Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

House Republicans already opposing stimulus package

with 3 comments

Even though President-Elect Obama has not put forth his plan for an economic stimulus package, House Republicans are set to oppose it.

On John Boehner’s web site, he states:

Not too long ago, for example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, signaled that a massive Washington spending package of up to $300 billion may be considered by Congress before the end of the year – under the guise of “economic stimulus.” The centerpiece of the package was more spending on a variety of Washington programs, including a full slate of new highway construction programs.

His plan is a continuation of the usual tax cut plans of the past: cut capital gains and tax rates for companies. He also advocates an “all of the above” energy plan, but his website does not state how he would encourage renewable energy growth.

Cutting capital gains or corporate tax rates won’t increase research and development. Hundreds of new renewable energy projects in the Southwest were halted last fall on the fear that Republicans would block R&D deductions in the new energy bill. Fortunately, they failed and the companies worrying about their prospective projects have two years financial breathing room.

And cutting capital gains is not necessarily the answer either. As Warren Buffett states, he pays less in taxes than his secretary. That is, his tax rate is considerably lower. The reason his tax rate is lower than his secretary’s is because most of his income comes from capital gains which is a taxed at much lower rate than income tax rates. In other words, he, a billionaire, enjoys a much more generous tax rate than his much lower paid secretary. Buffett has often said that this kind of taxation is very unfair: that his secretary and the people who clean his office need the tax breaks far more than he does.

Yet, these kinds of tax breaks are exactly what Republicans continue to push. Given Buffet’s much publicized comments, I have to wonder why Republicans keep pushing them, especially when capital gains tax breaks are already quite generous? Are their beliefs purely ideological or a matter of political donations? One has to wonder.

According to Boehner, a stimulus package that includes spending on infrastructure projects is a waste of money. Now, that ideology I simply do not understand, given the state of the country’s infrastructure…and how far behind this country lags in comparison to China, Japan, and other countries.

This country has highways that are more potholes than roadways; rail lines that are crumbling into iron rust; bridges that are falling down; an antiquated electric grid that inhibits electronic, business and manufacturing growth; a less than second-rate expansion of broadband which could increase productivity – especially in rural and highly traffic congested areas – and scholarship; and a complete failure to install high speed rail lines for passenger and commercial use which would decrease transportation costs significantly.

In my estimation, Republicans are opposed to a costly stimulus package, not because they are opposed to these ideas, but because they hope to defeat Democrats. They’re playing politics…and the futures of the American people – especially those who have lost their jobs, are underemployed, or who are no longer counted among the unemployed – are relatively unimportant.

What is important to these Republican politicians is winning the political game, i.e. defeating the Democrats, regardless of the devastating costs to average, middle-class citizens and to the country as a whole, especially in arena of world economic competition.

That stupid, irrational game of political one-upmanship is, in part, what got us into this mess in the first place. The official role of Congress, especially the Senate, is to ensure the health, welfare and safety of all Americans.

It is not their duty to play partisan politics at the expense of average American lives and fortunes. In their planning to do so at this precarious economic time in our national history is little short of treason, in my humble opinion.

As a representative democratic Republic, we deserve better from our elected representatives than partisan politics. We deserve to have representatives who put average American lives and fortunes ahead of politics. We deserve representatives who put this country’s leadership, in manufacturing, education, and infrastructure, ahead of their party’s desire for dominance.

In Boehner’s already stated desire to block a stimulus package which has yet to be announced, he publically has chosen to put his party ahead of the American people. What is supremely obvious, from reading his website, is that he cares more for his party – a Republican political party win – than he does for average Americans. Unfortunately, he will be followed, in his march to defeat any grand stimulus package put forth by Obama and the Democrats, by far too many in his party in the House. As a block, they will seek to defeat the Democrats’ plan only in the name of partisanship.

They believe that if they can defeat the Democratic plan – and Obama – they will gain more seats in the next election. And that is their ultimate goal. Not you or me or any other average American. Just winning in the game of politics!

It as if our elected representatives are playing a football game, and the American public is the football.

Frankly, I’m tired of being a political football. I’m tired of seeing our great country, as a whole, descend into Third World status while our elected representatives play partisan football with our country and our lives.

We deserve better than we’ve received from our elected officials. Our lives, our fortunes, and the health and welfare of our country as a whole deserve to take precedence over party affiliation.

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3 Responses

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  1. You have great blog and this post is good!

    lcd

    January 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    • Thanks. Tell your friends and let’s engage in conversation.

      Valerie Curl

      January 25, 2010 at 11:37 PM

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