Source for chart HERE. The official numbers are supposed to come out in the next couple of months and economists are predicting that the poverty levels in America will be the highest they have been since the 1960′s. So – first thought for many conservatives will be to blame President Obama for this of course.
Whether it’s passing more tax cuts for individuals or corporations, creating an environment where profits for business increased and reducing government spending … conservatives have been able to pass a good deal of their agenda as they threatened to take the economy hostage over the cliff with them if they didn’t get their way. Well – conservatives got their way … we’re living the conservative dream.
And with all of that – the only reason the economy hasn’t imploded on itself is because of the stimulus that Obama passed when he was first elected to stop the hemorrhaging. And when 93% of Economists agree that the stimulus helped the economy (source) … you may want to sit down before you object and make a fool of yourself.
Well – let’s look at look at how we got here.
#1 – No credible person blames President Obama for the economic crisis that happened before he took office. Even Mitt Romney admits and Republicans admit that he inherited a huge recession. Remember that whole banks should be able to regulate themselves thing? Yeah – that didn’t work out so much. By the time Obama took office – the country had been in recession for 13 months and it hit its peak with 800k jobs lost in January of 2009 (when he took office). In addition to the 4 million jobs lost in 2008 under Bush …. there were another 2.2 million jobs lost in the first three months of 2009. No sane person can blame him for those jobs being lost … nobody. So he inherited a horrible scenario. We know this.
#2 – Corporate profits are at an all time high (source). Conservative ideology via “horse and sparrow” economics espouses the notion that if corporations and the wealthy make a lot of money … that wealth will shower down upon all of us like little rays of sunshine on a warm summer day. Conservative ideology says that these corporations who are making more money than god would be hiring more workers. But – that’s not happening.
#3 – Taxes under President Obama are lower than under any President in modern history (source). I realize that flies in the face of what’s being downloaded at Fox “News” … but – those be the facts. Conservative ideology via the “horse and sparrow” economic theory purports that those tax cuts for the rich are going to incentivize those hoarders to buy more luxury yachts, personal jets, personal staff … maybe some more hookers and drugs? If tax cuts for the rich drives economic growth … where are the jobs? This is an empirical fact that no one can dispute – tax rates for the wealthiest are at ALL TIME LOWS. Period. And as if not to add insult to injury … it’s been recently reported that these “high net worth” individuals around the world are hiding AT LEAST $21 TRILLION in offshore bank accounts (source).
#4 – Some say that President Obama had a clear majority for two entire years and should have been able to pass whatever legislation he wanted. And in the House of Representatives – they did. Bills passed through smoothly. And in the Senate – they passed a lot of historic legislation but having to deal with an unloyal opposition party who literally had members with legislation cosponsored by Republicans only for those Republicans to vote against THEIR OWN BILL (source).
Politifact explains how Republicans voted against a bill that was co-sponsored by SEVEN Republicans intended to reduce the deficit HERE:
But then, on Jan. 26, 2010, when the Conrad-Gregg bill, originally introduced as S. 2853, came for a vote in the Senate, it fell seven votes shy of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for passage, garnering 53 yeas and 46 nays, with one senator not voting.
The measure would have passed with 60 votes if only seven additional Republicans who had co-sponsored S. 2853 had voted for it. Instead, those seven — Robert Bennett of Utah, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona — withdrew their co-sponsorship in the days before the vote and then voted against it on the floor.
And as I wrote HERE:
During Obama’s term – the Republican minority abused a Senate rule called the filibuster that would require 60 votes in the Senate to beat. In fact – in Obama’s first year in office … Republicans in the Senate used it a record 112 times to block legislation from passing. That is 18% of all of the votes in the Senate according to McClatchy (source). Obama’s 2nd year in office was the 2nd highest number in history with 91 filibusters by the Republican party only exceeded by Obama’s first year in office. So – no … the administration wasn’t able to do everything it wanted … not even close.
Republicans have been blocking President Obama’s economic agenda from day 1. Bill after bill after bill – Republicans have blocked jobs bills. They’re game plan is simple; they think the American people will relieve Congress of it’s responsibility to pass legislation for the President to sign … and just blame the one man. They don’t even hide it – the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has even said that their #1 goal is to make President Obama a one term president (source). As we have written about HERE:
This isn’t new news … We know that Republicans in Congress are sabotaging America’s economic progress – Congress has been voting down jobs bills over and over and over – (SOURCE):
June 24th, 2010: GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill Once Again, Dems Giving Up (Open Congress)
July 29th, 2010: Republicans block small business plan in Senate (Reuters)
September 28th, 2010: GOP Blocks Bill to Punish Companies that Move Jobs Abroad (CBS News)
November 18th, 2010: House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits (USA TODAY)
November 18th, 2010: Republicans vote unanimously against equal pay for women bill (Raw Story)
December 9th, 2010: Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill (Reuters)
October 11th, 2011: Senate Republicans block Obama’s jobs package (CBS News)
October 20th, 2011: Senate blocks money for teachers, firefighters (WaPost)
November 3rd, 2011: Republicans block $60bn infrastructure bill (Financial Times)
December 11th, 2011: Senate blocks payroll tax-cut extension (MSNBC)
March 29th, 2012: Republicans Block Repeal of Oil-Company Tax Breaks Obama Sought (Business Week)
April 17th, 2012: Senate GOP blocks Obama’s ‘Buffett rule’ for minimum tax rate on millionaires (Fox News)
May 8th, 2012: GOP blocks Senate debate on Dem student loan bill (Associated Press)
Even Mitt Romney’s former adviser admits the Republicans are “rooting against the economy”. (source)
#5 - Government spending under President Obama is less than any president in the past 60 years. That was rated “mostly true” by Politifact (source). Yes – I realize that’s hard to believe … but that’s the truth. The reason we have a deficit is due to more unpaid for tax cuts intended to prop up the economy from the Bush economic crisis since as shown in #4 …. Republicans won’t allow ANYTHING that resembles investment in education, police, firemen, roads or bridges to pass. But yeah – this is a FACT.
An economy can’t be healthy when you have a small number of people (or corporations) hoarding wealth and just sitting on it. A successful economy must operate like a game of “hot potato” where the money continuously flows from one hand to the next … but as income inequality rises … the haves are able to sit on more and the have nots find themselves without that transfer of money that is required in a healthy economy. In short – America sucks at “hot potato”.
The Associate Press talks about the poverty rate HERE:
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.
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