Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: GOP (page 2 of 3)

U.S. Constitution and the Individual Mandate…

Oh, come on, the Republicans are getting a bit ridiculous!

I’m reading this story on Huffington Post about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Individual Mandate in the Health care law.  The article supports the notion that there are a lot of things the government mandates that everyone must do.  The example used is Medicare.  If you work, you pay into Medicare – you have no choice.

But, here’s what really got to me:  Mark Hayes – “former chief health counsel for the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee” states:

“Congress used more clearly defined constitutional powers when it created Medicare. “The power to tax and the power to spend…” “‘Here, with the individual mandate, it’s a different question – regulating interstate commerce. This is a novel question from a legal standpoint.'”

How is that novel?  Article I Section 8 Clause 3 states:

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

Novel question? Um, I don’t think so. The word Novel, when used as an adjective and not as a noun means:

  1. new and not resembling something formerly known or used
  2. original or striking especially in conception or style

Um, if the Commerce Clause has existed in the Constitution since the beginning, how is Congress being able to use it now a “Novel” question?

I’m just wondering.

Republican Jobs Plan

Is it me?  Because I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how the Republicans can keep coming back to the same old / same old and think that it will work.  Yes, Ronald Reagan cut taxes in 1981, but he raised government spending (and I’m really simplifying because monetary policy had a lot to do with the recovery).  The idea that the country can get our citizens back to work via lower tax rates and the reduction of government regulations is a one that is not based on any facts.

Here’s what drives companies to hire people – it’s simple, but true:  DEMAND.  That’s it, demand for a company’s good has to be high enough for the company to hire more people.  PERIOD.  If we’re not out purchasing Ding Dongs, the Ding Dong factory up the road is not going to hire more people.  It doesn’t matter how low a company’s taxes go, they’re NOT going to hire anyone they don’t actually need.

I don’t understand why it is that the Republicans in the Senate (led by John McCain) and the majority of the Republican Candidates for President do not understand the basics of economics.  And, actually, I do understand why Michele Bachmann doesn’t – the woman doesn’t know that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a founding father and that Elvis is dead.  I understand why Rick Perry doesn’t get it – he’s a politician. But, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are businessmen – Romney hasn’t been one for quite a while, but Cain did an impressive job turning around the Godfather’s Pizza business.

How can either one of them say, in all honesty, that they would hire someone they don’t need in a company just because taxes are low?

Why would anyone?

The truth is that consumers are tapped out.  I’m tapped out, you’re tapped out.  We’ve pretty much purchased everything we wanted in the last, say, twenty years.  I have a house.  I purchased two cars – one new, one used – within the past two years.  Other than buying some Christmas presents and a new cell phone, quite honestly, I’m done.  Finished.  There’s no more spending coming from my house.  It is time – and this is probably anti-Patriotic of me – to do some saving.

There’s a lot of people out there who are just like me.

So, how does the economy improve?

By the government spending, spending and spending some more.  I don’t like the concept, I don’t like the idea, but that’s what has to happen.  We can’t lay off 15,000 government workers in one state and expect that state’s economy to make any improvements.

We have been neglecting our infrastructure in this country for years.  Now is the time to fix the bridges, the roadways, the levees, our schools and whatever else needs fixing.  Now is the time for the government to spend.

There’s a balance that has to be met.  We can’t have too much government money pumped into the economy or it will push out private investment.  We need to find that balance.

But, we are not going to improve the economy by cutting more taxes and reducing even more regulations.  The Republicans need to start singing a new tune, because the economy can’t march to the one they’ve been singing.

Warren Buffet’s Tax Rate…

Warren Buffet released his 2010 taxes for Congress’s review.  He wanted to prove his point that the rich do not pay their fair share in taxes and that they can afford to pay more.  After comparing his tax return to my tax return, I so agree with him.  I earned .10% of what Mr. Buffet earned last year.  That means, for those of you who are math challenged, he earned 1,000 times as much as I did.

Now, if all is fair, then he should’ve paid 1,000 times more than I did in taxes.

Except, he didn’t.  Everything being equal, he should’ve paid $8 million in taxes.  He didn’t, he paid just under $7 million.  I can hear the argument now, that’s more than you paid.  If you don’t like it, why don’t you go get rich.  (Usually, these arguments come from people who make half as much as I do.)

How can a man who make 1,000 times more than me pay a tax rate that is only 2% higher than mine?  How is that fair?

Well, I have to go to work, where 1/3 of my paycheck goes to taxes and insurance before I even come home.

GOP Debate Audience Boos a Gay Soldier

There’s truly something wrong with an American – any American – that boos someone in the military.  Personally, I support their right to free speech, but do it in front of me and I’ll knock your block off.

