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No Extension for Unemployment, and Still No Tax Breaks for Middle Class (11-19-10)

with 6 comments

I intended to go into a long post today, but I wisely forgot my notes at work. So, I will do my best to remember what I can. And the rest, I will make up as I go along.

So, I want to first start with something that was just passed. Or, not passed, for that matter. Yesterday, Congress had a vote for unemployment benefits. People who have been unemployed from the failing economy are often called 99ers. This is because their unemployment benefits run for 99 weeks. It didn’t pass. Republicans feared it would add too much burden to the debt. The extension was for only 3 months more.

During the last week of November, the first wave of 99ers are set to lose their benefits. Now, before I go any further, let me explain. My first thought with this a while back was, ‘Wow! 99 weeks of unemployment. That’s crazy to be on it that long, and why should they get it any longer than that.” But the fact of the matter is, this isn’t a handful of people. This is entire states that have been hit by the recession. Hard. Think Michigan, and the auto industry.

There are people who may not be college educated. Most are older. They know a trade, and they do it well. But because of cut backs, and often outsourcing, their livelihood has been ripped out from under them. They do not know anything else. And to find a job in a failing industry; Well, it’s difficult. Next to impossible.

So, until the economy turns around, these people are stuck. Please allow me to throw some figures at you:

Unemployment gives $310/week. That’s hardly livable.

The unemployment rate right now is 9%. Allow me to refer back to an older post of mine when I say, in a strong economy, the unemployment rate should be around 5%. This allows for competition.

Never in 75 years, when the unemployment rate was this high, have we cut unemployment benefits.

The cost for 1 year for unemployment benefits is around $65 billion. This is money that will keep shelter over the heads of Americans, food on the plates of families, and clothes on their backs.

(http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/129829-house-democrats-introduce-bill-to-extend-unemployment-benefits-for-three-months)

Well, yesterday, the Now for the disheartening facts.

Just after Thanksgiving, 800,000 people will lose their unemployment benefits.

By the end of the year, over 2 million people will be without any benefits or a paycheck.

If you think things are bad now, they are only going to get worse. And the rational behind blocking the bill, because of the debt, is absolutely absurd. First off, Tea Party members are crying over earmarks, which only makes up 1/2 of 1% of the debt, and cut benefits to millions of Americans. But in the meantime, the Republican party will rally for the upper 2% to get their tax breaks. This will add 750 Billion dollars to the already burning debt. The small cost that it would take to provide the unemployed with additional benefits is a drop in the bucket compared.

The fact of the matter is, we have 2 un-fianaced wars. We have for over 10 years now. Trickle down theory is just that, a theory. It’s not proven. The fact of the matter is, it is the 98% of Americans that are the spenders. They spend near every last dollar they earn. That is what gets the economy rolling.

(Note: I hate the term “lower.” We are not the lower class. We are the ex-middle class that has been waged in war for the past 10 years, and near destroyed. However, when 90% of the wealth in America is controlled by the top 2%, then what else can you call us. That’s all we are to them. Peasants.)

That being said, the lower 98% are the ones that spawn the economy. There would be no tax hike under the new policy for us. But the upper 2% would see a tax increase of 3% on anything made above $250,000. Now, many think this is unreasonable. Under the trickle down theory, these millionaires will reinvest into their companies, spur new jobs, which will put more people working, which will help the economy. It all sounds good on paper, but that’s where it ends. In reality, the money sits in their bank accounts, and never gets any further. Instead of using the money to reinvest in America (so to speak), they are using the money to send jobs to China or Mexico.

However, if you raise the taxes on the top 2%, here’s what happens. They look for ways to get tax breaks. One way to do this, is to hide the money into your company. You buy new equipment, hire new employees, etc. All of this is a write off. That will lower their taxes down to a rate that they are paying now. In the process, middle class Americans have more spending money, have more jobs, have higher wages. That is what makes a strong economy. Take a look at past trends. How was the economy under Reagan? Bush, Sr? Clinton? Bush, Jr.?

The fact of the matter is, Trickle Down was instituted and theorized by an Actor. Somebody who made his living on deceiving the public to the truth. He did it to pad the wallets of the wealthy, and to do it at the cost of the “lower” 98%. They are basing their entire economic philosophy off of a man who had Alzheimer’s. I’m sorry, that isn’t somebody that I would trust with my personal finances.

Here is my suggestion for Democrats. Let the Bush tax breaks expire. All of them. Then rewrite the bill. When the vote comes up, let the Republicans expose themselves and show who they are really looking out for. Because they will not try to help the “lower” 98% by any means. They would rather allow all taxes go up, than to see only the “lower” 98% go down. If they truly cared for the average American, this wouldn’t be an issue, and they wouldn’t be willing to sabotage the bill to protect us.

Personally, I would rather see my taxes go up, and be put to good use (infrastructure, reducing the debt, community programs, etc) than to see this country raped anymore by the careless spending, with no means of financing.

