Republicans Commit Political Extortion With Debt Ceiling Vote

Jun 01 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

If pollsters were to conduct a psychological word-association test on Americans who follow politics, they would certainly find that the majority of respondents on the Democratic side of the political spectrum would associate Republicans with liars and extortionists. Based on their performance and behavior since President Obama was sworn in office in 2009, the current crop of Republicans in Congress are guilty of lying and extortion in dealing with everything from creating jobs to cutting funding for programs that benefit the poor, women, and seniors. There is no credible scientific evidence that proves Republicans lie because of a defect in their DNA, so it must be a willful, opportunistic character-flaw that dictates their behavior.

In recent weeks, teabaggers have exerted pressure on Republicans in Congress to block efforts to raise the debt ceiling that would increase the nation’s ability to borrow money. Last month, teabag leaders threatened to punish Speaker of the House John Boehner and congressional Republicans if they voted to raise the debt ceiling unless they made severe spending cuts to programs approved by the teabaggers. Economists at home and around the world have warned that if America does not raise the debt ceiling, a world-wide economic disaster of epic proportions would ensue that could eclipse the financial meltdown of 2008 and possibly the Great Depression of 1929 that lasted until the 1940s. Even John Boehner acknowledged on January 30th of this year that if Congress failed to act and raise the debt ceiling it would trigger a financial disaster.

Yesterday, House Republicans unanimously voted against raising the debt ceiling in a mostly ceremonial vote that did not contain preconditions such as more Draconian spending cuts aimed at punishing poor and working-class Americans. Republicans are blackmailing Democrats by extorting unreasonable spending cuts to save America’s economy, and along the way have lied about which cuts they are willing to consider. There is no other way to characterize the Republicans’ tactics because they are not inclined to consider all areas of the government spending in order to bring the deficit under control. Republican leaders in the House and Senate are liars for claiming that everything is up for consideration to cut spending to earn their votes for raising the borrowing limit.

Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the only way he could vote to raise the debt ceiling was if there were cuts to Medicare. Earlier in the year, McConnell claimed that everything was on the table as far as spending cuts are concerned, but as is the norm for the liar from Kentucky, he will only consider cuts to programs that assist poor, seniors, and working Americans. McConnell and Republicans are not willing to eliminate oil subsidies or raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations because it will cut into their campaign contributions. They are also not addressing the bloated defense budget that is draining valuable resources that could be used to pay down the current deficit or fund necessary programs. If McConnell was honest, he would not have said everything was on the table, but he is not honest and is an extortionist.

Republicans are holding fast to Representative Paul Ryan’s budget that eliminates Medicare in favor of a privatization scheme that will leave seniors destitute and without adequate health care. Ryan’s proposal benefits the insurance industry that will reap the benefits of American’s contributions to the Medicare program through payroll deductions much like Social Security. Polls have shown that Americans overwhelmingly oppose Ryan’s voucher scam, but as usual Republicans are more concerned with repaying corporations like the insurance industry than helping the American people. Polls also show that Americans favor increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay down the debt that Republicans created during the Bush years with unfunded tax cuts for the rich, two unnecessary wars, and the Medicare prescription program.

Americans are being punished by Republicans who created the massive deficit by deregulating the financial and banking industry as well as unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy. Instead of holding the wealthy accountable for their free tax cuts and corporate entitlement programs, Republicans are demanding that Democrats let them make the same bad decisions they made 10 years ago, and they are holding America’s economy hostage to cause more damage. The hypocritical Republicans say they want to cut spending, but their plans increase spending on the wealthy and corporations.

Republicans claim their cuts are good for the economy, and that more tax cuts will spur growth and create jobs even though it has been proven time and again that tax cuts for the wealthy never creates jobs. Taxes are the lowest they have been since 1958, but Republicans will not be happy until the entire country’s tax burden is on the middle-class who are slowly being choked to death. Although any tax increase is “off the table” for Republicans, there is evidence that raising taxes will create jobs and bring in much needed revenue to help the economy.

In California, a modest tax increase over the course of one year has cut the state’s deficit nearly in half, created jobs, and saved schools, law enforcement, and programs for the poor from devastating spending cuts. Of course, Republicans will never share that information with the American people who already understand that to balance a budget and have a sound fiscal policy, it is imperative to increase revenue balanced with spending cuts on wasteful programs like oil subsidies. A recent McClatchy-Marist poll revealed that 64% of Americans favor raising taxes on individuals making $250,000 a year to help the deficit instead of eliminating Medicare. The same poll showed that 80% of Americans oppose eliminating Medicare and replacing it with Paul Ryan’s privatization scam. However, Republicans continue to lie and claim Americans want them to cut Medicare to bring the deficit down and will hold the economy hostage to achieve their goal.

When the 112th Congress began, John Boehner claimed Americans’ number one priority was cutting spending by eliminating Planned Parenthood and entitlement programs. He also followed teabagger wishes by perpetuating the myth that taxes were too high when they are the lowest they’ve been since the 1950s. Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy, eliminating oil subsidies, and saving Medicare from privatization, but Republicans have said they will not raise the debt ceiling unless there are spending cuts the American people oppose.

The American people cannot possibly be as stupid as Republicans like to believe and can see through the hypocrisy of Republicans who say they want to cut spending but are spending American’s tax dollars on the wealthy and corporations. Every Republican in Congress knows if America defaults on its debt obligation, the world’s economy will be destroyed which is why they are holding it hostage to privatize Medicare. Republicans can continue lying to the American people by telling them they are concerned with spending, but most Americans want Republicans to stop spending their money on the oil industry and the wealthy.

Republicans have never been known for their veracity and holding the economy hostage over the debt ceiling is not their first criminal enterprise to achieve a goal 80% of Americans oppose. Besides being liars and extortionists, they are evil for continuing to punish the poor, seniors, and working-class Americans to enrich corporations and the wealthy. It is a travesty that there isn’t a law against lying and political extortion, because if there was, based on yesterday’s debt ceiling vote in the House, every Republican would spend the rest of their lives in prison; which is where vile Republican criminals belong.


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