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Hey, GOP: Give the 99 Percent Some Lovin’

8:06 am in Uncategorized by Leo W. Gerard

MTV needs to stop giving that creepy vampire guy and moony human girl in the “Twilight” series the “best kiss” prize in its annual movie awards because it’s Republicans who truly earned the trophy for the big wet smooches they lay on the 1 percent.

Just think of the GOP lovin’ that went into the Bush tax breaks that gave millionaires more than $125,000 a year and the middle class less than $1,000. Or the arduous embrace signified by cutting the capital gains tax to a rate lower than that on middle class income.

The GOP is a faithful lover to the 1 percent, steady and true. Last week, Republicans found themselves confronted with a choice between raising taxes on the 99 percent or on the 1 percent, and the GOP spared the millionaires. The GOP’s fidelity to the 1 percent is so strong that Republicans wavered on their promises – never raise taxes – and principles – tax cuts don’t have to be offset. As a result, the 99 percent is beginning to feel more than a little spurned by the GOP.

Since the days of the Bush breaks in 2001 and 2003, Republicans consistently have said that tax reductions stimulate the economy and the lost revenue needn’t be offset. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, asserted, for example: “You should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.” The GOP didn’t pay for the Bush breaks, a decision that dramatically increased the deficit, which Republicans now say the 99 percent must pay by suffering slashed government services.

Similarly, Republicans have loyally upheld their solemn pledge to lobbyist Grover Norquist to never, ever raise taxes. Last year, for example, they GOP refused to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, contending that would be a tax increase, not the end of rates intended to be temporary.

To recap: The GOP vowed never to raise taxes. The GOP defines an expiring temporary tax cut as a tax increase. And the GOP believes tax reductions don’t have to be offset.

To serve the 1 percent, however, Republicans discarded all of that supposedly sacrosanct philosophy during last week’s struggle over extending the temporary payroll tax cut. Congress voted last December to decrease for one year the payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, putting an extra $1,000 in the hands of 160 million workers during a recession to pay bills. Read the rest of this entry →

The 1 Percent Indifferent to Their Indebtedness

7:40 am in Uncategorized by Leo W. Gerard

Famous Indifferent 1%-er, Pictured Here Not Eating Cake (Photo: heilemann, flickr)

Famous Indifferent 1%-er, Pictured Here Not Eating Cake (Photo: heilemann, flickr)

Most Americans, the 99 percent, feel the pressure of indebtedness. When they owe a friend a buck, their conscience bothers them until they’re square. They pay their bills, working second jobs if necessary. They meet mortgage obligations even when underwater.

That’s why there was a deficit Super Committee. Americans don’t like debt, including bills owed by their government. It weighs on them, even when it’s borrowing by Washington to create jobs and speed recovery.

But for the majority of millionaires – the 1 percent — incurring debt does not evoke anxiety. They’re numb to the feeling of responsibility that indebtedness induces in the 99 percent. They believe they owe nothing to their country or society despite all they’ve gained. They feel no duty to repay America for creating the environment that enabled them to amass all that wealth.

Thus the Super Committee failed.

The committee was searching for $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The Bush tax cuts, which disproportionately benefited the rich, cost $2.8 trillion over the past decade. But the 1 percent obstructed a return to the pre-Bush-balanced-budget-era tax rates and would sneer at the mere suggestion that they pay the much higher marginal rates the wealthy accepted after World War II to settle those government debts. In fact, Republicans on the Super Committee actually proposed additional tax cuts for the rich.

More breaks for the wealthy would require slashing social safety net programs for the 99 percent — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, child nutrition. It would mean no funds to create jobs and boost the economy. The result would be less money to build highways, refurbish bridges and renovate schools.

That’s okay with the 1 percent because they feel no obligation for those social responsibilities. Read the rest of this entry →