Saturday, July 26, 2014

What Does It Say About The 25 Democrats Who Crossed The Aisle To Vote With The GOP To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986


The whole purpose of the vote Friday afternoon was, euphemistically called the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014-- and sponsored by 4 corporate shills, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Devin Nunes of California and Tom Reed of New York-- was to expand tax credits for wealthy families while leaving kids from poor families behind, standard operating procedure for Republicans, of course. But 5 Republicans opposed the grotesquely unfair bill and 25 of the worst conservatives from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party in the House voted for it.

Let me preface this by saying that I had a very rich and rewarding experience last week. I spent it at my alma mater, Stony Brook, getting a better understanding of their EOP/AIM program (Equal Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit). I spent my days there getting to know the administrators, the teachers and the incredible motivated students. These kids come from homes where the average household income is $12,000 a year and many of them never thought they would find themselves in a top-rated university-- with all the opportunities inherent in that. But Stony Brook goes out to high schools and recruits kids who would benefit from the program, helping them visualize themselves in college and he helping them tackle the inevitable problems that come up for their entire 4 years college experience. The program's graduation rate-- 78%-- is about significantly higher than the graduation rate from the university in general.

Friday, writing for Mother Jones, Erika Eichelberger, explained the inherent unfairness of the bill the conservatives passed, 237-173. The bill, she wrote, "changes the way the federal child tax credit works by raising the eligibility cap for married couples. At the same time, the legislation would allow a 2009 child tax credit increase for low-income families to expire at the end of 2017. Here's how that would play out in the coming years. A married couple with two children that bring in $160,000 a year would get a new annual tax cut of $2,200, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). A single mother with two kids who makes $14,500 a year would lose $1,725 annually.
"The big winners would be the more-affluent families who would become newly eligible for the [child tax credit]," tax experts at the CBPP noted Tuesday. "The losers would be millions of low-income families who are doing exactly what policymakers often say they want these people to do-- working, even at low-wage jobs."

…The 2009 law that increased the child tax credit for poor families did so by lowering the income level required for a partial credit to $3,000 and reducing the annual income required for a full credit to $16,333. If it expires, 6 million children and roughly 400,000 veterans and military families would lose all or part of their child tax credit.
The 5 Republicans who voted with the Democrats against this monstrosity of unfairness were mainstream conservatives Jeff Denham (CA), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Walter Jones (NC), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), and David Valadao (CA), all except Jones representing Democratic-leaning districts And these were the 25 disgraceful excuses for Democrats who crossed the aisle in the other direction to vote against working families:
Ron Barber (Blue Dog/New Dem-AZ)
John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
Bruce Braley (cowardly Senate candidate-IA)
Julia Brownley (CA)
Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL)
Bill Enyart (IL)
Pete Gallego (Blue Dog/New Dem-TX)
John Garamendi (CA)
Joe Garcia (New Dem-FL)
Ann Kuster (New Dem-NH)
Dave Loebsack (IA)
Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)
Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Gary Peters (New Dem-MI)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Nick Rahall (Blue Dog-WV)
Raul Ruiz (CA)
Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog/New Dem-AZ)
Every Republican, except maybe the 5 who crossed the aisle, plus these 25 faithless Democrats, are class enemies of most Americans. The medium household income in the country is $50,502. 49.5% of American families live in households where the annual income is less than $50,000 and only 4.3% of Americans live in households with annual incomes above $200,000. These conservative congressmembers think their job is to safeguard inequality and keep the doors of opportunity bolted to the children of the less well-off. Forget about party affiliation; if you're not making six-figures you shouldn't vote for any of these people. And if you are making six-figures, you should only vote for them if you hate America and want to see it whither and die.

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