The GOP should change its moniker from Grand Old Party to Grand Obstructionist Party, because that is what they have become. It is no longer a surprise that Republicans will vote against any legislation that comes up for a vote in Congress or committees.
Just today, Senate Republicans forced a one-week delay in the Judiciary panelâ€™s vote on Elena Kaganâ€™s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Why? Because they can. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) said, â€œThere are concerns about the nomination in a host of different areas.â€ (The Hill)
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Delaying the vote is just a pathetic grab for attention. Elena Kagan is an exceptional candidate whose intelligence and knowledge could run circles around Sessions. She is going to get confirmed. She is not a Republican.
Get over it and letâ€™s move on.
On Thursday, with the exception of three Republicans, the entire GOP caucus has already decided to vote no on a financial reform bill, which would create at least some regulations on Wall Street. It was the lack of regulations and oversight that created the petre dish and subsequent cancerous growth for our economic collapse. And yet, the Republicans donâ€™t want to rein in the excesses of the financial firms.
However, they do want to rein in the excesses of the unemployed!
Before the July 4th break, the GOP voted against extending unemployment benefits and consequently, 38 Americans are losing their unemployment benefits every minute! Never mind that during the Bush administration, unemployment benefits were routinely extended. Why then are the Republicans voting against it now? It is to the advantage of the GOP for unemployment to remain high before and up to the mid-term elections.
Extension on unemployment benefits: NO.
Extension on tax cuts for the top 1%: YES
The tax cuts on income and dividends that Republican Congresses had approved during the Bush administration are set to expire at the end of 2010. Republicans are pushing hard to keep those tax cuts in place, but have no use for unemployment benefits being extended. The reason?
Senator Jon Kyl, Republican Whip from Arizona, believes that any extension of unemployment benefits â€œought to be paid for.â€ However, when it comes to the $678-billion cost of extending the tax cuts for the wealthy, Kyl says no offsetting is necessary. (The Raw Story)
In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday, Kyl argued that Congress and the Obama administration should extend the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush during his first term.
â€œTell me, how are you going to pay that $678 billion to keep those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?â€ Wallace asked Kyl.
"You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes," Kyl said. "Surely Congress has the authority -- and it would be right -- if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And thatâ€™s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."
If there is any logic in that statement itâ€™s very well hidden and wrapped around greed. If I read it right, according to Kyl, the country cannot afford to take government money to extend unemployment benefits, but itâ€™s perfectly fine to add to the deficit by taking money away from the government in the form of tax cuts for the wealthy.
What I find so very interesting is the fact that the Tea Partiers and far- right fringe groups, who continually tout cutting taxes, are not the ones who will see tax cuts if the Bush plan is extended. They will, however, see a raise in taxes to cover the cost of the cuts given to the top 1%.
After 30 plus years we know the trickle down theory does not work. The very wealthy getting the tax cuts do not put that money back into circulation to help the economy. They just put it in their pockets to keep and grow their personal fortune, whereas unemployment benefits go directly back into circulation via groceries, rent, car payments, insurance etc.
Moodyâ€™s just published a chart that shows that for every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, $1.63 goes back into the economy, while for every dollar spent on tax cuts brings a return of only $1.02. Not very profitable. ( Moody's)
And yet the GOP keeps banging the same drum. Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Florida U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio laid out his "Ideas To Reclaim America" today in Tampa. Of the 22 ideas listed, 11 were for tax cuts. Iâ€™m just wondering, if nobody pays any kind of taxes who is going to pay for the cleanup in Florida when another hurricane hits or more oil lands on the beaches?
The Grand Old Party is not only the Grand Obstructionist Party they are The Party Out Of Touch With Reality.
Cheri Cabot, Politics Correspondent
Cheriâ€™s column, â€œPersonal About Politics,â€ published every week, will reflect on how the life of a 60 year-old, middle class woman is affected by politics, policy and the current state of the nation - a look at the personal aspects of politics. Her column is part of Gather Essentials.
Cheri is a freelance writer, living in Southern California.Â She has two grown children and is the proud grandmother of three.
You can find all of Cheriâ€™s columns on Personal About Politics at www.personalpolitics.gather.com, The Obama Watch at theobamawatch.gather.comor her home page here, www.ccabot.gather.com.