Are Republicans trying to use the debt ceiling for political revenge, forcing the sick and elderly to suffer cuts in Medicare to pay for the massively irresponsible deficit spending initiated during the Bush years?
After starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, allowing banks through deregulation to defraud the public out of trillions of dollars in the mortgage-backed securities scandal, refusing to negotiate cost reductions with pharmaceutical companies while lowering taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans — all of which is costing the American taxpayer over $16 trillion dollars in current debt — now the Republicans want you to know that the real problem is “entitlements” like Medicare for the elderly and disabled.
Republican congressman Bob Corker said:
The Republicans know they have the debt ceiling…The leverage is going to shift to our side where hopefully we’ll do the same thing we did last time, and that is if the president wants to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion we get $2 trillion in spending reduction, and hopefully, this time it will be mostly oriented towards entitlement [medicare, unemployment benefits, job training, health insurance, education loans].
Bob Corker and Republicans in the Senate will use political “leverage” to force spending cuts in entitlements to pay for corporate and political malfeasance, financial fraud (for which no one is ever held accountable) and the “war on terror” (for which Republicans believe there should be no spending limit or debt ceiling). [see my article here discussing how the US government lacks the most basic accountability for policing its own corruption].
President Obama wants to make it easier for our nation to go deeper into debt supposedly to convince bondholders that we are serious about paying our bills. Of course, we can only “pay”our bills if bondholders loan us the money to necessary to make t…
Why should the sick and elderly be first in line to pay for the sins of the wealthy?
The corporatocracy steals trillions of dollars from the US treasury, then misleads the public with propaganda that Obama and the Democrats only want to raise the debt ceiling for additional spending to help all those shiftless parasites comprising 47% of non-taxpayers who refuse to pay their fair share. The point of lifting the debt ceiling, if there is one, should be to pay down debt by increasing investment and productivity without shouldering the poor and middle-class.
The point is not that we shouldn’t have been brought to a debt ceiling crisis, but who should pay to prevent it? How are we going to pay the debt? The Republicans are now using the debt ceiling crisis to try and force cuts in Medicare as they must concede defeat over the issue of ending Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.
Those “entitlements” that the Republicans scorn are not “entitlements” in any pejorative sense. They are moral obligations the US made to its citizens, not bank accounts politicians can dip into for debt repayment. If Republicans are serious about paying down debt, then for a start the wealthy will have to pay higher taxes and loopholes will have to be closed so those taxes actually get paid.
It is primarily multinational corporations that have benefited most from debt incurred by American dissoluteness: the military/industrial complex, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and the financial industry.
What kind of loopholes do corporations use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes to help repay US debt obligations?
I’ve written about Google here regarding the fight to preserve Internet freedom while themselves being guilty of manipulating information for profit through their monopoly on search. Freedom of information is a public good that must be protected by interests that serve the public, not private businesses. For-profit companies will inevitably be swayed by self-interest, sending traffic and serving up pages that produce advertising dollars rather than unbiased results.
We’ve now learn that Google, like hundreds of other fortune 500 companies that are the homes of America’s corporate elite, elude paying taxes by stashing billions of dollars in offshore tax havens. In 2011, Google hid almost $10 billion pre-tax dollars in a Bermuda “shell” company, which allowed them to avoid paying $2 billion dollars in corporate tax to the US government, legally. It’s estimated that as much as $21 trillion dollars are socked away in tax havens around the world.
Anyone know of a good offshore account I can set up?
So while America is racking up obscene debts it struggles to repay, and politicians hold citizens hostage with fiscal cliffs and debt ceilings, the corporate elites have enjoyed Bush era tax cuts and evade taxes through legal loopholes. The Republicans say the answer is to cut “entitlements” for the poor, the sick, the middle-class and the elderly.
My thanks to Thom Hartmann and Truthout.com.
The Democrats are not much different from the Republicans when it comes to the ponzi scheme of a joke we call US government debt and leadership. Republicans want to place a heavy burden of debt repayment on the middle class while they escape to offshore tax-free havens while Democrats want more deficit spending at a time we can ill afford it (they argue we can’t afford not to).
Obama wants to place no future limits on the debt ceiling which is a stupid idea. You can’t pay down debt by taking on more debt indefinitely. Borrowing money to pay debts without a clear path for repayment or even slowing the growth of the debt is a Ponzi scheme. Current Federal Reserve policy of printing money to inflate away debt will only further debase the currency and our current standard of living.
It’s especially distorting [public debate] on the Right, where hysteria about deficits, and debt, and becoming like Greece has reached a fever pitch. Paul Ryan, especially, has framed his entire message on entitlement-cutting on the flawed premise that the US needs to cut its entitlement or it will suffer a debt crisis.
I believe it is a mistake to raise the debt ceiling, and if we are ever going to repay our debts we need an end to Bush era tax cuts for the rich, deep cuts in spending — with entitlement as a last resort — primarily in defense/war budgets, an overhaul of the mass corruption that grips healthcare (including Medicare) and real investment (as opposed to bond-buying) in technology, notably biotech and green energy, and education.
A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.