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Archive for the ‘Gender Issues’ Category

I just don’t know what the right-wing is thinking.  Or, if they are thinking at all.  We have seen the right-wing go completely off the rails.  This isn’t really anything new, the right-wing goes off the rails quite a lot.  But, things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

The other day at CPAC Gov. Scott Walker said he is ready to take on ISIS as President because he “took on 100,000 union protesters” in Wisconsin.  He also said that Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers who went on strike in the 1980s was “the greatest foreign policy decision in my lifetime.”

I am sure that all workers out there who belong to the dwindling unions are very happy to hear how they are the same as ISIS or that fighting them has something to do with foreign policy.  How could we have ever let unions form in this country since, as Gov. Walker seems to think, they are foreigners trying to damage America?

We also heard all of the so-called “front-runners” for the Republican nomination compare themselves to St. Ronald Reagan.  However, if Ronald Reagan gave a speech at CPAC today, he would be booed out of the place.  All of these wackos seem to forget that Ronald Reagan was not interested in a balanced budget.  He ran very high deficits.

They all seem to forget that Ronald Reagan did not fight against abortion as these radicals have.  Yes, he professed his belief in god, but he was willing to let the Roe v. Wade decision stand.  In many ways, Ronald Reagan was a lot more of a “social liberal” than they seem to remember.  Even some of his past policy advisors agree Ronald Reagan would not stand a chance at CPAC.

Everyone at CPAC railed against ISIS and Sharia Law.  The all espoused how ISIS must be eliminated, and they all seem to think it will be easy, and outlaw Sharia Law everywhere.  Hell, last November, Georgia even had an anti-Sharia law initiative on the ballot.

Yes, the right-wing has gone off the rails again.  The Tea Party and their allies in the Conservative Christian Cult are trying to start another “crusades” against Islam throughout the world.  All the while they are quietly trying to set up their own version of a “theocracy” right here in America.  According to their “agenda” if you are not Christian, you should not have any rights.

In California, this has been taken to one of the most extreme measures you can think of.  See, in 1911, California changed their constitution to allow ballot initiatives.  All you need to do is pay $200 to file your initiative, then get signatures from 5% of the total votes in the last gubernatorial election.

Well, one lawyer in California ponied up his $200 and submitted a really dangerous initiative.  He calls it “The Sodomite Suppression Act.”  Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.  He wants to outlaw all forms of same-sex sex.  But, outlawing it is not enough for this wacko.  His bill says “that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

It also says:

No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

His “law” makes it illegal for a “sodomite” to hold public office or even work for a government agency.  There is a lot of other stupid stuff in it, but one that really stands out, if you aren’t sick enough already, says:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

And why does he think this is so important?  Because he believes that if this law is not passed, we are all doomed to follow in the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.  His justification for this idiocy says:

Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God…..

He even stipulates that this law must be posted in “all public schools.”

ISIS is a barbaric and cruel group of wackos trying to establish their personal beliefs on a region of the world.  We all know that.  They are dangerous and most people think something needs to be done about them.  The debate is over what and how this “something” should be.

Okay, even if I agree with that, can someone please explain to me how this “initiative” is any different from ISIS and their policies?  Can someone please explain to me how “executing” gays in this country is any different from ISIS killing non-Muslims in Iraq?  The simple answer is you cannot explain the differences because there are none.  Both groups are “terrorists,” as far as I am concerned.

This initiative is just another step in the “theocracy” that the Conservative Christian Cult wants to unleash on America.  The only difference it this goofball isn’t trying to sugar-coat it.  If this type of hate continues, the word “sodomite” will be replaced with “Muslim” or “non-White” or “non-Christian.

I wonder which speaker at CPAC will be the first to say anything against this “initiative.”  I am rather wondering which one will be the first to endorse it.

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The right-wing in this country want you to believe that if you allow them to enact “Christian Laws” into State and Federal Codes, everything will be perfect.  They want you to believe that their interpretation of what they call “sacred scripts” is the only way America can be perfect.  They tell you that they “love everyone and are not bigoted.”

However, their actions, as well as actions of right-wing Christians everywhere tell a different story.  These actions say that Christians are just as hateful and bigoted as any other religious group.  We have constantly heard about how evil Sharia Law is.  We have been told, erroneously, that there are “no go zones” in Europe because Muslims have put Sharia Law into place locally and Christians are afraid to venture into these areas.

