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Let Sequstration Begin….

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Economic and Congressional CorruptionGiven the deficit and all things considered regarding the GOP ideologically driven demands, the best option at this point is to allow sequestration to occur and let all of the Bush era tax cuts expire in 2013. These two non-actions would eliminate a large part of the current deficit in 10 years and put the government in a much better fiscal position.

The Clinton tax increases worked to spur the economy because there was less incentive for high income entities to save rather than invest, but the Fed would have to go along by ending the earned interest rate given to banks to park their money at the Fed. While there may have been a good reason to do so during the bank crisis, there no longer is. It’s nothing more than a free hand out to big banks that prevents them from making somewhat riskier loans to businesses and families.

The GOP surrendered its mantle of fiscal conservatism a long time ago. The job of managing the nation’s deficit and fiscal well-being fell to the Democrats, partly under Reagan and grew as the decades passed. Anyone who fails to understand this primary change in how the two parties function, and in their ideology, either hasn’t paid any attention or has been brainwashed. The fact that the GOP continues this strategy should be apparent in the Super Committee proposals. The following are a few of the money quotes from Republicans in Rolling Stone’s How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich.

In a move that GOP Majority Leader Howard Baker called a “riverboat gamble,” Reagan sold the country on an “across-the-board” tax cut that brought the top rate down to 50 percent. According to supply-side economists, the wealthy would use their tax break to spur investment, and the economy would boom. And if it didn’t – well, to Reagan’s cadre of small-government conservatives, the resulting red ink could be a win-win. “We started talking about just cutting taxes and saying, ‘Screw the deficit,'” Bartlett recalls. “We had this idea that if you lowered revenues, the concern about the deficit would be channeled into spending cuts.”

It was the birth of what is now known as “Starve the Beast” – a conscious strategy by conservatives to force cuts in federal spending by bankrupting the country. As conceived by the right-wing intellectual Irving Kristol in 1980, the plan called for Republicans to create a “fiscal problem” by slashing taxes – and then foist the pain of reimposing fiscal discipline onto future Democratic administrations who, in Kristol’s words, would be forced to “tidy up afterward.”
In a move that GOP Majority Leader Howard Baker called a “riverboat gamble,” Reagan sold the country on an “across-the-board” tax cut that brought the top rate down to 50 percent. According to supply-side economists, the wealthy would use their tax break to spur investment, and the economy would boom. And if it didn’t – well, to Reagan’s cadre of small-government conservatives, the resulting red ink could be a win-win. “We started talking about just cutting taxes and saying, ‘Screw the deficit,'” Bartlett recalls. “We had this idea that if you lowered revenues, the concern about the deficit would be channeled into spending cuts.”

It was the birth of what is now known as “Starve the Beast” – a conscious strategy by conservatives to force cuts in federal spending by bankrupting the country. As conceived by the right-wing intellectual Irving Kristol in 1980, the plan called for Republicans to create a “fiscal problem” by slashing taxes – and then foist the pain of reimposing fiscal discipline onto future Democratic administrations who, in Kristol’s words, would be forced to “tidy up afterward.”
To Chafee, the opposition to a trigger mechanism [to the Bush tax cuts to prevent the deficit from ballooning] seemed to offer a clue about the real goal of the tax cuts: They were designed not to boost the economy, but to force the kind of spending cuts championed by Grover Norquist and other small-government activists. His suspicion that the starve-the-beast crowd was driving the cuts was confirmed, he says, by a conversation he had while walking the Senate corridors with Trent Lott, then the GOP majority leader.

“What’s going on here?” Chafee asked. Why not safeguard the economy by adopting a trigger mechanism?

Lott turned to Chafee. “We’re going to strangle the spending,” he said.

The GOP’s frenzied handouts to the rich during the Bush era coincided with the weakest economic expansion since World War II – and the only one in modern American history in which the wages of working families actually fell and poverty increased. And what little expansion there was under Bush culminated in the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. “The wreckage was left by Dick Cheney, Grover Norquist and the gang,” says [ former GOP Senator Lincoln] Chafee. “This was their doing.”

Americans of all economic classes, particularly those of the middle and working classes, need to wake up to the loyalties of their representatives to determine whether those loyalties are to themselves or to their uber wealthy, powerful donors. Are their hired representatives making policies that benefit all Americans or policies that benefit only a privileged class? Are we a nation wherein all people “are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” or are we a nation that believes only the wealthy have rights and privileges?

I believe we, as a nation, deserve better than the fear-mongering, hatred, and ego-centric, self-aggrandizement that has dominated our politics for the last 30 plus years, and most definitively, the last four years.

Americans can, and should be better, if for no other reason than to reflect the honor of our forefathers.

Related article:

Tax Pledge May Scuttle Deal to Cut Deficit

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Written by Valerie Curl

November 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

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