Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little Miss Purity Gets Another Stain On His Frock


Paul Ryan, whose Wall Street handlers try-- often with a degree of desperation-- to portray him as Little Miss Purity, are losing another battle that exposes him as a wanton whore. I'm betting, though, that this one-- his support for Boehner's tax increases on the rich-- won't be any more difficult to explain away to the dull-brained Republican/Fox base than when Ryan led the battle to pass the TARP bailouts for Bush. Ryan's spokesperson, Conor Sweeney: "Chairman Ryan will continue to work to protect as many Americans as possible from tax hikes. Chairman Ryan believes that Speaker Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ meets that criteria.” Club for Growth and Heritage don't, even though Norquist sold indulgences to Republicans looking to support Boehner.
Ryan Ellis, American for Tax Reform’s tax policy director, said that the “sole purpose” of the House proposal-- which would allow rates on annual income above $1 million to go up at year’s end-- was to prevent tax increases for most people.

ATR, which oversees an anti-tax pledge signed by the vast majority of congressional Republicans, also noted that the House had already voted to extend all income tax rates.

“When viewed with this in mind, and considering this tax bill contains no tax increases of any kind-- in fact, it permanently prevents them-- matters become more clear,” Ellis wrote.

“Having finally seen actual legislation in writing, ATR is now able to make its determination about a legislative proposal related to the fiscal cliff.”

Norquist’s move could give cover to Boehner, with it still far from certain whether the Speaker can find enough Republican votes to push his “Plan B” through the House.
And Little Miss Purity, despite Club for Growth terming Plan B "anti growth... “It increases tax rates for those making over $1 million while also raising taxes on capital gains and dividends. We don't buy into the Washington-speak, suggesting that these are actually tax cuts."

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the aisle, Democrats are also concerned about how to message their betrayal of the American people by couching their agreement to gut Social Security as "strengthening Social Security." What a horrible and ignominious end to Nancy Pelosi's career! Tragic. This statement makes her sound senile:
President Obama's latest fiscal cliff offer includes chained CPI, which isn't exactly attracting praise from Democrats. But House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi seems to be giving the president room on that.

Asked whether she considers chained CPI a benefit cut, Pelosi told reporters Wednesday, “No. I don’t. I consider it strengthening of Social Security."

A number of Democrats have been dodging questions over how Obama's latest offer handles entitlements. Some have been sending out statements against including chained CPI or speaking against including anything that touches Social Security in a fiscal cliff deal.

“I’ve said to the members, ‘Express yourselves. Speak out against it.’ Because I’m not thrilled with the president’s proposal,” Pelosi said. “It’s what it is in order to save the day, but that doesn’t mean we all identify with every aspect of it. So they go forth with my blessing.”
No Democrat who supports the chained CPI proposal will be eligible for a Blue America endorsement. And according to Hoyer, some Democrats-- presumably some of the trashy Blue Dogs who have evaded extermination so far-- are planning to vote for Boehner's Plan B tomorrow. There are probably at least a dozen Republicans who won't vote for it but if 24 vote "no," Boehner will need at least a few Blue Dogs fulfill their regular role of bolstering the far right and also making it possible for him to claim the vote was "bipartisan." As of now Boren is thought to be in the bag for Boehner and these Republicans are against Plan B: Justin Amash (MI), Joe Barton (TX), Paul Broun (GA), John Fleming (LA), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Jim Jordan (OH), Raul Labrador (ID), Doug Lamborn (CO), Joe Walsh (IL), Allen West (FL) and Lynn Westmoreland (GA). Still uncommitted are far right-wingers who may hold the balance: Todd Akin (MO), Michele Bachmann (MN), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Jeff Flake (AZ), Trent Franks (AZ), Scott Garrett (NJ), Phil Gingrey (GA), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Ron Paul (TX), Steve Scalise (LA), Steve Southerland (FL), Marlin Stutzman (IN), and Mike Turner (OH). That's 24-- enough to kill the bill without Blue Dog support. This is a press release sent out yesterday by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. We're excited that so many Democrats are remembering that they're in Congress for ideals and values, not to support the Wall Street crooks who helped give Obama a lovely career.
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are standing up against a proposal to cut Social Security benefits by changing the way we calculate inflation. Last week, 102 Democrats, including both Progressive and New Democrats, signed a letter calling for Social Security to be off the table in current negotiations. The deal proposed by the Speaker cannot pass without some of those 102 Democrats. Tying Social Security to chained CPI is a benefit cut and members of the CPC will not vote for a deal that cuts the benefits that millions of Americans rely on.

  Press statements from Caucus members are below: 

Rep. Keith Ellison (Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus): “I am committed to standing against any benefit cuts to programs Americans rely on and tying Social Security benefits to chained CPI is a benefit cut."

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus): "Chained CPI makes life harder for millions of retirees, weakens Social Security and doesn’t reduce the deficit by a penny. It’s a Beltway fig leaf that I will never support, and I call on my colleagues to make their feelings known as soon as possible before this becomes yet another piece of conventional wisdom that makes things worse."

Rep. Charles Rangel: “Reducing cost of living adjustments is a Social Security benefit cut. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable and I will oppose it.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky: "We should not put a higher burden on lower-income and middle-class seniors and the millions of American families who depend on their earned benefits. To do so in order to shield the wealthiest Americans from a tax increase is nothing less than immoral.” 

Rep. John Conyers: “Any debt deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable.”

Rep. Barbara Lee: "Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable”

Rep. Jerry Nadler: “I do not support any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.”

Rep. John Lewis: "The reward of their hard work should not be a significant reduction in resources the longer they live and the more vulnerable they become. Something is wrong with this equation."

Rep. Elijah Cummings: "It is fundamentally unfair to ask our most vulnerable citizens-- our elderly and our poor-- to shoulder the burden for our country; it is morally wrong and unacceptable. We must do better."

Rep. David Cicilline: "I will vote against any agreement that imposes cuts to already modest Social Security benefits and does not ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share."

Rep. Jim McDermott: "Reducing cost of living adjustments is a Social Security benefit cut. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable and I will oppose it." 

Rep. Peter DeFazio: “Using the chained CPI to calculate COLAs would cause the average senior to lose over $16,000 over 25 year retirement. Nearly 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries depend on Social Security for at least half of their income. Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients . Asking these retirees on a fixed income to bear the brunt of reducing a deficit that they did not create is inappropriate and unacceptable.”

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At 9:54 PM, Blogger Pats said...

Eliminate COLAs for Social Security? If we're serious about saving money, then they should also eliminate COLAs for Congress. I realize that more people are on Social Security than in Congress. But 1% of the average Social Security benefit is a lot less than 1% of what a senator makes. Let Congress show they're serious about balancing the budget, since it's so important to them, by leading the way with some personal sacrifice.


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