We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ Elections

Election? What election? We don’t need no stinkin’ elections. It’s damn the torpedoes and the American people and full speed ahead for Republican politicians protecting their paymaster/pimps. As the chart below shows this entire debate over tax rates for the uber wealthy is over a tiny increase in the top rates for the greedy takers of wealth while the workers that actually make that wealth are sent to the poorhouse. Rather than nudge the rates up slightly from their historically low levels, the Greedy One Percenters would gleefully push granny over their contrived “fiscal cliff” in true Shock Doctrine fashion. 

As Richard Eskow wrote yesterday for ourfuture.org: “The Republican Party has a message for the American people: Meet the new deal, same as the old deal. The GOP ‘counter-offer’ to the President’s fiscal-cliff proposal isn’t really an offer at all: It’s a rehash of the tired and extremist right-wing economic warfare which the American people soundly rejected last month….this rehash of their old, rejected budget ideas is a formula for reducing the United States of America to a crumbling and poverty-haunted land where the young have no opportunities, the middle class is struggling to survive, and the aged live in misery and fear..

The Republicans also propose to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, which would force 65 and 66 year olds to seek private, individual health care coverage on the open insurance market. And since they’d also repeal the new health care law, these older Americans would get no help in that process.  (Here are eight reasons raising the Medicare age is a terrible idea.)…

This change would also affect disabled Americans and children on Social Security.

The $800 billion they’re offering in “tax reform” is also likely to include cuts to tax deductions that are helping millions of middle-class Americans as they struggle to stay afloat. Likely targets include reducing or eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction, which could lead to millions of additional foreclosures, as well as an end to deductions for children.

The Republicans are also promising $300 billion in “other discretionary cuts.” They don’t say what they’d cut, but previous GOP Congressional budgets offer clues. Some of the cuts are absurd, like the massive reductions in funds for hurricane warnings. Are they serious?  Law enforcement programs that pay for themselves, like US Customs impoundment of drug vehicles? Honestly?

The GOP’s massive cuts to antipoverty programs would lead to increase in the number of poor Americans, including poor children, and a marked decrease in their health and quality of life. Other cuts would lead to a significant jump in unemployment. Still others would make it impossible for any but the most well-to-do young people to finance a college education.

If Republicans were really concerned about Federal deficits they’d be allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with big pharmaceutical companies, which would save billions. Instead they’re blocking it. And they’d be targeting the greed factor in for-profit health care companies, which is one of the leading reasons our country’s health care costs are so much higher than those of other countries.

Instead, their last Presidential standard-bearer led the way in investing in those kinds of companies, then pushing them so hard that several of them wound up committing Medicare fraud.

And if Republicans were really concerned about the deficit, they’d be raising rates on millionaires, billionaires, and corporations, instead of proposing to gain new revenue by “tax-reforming” the middle class into penury.

Why propose such a socially destructive set of ideas? As the prosecutors ask, Cui bono? Who benefits? Under the GOP’s proposal, Wall Street would get millions of new customers as Americans scramble to make up for the loss in future Social Security and Medicare benefits. Health insurers would also gain millions of new customers. And lower government expenditures means an even lower tax burden for millionaires, billionaires, and giant corporations – and they’re the Republican Party’s real constituencies.”

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