Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Significant Legislation

Significant legislation, that Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have passed into law.

Congressional scholar, Norm Ornstein says that this Congress has had a greater level of productivity than any Congress in the last 40 years. According to Ornstein, Obama has had greater legislative success in terms of significant legislation than Lyndon Johnson or Ronald Reagan.

In February 2009, Democrats passed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, without a single Republican vote in the House and only 3 Republican votes in the Senate. By doing so, they prevented the worst financial crisis from getting worse and turned the economy from contraction to expansion.

Obama signed into law the Health Care Act, that protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies. Coverage won’t be revoked, premiums won’t be arbitrarily raised and insurance companies won’t be allowed to use a pre-existing condition to deny coverage.

It strengthens Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and keeping it solvent for decades to come. And, most importantly, it protects guaranteed benefits, eligibility and the right to keep your doctor for all seniors.

Importantly, according to the Congressional Budget Office health care reform should cut the deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years, and as much as $1.2 trillion, the following 10 years. The healthcare reform bill should bring $1.3 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades. A report from Congressional Budget Office indicates that the Health Care Act is the most significant effort to reduce our deficits since the Balanced Budget Act in the 1990s.

Obama signed into law, the Consumer Protection Act, which cracks down on corporate fraud and holds big banks accountable for reckless, risky behavior. The financial crisis has taught us that the look-the-other way, hands-off deregulatory policies of the recent past can jeopardize not only private investments, but our entire economy.

This legislation will reform Wall Street by creating a consumer financial protection bureau to regulate the trading of derivatives, one of the root causes of the current meltdown, while allowing small businesses to continue using them to mitigate risk. It will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street institutions by establishing a new authority to wind down failing mega-firms outside of bankruptcy, so shareholders and creditors pick up the cost, not taxpayers.

Furthermore, Obama upheld the principle of equal pay for equal work, by signing into law the Fair Pay Act, also known as the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Obama signed an expanded the Pell Grant program; and made the largest investment in clean energy in history, and the largest investment in education in decades.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disappearing Middle-class

According to Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont if the Republicans gain control of Congress: “they are talking about $700 billion in tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires at a time when the top 1 % already earns 23 % of all of the income accumulated in America.” 

Today, the middle class in this country is disappearing.  Under Bush, the median family income declined by $2,200 over an eight-year period. Millions of people have lost their health care and slipped out of the middle class and into poverty. 

The Bush administration was a disaster. When Obama came in, he inherited a financial system teetering on collapse, 700,000 jobs a month being lost. We had witnessed 8 years of the same old economic theory that gave to billionaires and big corporations with the farcical hope that prosperity would trickle down to everyone else. We had 8 years of no one in Washington watching Wall Street because politicians and lobbyists repeatedly killed common-sense regulations.

Small businesses have historically been the engine of job creation in this country. Therefore, Obama proposed taking $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. Many small companies have weathered the recession and are ready to grow, but the banks on Wall Street are mostly lending to larger companies.

Additionally, Obama proposed a new small-business tax credit, for small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. He wants to eliminate all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and provide a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.

Recently, Congress and the President approved the Small Business Jobs Bill (H.R. 5297) to cut taxes, provide more Small Business Administration funding and ease credit for small businesses. The legislation would create a $30 billion lending program and provide small businesses with $12 billion in tax breaks, including more generous write-offs for equipment purchases.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Financial Protection

Wall Street reforms have brought new transparency to many financial markets. Part of what led to the current crisis were firms like AIG and others who were making risky bets, using derivatives and other complicated financial instruments, in ways that defied accountability. Many practices were so confusing and complex that the people inside those firms didn't understand them, much less those who were charged with overseeing them.

The Obama administration believes, that there is a legitimate role for those financial instruments in our economy, because they can spur investment. A lot of companies have use those instruments to legitimate ends. For example, a business might hedge against rising oil prices by buying a financial product to secure stable fuel costs, so an airlines might have an interest in locking in a decent price. The problem was, that some markets operated in the shadows of our economy, invisible to regulators, and invisible to the public. Reckless practices became rampant and the risks accrued until they threatened our entire financial system.

Wall Street reforms are designed to respect legitimate activities but prevent reckless risk taking. The Obama administration wants to ensure that the loosely-monitored gambling in our financial system, that put taxpayers and our economy in jeopardy are a thing of the past. The only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that have been put in place are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny.



The financial crisis wasn't just the result of decisions made in the executive suites on Wall Street; it also resulted from decisions made at kitchen tables across America, by those who took on unwise mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. Although, many Americans took on financial obligations that they knew or should have known they could not have afforded, millions of others were actually duped. They were misled by deceptive terms and conditions, buried deep in the fine print.



That’s why America needs an aggressive Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up by Obama’s special advisor Elizabeth Warren.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Six Months Ago

September 23rd. was the day that much of health reform went into effect. As of that date; insurance companies can no longer stop covering Americans because of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies are prohibited from dropping your when you get sick. If you have children, they can stay on your insurance until the age of 26. Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on your benefits. 

September 23rd. was also the date House Republicans picked to unveil “The Pledge to America,”their legislative agenda for the midterm election. A large part of the electorate does not want health care repealed and it has put the Republicans in a difficult situation, because their conservative base is unwilling to tolerate any difference of opinion.

Republicans tried to make health reform into a terrible socialist program, that should be feared and repealed and defunded.  However, in their pledge to America, House Republicans have proposed purchasing health insurance across state lines, which is already in the health reform law.  The GOP pledges to ensure access for patients with pre-existing conditions, but that too is already in the health reform law. Their pledge to America includes eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps. Another great idea, that is already the law. 

House Republicans favor keeping at least seven of the most popular provisions of the Democrats’ health care reform package, such as lowering costs for families and small businesses, increase access to affordable, high-quality care and strengthen the doctor patient relationship. But, they haven’t indicated, how they’ll pay for those provisions.

