Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do You Need A New Nut In Your Consciousness? Meet Todd Young (R-IN)


There are three Republican Congressmen Youngs-- two extremely old and extremely corrupt carbuncles, Florida's CW "Bill" Young (age 82 and chairman of the Appropriations Committee subcommittee on Defense, a longtime conservative honey-pot) and Don Young (age 80 and notorious Alaska pork barrel king, Abramoff crony and serial ne'er-do-well)-- and one backbencher of little consequence who no one has ever heard of, Todd Young (age 40 who was a right-wing operative for the extremist Heritage Foundation). The few people who have heard of him only know him as a boisterous climate change denier who makes an idiot out of himself on the subject on behalf of Club For Growth, his single biggest career-long campaign contributor. He also gets an inordinately large payoff from the Energy and Natural Resources industry. This cycle, for example, he's already taken in over $80,000 (as opposed to Alaska's Don Young who got $55,100 and Florida's Bill Young, who got $15,500). All three Youngs voted to protect Wall Street oil speculators from meaningful oversight and Todd and Don Young-- though not Bill-- voted to protect tax breaks and subsidies for Big Oil several times.

According to ProgressivePunch, Todd Young has a 3.61 score on progressive issues this year. By way of comparison, Joe Pitts has a 4.19, Allen West has a 4.87, Louie Gohmert has a 6.90, and Tea Bag Queen Michele Bachmann has a 6.96. By no stretch of the imagination could anyone aptly describe Young as "conservative" or even "severely conservative." The man is a radical far right ideologue across the board on every issue facing Congress.

Young won his seat in 2010 by beating a highly unpopular Blue Dog, Baron Hill, who spent most of his time on K Street (where he now works as a pharmaceuticals lobbyist) or conspiring with Boehner and Cantor to undermine progressive legislation. He amassed a putrid reactionary voting record and was swept away in the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010 garnering a mere 42.2% of the votes, the worst numbers in his 7 House runs. Young is exactly the kind of faceless nonentity of a candidate the DCCC specializes in going after-- and they had every intention of doing just that. Steve Israel recruited another of his Blue Dog types with no on-the-ground backing in he community, Jonathan George, and the DCCC, while claiming neutrality, pushed hard to help George will the primary. But he was a terrible candidate, got no traction and came in a dismal 3rd in a 5 candidate primary. Shelli Yoder, who the DCCC had told everyone who would listen to their poison was "too liberal" for the district and "had no chance," easily won with 47.7%, besting Steve Israel's recruit 13,186 to 4,591. Just like he did in other districts where a progressive beat his Blue Dog recruit, he immediately dropped IN-09 from the playboard and started a whispering campaign that Young has a lock on the district. This, of course, is what Nancy Pelosi meant when she described him as "reptilian" (although she's unaware that he uses the reptilian traits she professes to admire exclusively against progressives and never against Republicans).

So who has Young offended in the district with his extremist voting record? It would almost be easier to ask who hasn't he offended!
Todd Young’s Five Worst Votes for Seniors

1.  Turn Medicare into a Voucher Program and Raise the Eligibility Age (Continuing Resolution 34; The Ryan-Young Budget)

  The Ryan-Young Budget would replace Medicare with a voucher program in 2022
  Current beneficiaries would be hurt because the remaining pool of Medicare beneficiaries would be significantly older and sicker. Premiums would increase.
  For new beneficiaries after 2022, vouchers would not keep pace with premiums. The CBO projects out of pocket expenses would double.
  The proposals would likely raise overall healthcare costs as they would shift Seniors onto more expensive private insurance plans.
  Eligibility would be raised to 67
  More recent proposals have suggested allowing seniors to choose between guaranteed benefits and a voucher program. Because it would drain Medicare’s pool of healthy and young seniors, it would make the program unsustainable and still raise premiums. Moreover, Young has already voted for the voucher-only program and should be held accountable for this vote.
2.  Cut Future Social Security Benefits (H.J.Res 48; 178 and Continuing Resolution 34)

  Voted against promise not to cut Social Security benefits
  Voted for the Ryan-Young budget, which endorses the Bowles-Simpson plan to reduce the Cost of Living Adjustments. Each year, Social Security benefits would fall farther and farther behind current levels.
  Over the next ten years, this would represent a 3.7 percent cut
  Undermines the guarantee that Social Security will keep up with prices
  By 2080, benefit levels would shrink by 51 percent lower for a medium earner
  Would also create a fast-track procedure to ram Social Security benefit cuts through Congress
3.  Privatize Social Security (H.J.Res 48; 178 and Continuing Resolution 34)