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Written by aversas

19/11/2010 at 9:12 PM

President Obama is starting to disappoint me (11-10-10)

with 4 comments

Okay, let me start by saying that I have not yet lost confidence in President Obama.  That being said, there is some criticism of him in this article.  Being a Democrat, leftist, progressive, liberal…whatever you want to call me, does not mean that I am ever bowing at the feet of fellow Democrats.  I will stand up for my beliefs until I die.  And when I see something wrong, I am not afraid to call it out.

On November 2, 2010, when the Republicans took control of the House, President Obama immediately said that he was willing to work with Republicans to get work done.  My first response was, “Okay, show that you are making an honest effort, so when the cards fall, it goes squarely on the Republicans.”  However, when he starts to compromise his very own party, then the problems start.

Let’s start in India.  He brought home 54,000 jobs.  Great.  But they still exported millions of jobs from the US via India.  (To be fair, along with China, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia…)  When he announced his trade deals, I was elated.  In fact, so much so, that I wrote a blog about it.  But later that day, President Obama did his typical gaff, and went back on his word.

“We shouldn’t be thinking that it’s just a one-way street,” Obama said today in a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “I want both the citizens in the United States and citizens in India to understand the benefits of commercial ties between the two countries…I think that the pattern that you’re going to see is that U.S. companies are creating jobs in the United States with technologies where we’ve got a lead…Indian businesses are then going to take those technologies and apply them in India to grow Indian businesses as well. And that’s going to be a win-win for both.” (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/11/obama-stereotypes-shadow-us-indian-trade-relations/1)

Excuse me, President Obama?  The last I heard, India was in the business of stealing our jobs.  Maybe not all call center jobs, that is indeed a stereotype, but to say that that isn’t their business.  That isn’t how they are getting their jobs.

And to say that it is a two way street?  I think somebody needs to inform President Obama that India has a strong “Anti-Stealing” policy against their corporations.  In other words, it’s 100% legal for jobs to be imported into India, but it is illegal for jobs to be exported out of India.  If that isn’t the definition of a one-way street, I’m not sure what is.

So, continuing onward with President Obama’s flickering commitment to his own party.  Let me remind you again of his commitment to reach across party lines and compromise with the Republicans.  The incoming Republicans set up a “bi-partison” committee to see how they can work on the tax breaks for all.

First off, tax breaks for everybody doesn’t work.  This idea that the top 2% are “job creators,” and without a tax cut, they wouldn’t be able to survive, is a joke.  The past 10 years, they had their tax break, and they shipped jobs out of the country at record rates, cutting more jobs than ever in America.  This trickle down theory is just that, a theory.  But the fact is that the bottom 98% are the spenders.  But in a continuing effort to get that top 2%, along with the rest of the 98%, budget cuts have to be made.  After all, this money has to come from somewhere.

So, how would they generate the money?

Option 1.  Remove the top 2%, raise their taxes 3% (on everything OVER $250,000), and give the taxes to the spenders, the “lower” 98%.  Oh, but that’s off the table because this “bi-partison” committee wants to make everybody happy, despite the problems it has cost in the past.

Option 2.  Cut the budget for the military.  A $5 million dollar hammer?  A $50,000 toilet seat?  There is a lot of excess fat in the military that can be cut.  Let’s not forget the two over-extended operations we are currently involved with.  And the biggest expenditure by the military?  That’s reserved for US bases.  As of 2002, the number of US bases in the world was 845,441, covering more than 30 million acres of land. (http://www.nonviolenceworks.com/usmilitaryglobal.pdf).  And that number is going to continue to increase as we continue to expand our influence around the globe.  As any history major will tell you about the Roman empire, it was doomed when it began to over-reach its boundaries.

Option 3.  Cut Social Security benefits, and raise the age of retirement even higher.  Heck, France rebelled when they raised the age from 60-62, and American’s don’t seem to care that right now, their retirement age is 67.  Let’s see if we can boost it up to 68.  Yeah, try and get a job when you are 68, if you are still alive.  What happened to working hard, and retiring to enjoy the golden ages.  That’s long gone. And after all, the Tea Party wants Social Security gone, so this is a good first step.

And while were at it, we can generate a lot of money if we just get rid of the tax break for people with a mortgage.  You know, the one that allows us to write off what we paid in interest.  That’s just what the housing market needs.  The final stake into the heart.  Not to mention the countless Americans that are already hurting. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/debt-commission-mulls-social-security-benefits-cuts-tax/story?id=12111270)

Well, which seems to make the most sense to you?  I’ll give you a moment to review them all.  Ready for the answer that the bi-partison committee came up with?

Answer:  OPTION 3!

That’s right, America.  This is what is going to happen, all to give that top 2% their tax break.  Is it worth it to you?  Not me!  But, in President Obama’s ever political reaching arm, he want’s a compromise, and is open to the idea of giving the top 2% what they want.  It’s absolutely absurd.  And while it is unlikely to pass in congress, here’s the deal.  With Citizens United, and the endless amount of money that will be flowing into the Republican Party, say goodbye to any chance of a majority or presidency in the future, and that means all of these plans are very likely to arise again, and pass.

Still think politics don’t affect your life?  Remember that when you are 75, working your 40/hrs a week, and can’t make ends meet because any and all tax breaks for you are gone, and the rich now have 85% of all the money.  Don’t think it can happen?  Continue sitting back and doing nothing.