Average Americans are beginning to realize that the Health Care Act isn’t so bad and pragmatic Republicans know very well that repealing health care is a loser for them, but they won’t say it in public.  They’re trying to change it around from repeal to redo, because their base hates it. The Tea Party folks, who are a very small, but vocal part of the electorate want to tell the Republican Party, especially American women what to do and basically become the ayatollahs of America values.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small Businesses

Some Republican leaders figured it was smart politics to sit on the sidelines and let Democrats solve the economic mess Obama was handed. Others believe that government shouldn’t meddle in the markets, even when the markets are broken.

Our country was losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month when Obama took office. He and congressional Democrats recognized that their most urgent task was to stop a financial meltdown and prevent the recession from becoming a second depression.   

America had lost 4 million jobs in the six months before Obama became President.  It was a hole so deep that even though we’ve been adding jobs, millions of Americans remain unemployed.  Hundreds of thousands of families have lost their homes.  Millions more can barely pay the bills or make the mortgage.  The middle class is still treading water, and those aspiring to reach the middle class are doing everything they can to keep from drowning in debt. 

The economy is growing again and the financial markets have stabilized.  The private sector has created new jobs for the last eight months in a row and there are roughly 3 million Americans who are working today because of the economic recovery plan Democrats put into place. Sadly, progress has been painfully slow, because millions of jobs were lost before the Recovery and Reinvestment Act had a chance to take effect.

Many small business owners are struggling to make payroll and have been holding off hiring. The Obama administration put together a plan that would give small businesses tax relief and make it easier for them to take out loans and the bill that was written by both Democrats and Republicans won’t add a dime to the deficit.

On September 23rd. the small business jobs bill passed and will be signed into law tomorrow. It will help provide loans and cut taxes for millions of small business owners without borrowing money from foreign countries.  After months of partisan obstruction and needless delay, Democrats and a few Republicans came together to support an effective and efficient plan to put Americans back to work.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Redistribution of Wealth

Republicans ignore the reality that redistribution of wealth works both ways.

Billionaire Warren Buffett warned: "The rich people are doing so well in this county, I mean we never had it so good... It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be... Right now corporate profits as a percentage of GDP in this country are right at the high. Corporate taxes as a percentage of total taxes raised are very close to the historical low."

Tea Party Republicans have a problem with taxation. They hate taxes, however last year, Americans paid the lowest level of taxes since 1950. Roughly, 50% of the borrowing that will be needed over the next decade stems from Bush’s refusal to pay for the 2001 tax cut, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the prescription-drug benefit program for Medicare recipients.

The Congressional Budget Office concluded, that if federal health-care costs were not contained, the budget deficit would continue to spin out of control. The best way to reduce federal health care costs was to pass health care reform.

Republican critics of health care reform did a good job of frightening Americans by talking about bankrupting the Treasury. The truth of the matter is that the reform legislation has been designed to generate enough revenue and savings to more than offset the substantial cost of expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to the middle class. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Health Care Reform Act will reduce deficits over the first 10 years by $138 billion and as much as $1.2 trillion, the following 10 years. A report by the CBO indicates that the healthcare reform is the most significant effort to reduce our deficits since the Balanced Budget Act in the 1990s.

The Republican Party, who is so concerned about establishing a cradle-to-grave dependency is responsible for the dependency of the 8 million Americans made job less during the Bush presidency.

Friday, September 24, 2010

60 Plus

Conservative political groups are attacking Congressman Scott Murphy for his support of health care reform. Shady special interest groups are spending over $1.1 million on attack ads against him. One group launching those false attacks calls itself "60 Plus". They refuse to disclose who their donors are and have spent the last decade fighting to privatize social security.

FactCheck.org reports, that the ads are riddled with falsehoods. While the ads claim that health reform cuts $500 million from Medicare, that's just not true. The new health care law does limit future growth in Medicare spending but none of these savings come from cutting benefits, now or in the future. Some versions of the ad flat out lie and say that seniors may lose access to their doctors, which is untrue.

According to the Congressional Budget Office cuts in Medicare might come from a permanent reduction in the annual payment adjustments for some Medicare services, but that doesn’t mean health care providers will stop being paid for taking care of the elderly; rather, they won’t see pay increases in the future.

A MedPAC analysis report stated, that the Medicare Advantage plan costs taxpayers on average 14 % more than the traditional Medicare plan. The House proposed to change the benchmarks that set the payments, making them equal to what the government pays for traditional Medicare services. According to the Congressional Budget Office, those changes would translate to a savings of $156 billion over 10 years.

Obama argued: “We do think that systems like Medicare are very inefficient right now, but it has nothing to do at the moment with issues of benefits. The inefficiencies all come from things like paying $177 billion to insurance companies in subsidies for something called Medicare Advantage that is not competitively bid, so insurance companies basically get $177 billion of taxpayer money to provide services that Medicare already provides. It doesn’t result in better health care for seniors. It is a giveaway of $177 billion.”



In fact, the health care reform, that Murphy voted for strengthening Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and keeps it solvent for decades to come, but most importantly, it protects guaranteed benefits, eligibility and the right to keep your doctor for all seniors.

Seniors who fall in the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage have already started to receive $250 checks to help cover the cost of prescriptions. Next year, prescription drug prices will be cut in half when seniors hit the doughnut hole, and within ten years, the new law will have closed the gap completely

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Economy and Tax Cuts

Obama has made it clear, that economic struggles are far from over for many middle class families, who are still feeling the squeeze of our current recession. He and congressional Democrats are working to boost this recovery in the short term, but they’ve also been focused on creating a new economic foundation for the America, by reforming student loans, putting families in charge of their own health care, and creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to making sure families get a fair shake.

