Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Terrorists in Congress?

Dear Madame L,

I just read an article calling House Leader Boehner and other Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives "terrorists" over the debt ceiling crisis.

Isn't that a little harsh?

Sincerely,

Worried


Dear Sincerely Worried,

Madame L does not think that word is too harsh, as it represents actions by those members of Congress that hold the U.S. Middle Class, poor, elderly, students, and children essentially as hostages to the greed of rich people and corporations.

If the U.S. Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by early August, the U.S. government will default on its loans. Other nations, looking to us for leadership, will stop trusting our financial institutions. Our national economy and the international economy will both falter. The American prosperity which was thrown into disarray by thte politically and economically disastrous actions of the Bush administration, and which Pres. Barack Obama had hopes of correcting, will be thrown into further chaos. The recession we might have started to come out of will get worse.

Madame L thinks the solution is simple, but does not think the Republican members of Congress will agree to it: Raise taxes on people earning over $250,000 a year, and close loopholes for large corporations (the 35% corporate tax rate is a joke, as major corporations generally pay less than half of that because of loopholes).

Cutting taxes has NEVER worked in our modern economy. It has not inspired corporations to create jobs, it has not helped money "trickle down" from the wealthy to the ordinary average citizens, it has not brought any jobs back from overseas, and it has never come close to balancing a budget.

What do corporations do with the tax benefits granted them through loopholes? They have never created jobs with that money. They have increased dividends for stockholders, increased pay for CEOs and board chairmen, and plowed money back into the company's coffers. 

What do wealthy people do with their tax benefits? The majority of them sock it in the bank, or, actually, they buy more stocks with it.

Salon.com's Joan Walsh writes convincingly about the ways that the Republicans in Congress are now holding us all hostage.  Jared Bernstein writes about how easy --- really! --- easy! --- it would be to "get to a trillion."

Newspapers and TV news broadcasts are full of stories (such as this one about $137,000 in Medicaid funds going to Michele Bachmann's husband's clinic) about Republican members of Congress who rail against government spending while gleaning $$$ millions $$$ for themselves and their districts. 

Read them and weep. And then write to your Representative and both Senators.

In sum, Madame L thinks that "terrorism" is a good description of the current behavior of Boehner et al. And it worries her, too!

Best,

Madame L

1 comment:

Jeff said...

George H.W. Bush called Ronald Reagan's "trickle down economics" something different. He called this "Voodoo Economics," and almost didn't get selected to be Reagan's VP for it. True though.

The historical record verifies everything you wrote above. I find this whole debt ceiling hostage-taking a bit disingenuous: Republican Congress raised the debt ceiling numerous times from ~$5 Trillion to ~$10 Trillion during G.W. Bush's reign. Please.

Incidentally, there is a bomb in the terrorist cave: read Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The "debt ceiling" is flatly unconstitutional.