For years, Republicans have been selling themselves as the party of business, using Small Business as the banner from which to launch their tax cuts for huge corporations. In Joe the Plumber, they epitomized this tactic; Using the sometimes less than accurate “Joe the Plumber” — who wasn’t a licensed plumber and didn’t, in fact, pay all of those taxes he moaned about on TV — to prop up the agenda for Big Business.
And for years, the American public has bought the costly mistaken guise of the Republican Party as being good for small business. In fact, many moderate Main Streeters were only nudged into Obama territory over Palin outrage, but their hard-working fiscal hearts remained with the Republican Party. Yes, the Republican Party, the party of hard work, fiscal accountability, balanced budgets, personal responsibility and meritocracy.
Only that party is no longer recognizable. While the actions of the Republican Party are those of a Party whose ideology has been bastardized beyond recognition until it is being used to justify some sort of social Darwinistic “Christian” jihad on humanity justified by the “Jesus-blessed” “free market” “winners”, this reality has been slow to dim on the heartland. We were, after all, used to believing what they tell us they stand for. We might not have agreed, but we took them at their word regarding their ideology.
We can no longer afford to take Republicans at their word.
Yesterday, President Obama urged Senate Republicans to stand by their own ideology by backing a bill designed to cut taxes for small businesses. The President spoke at a New Jersey sandwich shop, and called this bill “as American as apple pie”. Obama also noted its provisions were “things the Republican Party has said it supported for years,” and today Senate Republicans responded by blocking the small business jobs bill 58-42. As Sen. Patty Murray said on the Senate floor, according to Bloomberg, “Once again a common-sense bill that would help Americans is being held hostage by political calculation.”
On paper, it seemed a non-issue. CNN reported:
“The small-business bill before the Senate would set up a $30 billion lending fund to help community banks offer small businesses credit. It also would provide tax breaks to small businesses that invest in new equipment and hire unemployed workers. The House passed a similar bill in June.”
Lower taxes for small business? Isn’t that what the Republicans are always nattering on about? Don’t they say that creates jobs? And isn’t this bill designed to give tax cuts precisely for hiring new workers and buying equipment? And aren’t economists all in agreement about the necessity to get money moving in this economy, something a small business loan does quite effectively?
Hmmm. What’s the problem?
Well, this bill would also eliminate capital gains taxes for key investments and allow small businesses to write off appreciation on new equipment. Um, yeah. I dunno know about you, but when I hear “eliminate capital gains taxes”, I think “capitalism”, “free market” and maybe on a bad day of too much Right Wing Radio, “liberty”. But I sure as heck don’t think that Republicans will be voting NO on eliminating capital gains taxes.
Unless, of course, said bill would actually help our economy……seeing as a boost in our economy would not help the Republicans this fall.
Yes, in that case, I can sure imagine the Republicans voting no on their own ideas. And of course, they’ll need to take cover for their desperate politics.
Cut to: Republicans claim to be worried about the “Cost” of the measure.
Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen. The Republican Party has found their Fiscal Political Savior and her name is “Cost”. You heard a lot about “Cost” during the healthcare debates, during the unemployment extension debates, and now you’re hearing it as an excuse to not cut taxes for small businesses. Cost.
Cost, as in, the cost of the Iraq War. Cost, as in the Bush unpaid for tax cuts. Cost, as in the Medicare prescription drug bill. Cost.
So, suddenly the Republicans don’t want to give small businesses a tax break because of “Cost”. And yet, they are still campaigning on cutting taxes for small businesses. Yes, in fact, I’m watching one of their ads right now on my TV. It’s really tough to vote against your own platform and claim you stand for anything. Tough, if not impossible, in fact.
Maybe someone should tell the Republicans that even when they leave something off of the budget all together, it still has to be paid for. I mean, heck, that’s how it runs in my small business. Maybe it’s different when you’re running the country, eh? Maybe “cost” doesn’t matter when you’re in charge. Maybe it only matters when you’ve been trounced/whooped/clobbered in an election and the guy who won just keeps on passing liberal legislation that will change the role government will play in American lives for a very long time. Yeah. That has to hurt.
And they have nothing to run on. Their ideology failed when implemented and their politicians turned out to be the opposite of everything the party claims to stand for. All they can do at this point is hope that America, still struggling to overcome their last dangerously drunken turn at the wheel, will fail. And that Americans are too stupid to remember who caused this problem.
So, when Obama wants to give a tax cut to the small business owners, the Republicans call that a “hand out” but when they give tax cuts to big business, they call it “stimulating job growth” (and hush, not a word about those jobs they “incentivized” right out of the country). And still, when they campaign, they wave their American flags and stand next to Joe the Plumber, touting themselves as the Only Choice for Small Business owners.
I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we call that talkin’ outta both sides of your mouth. Now that Senate Republicans have voted ‘No’ on tax cuts for small businesses, they have definitively jumped their ideological shark.
Show-Me-The-Money Joe the Plumber turned out to be the perfect poster child for the modern day Republican Party: One embarrassing fib after another, piled onto a dung heap of hypocrisy and sketchy ethics, all topped off with a healthy dose of misinformation and not a drop of shame after being exposed.