Oh, yes, one final thing on how the two parties are working together.  While the Democrats are promising to work with Republicans, Republicans are promising hundreds of hearings, and repeal of any and all bills passed in the past two years.  That’s progress?  And where they would fail, say for example, repealing the health care reform act, they are promising to defund it.  If they Right is able to cut funding for the Health Care Reform, they effectively go around executive orders, and are able to pass their agenda anyway.

To quote Mitch McConnell, “…[we] will be more than happy to work with President Obama on issues they agree on as long as the president is willing to ‘come back to the center’.”  So in other words, we’ll work with President Obama, as long as he agrees with us. (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/mitch-mcconnell-well-work-president-obama-).

I’m not even going to get into the fact that he has went back on his word for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, giving tax breaks to companies that keep jobs here and raise taxes on those who ship out, not even trying to get a single payer option on the health care bill…but I could.

You go President Obama.  Continue to compromise.  But remember, as you said, it should be a two way street.  But apparently, you don’t know the definition.  And the only thing being compromised, is your chances for reelection is 2012.

President Obama may not create jobs, but he sure knows how to bring them home (11-6-10)

with 2 comments

You will hear a lot of people saying that they are upset that President Obama and the government is not creating jobs.  Well, the truth is, the government does not create jobs.  They don’t go to people and say, “Hey.  You.  Make 100 jobs available in your factory.  Now!”  But what they do create is the atmosphere where jobs can be made, and exist.

An example would be a tax breaks for companies that hire new employees that were previously unemployed.  So, let’s say Mr. Smith makes sprockets.  If Mr. Smith hires John, the government could step in and reimburse Mr. Smith for John’s training period of 2 weeks.  This would promote Mr. Smith to hire several new employees, knowing that their training would be free, and they would be able to be more productive.

So far, this hasn’t been done.  Why, I am not sure.  Perhaps some would see it as too much government is our daily lives.  But President Obama did something even better this weekend, and that was just on his first day out of ten in Asia.

President Obama went to India and was able to secure 54,000 new jobs, in a $10 billion dollar for products for the Indian government that would be made right here in the United States. (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/06/india.obama.jobs/index.html?hpt=T1)

Is too little too late?  I say no.  The Democrats may have had a huge loss in the House, but we still have the Senate, and of course, the presidency.  But, most importantly, there is a bright spot to that loss.  The Republicans will have 2 years to either create jobs and get the economy jump started, which will be good for President Obama since he is the one that signs all the bills, making him have a great chance for reelection in 2012, and Democrats getting the credit for passing legislation.  Or, and more likely, the Republicans will be a party in chaos, and be completely gridlocked.  In which case, nothing will happen, and the Republicans will take the fall for the American people thinking they could help, and do nothing but cause problems.

But this job creation pact that President Obama is spreading throughout Asia is only good for him.  Americans are going to be put back to work.  Supplies for these products are going to have to be purchased, and that will put even more people back to work.  It may  be too late for the midterms, but that’s in the past.  Now we need to keep looking forward, and keep the focus where it should be.  On the people.

America doesn’t stop working because of an elected official doesn’t get re-elected.  American doesn’t even stop working when they lose their jobs.  They are a diverse group of people that are always looking to better themselves.  Lately, it seems like the American Dream is dead.  It’s not.  It’s just harder to reach.  But since when did we care about the difficulty of our future?  We may hit a few speed bumps along the way, but we never stop moving forward.  There are some people that think that the best thing for us is to look at the past.  To support white collar jobs, and forget the blue collar working men and women.

The Republicans seem to think that the best thing for America is to get rid of Labor Unions, the groups that support higher pay, better working conditions, and quality healthcare.  They also want to reverse the oversight and regulations on Wall Street, allowing schemes like Goldman Sachs and AIG to take place all over again.  They also want to give tax breaks to the wealthiest 2%, the idea being they are the ones who create jobs.  Because it worked so well for the past 10 years.

This isn’t how jobs are created.  The truth is, it’s not the Donald Trumps and Bill Gates that go out and buy products, putting money into our economy.  Rather, it is the 98% of Americans with everyday jobs that go out, buy products, and throw money into our economy left and right, that creates demand, that creates higher production, which supports additional jobs, that eventually will make the CEOs lots and lost of money.  By giving the money directly to that top 2%, it gets put into a bank account and is never seen again.

President Obama is supporting the 98% of Americans that promote the economy.  He is giving the 9.2% of unemployed Americans a fighting chance of getting back into the workforce.  Making America a stronghold in the world economy again.

For too long corporations like Wal-Mart have brought shiploads upon shiploads of tankers across the Pacific Ocean full of products Made in China.  And when those ships go back, they go back empty.  Much like the Japanese bombardment of electronic products in the 80s.  In fact, there are 4.6 Billion cell phones in the world.  Not one of them are made in America.  Not one.  It is statics like this that are destroying the American economy.

By going to India, we may finally be able to fill some of those containers, and ship our goods over seas.  More influence, better products, will lead to more contracts and more jobs.  And this was only his first stop.

Written by aversas

06/11/2010 at 8:18 PM