Our county is moving in the right direction, but our long-term goal is to make sure that every middle class family can pay its bills, have the security of health insurance, retire with dignity and send their kids to college. Obama’s goal for those that aren’t yet in the middle class is to provide a ladder to reach the middle class, if they work hard, get an education and diligently apply themselves.

Obama believes, that what sets America apart and has made us successful over the long term, is that we have the most dynamic free market economy in the world. It must be preserved, because everybody benefits from entrepreneurs and innovators, who are creating jobs, by creating businesses. Government can't create the majority of jobs. In fact, government should get out of the way of innovators, who’ve got great ideas, plan to expand and put people back to work.

Regarding the topic of extending middle class tax cuts, Obama insists, that if we do the math, we can’t give tax cuts to the top 2 % of Americans and lower the deficit at the same time, because 86 % of that money would go to people making a million dollars or more.

Congressional Democrats want to provide tax relief for 95 - 97 percent of Americans. Actually, everybody would get tax relief, but just up to $250,000 a year more. At some point in the future, Obama wants to have discussions about further lowering tax rates, but at a time when our country can actually afford it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Elizabeth Warren

President Obama has appointed Elizabeth Warren as a special adviser to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau was her brain child, which she laid it out in 2007, arguing: “It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house.  But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner. Similarly, it’s impossible to change the price on a toaster once it has been purchased.  But long after the papers have been signed, it is possible to triple the price of the credit used to finance the purchase of that appliance, even if the customer meets all the credit terms in full and on time.”

Regular working folks will have a powerful ally in our government against those corporations that rip off regular working people. Elizabeth Warren stated: “I want a two-page credit card agreement in big print and plain words. I want something that will tell me what this is going to cost, and I don’t want to have to wonder if somewhere in the fine print, the interest rates can triple, or if the $29 fee here and the $49 fee there mean that my free card in fact costs me about $300 a year on average. I want a two-page mortgage, plain words.  I want a car loan that doesn’t have a hidden kickback to the dealer like the average kickback now on a used car loan that runs between $1,000 and $3,800. I expect to pay for what I get.  But I don’t expect to be tricked and trapped into paying what I didn’t bargain for, because that’s how contracts work and that’s how markets work.”

Mrs. Warren is one of the most prominent, successful female lawyers in America. Coming from working-class roots, and she graduated from high school as a debate star at 16. She has repeatedly been named one of the 50 most influential female lawyers by the National Law Journal and was twice nominated as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where Were They?

Recently, the follow letter submitted by Richard Stinson was published in the Oneonta Daily Star.

“Who are these people who want their country back? Where were they when the Bush administration took away their freedom with the "Patriot Act," allowing monitoring and taping their phone calls?



“When they lied us into an illegal war that can't be won at the great cost of American lives and untold billions of dollars?

“When they deregulated everything that protected our jobs, health and safety?



“When they decided that big corporations were more important than American citizens?

“When they gave incentives to corporations that sent our manufacturing jobs to foreign countries?



“When they took the surplus funds left by the Clinton administration and turned it into a $3 trillion debt?



“When the only things they cut back on were the services that help the sick, aged, poor, unemployed and disadvantaged while pushing tax breaks for the wealthy 2 percent of the country?



“Where were these "patriots" during Bush's eight-year disaster? They cry out for smaller government with less intrusion into their lives. They would do away with "entitlements" (their name for any program that actually helps people). Your Social Security is NOT an entitlement ... it's your money and your employer's money, not the taxpayers.



“Ask anyone older than 65 how efficient and necessary Medicare is. They don't want funding for the arts or education.



“Wacko Beck wants to abolish public schools and Tanning Bed Boehner wants a moratorium on all regulations. Although they call for small government, how many would give up Medicare, Social Security checks, a standing army, etc.? Some would take it a step further. Abolish state and local police, firefighters, highway departments, etc. But, they want the government to protect their borders. Sounds like imperfect anarchy to me.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Drunken Sailors

This morning the Oneonta Daily Star published the following letter submitted by Mark Lavine.

“On Sept. 8, W.A. James wrote that President Obama should stop blaming George Bush for our economic problems and take responsibility for them. It was during the Bush administration that a federal budget surplus was turned into a deficit by starting two wars while lowering taxes for our wealthiest taxpayers. The TARP bailout, which was initiated during the Bush era, though distasteful to everyone, was necessary to stabilize the banks and the markets. Combined with the stimulus legislation, a depression was averted and recovery began. Most of the TARP funding has been paid back with interest, earning the taxpayers a profit.



“Republicans have likened those programs to the spending of a drunken sailor and would have done nothing, except lower taxes for the wealthy even more.



“They have opposed regulating the markets to prevent another such disaster and now oppose all legislation that would create jobs and speed up our recovery.



“Similarly, they labeled the bailout of the auto industry as socialism. 

“Would they rather see them fail with the loss of thousands of jobs, not only within the auto companies, but also by their suppliers and dealers?



“Again, General Motors has paid back their loans with interest; the government will soon begin to sell their shares and again there will be a profit for the taxpayers.



“As usual, the right has managed to get working people to support those whose policies do them the most harm by instilling fear of socialism and questioning the citizenship and religion of the president.



“They say that ending the Bush tax cuts will hurt small businesses when, in fact, only 3 percent of small businesses earn a profit of more than $250,000 and file as individuals.



“As usual, our Republican friends never let the facts spoil a good argument.”


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Natural Limits

Another sarcastic comment made by Pinkey’s column stated:

“In 2002, we were at Sequoia National Park, looking in amazement at the giant redwoods. Noticing that they were fenced off, we asked a ranger why. She stated that the root system is very fragile and the compaction from the tourists could damage the trees. I said, ‘Miss, you have got to be kidding! These trees are over 1,000 years old. They have withstood elk, torrential rains, forest fires, untold tons of snow, and now you’re telling me that the compaction from these 14-year-old Girl Scouts is going to kill them!”

