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The Republican Block

October 12, 2011

If you didn’t know corporate America has been very successful during this recession.

It is recording historic profit margins.

It is not hiring.

Why? The economy is terrible. Not for them, certainly not for their shareholders. The economy is terrible for their consumers. You and I. We no longer have the disposable levels of income to spend on their products so business is holding higher cash balances than they have in decades as a buffer for their projected loss of income.

Yesterday, President Obama met with his Presidential Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. A big business, top heavy, council of the leaders of the countries most profitable companies charged with advising the President on ways to get corporate America hiring. There major recommendation, there number one point to the President and therefore to the country was – drum roll please….infrastructure spending.

“…repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, ports, dams, schools, waterways and waste water systems are classic two-fers”

What two things do these luminaries of the board rooms say this will do?

  1. Create jobs
  2. Promote long term competitiveness by having a more productive economy

This from the GOPs beloved “job creators”.

On the same day that these recommendations are being published Republican Senators voted as a bloc to block the the Presidents “American Jobs Act.” Legislation rife with infrastructure spending in line with the recommendations of the America’s  “job creators”. In fact, they have gone so far as to vote as one to deny the debate of the merits of the legislation in the Senate.

The intentions of the GOP should be clear now. But let’s state them point of factly:

Republicans have no intention of passing any legislation backed by President Barack Obama.

Further, they will vote NO to whatever ideas are suggested by the President, even if they are philisophicaly their own. Look at their recent history:

  • 2010 – 50 Republican Senators support infrastructure spending legislation
  • 2010 – 37 Republican Senators support cutting payroll taxes for small business

Sounds like the President’s jobs bill. Dead on arrival with the same Republican Senate.

To quote the carpenter from Nazareth “Woe to you Pharisees. Hypocrites!”

The Republicans, and 2 Democrat dissentors (Jim Webb, D – VA; Ben Nelson D – ME)  have no intention of aiding the American people unless they can remain ideologically pure. Meaning no revenues – no tax increases. Even when those proposed taxes would only effect the top 0.1% of the country.

The Presidents jobs bill was to be paid in full:

  1. Large cuts in payroll taxes
  2. tax provisions to make it cheaper for employers to hire new workers
  3. Extension of unemployment  benefits and job training
  4. $50B in building projects
  5. $30B for school renevation and rehiring civil servants

All  paid for by a 5.6% surtax on personal incomes over $1M. A surtax that effects 0.1% of the population. Let me clarify, the surtax would only tax incomes over the first $1M earned. That means if you just make $1M a year, you don’t get any further taxes levied against you. It only applies to those whose incomes are annually in the  multi-millions!

It is unconscionable for Senators and Congressmen who are not going hungry to keep jobs out of the reach of the fading middle-class and the voluminous poor. It is inexcusible to not even debate the merits of legislation that would provide 2M jobs to our economy. It is irresponsible to put divisive political gain ahead of our countries interest.

There is no justice, no equity in GOP politics. That’s clear – that is irrefutable, and that is unacceptable. I know many have been disappointed (me included) in many of  President Obama’s priority decisions. With his choices in economic advisors and his seeming reflexive style of negotiation. But the enemy is still the plain to see. They are the same ones who ideologically stand against, as A Philip Randolph said in 1963:

“Medicare, high minimum wages, social security, federal aid to education”

I would add to Randolph’s list full voting rights, fair taxes, collective bargaining, a vibrant middle-class, modern infrastructure.

That my friends is the Republican Party.

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