Last year’s 4th of July wallpaper featured the Washington Monument.
Most days The United States of America is left wondering what planet Republican are from. They seem so detached from the reality of the average American’s life it is difficult to tell, The Budget Debate, and What Should Be Obvious
The case for revenues is a simple one. Given the level of deficit reduction to which both parties are committed, around $4 trillion over 10-12 years, if you try to get there solely by cutting spending, you’ll be forced to cut too deeply into parts of government that vulnerable people depend on. In short, you’ll do more harm than good.
Specifics? Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, embraced by House Republicans, is a good example. As my CBPP colleague Bob Greenstein shows here, two-thirds of its spending cuts, almost $3 trillion, come from programs that help low-income families…
[ ]…More specifics come from this important editorial in the New York Times, which points out that exempting low-income programs from deficit-cutting deals “has been a major feature of deficit deals going back to 1985.” That tradition is especially germane today, with the economic recovery still far from reaching the most vulnerable among us.
According to this study the 2009 the average CEO salary at an S&P 500 Company was $1,041,012 with an average bonus of $203,714 and an annual stock award worth $2,630,574. Since corporate profits are back to prerecession levels those figures are likely very close to current levels ( Wasn’t Obama a socialist or statist who was going to redistribute all these hard-working millionaires cash or maybe he is the corporatist Democrat that many of us suspect he is). Anyway, Republicans have made it clear that any sacrifice in current budget negotiations should come from nurses, bus drivers, carpenters, sales clerks and teachers. Who knows what terrible calamity will grip the nation if these multi-millionaires have to pay the federal taxes they paid during most of the 1990s.
All this from a plan that delivers $700 billion of permanently extended Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthy. If you dropped in from outer space and looked at the Republicans’ budget, you would conclude that the big economic problem facing our nation is that poor people have too much income and rich people have too little.
Grover Norquist was part of the culture of corporation golden years acting as a conduit between money from Jack Abramoff to Ralph Reed. How he escaped from that scandal without serving times remains a mystery. he still exerts an enormous amount of power over the right-wing movement, How Grover Norquist hypnotized the GOPGrover Norquist
For nearly a decade, our federal government paid for two wars and a costly prescription drug benefit with borrowed money. Our government paid for the Bush tax cuts with borrowed money. Now, after exhausting the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration, the only spending Republicans are willing to discuss cutting is spending that helps the poor and vulnerable — meaning anything that does not touch the interests of large corporations and the very rich.
…Meanwhile, some mom-and-pop stores and college students pay more in taxes than some of our largest corporations. Still, taxes are sin to the hard-liners, though they have difficulty demonstrating a correlation over the past decade between tax cuts and economic growth.
These are the people Republicans and their messiah Grover Norquist have declared the enemy, Are Teachers and Police Officers Imaginary People?
Or at least they think they’re imaginary: To most people, school teachers, police officers, librarians and other public servants are very real. The public sees them every day, and knows that the majority work hard, care about what they do, and bring a paycheck home to their families.
But today, many Republicans — and some Democrats, too — say these workers aren’t “real;” indeed, in their world, nobody who works in the public sector has a “real job.”
[ ]…The idea that public sector work isn’t “real” has been central to the attack on state budgets and government spending in general. Last year, then-House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said that President Obama’s stimulus plan proved that “obviously, government spending money doesn’t create jobs.”
Rep. Cantor should tell that to his follow Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell (R). Rep. Rigell — who earlier this year was one of the “Lucky 13” Republicans honored at a fundraiser hosted by defense contractors — is fighting to keep a government-backed nuclear submarine project in his home district, in large part because it would create 6,000 jobs.
Indeed, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has pointed out, about 75% of the growth in federal government jobs in 2008 came in defense, homeland security and veteran’s affairs. Does that government backing make them any less “real?”
Many small business owners across the country – car dealerships, corner groceries, restaurants, the few remaining small hardware stores, specialized parts, welding shops, small construction contractors are unlikely to ask their customers if the money they were going to spend at those businesses was earned in the private sector or as an accountant or janitor or science technician with the government. Some Democratic governor in the spirit of compromise have cut jobs, but it is Republican governors who have gone after public employees with a vengeance. It is as though those public employee wages disappear down a black hole. The statistics show that those governors and Republican legislators that have made the most draconian cuts have lost the most jobs. They are creating a black hole for their state’s economy, making a full economic recovery even harder. Texas governor Perry says that Texas is a great example for the nation – slash taxes and public jobs, then stand back and watch a miracle recovery – that turned out to be a myth. Ironically Texas has the second highest number of federal public employees in the nation (354,133 federal employees and retirees). Move those employees and the retirees(with their retirement benefits out of Texas and the state is one huge poverty zone). Texas also has the largest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country. Almost a conservative fantasy come true – first a state of low wage serfs and next a country of low wage serfs. The cherry on top was that Perry relied on the Recovery Act to help with his budget problems.
Something a little different for an Independence Day related story. Thomas Jefferson as a “foodie”. Though it is probably more accurate to say it was into fresh organic food. Not that he had much of a choice in an era way before modern pesticides and herbicides. How the Founding Father’s love of local produce, French wine, and mac and cheese shaped culinary history
Despite his service as legislator, the governor of Virginia, minister to France, secretary of state, and president of the United States, Jefferson likely believed his famous statement: “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” In honor of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we explore the author’s lesser-known contribution to American culture: his influence on the country’s culinary tradition.
In an era when red meat and rum predominated, Jefferson directed his prodigious intelligence toward his health. Dinner with Jefferson sounds like dinner with Pollan because much of Pollan’s manifesto “In Defense of Food” could be taken directly from the Jefferson playbook: exercise daily, use high-quality olive oil, don’t overcook vegetables, practice moderation with complex carbohydrates and red meat, drink wine in moderation, eat plenty of fresh local organic vegetables.