Republicans kill the Veterans Jobs bill, good enough to die for them but not good enough to help.

                  To put it blatantly, the Republicans screwed our veterans again. Last one was a few months ago when the Republican Sequester killed the Military Tuition Assistance Program. This time is even worse and a serious thumb in the eye of our veterans. This time they stopped the Veterans Jobs Bill by forcing a budget point of order vote. Senate Majority WHIP Dick Durbin (R-Il) requested a motion to waive the budget point of order. The budget point of order was raised by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al). Democrats need 60 votes, but only got 58.

Sessions said in a floor speech Wensday “This violates the Budget Control Act, there is no dispute about it. The Bill will not even go through the House and it violates the Constitution because it says revenue bills must be started in the House and this is a revenue bill.” Why does the House insist the Senate and President Obama present budgets when that is obviously unConstitutional. According to Senator Sessions the House is violating the Constitution willingly in doing so.

The Veterans Job Corp Act would have created new job training programs to help veterans find work in targeted fields. Fields such as natural park conservation, historic preservation projects, police work and firefighting, among others. Senator Scott Brown, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe were the only Republicans who voted for the waiver, in a 58-40 vote.

The $1billion bill would have paid for itself over the next decade. Republican Senators say the bill allows for more spending at the Veterans Administration than what was agreed to in the Budget Control Act. This is thec reason they raised the point of order vote. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) said these types of bills are part of the problem of the growing National Debt.

S.3457 was returned to the calender, leaving H.J. Res. 117, the 6 month spending resolution passed by the House last week, as the only business left in the Senate before the Election recess.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa) said “This point of order puts a price on what we are willing to provide our veterans and it says not a penny more. It’s a point of order that not only kill our ability to pass the bill, but that could also affect nearly every other effort we make to improve the lives of veterans moving forward.” She also said ” At every turn, we have sought compromise. But instead of meeting us halfway, we have been met with resistance. Instead of saying yes to the nearly 1 million unemployed veterans, it seems the other side have spent the last week and a half seeking out any way to say no.”

This a disgusting act on Republicans part. They practice a form of selective austerity. Tax cuts are another form of spending because they cut revenue. Republicans, Tea Party and conservatives are unwilling to raise taxes on the wealthy or close Corporate Tax Loopholes, tax havens and other forms of tax avoidance that cost us hundreds of billions of dollars a year, but will kill a $1 billion dollar bill for veterans that will pay for itself in 10 years. Lobbyist obviously have Republicans in their pocket. Our soldiers are good enough to die to make these greedy pigs rich but are not good enough to help. Shame on you Republicans, you are despicable.

                 

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) takes the Food Stamp Challenge, living on $4.50 a day.

            On Wednesday afternoon Rep.Matt Cartwright had a $.57 box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, with some iceberge lettuce topped with oil and vinegar and 2 slices of wheat bread. This was part of his 1 day protest designed to highight cuts in the proposed House Farm Bill. The plan is to eliminate $20 billion out of the $80 billion Food Stamp budget over the next decade.

Cartwright also ate 2 other small meals that kept his food intake under $4.50 for the day. That is the daily average for food under the SNAP Program per person. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Ok) said that it is the most reform minded bill in decades. He said it would make needed SNAP cuts as well as eliminate $5 billion a year in subsidies paid to farmers, whether they grow crops or not. Why would a farm not growing crops get money from the Food Stamp Program?

The legislation would achieve some cuts by partially eliminating categorical eligibility. That automatically gives you food stamps if you sign up for other programs. People would still be eligible, but would have to apply. That is a good change. The House is debating 103 Amendments to the bill, including a Democrat proposal to eliminate the SNAP cuts. About three quarters of the 47 million recipients are families with children. There are 1.77 million recipients or 14% of the population in Pennsylvania

The Republican led House proposal would kick 2 million families off of the SNAP Program. That would have long term affects on the health of the family, but most importantly the children. Thr fact that Republicans do not understand that austerity doesn’t work is very perplexing. Europe was falling to pieces because of austerity measures. Cutting spending without increasing revenue doesn’t work. But in Republican fantsy land it doesn’t matter because they are making things harder on President Obama.

Republicans said they wanted dollar for dollar spending cuts and tax increases. They have gotten $4.00 in spending cuts for every $1.00 in tax increases. Lets also talk about $200 billion in corporate welfare in 2012 alone. That is 2 and 1/2 times the Food Stamp benefits and still about $40 billion more when you add in heat assistance. So corporations that don’t need money get it, but people struggling because of corporations like this crashing the economy get hit with cuts. I guess it only makes sense when you look at their campaign donations. But campaign finance reform is a battle for another day.