  Voted against promise not to privatize Social Security
 Ryan-Young plan creates ‘private savings accounts’, the basis of privatization
  Because of these private savings accounts, the program’s fiscal health would worsen for 60 years
  Seniors would be pushed into these plans by proposed tax-incentives
4.  Reopen the donut hole (thirty-three times including Vote 460 plus budget proposals)

  Repealing the ACA in full would reopen the doughnut hole for prescription drugs
  Seniors in the doughnut hole are already saving an average of $600 on drugs
  Approximately 81,000 Indiana seniors would be hurt
5.  Ignore fraud and abuse in Medicare and Social Security (HR 1315; Vote 620, ACA repeal votes)

  Voted against cracking down on fraud in Medicare and Social Security

Todd Young’s Five Worst Votes for Women

1.  Legalize health-care discrimination against women (thirty-three times including Vote 460)

 Complete repeal of the ACA would allow insurers to deny coverage to women who get breast cancer, have C-sections, and suffer from domestic violence
  Complete repeal of the ACA would allow insurance companies to legally discriminate against women on the basis of their gender. American women are charged about $1 billion extra a year when this is allowed
2. Gut the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4970)

Cut funding for grants and adds a requirement for victims to participate in two in-person interviews with untrained federal staff
  Removed requirement for colleges and universities with federal funding to develop policies on sexual assault; college-age women are at the highest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence
  Eliminated confidentiality protections for immigrants
  Opposed by NOW, YWCA,  American Bar Association, Conference of Catholic Bishops,
“Undermines VAWA's 18-year history of victim-centered legislation by shielding perpetrators from accountability for their violent crimes, raising new hurdles to women escaping violent relationships, removing important college campus and housing improvements...” - National Organization for Women
3.  Roll-back women’s access to preventative care and contraception (thirty-three times including Vote 460, HR 1; Vote 93, H.R. 277, Ryan-Young budget)

  Complete repeal of the ACA would roll-back coverage for maternity care, breast cancer screenings, contraception, and domestic violence counseling
  Defunding Planned Parenthood, which provided over 4 million instances of STI/STD Testing and Treatments, over 3.5 million contraceptive services, and over 1.5 million cancer screenings and preventative procedures
  Eliminate all funding for Title X, which provides support for family planning clinics serving about 5 million women around the country  (which cannot use federal money for abortions). The program prevents approximately 973,000 unintended pregnancies per year. Each dollar eliminated will result in an estimated $4 in later costs.
4.  Slash funding for low-income mothers (H.R. 277, Ryan-Young Budget)

 Ryan-Young budget would have cut $758 million from Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, infants, and Children; would cut nutritional support for approximately 1.8 million women and infants
 Ryan-Young budget would have cut about 1/3rd of funding from Maternal and Child Health Block Grants to provide healthcare to new low-income families
5.  Redefining Rape (HR 3)

  In an effort to block access to abortion in cases of statutory rape or incest, the house attempted to narrow the definition of rape to ‘forcible rape’
  The term was never defined and many in the legal community were concerned it would create a new legal standard for rape

Todd Young’s Five Worst Votes for Young Americans
1.  Slash Pell Grants (H.R. 277, Ryan-Young Budget and HR 1)

  H.R. 1 would have cut approximately $114 million in Pell Grants from Indiana Students
  The Ryan-Young budget would cut funding for Pell grants for 1 million students over the next ten years
  The Ryan-Young budget would cut the maximum Pell award by more than $800, the equivalent of an entire year’s worth of books and supplies at IU
  The Ryan-Young budget would make students ineligible who do not attend school full time and change the eligibility threshold for the full award from $32,000 to $23,000
2.  Repeal healthcare for students under 26 (33 different votes)

 Complete repeal of the ACA would end the provision allowing young-people to stay on family plans until the age of 26
 An estimated 21,100 young Americans in Indiana were helped by the provision in 2011, 6.6 million nationally
3.  Eliminate environmental protections for clean air and water (HR 572; Vote 572, HR 2354; Vote 600, H.R. 910; )

 Voted to eliminate drinking-water standards for Arsenic and percolate
 Voted to slash $1.3 billion from clean energy funding
 Voted to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses
 4. Undermine public education (H.R. 1)

  H.R. 1 proposed $5 billion in cuts to federal education programs
  School Improvement Grants cut by $337 million, $694 million from Title I
  Head Start would loose $1 billion in funding, eliminating 196,000 slots for children
  Ryan-Young budget cuts per capita investment in education and training by 53 percent
  Estimated cuts to Indiana:
  $12.55 million in cuts to special education
  $16.2 million in cuts to Head Start
5.  Slow down scientific discovery and medical advances
  Ryan-Young Budget would cut Science and Technology investment per capita by almost 1/3rd
  Budget would funding for 1,600 medical research grants a year

