Top Of My Head

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Tag: debt ceiling

Rich Men and Camels

I’ve been thinking about what Jesus said about it being easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.  Why was Jesus harshing on rich guys so bad?  Is being rich inherently evil?

If you listen to these megachurch, superstar ministers; no – being rich isn’t evil and in fact, Jesus wants us all to be rich.  I don’t believe anyone who is preaching in a church the size of a stadium has a huge grasp on what Jesus wants.  However; I do believe that being rich doesn’t equate evil…

Unless…

If you have plenty and you don’t share – that’s evil.

If you pay your employees minimum wage — that’s evil.  The fact that we have to have a minimum wage is pretty evil.  Sure, there are some companies who pay fair wages, but there are a lot more companies who would pay less than livable wages if they could just get away with it.

If you don’t provide healthcare for your employees, evil.

We allow businesses – and, I’m talking about corporations, not the mom and pop small businessperson who is barely getting by – I mean the WalMarts, the WalGreens, the companies owned by the Koch brothers – anyway, we allow them to write a lot of expenses off their taxes.  I would like to suggest that we throw these complicated tax laws out.  We need to institute a new plan, so that corporations pay their fair share.  They benefit from our roads, bridges, military, police officers and fire fighters – schools train their next employees; but, when it comes to paying for all of this, well, they don’t want to.

They put out ads saying that it’s wealth distribution, but it’s not – it’s paying your fair share of what it costs, so you can run your business in the land of the free.

I say, we let them write off everything they pay their employees – no taxes on payroll, no taxes on healthcare costs — BUT, if that employee is outside the United States, we tax the hell out of whatever product they made when it gets shipped here.  (They would still have to pay their side of Social Security and Medicare.)

If we allowed companies to deduct the cost of employees, you can bet employees would go back to being well paid and important to companies – consider assets and not just cost centers.  Every tax break the upper 1% has received has not driven them to higher more employees – it’s just given them more to horde.

And, that’s why Jesus said, in a much more elegant way than I’m about to do so, that the rich ain’t getting into Heaven.  It’s all about how you treat others and the rich in this country, aren’t passing the camel test.

A Week Of Sanity

I have decided that it is time to start spreading the sanity in our political debates.  It is time we all become educated in the economy to learn why we shouldn’t fall for more of tax breaks for the “job creators”.

I’m starting with Robert Reich.  Mr. Reich has served three presidents: Ford, Carter and Clinton.  The man knows his stuff.  Click on the video link on the right or click here to see him debunk 6 economic myths.

The Republican Plan

Rush Limbaugh – that moronic flab of hot air – says that the Republicans can’t compromise. Well, that’s just great. The Republicans should play to their fringe and not to common sense. Around half of our deficit problem is because of the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. A quarter is because of two wars that we cannot afford. The government, despite my own comparison, cannot run like our household budgets. The government’s job to to provide for the general welfare of its people (see US Constitution) and if people aren’t going to eat because there aren’t any jobs, let the government spend the money.

Yes, we need to cut spending, but we need to raise taxes on the upper echelon of this country. If tax cuts create jobs, like the right wing keeps claiming, then where are they? The US Corporations are paying less in taxes now then since the 50’s (which, by the way, have a great economy). So, where are the jobs?

Limbaugh claims that the GOP won’t have a backbone if they compromise, well, Limbaugh wouldn’t know a backbone if it hit him in the face. None of these guys would. Having a backbone, manning up, this takes courage and it is easy for them not to compromise if that’s what the tea party wants. They’re bending to someone else’s will.

What shows a backbone is standing up for that which is right against those who disagree. If the Republicans said, look Obama has compromised on spending, so we’re going to give a little revenue – that would show some courage. Right now, they’re just thinking about their jobs and not the country.

Debt Ceiling

I could go over Obama’s talk from last night and cover the whiner, Boehner’s dismal response, but I won’t.  I was going to post my own economic research, but I found an article on The Coffee Party website.  I think it is a pretty level headed response to what is going on in this country.

So, please go over there and read it.

