Category Archives: Taxes

Political humor gets too close to reality…

 

MoveOn.org has put out a new anti-Romney commercial called “Pickpocket” that went out today in swing states.

Funny, yes… but as close to the real potential circumstance as you can get.

 

Romney stuck with Ryan?

Looks like Romney may be stuck with Paul Ryan as VP nominee… not something he originally considered.

Here’s a clip from New York Magazine‘s piece on the subject:

Conservative anxiety has stalked Mitt Romney since the outset of his presidential campaign, expressing itself in a series of hopes that a nominee who was not Romney might win, and then, after his nomination became inevitable, as endless caterwauling for Romney himself to act less … Romney-like. Romney’s vice-presidential selection has begun to serve as a stand-in for these demands, and as recently as a week ago, they split between calls for him to pick Paul Ryan and calls for Marco Rubio.

But since then, Romney’s position has steadily eroded, intensifying the conservative panic. And a report by National Review’s Robert Costa that Romney was giving Ryan strong consideration focused all the attention on the dreamy House Budget Committee chairman and unofficial party leader. Suddenly Ryan’s potential nomination has become the sole locus of the conservative movement’s longings.

At this point, joining Ryan to the ticket would be a huge gamble. Romney would be tapping into Ryan’s immense political talent, but giving up on his win-by-default strategy that has taken a beating but might look good again if, say, some international disaster craters the recovery between now and November. In any case, the conservative drumbeat for Ryan has grown so overwhelming that it’s no longer even clear that Romney could turn Ryan down for an Incredibly Boring White Guy, even if he wants to. The Republican Party belongs to Ryan.

Has there ever been a Presidential nominee that was so unloved by his party?

 

Bob Schieffer sums up Congress pretty well…

 

Bob said this on CBS last Sunday:

There will be three more unemployment reports before the election. Congress has gone on vacation for the next five weeks, leaving work on their desks involving jobs, taxes and the budget deficit.

Congress managed to get through last year without passing one single piece of significant legislation. It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.

And there’s also a couple of fairly important items that have to be resolved one of these days: whether to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and whether or not to block a draconian $110 billion across-the-board cut in defense and domestic spending.

No word on what if anything they plan to do about those items. Truth is, no one expects them to do anything until after the election. The way it stands right now, if the U.S. Capitol caught on fire, this Congress could find a way to make it a partisan issue and do everything but call the fire department.

They went on vacation? I expect we’re paying for these yoyos to spin out at the end of the string.

Look at it this way:

 

 

Defining the Enemy…

 

While campaigning in Connecticut, President Obama dubbed the tax proposals of his Republican rival an example of “Robin Hood in reverse.” He then gave a crucial name to Mitt‘s pan to take from the poor and give to the rich:

“It’s Romney-hood.”

 

Cheers and laughter followed.

 

Republicans, As Usual, Block Bill to Bring Jobs Home

 

The best piece I’ve read on this subject is over at PoliticusUSA… and while anything I’d write on the Republicans and their ongoing program to outsource jobs overseas, benefit the wealthy and convince the middle class voter that they are really on their side doesn’t come close to this piece by Rmuse, I have condensed it here. You can read the whole article HERE.

Mitch “I won’t let Obama get anything passed” McConnell

Last Thursday, in another attempt to protect corporations and kill American jobs, Republicans blocked a measure to reward companies that brought jobs back to America, and protect their candidate Willard Romney. Republicans in the Senate refused to allow a vote on a bill, The Bring Jobs Home Act, which provided a 20% tax break for costs related to moving jobs back to the United States, at the same time rescinding deductions for companies that moved operations and jobs overseas. The bill was number one on the President’s congressional “to-do list,” but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to amend it with an Affordable Care Act repeal and Bush-era ta x cuts for the wealthy extension.

——-

Willard “The King of Outsourcing” Romney

With the Senate Republicans action on Thursday, they exposed their agenda of corporate profit protection at the expense of Americans’ jobs. In one fell swoop, they obeyed the Chamber of Commerce, guaranteed more companies will outsource Americans’ jobs, subsidized outsourcing with taxpayer dollars, provided millions for Romney, created jobs in foreign countries, prevented economic growth, and most importantly, killed millions of Americans’ jobs. Their claim the bill was a political ploy by the Obama Administration is patently false because this is the second time in two years Republicans blocked an anti-outsourcing bill.