At last night’s Republican debate, the audience did just that – they booed an American solider.  And, why did they do this?  Because he’s gay, like that gives them the right to be despicable human beings.

But, here’s the kicker – not one of the GOP Candidates for President stopped yakking their crap long enough to quiet the audience down.  Not one of them had the guts to say, “Hey, that’s a soldier, we don’t boo soldiers.”

PUSSIES – Every last stinking one of them.  Oh, they’ll stand up and thump their Bibles and wear their lapel flags, but they won’t really stand up for what’s right.  Michele Bachmann – that set of boobs with an empty head on top – will tell you no one should pay taxes, but she won’t stand up for someone who has served this country honorably.  Rick Santorum – there’s the boil on the butt of humanity – thinks that sexual orientation has to do with sex activity.  This brainac (and I mean that sarcastically) said:

I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, and removing don’t ask don’t tell.

Special privilege? What an ass! Hey moron, it isn’t a special privilege to be able to be yourself without fear of losing your job.  I am completely out at work – probably one of the most out gays around – and it isn’t a special privilege.  It is my RIGHT as a God fearing, tax paying, American citizen to be able to go into work, do a good job and have no one complain because there is a picture of my beautiful wife on my desk.

The only thing this debate really proved is that there is a huge divide in this country: those who believe in the flag, the Constitution and Freedom and the other half are Republicans.

The GOP Way: Cutting Taxes on the Rich, Raising Taxes on the Middle Class

According to Huffington Post, the Republican Party is all for raising taxes on you and me.  Actually, I didn’t need to read the article to know that, they’ve been saying it all along.  Paul Ryan – who is unfortunately, my representative in Congress – called the other night with one of them recorded messages.  He stated, “I work for you.”  Really?  Because your roadmap for America plan makes it seem like you’re only working for the rich.

Pay attention, here’s where I’m going to do math.

Current Ryan’s Plan
Salary $1,250.00 $1,250.00
Medical $63.36 $63.36
Taxable Income $1,186.64 $1,250.00
Federal Income Tax $212.04 $312.50
% 17.87% 25.00%

Under Paul Ryan’s plan, health insurance would no longer be pre-taxed. Under his plan, any single making more that $50,000 per year would pay 25% in Federal Income tax. The tax rate for corporate America? 8%.

So, basically, Ryan and his Republican cronies will be financing this country on the backs of the single people.  A family of four can earn $39,000 without paying one penny in taxes, while us single people will only be able to earn $16,000 without paying taxes.  That means that I will end up paying more in taxes – a lot more.  Under Ryan’s plan, I will pay $12,250.00 in taxes.  Under our current tax structure (and using the standard deduction and personal excemption), I only pay $9,917.85.  That’s a difference of $2,332.15.

Anyone who is single, shouldn’t vote Republican.  It’ll cost you in the long run.

You have been fooled…

If you’re even thinking for a second about voting for a Republican, then you are a fool.  You’ve been hoodwinked and you don’t even know it.  You don’t know enough about the history of this country to make a proper decision.  You don’t understand enough about economics, moral hazards and deregulation to make the right decision.

It’s not your fault.

For the last thirty + years in this country, we have been told over and over again that what is good for business is good for America.  You know, I feel sorry for Ronald Reagan.  By all accounts, he was a nice man.  Tip O’Neil and him would have beers in the White House after a hard day debating.  He was easy going, soft-spoken and he believed what he said.

But, he was wrong.

Let me explain business to you.  Business isn’t a game, Businesses are not people and they don’t give a damn about you, the environment or your children.  The men and women who run businesses could give a rat’s ass about you.  Sure, there are some few and far between exceptions, but they’re, well, few and far between.

People go into business for one reason: to make money.

That’s it – nothing more.

I love my job, but quite frankly, I am there for a paycheck and health benefits.  If I could support my family by not working, I would.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love what I do and I’m good at it – so I’m lucky, I work a job I actually love, but love doesn’t make the world go around – money does.

Continuing on, what caused the economic crisis cannot be summed up in just one sentence.  There are many factors – predatory lenders, housing bubble, too much credit to the wrong people, deregulation and the list goes on.  But, the jobless recovery?  That’s easy: Companies are making huge profits because they aren’t hiring you.  And, the companies that are hiring, are paying the lowest wages possible.

Because?

Well, it’s easy…Businesses want profits, the higher the profits; the better the business.  The stock market rewards the businesses with the highest profits, by keeping their stock prices high.

Somebody’s getting rich – it’s just not you.

The GOP wants to dismantle the rest of the regulations that keep us safe at work, that help the environment and keep our food safe.  The GOP wants to dismantle the safety nets for the people who do the real work – you and me.  They want to lower taxes on businesses, because they say that will cause businesses to start hiring.

