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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.


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.


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.” (

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. (  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. (

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. (

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.

Terrorism, Candidates, and Health Care (10-29-10)

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First and foremost, I want to point you to a great website. It will show you your voter registration status, as well as show you the address of the location of where to vote. It can be found here:

The Mid-Term elections are coming up. It’s going to be a big one. Please, make sure you get out and vote. I know, as well do you, where I stand. I have a bias towards that party. If you disagree with everything I say, go out and vote against me. I don’t care who you vote for, just get out and vote. This is what separates us from the tyrannical and oppressive governments around the world. This is what democracy stands for. This is what defines us. Taking advantage of it is your choice. You can stay at home and not vote. But, when that right is taken away, you will be the first yelling about it. But it will be too late.

Remember, no single raindrop think’s it’s responsible for the flood.


Okay, so there was relatively no news today, or anything really controversial to talk about. But there was one story that I will hit on, only because it leads me to another point. Then I will go over the Pennsylvania candidates.

So the top story for today is the attempted, pre-attack, attack terrorist plot. Yeah. If we reported every time something like this went on, we would all be crazy, living in fear, and and constantly looking over our shoulder. Wait…some are. They are called Teabaggers. Of course, the fear mongering comes from the Republicans. Democrats just tell it like it is. I’m sorry if that seems very bias, but look at the facts.

Anyways, here is my issue. When I first heard this story today, it was around 12PM. President Obama heard about it last night. So he did the right thing all the way. He had screened all cargo planes (how it was coming in), and is taking additional measures to ensure the safety, and this attack can’t be carried out. But when the AP got hold of the story, they really f**ked it up.

The first report I heard was that it was a dry test run. They had ink cartridges with wires and a white powder. Then they said that there was no signs of explosives, and that it was thwarted in Yemen. The packages were supposedly going to banks. They also said that they had grounded all planes, I assume that originated out of Yemen. End of story, right? Wrong.

Around 5PM, President Obama made a press release. He said that it was confirmed explosives, and that they had traced it back to the Saudi Arabia peninsula, in Yemen, to an Al Qaeda cell. Wow, that is quite a jump from being no threat to being potentially deadly! President Obama also said that the packages were headed to Jewish Worship places. That is also different from the original story. So in short, nothing that we heard previously to President Obama was true. So who is to blame?

I say the blame is on us, and the news source. We demand 24 hour news, and they supply it. But in doing so, the credibility of any story is thrown into the wind. Stories always develop. But develop, and completely change are two very different things. And we are seeing this more and more. Why couldn’t they simply say, there is an investigation going on into a potential terrorist run in Yemen. We will continue when more information is available. But instead, they all have to be first to the fire, and will go off of every little bit of information, without any kind of accountability.

This needs to stop. Until it does, we will constantly be fed junk stories. From the original story, to the story from the mouth of the horse, the only correlation was the cargo plane and a package. So, what would it have harmed to not know the entire story until it was confirmed by the proper official. This has got to stop.

Moving on…

Before I go on, let me give you this link. There is a lot of questions about what the Health Insurance reform all entails. And there is a lot of bad information coming from the right. Here is an independent website that will explain it all. Some great information here:

Okay, now on to the candidates for Pennsylvania. There are a lot of them in the local races. For a complete rundown, county by county, here is the official Commonwealth of PA website:

But I will focus on the statewide elections. Running for Senator is Joe Sestak (Dem). I support Joe Sestak. I have heard him on several talk shows. He is very intelligent, not muddled by his own personal ideologies, and seems like a very middle of the road kind of guy. His website is here:

His running mate is Pat Toomey (Rep). Pat has been fairly quiet all considering. He hasn’t really went on many shows, none of the progressive radio programs. He hasn’t appeared on CNN or any other liberal media TV shows. What does this tell me? It tells me that he is sticking to the media outlets that he knows will ask him favorable questions, thus painting him in the exact way he wants. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not very honest, and doesn’t open up a very good dialogue with the people. His website is here:

Joe Sestak will keep Pennsylvania fair. He will not repeal the health care reform law, which if you look at the website posted above, you will see is nothing how the Right defines it. Every Republican, and even some Democrats!, have said they want to repeal it. What part? The part that covers 38 million more people? The part that says the insurance companies can’t drop you after you hit a cap? How about the part that says they cannot deny you coverage if you have a preexisting coverage.