There is also something that they are not telling you.  That Christian fundamentalists all over the world are creating more bigoted laws than we have since the end of World War II.  Here are just a few examples of just how unloving and hateful Christians really are.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.

We all remember our history and the stories about the Holocaust during Nazi Germany’s rule in Europe.  What the right is not telling you is that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.  And, it is not just Muslims who are anti-Semitic.

We have seen the murders of Jewish people just because they are Jewish.  We have seen Jewish cemeteries desecrated.  In Strassburg France hundreds of Jewish graves were desecrated just last week.  We have even seen a video that was made in France where people were hurling insults at Jews as they walked down the street.  These were not Muslims hurling the insults either.

Anti-Semitism is nothing new in Europe.  Programs were initiated against Jews for hundreds of years.  Entire villages were either wiped out or their residents forced to move out simply because they were Jews.  Then Hitler took it even further with the Holocaust.

In its 2014 report, the Community Security Trust in the UK reported the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents it had ever recorded. In London, the Metropolitan police recorded a 120 percent rise in anti-Semitic crime in 2014. With hate crimes generally underreported, the real figures are likely to be much higher.

Pediatrician In Michigan Refuses To Treat Infant of Same-Sex Couple.

A pediatrician in Michigan refused to treat an infant because that infant’s parents are a gay couple.  At first the pediatrician, Dr. Vanessa Roi, agreed to treat the infant.  But later “after much prayer” apparently had a change of heart.  When the couple arrived for the infant’s first “wellness check” they were greeted by a different doctor.

That doctor told the couple that Roi would not be seeing them at all.  As it turns out, Roi was so firm in her beliefs that she did not even go into the office that day so she wouldn’t have to see the couple and their child.  The other doctor agreed to treat the infant.

The irony is that it is not illegal in Michigan for a doctor to refuse treatment of a patient based on sexual orientation.  Of course the American Medical Association’s ethics code says differently.  Roi has not been a member of the AMA since 2001 according to her website.  But she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics which also says differently.

Since Roi “made this decision after much prayer” I guess she is saying that her Christian god allows discrimination against other humans.

Oklahoma Committee Sends “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act” To State House of Representatives

A Federal Judge has already ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.  But, those “god-fearing” Christians in Oklahoma will not be deterred from discriminating against the LGBT community by a “silly Judge’s” decision.

Once you understand the contents of the bill, you see that it is even more ridiculous than the title.  This bill prohibits taxpayer funds, including government salaries, to be used for any activity that supports same-sex marriage. It also says that those who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples can be subject to removal from office.

The state is trying to find a loophole where-by they can openly discriminate against the LGBT community.  Not by saying that same-sex marriage is illegal in the state, but rather by firing any official who issues a marriage license to same-sex couples.

Representative Emily Virgin, a Democrat who voted against the measure in committee on Tuesday, said: “No other state in the union has seen more anti-LGBT legislation introduced during this legislative session. The battleground is right here in Oklahoma.”

These are just a few examples of how right-wing Christians believe they will “make the world perfect.”  Of course there have been other stories about how they want to bring back prayer to public schools, place religious artifacts in court rooms, and allow business to openly discriminate against anyone they think goes against their beliefs.

This just shows that anytime we allow religious beliefs to bleed into society and our laws how other groups are targeted.   Christians have no more tolerance for those who believe differently than Muslims.  That is why the First Amendment says:  “The government shall not endorse any religion.”

I have said this before.  History is cyclical.  It is obvious that we have failed to learn from history, therefore we are doomed to repeat it.  Even if you agree with this nonsense, remember, at some point someone with more money and a louder bullhorn is going to come around and make your beliefs illegal.  That should be reason enough for everyone to fight this crap before it goes any further.

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Fifteen days and counting.  That is how much longer the Department of Homeland Security will have funding.  On March 1, the DHS will be forced to “shut down” because it won’t have any money left.  There is only one reason that DHS is about to run out of money.  The Republican Party has made funding DHS a political game.

This is all over the President’s Executive Order about immigration.  The Republicans want that Executive Order done away with, and they don’t want to fund DHS until it is.  As a result, the House passed a bill funding DHS only if it undoes the Executive Order.

In the Senate the Democrats have filibustered the bill.  There are not enough Republican votes to override the filibuster, so the bill is essentially dead in the Senate.  The weird part seems to be that the Republicans cannot even get together on who is to blame if the DHS funding runs out.  For example, Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois had said from the beginning:  “I think the defunding action leads us to a potential government shutdown scenario which is a self-inflicted political wound for Republicans.”