——-

The Republican focus on jobs since January 2009 has been killing them, not creating them. They voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus), opposed the auto industry bailout, payroll tax cut and extension, all of the President’s jobs bills, and have blocked any new revenue sources that would fund rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. All of the Republican job-killing measures have as their basis protection of the rich and keeping unemployment figures high, and they are not close to being finished if they win control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

——-

It is a mystery why Republicans get any support from Americans when they have spent the past three-and-a-half years deliberately killing jobs and holding up economic recovery. They have, at every step, demonstrated their allegiance to the wealthy and corporations over the American people, and continue claiming a laser-focus on creating jobs while obstructing job creation and giving corporations tax breaks for outsourcing existing ones. Their contempt for Americans looking for work, or barely holding on to their existing jobs, is nothing short of despicable and by blaming President Obama, they reached a new low in hypocrisy.

So, do you believe what these sociopaths are telling you? The only thing I believe is when McConnell says Obama will never get anything passed… whether we need it or not.

Don’t vote for these people. Keep your jobs here. Encourage businesses to make more. You can bet that the upper 1% aren’t going to make any… and they don’t need the tax deduction because their money is invested in tax free havens like the Cayman Islands.

 

The business growth of Private Enterprise Prisons… this at a time when violent crimes have decreased about 41%…

 

Here are the facts… you make your own conclusion. Personally, I think making prisons a private industry sucks— I wonder when they’ll be exporting the prisoners to China.

 

West Virginia interaction: JohnCase responds to Senator Manchin…

 

My good friend and radio personality John Case received an e-mail from Senator Joe Manchin (D – WV) which, to all appearances, supports many of the subjects which we on the left do as well. John points out that this is a ruse… and, of course, with an election coming in November, Joe is trying to make himself look OK to Democrats.

 

Here’s the correspondence:

 

On Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 9:27 PM, Joe Manchin <info@joemanchinwv.com> wrote:
Dear John:

West Virginia is still recovering from the storms that did so much damage these past few weeks. The power is back on, but families lost their groceries, saw their fuel expenditures rise, and many, many people lost pay because businesses weren’t operating. What more evidence do we need that American infrastructure needs improvement?
 
English: Joe Manchin (D-WV), United States SenatorBut in the middle of our suffering in West Virginia, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it had awarded a $94 million contract to provide reliable electricity for Helmand Province, Afghanistan. That’s right – while thousands of West Virginians were without power just a short drive away, the federal government decided it would be a good idea to spend all that money halfway around the world to buy electricity for a country that doesn’t even want our help.
 
I went to the Senate floor and I let my colleagues know that I am very frustrated and angry about this, and that I’m not going to just sit by and watch Washington treat West Virginia like it’s less important than Afghanistan. Now that West Virginia is officially asking for federal disaster recovery help, I’d like the folks in Washington to hear what you have to say, too.
 
Add your name to my petition and leave your thoughts for the record on my website.
 
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you build a bridge in West Virginia, we won’t blow it up. If you build a school, we won’t burn it down. In fact, we’ll be very appreciative. And if you help us invest in a more reliable electric system, we will use that power to make this country stronger, to power this nation’s economy, and to provide good-paying jobs.

-Joe

 

John’s response:

 

I am sorry, Senator Manchin, but — while I am glad you are opposed to further unnecessary expenditures in Afghanistan — I will not support you for re-election. I believe that candidates who espouse, as you do, Republican talking points on energy, the president, climate change, and other matters should be defeated. I will not vote Republican — so I am not planing to vote for you.

I think voters who are tempted by racism or ignorance, or simple misinformation about the future of coal and the its costs/benefits to West Virginia, to vote for you — should really get to enjoy the full consequences of Republican policies you are pursuing — why get it half-baked and stale from you, or Gov. Tomblin for that matter. Get the full dose of political poison!

By the way — I have a radio program on weekday mornings in Shepherdstown. Maybe I have it all wrong! Feel free to call in to WSHC Listen Live  line from 8-9 AM Tues thru Friday, 304-876-5369, if you would like to discuss this.

very truly yours,

John Case

Host, The Winners and  Losers Radio Program
WSHC, 89.7 FM / 897wshc.org
Shepherdstown, WV

 

Of course, the odds of Joe Manchin calling into the Winners and Losers radio show are greatly weighted to “no show.” John is correct that this so-called Democrat really seems to be a Republican (as does Earl Ray Tomblin) – from not supporting the President in the Senate to publicly affirming that he will NOT attend the Democratic Convention.

