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The Real Republican Agenda Exposed

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And when they weren't trying to force women to birth babies for rapists, the GOP House was voting to make it easier for would-be criminals to carry concealed firearms.   In the first major gun legislation passed after their colleague Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by one Jared Loughner, the House sided with her attempted murderer, passing an NRA-backed measure that would have undercut state limits on concealed-carry permits.   The bill would "make it easier for crazies like Jared Loughner to pack heat on our streets and in our communities."

Drill and Pollute

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In thrall to dirty-energy interests, House Republicans have held more than 300 votes to hamstring the EPA, roll back environmental protections and open up sensitive public land to drilling -- offering polluters a virtual license to kill.   "This is, without doubt, the most anti-environmental Congress in history," said Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy Committee.

Under the Republicans, the House has voted to:

 * ban the EPA from placing limits on climate-warming pollution,

 * reverse new fuel standards that were projected to slash dependence on foreign oil and thereby save Americans $1.7 trillion at the pump,

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 * end standards signed into law by President Bush that would phase out wasteful, high-wattage incandescent light bulbs.  

Even more reckless, the House voted to block limits on deadly mercury emissions -- a move that federal scientists calculate would result in 20,000 premature deaths -- and drop safeguards on cement manufacturing that would kill another 12,500 Americans and lead to thousands of avoidable heart attacks.

Perhaps worst of all, in February the House passed a bill to block all new major regulations until the nation's unemployment rate falls to six% -- a measure that would choke off not only new environmental safeguards, but also the new limits on Wall Street recklessness required under Dodd-Frank.

Enrich Billionaires at the Expense of Everyone Else

House Republicans have voted three times to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts -- a move that would blow a $3.8 trillion hole in the budget over the next decade.   In fact, the Ryan budget -- twice approved by the House -- goes even further, doling out another $2.5 trillion to the wealthiest Americans by reducing the tax rate on top earners from 35 to just 25 percent, lowering the corporate rate to 25 percent, and ending the alternative minimum tax, a safeguard against tax cheats.

Romney, in fact, wants to give away even more to the rich than Republicans in the House by permanently eliminating the estate tax -- a proposal that alarms veterans of the first Bush administration:   "Given the vast amounts of wealth that have accumulated at the very, very, very top, it's an odd time to be eliminating this most progressive element of the tax system," says Michael Graetz, a former deputy assistant Treasury secretary under Bush.   Over a decade, Romney's gift to the nation's most fortunate families would allow their heirs to pocket at least $1 trillion (including up to $50 million for Mitt's own heirs), all at the expense of the rest of America -- which means that those without family fortunes would see their taxes soar.   Independent tax groups have concluded that the only way to replace the tax revenue lost by the proposed Ryan and Romney tax cuts would be to end tax breaks (like the one for home-mortgage interest) that directly benefit the middle class.   And the poor would get the shaft as well:   The Ryan budget slashes the Child Tax Credit, meaning that a single mother of two earning the minimum wage would watch her annual tax bill rise by more than $1,500.

Slash Government

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If signed into law by President Romney, the Ryan budget would slash spending on college tuition grants by 42% next year and kick 1 million students out of the program.   It would also gut funding for public schools, food and drug safety, basic science research, law enforcement and low-income housing.   The cuts to food stamps alone would total $134 billion over the next decade.   Ripping Ryan for trying to cloak his budget in Catholic doctrine, priests and faculty from Georgetown University wrote, "Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ."  

There is one place, however, where Republicans want to increase spending:   Under the most recent Ryan budget, the Pentagon would receive an extra $29 billion a year, thereby reversing Obama's modest efforts to slow the growth of defense spending.  

Where Would the Extra Cash Come From?  

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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