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Debunking Misleading Republican Ideas

by rescuetruth on September 25th, 2010

Redistribution of Wealth & Tax Cuts

Republicans seem to be ignoring the growing epidemic of economic inequality in this country.  A CBO study published in June 2010 found that the income gap between the top 1 percent, and lower-to-middle wage earners more than tripled in the last three decades.  The study also found that the Bush tax cuts increased economic inequality at alarming rates.  The average change in after tax income from 2006-07 for the lowest fifth of wage earners was a modest $800 dollars compared to $88,800 dollars for the top 1%, which represents a 4.7% and 7.2% change, respectively.

Another CBO study found that during the so-called economic expansion that occurred under Fmr. President G. W. Bush, two-thirds (66%) of income growth was taken by the top 1%. Our economic system is supposed to enable hardworking people to reap the benefits, but instead our riches are diverted to the upper class, the elites represented by the modern Republican Party.

Republican policies have quite literally created the greatest redistribution of wealth in our lifetime.

Self-Appointed Elites

In the GOP’s revamped talking points memo, A Pledge to America, Republicans claim that members of Congress are “self-appointed elites.”[1] Many people who identify with the Tea Party fad have made similarly outrageous claims such as rallying around “taxation without representation.”  The Boston Tea Party of 1773 occurred because colonists were being taxed without representation in England.  In modern day America, we each have one vote, which we use to elect representatives who have the power to levy taxes.[2] It is our patriotic duty to take part in the most important part of our political process, elections.

It is quite obvious that Republicans are using the word “elite” to improperly describe Democrats.  While not infallible, the Democratic Party largely promotes the ideas of working people and unions.  Observing party positions on tax cuts will help us to understand this issue.  Many in the Republican Party have decided to hold middle class tax cuts hostage, unless tax cuts are also given to the wealthiest Americans.  The elites that Republicans refer to are working people, and scholars who support Democratic ideals, including tax cuts for those making under $250,000 dollars per year.  I think most would agree that the word elite better describes the millionaires and billionaires that Republicans represent.

The Constitution

Republicans love to wrap themselves in the flag, and cite carefully selected lines from the Constitution to create a savior-like image.  The truth is that Republicans have waged a full-scale war against constitutional principles.  Representatives of the right have taken up metaphorical arms against Muslims, gay marriage, gays in the military, birthright citizenship, and election of senators by popular vote.

Most find it appalling that the American Family Association, a supporter of the Tea Party movement and Newt Gingrich, has publicly stated their opposition to 1st Amendment rights being applied to Muslims.[3] On America Speaking Out, a web site funded by House Minority Leader John Boehner where users can vote on political and social ideas, one right-winger proposed that no Muslims be allowed to immigrate to America. Approximately two-thirds of the votes were for banning Muslim immigration.[4] There are countless GOP candidates who have spoken out against the the building of mosques across the country for the mere fact that Muslim worshipers use the Qur’an instead of the Bible.

On Wednesday, Senate Republicans successfully filibustered the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision that would set into motion the repeal process for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  The cloture vote for the bill was 56-43 with not one Republican voting Yea.[5] After and before the vote, many Republicans cited DADT as the reason for voting against the military spending bill.  Senator McCain (R-AZ) went as far as to say that the military would never pry into a soldier’s personal life in an effort to find out his or her sexual orientation, which is patently false.[6] This week a federal judge ruled that DADT violated the 1st Amendment, and ruled the policy unconstitutional.  The ruling required that the lesbian soldier involved be reinstated.[7] +1 Constitution, -1 Republicans.

If Republicans place such importance on the Constitution, why are they attempting to apply selectivity to what is arguably the most important amendment?

Health Care Reform

Part of the Republican Party’s pledge is health care reform, which includes more than a modicum of ideas that were already implemented by Democrats in the Affordable Care Act.  Below are some ideas that Republicans are attempting to steal:[8]

  • High-risk insurance pools
  • Pre-existing condition coverage
  • Elimination of lifetime limits
  • Insurer cannot cancel coverage in case of illness
  • Insurance purchases across state lines

No candidate, political pundit, or any other person has said that the new health care reform law was perfect.  As with any new piece of legislation, we will have to tweak and revise as time passes.  Republicans want to repeal the law, but with this “pledge” to reinstate some of the exact same ideas.  Despite pre-existing conditions being a part of the pledge, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) equated children with pre-existing conditions to a burnt down house.