 

Thanks for making this correspondence public, John.

 

Out Of All The Reasons African-Americans Don’t Trust Mitt Romney, Here’s The Very Best One…

 

This is from MoveOn.org:

Forget for a second that he just gave a speech for the NAACP and vowed to repeal Obamacare. And then insinuated to his rich, white friends later that the NAACP audience just “wants free stuff.”

Forget, momentarily, that he once tried to relate to a group of black teens by asking them, “Who let the dogs out?”

Forget all that for just a moment, and focus on this:

So now that you know, what’s your best reason not to trust the Mittster?

 

Why you and I have to cover what the rich don’t pay…

 

… according to Economist Robert Reich:

If you don’t think we should increase taxes on the top 1%, watch this video first.

 

Quote of the Day – Romney had better wise up.

This from The Fix in the Washington Post:

“The truth — in politics and in life — is almost always less damaging than what the imagination can conjure. While the tax return debate is a no-win for Romney, he’d be better to lance this political boil once and for all. It’s not going away and if he doesn’t it’s only likely to grow.”

And grow is what Romney’s situation is doing. He has to be hiding something, and the longer he represses the truth the more obvious it becomes.

Poll shows Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich is a winning political position…

The proposal Obama has made to raise taxes on households making at least $250,000 a year was the subject of a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 44% thought the tax increase would help the economy, 22% thought it would be harmful, and 24% didn’t think it would make a difference. An identical percentage, 44%, said a tax hike on better-off Americans would make the tax system fairer, while 21% said it would make the system less fair.

There is a deep partisan divide over the proposal.  Democrats, by a large margin, said the tax hike would boost the economy and make the tax system fairer. Republicans thought the opposite, though by smaller margins.

Since this has to be decided before Jan. 1st when all the Bush tax cuts disappear by law, it will be interesting when it gets Congressional attention. Odds are it won’t be until after the November election and will depend on who gets elected President.

Even more Republicans are calling on Romney to release more tax returns…

This morning’s pundit shows brought the increased demand for release of the tax returns… or questioned what he was hiding.

“The cost of not releasing the returns are clear.Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

George Will, on ABC’s “This Week.

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it.’ So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.

“Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this. If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.”

Republican strategist Matthew Dowd

Romney should “release the tax returns tomorrow and take the hit for a day or two.”

Bill Kristol on Fox news Sunday

You know, I think the Obama team is making the right move here. Eventually, even if Romney releases a dozen years of returns, people won’t forget his stalling and wonder why he couldn’t be transparent to the American People.

Two Quotes: What do Republicans think of Romney’s tax release stance?

“There is no whining in politics. Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”

GOP strategist John Weaver, calling on Mitt Romney to disclose his tax returns.

 

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”

— Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

Hey, Mitt… how about the returns for 2000, 2001 and 2002? Do they show your income from Bain Capital?

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Asking Questions

David Horsey in the L. A. Times:


Do you ever question what has become of our culture?

– and –

Rick McKee in the Augusta Chronicle:

Or the morality of our heroes?

 

– and –

Mike Keefe in the Denver Post:

Or the progress we have made in race relations?

– and –

Stuart Carlson of Universal Press Syndicate:

Or how politicians can bamboozle voters?

– and –

Jack Ohman in The Oregonian:

Or why we let our representatives have what they deny us?

 

I do.

 

Quote of the Day – A little peek at Romney’s finances…

Romney has said he will put out a big 2 years of his taxes – 2011 hen it is ready and 2010. No, he’s not going back far enough to show he had income from Bain Capital in 2000 and 2001 when he said he had left the company.

So here’s what he said:

“And that’s what we’re going to put out. People always want to get more and we’re putting out what is required plus more that is not required. And those are the two years that people are going to have and that’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”

See… that’s all we need to understand his finances, but not enough to see if he tells the truth about the lies he told about involvement with investments  as CEO of Bain after 1999.

There’s nothing like a president who has proven his honesty. I’ll bet Republicans wish he’d release the tax statements that defend his position (like Santorum and others asked him to do during the primaries.)

