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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/24/10

Don't let Republican games turn into Republican gains!

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A bill has been stalled in the US Senate that would do the following, provide $30 billion to community banks for the express purpose of increasing lending to small businesses, increase tax deductions for small business start-up expenses, eliminate capital gains taxes in specifically identified small business categories, provide to states grants to provide small business loans, and would restore the previous Small Business Administration loan guarantee level to 90 percent. All this intended to assist what Republicans have been calling America's engine for job growth begin once again to grow jobs.

If a Republican was in the Oval Office, every Republican would support the measure, instead of blocking it, as they have been doing. After all, the bill is right out of their play book. The GOP claim that they oppose it because it works to increase the national debt is a flat out lie. The bill is paid for by closing certain loop holes that have permitted big business to escape some taxation as they ship jobs overseas. Which, if they weren't strongly in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts "as is," a $600 billion to $900 billion (On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory used $3.2 TRILLION, a figure that his guest, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not dispute.) increase in the national debt, their worries over a $30 billion increase might not be so clearly on the face naught but the most despicable political gimmickery.

(Watch the minority leader dance an Irish jig, not answering Gregory's question on how the GOP would intend to pay for the tax cuts; something they refused to do when passing them the first time, in 2001! click here)

What can also be observed in the Meet the Press interview is McConnell telling Gregory that the reason(s) for the deficit go entirely to "over-spending by the government", and that current and any future deficit should be handled "In the Finance committee." As the Kentucky senator knows full well, according to ex-head of the Government Accountability Office, Reagan appointee, very conservative David Walker has testified numerous times that the government could eliminate 100% of all discretionary spending and there would be no discernable impact on the deficit! What the Kentuckian also knows and what the GOP has long been after is that there are only two ways the deficit can be cut is to cut: one is to drastically trim and/or eliminate Social Security and Medicare, and the other is to increase the flow of revenue to Washington, primarily via some form of increased taxes. Both are within the senate's "Finance Committee" jurisdiction!

The GOP has made no secret of their desire that "Obama fail." What they're hoping is that 1.) sufficient Americans will be so angry, as nearly every American not in the upper two percent demographic has an absolute right to be, and 2.) so for whatever reason adequately ignorant of the cruelly cynical game that is being played against them by Republicans, they will return the GOP to power.

Not worse, but equally as sinister, has been the Republican ploy to cast American against American by ginning hatred and fear over the proposed construction of a mosque at "Ground Zero." All on the same order, there has never been proposed a "mosque" even within the shadow where the Twin Towers once stood (Included among more prominent public, non-sectarian uses, there will however be a "prayer room." But that does not, and will not, make of the building a "mosque."); the planned site is about two blocks removed, in the same immediate vicinity as a strip-tease club; there right this moment exists a mosque within the Pentagon itself, and itself target of the 9/11 attacks; and the United States and the Constitution that has attempted to reflect the ideals of the United States' founding strictly forbid any distinction premised on any faith or religion. Nonetheless, the GOP is fanning the flames of hate and fear, and for the same reasons cited above: to regain power. (Watch Republican and prime Tea Party organizer and fund-raiser Dick Armey collapse in the most smarmy play of phony sensitivity over the issue: click here )

Nor does the report on Republican machinations improve, as the reports continue. The August 22 edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal ( http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20108220302 ) (A very right-wing, Republican dominated publication, by the way), noted how Nevada's regressive tax structure the sales tax is exceeded only by Florida, South Dakota, and Washington, that the average Nevadan pays 6.5 percent in taxes, whereas the wealthiest pay "about 2 percent".

A regressive tax structure, for those who aren't familiar with the term, is one where the heaviest burden falls increasingly on those as their economic status diminishes. Example: A wage earner making $20,000 will pay taxes on a majority of his income because it goes to daily needs purchases. The person earning $200,000, on the other hand, satisfies his daily needs on a smaller portion of his income, and invests the remaining. Currently food items are excluded from taxation in Nevada.

However, if the Republicans had their way, according to what Republican Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea told KRNV-TV in an interview, "we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food," to close the budget gap. ( http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100823035 ) But get this: "More than 300,000 companies incorporated in Nevada pay no taxes on corporate income, corporate shares, inventory . . . franchise fees, etc." Additionally, per the RGJ article, "Between 2000 and 2007, the mining industry extracted $25.5 billion in gold, but because of "exclusions', "deductions' and "exemptions', paid taxes of about half a percent on Nevada's wealth that left the state" by foreign companies.
I used Nevada circumstances because that's where I've been staying for about a month, and the RGJ is the daily I've been reading, in addition to the numerous I get over the Internet. I doubt, however that the plight of the other 49 states are much happier than is that of Nevada. The state's municipalities have laid off teachers and fire fighters and police and EMT first-responder personnel. School hours have been cut, and library hours shortened, and other libraries closed. Indeed, the state's only veterinary school at University of Nevada shut down its entire agriculture department, in effect shutting down the school of veterinary medicine with it. Paved roads are being chopped to gravel because there does not exits the money to repair cracks and pot holes in the pavement.

And how do Republicans propose setting the fiscal house more to order? I just told you: by gutting Social Security, Medicare, and by adding a 2 percent sales tax on food, not by closing a single loop hole the wealthy and the corporations enjoy. That's how. And, that's the Republican party your relative and neighbors and associates intend to vote for in November.
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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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