**********************************************************************************

Farmer concluded by making the following observation:

“The conservative point of view fails to acknowledge these natural limits. Cap and trade is a necessary micro-step, to help our society transition to a sustainable future. Organic farming is another small step in that direction. A looming crisis over the next 40 years is a severe phosphorous shortage, as our commercial agriculture relies almost entirely on mined phosphate fertilizers for production.

“All I can say is it is a brave new world, and changes are inevitable as we as a society, adjust to a lower-growth world, as we try to stabilize populations, and figure how to somehow match our planet's limited resources to improving everyones quality of life.

“Everything that Mr. Pinkley criticizes in the environmental movement, is part of the that inevitable adjustment process. The adjustment is going to happen, whether nature limits our growth, or we do it intelligently as a species, but he must recognize that there are limits. The oceans have limits, our atmosphere has limits and our land has limits. This is not the 1700's, when the future was somewhere out 100 years ahead of us. It has arrived, and we have to deal with it.

“And as a farmer starting a new orchard, one of the quickest ways to kill a tree is to compact the soil around the microscopic root hairs. So the park rangers were correct, in not allowing the cumulative effect of thousands of visitors compact the soil around the Sequoia, as it would kill the tree. The occasional deer or elk would not harm it, but there are not thousands of them tramping under a tree everyday. If there were, it would have the same effect.

“Studied reason, not emotions, will determine what needs to be done to improve our quality of life.”

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Farmer’s Reaction

Chuck Pinkey is again pinch-hitting for Tom Sears, who usually writes the right-wing column for the Oneonta Star. Let’s begin by quoting an except from Pinkey’s column.

“The environmental movement has polluted our country and the minds of our youth. Never has there been such an agenda with so little science, so much emotion and so little common sense. This movement is protected by zealots. Speak against environmentalists and you are demonized... “This sacred cow is cloaked with great packaging. Swamps are called ‘wetlands’ and overpriced bland foods are labeled ‘organic.’ Certain cars that are too expensive, too small to hold Delaware County rednecks and have the acceleration of a dump truck are called ‘hybrids.’”

*********************************************************************************************************************************
An online reader, who identified himself as Farmer responded as follows:

“As a scientist (although not in environmental science) I have to charitably say that Chuck Pinkey's comments rely on gross over-generalizations. It is a pity, because both Conservatives and Liberals, and everyone else, all have to share the same limited resources of the planet. Remember the early 70's when the Cayuga River caught fire? We used to treat our rivers and air like open sewers. The EPA came into being (signed into law by Nixon) for good reason. My guess is if I opened a factory just upwind from Pinkey's business, and spewed unregulated sulfur dioxide or similar into the air, or dumped toxic chemicals up water that ruined his health and business, he would object.

“Oil drilling restrictions and man-made contributions to global warming are the current targets of conservatives. We (as a society, and as a planet) will be forced to transition from oil to alternate energy sources, sooner rather than later. Microscopic on a planetary scale, the residual oil deposits left behind from about 100 million years ago, are a one time treasure trove for mankind. The only difference between pre-historic mankind and us in the widespread use of coal and oil starting around 1800. Oil has really only been in use for about 150 years. Over the course of 10,000 years of history, this is a blink. We consume it as a drug, yet it is undeniably a finite resource. At best, a world headed from 6 billion to 9 billion people over the next 50 years, has less time than that before the end of oil approaches, or becomes unaffordable. You can argue about timing, but our complex, energy based society will face a time, probably within our children's lifetimes, when this will happen. The future is no longer something far out ahead - it has arrived with our children’s generation. The exponential curve of population growth has finally hit us. If you think the planet can sustain 9 billion consumers just fine, wait 10 more years, and see how 12 billion looks, etc.”

Tomorrow, I'll post the rest of Farmer’s remarks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Mosque

There are over 100 mosques in Manhattan. We must not start demanding property that is already occupied by a religious institution, be taken from them to force them out. It goes against everything we believe in this country in terms of religious freedom, because my religious freedom and your religious freedom should not subject to anybody’s idea of taste.

Obama said: “Let me be clear.  As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship in a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances.  This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

The next day, he added: “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding.”

His second statement was distorted in order to provide controversy, since the media needs controversy to keep readers and listeners attention.

It would be politically advantageous for Obama and other Democratic politicians to play upon irrational emotions and bigotry, but the issue is strictly about religious freedom. It’s about a community in lower Manhattan that took terrorist hit for the rest of America saying that their Muslim neighbors can proceed to build an Islamic Cultural Center.  That’s what the local community board said and that’s what Mayor Bloomberg has said.  Obama had to weigh in because it has become a national issue. 

We’re not talking Ground Zero, we’re talking two blocks from Ground Zero. It hasn’t been considered sacred ground.  There is a Catholic Church, a pizza parlor, hotels, apartment buildings and a strip club in the neighborhood.

The controversy is all about religious freedom. The goal of those opposing the mosque, that will be part of the Islamic Cultural Center is to paint Islam as an evil religion and equate all Muslims with the 19 terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. It’s un-American. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Amnesia

Congressional Republicans have refuse to give up on the economic philosophy they’ve peddled for the last decade. That philosophy is to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, cut rules for special interests, while cutting hard working Americans loose to fend for themselves. Republicans call it the ownership society, however, it boils down to: if you can't find a job, afford college, or get dropped by your insurance company; you're on your own.

That philosophy hasn't work out very well for working folks, because it has racked up record deficits and resulted in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Bush’s economic policies were responsible for the worst private sector jobs record of any administration in 75 years.

It would be helpful if congressional Republicans had new ideas to offer, but they won’t admit that they learned from their mistakes and are willing do things differently, but that's not what they're doing. The leader of the Republican national campaign committee Congressman Pete Sessions was asked on “Meet the Press” what Republicans would do if they took back Congress. He insisted: “We need to go back to the exact same agenda...”

