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Rick Perry’s Conservative Playbook

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Several decades ago, conservatives got together and figured that their message was not resonating with Americans. For almost a decade they work hard at honing their message. They decided not to get bogged down in complicated explanations and really streamline their message to only a few pithy statements. The government is too big. Taxes are too high. Military spending is always okay. In a nutshell that has been their mantra. The true genius of the conservative agenda has been the bait and switch. Rick Perry is a master at this. Several years ago he convinced Texans that businesses need to pay more. They need to carry their fair share. We all know that Republicans hate taxes. We all know that Republicans love big business. Therefore, this did not make sense. The devil is in the details.

In Texas there’s no income tax. So, Texans pay extremely high property taxes in order to make up for this deficit. Property owners were screaming for some relief. Rick Perry saw an opportunity. He told property owners that he’s going to give them some relief by enacting a marginal tax on businesses. As it turned out, this tax would not even come close to closing the gap from the reduction in taxes on property. Therefore, a budget crisis is created. Republicans look at budget crises as opportunities to cut government services. This is exactly what Rick Perry did. You can read more about Rick Perry’s despicable bait and switch here.

By |2011-08-30T23:14:44-04:00August 30th, 2011|Party Politics|Comments Off on Rick Perry’s Conservative Playbook

Madness: Budget Crisis

Every now and then, when I look at the madness that’s going on in Washington DC, I just want to sit everybody down and tell them that, hey,they can be serious just for a second. It seems like I’m watching some comedy routine from Saturday Night Live.

Republicans are running around saying that we are broke. They point out that we have a $1.25 trillion deficit. If we don’t balance the budget and close this deficit soon China and other countries will stop financing our debt. Yet, the Republicans have offered absolutely not one shred of evidence that China or any other country has started talking about changing their fiscal policy and investing in something other than treasury bills.
This is none other than Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. In her fantastic book, she describes how conservatives have created crises or taken advantage of crises in order to push through their agenda. Today, the crisis (created crisis) is the US budget. Conservatives have wanted to cut discretionary spending and free up more money for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate tax cuts for the even wealthier. That’s all this is. $1.25 trillion. It sounds like a lot of money. If you had it in your bank account, you would think it’s a lot of money. But in the context of a country with over 300 million people, it’s not a lot of money. It’s approximately $4000 per person. So, we can fix this budget crisis by simply raising 4 grand. Bam! Budget crisis fixed.
If you’re going to be serious about fixing the budget, and the Republicans are not, you have to look at the major expenses. Defense, Social Security and health care. These three items make up over 60% of the budget. Cut spending here and you can really make headway into fixing some of our budgetary problems. Republicans, though, have excluded these three items from their budgetary ax. Why? From my point view, it’s because they’re not serious. Their agenda is to take away the safety net that supports many Americans. They want Americans working for low wages. A cheap labor force makes business happy. The only thing better than a cheap labor force would be a cheap labor force that is fearful of not being able to have a job and grateful for any job that they have.
By |2011-03-03T00:53:34-04:00March 3rd, 2011|Budget|2 Comments

House passes aid to help teachers

This is a relief.

From TPM:

House Democrats today passed a bill doling out $26.1 billion to states to help them pay for teachers and emergency workers and to cover growing Medicaid costs. President Obama Tuesday morning hailed Congress forĀ returning to Washington unexpectedly one week into the summer recess. Thanks to two Republican votes from Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both from Maine, the measure passed the Senate 61-39 last week.

The House passed the measure 247-161. Democrats and the White House estimate the new spending could save up to 300,000 teachers’ jobs across the country. Supporters see it as building on the stimulus program from 2009. But like anything in an election year, the vote set off political nastiness.

It’s a ready-made campaign commercial as Democrats plan to hail their own votes as heroic when states are facing massive budget crises. And — you guessed it — Republicans will say it’s another big-spending government plan.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) mocked the bill as “more ‘stimulus’ spending,” and offered a preview for how Republicans will frame the debate on the trail by saying the taxes that pay for the measure are a “new job-killing tax on U.S. job creators.” It was actually paid for with cuts to programs such as food stamps. (more…)

By |2010-08-11T09:09:21-04:00August 11th, 2010|Congress, Economy|Comments Off on House passes aid to help teachers
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