Elect Republicans and Cut Taxes

That’s what those of you intending to vote Republican are going for, right?  HERE is an interview with one of your gurus, Rand Paul (R-KY), who wants to do just that.  Now, I know you guys have WAY too short of attention spans to read all that, so let me just cut to the operative quote for you:

“Democrats think working with us on Social Security will bring a compromise. They think we want changes to Social Security and we will agree to bring taxes up. This is wrong-headed. We are not jumping up and down to reform entitlements; we want to fix them because they are broken.”

And by “fix them,” he clearly means “cut them,” because, as he says, any notion that Republicans will “agree to bring taxes up” in order to accomplish that is “wrong-headed.”

Now, you guys understand, right, that there are two big “entitlements,” Social Security and Medicare?  According to the Washington Post, Paul’s plan would:

“… cut the average Social Security recipient’s benefits by nearly 40 percent, reduce defense spending by nearly $100 billion below a level the Pentagon calls “devastating,” and end the current Medicare program in two years — even for current recipients, according to the Senate Budget Committee staff. It would eliminate the education, energy, housing and commerce departments, decimate homeland security, eviscerate programs for the poor, and give the wealthy a bonanza by reducing tax rates to 17 percent and eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.”

Now, I know all of you can take a 40% hit in Social Security.  And you do understand, right, that your existing medical insurance reverts to a “Medicare supplemental” policy at age 65, which only covers the 20% that Medicare doesn’t?  And, of course, you can live with that when “Medicare is ended in two years,” right?  And nobody really cares if Housing, Commerce, Education and Energy are eliminated or whether Defense and Homeland Security are “devastated,” much less whether programs for the poor are “eviscerated” or the rich get even MORE tax cuts, but COME ON – have mercy on those of use who can’t take that 40% SS cut, will ya?

I have only two other comments:

Be damn careful what you wish for.  You just might get it.


You don’t always get the government you NEED, but you almost always DO get the government you DESERVE.


The Obama Economy

So, you buy Mitt Romney’s argument that Obama has messed up the economy?  Made it worse?  By what measure do you come to that conclusion?  Yes, employment is still around 8% and it SEEMS like we’re still in a recession.  But the fact is that the economy is actually growing.  No, not as fast as we’d like it to, but growing nonetheless.  Of course, if you look at the actual data, the top 1% is getting almost all the benefit of this growth while the rest of us just get by.

Now, Republicans and their presumptive nominee want to institute programs of severe austerity, cutting government, laying off workers and lowering taxes on the wealthy.  They say that such measures will stimulate growth and create jobs, but will it actually?  Well, George W. Bush tried half of that (lowering taxes while increasing government spending and employment) and we see where that got us.  And, if you look at Europe, they’re actually trying the OTHER half (laying off government employees and slashing spending) and THAT’S not working either.

Now note the graph below.  The blue line shows GDP growth for the Euro zone – those countries that use the Euro as their currency – and the red line does the same for the UK – which still uses the pound.  Neither of these economies has matched U.S. economic growth (yellow line) since Obama took office.

Now, look at the UK line in particular.  Following the onset of the Great Recession (2008-2009), its economic recovery was seemingly underway … until about 2010.  What happened then?  Why the current conservative government of David Cameron took office and began a program of severe austerity, slashing programs and laying off hundreds of thousands of government employees.  Since then, their economy has faltered, actually CONTRACTING for the last two quarters, which – by textbook definition – means that Cameron’s conservative policies have RETURNED Britain to an economic condition of recession.

So, you’re saying you might actually be considering voting for the proponents of policies that not only almost led to worldwide Economic Armageddon in 2001-2008 but also aren’t working now in Europe?  How many times do you have to touch the hot stove before you finally learn that doing so will burn the absolute SHIT out of you?