However, in order to shed light that he really thinks the Democrats are to blame, yesterday he told a bunch of reporters:

“The Republicans — if there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown — we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans,’” Kirk said Tuesday.

Kirk also told POLITICO: “In the end, eventually the lap-dog media — of which you guys are probably all members of — is unable to call it for what it is: just pure politics to try to hurt the Republicans. I think Democrats mistakenly feel a shutdown is a scenario which advantages them.”

So Senator which is it?  Even he can’t make up his mind.  Even after trying to pin the hypothetical deaths of Americans on the Democrats, he basically threw up his hands and said that the whole Republican strategy is a mistake, and urged his leadership to cave to the President.

I guess you can argue that if the Republican strategy is a mistake, you cannot blame the Democrats if DHS shuts down at the end of this month.

Then there is the faux Speaker of the House, the infamous Mr. Boehner.  Boehner threw a hissy fit yesterday even using mild obscenities.  He won’t admit that the strategy is a mistake, but rather tries to make the Democrats the villain.  I almost fell over laughing when I heard him say:

This can get done if the Democrats would just stop saying no to everything.

That is really rich coming from him.  Just a little recap of his own inaction in the past by refusing to allow votes on little pieces of legislation like:

  • The Bi-Partisan Immigration Reform Act passed by the Senate almost two years ago.  Which by the way, if passed would not have resulted in the Executive Order in the first place.
  • The Transportation and Infrastructure Bill which would have created millions of middle-class paying jobs across the nation.
  • ENDA which would make it illegal to fire someone just because they were gay.  And, would have prevented Gov. Brownback in Kansas to strip LGBT protection in that state.
  • The Fair Pay Act which would ensure that women be paid the same salary as men who are doing the exact same job.

Those are just four bills that were not even allowed the courtesy of a vote in the House in the last six years!  Besides, only the Transportation and Infrastructure Bill would have cost the government any money.  But, it would also have brought more revenue into the government through taxes those getting the jobs would be paying.

Now he has the audacity to claim that the Democrats are the ones who always say no?  Just because they are stopping one very bad piece of legislation?  That is very rich indeed!

Ever since January 20, 2009 the Republicans have been the party of NO!  They have refused to work with the President on any piece of legislation that would benefit the American People.  Their strategy was as Mitch McConnell said on inauguration Day: “to make this President a one-term President.”

So, I guess the shoe is on the other foot now.  Even if the bill were to get to the President’s desk, there is no doubt in my mind that he would veto it.  And, there will not be enough votes to override the veto.  That is what happens when someone decides to play politics with the security of our nation, which is what the Republicans decided to do.

As it looks right now, in fifteen days we are going to be forcing tens of thousands of employees in the DHS to continue working without pay.  Oh, they will be promised that they will get it back once the Department is fully funded, but there won’t be any guaranties.  I would not be surprised if conservatives tried to tie their back-pay to overriding the Executive Order too.

The reason these men and women will be forced to work without pay is because they fall under the category of “essential personnel” and cannot just stop working.  People in the Border Patrol, ICE, and the USCG, to name a few, will all have to keep working even if they don’t get paid.  I wonder if Mr. Boehner or Mr. McConnell will write a letter to the creditors of these employees to ensure they don’t lose their houses or cars while they are working without pay.  I doubt it.  No one ever did before.

But we have to remember that using the American People as pawns in their political games is standard operating procedures in Republican circles.  At the start of this session of Congress in which the Republicans control both houses, we were told by Boehner and McConnell that we will see how well they can “govern.”  After five weeks in power, I would have to give them a Grade of “F”.

Just so the two of them know, governing is not playing politics with legislation.  Governing is working with the other side to get something meaningful done.  They refused to work with the other side for the last six years, and they are refusing to work with them again.  That is not governing.

At this rate we will see another useless Congress for the next two years.  But since that is what we have had for the last six years we shouldn’t expect anything else.  In the meantime, DHS funding is being held up for pure political reasons.  Security of the nation be damned!

 

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During the mid-terms last November, we heard an awful lot about “following the constitution” by Republican candidates.  They harped about “freedom” and “liberty” as if those were things that somehow lost favor in our democracy.  Many others harped about the “law of the land” and other such wise words.  None were more vociferous than the candidates in Alabama.

