Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment

Republican coincidence and payroll tax holidays…

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"The finest day that I've ever had, was when I learned to cry on command..."

At the end of this month the payroll tax holiday will expire, and if allowed to lapse, it will come as a tax increase for working lower and middle class Americans. The Democrats, including Obama, are in favor of an extension while many Republicans are not. Many Republicans are demanding the extension be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or simply done away with altogether.

Why? Simple…

According to Macroeconomic Advisers, allowing it to lapse “would reduce GDP growth by 0.5 percent and cost the economy 400,000 jobs.” An analyst at Barclay’s estimated that letting the cut expire would knock 1.5 percent off of first quarter growth next year. Ameriprise Financial Services, meanwhile, estimated that extending the cut “is likely to add between 750,000 to 1 million jobs.” “Payroll tax cuts are very powerful,” added Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics. “They provide a boost to direct income and, in turn, spending, which is important to growth.”

Oh wait…forget that part…no, the reason some Republicans would be so willing to let it expire is our out of control deficit…fiscal prudence at its best, yes-sir, so fiscally responsible these Republicans, the cult of Norquist clan, they would allow a tax cut to expire. What an example of sacrifice? Imagine that, they finally agreed, not all tax cuts could be forever sacrosanct…oh, and the fact this party is oft accused of defending only the wealthy, and the fact this tax cut only benefits the working poor and middle class, not the wealthy…

I’m sure this is coincidence.

Has to be.

Just as I’m also sure it is only coincidence the Bush tax cuts, those gifts to the rich and a large part of our current deficit, weren’t required to be paid for while the payroll tax holiday, so many Republicans demand, must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Yes, this Republican coincidence is but one of many these days…

Take a look at the job creators, for instance. Nick Hanauer, a successful venture capitalist recently wrote an op-ed, stating:

Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high…Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit.

Yet, the Republicans would rather it be discovered they wet the bed than raise taxes on the wealthy, on those job creators…God save the job creators, even if they call bullshit on their actual ability to create jobs…and I suppose this only makes no sense at all, none…I mean, the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for what, 10 years or so, yet strangely enough we’ve had a recession, we’ve watched a looting of pension plans, a housing collapse and high sustained unemployment for years… And through it all, the fact those taxes on the wealthy, meant to create jobs have done everything but create jobs?

Coincidence.

But I digress, back to that tax break the Republicans are so sketchy about, the one that coincidentally doesn’t help the wealthiest of this country…when John Boehner was asked if letting the tax cut expire would hurt the economy, he replied, “I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of impact it’s going to have on the economy.”

Not an economist?

Yet he was sure the deficit didn’t matter when Bush was president, growing exponentially due to unfunded wars, tax breaks for the wealthy and that huge gift bag to pharmaceutical companies.

Just as he is now sure, that since Bush is no longer President, the deficit is destroying America as we know it, that if allowed to continue, not only will the deficit destroy our ability to manufacture American flags for the waving, but your mother’s apple pie? As a country, we will no longer be able to support the cost involved in using ovens, ever again. We will be one flag-less pie-less country, that much closer to gay marriage if we don’t do something about the deficit, like yesterday. He means…now. 

Oh, but that Boehner suddenly lost his economist credentials, that he devolved into financial confusion when it was time for this tax break that doesn’t expressly help the wealthy?

Another matter of simple coincidence.

However…to be fair…Boehner has come around the past day or so, the GOP is coming around and now say the payroll tax holiday should be passed. John himself has said, ““The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn.”

Course, that was Public John Boehner. And what did Private John have to say about the payroll tax holiday?

Well, behind closed doors, he told his membership they were pushing a package that not only included the extension, but also more environmental deregulation, more sales of broadband spectrum and a change in policy to help pass the Keystone XL pipeline so, you know, he could  turn “chicken shit into chicken salad.”

The ingredients of chicken salad of course being heavier pollution, sick kids, global warming, monopolies on spectrum leading to a lack of diversity on our airwaves, and a big fucking pipe to take oil all the way across our country from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, oil from tar sands development which is about as environmentally friendly as, well, as most Republican policy.  

