CBO study shows tax breaks for multi-national corporations and wealthy will cost us $12 trillion over the next decade.

                   A new report from the CBO shows that the top 10 U.S. tax deductions, credits and exclisions ensure that over $12 trillion in tax revenues will be gifted to multi-national corporations and the wealthiest Americans over the next decade. Nearly all of the benefits will be accrued by the wealthiest Americans. The tax loopholes have been written into the tax code by a bought and paid for Congress, that recieves its marching orders from multi-national corporations and wealthy Americans that dominate campaign finance.

The study shows that the top 20% of American income earners will recieve more than half of the $900 billion in benefits from the inexcusable tax code in 2013 alone. Adding insult to injury, 70% of the total benefits go to the top 1% of income earners. The study was requested by House Democrats.

Democrats say the results support President Obama’s approach to tax reform and defecit reduction. Raising revenues by closing tax loopholes and deductions that are being abused by the wealthiest Americans. The National Debt is $16 trillion and we will lose another $12 trillion in tax revenues over the next decade, that equals $28 trillion without adding Government spending. If we close half of those loopholes that will nearly cut the National Debt in half, although it would nevet happen that way. Why are Republicans fighting against Tax Reform like this, when they claim the National Debt is a priority? Is it the Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge or the hate for President Obama?

3 of the top 5 tax breaks, a $2 trillion exvlusion of net pension contributions and earnings over a decade, the $1 trillion deduction for mortgage interest and the $1.1 trillion deduction for State and Local Taxes also disproportionately benefit the top 20% of income earners. The Republican party likes to pretend the middle class is swimming in government aid. These tax breaks that benefit only the wealthiest Americans are blowing up our defecit and those who need it least.

13% of those tax breaks will go to the middle class and 8% to the lowest income bracket. This again shows a disproportionately large gap between the haves and have nots. This will continue the growth of incone inequality in our country. The larger the incone inequality, the more it hurts our economy and our National Debt will continue growing.

These things are in plain sight. A look into recent history shows that the Republican economic theory doesn’t work. They do not seem concerned with the outcome, as long as they and their corporate sponsors aren’t effected. This is a horrible way to run a country. Eventually even the wealthy will be effected by this economic theory. Republicans will cut off their nose to spite their face when it comes to President Obama, their hate for him blinds them.

My Father-in-law says it best. The Republicans only care about the rich and the Democrats take care of the rest of us.

Republicans attack the poor, again.

            Lost in the shuffle of last years big fiscal cliff deal was the deal that didn’t get done, a new Farm Bill. One of the major points of contention was funding for food stamps through SNAP, which is run bythe Department of Agriculture. House Republicans proposed steep cuts, $16.5 billion over the next decade. That would eliminate assistance to over 3 million low income Americans. The Senate Democrats countered with a Farm Bill cutting $4.5 billion from SBAP over the same period.

            Of course Republicans would not budge, content to hand out tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. Congress passed an extension to the Farm Bill that lasts until the end of September. Since there is a new Congress, all old versions of the Farm Bill are dead. Meaning that Congress has to start all over.

           As a matter of course the Republicans ate only going to increase the amount they want to cut SNAP. Representative Frank Lucas, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, told the Capital Press that the Farm Bill will mandate a $20 billion cut to SNAP benefits over the next decade. Democrat leadership blasted Picasso saying “SNAP provides a significant boost to the economy, nearly doubling the return on every dollar we put into the program.”

                    It is a hardcore group ofconservatives in the House that are stirring debate over an issue that use to be mainly non contreversial. Paul Ryan is a leader amongst this group. His budget blatantly attacks the poor while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Ryans 2013 budget calls for $135 billion in food stamp cuts over the next 10 years. With $125 billion coming in the first 5 years. That would throw 13 million low income families off the program. House Speaker John Boehner openly acknowledged that hardcore conservatists were a primary reason the House couldn’t pass a Farm Bill.

