Tuesday, December 13, 2011

News on Republicans - Look at the points in bold

 I get sick of political theater of the absurd.  I distrust any report that comes out of Senator Tom Coburn's office because in the past his reports have been inaccurate and unreliable, ESPECIALLY his claims of information that he asserts is from government agencies.  Consistently those agencies disagree with what he claims they provide him, making contradictions in which subsequent investigation confirm Coburn gets it wrong.

We don't have a significant problem with millionaires on food stamps or unemployment.  This is wasting time on non-issues that make good sound bytes until you look at them closely.

Rarely do I see any action from either the tea party or the 'rest' of the Republican party which does not benefit their wealthy donor puppet masters at the expense of the rest of us.  They are money sucking vampires instead of blood sucking vampires.

BOTH parties are far too willing to sell out to special interests; but the right is far worse than the Democrats.  It continues to astonish me how successful they are at persuading dumb low information voters to vote against their own self interest, against what is best for the country, in favor of doing even more for the over-privileged at our expense.

From the New York Times via MSNBC.com:

updated 2 hours 41 minutes ago
    It’s an image many Americans would find rather upsetting: a recently laid-off millionaire, luxuriating next to the pool eating grapes bought with food stamps while waiting for an unemployment check to roll in.
    Under the Republican bill to extend a payroll tax holiday scheduled to be voted on in the House as early as Tuesday, those Americans with gross adjusted income over $1 million would no longer be eligible for food stamps or jobless pay, producing $20 million in savings to help pay for the tax cut for American workers. The idea is also embraced by many Democrats, who had a similar version of the savings in a Senate bill to extend the payroll tax cut, as did a failed Republican Senate bill.
    Yet as it turns out, millionaires on food stamps are about as rare as petunias in January, even if you count a lottery winner in Michigan who managed to collect the benefit until chagrined officials in the state put an end to it.
    But the idea of ending unemployment insurance for very high earners — which would be achieved essentially through taxing benefits up to 100 percent with a phase-in beginning for those with gross adjusted income over $750,000 — demonstrates an increasing desire among members of Congress to find some way to make sure that the wealthiest Americans contribute more to reducing the deficit and paying for middle-class tax relief.
    Long-term jobless face deep cuts in benefits Democrats have sought a surtax on income over $1 million to pay for an extension of a tax break for the middle class, a surtax that Republicans have rejected. Employees’ share of the payroll tax, now 4.2 percent of wages, is scheduled to rise to 6.2 percent in January unless Congress takes action. The Senate is expected to come back this week with another version of its bill to extend the tax holiday. On Monday night, the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, served notice to Congressional Republicans that he would prevent final votes on a must-pass bill to finance government operations until the Democrats get what they want on the payroll tax.
    While tycoons on food stamps might be hard to find, some millionaires do indeed pursue unemployment pay when they find themselves out of job.
    From 2005 to 2009, millionaires collected over $74 million in unemployment benefits, according to an estimate by Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who has paired with Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, to push to end the practice.
    According to Mr. Coburn’s office, the Internal Revenue Service reported that 2,362 millionaires collected a total of $20,799,000 in unemployment benefits in 2009; 18 people with an adjusted gross income of $10,000,000 or more received an average of $12,333 in jobless benefits for a total of $222,000.
    “Making Coloradans pay for unemployment insurance for millionaires is frankly irresponsible, especially at a time when money is tight and our debt is out of control,” Mr. Udall said in an e-mail.
    Unemployment benefits are essentially an insurance program financed through the state and federal governments. States charge employers taxes dedicated to cover the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits paid to those Americans who lose their jobs, with the federal government paying for extensions.
    Currently, unemployment benefits have stretched out to 99 weeks, through a series of nine extensions that began in 2008, reflecting the high levels of extended unemployment that have dogged the country, at a cost of roughly $180 billion to the federal government. (While there are also federal taxes charged to employers, those monies tend to be used for administrative costs and not benefits.) Roughly 3.5 million people are now receiving extended benefits. Some states have already begun to reduce the number of extended weeks unemployment offered.
    The Republican legislation seeks to shorten the number of weeks that will be extended to the jobless, and offer states more flexibility with how they use their own unemployment taxes, including starting programs that train people for work while they accept benefits.
    “It’s a water drop in a hurricane,” said Wayne Vroman, an economist at the Urban Institute. “I can see the PR appeal, but unemployment insurance collected by millionaires is not one of the major problems with the program. This is a way of trying to put an income test on the unemployment system that has never existed in the past.”
    Food stamps are another matter, as recipients must demonstrate low income levels to receive them. Household income must not exceed 130 percent of poverty; for a family of three that would be a gross monthly income of $2,008.
    However, of the 53 states and territories, 40 have no asset tests, which means that in some situations it would be possible for someone with, for instance, a large house or a luxury car — or in the case of Michigan, current lottery winnings not yet delivered in full — to receive food stamps.
    $1 trillion-plus spending bill taking shape in Congress Department of Agriculture officials dismissed the notion of millionaire food stamp recipients. “Federal law is clear,” said Aaron Lavallee, a spokesman for the department. “The program is intended for households with income not exceeding 130 percent of poverty.”
    Among the 46 million Americans who receive the assistance — roughly one in seven Americans — few seem to be millionaires. As such, the $200 million in savings from this cut would be largely achieved through the cuts to the unemployment insurance for high earners.
    Jackie Calmes contributed reporting.


