News that Gets My Goat:
-This goes out to those of us who have risked nausea watching the Faux News talking heads riff on their meme that “half the people in this country pay no taxes.” The Daily Show does their thing with clips of all the Fox personalities and a sample of GOP Congressmen repeating the exact same lines. Makes me wanna puke. It’s insulting to the intelligent viewer to listen to $5 million-a-year-contract Hannity say that the folks at the bottom end of the income chart don’t pay enough taxes, when the fact is that low income folks pay sales and payroll taxes that make their effective rate about twice that of the average millionaire. They won’t air the facts, but rather scream about “class warfare.” A quick look at the numbers tells that it’s the folks in the lower income brackets who are getting their asses blitzkrieged. Middle-class incomes have been flat for thirty years!
GOP Congressmen, who have suddenly discovered the National Debt now that a Democrat is in the White House, have finally found a tax that they will raise. No, it’s not the Bush tax cuts, corporate taxes, estate taxes or capital gains tax, it’s the Making Work Pay provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that cut payroll taxes for millions of low-income Americans, due to expire this year. Grover Norquist, once bagman for Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed, whose “Americans for Tax Reform” has sworn most Republican politicians to his anti-tax pledge, who has called the proposed repeal of ethanol subsidies a tax increase, is not on board, saying he’d have to study proposals to extend the tax holiday. I guess he’s waiting for low-income Americans to stuff checks in his mailbox.
-I get that creepy feeling when I read about Rick Perry being a protégée of former Senator Phil Gramm. Yes, that Phil Gramm; the klepto-pol who has been called the single person most responsible for the Crash of 2007. Author of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 that repealed Depression-era banking reforms and unleashed a debt-fueled frenzy of trading in commodities futures and derivatives such as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, Gramm gave up his Senate seat and place on the Banking Committee to become a Vice Chairman for investment banking at Swiss Banking giant UBS to help them sell crooked tax shelters; running them afoul of US authorities, liable for millions in fines and holding billions in sub-prime loans. Some genius. Gramm is also cited as mentor to Congressman Pete Olson, the GOP’s replacement for convicted felon Tom DeLay, and Congressman Jeb Hensarling, who will soon be famous for bringing his Devil-take-the-hindmost philosophy to his new post of co-chair of the Debt Reduction Supercommittee.
Maybe Perry’s handlers only mention Gramm to distract from the fact that Perry takes marching orders from on-the-outs megalomaniacs Karl Rove and Dick Rumsfeld. Many folks remember Rove and Rumsfeld, but it’s been over three years since Gramm embarrassed the McCain campaign by calling the recession “mental,” saying that “we have sort of become a nation of whiners.”