The rules we live by are not the same rules that the Romneys (and the rest of the one percent) live by

IF YOU’RE ANN ROMNEY, being a stay at home mother is “hard work” — or so she and the pander-pundits tell us. But if you’re not wealthy like Ann Romney, well… sorry.

From Romney’s book “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness”: “Welfare without work erodes the spirit and the sense of self-worth of the recipient. And it conditions the children of nonworking parents to an indolent and unproductive life. Hardworking parents raise hardworking kids; we should recognize that the opposite is also true. The influence of the work habits of our parents and other adults around us as we grow up has lasting impact.”

THE SAME DISSONANCE APPLIES TO OUR VOLUNTEER MILITARY: If you’re a child of low or middle income parents, you volunteer to serve your country and hope you come out of it alive and undamaged, maybe to avail yourself of GI Benefits for college. But if you’re  the privileged child of wealth and / or power, you go on about your life. There’s no need to serve anything except for yourself, with your trust fund that the Republican Party has generously fought to tax at the lowest rates possible:

(Via: Operation Yellow ElephantBoston Herald (2005): Mitt backs war, but his boys are safe at home 

Gov. Mitt Romney, who has comforted the grieving loved ones of soldiers killed in Iraq and promoted National Guard recruitment, yesterday said he has not urged his own sons to enlist – and isn’t sure whether they would.

The Herald posed the question as Romney – a potential 2008 White House contender and backer of President Bush’s Iraq policy – was honored by the Massachusetts National Guard after he signed a bill extending pay for state workers on active duty.

“No, I have not urged my own children to enlist. I don’t know the status of my childrens’ potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve,” Romney said, his voice tinged with anger.

(See also: Five Not For Fighting)

Of course even when this country had a military draft, the sons of privilege got deferments – including Mitt, so he could do missionary work for his LDS church in France.

SO YOU’D EXPECT THAT WHEN THE PLUTOCRACY plans to enrich themselves even further than they have already (with Romney, Evangelical Leaders, and the Republican Party as their personal champions), it’s going to cost the rest of us dearly. Fairness, equality, shared effort, common good, decency… those kind of ‘idealistic rules’ only apply to plebeians. You deserve to pay higher tax rates — THEY DON’T. No one gets rich paying taxes, hahah!!

BILLIONAIRES FALL IN LINE – “If there’s a President Romney, donors want to see the best case scenario of a Speaker Boehner and a Senate Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, and if the president is somehow reelected, the last thing the country needs is a Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and a Senate Majority Leader [Harry] Reid.” || If you think the $53 million Obama raised last month is good, you ought to see how many millions the likes of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Bob Perry, Harold Simmons and Harlan Crow can throw around in a day — not to mention all the mystery donors

And right on schedule:

  • SENATE REPUBLICANS FILIBUSTER BUFFETT RULE – The Buffett Rule, a bill backed by President Obama that would ensure millionaires pay a comparable tax rate to middle-class Americans, fell to a Republican filibuster in the Senate this evening, despite a new poll showing it to be overwhelmingly popular. While the rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, earned a majority vote of 51-45, it didn’t get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster… A CNN poll released today found that 72 percent of Americans — including 53 percent of Republicans and almost 70 percent of independents — support the Buffett Rule.
  • FOOD STAMPS FOR NEEDY FAMILIES? GONE. Cash subsidies for rich farmers? Protected. – The Recovery Act boost in benefits is already phasing out and will be gone entirely by November 2013. But the package now, to be taken up by the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday, would end this abruptly summer, impacting families Sept. 1, and saving about $5.9 billion in 2012 and 2013. [...] the severity of the proposed House cuts could be an over reach for two reasons. First they are all coming from the Agriculture panel in a context where rich farm subsidies continue to be protected at a time of record income for producers. Even in the commodity lobby, there is broad consensus that the current system of cash payments to growers at a time of high farm profits can no longer be politically defended.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, cutting programs and services to the rest of us, the unwashed masses, so the wealthy can slide by with lower tax rates should be our collective privilege. Jesus would have wanted it this way.

via: dasrosmeyez

The largest public to private sector transfer of wealth is about to begin

I imagine the Teaparty Republicans will be thrilled about this news — Capitalism is alive and well and lighting its cigars with $100 bills! Not only will Wall Street be taking our foreclosed homes for pennies on the dollar (guaranteeing huge profits), but their taxes are still unbelievably low! From Wonkette:

Great news, everybody… Wall Street stands to make an immense profit by becoming, overnight, the “largest improved real-estate owners in the world.” From Real Money

The largest transfer of wealth from the public to private sector is about to begin. The federal government will be bulk-selling the massive portfolio of foreclosed homes now owned by HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private investors — vulture funds.

These homes, which are now the property of the U.S. government, the U.S. taxpayer, and U.S. citizens collectively, are going to be sold to private investor conglomerates at extraordinarily large discounts to real value. You and I will not be allowed to participate. These investors will come from the private-equity and hedge-fund community, Goldman Sachs and its derivatives, as well as foreign sovereign wealth funds that can bring a billion dollars or more to each transaction.

In the process, these investors will instantaneously become the largest improved real estate owners and landlords in the world. The U.S. taxpayer will get pennies on the dollar for these homes and then be allowed to rent them back at market rates.

But read this:

[...] the U.S. Treasury Department issued a Request for Information (RFI) concerning the disposition of the inventory of foreclosed homes owned by the federal government.

[...] the RFI is a way for the members of Congress to find out if they can get away with bulk-selling these homes to private companies without incurring the wrath of their constituents, taxpayers and former owners of the properties. Assuming taxpayers don’t push back, the next step will be to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will be the bid and plan for these homes by investors.

(RealMoney.com via Wonkette)

Some Departments have posted Contingency Plans for Teaparty Government Shutdown

In no particular order for the following departments (will update as I find them):

Dept. of Interiror (DOI) 8 April 2011:

Based on the developed plans, approximately 52,300 of the 68,900 Department of the Interior employees projected to be in pay status will be furloughed at the outset of a suspension of activities. [...] Approximately 9,500 employees will be designated as excepted or emergency personnel to complete shutdown activities and to protect life and property.  This number will decrease if the shutdown goes beyond two to three days as facilities are secured and other shutdown activities are completed.  In addition, a limited number of employees providing administrative support for essential functions, such as budget, IT, finance, and contracting, will be considered essential.  Some of these employees may be required on an intermittent basis after the initial shutdown activities are completed.

Dept. of Treasury 8 April 2011:

In total, the Treasury Department has approximately 127,000 employees. In the event of a lapse in appropriations, approximately 92,000 would be furloughed and 35,000 would remain on duty. Because the possible lapse comes at the height of the annual tax filing season, the majority of these employees would be excepted from furlough to handle essential tax filing and service functions of the IRS, with the remainder primarily working in Treasury programs that are funded from sources other than annual appropriations. Treasury will continue to revise its plans as circumstances warrant. Each Bureau under the Treasury has discrete functions. Continue reading →

Dept of Agriculture (USDA) — PDF documents (all agencies / bureaus have separate plans listed)

More departments after the cut: Continue reading