less spending and banning pork projects.
Politicians have long advocated for projects on behalf of individuals and businesses back home, even without earmarks. Several lawmakers said they were merely providing a constituent service. But since many of the freshman Republicans campaigned on a pledge to cut spending and to change Washington’s time-honored ways, their support of spending projects suggests that in many cases ideology can go only so far in serving the needs of people back home.
Let me be clear here, contrary to Republicans’ own rhetoric, there’s nothing wrong with this per se. People send their tax dollars to Washington and they should expect to see some of it return to their states. The federal government should supply states with infrastructure funding, education funding, etc. This is not the problem.
And the hypocrisy is only a marginal problem. If they’re grandstanding on cutting spending, while demanding government funds, that’s just par for the Republican course. It’s a party characterized by hypocrisy. At least taxpayers are getting a bang for their buck, despite the bluster of the blowhards representing them.
No, what this story does is highlight Republicans’ real intentions. Republicans don’t have a problem with spending and they haven’t since Reagan. GOP presidents have racked up deficit after deficit. The party helped the previous president run up record deficits. The idea that Republicans are institutionally opposed to spending, taxes, and deficits is a joke.
What Republicans have a problem with are social programs and policies they oppose on purely political or ideological grounds. Why do you think they want to go after Medicare, rather than raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans? Why do you think they want to do away with collective bargaining at the state level — a move that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker testified under oath would not save the state any money? Why were they all so silent when Orrin Hatch suggested we raise taxes on the poor and middle class, to spare the wealthy their share of the tax burden?
And now, why are they talking about drastic cuts to spending — except that spending that helps them get reelected?
It’s not spending they hate, it’s Medicare, it’s Medicaid, it’s Social Security, it’s labor laws and consumer protections and regulations limiting fraud and pollution and bribery. Home to creationist morons, they’re social Darwinists who believe that government aid must be earned. And it must be earned by becoming filthy rich and donating to Republicans. Anyone else is on their own; the General Welfare clause doesn’t apply to them.
The Republican Party isn’t opposed to spending and it isn’t opposed to bringing tax dollars back to the states. But they’ll be goddamed if any of those tax dollars wind up in the pocket of someone who isn’t already rich.
Note to GOP Voters: You’re Being Played for Suckers
There is no more perfect example of just how off-kilter — morally and economically — the Republican Party has become than yesterday’s floor statement by Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) voted against beginning debate on a measure that would have the Senate declare the rich should share the pain of debt reduction Thursday, a day after arguing that it’s the poor and middle class who need to do more.
"I hear how they’re so caring for the poor and so forth," Hatch said in remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, in reference to Democrats. "The poor need jobs! And they also need to share some of the responsibility."
Hatch’s comments were aimed at a motion that passed 74 to 22 to start debating a non-binding resolution that says millionaires and billionaires should play a more meaningful role in reducing the nation’s debt.
Yes, let’s not tax people who can afford it, let’s tax people who can’t afford it. Let’s add an extra burden to working families and reduce consumer demand, because that’s just such a freakin’ smart freakin’ thing to freakin’ do. Sen. Hatch, I say this with all the respect you are due — which at this point is close to none — but you may have said the stupidest thing anyone in the world said yesterday.
And the outrage on the right over a suggestion that we raise taxes? Nonexistent. If you want proof that Republicans represent only the privileged elite, there ya go. If you want to raise taxes, you can go ahead and raise them on anyone but the elite, because no one else in the world matters. And this argument was made without shame — either because Hatch is shameless or because he’s so far gone he has no idea where the line between moral and immoral is anymore.
If you’re a Republican voter and you’re not part of that privileged elite, then you’re a fool. A sucker. A patsy. A stooge. Hatch is arguing that those who have little — meaning you — should pay more, so that those who have plenty can keep plenty more. Republicans are against raising taxes? Give me a second to engage in derisive laughter… They aren’t. If they were, Hatch would be facing a firestorm of criticism today from his own party. Instead, he’s enjoying silence.
Republicans want to take things that are yours away from you; Social Security, Medicare — you’ve paid for that. You own those. And the reason they want to take what you’ve bought from you is so that the very wealthy can continue to enjoy the lowest tax rates in recent history.
And the argument that this tax rate creates jobs? Look around you — you living in a free market paradise right now, with hot and cold running jobs and high salaries trickling down from on high? I hate to break it to you, but you’re not. If lower taxes on the rich creates jobs, where are they? Why was the economy better under a higher tax rate?
Seriously Republican voter, you’re being had. And of all the silent voices Hatch faces today, yours speaks the loudest.
Stories to Watch: 7/7/11
Barely slept again last night. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe I need a new mattress. In any case, I am wiped out. Now here’s the news…
Senate Democrats aren’t happy to learn that the White House is open to cuts in Social Security. Neither are House Democrats.
GOP Rep. Paul Broun discovers a new way to be insane.
A Rupert Murdoch publication gets what it deserves.
The Treasury is considering options to avoid default if Republicans decide to charge off a cliff.
Just a reminder: big banks have no clue what the hell they’re doing and don’t give a bowl of warm crap about you. My advice; move your money to a credit union.
Orrin Hatch’s plan to shrink the deficit? Soak the poor. This marks a new low.
Finally and relatedly; what happens when the poor get health insurance? Only good things.
-Headline of the day-
"Hatch scrubs his website?"
The birthers are all riled up over President Obama’s long-form birth certificate. It’s fake! And they can prove it (but only by completely misunderstanding how PDFs work). So the birthers are even more crazy than they were before.
Well, there’s one GOP Senator who’s not planning on getting caught without his finger in the wind. According to the report, “Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — anxious about a possible conservative primary challenger in 2012 — has scrubbed evidence on his website of ever having supported repealing the requirement that presidents be natural born.”
See, way back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was the GOP flavor-of-the-month, Orrin Hatch got the idea that he’d make the perfect presidential candidate — with the only problem being that Ahnoldt was born in
Kenya Austria. So this was something that needed to be fixed. It didn’t go anywhere, but who cares?
Hatch pulled any mention of the sponsorship of a constitutional amendment repealing the “natural born citizen” requirement from his website. He says it’s because his website was redesigned. Of course, I’ve redesigned my blog a couple times and lost absolutely nothing, but that’s just me. I’m not a big-money web design firm, so I probably did it wrong.
In any case, Hatch’s office assures us that this has nothing to do with the fact that his amendment would’ve allowed a SECRET MOOSLIM TERR’IST to become president and that the birthers wouldn’t like that.
Case closed. (Politico)
-The next “controversy”-
Can the Obama administration survive?
Click for full comic
I never really trusted Hawaii. (Bad Reporter)
"Tirade Of Profanity: Donald Trump Drops F-Bombs During Speech At Las Vegas Casino."
Or, “How to keep generating headlines after Pres. Obama made a complete fool of you.” (Mediaite)