Republicans Are The Ideological Descendants of 17th Century European Aristocracy

Bill Moyers Essay: The Cowardly Lions of ‘Free Speech’

Bill opens this week’s show by explaining how last week’s Supreme Court decision not to reconsider Citizens United exposes the hoax that Citizens United was ever about “free” speech. In reality, Bill says, it’s about carpet bombing elections “with all the tonnage your rich paymasters want to buy.”

 

In case you anyone missed it. Mandate Not the Only Health Tax Republicans Backed

Is the Affordable Care Act really “the largest tax increase in the history of the world,” as Rush Limbaugh so grandiloquently put it? No. It’s not even the largest tax increase in the history of this country.

Or of the past 50 years. Or 20. It’s not even the biggest tax increase scheduled to take effect in the very near future. (That’s the expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts slated for New Year’s Day.)

Typically, we estimate taxes over 10 years. Contrary to the claims of Republicans such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who says the Affordable Care Act has “six years of benefits with 10 years of tax increases,” most of the law’s tax increases don’t kick in until the latter part of the decade. So a 10-year budget window can be misleading in the case of the Affordable Care Act.

Fortunately, in its 2010 Long-Term Budget Outlook, the Congressional Budget Office resolved this problem, estimating the size of the Affordable Care Act’s tax increase in the year 2020, by which point all the taxes will be fully in effect. So how big is it? One half of one percent of GDP. That’s about the size of Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase or George Bush’s 1991 tax increase, and much smaller than Ronald Reagan’s 1982 tax increase.

[  ]….In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain offered a similar plan: He proposed ending the unlimited employer deduction and instead giving every family a $5,000 tax credit and every individual a $2,500 tax credit.

This year, Mitt Romney’s health-care proposal — although it’s so vague it hardly merits the term — gestures toward the same idea: His website says he will “end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance.”

All of these proposals, including the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax, work in fundamentally the same way, by imposing limits on what is now an unlimited deduction for employer- provided health insurance, thereby encouraging employers to offer cheaper health plans and provide more compensation to workers in the form of taxable wages.

So when Republicans call the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in the history of the world,” they’re not only wrongly supersizing the tax, they’re also attacking a reform that they’ve long supported themselves, in somewhat different configurations.

Conservative Republicans lies are not only toxic, but they spread like a virus, hijacking the public discourse. All of those new “centrists” who think they have the answer to what they boil down to mere partisan bickering are either deeply naive or genuinely clueless. We’ll have partisan bickering when Republicans start basing their arguments on facts and show some  good old American sincerity. They switch position like a caveman. Which one gives them the best grip on their club is all that matters.

It does follow a certain chain of depravity that Romney supporters are as loathsome as the pretender they support, Our betters, fretting in the Hamptons

A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

This “lady” would be considered a shareholder – someone on the outside collecting the free fall of capital gains income. If the shareholders are making the kinds of gains they were making (which is in fact not the case according to Romney) she might want to attend the occasional board meeting – Bank CEO Pay Grew By 12 Percent Last Year, While Worker Wages Near All-Time Lows. The workers or stakeholders, the people for whom rent and groceries are on the line might not be able to tell their story in the economics language of an Ivy League  professor what is wrong, but they know it is not that the wealthy are not doing well.

 

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