However, all of that wonderful talk about upholding the Constitution turns out to be nothing more than poppycock!  Right now in Alabama, there is a mass disobedience of the Constitution.  It is even being led by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.

You may ask who is Roy Moore.  Roy Moore was first elected to Chief Justice in 2000.  In 2003, he refused to follow an appeals court ruling that a mammoth 2 ton and a half ton monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the courthouse.  Law suits were filed against the monument claiming it violated the Constitution’s prohibition against religious endorsements.  The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit agreed and ordered Moore to remove the monument.  He refused.

In its ruling the court linked Moore’s actions to the “position taken by those southern governors who attempted to defy federal court orders during an earlier era,” citing the actions of former governors Ross Barnett of Mississippi and George C. Wallace of Alabama in trying to block campus integration and protest marches during the height of the civil rights movement.  It wrote:

Any notion of high government officials being above the law did not save those governors from having to obey federal court orders, and it will not save this chief justice from having to comply with the court order in this case.

A state ethics panel unanimously voted to remove Moore from the bench later that year.  They said:

This court has found that Chief Justice Moore not only willfully and publicly defied the orders of a United States district court, but upon direct questioning by the court he also gave the court no assurances that he would follow that order or any similar order in the future,” the ethics panel wrote. “In fact, he affirmed his earlier statements in which he said he would do the same.”

Unfortunately, that did not preclude Moore from trying again for the top court office.  He successfully ran again in 2012.  In his victory speech he claimed “I have no doubt this is a vindication.”

Which brings us back to today.  A U.S. Appeals Court ruled that Alabama’s law against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Yesterday, Alabama was supposed to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  Even the U.S. Supreme Court refused to give a stay against the ruling just yesterday.

However, only 12 counties issued marriage licenses to gay couples.  The rest refused following Justice Moore’s orders.  In a letter late Sunday night Moore told the state’s probate judges to ignore a federal judge’s ruling that same-sex marriages could proceed and told them not to issue marriage licenses.  He further said:

Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with a constitutional amendment and a state law banning same-sex unions.

So, once again in a state that claims to “uphold the constitution” another right-wing wacko in charge is defying the constitution simply because he hates the idea of same-sex marriage on “religious” grounds.  Except that this wacko is supposed to be the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United Sates.  If you are wondering if Federal Law supersedes state law, Article VI of the Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This mess in Alabama is just another example of religion interfering with secular law.  Once again we have “religious believers” denying civil rights to a group of people just because they don’t like them.  I will even go so far as to say this is nothing less than terrorism again.

The Conservative Christian Cult is continuously complaining about Sharia Law.  This is a perfect example of the Cult enforcing their version of Sharia Law on the rest of society.  It is just as dangerous and vicious as Sharia Law practiced in Muslim countries.  There is absolutely no difference.

Before you start talking about the murders of the “non-believers” under Muslim Sharia Law, what will stop the Cult from implementing the same atrocities if this continues?  I believe the answer is “nothing.”  We live in a country where our civil liberties are supposed to be protected by laws and the courts.  Moore is one of those people who believe that only his favored people should be protected and not everyone.

Whenever you hear Republicans talking about “upholding the constitution” you can simply look to Alabama to realize that it is all a bunch of crap!  It is the conservatives, not the liberals, who are violating the constitution!  They are out to establish a Conservative Christian Theocracy in our country and as far as I am concerned it falls under the category of Religious Terrorism!

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It is time to wake up, the cows have finally come home!  With unbelievable timing, the Republicans suddenly have shown us a “replacement” to the Affordable Care Act.  Well, “replacement” is about all I could call it.  It is not very pretty.

The proposal was devised by Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the chairman of the Finance Committee; Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee; and Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, a member of the Finance and Health committees.

One of the biggest reasons they decided to put their proposal forward is that they anticipate, as many people do, that the Roberts Court will gut the subsidies from the Affordable Care Act later this year.  Since almost everyone who will lose their subsidies, and therefore their insurance, are in Republican controlled states, they figured they better come up with something.  Plus they want to be able to argue against Democrats who say they haven’t got a plan.

I am sure you are all anxiously waiting to hear what is inside their “plan.”  So, here are some of the key points:

It will eliminate the mandate that individuals must have insurance and employers must offer it to employees or pay a penalty.  “If consumers do not want to buy coverage, they don’t have to,” according to a document describing the Republican plan.  That means we go back to hospitals losing money because people without insurance coverage will still have to be treated without paying for it.

