Archive for austerity

GOP austerity bit GOP in their IRS scandal ass

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issa Via Jamal Said-Reuters IRS

Image via Jamal Said-Reuters

Here we go, another full-on assault by Darrrell Issa, BSer In Chief, a rabidly fixated man suffering from Hyperventilitis Uninterruptus in search of a scandal. A hypocritical, lying camera-hog who is escorting a rabidly fixated gang on a desperate hunt for grounds to impeach President Obama. Somehow. Somewhere. Anywhere, dammit. Watch out, IRS, you're back in the exploitation hot seat.

From everything that's been reported, there may indeed be problems with the agency, but the IRS witch hunt is unlikely to lead back to the White House. So much for that wet dream.

I ran across some of the contradictory news on the topic, starting with a Los Angeles Times editorial that included this sentence:

But rather than addressing that issue systematically, the IRS gave extra scrutiny mainly to tea party groups, often in inappropriate ways, an inspector general reported.

But back in April 2014, there was this Think Progress headline :

New Records: IRS Targeted Progressive Groups More Extensively Than Tea Party

L.A. Times, your thoughts?

failure to communicate

Speaking of the Times, here is an interesting tidbit that they reported in an IRS Scandal for Dummeez article:

So wasn’t there a backup?

There was, but the backup tapes were recycled after six months, Koskinen said, and the agency didn’t try to recover Lerner’s emails from the tapes at the time. Budget cuts left the IRS with aging computer systems that limited the size of employees' inboxes and lacked the capability to archive everybody’s emails, he said. The agency decided it couldn’t afford the estimated $10 million it would cost to upgrade the system, he added.

Apparently, the GOP obsession with austerity bit the obsessed GOP in their obsessed GOP ass. Yes, Republicans, budget cuts-- the ones you insist upon and covet so very much and so very LOUDLY-- were a factor in the Big IRS Scandal Version Something.0 that you may very well have helped to create.

Give yourselves a big pat on the back, Team Issa. Then go back to doing what you always do:

blame obama

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"Think what Ballmer's play money could do to help farmers and their children."

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it's all about the money 2

Let's talk money. Few people have enough. A very, very few are sitting on craploads of money, *coughKOCHS, ADELSONcough* but most of us aren't.

GOP Congress members block any Democratic bill that aims to rectify that. *coughMINIMUMWAGEcough* Without wage hikes, the "have-nots" can't spend money. Without that money going into the economy, our situation remains stagnant. And Americans continue to struggle.

But that's okay with Republicans. That way they can blame it all on the president and use his/the Dems' "failure" as a fundraising ploy to win elections while claiming they could do better. Never mind that they've come up with no plan of their own other than that proven catastrophe called austerity. *coughPAULRYANcough*

Billionaires and corporations continue to hoard their money, while the rest of us agonize over how to stay above water, feed and clothe our kids, and simply make it through another day.

And with that, here are a couple of Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Thank you for Friday's compelling story about agricultural workers in the Central Valley ("Dreams die in drought"). I was moved by the plight of these families struggling to get by, and chagrined at the number of children they bring into the world and the stress that this adds.

If someone ever wondered about the differences between the haves and the have-nots, one need only read this story and the adjacent one about the obscene price Ballmer might pay for the Clippers ("NBA record $2 billion offered for Clippers," May 29) .

The fat cats sit game-side doodling on their cellphones while field laborers eke out an existence, or don't. Just think what Ballmer's play money could do to help these farmers and their children.

I only hope the Mormon missionaries in the moving Column One learn from the example of Jesus to not only feed the poor but also to fight for justice for the least of those among us.

Philip Spradling

Pasadena

***

Economist Brad Schiller cautions that President Obama's proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. He doesn't mention the multiplier effect of a wage increase. ("A higher minimum wage -- at what cost?," Opinion, May 27)

The multiplier effect is the single most powerful factor in growing an economy. It is to macroeconomics what compounding is to investing.

Schiller mentions the 500,000 jobs that "might" be lost (according to the Congressional Budget Officer report), but he conveniently omits the fact that the CBO also states that the wages of 16.1 million workers would go up. The positive multiplier effect on the 16.1 million workers would more than make up for the negative multiplier effect of the 500,000 who "might" lose their jobs by creating new jobs due to added demand.