The graph regarding the comparison between individual and corporate taxes is enough to make you sick.  It is, also, one of the reasons that the middle class’s wages have been stagnate.  I’m going to blame the lack of hiring in this jobless recovery on it as well.  If there is no incentive to hire someone, corporations aren’t going to do it.

We’ve been here before

It is amazing to me how history continues to repeat.  We – the collective we – fail to learn from the past.  Here we are, on the brink of defaulting on our loans, and the Republicans on standing on ideology instead of doing what is right for the country.  We may not be able to spend our way out of debt and we cannot tax cut our way out of debt.  However; the Republicans are too scared of making Obama look good and going against the Tea Partiers to do what is the right thing to do.

When we default next week, because the Republicans cannot and would not accept a very reasonable offer, don’t come crying to me.

Ironically, these “Republicans” claim to revere Ronald Reagan, yet Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times.  Despite the spin the right-wing talking heads want to put on it, he still – while saying he didn’t want to do so – raised taxes.

Bachmann and the Debt Ceiling…

Michele Bachmann wants you to believe that she’s fiscally responsible.  She wants you to believe that she and the Republican Party had nothing to do with the economy.  She wants you to believe that the stimulus package was a waste of money and didn’t save jobs.  She wants you to believe that raising the debt ceiling right now would be bad and she’s never voted for a raise.

She’s lying on all points.

Back in April, she voted for Ryan’s budget – the one that changes Medicare and lowers the rich tax rate to 25% (10% down from the 35% they pay now).  The Budget wasn’t balanced – the tax cuts would add more to the deficit than they would “save”.  (You can’t cut income and revenue and pay off debt, it just doesn’t happen.)  If Ryan’s budget had passed the Senate, it would’ve necessitated the raising of the debt ceiling.

That’s not fiscally responsible.

Here’s something else (I’m going through her voting record):

Bachmann voted against the Pay As You Go resolution.  The one that states: ”Vote to pass Title IV of the resolution that amends Rule XXI to require that any tax cuts must be offset by either a different tax increase or spending cut, and to require certain listings of congressional earmarks and limited tax and tariff benefits.

See, apparently, she doesn’t understand how fiscal responsibility works.  You can’t cut revenue without cutting spending.

I’m going to stop here.  I’m going to go through her votes.  I know this woman shouldn’t be President, but I think the rest of the country needs to know it.

Debt Ceiling Questions and Answers

What happens if it is not raised?

  • Our National Credit Rating is downgraded.
    • Costs Nation more to borrow money.
      • Sends tax revenue to pay interest, not government programs.  Bad for the economy, bad for taxpayers.
    • Harm world economy if US does not keep Triple – A rating.
  • Payments not made because the Country is out of money.
    • Social Security recipients, Military personnel and federal workers won’t be paid.
  • The Stock Market – US investments – could sink

When did the Debt Ceiling begin?

  •  “The statutory limit on federal debt began with the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917.”1 This allowed the financing of WWI. Later, the debt ceiling was raised for the financing of WWII.

How many times has the debt ceiling been raised?

  • I couldn’t find how many times it has been raised since enacted, but I did find that it was raised 38 times in the last 30 years.

I found the most interesting paper at the Treasury.gov while I was researching this article.  I think it explains the debt ceiling and the truth much better than I could.  

Cantor’s Running

Eric Cantor has walked away from the Debt Ceiling talks. He doesn’t want to be in a position to actually admit that raising taxes must become a reality if we’re serious about paying off the National Debt.

Unfortunately for Cantor and the other Republicans, their grass roots base and their big business base are totally against tax raises. However; we can pay money we don’t have. Rehauling medicare and cutting social security and education outlays are NOT going to make us debt free.

Welcome to the real world.

Just like I can’t cut my hours and still pay my car loan, the goverment cannot cut taxes and pay off the debt. Our federal taxes are the lowest they’ve been in fifty years. Our regulations on businesses are the smallest they’ve been in forty years and, still our national debt grows and our jobless jumped 9,000 higher last month.

Cutting taxes – which is the big plan of the Republicans – isn’t going to build a strong economy so far.

Cantor needs to come back to the table and face the music.

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