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GOP Congressional Messaging: Tax Breaks For The Rich And Waterboarding For The Unemployed!

Updated on March 11, 2011

GOP Holds The Line, Ready To Vote Themselves A Tax Break!

John Boehner (pronounced Bay-ner, not Bo-ner), the next Speaker of the House, has drawn a line in the sand. There will be no compromise! The American people have spoken to him in the mid-term elections, much like God speaks to him while he is on the golf course or in the tanning salon. Either tax breaks for all, or tax breaks for none. Continued tax cuts for the wealthy will cost the country 700 Billion Dollars. 700 Billion dollars that is NOT paid for. That will be added to the ever growing deficit, but the returns will be enormous! The rich will continue to supply ALL of those jobs that came over the last ten years. Where are they? The Republican Party as a whole and historically, hates taxes and loves small government. They want the best defense and military (no gays allowed!) that the country(China) can buy, the biggest and best weapons programs, Homeland defense on steroids, and tax protections for the wealthy and free market minus regulations for big business. And there will be no compromises!

Boehner's net worth has been estimated at anywhere between $2 million and $8 million dollars. His vote on the tax issue before Congress will most likely affect him and his investments directly. In fact, according to CNBC, November 17, 2010: "The median wealth of a representative was $765,010, up from $645,503 in 2008, while that of a senator was almost $2.38 million, versus $2.27 million the previous year."

Boehner and the rest of Congress will be personally affected if the tax cuts for the wealthy are allowed to expire. Wonder why there will be no compromise? While the GOP is poised to add $700 Billion Dollars to the ever-growing deficit to protect their own income, they will draw the line at extending unemployment benefits during a time of high unemployment. The Republicans as a whole, believe that the extension of benefits to the unemployed is too costly. Some have even gone so far as to state that people who collect unemployment become deincentivized; the unemployed simply want to stay at home while getting rich on the average weekly benefit of $293.00. When voting to deny the most recent emergency extension of unemployment, the GOP uses the ever growing deficit as an excuse for a no vote. Logically, then, they should hold tax cuts to the same criteria, but don't.

It has been estimated that extending benefits for the unemployed through 2011 will cost $65 Billion Dollars. The bill to extend unemployment benefits for those whose unemployment ends on November 30, 2010 was $12.5 Billion Dollars. The extension has not passed, because a two-thirds margin is required for its approval. If benefits are denied, it will be the first time in almost 75 years that the Federal government has denied extended unemployment benefits in a time when unemployment rates are high. Employers talk about having a glut of applications; more than ever before. They have applications coming from people holding advanced degrees even when the offered position is paying as little as $10.00 per hour.

700 Billion for the wealthy or 65 Billion for the soon to be poor? Of course, the unemployed have no political power, no voice in the discussion. The wealthy will win out, if Boehner has his way. There is no room in the budget for the unemployed. They do not spend their benefits on political contributions. They spend it on food. They have no lobbyists.

The ever-important deficit is of utmost significance to Congressional Republicans when dealing with social programs, while less significant when dealing with continuing tax cuts. Does it make more sense to add almost one trillion dollars to the budget for the already wealthy? If the growing deficit is the real issue, then the GOP should at least be consistent and be against tax cuts for the wealthy in addition to extension of unemployment benefits.

Of interest also, is the GOP framing of the conversation in regards to the tax cuts that are on the table. The Republican party always speaks in terms of the current Administration's desire to raise taxes. Everything is semantics. If the tax cuts are allowed to expire, it will not be raising taxes. The tax cuts were designed to be temporary and were designed to expire. The cuts will expire on December 31, 2010. If the cuts are allowed to expire, taxes have not been raised, they have just returned to the level where they were ten years ago.

Can You Get Rich On Unemployment Benefits?