                Washington should be debating an expansion of the SNAP benefits. Research shows that for every dollar spent on food assistance programs there is a $1.84 economic benefit. Food Stamp usage increased as a natural function of the Great Recession. Because of lost jobs, it creates more eligible people for the program. Republican demands to enact steep SNAP cuts, while crudely punitive to millions of low income Americans who depend on Food Stamps, are also unnecessary. Spending on SNAP will decrease significantly over the next decade all by itself as the economy recovers, according to the CBO.

           Since President Obama took office, Republicans have been in an all out attack mode on the poor. When offered the oppurtunity to Raise the Minimum Wage, which would have gotten a significant amount of people off SNAP, they refused to even talk about. They pulled out their ultimate weapon, the filibuster. Instead of helping kids get pre-k education, that leads to better education and on turn better jobs, which leads to less on SNAP in the future, they again said NO. Their purposes are just an attack on President Obama because people do not mean anything to these pond scimitar.

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Do we really have a spending problem?

                  Republicans have been insisting that U.S. has a major spending problem. They have been saying that through the whole economic recovery, in fact their obstructionist tactics have even been said to slow down the recovery. House Republicans offer a budget that contains Draconian levels of spending cuts to domestic spending, some Republicans including Rand Paul asked for larger spending cuts.

                According to the CBO, excluding wars and disaster relief funding, Americas discretionary spending has grown at a slower rate than inflation since 2097 and now makes up a smaller share of the economy that it did before the Great Recession. CBO Director Dough Elmenforf wrote; Excluding appropriations for those purposes, discretionary budget authority rose from $892 billion in 2007 to $987 billion in 2013, an increase of about 11%. During that period,  prices (as measured by the CPI for urban consumers) rose by 13%, a nominal GDP increased by 16%. As a result, discretionary appropriations, based on the House passed appropriations for 2013 and excluding funds for overseas contingency operations and hurricane relief- declined by 2.2% in real (inflation adjusted) terms between 2007-2013 and dropped from 6.4% of GDP to 6.2% of GDP over that period.

               Spending levels have plateaued in recent years as Washington has focused on spending and debt reduction. That as I  said earlier has hampered our recovery from the recession. Government spending has typically driven recoveries in the past, this time spending cuts have, of course, hamstrung  our recovery. Further spending cuts to programs that help Americans stay on their feet would only exacerbate the problem. With low borrowing costs and high unemployment, the U.S. has a chance to make investments to help boost growth, therefore creating more jobs. Instead Republicans are focused on spending and a manufacturer debt crisis.

              Despite the hand wringing from conservatives and media types about the federal debts and defecits, any research will make it clear that Americas problem isn’t that the government is spending too much. Rather, it is the government isn’t spending enough. Investments into infrastructure, education, teachers, public workers and other programs could boost the economy. Instead by cutting spending Washington turned its full attention to spending cuts and the results had been dire. Republicans clamor for austerity,  even if it is predictable to anyone who has read about the plight of the European economy over the last few years, where austerity is king.

              The only way to truly balance the budget is to have a balanced plan with spending cuts and increased revenue I.e taxes. Democrats and Patty Murray offered such a plan which was meant with conservative disdain. Our current course may not very as bad as Republicans say.

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Paul Ryans budget, more of the same.

              The Republican budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 purports to balance the budget  in 10 years. With a stronger economy and new revenues from the fiscal cliff deal, the task of balancing the budget is somewhat easier. This budget is eerily similar to other budgets proposed by Paul Ryan. It of course attacks the poor and seniors, while giving more to the wealthy and corporations.

              In February the CBO released a baseline projection for the next decade. The fiscal cliff agreement allowed tax rates on the highest incomes to revert to Clinton era levels. In the process this helped reduced future deficits. Paul Ryan voted against that deal.

              The new budget proposal hits all GOP talking points, less spending, lower taxes and a rejection if most of President Obamas health reforms (ACA). Balancing the budget, Ryans proposal doesnt detail all of the assumptions about economic growth or when some of his proposals go into effect. Ryans plan leaves the countrys accrued debt at just under 55% of GDP by the end of the decade. The CBO estimates it as 77%. The CBO wont analyze Ryans or Patty Murrays budget proposals since each simply propose actions and does not detail legislative changed for hitting those targets. Ryan estimates his proposal will grow spending at 3.4% per year, not the projected 5% His plan would put spending at $985 billion below CBO estimates by 2023.