The plan repeals the new taxes placed on insurance companies and manufacturers of prescription drugs and medical devices.  The very taxes that pay for the subsidies many people need to afford health insurance.  Yet, the government would offer subsidies, in the form of tax credits, for the purchase of “health care coverage or services,” according to the proposal.

The subsidies would be available to people with incomes up to three times the poverty level, compared with four times the poverty level under the Affordable Care Act.  That is real nice.  But, with the taxes that pay for subsidies eliminated, how are the Republicans going to “pay for” these subsidies?  Also, it means that millions of low-income earners will lose their subsidies, and probably their insurance as well.

Under this proposal, states would be provided a “capped allotment” to finance coverage for certain Medicaid beneficiaries. Money would be allocated according to the number of poor people in each state.  Increases in future years would be tied to the CPI  plus one percentage point and would “reflect demographic and population changes.”

The proposal says “no one can be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition.”  But there are “conditions” for this coverage.  It mostly goes to people who have had continuous coverage.  They don’t define how long “continuous coverage” is.  If you have not had “continuous coverage,” you may get a one-time chance during an open-enrollment period to get coverage.  If you don’t enroll then, you are out of luck of getting that protection.

You will be able to keep your children on your insurance plan up to age 26.  That is of course if the state you live in doesn’t “opt out” of this provision.  Republicans seem to love that “opt-out” phrase.

Only the states will be able to tell insurance companies what must be covered.  In other words, things like the maternity coverage that the Federal Government says must be included in health coverage, can be eliminated if your state doesn’t want it in there.

I saved the best part for last.  I really think you are going to LOVE this part.  Or, maybe not.

Workers would have to pay federal income tax on the value of employer-provided health benefits that exceed certain annual thresholds — $12,000 for individuals and $30,000 for families. Health benefits above those levels would be treated and taxed as regular income for the employee. The thresholds would increase over time.

Employers could still take tax deductions for the cost of employee health benefits as an incentive to continue providing coverage, Republicans said. Moreover, a summary of the proposal says that “economists across the political spectrum largely agree” that the current tax break for employer-provided insurance is fueling the growth of health costs.

How about that!  Bet you didn’t know that you getting a tax break on your health insurance is fueling the growth of health costs, but the tax break your employer gets isn’t affecting the health costs.

There are the usual Republican talking points in the proposal as well.  Like tort reform, deregulating insurance companies, abortion restrictions, you know their usual laundry list.

So, there you have it.  With one fell swoop, the Republicans have a “replacement” to the Affordable Care Act.  And as expected it favors the health insurance companies and employers.  But, as usual, it punishes the people who need health coverage, mainly the American People.

This proposal is even worse than the status quo that we had before the ACA.  This plan is reportedly being backed by the Republican leadership.  I must give the conservatives some credit here.  They truly live up to the conservative credo:  “Backwards, ever backwards!!”

 

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So, what do you think about the Presidents State Of The Union speech last night?  All of the pundits on both the left and the right have their take on what was said.  But, the real important people who need to digest what was said is the American People.  I can only give you my view of it, you will have to decide for yourself what you think.

There were some very interesting items he brought up.  This is the first time I really believe that the President threw down the gauntlet towards the Republicans.  Whether or not you liked his ideas, at least he laid out a plan to move the country forward.  For the last six years, the Republicans have done nothing.  Our economy has grown in spite of the Republicans not because of them.

They have been proven wrong time and again.  They say that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs.  Yet in areas that did raise the minimum wage, jobs are growing faster than next door where it wasn’t raised.  They said the ACA would cause health care costs to skyrocket.  Yet, the cost of health care has gone up at its lowest rate ever.  They claimed that allowing same-sex marriage would “destroy traditional” marriage.  It hasn’t.

So, now that our economy is getting better, the President offered some ideas that would actually “help” the middle-class.  Things like increasing the EITC, tax credits for child care, and free Community College education.  Not being a Republican, he actually laid out a plan to “pay” for his middle-class tax cuts.  But, we all knew what the Republican response would be to that plan since it calls for raising the capital gains tax and closing some inheritance loopholes.