Oh, and that John Boehner didn’t refer to this tax break, which doesn’t help the wealthy, as “chicken shit” in public?

Coincidence…you know it.

Yes…coincidence…of course this is what it is, what all of this is.

Cutting taxes on job creators so they continue to not create jobs, unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy while tax breaks for the working poor and middle class must be offset by spending cuts, spectrum sales and pollution, and Boehners ability to be an arch-economist who sometimes, economically speaking, is dumb as a stump…

All of it coincidence…surely.

What other explanation is there?

Have a nice day.

Be back Monday…the trouble with the (personal) economy…

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2nd choice...

So, four months from now on March 1st of 2012, I am finally out of the Great White North and heading back to what I thought might be New Orleans. Would certainly make sense with all the writing I do on this site that this town is where my interests lie, and it is, but the damned economy…here’s the thing that keeps throwing rocks in my pool, floating the ripples so I can’t see so clearly through the water…

Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular which has been much spared by the recession and boasts an unemployment rate of 6.9% has essentially no social work jobs to speak of, or at least very few that would enable someone such as myself to be able to afford the rents that never seemed to go down all that much post-Katrina, yet in San Francisco, even though the city by the bay shamefacedly hosts an unemployment rate of 9.2% while the state of California struggles under its own 12.1% rate, there are social work jobs to be had, a few anyway.

So whereas I thought I would be able to head South, the ability to eat and sleep indoors may shove me West.

Needless to say this is disappointing and has led me to go on hiatus this week from the website while I figure out what this means both for me and for the website in general…

In any case…please excuse these more personal meanderings; just explaining an absence that maybe don’t need to be explained at all…

See ya Monday. Have a nice day.

-Drake

Written by Drake Toulouse

November 3, 2011 at 5:00 AM

An open letter to the President, and both the Democratic and Republican Parties…

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Hell, even GW Bush is impressed with how far to the right you managed to push budget negotiations… you know, to help the people you uh, you promised to help?

Hello…

So, I might as well address this to the highest ranking of you, though I’m not so sure that’s something to be proud of these days…in fact, from where I sit it’s something to be rather ashamed of but nonetheless, this goes out to Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Cantor, Reid, Geithner, Bernanke, McConnell…

Yeah, all of you public servants(?)

Okay, something is happening in this country that none of you really seem to understand…I mean, have you looked around yourselves lately? In the cities? Have you read the polls? Have you bothered for a moment to look past your office walls, your meeting rooms and political staffers and handlers and their gratuitous nods of the head?

I don’t think you have…

You see, I and a lot of other Americans read the news and I don’t know about you politicians, but what I’m reading lately simply doesn’t make sense.

Poll after poll shows that Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy and the safety net? They want it left alone. It’s almost universal, bipartisan…consider these headlines of late: 68% of Millionaires support raising taxes on millionaires and Poll: Tax the rich, corporations and Vast Majority Of Americans Favor Buffett Rule’s Millionaire Tax: Poll Also consider these: Washington Post/Bloomberg poll: Even GOP majorities say tax rich, protect Social Security, Medicare and New Poll shows Republicans have it all wrong with Social Security and Attacks on Social Security called “un-American” and Faith groups target ‘Super Committee’ on poverty

That all seems a pretty clear message.

Yet, then I read this bullshit: Boehner Dismisses Democratic Super Committee Proposal As Unserious

Now, I happen to agree with Boehner about this, but me and the majority of Americans? Our reasons are quite different from Boehner and the GOP’s reasons for disagreeing with the proposal. Boehner says the Dem proposal is unserious because it raises taxes on the wealthy whereas I disagree with the Democratic’s proposal because it proposes billions in dollars in cuts to Medicare, even more extensive cuts than the Catfood Commission’s proposal. The cuts however, Boehner is almost fine with except he wants them to go deeper than the Democrats have proposed…

Okay, so…in light of all this, what the hell is wrong with you politicians?

You’re not listening…or maybe you are. Maybe you are listening quite intently, you’re just not listening to the majority of Americans, instead keeping your focused ear intently on your campaign donors, the financial institutions, big money lobbyists…essentially anyone but the American people.

