Third Party & Independents Archives

Congress: “Screw the Middle Class, they’re supposed to be poor!”

You may wonder; Is a one letter downgrade really that big of a deal? Yes! This downgrade has led to the worst week in the U.S. stock market in two years. The S&P 500 stock index fell 10.8 percent — 1,252 points — in just five trading days. U.S. Treasury bonds are now rated lower than bonds issued by Britain, Germany and France. U.S. Treasury bonds were once thought of as the safest in the world. They’re now ranked as B-rating bonds.

China holds more than $1 Trillion of U.S. debt. Beijing has been urging and warning America to protect its U.S. dollar investments by addressing its budget, spending and revenue problem for MONTHS. Congress chose to ignore those warnings because “What do the Chinese know about American finances?” In light of the reaction to “the grand plan,” the arrogance, insolence, ignorance and political flatulence is palpable.

The securities industry trade group SIFMA said, “The downgrade over time will increase funding costs for public debt by some $100 Billion.”

It is clear that Congress couldn’t care less about the government fiscal deficit. The Republicans care about NOTHING but ousting Obama from office. The Democrats care about NOTHING but playing it safe so they can say they’re weren’t part of the coming crash.

This year alone we have added of $1.4trillion to the federal debt – largely because we’re STILL sending $11 Billion every month to Afghanistan; we’re STILL sending $10.2 Billion every month to Iraq; and we’re now sending $6 Billion every month to Libya (again). Ever-so-coincidentally, Halliburton – which has the federal reconstruction and service contracts for all three of those war-torn locations – post a 42 PERCENT INCREASE IN NET PROFIT last quarter. Exxon-Mobil collected another RECORD-HIGH quarterly profit of $21.7 BILLION; Shell, $20.2 Billion. Even British-Petroleum – BP – posted a PROFIT last quarter of $12.8 Billion – all while trying to legalese its way out of payment to the citizens of the oil-ravaged Gulf of Mexico. Oh … and Exxon … they paid NOTHING in federal taxes last year, thanks to the enormous loopholes in the tax code that Republicans refuse to even consider removing, Democrats couldn't find the balls to get closed, and a President who couldn't score against an open net with no goalie.

At a time when the wealthiest people in this country are not only continuing to rake in profit, they’re HOARDING CASH and they have the lowest effective tax rate is the lowest in SEVEN DECADES. The average effective tax rate of those making less than $250,000 per year in 2010 was 19.81 percent. The average effective tax rate of those making MORE than $250,000 per year in 2010 was 8.74 percent. But the right-wing puppets still gleefully do the “it’s not fair to ask the rich for more” dance.

Meanwhile, working families, children, the sick and the elderly – many of whom are already suffering because of the third year of this recession – will shoulder the entire burden, exactly as Republicans and the teabaggers wanted. Here’s just an appetizer of the cuts that are coming your way as part of “the deal”:

* The waiting lists for affordable childcare and Head Start have increased 188% and 168% respectively since December 2008. Those lists have increased another 52% and 58% since May 2011.
* America ranks 34th globally in education, but an estimated 82,000 teachers will be laid off due to school district budget cuts. Massive cuts in federal student aid programs, grants and tuition assistance have already been enacted.
* America is ranked 38th in the world for nutrition per capita, but more than $600 Million in cuts are underway to various nutrition programs.
* 50 million Americans have no health insurance, but the regulatory agencies overseeing health care cost increases are being defunded by at least 28 percent.
* 43 states have already laid off more than 700,000 public service employees, but the plan includes further police and firefighter layoffs, and large reductions in federal support for roads, bridges, water quality, sewage and public transportation.

That’s just for starters. There will also be double-digit percentage cuts in home heating assistance, affordable housing, support for family based agriculture, and research in finding cures for cancer and other diseases, as well as major staffing reductions in agencies charged with protecting the physical health and economic well-being of our citizens. The budget for the EPA, which enforces clean water and clean air rules, is to be cut by 28 percent. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates Wall Street, will be destaffed by 22 percent.

But Republicans and teabaggers still refuse to see the pattern. They refuse to acknowledge that the plan all along has been to gut the middle class and force them to become part of the lower class – all with the intention of creating a feudal two-tier caste system consisting of the ultra-rich, and everybody else.

Enough is enough! The American people must fight back. We need a government which represents all the people, not just the wealthy, campaign contributors and lobbyists. You can sit there and bitch and hurl the asinine armchair epithets about “that Communist Socialist Black Bastard in the White House,” or you can do something about it. You can keep flying one party’s flag or the other, which both parties are shoving the flagpole up your backside, or you can do something about it.

Sign the petition to force Congress to stop bending you over and telling you that you’re supposed to like it.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at August 8, 2011 11:35 PM
Comments
Comment #327353

Great article, Gary. There is no longer any doubt in my mind that our government is attempting to intentionally destroy this nation on behalf of the wealthy, corporate state. If Americans don’t fight back, eventually a lot of us are going to start dying.
Btw, where is the petition you mention? I’ll gladly sign it.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 3:35 PM
Comment #327354

Gary,
You present a lot of reasoned observations and factual points. But you still step back and look at the big picture and conclude both parties are at fault. Step back a little farther, the reflex to just blame Washington is well within the Republican strategy.

