published Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Threatening another crisis

The financial crisis created by Republicans last year over an increase in the debt ceiling led to a downgrading of the nation's credit rating, harsh budget cuts and a congressional logjam that caused Congress' approval ratings to plummet to record lows. Apparently that wasn't enough for Majority Leader John Boehner and his reckless band of no-nothing tea party destructionists. Boehner and his wrecking crew want to do it all over again this year for election season fireworks.

In his apparent hope that President Obama will be blamed for another congressional stall, Boehner announced this week that he would tear up last year's agreement for $2 trillion in budget cuts and demand even more cuts in the programs that so many Americans rely on.

Last year's cuts were in such programs as: Free-and-reduced price school lunches, which help 85 percent of Hamilton County students get a decent meal and improve their ability to learn; Medicaid, which provides nursing home care for middle-class Americans as well as health-care for the very poor; student loans and Pell grants, which help college students and their families meet soaring tuition costs; infrastructure improvements, for highways, bridges and, hopefully, an essential new lock for Chickamauga Dam's regional barge traffic; Social Security supplemental care, which mainly helps the disabled.

The list of cuts to critical public programs is too long to list here. But it shouldn't escape taxpayers notice that Republicans, in all their demands to reduce federal spending, continue to deny the need and fairness of requiring America's richest corporations and ultra-wealthy billionaires to at last pay their fair share towards the nation's revenue and spending targets.

Billionaire bankers and industrialists continue to pay the low 15-percent rate on their disproportionately huge fortunes, while regular earners in the upper-middle-class pay income tax rates of 25-to-35 percent. The nation's richest corporations often pay no corporate income taxes at all due to indefensible tax loopholes, even as they park billions of dollars in offshore tax havens. The nation's biggest, richest oil companies continue to enjoy billions in tax subsidies, even as they enjoy record, multibillion-dollar profits every quarter.

But setting fair tax standards for rich corporations and zillionaires remains anathema to Republicans, whose policies are guided by lobbyists and rich campaign donations from those they protect -- and not by public fairness.

The gross inequity of such policies is appalling. The top 20 percent of the nation's earners hold fully 84 percent of the nation's wealth. But it is the super-rich -- the top 1 percent of earners, and more specifically, the top one-tenth-of-one-percent -- that control most of that vastly disproportional share of national wealth, and that received both the lion's share of the nation's accumulation of wealth since 1980, and the lion's share of the benefits of the George Bush-era tax cuts.

Yet Republicans are willing to risk another fiscal crisis, downgrading of the dollar and possible recession -- all to extract even more from the 90 percent Americans whose jobs are subject to the ensuing economic stall the GOP would bring. If Boehner and his party hold the debt limit hostage to economic sabotage and more pain on working Americans, voters must hold them accountable in November's election.

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They're taking the budget hostage, and they're not afraid to shoot themselves.

They also like to come up with false versions of Obama's budget, claim they're genuine, then express some glee that no Democrat will vote for it.

Of course, not. It'd be like voting for the devil's version of the Bible.

May 19, 2012 at 12:48 a.m.
conservative said...

The writer....."Boehner and his wrecking crew want to do it all over again this year for election season fireworks."

Since this writer's memory is so faulted I will provide him the last election results : The Demoncrats lost 6 seats in the Senate, over 60 house seats,6 governerships and over 680 seats in state legislatures. Obamination himself stated in an interview that the elections would be a referendum on his policies. American voices were heard in round 1, round two is next.

May 19, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

YOU GO CLAY....Your cartoons and editorials tell it like it really is. Its like the old saying..A HIT DOG WILL HOLLA.. and you have these weirdo conservatives yelping all over the place..arr arr arr..LOL.

May 19, 2012 at 1:07 p.m.
Hilltopp said...

Obama Nation...hey I like that!

May 19, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

HOLDING REPUBLICANS ACCOUNTABLE IS HARDLY A START,,,,YOU REPUBLICANS HAVE A JOB TO DO,,, AND BRINGING THIS NATION DOWN IS NOT ONE OF THEM..IF YOU CAN'T OR DON'T WANT TO DO YOUR JOB,,,,IT IS SIMPLE ,,,RESIGN,,,,YOU AREN'T DOING ANY GOOD,,,AND AFTER THAT SOME JAIL TIME FOR NEGLECTING WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO DO...WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A COUNTRY,,,,NOT YOUR LOCAL CONVENIENT STORE. YES WE DO HAVE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS BUT FIRST AND FORE MOST WE HAVE THE UNITED STATES THAT COMES FIRST...YOUR LITTLE CLUBS DON'T MEAN DIDDLY,,AMERICANS FIRST..I DON'T KNOW WHO SHOULD GO TO PRISON FIRST ,,,,REPUBLICANS FOR EXTORTION OR WALL STREET...BUT THE END RESULT SHOULD BE SOMEONE NEEDS TO GO...WE GIVE BAIL OUTS AND THE SAME PEOPLE ARE THERE?? SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT PIC,,,,REPUBLICANS TALKING TRASH, WHEN THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS HAPPENED UNDER GEORGE JR. WATCH..AND SADLY THE JOKE IS ON US..

May 23, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.
jazzman said...

conservative said... 'round two is next.'

keep checking those electoral projections for the 2012 elections, when you start to cry, try not to drool on yourself.

May 25, 2012 at 1:03 a.m.
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