What the GOP Really Means by ‘Shared Sacrifice’
Yesterday, we covered the GOP’s temper tantrum, as the New York Times called it, in which Republican leaders bailed on negotiations to avert a default on our obligations — a default that is only on the table as a result of the GOP’s willingness to keep paying the bills we started racking up as a result of Bush-era policies. While GOP infighting certainly played a role in yesterday’s shenanigans, the core issue is the GOP’s unwavering devotion to protecting (and even expanding) tax giveaways for the wealthy, Big Oil, and other special interests. These giveaways have been put on the national credit card, and now the GOP wants to forward the bill to the rest of us or simply not pay it at all. (Good luck getting a decent loan for a new house, a car, or a student loan if they go down that road.)
We thought we’d keep it real simple and break down who gets to sacrifice and who gets off easy if the GOP gets its way.
ON the GOP’s chopping block:
- Social Security
- Tax cuts for people making less than $500,000
- Government programs and services that tens of millions of Americans depend on each day
NOT on the GOP’s chopping block:
In one sentence: The GOP is willing to risk another economic calamity when we can least afford it if that’s what it takes to protect tax breaks for the wealthy, Big Oil, and huge corporations — tax breaks paid for by ending Medicare, slashing Medicaid and Social Security, and cutting the government programs and services we depend on each and every day.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Just hours after ThinkProgress reported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) would be signing his controversial budget into law at the business of a convicted tax felon, his office claimed they knew nothing about his background. A Walker spokesperson has since announced the bill will now be signed in a new location.
Conservative Tea Party activists have started their own production company to combat the raging liberalism of Hollywood. Colony Bay Productions will release its first film straight to DVD following an initial screening.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair Netanyahu, made racist comments about Muslims and Arabs on his Facebook page, writing “The Arab sons-of-bitches desecrated our holiest day… it is our duty to do the minimum to save our honor and boycott ever Arab business or product.” +972’s Noam Sheizaf reminds his readers that two years ago, the prime minister’s aids were scrambling to explain racist comments made by his 99 year old father Ben-Zion Netanyahu.
The Obama administration’s Libya intervention could have avoided recent congressional backlash had the administration been more proactive about briefing Congress on Libya and if White House aides “not been too physically exhausted to pay a little more attention to Capitol Hill,” reports the Cable’s Josh Rogin.
President Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan is “insufficient” and the “anti war movement in Congress is going to continue to grow and intensify,” Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) Jim McGovern (D-MA) told ThinkProgress. McGovern criticized both neoconservatives and the editorial page of the Washington Post for pushing for continuing the war in Afghanistan.
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) says Justice Clarence Thomas’ many ethics scandals are starting to rise to the level where there should start to be some real investigations as to whether Thomas can continue to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court.
Privatizing Medicare is a terrible idea that has already failed.
If President Obama decides to save the world economy by ignoring the debt ceiling, it’s likely that no one can stop him.
Vote suppression guru Hans von Spakovsky claims to have the smoking gun proving voter fraud is a real problem that has to be stop. Turns out Spakovsky’s gun shoots blanks.
News You Can Use: The GOP is Now Refusing To Pay the Bills Their Policies Racked Up
Why do we have to raise the debt ceiling at all? In order to pay the bills we’ve already racked up as a result of failed Bush-era policies — namely massive tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and two wars. This chart says it all:
As our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities note, “Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the [Bush] Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade.”
2012 Watch — Bachmann’s Top 10 Craziest Quotes
(1) BACHMANN WARNED ‘THE LION KING’ WAS GAY PROPAGANDA: At the November 2004 EdWatch National Education Conference, Bachmann said the “normalization” of homosexuality would lead to “desensitization”: “Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders, is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.”
(2) BACHMANN CLAIMED ABOLISHING THE MINIMUM WAGE WOULD CREATE JOBS: While testifying in front of the Minnesota Senate in 2005, Bachmann said, “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” This isn’t remotely true. Even simply reducing the minimum wage would, as Paul Krugman noted, “at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary.”
(3) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT SCIENTISTS ARE SUPPORTERS OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN: During a 2006 debate, Bachmann said, “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” This was, and is, not true.
(4) BACHMANN CLAIMED TERRI SCHIAVO WAS ‘HEALTHY’: Not long after Terri Schiavo died, Bachmann said she would have voted for the Palm Sunday Compromise because Schiavo “was healthy. She had brain damage — there was brain damage, there was no question. But from a health point of view, she was not terminally ill.” An autopsy found that Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain damage and her brain, said the medical examiner, was “profoundly atrophied.”
(5) BACHMANN LIKENED VISITING IRAQ TO VISITING MALL OF AMERICA: In 2007, Bachmann returned from a junket to Iraq and told her colleagues, “[T]here’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere.” As ThinkProgress documented at the time, the comparison was preposterous.
(6) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT CARBON DIOXIDE IS ‘HARMLESS’: In 2008, a Stanford scientist revealed “direct links” between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and “increases in human mortality” — globally, he found that as many as “20,000 air-pollution-related deaths per year per degree Celsius may be due to this greenhouse gas.” The next year, Bachmann, who is not a scientist, said, “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
(7) BACHMANN CALLED FOR A CONGRESSIONAL WITCH HUNT: Pivoting off the news of Barack Obama’s alleged relationship to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bachmann accused the candidate of having “anti-American views.” She then suggested that congressional liberals — including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — ought to be subject to “an exposé” by the media because of their views. “I think people would love to see like that,” she told a stunned Chris Matthews.
(8) BACHMANN SUGGESTED GAY SINGER SHOULD REPENT AFTER GETTING CANCER: Bachmann saw Melissa Etheridge’s cancer as a teachable moment: “Unfortunately she is now suffering from breast cancer, so keep her in your prayers,” she said in November 2004. “This may be an opportunity for her now to be open to some spiritual things, now that she is suffering with that physical disease. She is a lesbian.”
(9) BACHMANN BOASTED ABOUT BREAKING THE LAW: In advance of the 2010 national Census, Bachmann told The Washington Times that she would breakthe law by not completing the forms. “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “Wewon’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
(10) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT GLENN BECK COULD SOLVE THE DEBT CRISIS:During a February trip to South Carolina, Bachmann told a South Carolina audience, “I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this [the national debt].”