Posted by: Schwamp at August 9, 2011 4:20 PM
Comment #327361

The problem with shouldering the burden is that it is a burden that we should not shoulder. If we had sufficient tax money tomorrow to pay for the debt, I would still think we should shrink government. The debt is the symptom of the bloated government, bloated by both Bush and Obama.

We should cut because it is the right thing to do. Getting some people to pay more is not the real solution.

My reasonable idea is to go back to the taxes and spending (both adjusted for GDP changes) we had in 2000, the last time we all felt more or less good about the economy.

Posted by: C&J at August 9, 2011 5:03 PM
Comment #327363

Gary
“They refuse to acknowledge that the plan all along has been to gut the middle class and force them to become part of the lower class”

So what entity is being used to implement this “plan?”
What entity is the only thing powerful enough to force people to do anything?
Why on earth would somebody want to give this entity even more control over them? Their schooling? Their employment? Their health care?

Perhaps you should not be whining about what government is not giving you, and concentrate on what they are taking from you. Something much more valuable than other people money.

Posted by: kctim at August 9, 2011 5:32 PM
Comment #327377

kctim: “Perhaps you should not be whining about what government is not giving you, and concentrate on what they are taking from you. Something much more valuable than other people money.”

Do you just intentionally invert the words and meanings of what people say, or are you just incapable of comprehending them so you reverse things to suit your backward views?

My entire comment was ABOUT what’s being taken away from people.

But you just go right on blindly following the teabag leaders right over the friggin’ cliff. I’ll be up topside, laughing as you plummet and yelling “I told you so.”

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at August 9, 2011 8:20 PM
Comment #327378

Adrienne, sorry … forgot to include the hyperlink.

The petition is located here.

Please help me get it to go viral.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at August 9, 2011 8:23 PM
Comment #327383

Gary

I understood very well what Kctim meant. We are revealing a fundamental difference in philosophy between those who think that government owns you and can give you things and those who think that we own the government and we keep ours and contribute some to government.

I always think it interesting when people use the word hoarding. It implies there is some kind of crime going on. Nobody - except for a few misers - really hoards cash. Most people are more greedy than that. They want their money to make money. If you have cash on hand and are not using it or investing it, it indicates that you believe conditions are so uncertain that you don’t know what to do and/or they may improve with some changes in the future.

It is none of your business if I “hoard” cash. Maybe I am waiting for a better time to use it. And by hoarding, I suppose you mean not investing and not someone putting piles of money in his mattress. If this is the case, the money is probably helping float the immense government deficit and is actually deployed.

Many who might otherwise invest are afraid of the policies of president Obama. Maybe they are just stupid, but that also should not bother you. If they are stupid, that means they will not earn as much money making “the rich” less rich.

Posted by: C&J at August 9, 2011 10:07 PM
Comment #327389

Gary, thanks for posting the link. I signed the petition.

Thought you might appreciate watching this:

Dylan Ratigan rages against ‘bought’ Congress on MSNBC

Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2011 12:06 AM
Comment #327390

Article on the glaringly obvious problem the wealthy have with selfishness, hoarding, avoiding paying taxes, taking tax dollars yet not creating jobs, etc., etc.:

Upper-Class People Less Empathetic Than Lower Class People: Study

“One clear policy implication is, the idea of nobless oblige or trickle-down economics, certain versions of it, is bull,” Keltner added. “Our data say you cannot rely on the wealthy to give back. The ‘thousand points of light’—this rise of compassion in the wealthy to fix all the problems of society—is improbable, psychologically.”

Those in the upper-class tend to hoard resources and be less generous than they could be.


Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2011 12:17 AM
Comment #327400

I agree with almost every point you make, Gary. That being said, our conclusions differ greatly.

I don’t trust government to provide a sound education, nor provide for my nutrition, etc. I wouldn’t trust them anymore with another piece of legislation trying to ‘reform’ their behavior. Instead, I want to maintain my personnal liberty and autonomy and stay as far away from government as possible…relying on it to do only those things the individual cannot (i.e. national defense, rule of law, etc.)

Adrienne,

Your linked article makes a large jump that I don’t understand, and they never explain…

The research shows ‘upper-class’ individuals to be less empathetic (able to read emotions). How does this apply to trickle down economics, since that economic behavior is governed by the desire of the rich to make more money, not respond to emotions of others?

Also, since when is empathetic a synonym for benevolent? Able to read emotions doesn’t necessarily mean altruistic…

Posted by: adam at August 10, 2011 1:17 PM
Comment #327415

Adam,

Here is another article that was written about that study:
The rich are different — and not in a good way, studies suggest

Also, if you’re really interested in knowing more, at the bottom of this webpage is an email address where you can call or write to order a copy of the paper, and another email address you could simply write to ask for info about the study:

Association for Psychological Science

Personally, I’m not at surprised at the thought that this could would turn out to be something that could be scientifically proven. Let’s face it, “Let them eat cake” is a pretty old expression/concept. One that has proven time and again to be the way that wealthy people tend to think.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2011 6:22 PM
Comment #327417
Personally, I’m not at surprised at the thought that this could would turn out to be something that could be scientifically proven. Let’s face it, “Let them eat cake” is a pretty old expression/concept. One that has proven time and again to be the way that wealthy people tend to think.

And let me just add to this thought: Hence the clear need for taxes on wealthy people, and for regulations to make businesses and corporations do the right thing in a larger, more encompassing sense for a whole society, rather than just whatever the people at the top of a business think is personally gratifying/lucrative for themselves.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2011 6:31 PM
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