               He wants to reform Medicare. Starting after 2024 it would become a,premium support system. Future seniors could choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and the premium support system. This would offer seniors a fixed amount of money to buy private insurance. Ryan proposes converting federal Medicaid funding for states into block grants and repeals health reform laws expansion of the program to low income , non elderly adults. Block grants could increase the burden on states, but gives the states more autonomy about how to set up Medicaid programs. Ryan would also convert food stamps to block grants to states and change eligibilty by imposing time limits on participation and work requirements.

           Ryan would raise the sane amount of tax revenue as the CBO, it would total $40.241 trillion. Ryan would simplify the tax code , reducing the individual income tax brackets to 2 ( 10% & 25%), repeal the Alternate minimum tax, lower the top corporate tax rate to 25% and change roles for international taxation. The 25% upoer tax bracket is about 13% less than they are paying now. This equals to another tax cut for the wealthy.

                   Like Ryans other budget it relies on spurrious budget trickery. His past budgets have also included lofty rhetoric on spending cuts, but little details. He assumes the repeal of Obamacare, but uses the savings from it to balance the budget. This typical Republucan tomfoolery, there us nothing serious about this proposal, they know it cant pass. They set tge numbers so far right that even meeting them in the middle gives the party that lost the ekection the power. The Democrats, mainstream media and the Democrat party have to stop this crazy train in its tracks.

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Medicare, why do Republicans want to kill it?

                                     Since Medicares inception in 1965, Medicare has been a government run insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly per need (defined benefit). Republicans want to turn it in to a partially privatized system that pays seniors a fixed amount to buy their own health insurance (defined contribution). Paul ryan trotted out his budget bill again showing his Medicare voucher system under a different name.                      The CBO found that the plan wil raise seniors out of pocket medical expenses by thousands of dollars. The Republican platform claims that the competition caused by privitization will lead to major cost savings, though little evidence exists to support this arguement. According to another CBO analysis privatizing health care would actually spark a dramatic increase in how much the nation spends on Medicare. The Republicans would protect everyone 56 and older, they would see no change in benefits.

                          Most people on Medicare cannot afford to pay more. Half of all Medicare recipients live on annual incomes of $22,000 or less and have less than $53,000 in personal savings. People on Medicare already contribute a significant amount towards their health care costs. Medicare households spend an average of 15% of their total income on health care. 3 times the amount of no Medicare households. Recent analysis show that Medicare costs are slowing dramatically, far below that of private health care spending. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services confirms that slowed growth over the last 3 years is unprecedented in the history of the Medicare program. As a result of this deceleration, the CBO reduced its 10 year estimates on expected Medicare spending by almost $140 billion.

                              Health care costs are a major problem, many believe Medicare is the solution. Steadily rising health care costs are a true threat to our economic health, not Medicare. Over the next 10 years Medicare costs are expected to grow 3.1% as opposed to 5% for private health care. The CBO says that we could save $137.4 billion by 2022, but because many in Congress are afraid to upset the Pharmaceutical apple cart, we wont. Pharmaceutical companies charge more for Medicare drugsthan what the government pays to supply drugs for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid. The Pharmaceutical companies oppose proposals that would allow the government to negotitate lower prices,as does Americas Health Insurance Plans, the trade group that represents the companies that provide the subsidized drug benefits known as Medicare Part D to 295 million people. Together the Pharmaceutical and Health Insurance companies have spent nearly $4.4 billion lobbying Congress and federal agencies since 1998 on Medicare and other issues.

The Republicans apperently are recieving quite a bit of the lobbying money, they continue to try to privatize Medicare. President Obama and the Democrats need to stand strong and stop the Republicans from robbing the rest of America. I guess we will see if they stand tall for the 99%.