Republicans and their Tea Party cohorts are betting that you'll come down with a case of amnesia and forget what their right wing agenda did to this country. Their policies helped devastate our middle class and drive our economy into a ditch. When times are tough, it can be easy to give in to cynicism and fear; doubt and division; set our sights lower and settle for something less.

Democrats must not quit, because under FDR, we eventually overcame the Great Depression; WWII and passed Social Security. We must again lead the rest of the world. Whenever, times seemed to be at their worst, Democrats have been at their best.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Different Agenda

Obama’s economic plan will make our economy run better over the long haul, which should attract bipartisan support. The plan helps us to shape our own destiny, move our country forward and leave our children with less debt. However, Republicans in Congress see things differently.

When it comes to just about everything the Obama administration has done to strengthen the middle class and rebuild our economy, almost every Republican has said no. Apparently, congressional Republicans think it's better to score political points before an election than actually solve our economic problems. They’ve said no to helping small businesses. No to middle-class tax cuts. No to unemployment insurance. No to clean energy jobs. No to making college affordable. No to reforming Wall Street. Senator Kennedy asked Republicans under similar circumstances: “what is it about working men and women that they find so offensive?”

Earlier this summer, Democrats passed a bill to help states save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters that were about to be laid off, Republicans said no. Rep. John Boenher, who is eager to take over as Speaker of the House dismissed them as government jobs that weren't worth saving. He considers the jobs of those, who teach our kids, keep our streets safe, and put their lives on the line for us, not worth saving.

Congressional Democrats made sure that the bill wouldn't add to the deficit. It was paid for by finally closing a ridiculous tax loophole that rewarded corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. Corporations had been allowed to write off the taxes they pay foreign governments even when they didn't pay taxes here. Middle class families footing tax breaks for corporations that created jobs somewhere else. Some of America’s biggest corporations agreed that the loophole should be closed, because it wasn't fair.

Nevertheless, Congressman Boenher, who plans to be Speaker is already aiming to open it up again. This is the reason that returning Scott Murphy to Congress is so important.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Investing in America

Democrats have given tax cuts to small business owners; tax cuts to clean energy companies and a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations to create jobs overseas, Democrats are cutting taxes for companies that put our people to work here at home.

The Obama administration has been investing in growth industries like clean energy and manufacturing, because solar panels wind turbines and electric cars will be "Made in America." There are no better workers than American workers, and when the naysayers said our government should just let the American auto industry vanish and take hundreds of thousands of jobs down with it, congressional Democrats voted to stand by them, but required, that they make the tough choices necessary to compete once again. America’s auto industry is on the way back.

Furthermore, congressional Democrats have made sound and long overdue investments to upgrade our outdated and inefficient national infrastructure. The Obama administration is not just talking new about new roads, bridges, dams and levees; but also a smart electric grid and the broadband internet and high-speed rail lines required to compete in the 21st century economy.

Those kinds of investments are for America’s future, but they’re creating hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs today.

It was because of these investments, and the tens of thousands of projects like them all over this country, that our recovering construction sector actually grew last month for the first time in a very long time. Nevertheless, nearly one in five construction workers are unemployed. It doesn't do anybody any good to have so many American construction workers idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America’s infrastructure that needs to be rebuild.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rebuilding America

The Obama administration had given tax cuts to small business owners, clean energy companies and 95 percent of working Americans. Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations to create jobs overseas, Democrats have been cutting taxes for companies that put our people to work here at home.

Democrats want America to grow our exports so the world buys products that say "Made in America." When the naysayers said we should just let the American auto industry vanish and take hundreds of thousands of jobs down with it, Obama insisted, that we stand by them. American auto companies made some very tough, but necessary choices and today, that industry is on the way back.

Today, the Obama administration is making long-overdue investments in upgrading our outdated and inefficient national infrastructure. They're not just talking new roads, bridges, dams and levees; but also a smart electric grid and the broadband internet and high-speed rail lines required to compete in the 21st century economy. They're talking investments in tomorrow that are creating hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs, that can’t be exported.

Tens of thousands of projects all over the country have helped our battered construction sector grow for the first time in a long time. Nevertheless, nearly one in five construction workers are unemployed. Many American construction workers have been idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America to rebuild.

Over the next six years, the Obama administration plans to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads; lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways; restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers.

The plan will not add to the deficit over time, because it sets up an Infrastructure Bank to leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investments. A national high-speed rail network will reduces congestion, travel times, and harmful emissions. The focus will be less on wasteful earmarks and more on competition and innovation that gives the best deal for the taxpayers dollars.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Distortion of the Truth

It’s incorrect to claim that the economy started going bad the last two years of Bush’s presidency.

In 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high. For the first time in our nation's history, the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans includes only billionaires.

The rich had gotten richer, while the middle class struggled, because real wages had fallen. According to the Census Bureau, the real median earnings of full-time working males had fallen 2%, and the real wages of working women had fallen 1.3%. Consequently, more Americans were living in poverty, living without health care, paying more for housing and for public education. Many homeowners had to pull equity out of their houses in order to keep up with escalating college tuition bills, health care costs and energy costs.

The number of Americans without health coverage rose by 1.3 million in 2006. One in every 10 children became uninsured. Fewer employers were providing health care to their employees and those who were still lucky enough to receive employer provided coverage had begun paying a much larger share. The cost of family health insurance had gone up 87% since 2000.

The election in November of 2006 determined a shift in power in both the House and Senate. In January 2007, Nancy Pelosi become the first female Speaker of the House and Harry Reid became Senate Majority Leader.

Very little could be accomplished to address economic issues, because when Republicans lost the majority in the Senate, they started using the filibuster on nearly every vote. They used it to force a 60-vote supermajority for every single substantive vote in the Senate.

