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BACK DOOR BOY IN A FRONT DOOR WORLD
OUTSIDE OF SOCIETY - THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE
Since You Asked... 
7th-Sep-2011 01:16 pm
This post was originally supposed to be a response to a friend of a friend on Facebook, but it was too long to post there. Start by reading the graphic, so that what I've posted beside it will make more sense in context.


I'm glad you asked these questions and I will take my time to answer with as much detail as possible so that it may help make it clear what my position is on these matters. The reality of these issues (that squares itself with the facts - not opinions) of what the tea party's collective ideologues wish to pass off as the threats to American society simply don't gel with logic, reason, or fact.

My immediate family consists of myself and my partner and our household income just puts us in the middle class. We are not in any credit debt and only owe a little under half of the total amount for our car. No payments are ever late for any of our bills, we live under a strictly maintained budget that allows for retirement, 401K, health and life insurance premiums, household necessities (groceries, utilities, rent, etc.) and all other necessary fees. My family does not create any drain on the economy and we are responsible for ourselves. We are part of the 95% of Americans that enjoy the tax credit offered by the current administration to all who earn less than $250K annually, which you may well be part of in that income bracket. I won't however ask you the same questions about where your income goes. None of this changes the fact that as American citizens, and as I've mentioned before in the previous comment to Linda's post, taxes are the lowest they’ve been in 60-80 years, far lower than under several Republican presidents. Taxes on dividends and capital gains are far below the level at which they were under President Reagan. Furthermore, 68.3% of the capital gains tax is paid by the richest 1% of Americans which have been allowed nearly a trillion dollars worth of exemptions that would give that 1% the same amount in a tax break while giving that trillion dollar tax burden to the middle class, while the bottom 95% of Americans pay just 10% of them, so it is unclear how tea party darlings like Romney, Bachmann, Palin, Cain, West, Huntsman, and Gingrich think a capital gains tax cut can be fashioned as a middle class tax break. These politicians have said they back getting rid of the capital gains tax, which now has a top rate of 15% for most assets held for more than a year. That position puts them at odds with bipartisan deficit-reduction efforts over the past year that have called for lowering tax rates on ordinary income and taxing capital gains and wage income at the same rates. Bachmann has previously called for cutting the 35% corporate tax rate down to 9%, a move that would cost more than $2 trillion over ten years. This call for reducing or even eliminating corporate taxes comes at a time when corporate after tax profits are the highest they’ve been since 1947. Bachmann also repeatedly called for the elimination of taxes on money that corporations bring to the U.S. from overseas, even though such a move has not worked in the past to spur job creation and would cost about $80 billion over ten years. I'd love to know how the American middle and lower class conservatives can justify such ridiculous nonsense in any way that benefits them. Eliminating taxes on capital gains would widen the federal budget deficit. The current preferential tax rates on capital gains and dividends will result in $84.2 billion in forgone revenue for the Treasury this year, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Given that those who identify as tea party citizens see themselves as being a movement created by the working class that claims to use its voice against the seeming injustice of labor unions and an unfair tax burden, it truly irks me that they fail to accept the reality of what truly built, finances, and controls their movement. In short, self professed tea party 'patriots' are being lied to by the wizard when it's corporate self interests that go completely against their own personal self interests behind the curtain, pulling the strings and pushing all of the buttons in an unbelievable Ponzi scheme. Koch Industries, they of the billionaire oil brothers who are taking advantage of the uninformed nature of outrage among a conservative fringe aligning itself as a grassroots movement, underwrites this entire organization by the billionaires in the Koch network of donors. In documents outlining the June, 2010 donor meeting, billionaires like Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, Rich DeVos, and John Childs are regular attendees of these events, which solicit multi-million donations for an elaborate array of right-wing front groups, from tea party organizers like Americans for Prosperity to stealth advertising campaigns like "Public Notice." Unfortunately, many still report on tea party groups like Americans for Prosperity as bonafide grassroots organizations. That's not grassroots, that's corporations as people masquerading as being truly invested in the working class' best interests. YOU ARE BEING LIED TO. The acceptance of lies as a means of justifying anger over the 2008 election results by conservatives is what I find moronic, just as I find it moronic for liberals to continue burying their heads in sand by supporting candidates and career politicians who are failing them as well.