According to the Republicans and their propaganda machine, the speech was nothing more than the “redistribution of wealth.”  After the speech I heard a Republican Representative from Illinois say something I have never heard a Republican say.  He said that the idea to raise capital gains taxes in order to pay for tax breaks for the middle-class was “redistribution of wealth.”  When was the last time you heard a Republican say tax cuts were “redistribution of wealth?”

To be honest, he is such an important figure I cannot remember his name.  But, when the President said “if you really believe you can work full-time and raise a family on less than $15,000 per year, try it.”  This gentleman tweeted, “it is just as hard raising a family at 10.10 per hour”.  See he is against having a minimum wage at all.  He also claimed in the interview, that those people who are making minimum wage are teens who are getting their first job.  Of course, statistics prove him wrong, but what is a lie between friends.

This is at the real heart of the matter on the tax proposals the President is making.  If taxes are cut for the top 1%, especially the top 0.1%, it is a good thing for America and it is being fair.  If taxes are cut for the other 99% paid for by capital gains taxes, it is “redistribution of wealth.” I think that more than anything else the Republicans have said over the years shows exactly what their economic plan is all about.

Here is something else that the right doesn’t want to talk about.  That 28% capital gains tax rate the President wants, is exactly the same capital gains tax rate under the sainted Ronald Reagan.  The rest of the money comes from closing loopholes in inheritance taxes.  See, rich people leave their portfolios to their children.  The children then use a loophole to not pay any taxes on those portfolios that they did nothing to earn.

The biggest reason that inheritance taxes were invented in this country was to make sure that America did not gain an aristocracy class.  It was determined that the “old money” of England was not good for society and that it would not happen here.  Problem is that Republicans believe they are the “old money” in America and America’s aristocracy.  Therefore, they shouldn’t have to pay any taxes on money they inherit.

The Republicans seem to think that we can lower tax rates across the board and not have to pay for it.  They like their voodoo budget tricks to show they are balancing the budget.  But, under Ronald Reagan, the budget deficit grew.  Under Bill Clinton, the budget was balanced.  Then, under George W. Bush, the budget deficit grew exponentially and the economy collapsed.  As a result of two unpaid wars and the collapse of the economy, our deficit grew to about 18 Trillion Dollars.  All of this from a budget that was a surplus when Bush took office.

Funny thing, both Reagan and Bush gave massive tax cuts to the rich and did not pay for them.  They may not like it, but at least the President said how he would pay for his middle-class tax cuts.  But, instead of looking at the proposal and working out a compromise, Mitch McConnell said it is “just another tax and spend plan” that the President has been proposing all along.

Look, we all know that “redistribution of wealth” has been going on for the last 40 years, at least.  The problem is that this redistribution of wealth has been going to the wealthiest people, not the working class people.  95% of all the wealth in this latest recovery has gone to the top 1% earners while the working-class pay has gone down.

The Republicans have brought up the cry that the middle-class is still struggling due to wage stagnation.  I agree.  But, whose fault is that?  Is it the worker’s fault?  No, it is the wealthy who own companies and pay out wages who is at fault.  While they line their pockets without paying taxes on the money, the rest of us are forced to struggle.

While the wealthiest get richer, Republicans across the nation have voted to take away the workers right to unionize.  They have made it impossible for workers to negotiate pay raises through union representation.  They have basically rigged the system against the 99 percent of the people they are supposed to represent!

That is why the Republicans are against any tax hikes.  They want the 99 percent to continue to redistribute their money to the top 1% earners.  They want the 99 percent to struggle just to make ends meet so the rich can get richer.  You cannot keep taking money out of the Treasury and expect to “balance the budget” as Republicans like to say.  Without revenue, the budget cannot be balanced.

As you can see, it isn’t necessarily what the President said in his speech last night.  It is what Republicans are saying in response.  These past Republican plans were “exceptional” ideas but are now socialist plans.  And, yes, the President’s plans are taken straight out of Republican ideas.  David Camp, a Republican was the first to suggest taxing financial institution stock transactions.  Ronald Reagan believed that 28% was a “fair” tax rate on capital gains.

While they wail against the President’s speech last night, they are mute about their plans.  We are still waiting for the Republicans to publicly state their economic agenda to ensure the middle-class gets pay raises.  They keep telling us they want to “repeal and replace Obamacare” but refuse to tell us what their plan to replace it is.  They keep saying they want a ‘fair flat tax plan” yet keep trotting out a plan that will save tens of thousands of dollars for the top 1%, and raise taxes for the 99%.