In 1992, James Carville famously coined the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." It's time for an update: "It's the multiplier effect, stupid."

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

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Don't let Paul Ryan near your money

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Paul Ryan ugh this guy

He's ba-a-ack. Yes, Paul Ryan and his "budget" (quotes required, because it's not a budget, it's a redundantly cruel joke) have returned to make the 99% miserable as it caters to the top 1%.

In his Los Angeles Times column, the brilliant Michael Hiltzik takes Paul Ryan and his Very Serious Plan apart. He rips into Privatize Ryan's latest attempt to screw the middle class and the poor by cutting government programs, killing Medicare and Social Security, and thumbing his nose at everyone who knew better than to vote for him and his "severely conservative" running mate.

Read our lips, Paul: Austerity doesn't work.

Via AusterityNut.com

What's the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah:

insanity doing same thing over different results

Hiltzik also manages to get a word or two in about GW Bush's squandering of the Clinton surpluses on tax breaks for the wealthy and how he spent borrowed funds on wars without bothering to raise income taxes.

Take it away, Michael:

There should be a rule--or even a law--that politicians who propose "fixes" to Social Security should at least show they know something about the program. By that standard, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would flunk. [...]

But the trust fund is still growing, because Social Security's income streams--the payroll tax, interest on its bonds, and revenues from income taxation of benefits--still are sufficient to cover current benefits, and then some. [...]

As I've written before, when you hear people like Paul Ryan talk as though the country can't afford to pay back the money by redeeming the bonds in the trust fund, what you're hearing is the sound of the wealthy preparing to stiff the working class. [...]

[I]f Ryan has his way, yes, the money will be stolen. It's up to you and me to make sure that doesn't happen. So, to put all these pieces together, there's no "dubious government accounting" involved here--the dubious accounting is all Ryan's. [...]

The most important factor is the one that people like Ryan want you to forget: The money in the Social Security trust fund came directly or indirectly from the payroll taxes paid by millions of American workers--100% of it. It was paid by workers in the trust that the government would pay it back. Paul Ryan is hinting, pretty strongly, that he doesn't want to pay it back. 

So why would you trust him? 

Exactly. Why would anyone trust this guy? Especially after the abysmal response to his previous Kill Medicare/Social Security proposals.

paul ryan really really bad screen grab

Please read Hiltzik's entire piece here.

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Republicans Traumatize School Children By Starving Them, Forcing Them To Watch As Their Lunch Is Tossed Into The Garbage

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Republicans Congress

Republicans in Congress

They cut back food stamps. They drop long term unemployment benefits. They trim millions from the SNAP program. To Republicans, that's not cutting aid  to the needy. It's austerity. That's just taking freeloaders off the rosters. Those poor will find another way.

Really? How about in Utah? Or the rest of the country?  CNN:

(CNN) -- Dozens of children at a Utah elementary school had their lunch trays snatched away from them before they could take a bite this week.

Salt Lake City School District officials say the trays were taken away at Uintah Elementary School Tuesday because some students had negative balances in the accounts used to pay for lunches. But they admit the situation should have been handled differently.

Elementary school kids are being punished by the Republicans because their parents can't find work and don't have the money or wherewithal to cover the essentials. Is this the face of the GOP's austerity program -- starving kids?

starving kids

So the GOP takes the food out of students' mouths, embarrasses and stigmatizes adolescent kids in front of their peers by actually going over and taking back the food they've already been handed. And what do they do with the confiscated food these starving young kids need to keep going?

What else-- they make the kids dump their food into garbage cans in front of the rest of the students. Talk about traumatizing young people.

And how about the school's public ridicule of the kids, stamping their hand or foreheads, making them wear a Hester Prynne scarlet letter so everone else can laugh and ridicule the poor kids? That's what the Republicans have done. But lets not blame just them. The Democrats let this happen with their approval of a farm bill that cut SNAP. There's blame to go around. And here's a clip from the Ed Show where Shultz goes off the charts over this tragedy.

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