The stories are many. People everywhere will tell others that they saw the person in front of them at the grocery store using food stamps to buy steak, even lobster! The stories go on and on and on. There is some fraud in the food stamp program, but that is a small amount of the total. How fortunate to be a family that is currently living on food stamps! They are all getting rich! Conservatives would have us believe that the average weekly unemployment check in the amount of $293.00 is buying new cars, fancy homes and even steak and lobster for dinner! That must be why being laid off is such a pleasant and welcome experience for people! To hear some conservatives tell it, when people lose their jobs, the first thing they do is shout for joy! "Wow! Now I am going to get rich! Couldn't do it when I was earning three times the amount of my unemployment check, but this is like winning the lottery! It is steak and lobster time now!" Just how rich can you get on $1200.00 a month? The thought of it is simply absurd!

In the real world, the 8 million unemployed (those looking for jobs), pour their unemployment checks right back into the economy because they use it immediately to pay rent, food, utilities or whatever else they can squeeze out of that small amount of money. Unemployment benefits do not pay the bills for people used to living on three times that amount. That amount of money cannot go very far in bringing wealth to the unemployed. People are fortunate if they have savings when they lose their jobs. The unemployed usually go through their savings and dip into their 401K's just to feed their families. When anyone scoffs at the idea of unemployment benefits, he or she should try to live on that amount of money before casting aspersions or making unsubstantiated remarks about the unemployed getting rich. And that steak and lobster? Right!

To those who incessantly talk about how wonderful it must be to sit all day and collect money for doing nothing, offer to trade places. Find out just how wonderful it is! I am sure that everyone has a friend or family member that has lost their job in the past two years. Before talking about the evils of unemployment benefits, think about that friend or family member. They are not very important to your life if you can insult them with narrow-minded, thoughtless and unsympathetic statements. The people on the conservative side of the aisle feel as if the unemployed are stealing the clothes off their backs and food from their children. If you have not paid into the system for unemployment benefits, you cannot collect the benefits. It is not a welfare program. It is an insurance program and every worker in this country pays into the insurance fund. As with any insurance program, when there is a covered loss, the policy pays the benefits.

Members of Congress cannot possibly identify with the unemployed. They are financially secure, knowing that they will have a large paycheck, medical insurance and other benefits, including a pension, and unless their constituents notice that they are doing nothing while in Congress or stop believing the lies they tell (both parties guilty), will re-elect them. Congressmen protect themselves, each other and the corporations that give them money. Money for nothing? Think again. The unemployed have no advocates with the exception of a few members of Congress that have empathy and can actually do math. In the current political climate, even if a GOP member of Congress were in favor of extending benefits, he or she would be shamed by other party members, or at the very least told to shape up and tow the party line.

Playing Political Games With The Lives Of Real People!

Dirty political games are a part of Congressional history. Not a pretty part, but a part. Trading this for that, backing this legislation in exchange for backing another's pet project, etc. are among the daily activities on the schedule of every Congressional representative. Congress plays with the big national chessboard, but the game pieces are the American people.

The decisions of Congress really do affect individual lives! Games are always played with the American citizen all too often becoming the victim. Waterboarding has been used on suspected terrorists. The unemployed of this country are now being waterboarded by their own Congress.


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  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA


    I write these articles because I have two beautiful grandchildren, a boy and a girl. I want them to live in a country that treats its people fairly, a country that embraces diversity, a country that is governed by honest and ethical men and women, who represent the people, not the corporations. I fear that if we don't continue to speak up, most of us, including my grandchildren, will live in a country ruled by tyrannical dictators who are paid by their corporate masters. I want my grandchildren to have good educations, contribute to a better, more equal and tolerant society and enjoy freedom of thought, as well as choice. Just feel like the GOP, while saying that the Democrats are socialists, communists, etc. want to quietly turn this country into one that more closely resembles Myanmar than the United States.

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image

    PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    This person is a dispicable human being , if he even qulifies as one. These way right politicians are a curse on this country. We are paying for past Karma with these powers of Inquisition being imposed on us. I weep for my child and all the children that inherit this punishment. Can't we do anything to stop this, are we going to throw 258 years down the toilet? God help us.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Excuse me, his company paid $1.7 Billion dollars...

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, Peter!

