Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Democrats, Get Your Asses in Gear and Pass that Bill!

Every other day it seems, one more plea for a contribution has come from some Democratic organization or other, like the DCCC, or DNC. Personally, I am getting more than fed up by it. If I contribute money for a political party (and by the way, I am a registered Independent - specifically a Democratic SOCIALIST) I expect them to damned well as least bloody try courageously to address key national priorities.

In the past nine or ten months, however, I haven’t been inspired to give the Ds an FDR dime. The reason? Their weak-kneed, Milquetoast response to the Republicans, as opposed to acting as unified front. Several actions that have pissed me off in the past eight months or so:

- Caving in and authorizing the extension of the most noisome, and civil liberties’ destructive elements of the Patriot Act in February (this included the ‘black bag’ searches that directly violate the 4th Amendment)

- Making a mockery of the health reform bill, turning it into a meager health INSURANCE reform bill, with no public option to hold the insurance companies to account

- Passing another $35 billion for Afghanistan without making it pay-go while holding up a $40 billion desperately needed bill to extend unemployment benefits if there’s no pay-go.

Speaking of the last, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate started out with a pay-go approach by proposing to close an egregious tax loophole that allows wealthy fund managers at private equity firms and other investment partnerships to pay a top tax rate of just 15 percent on much of their earnings — versus a top rate of 35 percent for all other higher-income Americans. Closing the loophole would have raised an estimated $25 billion over 10 years, covering almost all the extended unemployment portion.

Right now, for these unemployed, things are growing desperate. Since June 1st, some 325,000 have been cut off and that’ll become 1.25 million by July 1st unless something is done. Having the money means the demand side of the economy remains afloat, because those unemployment checks will be used for purchases of goods and services. The alternative is likely a double dip recession as more and more unemployed stop all spending and are also forced to seek welfare – straining existing state budgets, as many more take early Social Security.

Amazingly, though, D-Senators such as John Kerry, Maria Cantwell and Mark Warner are being held hostage by the equity sharks to keep their tax loophole- at the expense of some manner of pay-go, and the unemployed getting extensions of benefits.

This isn’t good enough. As the latest New York Times Editorial put it:

“The right thing to do is obvious. The House and Senate should immediately extend unemployment benefits and aid to states and close the fund-managers’ tax loophole — completely”

I couldn’t agree more. And, when I see more consistent action by the Dems in favor of the PEOPLE – as opposed to Maul Street Casino Operators and profiteers, I will consider contributing to the party again.

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