The demonization of labor unions by tea party candidates and their supporters is baffling, considering the reality of what is provided by the labor unions and what little is offered as an alternative to them by these candidates and supporters who wish to abolish them and do away with collective bargaining. The reason there is nothing to counter unions that provides the American worker any substantive set of rights is simply a matter of filling the coffers of the haves on the backs of the have nots. There are various recurring themes Republicans parrot ad nauseam because their supporters tend to believe fallacies over facts regardless how obtuse the GOP’s assertions. Despite the incredibly self-defeating support of tax breaks for the wealthy, elimination of the minimum wage, and cuts to services all Americans pay for, Republican voters adamantly defend GOP policies that contribute to their own decline and eventual demise. There are some Republican contentions that garner traction because the media fails to correct factual misconceptions and outright fallacies about the efficacy of the Obama Administration’s efforts to bolster the economy and create jobs. Economic theory is irrelevant when simple common sense and reality-based facts are available that refute Republicans’ claims, and although facts are a pariah to conservatives, they inform voters that the economic downturn and slow job growth is solely the fault of Republican malfeasance. The American middle class was built by unions. Unions gave us the weekend, ended child labor, enabled employer based health insurance coverage and the Family Medical Leave Act, and yet, despite the many benefits unions have provided the United States, right-wing politicians and business interests have for years sought to undermine the ability of Americans to organize to demand better pay, benefits, and conditions. From the anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act to the recent GOP-led efforts to kill public worker collective bargaining rights, these assaults have successfully decreased union membership over time. In the prosperous 1950′s, nearly one in three Americans was in a union. Today, it is closer to one in ten. This has had a detrimental effect on the American middle class by shrinking its income. Labor unions fight for a fair and healthy democracy by increasing the voting power of working people by helping provide benefits, fair wages, and pensions, which is exactly why capitalists despise them and why the big corporations making enormous profits wish to dismantle them - and in doing so take away democracy from the hands of those who create their profits. The American people are sick of working to pay for the wealthy and corporations’ entitlements.

Republicans have claimed for two years that Democrats and President Obama have spent America into a black hole that the country can only escape by continuing tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations, and by enacting more Draconian spending cuts on programs aimed at helping the poor. Utter nonsense. According to statistics from the United States Government, spending by the Obama Administration has increased by 7.2% from 2009 to FY 2012. Spending during George W. Bush’s term increased by 88% between 2002 and 2009 and those figures refute Republican claims that Democrats increased the size of government and are spending the country into insolvency. During Bush’s term, the spending increases enriched corporate wealth, killed over 100,000 people in Iraq and Afghanistan and displaced millions more, and provided subsidies to the oil industry. Another lie that Republicans have promoted is that President Obama has increased the nation’s debt that is responsible for the loss of jobs. First, the deficit has no impact on job creation any more than Republican spending cuts will create jobs, but the President has certainly not tripled the deficit. The statistics belie Republican claims that Obama tripled the deficit, but despite the facts, Republicans repeat their lies because they play well to their base who are too stupid to do any research to verify their party’s assertions. Part of the deficit increase Obama is responsible for was the stimulus that Republicans claim did not create one job. The stimulus created 1.1 million private sector jobs and saved the American automobile industry from bankruptcy and death. It is worth noting again, that regardless what the president does, the deficit will continue increasing because of the interest on Bush’s debt to fund two unnecessary wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an expensive Medicare prescription plan that continues to enrich pharmaceutical companies at the expense of struggling sick people. I myself was expected to pay $166 for a mere 6 pills last week alone, a personal cost to me WITH insurance coverage in a prescription plan by BCBS.