In 2009, health insurance companies increased profits by 56%, despite 2.7 million people losing coverage.  Wellpoint, United Health, Cigna, and Humana all posted profits despite suffering 1.7-5.5% decreases in enrollment.[9] The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the average premium increase to pay for the new benefits within the ACA will be about 1 percent to 2 percent.[10] Some insurance companies have used the ACA to implement unjustified double-digit premium increases, while Republicans sit idly.  Republicans have no interest in creating any semblance of a Patient’s Bill of Rights, but instead seek to protect profits of health insurers.

Transparency & Special Interests

In A Pledge to America, Republicans make a promise to ensure Congress becomes more transparent.  One day after releasing the pledge, when Senate Republicans were given a chance to pass a piece of legislation that would increase transparency in our elections, they failed to live up to this promise. The Republicans filibustered the DISCLOSE Act with not a single Republican voting Yea (59-39).[11] The DISCLOSE Act was designed to help curb corporate and foreign influence over our elections.

A recent Supreme Court decision gave corporations the same rights as people, ensuring they could spend unlimited amounts of money in campaigns. While Democrats have worked towards passing the DISCLOSE Act, the inaction of the Republican Party has put our entire system of democracy in jeopardy.  Allowing corporations with virtually unlimited funds to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans puts a gaping hole in our political process, and allows candidates to be controlled by special interests.  With not a single Republican vote for such a seemingly simple bill, one wonders what the right is hiding.

How can Republicans start a new era of transparency after voting against disclosure in elections?


[1] GOP.  A Pledge To America
[2] Eyewitness News.  The Boston Tea Party, 1773
[3] The Liberal OC.  Muslims, Immigrants, Gays and Why the Right Wing Hates the Constitution
[4] America Speaking Out.  Ideas in ‘Terrorism Abroad’
[5] U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records.  Roll Call Votes, 111th Congress, 2nd Session
[6] YouTube.  McCain Defends DADT
[7] The Associated Press.  Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force
[8] Think Progress.  GOP’s ‘Pledge To America’ Replaces Affordable Care Act with Provisions from Affordable Care Act
[9] ABC News.  Health Insurers Post Record Profits
[10] NY Times.  About Your Health Insurance Premiums
[11] U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records.  Roll Call Votes, 111th Congress, 2nd Session


From → Politics

  • joe strosser

    Income is not redistribution of wealth, it’s earned. Redistribution is when you take money from one class/segmant and give it to another like taxing one group of people to subside another the poor.

    Also, it’s interesting that the curve under Clinton in the 90s is almost identical to the curve under Bush yet no negative critique for Clinton. Bias or over sight?

    Also note that income for all classes/segmants grew under Bush which is a very good thing even if it is uneven. Tax too much and most incomes will go down including the ever shrinking middle class.

  • Chris

    @joe strosser I don’t think it is wise to try to make the argument that our country did better economically under Bush. We *know* that is not true! By the end of his two terms in office, our economy was in the tank. We were losing over 700,000 jobs every month, had an increased deficit, and our economy was rapidly shrinking.

    It is interesting that Republicans try to equate tax cuts for the rich to jobs for the working class when Bush proved to us that there is no correlation. Bush cut taxes, and unemployment rose. Corporations have plenty of stockpiled cash and profits are rolling in, but they refuse to hire, which is partially attributable to cheap labor overseas – outsourcing.

    Redistribution of wealth is a Republican idea – literally. They took the income share of the top 10% from about 33% (Nixon) to over 50% (end of Bush’s term). A recent poll of 5,000 people, which is well above the sample sizes for most reputable polls, indicated that most Americans agree that the top 20% owns too much of the wealth in our country, which ends up being over 80%.

    The American people don’t want our economic system to favor corporations and hedge fund managers, but the working people and families. We see evidence of this in the bipartisan belief that we should not extend tax cuts for the top two brackets. This is one thing Americans agree on.