You want to know the difference between the Right and the Left, while we’re on the topic. While Democrats are advocating for the human rights issues, Republicans are comparing human life to property:

“It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition,” Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. “Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.” –Mike Huckabee (

So, to them, your health and quality of life is the same as a burnt down home. Classy.

And the list goes on. The fact of the matter is, and this is what it comes down to. While Democrats are for human rights, and advancement of social programs, the thought that you can achieve whatever you want, and if you are down, we will help you up. The thought that we have a responsibility to our citizens that when you are in the most need, we will not turn our backs on you. A government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Republicans stand up there, and say that they are outsiders, and that they want government out of our lives, but what they are truly saying is, we want to create an atmosphere where, instead of you having assistance from the government, you will be under the full control of the corporation. Instead of the thought of everybody pitching in to society to ensure that the tired, the weak, the huddled masses can create their lives, it will be over run by corporate greed and profit for the top 1%.

I strongly believe that the right direction is on the Left. You will see that when you inspect the candidates further. I gave you the resources for the start. But don’t take anything at face value. You can’t believe their propaganda website. Dig into what they say. See where they truly stand.

Only you can make your final decision. Just make sure that it is the right one for you, and that you do not vote against your own self interest. If you are a multimillionaire, and believe that you do not deserve to put in your equal share in taxes and responsibility for safety and care, than you go ahead and vote Republican.

But if that isn’t you, or even if you are a multimillionaire, but understand that it’s only right to put in your fair share, then the Left is where you belong. We’re the fun party anyways 🙂

Before I finish, a few notes on taxes. Did you know your taxes are at the lowest rate they have ever been at? Yeah. Don’t believe the Right machine and their pack of lies. Between tax rates, mortgage rates, interest rates, and tax breaks, you are paying less now than you ever have. More and more millionaires are coming out and saying that it’s not right that they are paying the rate they are, that it is too low.

If the Bush Tax Cuts are allow to expired, it would only affect people making over $250,000. The tax breaks under that would stay in place. Some say that would bury small business, but the fact of the matter is, they would only be taxed on anything OVER that $250,000 mark. For example, if it were a 3% tax rate, if they made $251,000, they would only be taxed on that $1,000, which would be $30, just so you have an idea of what is going on.

Republicans fully oppose this, just like every other bill that Democrats have tried to push though the Senate. The House approved over 400 bills, all of which are hung up in the House because Republicans refuse to even hear it. Bills, such as this tax cut, that Republicans and Democrats used to support fully and bi-partisonally. That is gone. The Republicans have turned into complete obstructionists.

And to kind of tie Health Care to taxes…if we had a single payer system (universal health care), Republicans try to scare you by saying that your taxes would go up and it would be inefficient. First, and easier to explain, the inefficiency of it. Look at Medicare. This would be Medicare for all. Medicare works great. Doctors love Medicare, because they get paid MUCH quicker (3 weeks, opposed to 15 weeks+ to standard insurance). They may get paid slightly less, but it works much better. And often times, insurance will never pay the doctors.

Now, the slightly more complex issue of taxes. First off, all medical expenses would be gone. So your monthly premiums, gone. Deductibles, gone. Medication bills, gone. Surgery, Free. So let’s say they tax you 5%. The amount is SIGNIFICANTLY less than what you are paying out currently.

Don’t believe me? Let’s use me for an example. These are real, true numbers. $2400 (my rate for individual premium yearly) + $1320 (My medicine yearly) + $1000 (My yearly fee for doctors visits), that equals close to $5,000 a year, and thats if nothing goes wrong and I don’t need specialists, or god forbid, surgery. I make 22K/year. If I were taxed 5% of that, I would put out $1,100 a year in taxes for medical. But again, that $5,000/year I pay would be gone. Let’s say this is standard for an individual in my salary range. Only in America would somebody rather pay $5,000 in bills as opposed to $1,100 in taxes. Go ahead, do the math in your case. See how that turns out for you, and where you stand on the issue.

This Tuesday, the direction of the future rests in your hands. Let me refer back to my previous statement. No single raindrop thinks it’s responsible for the flood.

Written by aversas

29/10/2010 at 8:01 PM