Rick “Secede With Me” Perry: Big Money donors and job creation in Texas

RICK PERRY HAS RECEIVED A LOT OF MONEY FROM THE RICH AND POWERFUL — and he’ll likely receive even more during his presidential campaign. What’s interesting is that if top donors like the wealthy and oil companies pay his way, which do you think Perry would be more likely to do away with for budgeting purposes: 1) tax breaks for the rich, 2) tax subsidies and loopholes for profitable corporations, or 3) Medicare and other services and programs for everyone else?

Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination. The tally represented more than a third of the $102 million he had raised as governor through December, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice. Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry… (via Los Angeles Times)

Think Progress reports on how much Perry has been funded by Big Oil:

Just Like former President George W. Bush, Rick Perry is heavily funded by the oil and gas industry. In fact, it has been Rick Perry’s very top source of funding:


Top oil company contributions include $189,188 from Exxon Mobil, $147,895 from Valero Energy, and $116,000 from Koch Industries.

But the big money rolling into Perry’s campaign coffers has ultimately been good for Texas, right? Isn’t there a ‘miracle’ going on with employment in Texas — don’t those tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs for everyone else? Marie Diamond comments on the employment situation in Texas:

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is taking issue with the “Texas miracle” myth that Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is selling. This morning, Rangel told reporters that Perry’s record of job creation is nothing to be proud of because the jobs pay such low wages that “it’s one stage away from slavery.” Today, a New York Times review of Perry’s track record concluded, “Texas has one of the highest percentages of workers who are paid the minimum wage and receive no medical benefits.” Perry has also presided over a steady, decade-long decline in his state’s employment to population ratio. He inherited a ratio of more than 47 percent from George W. Bush, but now only 43.5 percent of Texans have a job, compared to 44.7 percent of the total U.S. population.

Who benefits from paying minimum wage without benefits do you suppose? Good bye, middle-class! Pat Garofalo points out unemployment numbers in Texas vs. the entire United States — Texas is worse:

Reuters’ Felix Salmon today highlighted data showing that Texas employment-to-population ratio — the percentage of the population that has a job — has plummeted under 2012 presidential contender Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) watch:

THE LAST THING AMERICA NEEDS RIGHT NOW is Perry’s preferential treatment for Big Money donors combined with his ‘Texas miracle’ for our nation’s unemployment problem. Or as Paul Krugman says,

What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states. I believe that the appropriate response to this insight is “Well, duh.” The point is that arguing from this experience that depressing wages and dismantling regulation in America as a whole would create more jobs — which is, whatever Mr. Perry may say, what Perrynomics amounts to in practice — involves a fallacy of composition: every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state.

In fact, at a national level lower wages would almost certainly lead to fewer jobs — because they would leave working Americans even less able to cope with the overhang of debt left behind by the housing bubble, an overhang that is at the heart of our economic problem.

So when Mr. Perry presents himself as the candidate who knows how to create jobs, don’t believe him. His prescriptions for job creation would work about as well in practice as his prayer-based attempt to end Texas’s crippling drought.

‘American Exceptionalism’ are code words for voters who are anything but

American exceptionalism is just an excuse to be stupid, to claim that it’s awesome to pay 16% of your GDP for shitty health care, to dream of tall buildings and missions to Mars, to worry that East Asians are laughing at us, to rock out to Lee Greenwood as we act as “the world’s policeman”. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? Balloon Juice » Or just another country (via wilwheaton)

And those lawmakers and leaders who have to use American Exceptionalism to make their base feel special are in the business of protecting wealthy individuals and multinational corporations who store their American income and profits in off-shore accounts. Call the peasants exceptional and they’ll vote against their own self-interests every time.

Look in the mirror


This is funny because it’s true

The Borowitz Report

What else is there to say about a group of people who would rather shoot themselves and their children and grandchildren in the foot (by giving away more of their own money and security to the rich and powerful) than face the idea of compromising with those they don’t agree with?

And, ultimately, the joke’s on the teaparty base…

…because like you and I, they’re working- and middle-class people and retirees who depend on safety net programs and federal services like the rest of us — the 99%.

“The reason that the Republicans deliberately destroyed the balanced budget and created unprecedented government debt was precisely in hopes that at some point they could use the debt as an excuse to destroy social security, medicare, and myriads of educational and health programs. They represent rich people, and the rich don’t want to be having to bear their fair share of the national burden. What better way to get out of having to pay those pesky taxes than making sure the government doesn’t do anything for anyone but the rich.” Juan Cole

via: azspot

The teaparty base sold their souls to the rich and powerful to punish those who are not rich and powerful.


PROOF that tax cuts do not create jobs: Bush’s decade was a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers

From the Washington Post:

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

And the net worth of American households — the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts — has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s.

“This was the first business cycle where a working-age household ended up worse at the end of it than the beginning, and this in spite of substantial growth in productivity, which should have been able to improve everyone’s well-being,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.

Those are facts — which have a liberal bias, I know. Seriously, what are the conservative / teaparty / Republican voters thinking — that MORE tax cuts, loopholes and subsidies are going to create a job? How many more decades will have to pass before they stop falling for it?  My guess: we’ll all be eating Soylent Green and living in Thunderdome by the time the GOP base wakes up.

Guess who ‘creates jobs’? It’s not the rich and powerful. It’s the working- and middle-class WITH THEIR PAYCHECKS. The job creators are the customers, who drive more business, who drive more jobs to fulfill a demand. When there are no paychecks, there’s no money to spend, no demand — no new jobs are necessary. Which brings us to the unemployment figures we have today.

And by extending tax cuts to the wealthy — which were to be temporary — the only way to make up for a lack of federal tax revenue is by cutting programs and services that the rest of us depend on. The Republican base needs to snap out of it.