People like tea party king Jim DeMint profess that we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem - outright lying to the American people in the oft-repeated GOP talking point of the same vein. DeMint claims that government revenues are at a 'record high', when the fact is they are at a 60 year low. He said "Four of the last five years, we’ve had record levels of revenue. And next year we have projected the highest revenue levels in history. We don’t have a revenue problem." This could only be accurate using nominal dollars to measure revenues, instead of revenue as a percentage of GDP, which is used by all official arbiters on revenue matters, including the Congressional Budget Office. And as a percentage of GDP, government revenue is nowhere near a 'record' high, as DeMint baselessly and falsely claims. In 2010, it was at its lowest level in more than 60 years, according to data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), at just at 14.9%. Next year, revenues will still be at just 16.6% of GDP, several points below the average rates under every president since Franklin Roosevelt, including Reagan, so he's lying about that as well and offering -0- evidence for such a ridiculous claim - and I've yet to see any conservative call him out on it. The record high was 20.6% in 2000, which coincided with a balanced budget. On top of lost revenue from the massive Bush tax cuts, the recession devastated economic output and thus the American tax base. DeMint is a liar, and the base eats it up.

Republicans continue claiming that tax increases on business is responsible for the poor job creation environment. Candidates like Mitt Romney make fallacious claims such as this one: "Our corporate tax rate is among the world’s highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense." The truth is that while the U.S. corporate tax rate is high on paper, once all the credits, deductions, and loopholes are accounted for, the U.S. has the second-lowest corporate taxes in the developed world. He also posits that the federal government has estimated the price tag for its regulations at $1.75 trillion, which people in the tea party eat up gluttonously, and in reality this is a bogus number favored by the big business lobby, and widely cited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It comes from a study that, according to John Irons of the Economic Policy Institute, "contains basic conceptual mistakes and relies on extraordinarily poor data. Its results should neither be used as a valid measure of the economic costs of regulation nor as a guide for policy," he said. Republicans blame the economic downturn on President Obama despite the S&P report that said Republican policies ruined the American economy. Republicans know their agenda is responsible for the lousy economic picture but their base believes their rhetoric in spite of the reality that is right in front of them because they are wont to believe Republican lies. Speaking of those lies, a McClatchy report on small business owners directly contradicts GOP claims that taxes and regulations are killing job growth. In fact, those claims only apply to giant corporations, NOT those of the small businesses the GOP claims to champion. When it's asked what specific regulations harm small businesses which account for about 65% of U.S. jobs, the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration, blaming excessive regulation and the administration's overhaul of health care laws for creating an environment of uncertainty that's hampering job creation.


Let me be clear about Obama. I am no longer a supporter of this President's management, which I've seen for the past year now as severely lacking and incompetent in accomplishing progressive achievements that benefit all equally. I am not a Democrat, I am an independent. I wouldn't claim allegiance to any political party that refuses time and again to stand up for principles that are fair, just, and rooted in equality with the kind of tenacity and muscle I expect, and for the record I'm just as fed up with the Dems as I am with the GOP now.
Comments 
7th-Sep-2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Brilliant.

I'd be interested to see what her response is to all this.
7th-Sep-2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
If it's anything like the countless arguments I've had with conservatives in the past, I'll likely be accused of the same tactic wherein blaming Bush for everything doesn't wash because it's all on Obama now, irrespective to facts. With tea party people, I usually get what amounts to "OH FINE, USE WORDS!"

I don't expect to be surprised by logical consideration as I think that's asking way too much of modern conservatives loyal to the GOP, and I'm not out to change anyone's mind. That's the great thing about facts - they're true whether one believes them or not.

The thread is here, in case he does reply (link shortened): http://on.fb.me/oisFQT

;-)

Edited at 2011-09-07 08:37 pm (UTC)
7th-Sep-2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
Very well said. I would hasten to add that the real Republican strategy at present, as plainly laid out by someone who spent almost 30 years as a GOP staffer, is to be as obstructionist as possible in order to keep the economy in the dumps through the next election, and if necessary through 2016, while also steadily eroding the faith of the American people in their government. Basically, they want two types of citizens: those who don't care enough to vote because they've lost faith in the process, and those who are willing to vote based purely on emotion and misinformation. The sad and terrifying thing is that they seem to be succeeding in grand fashion.
7th-Sep-2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
That article was fantastic, I read it either yesterday or the day before, I cannot remember. Excellent points all around, and I agree.
7th-Sep-2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Very well said. The Republican/Tea Party base is just downright delusional. Like you said, corporations are raking in record earnings. Cutting their taxes when they're already operating at very high profit margins, like they are, will do nothing but further increase those margins and benefit shareholders. It will not create jobs. Cutting corporate taxes could, theoretically, create jobs in cases where profit margins are near or below zero. We are nowhere close to this.