    1. Oh, look - a post not about guns, despite the main topic here being gun rights and wrongs.

    2. I believe both the Republicans and the Democrats cater waaayyyyyy too much to "strategic" voting blocs and they both use deceptive methods way too often.

      And yet I can only find limited fault in the political parties. In my opinion most of the fault lies in the majority of U.S. citizens who would rather watch television, party, play video games, or do whatever rather than learn about what is going on and make an informed, intelligent decision.

      And the Entitlement mentality is so pervasive. I was stunned when I set out to sell my ATV -- one of those three-wheel motorcycles -- five years ago. It was 20 years old but I kept it in outstanding condition and it looked like new. It was an incredibly generous gift from my parents who worked a lot of hours to purchase it. I never expected to have anything like that. So when the neighbor boy (who was about 15 years old) saw it for sale out front, he drooled. He came over and looked at it. He ran his hands over it. He sat on it. Then he looked at me squarely and said, "Wow, this is an awesome machine. Can I have it?" I replied, "Well, make me an offer." His response, "Oh, I don't want to pay anything for it. I was hoping you would give it to me."

      I was stunned!!! I couldn't decide what was more incredible: that such a thought would cross someone's mind or that they would actually verbalize it. Now you have to understand that this kid probably had the money himself. If not, his parents certainly had the money. And beyond that, we have a one acre yard with grass to cut. He could have offered to cut our grass for the summer or something. But no. "Just give it to me."

      I started around 5th grade going door to door looking for work. I offered to hand shovel snow from people's driveways and sidewalks. I offered to cut people's grass. When I was 16 years old, I started working at restaurants or whatever. When I turned 37 years old, I took the first two week vacation of my life since I was 15 years old.

      I don't have a whole lot, but whatever I have I worked very hard to acquire -- literally working myself to the point of illness and injury at times.

      If U.S. citizens would be willing to work hard and learn about the world, I believe everyone would be much better off and the political parties would have a much harder time conning the masses.

    3. dog gone:

      It may not be about teh gunz, but Tom Coburn sure is:

      Both Carson and Coburn have 100% NRA records. (Oct 2004)
      Voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains. (Apr 2009)
      Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership. (Sep 2007)
      Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Jul 2005)
      Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1. (Jun 1999)
      National cross-state standard for concealed carry. (Jan 2009)
      Rated A by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record. (Aug 2010)
      Individual right to self-defense at home and as self-defense. (Jan 1999)
      Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC. (Mar 2007)
      Allow firearms in National Parks. (Feb 2008)
      Apply concealed carry permit to all other states where legal. (Feb 2009)
      Dangerousness, not mental incompetence, limits gun rights. (Mar 2009)

      Yep, Tom lurves him some gunz!

      I just don't know whether he became a lying sack of shit before, after or simultaneously with his becoming a GOPNRAhole.

      I'm guessin' that Tom is oneathem people that the NRA do represent--those people that are out of touch with reality and insist that it's only them that save me from the commimusloatheistical hordes, rampaging gangstaperps and home invaderz and the repressive jacknannybooted thugz of the Obama secret poleece!

    4. Sorry, I meant to put this link in:


      It is where the information on Mr. Coburns sycophantic devotion to teh gunz and the NRA came from.

    5. Cap'n Crunch:


      "I don't have a whole lot, but whatever I have I worked very hard to acquire -- literally working myself to the point of illness and injury at times."

      is exactly what the 1% wish that you and everyone else in the other 99% would do. It makes them oodles of cash.

      I've worked, in some situation, since I was 9 years old. I am not the ant, that's for damn sure. I've never received a nickel in unemployment payments or welfare. I've paid taxes for over 47 years.