Bush had veto power over economic proposals passed by in the House, but he didn’t have to use it, because Senate Republicans made sure nothing of significance reached his desk, until the TARP bailout of Wall Street in 2008.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Moving Forward

Those, who think we can move this economy forward with a few doing well at the top, hoping it'll trickle down to working folks struggling to keep up hasn't studied our history. America didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed. We didn't come this far by letting special interests run wild. We didn't do it by just gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We did it by producing goods we could sell; we did it with sweat and and innovation. We did it by investing in our citizens who built our country from the ground up. Middle-class workers, and small business owners did it by out-working, out-educating, and out-competing the rest of the world.

Democrats passed financial reform that provides new accountability and tough oversight of Wall Street; reform that will stop credit card companies from gouging us with hidden fees and unfair rate hikes; reform that ends the era of taxpayer bailouts for Wall Street.

Democrats have eliminated tens of billions of dollars in wasteful taxpayer subsidies to big banks that provide student loans. Instead they’re using those savings to put a college education within reach of working families.

Democrats have passed health insurance reform that will make coverage affordable; reform that ends the indignity of insurance companies jacking up your premiums at will or denying you coverage just because you get sick; reform that shifts control from them to you.

Democrats have made it easier for workers to save for retirement, with new ways of saving your tax refunds, a simpler system for enrolling in plans like 401(k)s, but fighting to strengthen Social Security for the future. Obama has made it clear that as long as he is President, he'll fight every effort to take the retirement savings of a generation of Americans and hand it over to Wall Street.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Digging Out

Five years ago, billionaire Warren Buffett warned: "The rich people are doing so well in this county, I mean we never had it so good... It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be... Right now corporate profits as a percentage of GDP in this country are right at the high. Corporate taxes as a percentage of total taxes raised are very close to the historical low."

For generations, it was the great American middle class that made our economy the envy of the world. It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today - the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans, those cornerstones of middle class security that all bear the union label.

It was that greatest of generations that built America into the greatest force for prosperity, opportunity and freedom the world has ever known. Americans, who as boys went off to war, but returned home men. American women, who rolled up their sleeves and worked in factories on the home front. When the war was over, they studied under the GI Bill; bought homes under the FHA; raised families buttressed by good jobs that paid good wages with good benefits. They valued jobs because to them it was about meeting their responsibilities to themselves, to their families, and to their community.

Presently, there are eight million Americans across our country, who are struggling to find a job and retain their dignity, because of this recession. Although, we've had eight straight months of private sector job growth, the new jobs haven't been coming fast enough. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix to the problem. It will take time to reverse the damage of a decade's worth of policies that saw a fortunate few prosper while the middle class kept falling behind and it will take more time to dig out of the hole created by this economic crisis.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today's Task

The debate shouldn’t be whether we need a big government or a small government, but how we can create a smarter government. Government should give our citizens the tools they need to succeed. Our government can’t guarantee results, but it should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who's willing to work hard. While, debating the role of government in our lives, it’s important to remember, that our government needs to respond to challenges of our times in a constructive manner.

Civility requires that we recall the simple lesson most of us learned from our parents: treat others as you would like to be treated, with courtesy and respect.

If we choose only to expose ourselves to viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies show, that we’ll become more polarized. Consequently, we’ll be deepening the political divides in this country, but if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions, we might begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from. If you grew up in a big city, spend some time with people, who grew up in a rural town. If you find yourself only hanging around with people of your race, ethnicity or religion, broaden your circle to include people who've had different life experiences. Learn what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes, and in the process, you'll help make our democracy work.

Practice listening to opposing views, because it’s essential to effective citizenship. An honest, productive debate requires that we all agree on a certain set of facts. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

Obama has pointed out: “When we don't pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders; when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day; when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that's when democracy breaks down. That's when power is abused. That's when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That's when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of Washington - because none of us are there to speak up and stop them.”

Effective citizenship requires, that we stay informed and contribute to the debate. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. For all the cynicism that's out there, we must never forget that as Americans, we enjoy more freedoms and opportunities than citizens in any other nation on Earth. We’re free to speak our mind, worship as we please, choose our leaders and criticize them if they let us down. We have the opportunity to get an education, work hard, and give our children a better life.

In the end, we need to look past all of our disagreements and forge a common future. Today, our task is about whether a free society can still compete globally.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Government

Worry about the future is not a new phenomenon, because democracy in a nation of more than three hundred million people is complicated. We’ve been fighting over the proper size and role of government and the meaning of individual freedom and equality since 1886.

As our economy shifted emphasis from agriculture to industry to information and technology, we’ve argued at every turn over the best way to ensure that all of our citizens have an opportunity to succeed.

American democracy has thrived because we’ve recognized the need for a government that can still help us adapt to a changing world. We recognize that government doesn't have all the answers, and we’ve fiercely defended our individual freedom.

Nevertheless, there are some things we can only do as one nation, in order to keep pace with the times. Lincoln began the first intercontinental railroad. Teddy Roosevelt used the power of government to break up monopolies. Dwight Eisenhower launched the massive government undertaking known as the Interstate Highway System.

Historically, those who've opposed such efforts argued that government intervention is inefficient, restricts individual freedom and dampens individual initiative. Indeed, for many years, we had a welfare system that sometimes discouraged people from taking responsibility for their own upward mobility. However, those that claim government is inherently bad ignore the fact, that in a democracy, government is us. We hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.

Government is the police officers who protects us and our military, who defends us abroad. Government is the roads that we drive on and the speed limits that keep us safe. Government also ensures that mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them.

The debate between more government and less government doesn't really fit the times in which we live. Too much government can stifle competition, deprive us of choice, and burden us with debt, but we've also seen the dangers of too little government, when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

No Specific Plan

Reportedly, Chris Gibson’s message to voters is to reduce spending, cut taxes and reduce the size of government.

