The GOP, once again, plays its constituents for rubes and sells out America. As I addressed last month, this is nothing new. It’s standard operating procedure and is perpetuated by its propaganda organs, namely FOX and talk radio but also irresponsible mainstream media outlets as well.
For at least the last 30 years Republican rhetoric has been a shameless ass lick of corporate America. The GOP whines incessantly of our declining manufacturing base, of the outsourcing of business, of the trade imbalance with countries like China. The GOP blames unions for demanding living wages; they say regulations are too cumbersome; they whine that corporate taxes are prohibitive. But what does the GOP do when they’re not parroting short, easily-remembered slogans to its doltish base? They actively help destroy our economy for the benefit of themselves and their corporate masters.
In May the House of Represenatives passed bill HR 4213: The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. The bill was designed to close tax loopholes that provide incentives for corporations to outsource jobs to foreign countries. Yes, you read that right: we currently encourage American companies to send jobs overseas. When HR 4213 passed to the Senate, the bill was killed by a Republican filibuster. You’re probably thinking that surely there must be a good explanation for this. And you would be correct.
The day before the vote on HR 4213, Republican Congressman and Senate candidate, Mark Kirk from Illinois, held a fundraiser for at least 12 American businessmen doing business in …… China. According to FEC documents (via tradereform.org), Kirk received donations on that day from at least some of the people at his fundraiser. Kirk is also the founder and co-chair of U.S. China Congressional Working Group in the House. Gee, imagine that.
But this is nothing new. The GOP has consistently voted against every piece of pro-recovery, pro-economy legislation in Congress. When they say they want Obama to fail, make no mistake about it: they want the economy to fail. It couldn’t be any clearer. Some additional legislation the GOP has opposed includes:
- Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act (S. 3816). Senate Republicans blocked this legislation to curtail the tax incentives corporations receive to send our jobs overseas, and instead give them powerful new incentives to keep American jobs in America. [Los Angeles Times, 9/28/10]
- Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (H.R. 5297, signed into law on Sept. 27, 2010, Roll Call Votes 202, 218, 221, 237). Senate Republicans opposed this bill to provide small business tax cuts and create a small business lending facility, which could create half a million jobs over the next two years. [Independent Community Bankers of America, 7/21/10]
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5, Roll Call Votes 61 and 64). Senate Republicans opposed this jobs legislation that is already responsible for saving and creating approximately 3 million jobs. Without it, the nation would have entered into a second Great Depression. [CEA, 7/14/10; Economy.com Report]
- HIRE Act (P.L. 111-147, Roll Call Votes 25 and 55). Senate Republicans opposed creating this new payroll tax incentive for businesses that hire out-of-work Americans. An estimated 5.6 million new workers have been hired since enactment, making their employers eligible for the new tax incentive. [Dept. of Treasury, 8/2/10]
- American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213, Roll Call Votes 47, 48, 190, 194, 200, 204, 209, 215). Senate Republicans have been blocking this legislation to create and save jobs, as well as end tax loophole giveaways to multinational corporations that encourage American jobs to be moved offshore. [Economic Policy Institute, 5/25/10 and July 2010]
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, Roll Call Votes 353, 395, 396). In addition to reforming our broken health care system, this historic legislation could allow employers to create 250,000 to 400,000 new jobs a year, or 2.5 million to 4 million jobs over the next decade. [Center for American Progress, January 2010] Senate Republicans opposed this measure throughout the legislative process.
- Cash for Clunkers (H.R. 3435, Roll Call Vote 270). Senate Republicans opposed allocating more money to this program, which has created and saved an estimated 60,000 jobs. [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December 2009] Across the entire automotive supply chain, Cash for Clunkers was projected to potentially generate or maintain hundreds of thousands of jobs. [Center for American Progress, 3/23/09]
These are but a small sample of the standard Republican modus operandi. And thanks to our favorite fascists on the Supreme Court, the Citizens United ruling now gives unprecedented power to corporate America who can anonymously finance – without limitations — outstanding, patriotic, upright politicians like Mark Kirk. Since the fascists made their ruling, never-before-seen amounts of money have been funneled to politicians. Though only a tiny amount of these donations have been disclosed, of the $12 million in corporate expenditures that can be traced, almost $10 million of that has gone to Republicans. And this is just for the midterm elections! (You can read more of the nauseating details here.)
Over the last 20 years the pay for CEOs and the wealthiest Americans has increased almost 300% while real wages for everyone else have been stagnant or declined. Since 1979, the top 1% have seen their share of income double while the other 90% have seen their share of income decline. Put another way: “Over the past 30 years, the income of the top one percent, adjusted for inflation, doubled: the top one-tenth of one percent tripled, and the one-one-hundredth quadrupled,” says Pizzigati. “Meanwhile, the average income of the bottom 90 percent has gone down slightly. This is a stunning transformation.”
The next time you see a Republican like Mark Kirk, be sure to give him a hearty thanks. The next time you see someone speak well of the Reagan Revolution, kick him in the jimmies.