Todd Young’s Five Worst Votes for Workers
 1.  Undermining the National Labor Relations Board Powers (H.R. 2587 and H.R. 1)

 Voted to allow companies to punish workers for unionizing by shipping jobs overseas, firing workers who try to unionize, and functionally legalize runaway shops
 Voted for funding cuts in H.R. 1 that would have required 55 day shutdown:
 “If enacted, the House proposal could force the NLRB to curtail all agency operations, including investigating alleged illegal practices by private sector employers and unions, conducting workplace elections, and helping to settle election-related disputes. Regulation of a broad range of conduct, such as unlawful lockouts of workers, termination of union organizers,” - Chairman of the NLRB
2.  Delaying union votes (H.R. 3094)
  Voted to allow further delays in unionization votes
  “The longer the delay, the more likely employers are to engage in unlawful intimidation of their employees. Rather than correct that problem, this bill would mandate a delay, during which time unscrupulous employers could engage in threats, coercion, and even firing of voters” - American Rights at Work ED
3.  Against ‘Buy American’ Plans (H.R. 4348)
 Voted no on Buy American requirement for federally-funded highway, transit, and rail projects
4.  Pushing sequestration costs onto the working poor (H.R. 5652)
  Bill would have replaced billions in already agreed-to spending cuts with cuts to Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, and other programs important to the working poor
5.  Eliminating funding for job training (H.R.1, Ryan-Young budget, etc..)

  Eliminated $3 billion for Workforce Investment Act employment and training programs
  Accounting gimmick in Ryan budget would have resulted in $3.1 billion shortfall in FY 2014
Todd Young’s Five Worst Votes for Farmers
1.  Undermine federal funding for farming insurance (HR 115, Ryan-Young Budget)

  Ryan-Young budget for 2013 proposes a $30 billion cut to the farm and crop insurance subsidies (committee had proposed $23 billion)
 The plan would require reducing support to farmers by approximately 20 percent, forcing farmers to pay higher premiums
  “Especially worrisome is the Chairman’s emphasis on the federal crop insurance program as an area for reduction. Crop insurance serves as the main safety net for America’s farmers, and its integrity must be protected.” - American Soybean Association
 “The Ryan budget proposes significant cuts in the farm safety net and conservation programs It is appalling that in an attempt to avoid defense cuts the Republican leadership has elected to leave farmers and hungry families hurting” - Collin Peterson, Ranking D Member on Ag
 “House Budget Chairman’s Proposal Takes Knife to Ag” - National Association of Wheat Growers
2.  Cut fixed payments to farmers (HR 115, Ryan-Young Budget)

  Ryan-Young budget for 2013 proposes a $30 billion cut to the farm and crop insurance subsidies (committee had proposed $23 billion)
 “House Budget Chairman’s Proposal Takes Knife to Ag” - National Association of Wheat Growers
 “Once again, we see that Congress is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of rural America... irresponsible in a time of economic recovery.” - National Farmers Union
3. Slash funding for agriculture conservation programs (HR 115, Ryan-Young Budget.)

 Ryan-Young Budget would cut $16 billion from conservation programs, especially the National Resource Conservation Service
 In a poll by the National Farmers Union, 75% of farmers said conservation is important to their bottom line and over 80% supported increasing or maintaining funding
 In 2011 budget, voted to cut $201 million from Farm Service Agnecy
4. Against Labeling of Country of Origin on Food (HR 10; Vote 900)

  Voted against a requirement that all food be labeled with its country of origin
  The requirement would have allowed Americans who wanted to ‘buy American’ at the grocery store to do so
  Later passed an amendment which the National Farmers Union called “an underhanded way to dismantle Country of Origin Labeling behind closed doors”
5. Disinvesting from agriculture research (H.R. 277, Ryan-Young Budget)

            Cuts $246 million from Agriculture University Research

6. Going on vacation without a finished farm bill
Todd Young’s Four Worst Votes for People of Faith
1.  Slashing programs to feed the poor (Ryan Budget)

  Ryan Budget slashes funding for SNAP by $134 billion
  “These cuts are unjustified and wrong.” - The Council of Catholic Bishops
2.  Gutting healthcare for the poor (Ryan budget and ACA)

  Ryan Budget “would result in millions of vulnerable people losing health insurance” - AP
  Repealing the ACA will push an estimated 11 million people from Medicaid
  There are already 45,000 deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage
3.  Prioritizing the wealthy over the poor (Ryan Budget)

Ryan budget “balances the budget on the backs of the poor” - Franciscan Action Network
Sixty-two percent of Ryan budget cuts are from programs for lower-income Americans

4.  Eliminating options for pregnant woman (33 times, Ryan budget)

 Voted to eliminate the ACA, which includes $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion 
 Voted to defund Title X, which provides non-abortive family planning services

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