He wants you to ignore the reality, that there are only three ways to reduce our national debt. They are increase taxes, cut spending and get our country out of this recession so that more people are employed and paying taxes.

Republicans are against raising taxes, especially on the very wealthy, but when it comes to the issue of cutting spending, they haven’t name a single program, that they’d cut. Gibson refuse to go on the record to announce the programs, that he’d vote to cut. Would he vote to repeal the Health Care Act, privatize Social Security, eliminate Medicare or would he prefer to drastically cut the Pentagon budget?

He expects uninformed, frustrated and angry people to vote for him, on a promise, that once he’s elected, that Republicans and Tea Party Patriots will come up with a specific plan to reduce the deficit. It’s a cynical ploy, because Gibson doesn’t have a clue on how to get things done in Congress.

Unless, we get out of this recession and get many more people employed and paying taxes, reducing the deficit can never happen. Small businesses are the key to our economy, since they create two out of every three new jobs. Congressional Democrats want to make sure that small businesses are getting financing and want to cut their taxes in certain key areas. Obama has propose that we eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses so that when they’re starting up and don’t have a lot of cash flow, they get a tax break.

Gibson has alined himself with the political party, that drove our economy into the ditch. Republicans and Wall Street charlatans have made it as difficult as possible for Obama and Democrats to get our economy back on the road to full employment.

Gibson said: "I will continue to work tirelessly to earn the support of all voters." I'm sure, that he will but he hasn't revealed any specifics regarding what he stands for or how he'll actually promote private sector job growth.

This year, private employers have added back 763,000 jobs. That includes 44,000 manufacturing jobs, which is the most manufacturing jobs added to our economy since August 1998. Last month the private sector added 67,000 jobs.

Scott Murphy and his Democratic colleagues in the House are responsible for those private sector jobs, not the Republicans.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Voting Records

The Republican Party’s agenda is to benefit corporations by pushing down wages, maximizing profits, cutting health care benefits, and laying off workers. Today’s troubled economy is the result of weak regulation, lax oversight, a blind eye to corporate excess and a cold shoulder to a middle class under siege.

Christopher Gibson said, that his “candidacy is proof that a message of reducing taxes, curbing government spending, eliminating onerous regulations and reducing health care costs resonates with the citizens of the 20th District.'' The message of reducing taxes, curbing government spending, and eliminating onerous regulations is right out of the Republican play book.

Before the health insurance reform law was enacted in March, Gibson called on Murphy to vote against it, stating: “This is a bad bill and we need to let it die and then start over again, focusing on driving down health care costs. We need legislation that encourages increased competition and tort reform, and combats fraud, waste, and abuse.”

Murphy voted for the health care reform bill, noting that the Congressional Budget Office had calculated, that it will save taxpayers about $140 billion in its first decade, and $1.2 trillion in the following decade.

This recession was a failure of responsibility by the Bush and congressional Republicans, that Obama had publicly addressed more than two years. In 2007, Obama insisted, that he believe in the power of the free market and in a strong financial sector that helps people to raise capital, get loans and invest their savings. However, a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, and that's what frequently happened in the years leading up to this economic crisis.

I monitor the voting records of our Senators, and Scott Murphy our representative in the 20th. congressional district. There are a few insignificant differences, but on most legislation his votes are the same Schumer and Gillibrand.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Bill Glockler

In his published letter of 8/25, Bill Glockler wrote: “Chris (Gibson) is truly an American hero...”

Since, when did Republicans start considering the Purple Heart a qualification for political office.

In 2002, Sen. Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam, was attacked by the Republican party for being an enemy of the United States.  Republican propagandist sought to connect Cleland with Saddam Hussein and as part of the Osama bin Laden crew. Max Cleland was pilloried as an enemy of the United States and because the voters in Georgia bought those lies Cleland lost the election. 

John Kerry has killed the enemy up close and personal, which very few in Congress have done. Over the course of a life time, few have demonstrated greater compassion for combat veterans than Kerry.

Kerry was assigned to the U.S.S. Gridley, and served in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. Upon returning to the U.S., Kerry requested service as a Swift boat commander. Swift boats, were heavily armed aluminum patrol boats, carrying a 5 man crew. While patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta, they often hit mines and came under rocket, mortar and machine gun fire. Kerry was responsible for transporting Navy Seals on counterinsurgency missions deep into the Viet Cong controlled jungles.

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt calculated sailors on Swift boats had a 75% chance of being killed or wounded while on duty. The third time Kerry was wounded occurred, when the boat hit a mine and an ambush ensued. Green Beret Lt. Jim Rassmann was blown overboard. Upon realizing Rassmann was missing he ordered the boat to turn around, went to the bow and although wounded, pulled Rassmann aboard.

In 2003, Lt. Rassmann a Republican told a national TV audience at an Iowa caucus rally: “John came to the front under fire and pulled me over. Kerry could have been shot and killed at anytime, I figure I owe this man my life.” Lt. Rassmann recommended Kerry for the Bronze Star.

Nevertheless, Republican propagandist were able to defeat John Kerry by swift boating him and bringing his patriotism into question.  He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded three Purple Hearts, Silver Star and Bronze Star, but he was called the traitor.

I’m not questioning Gibson’s heroism, but I will be question his agenda.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Vacation in Spain

Regarding Mrs. Obama, Chuck Pinkey wrote in an Oneonta Daily Star guest column: “Not to assail the First Lady, but has the media ever questioned why she no longer practices law?”

Is Pinkey suggesting that she has been disbarred or is the comment just another despicable appeal to the uninformed. He used President Obama’s middle name to suggest that he was a Muslim and asked: “Shouldn’t a true journalist have confirmed something as important as Obama’s birth certificate?