It’s not true.

The GOP wants to continue their destruction of America.

Don’t let them.

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.

Quick Thoughts

Here’s some quick thoughts:

  1. The border between Israel and Pakistan should go back to the 1967 measurement.
  2. We should cut the $3 billion in aid to Pakistan TODAY.  Enough is enough.  They aren’t our friends and we should not be supporting their army.  $3 billion could do a lot of good in our OWN country.
  3. Speaking of domestic spending, our infrastructure is in need of a trillion dollars in repair.  If we concentrate on home projects, maybe we can get the economy back on track.
  4. Obama didn’t cause the economic crisis.  The stimulus has been helping the economy, but companies are making record high profits and not hiring people.  That’s (part) of the reason the recovery is so slow.
  5. Social Security can be saved and it isn’t broke.  Republicans want you to think the system is broke.  Fact is the surplus is in Treasury Bonds which are all coming due.  If people paid in on the whole salary, it would go a long way to pushing up Social Security’s solvency.  There’s more to it, but don’t be fooled by the doomsayers.
  6. We need to stop covering non-news in this country, but it won’t happen because crap sells.  I don’t care if the man sent an indecent picture of himself, as long as it wasn’t to a child.  I don’t care if the woman doesn’t really understand the ride of Paul Revere.  Neither of these things will bring jobs to our country. Covering this crap is just taking away from the real issues.
  7. And, finally, attacking gays and lesbians is NOT going to improve the economy.  It won’t fix Social Security.  GOP stop bringing it up.  We pay taxes, we serve in the military and we love our country.  We SHOULD NOT be treated unequally.  And, YOU should be more worried about what needs to be fixed that with whom I am sleeping.

Reducing Debt

The GOP plan – written by my Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan – will NOT reduce our deficit until 2040. That’s 29 years from now. I understand that it took more than 29 years for us to get into this debt ridden mess, but I think we can do better than taking 29 years to get out of it. If the Republicans are truly concerned about the National Debt and the deficit, let’s see them remove the tax cuts for the rich.

The businesses bailed out by TARP are run by… Anyone? No? Okay, the wealthy, the rich. The people who led our companies into this mess. And, what will we do as a nation? Cut their taxes by 10%. And, while we do so, we will raise taxes on the middle class – all in the name of “fairness” and deficit reduction.

Well, it’s crap.

I oppose any budget plan that includes a tax cut – especially those for corporations and the wealthy. Tax cuts are just the government reducing the amount of money it takes in. If we want programs to be funded, such as education or medicare, then we have to pay taxes to keep them funded. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t cut spending, we need to cut spending. I’m saying that we shouldn’t reduce taxes for the well-off at the price of the less well off.

I’m not liking the idea that – if you’re single and making $50,000 per year – you should pay 25% of your salary in federal income taxes, just like a single person who is making $100,000. Do you really think someone making $50,000 per year should be paying the same percentage as someone making double that?

I’m, also, not liking the idea of removing deductions. Hey, I realize that my mortgage deduction really equates the government subsidizing my home, but the government, also, subsidizes your kids, so we’re even. That mortgage deduction is the difference between me eating out a few times a month and eating at home. When I eat out, I keep my local restaurants in business. (Yes, when I eat at home, I keep grocery stores in business, but I’ll always have to buy food at a grocery store.)

According to the plan, the standard deduction will be $12,500 for singles and $25,000 for those people whose relationships are determined to be okay for tax deductions by the government: in other words, straight, married couples. That should keep a lot of people out of the 25% tax range – not for me and not for a lot of my friends. I had more than that amount in deductions, plus there will be no more pre-tax health care deductions, which will hurt the middle class even more.

This plan is NOT good for middle class America. If Paul Ryan and the GOP are truly serious about debt reduction, this isn’t the way to do it.

Good News and Bad News

The way the media made last November’s election sound, you would think that our newly elected officials were actually going to do the right thing. Instead, the people who were elected promising to bring jobs to Wisconsin passed the bill lowering the standard for the minimum auto insurance – a passing that will not actually lower anyone’s premiums. There was nothing in there that said the insurance companies would actually have to lower rates.
I’m mad because I have carried extra insurance for years. The raising of the minimums meant good news for me. If I am injured in an auto accident, I’ll be covered by my own and by the offenders insurance. The minimums that were in place were such that in the case of a serious accident, I shouldn’t lose my house if I can’t work. Well, no more.
Thanks a lot, elected officials. Thanks for nothing.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is in Washington a bipartisan effort rejected an extension of the poorly named Patroit Act.
Both the White House and the GOP leadership are upset by this, but I don’t care. It needed to be done.
Now, let’s move on to creating some jobs!

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