House passes a bill that will lead to another financial collapse.

           The House passed a bipartisan written bill that allows banks to avoid new financial rules by operating overseas. Financial Reformers are happy about one thing- most Democrats voted against the bill. This signals a rocky road ahead for similar efforts to scale back new rules on banks. This also makes the bills passage in the Democrat led Senate less likely.

The bill in question, the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act was introduced earlier this year. It would exempt foreign arms of U.S. Banks from the new regulations on derivatives that are required by the Dodd/Frank Act. The bill was introduced as an effort to stem governnent over reach.

The House Financial Services Committee passed the bill just a few weeks ago, 11 Democrats voted against it and 0 Republicans out of the 61 member committee. Wall St. reformers and their allies in Congress rallied the troops, changing some minds. 122 out of 195 Democrats voted against it and 2 Republicans voted against it. It passed 301-124, these people will never learn or maybe never care.

Past moves to weaken financial regulations have recieved strong bipartisan support. Obviously that has changed, more Democrats than not will support Financial Reform. The fact Democrats are willing to deny Wall St. of their wishes and oppose the bill may help regulators resolve in doing their jobs. Reformers are hopeful Democrat objection to the bill could impede other attacks on the rules governing U.S. Banks foreign operations.

Wall St. is spending a lot of money lobbying regulators to weaken the Dodd/Frank regulations. Others worry about the financial industry trying to roll back regulations on foreign operations through a giant free trade deal being negotiated. Europe is calling U.S. regulations proposed overseas rules to aggressive. The deregulation of U.S. Banks overseas operations may cause them to concentrate business in less regulated foreign markets. Almost every major financial scandal involving derivatives has included trades conducted through a foreign entity. This sounds like a sound policy if we are trying to hurt the economy.

Before you know it our financial system will be in the crapper. Too Big To Fail Banks will again be at the forefront of the collapse. We will have to bail out these reckless businesses again. These banks should have been broken up and made to stay away from derivatives. But the amount of lobbying money us too much for Congress to pass up, even if it cripples our country. Greedy sods like this have cost the American people one to many times. Elizabeth Warren might be our last hope at protection, hopefully President Obama will support her.

Republicans need to get their priorities straight.

                 Republicans have the nations attention focused on the IRS and NRA “scandals”. While they have our attention, other very important things are slipping by. The Banking industry’s dirty practices are coming to the forefront, but no one is listening. They are concentrating on subjects that should be resolved but Republicans are hiding the truth.

                Bank of America’s practices are coming out and they are dirty. They were taking bribes to delay paperwork to cost homeowners more money. Telling homeowners they didn’t recieve the paperwork, delaying their applications for HARP, causing them to be denied. These illegal practices led to illegal foreclosures that cost real people their homes. But apparently this is not important to the Republican party, who are to concerned with finding a way to impeach President Obama. That is solid governing skills right there.

Every attempt at reforming the Banking Industry has been met with harsh resistance. Elizabeth Warren has made this her baby, she is attempting to fix it so average Americans don’t have to suffer at the hands of these wealthy banks. Republicans and even some Democrats are in the banks back pockets. Bank Industry lobbyist converge on the capital everytime Bank Reform comes up. Republicans are fine with the status quo, the American people are not. It is time for a change. The midterm 2014 elections are the key to change.

This has become a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The Income Inequality in our country is one of the highest of all developed countries. The Republicans keep the attention off of important subjects in order to avoid them. Avoidance is not a form of government. Now Republicans want boots on the ground in Syria, another unnecessary war where Americans will die needlessly. Republicans didn’t support President Obama on Libya, where he achieved regime change with no American lives lost. The hypocritical Republicans need to govern, to compromise in order for this great country to remain great.

To be secure or not to be secure, make up your mind.

               After the Boston Marathon Bombing the media was complaining that we should have known something. How could the CIA have known anything if there were no phone taps? Obviously the government doesn’t listen to calls or this tragedy would have been prevented. Republicans are hypocrites who helped create the Patriot Act, but now they don’t like it. Rand Paul wants to file a civil suit, well I want to file one against him for every person that died of gun violence since he helped vote down the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill.