Perhaps, News Corp have should have hired at least one “true journalist” at Fox News to check into those issues instead of making a $1 million dollar donation to Republican governors.

While, not assailing the First Lady, Pinkey question the cost of her vacation in Spain. As a private citizen, Mrs. Obama and her 9-year-old Sasha made a private trip. She paid their personal costs, as did her friends who flew to Spain on their own.

The tax dollar part of the vacation include an estimated $146,000 round-trip cost for the U.S. Air Force 757 aircraft, about $95,000 in hotel costs for an estimated 70 security personnel, who get a $273-a-day government per diem. Three shifts of Secret Service agents were needed for the trip.

Mrs. Obama and Sasha had lunch with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia at their summer palace on the island of Majorca. From Spain, the First Lady kept tabs on the Senate's passage of child nutrition legislation. She called four senators who played a role in passing a bill that is central to her issue of reducing child obesity.

Apparently, Mr. Pinkey would begrudge Michelle Obama vacations or sharing with her child and friends an opportunity to see the world. Former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled with Chelsea and former first lady Laura Bush took Barbara and Jenna with her on overseas trips. It’s not like Mrs. Obama is lacking a diplomatic agenda, since her April visit to Mexico City was the kick off of her international agenda with a focus on developing youth leadership.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sunset Provision

Republicans claim that letting the Bush tax cuts expire is a tax increase. If the Republicans wanted them to last forever, they should have made it the law when they had the House, the Senate and the White House back in 2005. 

They put tax cuts into effect under Bush and they had an expiration date for the end of 2010. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner want to preserve those tax cuts for 95% of working Americans, because it would be the responsible thing to do for our economy at the present time. They consider it sound fiscal policy to allow those tax cuts that only go to 2% of the highest earners in the country to expire as scheduled. Obama wants to extend the taxes cuts on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000. 


The midterms will provide the most selfish generation in the history of our country an opportunity to show how much they value America.  


On the campaign trail, Democrats are pointing out, that for the last decade, the richest two percent in America have been living high on the hog, while the middle class has gotten record levels of unemployment. We’re been in the middle of two wars that nobody wants to pay for. In the last decade, the top two percent of income earners haven’t been asked to make any sacrifice whatsoever.  


Republicans and their buddies in the Tea Party have been running around this country screaming about deficits for the last 18 months. They claim, that they love America, but they don’t what to pay the tab, because their greedy.  


Republicans made millions of unemployed wage earners wait because, they were concerned that the $34 billion relief package wasn’t paid for. Bush’s tax cuts were supposed to stimulate the economy, but we ended loosing 8 million jobs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has pointed out, that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts added about $1.7 trillion to the deficit between 2001 and 2008. By making those tax cuts permanent for another decade it would cost our Treasury $4.4 trillion.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Gibson Will Not

According to Bartle Bull “Chris Gibson is a proven leader who exemplifies the qualities of intelligence and experience that our District and our County need today.”

We presently have a proven leader, who has met with constituents in all 137 towns of the 20th. Congressional District. Scott Murphy has visited Delaware County numerous times to discuss national and local concerns with both supportive and hostile constituents.

Murphy has been saving, creating jobs, and growing small businesses for 15 years. Prior to becoming our Congressman, he helped create over 1,000 jobs, and worked to make small businesses the economic engines of their communities.
After graduating from Harvard, Scott became a high-tech entrepreneur. He founded Small World Software, later sold to iXL. For the eight years prior to being elected to Congress, Scott worked for Advantage Capital Partners. Advantage helped other businesses grow and create jobs for their local communities. Murphy's job is still helping companies grow, expand, and most of all create and protect good-paying jobs here at home.

Many small companies have weathered the recession and are ready to grow, but the banks on Wall Street are mostly lending to larger companies. Small businesses have historically been the engine of job creation in this country and Obama proposed that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use that money to enable community banks to give credit to small businesses to keep them afloat.

Obama has also proposed a new small-business tax credit, for small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. He wants to eliminate all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and provide a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.

These steps won’t make up for the 8 million jobs that have been lost, but it’s the only way to move towards full employment and will begin to lay a new foundation for long- term economic growth, while addressing the problems that America’s families have confronted for decades.

Murphy will vote to help Obama create jobs. Republican Chris Gibson will not.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Wrong Path

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said: “The policies put in place by the previous administration prior to this great recession have left us with a terrible legacy of challenges.  We live in one of the richest economies in the world, but one in eight Americans is on food stamps today.  And America is a less equal country today than it was 10 years ago, in part, because of the tax cuts for the top two percent that were put in place in 2001 and 2003.” 

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported that as a direct result of the Bush tax cuts, the poorest 20% of earners saw their after-tax incomes rise just 0.4 %.  Meanwhile, the top 1% of households got a 5% jump. 

Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan insisted: “Republicans ought to know about killing jobs, because they got rid over 8 million jobs during the last administration. We’ve got about 20 million people looking for work. We’re slogging through economic quicksand and America is in deep debt. The Republican solution is to continue giving those that make $1 million a year a $80,000 a year tax cut.”

Bush’s tax cuts, two wars, that weren’t paid for, plus Medicare prescription bill which wasn’t paid for. Nevertheless, congressional Republicans are saying, that the economy is too soft right now to let Bush’s tax cuts expire on those in the top 2% income bracket. Congressional Republicans what us to continue to borrow money from the Chinese in order to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. 

Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell claims: “They propose to raise taxes on the top two brackets, which would capture 50% of small business income and up to 25% of the workforce.  It will have a devastating impact by raising taxes in the middle of a recession.  The impact of all of this taxation regulation and increased litigation has a deterrent effect on what we would all like to do, which is to create more jobs.” 

Mitch McConnell talks about the deficit. It’s absolutely absurd to claim that 50% of small businesses are in the top two income brackets.