How many more days until the “Republican strategy” is viewed as unpatriotic?

“It would be myopic in the extreme to view the flow of oil to the United States as a legitimate national security issue but to view the flow of foreign capital into Treasury securities as a matter of no particular concern.”  Bruce Bartlett, an economist who worked in George H.W. Bush’s White House 

How Default Threatens National Security | Mother Jones

[...] If the United States loses its ability to lead by economic example, that mantle could be taken up by its largest creditor nation and most credible military rival, China. And lesser powers with bones to pick with it—Iran, North Korea, Venezuela—could be emboldened. “Since the financial crisis, authoritarians and state capitalists have lost their respect for the United States,” writes Sebastian Mallaby, an economic research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Market capitalism is in disrepute; democracy is discredited. The budget fight is only deepening such feelings.”

[...] There’s a corollary to that argument. If forcing the debt crisis beyond August 2 erodes the United States’ military preparedness and diplomatic influence, the politicians most responsible for the gridlock—staunch conservatives who likely consider themselves defense hawks—might ultimately be seen as unpatriotic. As Balkin explains, “The Republican strategy of making America strong by bringing the American government to its knees is self-defeating.”

Read more: Mother Jones

The Republican strategy? It’s more along the lines of 51 Republican lawmakers signed a pledge to the Teaparty to not compromise, ever, with Democrats or the President. The strategy is that Republican lawmakers have said they want to make Obama a one-term president and this seems like as good a way as any. Any Republican strategy is being fueled by the rich and powerful from the Koch-funded Teaparty base up through DC itself, to ensure that they will continue to receive all the tax breaks, tax cuts, and tax loopholes they can. Would they want to bring the U.S. to its knees for personal / corporate financial gain? Haven’t they been doing exactly that for at least three decades already?

Policy failures of the GOP: the debt could disappear if the rich paid taxes at 1960s levels

Is anyone surprised by this? Yet discussion of increasing tax revenues from the wealthy and corporations is off the table,  no compromise, according to the teaparty Republicans.

If Corporations And The Rich Paid Taxes At The Same Level As The 1960s, The Debt Would Disappear

… [Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) Sam] Pizzigati cites an IPS paper from last spring to make the argument that if corporations and households making more than $1 million paid the same rates as they did in 1961, our debt would virtually disappear in a decade:

Some numbers — from an Institute for Policy Studies report released this past spring — can help us better visualize just how monumental this political failure has been. If corporations and households taking in $1 million or more in income each year were now paying taxes at the same annual rates as they did back in 1961, the IPS researchers found, the federal treasury would be collecting an additional $716 billion a year. In other words, if the federal government started taxing the wealthy and their corporations at the same rates in effect a half-century ago, the federal debt to investors would almost totally vanish over the next decade.

As ThinkProgress has previously reported, the richest Americans are paying their lowest taxes in a generation. Additionally, Center for American Progress experts Michael Linden, Seth Hanlon, and Jordan Eizenga have shown that the United States is actually very low-tax compared to other developed countries.

The teaparty Republicans are proposing that we continue this policy failure, with the end game being a failure of our country, failure to protect our middle-class, and failure of a safety net for future generations.

The average teaparty voter certainly isn’t a millionaire. What are you people thinking?

[via: sarahlee310]

John Boehner: “I didn’t sign up for going mano-a-mano with the President of the United States.”

That’s what Boehner said when he left his office building last night, after finishing his response to President Barack Obama’s remarks. Hm.

The president rejected a Republican proposal to temporarily lift the debt limit, arguing it would leave the underlying problem unresolved and lead to a repeat of the current crisis in six months.

“That is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake,” he said.

But with a potential US default looming in eight days time, Obama appealed to Americans to “make your voice heard.”

“If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message,” he said.

[...] Boehner warned, “The American people will not accept an increase in the debt without significant spending cuts and reform.”

Obama, he said, “has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more, you pay more… those tax increases will destroy jobs.”

Bullshit, Boehner! No one believes the rich and powerful created (or will create) ANY jobs in the U.S., aside from butlers and kitchen help. The jobs they’ve created overseas, the manufacturing they’ve moved to other countries shouldn’t reap tax benefits here. Period.

Let them know:

[image: bunnyfood]

The true leader of the teaparty Republican Congress approved Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan yesterday

Boehner had to get the approval of the GOP’s real (but unelected) leader before he moved forward with his debt-ceiling plan. And who better to guide Boehner on cutting safety net programs and services to the poor and middle-class while extending tax cuts, tax loopholes, and tax subsidies for the rich and powerful than Rush Limbaugh?

Boehner briefed Limbaugh on debt plan:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the GOP’s debt-ceiling plan to conservative commentator [entertainer] Rush Limbaugh on Monday before showing it to his conference.

The conservative radio host said Boehner outlined his two-step plan that includes $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and a $1 trillion hike in the debt ceiling. In the second step, a commission would be appointed to come back with additional deficit-reduction proposals, which the Congress could then vote on.

I can’t imagine what would happen if Pelosi or Reid had to run a plan for some legislation by a liberal media person / entertainer — the Right would kick and scream all over cable news. But I have to say that I’m glad I can’t image Democratic leaders doing that anyway, because IT’S ABSURD!

I guess the teaparty and Republican congress take Rush’s tagline literally: “talent on loan from God.” For anyone who doesn’t know it — Rush made that up, okay? His “talent” (which we could argue about for a week) comes straight from an ego the size of his waistline and consists of “scar[ing] white men as they get in their trucks at lunchtime.”

Artist – David Fitzsimmons via BobCesca

If this isn’t a class war, I don’t know what is.

Chris Bowers, Daily Kos: