Monday, 2/21/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

24 responses to “Monday, 2/21/11, Public Square

  1. Yesterday the local paper printed an opinion written by our newly-elected Rep. Pompeo. I was reading along and thinking he made good sense until I got to this blatant lie: “Finally, Kansans have made the link between increased taxes and regulation and jobs leaving for other countries.”

    Taxes are at historic low points! Taxes have never before been this low in Pompeo’s entire life, yet he lies and spreads the GOP propaganda. So, why would I believe any of the words that come out of his mouth? He ignores the facts and damages his credibility; has his hearing been damaged too? Will he please his masters the Koch brothers by spreading fear and misinformation?

    Mike Pompeo: Curb spending, debt

    • wicked

      Pity we can’t curb Mike Pompeo. Yeah, sit him on a curb with no job, no home, no health insurance, and top it all off with a tin cup, then see how far that gets him.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        Literally, income taxation at the state level in Kansas has not appreciably changed in the past decade plus, so if this is where the government teat sucker is coming from, he has a point as to the state level. And, as much as I hate to give any credence to him and his ilk, the curtailing of deductions at the federal level has resulted, in some cases, in greater amount of income taxes paid, albeit at a lower marginal rate.

        That all said, I’m tired of the tack being taken on these issues by the GOP. There are arguments for and against every program, etc., funded by the revenue generated by taxing incomes. The seminal issue remains quantification of the overall societal benefit derived from the existence of these programs, and the need to pay for those adjudged beneficial. Given the premise that those who make the most money are reaping the greatest benefit from society’s well being as contributed to by these programs, should not these same beneficiaries contribute proportionately to the costs thereof? Or, more simply, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected” (roughly paraphrased, I know).

      • “The seminal issue remains quantification of the overall societal benefit derived from the existence of these programs, and the need to pay for those adjudged beneficial.”

        Fighting The Right War

        In effect, the newly energized Republicans sometimes declare that they are intent on fighting a war on entitlements.

        This claim might might have a shred of credibility if it focused on entitlements across the board, particularly those areas where there is very substantial waste such as subsidies for the big business or the oil industry or the defense spending on weapons systems that even Secretary Gates admits aren’t needed, will never be completed and will never be used.

        Ignoring these big buck sink-holes and fighting a war on entitlements for the poor deals only with a tiny sliver of the budget problem and does practically nothing to deal with the budget deficit, while causing massive disaffection among independents and firing up their opponents. Whatever else it is, it’s not smart politics.

        http://blogs.forbes.com/stevedenning/2011/02/20/fighting-the-right-war/

      • wicked

        Heavens, you don’t expect them to touch their golden cash cows, do you?

  2. wicked

    CONS thrive on lies. They’re too lazy to care about the truth or look for statistics or think. Give ’em 100 years of Republican rule, and they’d still find a way to blame the Democrats.

  3. I am appreciative of the low tax burden! Liked that $800 tax credit too.

    I’ll find truthful things to complain about while being happy about the fact that it took a democratic president to decrease my tax burden. Of course, he also was part of extending the bush tax cuts to the uber wealthy which was a really stupid move. But the GOP has promised everything will be comin’ up roses since the wealthiest Americans taxes didn’t increase. When do you think we’ll see the first indication their promise is something we can count on?

  4. In the same way I enjoy Jon Stewart I enjoy the ONION. Sometimes both are clearly more factual than what we refer to as ‘news.’

    —————————

    Embarrassed Republicans Admit They’ve Been Thinking Of Eisenhower Whole Time They’ve Been Praising Reagan

    Following his discovery, Priebus directed RNC staffers to inform top Republicans of the error and explain that it was Eisenhower, not Reagan, who carefully managed the nation’s prosperity, warned citizens of the military-industrial complex’s growing influence, and led the country with a mix of firm resolve and humble compassion.

    “Wait, you’re telling me Reagan advocated that trickle-down nonsense that was debunked years ago? That was Reagan?” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said upon hearing of the mistake. “I can’t believe I’ve been calling for a return to Reagan’s America. I feel like an asshole.”

    According to sources, millions of younger Republicans have spent most of their lives viewing Reagan a stalwart of conservative principles, and many were “horrified” to learn that the former president illegally sold weapons to Iran, declared amnesty for 2.9 million illegal immigrants, costarred in a movie with a chimpanzee, funneled aid to Islamic militants in Afghanistan, and suffered from severe mental problems.

    In the wake of the GOP’s revelation, Congress has passed bills to rename Reagan National Airport and the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in honor of Eisenhower. A number of potential 2012 Republican presidential contenders have also rushed to reframe their agendas in terms of “Eisenhower ideals” while distancing themselves from Reagan.

