The monumental disaster of the GOP’s new drive for budget cuts — you’ll think you were wearing Kashmir
All you Americans out there who love the feel of cashmere: Enjoy it while you can still afford it, because pretty soon you’ll feel like a hapless Pakistani wearing a different kind of Kashmir.
I don’t give a shit if you don’t want to plow through documents or even sit still long enough to absorb financial information. Here’s the situation:
You’ve hired Tom DeLay as your financial planner, like it or not. And as the Washington Post reports this morning, in a frightening but far from complete account, DeLay and his henchmen are about to loot you as if you were some Native American tribe.
They’re always getting over on you and your wallet. And if you don’t start getting some outside financial advice concerning the GOP’s renewed effort to cut the budget, your grandparents will curse you now, and your grandchildren will curse you a few decades from now.
A mountain is about to fall on you — figuratively, of course, but who can predict? This disaster is manmade, specifically by the men of the GOP, primarily DeLay, who’s about to bilk you again, but legally this time.
As the Post‘s Jonathan Weisman writes today:
Beginning this week, the House GOP lawmakers will take steps to cut as much as $50 billion from the fiscal 2006 budget for health care for the poor, food stamps and farm supports, as well as considering across-the-board cuts in other programs. Only last month, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) and other GOP leaders quashed demands within their party for budget cuts to pay for the soaring cost of hurricane relief.
Weisman does a good job portraying just how the GOP leadership regained its heartlessness. But you have to turn to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) for the real impact — mainly, the outrage that the GOP plan, which the radical-right congressmen plan to pursue with renewed vigor, calls for even more tax cuts for the wealthy.
So for just a minute, set aside Harriet Miers and Judy Miller and Plamegate and Wampumgate. The GOP leadership, still operating under the direct leadership of DeLay — he’s indicted, for Christ‘s sake — is renewing its pre-hurricane push for Draconian cuts.
You literally can’t afford to let this shitload of bad news fly under your radar. You can’t let this bolder GOP drop this boulder on you.
It’s an outrage. The post-hurricane package proposed by the GOP was bad, as the CBPP’s James Horney and Robert Greenstein noted on October 5:
The recognition that deficits are a problem is welcome, and some of the cuts proposed by the RSC should be considered as part of any deficit reduction plan. Yet the package as a whole is highly unbalanced.
It calls for deep cuts in basic programs for the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.
It also would hit the middle class substantially, raising the costs of health care sharply for elderly Medicare beneficiaries with modest incomes and increasing the costs of school lunches for middle-income families.
Yet it calls for virtually no sacrifice from the most well-off Americans, who have benefited heavily and disproportionately from the tax cuts enacted over the last four years.
In fact, it leaves in place generous new tax cuts — predominantly for millionaires — that are slated to start taking effect on January 1, 2006, even as the package cuts deeply into programs for poor families and for elderly people getting by on modest incomes.
Let’s not even talk about poor people or black people. It’s clear that they’re marginalized by our increasingly undemocratic process and that they will suffer the most.
But the rest of you are playing a sucker’s game by letting this House play with your money. More from the CBPP:
But now, as Weisman points out this morning, that disavowal has now itself been disavowed, and it’s full steam ahead. Rolling over your head, that is. The CBPP continued:
Well, what about natural and unnatural disasters? Here’s what:
Grants to help state and local governments promote energy conservation and meet water quality standards would be slashed as well.
Finally, do you really want to see even more pledge drives on public TV? As the CBPP noted:
And now for the bad news:
The Urban Institute–Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center has reported that the tax cuts enacted in this decade are reducing the taxes of people who earn more than $1 million a year (the top 0.2 percent of taxpayers) by an average of $103,000 this year.
In addition, the RSC does not suggest deferring or shelving two tax-cut measures enacted in 2001 that are not yet in effect, will start taking effect on January 1, 2006, and will benefit only people at high income levels.
The Tax Policy Center reports that 97 percent of the tax-cut benefits from these two new tax cuts will go to people with incomes that exceed $200,000 a year, and that a majority of these tax cuts will go to people who make over $1 million a year.
For people making over $1 million, the two new tax cuts will cut taxes an additional $19,000 a year, on average, when fully phased in. This will be on top of the $103,000 in average annual tax cuts these individuals are already receiving.
In case you still don’t understand this crisis, here’s how the CBPP summarized:
I told you you’d feel crushed. But that’s not what Bush’s handlers wanted you to feel back on August 15, 2002, when he stopped off at Mount Rushmore for a campaign speech. This is part of what he said, according to the White House transcript, which dutifully notes the reaction of the crowd of suckers:
Those tax reliefs came right at the right time. See, when you’re in the middle of a recession, it’s important to let people keep their own money. (Applause.)
It’s also to important to remember when we’re spending money, it’s not the government’s money we’re spending, it’s the people’s money, it’s your money. (Applause.)
That last sentence is true. Why people applauded this monumental idiot, I can’t tell you. Maybe it was the setting. See photo below.