It’s hard to believe that Paul LePage is Governor of a State in America…

The other day, Gov. Paul LePage (R) of Maine said that the Internal Revenue Service was not far from the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police. Really said it. In public.

Perhaps he’s got a distorted sense of humor…how could anyone think he really believes what he said?

Then he attempted to clarify his comment, but added to the controversy instead. His quote:

“What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet.”

A reporter asked LePage if the IRS was headed in that direction, and he said it was.

When asked if he thought the IRS was going to kill a lot of people like the Nazis, LePage said:

Yeah.”

When do gubernatorial elections come up again in Maine? This guy has really got to go. In one small set of statements he has offended Americans, Maine voters and Jews everywhere…and he doesn’t even know it.

Now that they’ve wasted our time over Health Care Repeal, will the Congress get down to Jobs?

There are only about 40 days left in  the Congressional season before these champions of non-accomplishment go out to lie and buy their votes. Yet what they should be doing is getting the Middle Class jobs, not waiting to see if Romney is elected.

In Las Vegas, today marks a protest of appointed U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) to get him to support H.R 5542, the “Bring Jobs Home Act.” Heller has been focused on by the AFL-CIO. Heller, along with the Republican Party, have never voted for any  Job Bills proposed by President Obama or the Democrats in congress, and it’s not likely that he or his Party will start now.

The Bring Home The Jobs Act would end a tax benefit for companies that move jobs overseas and, instead, would add a tax credit for companies that move jobs back to the United States. The bill would also prohibit the first group of companies from receiving federal grants or guaranteed loans.

The AFL-CIO is also promoting the “United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act” that would make public the names of companies that move call centers overseas (H.R. 3596.)

The Democratic Party in both the House and the Senate have backed Bills in the past that would end corporations from receiving a tax break for creating jobs overseas, while giving a tax credit if they create jobs in the United States, but the Republican Party stopped them with a no vote in the House and a filibuster in the Senate.

Of course, wasting time on repealing an unrepealable Health Care bill was worth the effort for Boehner and his Bozos.

And what is their job strategy based on? This:

5 Democrats joined Republicans to vote against Obamacare yesterday…

Perhaps you are wondering why. I know I am… but most of all I wonder why Democrats nominate or vote for these scumbags.

Sahil Kapur has written a great identification of these guys and an analysis in Talking Points Memo. Here it is:

 

Five Democrats broke with their party to join (Republicans), two more than last year’s repeal vote. All five represent Republican-leaning districts. All five were among 39 Democrats to vote against final passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The three who are seeking re-election are politically vulnerable and face tough Republican challengers.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT)

Matheson, a Blue Dog serving since 2001, voted against the GOP’s repeal effort last year. He flipped this time around to realign with Republicans against Obama’s signature law.

“I have voted against the health care bill at every opportunity in the legislative process,” Matheson said in a statement about his vote. “Plain and simple, the bill is a flawed effort that fails to address the critical issue of rising health costs.”

According to the Cook Political Report, Matheson represents the most Republican district of any Democratic incumbent. He faces tea party favorite and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love in November, whom he led by 8 points in a recent poll.

Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC)

Kissell, a second-term congressman, voted against the Republican repeal legislation last year. But he has been careful not to align himself with Obama, refusing to endorse his reelection bid. Kissell has broken with his party on multiple occasions, including on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.

Kissell narrowly won reelection in 2010 and redistricting has made his district more conservative. He faces the winner of an upcoming Republican run-off election between Richard Hudson, a former congressional staffer, and Scott Keadle, a state county commissioner.

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)

McIntyre, a Blue Dog who has represented rural North Carolina since 1997, joined Republicans last year to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. How conservative is his district? Here’s a hint: He has refused to endorse President Obama for reelection.

McIntyre’s opponent in November, state Sen. David Rouzer, is seeking to tie him to his party leaders. “He’s walked in lock step with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” Rouzer told Roll Call in May.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)

Ross, a congressman since 2001 who serves as co-chair of the increasingly extinct Blue Dog Caucus, was an early Democratic opponent of the law and has consistently positioned himself it. He joined Republicans to vote to repeal it last year.

Ross has sought to make himself amenable to his mostly conservative constituents by aligning against Obama and Democrats on numerous issues.

He’s retiring at the end of his term.

Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK)

Boren, a Blue Dog who has served Oklahoma since 2005, last year voted with Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has gone to great lengths to distinguish himself from Democrats, including by cosponsoring anti-abortion legislation and voting for a hard-right measure calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

He’s not seeking reelection this November.

It’s time, I think, to send the Blue Dogs to the pound. I don’t care if you are in a conservative district. Part of the job is educating the voting public… and giving them information on legislation that is not based on lies…and which actually serves to their advantage. That is, of course, unless the majority of voters in their districts are in the top 1%. Do you think that’s possible?

Robert Reich on Regressives vs. Progressives…

Reich outlines what is really being fought for in 2012 and beyond.

Listen up!

 

Today continues the House Republicans’ waste of time…

Well, we need jobs legislation, and we need tax resolution, and we need many more necessary things from the House of Reps… but for the last couple of days, leading to a vote today, they have been wasting time and effort.

Today’s vote will be the 33rd vote to undermine the Affordable Care Act, either through repeal or blocking funding for various provisions, since Republicans took control of the House in 2010. It won’t matter. The repeal, if passed,  is sure to be defeated in the Democratic-led Senate. And even if it made it through the Senate, the President has pledged to veto such a measure once it reaches his desk.

Yesterday I watched the arguments in the House on C-Span and spent most of the time sorting out the truth in claims by both sides. And I heard Obama speak in Iowa saying:

“I will work with anybody to improve the health care law where we can, but this law is here to stay. And it will help the vast majority of Americans feel greater security. If you’ve got health insurance, it’s going to be more secure because insurance companies can’t jerk you around because of fine print. If you don’t have health insurance, we’ll help you get it.”

No matter how much they want to eliminate Romneycare … excuse me, Obamacare … the Republicans have no plan to replace it and will eliminate health care for millions of people, especially young people and seniors and the poor.

One would think that the best thing they could do would be to create a new plan which could replace Obamacare immediately, not remove coverage from the population, and save the millions of dollars they claim they want to do. Then, once voted in, it would replace the existing law without stranding anyone.

But they are not going to do that.

I’ll watch their vote today, but I know by their sheer numbers that Republicans will pass their repeal. Then, once they send it to the Senate, maybe they can get around to the things they really should be doing. Do you think they will?

Morning Quote – So what should we know about Romney’s money?

“Americans need to ask themselves: why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?”

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Oh, I see. We don’t really know how much he has or why he doesn’t invest it back in  America to help create jobs and to help the government with tax revenues.

As Joe Biden suggested the other day, we have never voted before for a candidate with off shore investment accounts and money in Swiss Banks.

So, according to John Boehner, voters need not love Mitt Romney:

From a longer article at Roll Call:

…at a June 30 fundraiser in Wheeling, W.Va., Speaker John Boehner offered a surprisingly frank assessment of the dynamic that surprised some in the audience.

Aside from Romney’s “friends, relatives and fellow Mormons,” Boehner said, most people will be motivated to vote for him in opposition to Obama.

The Ohio Republican made the remarks when an unidentified woman asked during a question-and-answer session: “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?”

“No,” Boehner said. “Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama

So Republicans have a candidate they are not particularly fond of (and neither, for that matter are Democrats), but they are expected to vote for. One would think Boehner’s motivation in speaking for his party would be to get everyone to admire Romney and not stress that he appeals only to “friends, relatives and fellow Mormons.”

Combine that with what Bill Kristol said the other day and the puncturing of Romney’s lies about his business and gubernatorial background vis-a-vis job creation and cutting out unemployment (he succeeded at neither) and it’s not really clear if Republicans will work up the energy to come out to the polls.

Tax Benefits for the Middle Class with Obamacare

No matter what the Republicans in Congress say as they pass Eric Cantor‘s legislative move to repeal Obamacare (don’t worry, the Senate will send it to the crapper), it should be clear that the health care program benefits the Middle class. Especially with tax cuts.

Take a look:

Save this to argue with your Republican friends (as if they’ll listen!)

Clarifying the Affordable Care Act’s Requirement to Buy Coverage…

The following chart from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation makes clear who has to buy health coverage under Obamacare and how much it will cost. I feel it is better to know how this really works than to hear Republicans as they cry that the world will come to an end.

The Requirement to Buy Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate“) works.

So how much effort have Republicans put in on Jobs?

So when they say their main focus is and has been on jobs, wave this in front of them.