    I love the Crooks and Liars website! And I cannot stand Rick Scott. Am writing an article now in which Scott features prominently. Think I may add that link. I still cannot believe that the man who headed a company that was fined $1.3 Billion (yes, Billion)dollars for Medicare fraud was elected as governor of a state that has such a high senior population. Makes me want to pull my hair out!

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image

    PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    Great HUb Jillian, I found some more fodder for you:

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear HSchneider, Thank you for you welcome comment! I agree with you! I, too, would play chicken and let all of the tax cuts expire. I do not understand why the Dems have become such minor players in this. They seem to be unable to find their collective voice and play some hardball! It embarrasses me as a Democrat! As for the treaty with Russia, this is a key National Security issue. Denying ratification is going to present a host of other problems and is clearly designed to send our President and other countries a message that the GOP is willing to compromise National Security to gain power! Senator Kyl is just the current mouthpiece. Thank you, again!

    Dear Deni, I agree that small businesses are not being protected by the GOP. They are motivated to do two things: protect large businesses that already pay no taxes and protect their wealthy contributors! Thank you for your comment! Your input is always welcome!

  • Deni Edwards profile image

    Deni Edwards 7 years ago from california

    Love the hub, Jillian!

    Also, most small businesses do not fall into the wealthy category, keyword "small".

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    Great Hub Jillian. I cannot believe the Obama administration and the congressional Democrats are going to cave on the Bush tax cuts expiration issue. It is a political winner. Instead President Obama wants to play nice now with the GOP. Why? They won't even let pass a very modest nuclear reduction with Russia that includes enhanced verification. Russia has been helping us with Iran but Senator Kyl will let this treaty fail. I know I digress but the Republicans are doing what Sen. McConnell honestly said. The only thing they want to do is defeat Pres. Obama no matter the issue or the importance to the country. I would play this game of chicken and let all the cuts expire if they will not capitulate to his $250,000 income threshold. Those cuts affected the middle and lower classes negligibly anyway. Sorry about the rant but both the Dems and the GOP are really ticking me off!

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Understand that you disagree with what I have written, although I did point out the worth of ALL Congressional Representatives. I did not mention that the GOP is protecting all Americans, because they are not. Check with those whose unemployment will be expiring. Additionally, when Democrats speak of allowing these 'temporary'tax cuts to expire for the wealthy, the small businesses that you speak of will not and never are taxed on their gross income. Everyone is taxed on their net income, after all deductions have been taken. As part of the Stimulus, all small businesses are given a tax credit for hiring new employees.

    Second, American businesses are not taxed for sending jobs overseas and I know many people making over $250,000.00 per year. They work for other people; they do not own their own businesses.

    Third, I am sorry that you think a left-leaning Hub gives Hubpages a bad name. Are there no right-leaning Hubs on the site? It is called Freedom of Speech and is covered under the First Amendement to the Constitution. All sides have a right to speak up. Isn't that what makes us all proud to live in this wonderful country?

    Finally, you and I will most likely disagree on alot of policy issues. That is also wonderful! This country is made up of all types of people with all types of opinions. You believe what you believe and say it and I will continue to talk about the things that I believe in. It is that simple.

  • American Romance profile image

    American Romance 7 years ago from America

    This is all good and fine! BUT! you failed to mention the fact the GOP is protecting ALL Americans along with American business! Democrats are every bit as wealthy as the GOP members so why this excites you are gives you the firepower to make Pubs look bad ........well only the blind left will buy into it! You liberals can't have it both ways! You want business to stop going overseas and you want them taxed even more! This makes no sense! .........make up your minds! When Democrats talk about taxing the rich, what they really mean is small business! How many individuals do any of you know that get paid over 250K a year working for someone else?

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Knew I should have taken Chinese while I was in high school! Four years of French! What did I know?

    It is frightening, isn't it?

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it! May God Bless You, too!

  • CYBERSUPE profile image


    AWESOME HUB Jillian and I am with you all the way. Jillian the system is broken and we are going to hell in a handbasket. Get ready, China will be here to take over.

    Good Luck and God Bless!