    “It’s absolutely mortifying to suddenly realize that the man you had long credited as a champion of fiscal conservatism actually tripled the national debt and signed the largest peacetime tax hike in U.S. history,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, adding that he was ashamed to learn that the man he once called his hero stood by silently while the AIDS epidemic exploded. “Frankly, I can’t even believe that fucker had the balls to call himself a conservative.”

    “But we must move beyond this mess and look ahead toward our country’s future, a future much like the one envisioned by the great Ronald Reagan,” Gingrich added. “Oh, sorry—force of habit.”

    The misplaced adulation of Reagan has reportedly affected more than just Republican rhetoric, and seems to have had an impact on policy. Former president George W. Bush told reporters he “honestly thought” everyone wanted him to follow in Reagan’s footsteps, which led him to emulate the 40th president’s out-of-control deficit spending, fealty to the super-rich, and illegal wars.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/embarrassed-republicans-admit-theyve-been-thinking,19248/

  5. Alternatives to austerity

    It’s possible to cut the US deficit in a growth-friendly way that reduces inequality. But certain powerful groups won’t like it

    In the aftermath of the great recession, countries have been left with unprecedented peacetime deficits and increasing anxieties about their growing national debts. In many countries, this is leading to a new round of austerity – policies that will almost surely lead to weaker national and global economies and a marked slowdown in the pace of recovery. Those hoping for large deficit reductions will be sorely disappointed, as the economic slowdown will push down tax revenues and increase demands for unemployment insurance and other social benefits.

    In the US (and some other advanced industrial countries), any deficit-reduction agenda has to be set in the context of what happened over the last decade:

    • A massive increase in defence expenditures, fuelled by two fruitless wars, but going well beyond that;

    • Growth in inequality, with the top 1% garnering more than 20% of the country’s income, accompanied by a weakening of the middle class – median US household income has fallen by more than 5% over the last decade, and was in decline even before the recession;

    • Underinvestment in the public sector, including in infrastructure, evidenced so dramatically by the collapse of New Orleans’s levies; and

    • Growth in corporate welfare, from bank bailouts to ethanol subsidies to a continuation of agricultural subsidies, even when those subsidies have been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organisation.

    As a result, it is relatively easy to formulate a deficit-reduction package that boosts efficiency, bolsters growth and reduces inequality. Five core ingredients are required.

    continue —
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/06/us-deficit-cut-austerity-alternatives

  6. Republicans on FEC want firms to be able to raise money for candidates

    The fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission keeps coming.

    The case loosened restrictions on corporations that do political campaigning with the proviso that they do it without working with candidates. But in a little-noticed document, three FEC commissioners have said they think corporations should be allowed to raise money directly for candidates.

    As it is now, corporations are prohibited from helping candidates raise money. The furthest they can go is allowing a candidate to hold fundraisers on their property, and even then, the campaign must pay for the space in advance. But the three commissioners, all Republicans, said those prohibitions are “at best suspect” in light of Citizens United’s protection of free speech for corporations.

    The commissioners’ statement, while not a change in the law or regulations, indicates how far they are willing to take the court’s decision when policing the rules for money in politics.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/16/AR2011021607110.html

  7. Selling off the public to the private under cover of fiscal exigency. GOP burning the Reichstag?

    ———————

    The Less Discussed Part of Walker’s Wisconsin Plan: No-Bid Energy Assets Firesales.

    http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-less-discussed-part-of-walkers-wisconsin-plan-no-bid-energy-assets-firesales/

  8. tstb says, “Making progress everyday some day they will even teach me how to spell! It is still foggy at times.”

  9. tstb and I have been keeping in touch as well. I can empathize with the frustration he is feeling. Although our respective rehabs are different in nature, it is my sense that there exists a common denominator among all dealing with rehab that is well understood by those who have experienced it and almost inexplicable to those who have not.

    • I’ve been smiling at the exchanges between you two men. I admire the support you offer and the friendship it cements. Meaningful relationships are based on things money cannot buy: trust, respect, integrity, compassion, love. You two both already know that! And you know the importance of relationships compared to the nicest things money can buy.

      • When tstb was in rehab here in ICT, one of the dominatrices with whom he was working had worked with me a bit. The afternoon I visited him during a PT session, she was surprised that he and I were acquainted. To show you the great depth of feeling that exists between her and me, when tstb proudly proclaimed that he and I were “soul mates”, she said something to the effect that knowing me, she had determined tstb and I were “cell mates”. That is why I offer tstb all the support I can, given the grief he has taken already from a certain someone whose name for me is “Trouble”. It’s the least I can do. 🙂