I am sick of the hypocritical nature of our society and government. They want something done, find o ut something is being done and throw a hissy fit. Republicans stop creating scandals and create jobs. Help our economy instead of hindering it and the rich have gotten enough breaks, close the Tax Loopholes and get Tax Reform done. It will help with our National Debt you claim to be so concerned about.

Why are Republicans killing Immigration Reform? They want to deport kids who were brought here illegally by their parents. How is that their fault? What happened to Republicans engaging Latinos, trying to work with them to gain their votes. Just more Republican lies, if you aren’t giving them money you are not important. They are the party of NO, lies and manufacturing scandals. If they cannot win or buy victory they will try anything to get rid of you.

So the government is tracking our phone data, who cares. How is that violating Civil Rights? I have read the 4th Amendment and as long as a court says it is ok, it is legal. Democrats need to stick with President Obama, that is the only way the American people will see improvement. The polarization of this country is sick and most comes from the right. If you want to secede, do it, no federal money for you. Red states get a lot more government aid then Blue states. So buh-bye crazies.

Republican attempts to scandalize President Obama with IRS now moves on to the amount of White House visits.

              The Republican desperation to connect President Obama to the IRS scandal is getting out of control. They are focusing on IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman’s name appearing 157 times on the White Housr public visitors record between 2009-2012. Bill O’Reilly called it a smoking gun and demanded Shulman explain under oath why he was there 157 times. He question the White House’s reason that the IRS was working closely with White House aides on the ACA. This is another Republican calling the White House and President Obama a liar. These people should have solid proof of wrong doing before accusations fly.

But public meeting schedules available for review show that very thing. Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers involved in the implementation of the ACA (Obamacare). He was cleared 40 times to meet with the Director of the Office for Health Reform, 80 times for biweekly health reform deputy meetings and 20 others set up by aides involved with the ACA implementation efforts. 140 of his 157 supposed visits are taken care of right there and that’s before you add in meetings with the Office of Management and Budget personnel involved with the ACA.

Blurring the picture and making the numbers more difficult to attain are that just because he was cleared to go, doesn’t mean that he went. Routine events have a standing list of those cleared to attend, people whose appointments would have been logged and forwarded to the check in gate. There is no time of arrival information to confirm whether Shulman was actually there or not. His name is on the list, that is all Republicans have to go on.

Of the 157 events Shulman was cleared to attend, White House sign in records confirm only 11 events over the 2009-2012 period and the time of departure for 6 events during that period. When asked recently the reasons he might be at the White House Shulman responded ” Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids, questions about the administration of the tax policy they were thinking of, our budget, us helping the Department of Education streamline application process for financial aid.”

So again Beck, O’Reilly and Republican news outlets are getting carried away. They are part of the Republican machine trying to find a way to impeach a President they hate. The Republican attempts to scandalize the Obama administration and Democrats is already hurting them. President Obama’s approval numbers aren’t much worse than usual, only his approval numbers with Idependents have been affected, they are a tough crowd to keep on your side.

I am not sure if Republicans realize President Obama is in his second term. It seems as if they are trying to stop him from getting reelected. The Republican party would do well to focus on policy instead of searching for ways to tarnish a man’s name. Republicans voted 37 times to repeal the ACA, costing us about $50 million, that is not what I call fiscslly conservative. That could have funded the partially defunded Meals on Wheels for Seniors. But why work on policy when scandalizing someone is that much easier.

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.

The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constition.

           The 16th Amendment passed Congress on July 2, 1909, ratified on February 3, 1913. Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution was modified by the 16th Amendment. It goes as follows;
       The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

                  Basically it says that it is up to Congress to set the amount of taxes and collect them. How the money that is taxed is made does not matter. It will not be split up between the states and the census and amountvof people will have zero effect on how the tax system works.

That sentence holds a small bit of information about an extremely large issue. Tax Reform, how should it be done? As I stated above Congress has the power to set the tax levels. They are responsible for the revenue that keeps our country running. There is no mention of lobbyist or outside groups in the 16th Amendment. Nor is there a mention of outside groups helping to set the tax levels. I also didnt see any mention that Congress had the right to take an anti-tax pledge with a lobbyist. So Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge means nothing.

We have established that the Republican trickle down economy doesn’t work. In fact ot has horrible economic consequences, look at the state we were in 2008. We were hemorrhaging jobs, the housing market crashed, Stock market was trashed and banks were going belly up at an alarming rate. We can also agree that austerity doesn’t work. Look at Europe and look at how the Sequester slowed job growth. Obviously you cannot cut your way to prosperity.