Seems fairly evident, but I suspect you all might disagree with this assessment. Yeah, two words to that…fuck you. I’m not stupid, please stop treating me as such.

So then, if you are there in DC to do the work of the people, why is it you choose to ignore the people completely? This is why you have a 9% approval rating, Congress. Oh, and Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the rest of you GOP hacks, what the American public really wants are jobs. Jobs!!!! And jobs aren’t created by lower taxes on the wealthy. Stop your bullshit, they aren’t. Jobs are created by demand. Demand is created by people with money to spend, keeping the social safety net and unemployment benefits puts money in people’s pockets, which they then spend which creates demand, which creates jobs. Know what else creates jobs? Spending on infrastructure, which again puts money in people’s pockets…and so on and so forth. Austerity makes everybody broke, nobody spends, no demand…it ain’t that hard to figure out…are you all just fucking stupid? Now, I know you have said that you’re spending cuts thus far enacted have created jobs, but they haven’t. In fact, they have done the opposite: REPORT: House GOP’s ‘Job Creating’ Spending Cuts Destroyed 370,000 Jobs.

Oh, and Barack and Nancy? Let’s not get all full of righteous indignation on this one. Last week, the GOP decided to put you guys in the corner by agreeing to one part of your jobs agenda, while linking it with a budget cut item: House GOP Lays Trap For Obama On Jobs Plan. Yeah, the GOP agreed to end a three percent withholding tax on private contractors intended to keep corporations from cheating the government on taxes, and in return the GOP proposed to pay for this by limiting Medicaid eligibility for people who also receive social security benefits.

Wasn’t that nice of them?

Private contractors get the a-ok to cheat on their taxes, paid for by kicking grandma and the disabled off their health insurance.

Well, it would seem this GOP proposal was tailor-made for the Democrats to stand up, just say no, go to bat for those less fortunate and tell the GOP to blow while explaining to the American people what the GOP was trying to get away with…except the Democrats didn’t do this. Nope. Instead, they agreed.

More money for the wealthy, more costs for the poor.

I seem to be picking up on a pattern here…Barack, Nancy, Harry…who are you standing up for?

You agree to Medicare cuts on the poor and kicking some people off Medicaid, which runs counter to what the American people have said they wanted. And you…Eric, John, and Mitch…you are giving more and more money to the wealthy, at the expense of the poor, which again, is the opposite of what the American people have said they want to see happen…

Yes, a pattern.

And then you wonder why thousands of people are hitting the streets nationwide, fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Oh wait, I forget, many of you have said you understand the people’s frustrations. Yeah, great…well I understand that you’re all a bunch of self-righteous assholes, but that don’t turn you into good people, now does it? Nope. And none of you are doing much about that frustration you claim to understand either, except presenting proposals that either do nothing to address income inequality, or will only serve to make it worse.

In these occupy demonstrations, in all of these different cities, stand Americans of every race, age, class and creed. And you know what else they are? They are the disenfranchised of this country. Do you think these people would be suffering the elements, the police brutality if they really felt that voting for one of you frauds would change anything? Doubtful. These protests, these people are the fruit of your labors, those who believe the system to be broken, or if it is working, it sure ain’t working for them…and not for me either. I’ve attended a few of these rallies in different cities and you know what I see? I see middle-aged couples, the elderly, the young, white, black, hispanic…and all these different members of society, they are uniting against you, against your bullshit ways, your bankrupting ways…your Republican power-grabs and your Democrat craven cavings to the financial industry and the banks…

And speaking of banks…

Hey Bernanke and Geithner, do you honestly think we haven’t been paying attention to what you’re currently letting Bank of America get away with?  And Barack, these assholes were appointed by you…so you’re on the hook as well. Right now, your crew, with GOP assent, is seeing fit to allow Bank of America to set up American tax-payers for another huge debt, all so this bank doesn’t have to pay for their own investment mistakes, again. Yes, Bank of America has moved 75 trillion dollars in potentially bad derivatives from its holding company, into Bank of America proper…want to know why?