The next two years will be interesting at best.  They will be dangerous at worst.  The only thing we have to protect us from the continuing Republican’s radical wealth redistribution to the top 1% is the President’s veto pen.  Hopefully the 99% will wake up during these two years.  Otherwise, the future will be very bleak.

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The Republican Party is still insisting that the middle-class has a clear pathway to success.  They claim that hard work will lift you up from poverty and move you into the middle-class.  Once there, more hard work will lift you even higher and allow you to be successful and become rich.

They are not telling you the truth.  As a matter of fact, they have done everything in their power to make sure that the middle-class goes away, and we end up with the very rich and the very poor.  That is precisely why they haven’t voted on a “jobs creating” bill in over six years.  They don’t want you to have a way to get to the top.

Their policies are despicable at best.  They are all in favor of letting student rates soar, making it impossible for less than the wealthy to attend college.  They are all in favor of cutting taxes on the wealthy while slashing social safety nets like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Welfare and Food Stamps.  They are against raising the minimum wage.  In fact, they would rather eliminate the minimum wage all together.  They are against equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.

So, on Saturday, when the White House announced that the President will be seeking a tax increase on the very wealthy in order to help pay for a middle-class tax cut, and possibly make community college tuition free, the Republicans had a fit.  Marco Rubio said:  “Raising taxes on people that are successful is not going to make people that are struggling more successful. … It would also be counter-productive.”

Remember, Republicans always say that increasing taxes on the wealthy will cost jobs.  They have always been wrong on this matter, but they keep trumpeting the lie.  That is what “It would also be counter-productive” represents.  It is a veiled threat that jobs will be lost.

He also said:  “I’m all for reforming our higher education system.  In the 21st century, to have the skills you need for a middle-class job, you need higher education of some form or fashion. It may not be a four-year degree. The problem is he just wants to pour that additional money into the broken, existing system.”  The only thing that is broken in the existing system, is that the average person cannot afford to attend these schools.

The wages for the middle-class has stagnated for the last forty years!  The middle-class struggles did not start with the last great recession in 2008.  They have been struggling for years beginning with Nixon who went after the unions.  Once “right-to-work” laws were passed in several states, wages stagnated.  Since companies did not have to bargain with their workers anymore for raises, they all but dried up.

Today, it is becoming more and more difficult to find meaningful work.  Especially if you are looking for full-time employment.  Just take a look at job sites.  The vast majority of jobs available are at or just above minimum wage.  They are also “part-time” jobs.  It seems that companies would rather fill up on part-time employees rather than full-time.  Of course that is because it just about eliminates overtime and thus cuts wages.  It is also nearly impossible to move from a part-time job to “moving up to the middle-class through hard work” as Republicans say.

So, when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT says:“We’re not just one good tax increase away from prosperity in this nation,”  he’s right.  We are several pay raises for everyone except the top 1% from prosperity in this nation.

In all honesty, the economy is getting better.  Confidence is beginning to rise quickly.  The real problem is that the middle-class and the working-poor are still working for wages that were set in the 1970s.  While the top 1 percent reap all of the rewards of the new upswing in the economy.   Remember, demand drives an economy, not supply.  If people are not making enough money to create demand, there can be no prosperity.

The President rightly pointed out that the tax rates he is asking for are no higher than they were under St. Reagan.  But, Republicans don’t want the 1 percent to be taxed at all.  They are still calling for a “flat tax” code.  They claim that is the fairest way to tax.  Unfortunately, all of the flat taxes they have introduced will cut the top 1 percent’s taxes by tens of thousands of dollars while the taxes for the middle-class and working-poor will increase by thousands of dollars.

Lowering the taxes on the wealthy and raising taxes on the rest of us is their idea of a “fair” tax code.  Remember, the Koch Brothers, Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, et.al., all pay a smaller percentage of their income to taxes than their Personal Assistants do.  Would you please explain to me how that is “fair?”

The time for a wreath laying at the grave of the middle-class is getting closer.  When Nixon laid the wreath at the grave of the unions, the middle-class went on life-support.  Ever since then, the Republicans have been trying to pull the plug on that life-support.  Republicans believe they are the American Aristocracy.  You can’t laud it over a middle-class that is thriving, so you have to get rid of it.

If anyone tells you the Feudal System is dead, just take a look at Republican Policies and you will discover it is alive and kicking in America.

 

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