I agree on Obama too... I stopped being able to support him the day he extended the Bush tax cuts, which most benefit the rich and further impair government revenues (and again like you said, we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem).

I was actually thinking this morning I needed to post a long rant about unemployment sometime soon, which ties into a lot of what you've said here, but the main idea is that if we end up doing what the GOP wants on this issue, we'll see corporations do phenomenally well for a few years, unemployment rates will remain little changed initially, maybe even decline a little, but will skyrocket 3-5 years down the road.
7th-Sep-2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
If you'll recall the last conversation you and I had about our complete lack of faith in Congress' ability to do anything but fuck it all up even worse, I think it is safe to say that my view has only deepened and been reaffirmed. It's going to get much worse, and what's truly fucked up is that I really just don't care anymore. I'm sick of being lied to, I'm sick of feeling demoralized by working my ass off to make things better for little to no impact, and frankly I don't have the energy to care. What would be the point anyway?
7th-Sep-2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Amen! Er, Right on! ;-)
7th-Sep-2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
Brad, you might be interested in Wil Wheaton's own rant over on G+ (and the comments that followed it):

https://plus.google.com/108176814619778619437/posts/4Q8zan6JM2o
7th-Sep-2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I didn't expect that, but it sure is a fine thing for him to write. Thanks, brother!
7th-Sep-2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Wil Wheaton is the first - and thus far, only - "celebrity" that I follow on G+. He really nails his shit, most of the time.
7th-Sep-2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
The link doesn't work. Content currently unavailable.
7th-Sep-2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
To the FB thread? If so that means Linda has it locked to friends only.
7th-Sep-2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
I'd make some snarky remark about the last administration and conspiracy theories and 9/11 and it being a hell of a convenient stepladder for Republican actions leading to our current mess, but the truth is that our downward spiral started long before that. It started before Lewinsky, before NAFTA (though I'd say that did a hell of a job putting paid to the economic engine of it - but it didn't stand alone nor come first), before Willie Horton ad campaigns. I think it goes back somewhere to the confluence of factors that brought the economy 'round again after the late-70s recession, and Reagan and his advisors (or puppetmasters, if you like) being credited for god-like powers of being responsible for it, pitting them in a "good vs. evil" against Carter. A friend, D, and I were talking about Carter the other day and saying how we don't think he was a weak president, precisely, just that he was too moral to do the things that were required to begin to turn back the tide of shit (economic and political) that hit his administration.

Michael Moore cites Reagan's handling of the air traffic controllers' strike of 30 years ago as the starting point for our current problems as they relate to incomplete understanding of the economy and belief in stuff THAT DOES NOT WORK to try to improve our lot in life (i.e., blaming the construct of the labor union and governmental regulations intended to help the majority at the expense of big business). I can't say he's wrong, but I don't know if that's all of it.

Edited at 2011-09-07 11:11 pm (UTC)
8th-Sep-2011 04:08 am (UTC)
I would agree that played a huge factor, but is hardly all of it.
8th-Sep-2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Regarding unions, how do you feel about the NLRB ruling against Boeing opening a new plant in South Carolina?
8th-Sep-2011 04:06 am (UTC)
Can't say as I've heard nothing about it.
9th-Sep-2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
Let me be clear about Obama. I am no longer a supporter of this President's management, which I've seen for the past year now as severely lacking and incompetent in accomplishing progressive achievements that benefit all equally. I am not a Democrat, I am an independent. ... and for the record I'm just as fed up with the Dems as I am with the GOP now.

I'm of the same opinion. Depending on what other candidates are available, I may end up voting for myself as President in the next election.
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