Because unlike its holding company, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America is FDIC insured, so if these 75 trillion dollars in bad derivatives fail, the government (FDIC) will have to pay out, which of course means, the taxpayers have to pay out, bail out Bank of America for more bad investment decisions. Bernanke, Geithner and Obama are allowing this to happen. They are allowing this to happen to you… once again taking the money from the middle class and potentially giving it to the wealthy to compensate for their poor choices.

So back to that pattern:

The Democratic leadership, in the form of Pelosi, Reid and Obama have shown they are quite willing to cut the social safety net, to cut benefits to the poor and disabled, to the elderly so long as the Republicans are willing to allow some marginal taxes on the rich. The Republican leadership in the form of Cantor, Boehner and McConnell are of course unwilling to do this, no how, no way, and in return for their refusal, they want even deeper cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than the Democrats are willing to offer. Meanwhile, the Fed is letting Bank of America off the hook for bad investments again, with American tax-payers potentially footing this bill if the derivatives go bad…again moving money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

Yes, a pattern.

These politicians, elected by the American people only agree on one thing, doing whatever it is the American public doesn’t want you to do while at the same time, doing very little about job creation.

Yet all of you feel you should be reelected.

Why is that?

Since the occupation protests have begun, thousands of protestors have been arrested across this country…but of the people working in the financial institutions who caused the recession that led to millions of lost jobs, of bankrupted pensions, savings, cities and states?

Nobody arrested. None. Zero.

Again, why is that?

Are you simply admitting in cold hard arrest statistics that the rule of law is dead, provided you are wealthy enough to have received a Bush tax cut, extended further by Obama? Is that the established line in the sand? If you qualify to receive a tax break due to wealth, the law no longer applies to you?

I’m thinking that rather than being reelected, what should really happen here is Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Bernanke, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and Geithner, all of you need to wind up in a cell right next to the heads of the major banking institutions in this country. You all, who have taken it upon yourselves to damn your children’s futures for your own selfish gain.

Pathetic, all of you.

Off to jail, lock them in the Bastille…why not? What do we really have to lose anymore?  This way, the rest of us can try this again, we can have our country back, see if we can do better and I’m betting we can. After all, you pathetic politicians have lowered the bar so far…be pretty damned impossible to do worse.

Or better yet, get involved with the Occupy Protests in your city, what else you gonna do? Sit bitching on the sidelines? Vote? Yeah, good luck with that…the people currently in power, and the politicians too would like nothing better than for you to just stay home and vote at the appropriate time for one of the politicians they’ve hand-selected to serve (them) you…

Think about it.

And have a nice day, even the aforementioned politicians…right before you trip down your front steps and chip your tooth on the sidewalks our taxes paid for…and if you bloodied your nose, that’d be cool too. Okay…I’m sorry about that last part, not that I didn’t mean it…I’m just sorry about being petty sometimes, trying to work on that…kind-of.

Oh, and P.S. – To the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan…resign, and take the members of the Oakland Police Department who caused the violence with you…you’re all one collective disgrace…and to San Francisco (interim) mayor, Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr, stop with the games already…you really want another Oakland on your hands? Seriously…let it go.

An “adult crisis” metaphor for the economy…

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Politicians keep social workers busy...

Hey everybody…

So, the patient is wheeled into the emergency room on a gurney, after letting his best friend, George W Bush, talk him into slitting open his right wrist. He’s bleeding pretty bad, could die if the doctors don’t act quickly. Hearing the call, Dr. Obama rushes into the room and quickly stitches up the cut, but only a quarter of the way before going on vacation.

But the patient’s still bleeding, so the nurse rushes back to the break room where she finds Dr. Romney, Dr. Perry, Dr. BachmannDr. Boehner and Dr. McConnell. Hearing what has occurred, the doctors nod confidently to one another and go see the patient. They study the bleeding wound, then confer amongst themselves before choosing a new course of action, whereupon they quickly roll up the patient’s shirtsleeve and cut his left wrist wide open too. 

Finished, they jet off to Wall Street to party with the whores.

Have a nice day.

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