      And yet, I do feel, "entitled". I feel entitled to politicians who won't simply make shit up and pass off the lies as some horrific plot by the other side to rooon murKKKa. I'm sick to death of lying fuckbags like Tom Coburn, James Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, Darrel Issa and the rest of the GOP's paid prevaricators and outright liars.

      I feel that I'm entitled to good governance and honesty from my elected officials and their appointees.

      I feel entitled to a lot of things, none of which I'm getting at the moment.

      The kid on the ATV, fuck him.

    6. democommie,

      I have an entitlement mentality in that sense as well regarding governance.

      It seems like everyone is deciding "who is the lesser of the evils" rather than "which candidate is honest and will do an excellent job."

      Was there ever a time in U.S. history where the majority of elected officials were honest, upstanding citizens versus the proverbial "shyster" that seems to be the norm now?

      I am glad to hear that you have provided for yourself (and a family if you have any) your entire life without unemployment or welfare -- like myself. I fear we are a dying breed.

    7. Cap'n Crunch:

      I wouldn't say I've always done a good job of providing for myself but, as I told a friend a few years ago, I lower my expectations every year and I'm getting closer to meeting them!

      Do I think there was ever a time when most politicians weren't self-serving scum bags? Not really. Otoh, I think that given the pervasiveness of electronic media and the willingness of many pols to simply tell lies, because it's what their supporters want to hear and because the media is unlikely to challenge them on their lies.

    8. an unfinished thought in that last one.

      I think that given the pervasiveness of electronic media and the willingness of many pols to simply tell lies, because it's what their supporters want to hear and because the media is unlikely to challenge them on their lies that it will only get worse.

    9. Politicians suck. The Republican politicians suck more.

    10. Mikeb302000:

      Positively Hemingwayesque!;>)

    11. Mikeb302000,

      Democrats want to control me in public, while Republicans want to control me at home. I prefer a different approach.

    12. Greg Camp, Paultard no doubt.

      Lay it out for us, Greg; what will your hero do to allow us to live to our full potential? No taxes, no cops, gunz for all and for GODDAMNED SURE, no mental health professionals.

      C'mon, man, lay it out for us. Is it some version of the 9-9-9nonsense that Spermin' Herman Cain was blithering about before he was sabotaged by the lamestream media who used the truth to hurt him? Is it the return to the Gold Standard that Mr. Paul so earnestly pontificates about? Maybe it's just Ronnie's stance on personal freedom trumping all (excepting of course them floozies that want to kill teh babeez).

      Be specific, show your work and furnish some original sources (wikipedia, btw, is not one of those) to back your assertions.

      I wonder how it is, Greg Camp, that you who so obviously disdains the repressiveness and ineptitude of gummint can, simultaneously, take a check from that same gummint. I mean you do have complete integrity and would never dream of actually working WITH the enemy, correct?

    13. Democommie,

      Ron Paul has a certain number of good ideas, but he's also unrealistic about many aspects of government. Jon Huntsman actually has much more appeal for me.

    14. Jon Huntsman is very pro-gun, very anti-abortion. Typical retardlican, he wants the gunzloonz to have no restrictions on what's worn under their shirts and want's women to have lots of restrictions on what's in their bodies.

      I can see where a guy like Greg Camp would find him appealing.

      Ron Paul is a racist piece of shit AND a monumentally hypocritical liar. I can see why Greg Camp would like him, as well.

    15. On the question of abortion, I disagree with Huntsman. What Democommie doesn't seem to understand is that we don't have to agree with every point that another person believes to have respect for that person or to see that that person has other good ideas.

    16. Greg Camp:

      Tell me then, what part of Huntsman's views you believe in. All of them.

    17. Here's a good summary:


      I also don't like his approach to healthcare, but I am impressed that he recognizes global warming as being caused by human activity, that he's in favor of civil unions for gay couples, that he has good knowledge of China, and that he understands what's wrong with the way we tax corporations. It doesn't hurt that he and I agree on guns. In addition, he is a rational person in the interviews that I've heard.

      Of course, he has no chance of winning the Republican nomination, so I can't even be tempted to vote for him.

    18. "Here's a good summary:"

      Not the answer to the question I asked.

      That Huntsman's stated stance on a number of issues is internally inconsistent is not troubling to you, so long as he lurves him some gunz.

      But, then you're not voting for him, which of course leaves that piece of shit, Ron Paul as your most likely candidate.

    19. I heard a rumor that Rush Limbaugh is gonna run.