Hat tip BWD at The Only Adult in the Room for graphics.
Every single poll you can find shows that a majority of Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy. Even a majority of self-identified Republicans and self-identified Teabaggers favor raising taxes on the wealthy. Polls alone obviously aren’t enough to sway the minds of the Republicans though, otherwise we would already have a deal in place.
From commenter Creolechild: “If this is the case, then why aren’t we getting behind this to see that it’s done? Just a thought…
With the big-wigs of Wall Street chiming in to say that we must raise taxes and preserve the social safety net, I am left asking the question — who exactly are the Republicans protecting? Is this simply a battle to preserve an ideology? The voters have spoken and now Wall Street has spoken. They aren’t being subtle about the risks of Republican brinkmanship either.
“I think the opportunity for the markets to stage a riot is going to be elevated because this is not going to get done before the very last second and it’s not going to be done in a way that’s very satisfying to markets,” said Mitch Stapley, chief fixed income officer, Fifth Third Asset Management in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fifth Third has $17 billion in assets under management.
He’s right. It’s highly unlikely that a deal will be reached until the very last second, and the only way to restore a truly positive long-term economic outlook to the nation is by raising taxes.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities brings us this chart projecting the national deficit from now until the year 2019 and, as you can see, the single largest arbiter of debt is the Bush tax cuts.
So what say you 3 Chics friends, visitors, and lurkers? Raise taxes or continue lining the pockets of the rich. **LOOKING @ OIL COMPANIES, CONGRESSIONAL LOBBYIST**
Have a good weekend, social justice warriors! Leaving you with a video by Tim Wise.
Thanks, creolechild. Have a great weekend!
Ways to Better Spend $4 Billion Per Year in Oil Subsidies
For the last three years, President Obama has proposed eliminating $4 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies in his budget. Every year, Congress has ignored the proposal.
Last week, the idea got a bit more traction, as the big five oil companies all announced massive first quarter profits (while gasoline hovers around $4 per gallon), and even some Republican leaders are paying the idea of cutting subsidies some lip service. Of course, most members of Congress receive so much funding from the oil companies that they’ll make comments like Sarah Palin’s: that $4 billion is a “drop in the bucket” and not worth eliminating.
As we noted last week, that “drop in the bucket” is 1,200 times the amount that Republicans fought so hard to strip away from NPR, and 13 times more than was fought tooth and nail to have removed from Planned Parenthood’s budget.
Sometimes it’s argued that these subsidies help keep gas prices down, which is simply not true. (See this Joint Economic Committee report (PDF) for pretty definitive proof. There’s actually a strong argument to be made that these subsidies are a “big culprit in high gas prices.”)
I couldn’t help but wonder what we could get for this $4 billion per year that would actually help reduce our massive demand for oil, and, thus, help ease gas prices.
So here are some back-of-napkin calculations of how we could better spend that $4 billion:
• Weatherize 615,384 homes: Every year we could retrofit American homes, sealing windows and doors, blowing in new insulation, and ultimately saving families hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs. As an added bonus, this would help create thousands of jobs, as there are roughly 52 direct jobs and 23 indirect jobs created for every $1 million spent on weatherization. For $4 billion, that would mean around 300,000 jobs created.
In all likelihood, the number of homes actually weatherized every year would be much higher. I used $6,500 per home as an estimate, which is at the top of the range. In 2008 in New Jersey, for instance, 3,000 homes were weatherized with a budget of just $5.7 million, or an average of $1,900 per home.
• Buy 99,304 Chevy Volts: With $4 billion, the U.S. government could completely underwrite the purchase of nearly 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles. This is at the current MSRP of $40,280. Or, if we’d like to buy a few more conventional hybrids, the Ford Fusion hybrid gets 41/36 mpg (City/highway), and runs about $28,405. So we could buy 140,820 of those and start saving a whole lot of gasoline.
• Install 200,000 geothermal heat pumps: We could take the oil-burning furnaces out of roughly 200,000 American homes and replace them with geothermal heat pumps. Since these incredibly efficient devices use the constant temperature six feet under the Earth’s surface to control climate in a home, families in the northern United States would immediately start saving thousands of dollars in heating expenses every year. And we’d reduce our demand of oil considerably.
While geothermal heat pump costs vary considerably, I used a really highball estimate of $20,000 per house, so in reality we’d probably be able to install thousands more.
Remember, we could do any of these things every year for the next ten years for the same amount of money as we now give away to the oil companies in the form of subsidies and tax breaks. The biggest difference is that these proposals would all start saving families real money immediately, lining the pockets of working Americans and not helping oil companies set record profits.
Next week, the Senate may vote on ending the $4 billion per year in oil company subsidies. Last Thursday, the House GOP blocked a vote on the issue.
“The Post’s Matt Miller broods on the double whammy of our “debauched democracy:
[Republicans] think the press is too docile and stenographic to expose the con [of their own fiscal extravagance]. And that the public is too dumb or tuned out to care, even if the press does its duty.”
“Notwithstanding my metronomic outrage at the press’ perpetuation of Republican Big Lies through its complicity of jadedness and thus silence, this is the twofold complication that serves to excuse, all too often, the press’ laziness: Jesus, people, even when we blast from the town towers the latest in GOP swindling, you ignore it, you dismiss it, or you promptly forget it, and then you just as promptly go out and vote for the very pols we just so vividly warned you about. You’ve done it time and again, with 2010 being just the latest instance of swindle-reward. Evidently there is no level of journalistic enlightenment that will ever convert into public enlightenment.”
“That’s the GOP’s hole card. While lounging in plush leather wingchairs and sipping 30-year-old brandy, Republican politicos assuredly chuckle at the fourth estate’s actual attempts, whenever they erupt, at electoral education. The information is there, it’s out there, it’s there to be had and read and absorbed, but … wait, who was it who got bumped from “Dancing with the Stars” this week?”
“Before closing, one minor correction to Miller’s own excellent commentary. He writes:
The new GOP mantra is to define what the president must agree to in spending cuts to get the debt-limit increase “he has asked for”…. It’s apparently just the president who wants to add more debt. Republicans were just sitting there, minding their own business, and the guy just comes up and asks if he can borrow trillions more!”
“Raising the debt ceiling, it should be noted by journalists and commentators alike with tedious repetition (as though that’ll make a difference), is not equivalent to “add[ing] more debt.” Raising the debt ceiling is merely a statutory acknowledgement of past debt incurred, and that we do indeed pay our (largely GOP) debts.”
Good lord, I’m actually agreeing with this piece. But, 3 Chics still and will not give the media a pass for shitty journalism and reporting of the facts.