  • joe strosser

    It is a common misconception that the President has any real power with regards to the governments budget and the ecomony outside of the Fed. It is strictly a Congressional issue as outlined in the constitution. Notice how bad the economy was under the Democratic control from the late 80′s until 1994 when the Republicans took over Congress. Likewise look how well the economy did under Republican control until 2006 when the Democrats took over control of Congress. It is a constant liberal tactic to shift blame away from Congress which is were the blame belongs. Even though your hatred of Conservatives and Republicans clouds your vision you’re smart enough to know Congress controls the money not the President.

    That’s my main beef with Obama. He sat back and allowed Pelosi and Reid to jam every conceivable waste of money imaginable into a $790 billion dollar stimulus bill that only had about $175 billion werth of money used for stimulating the econmy. The rest went for Medicaid expansion, state aid to expand Government budgets in a time of recession and growth of the government budget. Probably the second worst bill in the last 20 years behind the HC bill which will destroy America’s bond rating.

    Fannie and Freddie and the Government forcing corporations to make bad loans to people and companies who clearly couldn’t afford them is what undid the economy just like the boom in the 90s was all about the tech revolution and productivity enhancements not government policy.

    My other beef with Obama is his constant lies and false promises.

    Obama: “If you don’t enact this stimulus bill now, unemployment could reach 8%”.

    Really? 8% would be awesome compared to the 9.6 and rising we have now.

    Obama:”You will get to keep your HC plan”. OMB 65-70% of all people with health insurance will have to change their plan.

    Obama: “The HC plan will reduce the deficit.” OMB: Despite using 10 years of revenue against 6 years of Cost the new estimate is a $300 billion short fall. That does not include the probable default on the high risk pool and the default of the long term care pool which even Dems admit will go under the first 2 or 3 years it starts to outlay the money it took in. It also doesn’t account for rationing which is a given as it is in all socialized medicine.

    Obama: The bill prohibits the use of federal money for abortions.

    Everyone: Stone called lie as demonstrated in PA and other states that will start to use this money for abortions as early as 2011.

    gotta go do some work, but that’s a start.

  • joe strosser

    FYI, The reason Pelosi didn’t take up the tax issue is because there is bipartisan support for extending all of the tax cuts. 41 Dems want to extend all the cuts.

    Also, Corporate taxes in the US are the second highest in the entire world as of 2006. They were the 6th highest in the world in 2000 so I don’t get the favoring corporations theme.

    IMO these rates should be reduced on Corporations by a minimum of 10% to allow American companies whose high wages hurt them internationally. In what might surprise you I would also impose a tariff on all Chinese imports equal to the rate of the Chinese Governments devaluation of the Yuan. All Presidents since and including Clinton have allowed China to get away with this for way too long.

  • joe strosser

    Update: I noted 41 Dems that wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts. 39 of the 41 voted not to adjourn the house until the vote was taken. Here are the 39 that voted to adjourn. As a note your favorite PA Senator wanna be Joe Sestak voted against adjournment as he favors extending the Bush tax cuts. Hmmm.

    Rep. John Adler (N.J.)
    Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.)
    Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)
    Rep. Melissa Bean (Ill.)
    Rep. Tim Bishop (N.Y.)
    Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.)
    Rep. Chris Carney (Pa.)
    Rep. Travis Childers (Miss.)
    Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.)
    Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
    Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio)
    Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas)
    Rep. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.)
    Rep. Bill Foster (Ill.)
    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.)
    Rep. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
    Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.)
    Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio)
    Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.)
    Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.)
    Rep. Betsy Markey (Colo.)
    Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.)
    Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
    Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.)
    Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
    Rep. Charlie Melancon (La.)
    Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine)
    Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho)
    Rep. Harry Mitchell (Ariz.)
    Rep. Patrick Murphy (Pa.)
    Rep. Glenn Nye (Va.)
    Rep. Tom Perriello (Va.)
    Rep. Gary Peters (Mich.)
    Rep. Mark Schauer (Mich.)
    Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.)
    Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)
    Rep. Zack Space (Ohio)
    Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.)
    Rep. Dina Titus (Nev.)

  • joe strosser

    Correction: They voted not to adjourn.

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  • Gary

    What a load of bunk.

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