If there are any millionaires out there who made their millions solely by cutting spending please speak up. What us needed is a balanced aporoach. Yes we should make cuts, but a least dollar for dollar with tax increases. Right now it us about 6 dollard spending cut to 1 dollar in tax increase. That will not get us where we need to be. Unfortunately Republicans will cut off their nose to spite their face. They cannot see logic because of their vile hatred for President Obama.

Apple recently was in the news for Tax Avoidance. That was $6-$9 billion in taxes that wasn’t collected. In 2010 GE did not pay a single dollar in taxes, I paid more that GE. How many more companies are doing this? How many billions of dollars in tax revenue are not collected because Republicans do not wantva fairer tax code? The extreme Republicans, Tea party members want to abolish the IRS and pay little or nothing in taxes. Our founding fathers knew taxes were essential, why don’t Republicans?

President Obama’s agenda is working. We are digging out of the recession despite Republican obstruction. The stock market and housing market are both recovering. Our debt ceiling crisis has been pushed back by several months by his measures. Imagine where we would be with Republican help. Unfortunately all they have to offer is vitriol.

Our Constitution, a fluid document that is difficult to change.

                 The Constitution of the U.S. is a fluid document. It helped set up a Democratic government, elections, freedom of religion and speech. When it first began African-Americans were only counted as 3/5s of a person. It was essentially legalizing slavery. Yes our Constitution essentially made slavery legal. That is why we needed an amendment to make slavery illegal.

I am not a Constitutional professor or lawyer, nor do I claim to know all things about the Constitution. But after years of hearing Republicans link the Free Market and Capitalism to the Constitution, I had to see for myself. Not anywhere in the Constitution are either mentioned. I find that a bit odd, Republicans and the Tea Party claim they are the ardent protectors of the Constitution, yet they don’t know what is in it.

The Constitution states that Federal Law is the law of the land. Federal Law supersedes all state laws. Yet Republicans tout Nullification, the states ability to ignore a Federal Law. Nullification was ruled illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court, thereby ending all argument. But this is another case of Republicans picking and choosing which parts of the Constitution they want to follow. If Republicans had their way there would be 50 different countries. They want to take all power away from the Federal Government.

So again Republicans are on the wrong side of not just the argument, but the Constitution. It seems to me that Democrats are protecting our Constitutional Rights. Why would Republicans want new Voter Laws? The Voter Fraud in those cases are barely existent. President Obama is called a Marxist and a Socialist yet he is protecting our rights. The Republicabs use the projection method, they project what they are doing on to others to pass the blame. But keep on trying to blame others for the problems they created.

The overhyping of Welfare numbers while hiding corporate welfare numbers.

                Republicans like to harp on Welfare, there are to many people on it, it costs to much and people come to rely on the government instead of themselves. While saying this they hand out money to multibillion dollar corporations and reward companies who send jobs overseas. Apple alone avoided paying $9 billion in taxes last year, by using U.S. tax code loopholes.

Last year Welfare cost the country $80 billion. That seems like a hefty number, until you consider a few things. The Bush Tax Cuts have cost us approxamately $1.5 trillion since their inception. That is about $115 billion a year. These tax cuts were supposed to create jobs, where are they? Bush will go down in history as one of our worst job creating Presidents, amongst other worsts that he owns. These tax breaks if they were to go away would do quite a bit to pay our National Debt.

Corporate Welfare is worse than both Welfare and the Bush Tax Cuts. Corporate Welfare is subsidies given to wealthy corporations. For instance Oil Companies recieved about $15 billion from our government last year. Corporate Welfare cost us $200 billion last year. 2 and 1/2 times that of Domestic Welfare. What is more important, our People or our corporations? Why do corporations that are being government subsidized not hiring?

In order to recieve Food Stamps, a family of 4 making $26, 000 would get $165 a month in Food Stamps. A person working 40 hours a week at $12.50 an hour would recieve that much. In order to get Welfare, you have to make lesd than $400 a month. Then you would get cash assistance, medical, dental and Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing I believe comes in at a higher number. Are these the people the government should stop helping?

Each dollar spent on Food Assistance returns $1.86 to the economy. So again Republicans are mistaken in their attacks. Democrats want to give more to people and cut the corporations off. President Obama wants to help the people and Republicans hate him for it. The people vote for the party that helps them. Remember the Republucans thought the Sequester was a good idea.