Thursday, January 26, 2012

The GOP Thinks Failure Is Their Best Option In 2012

by Frederick Barrow and Michael Handley with hat tips to Addicting Info and JM Bell

In a CNN poll taken last October, Republican voters were the only group that wants Obama’s policies to fail. From the poll's internals:

In general, do you hope that Barack Obama’s policies will succeed or do you hope that his policies will fail?
  • Republicans: Succeed 39% vs Fail 51%
  • Democrats: Succeed 92% vs Fail 5%
  • Independents: Succeed 66% Fail 24%
  • Total: Succeed 67% vs Fail 25%

Even more interesting, when Republican voters were then asked about some of the Obama policy ideas themselves — without Obama’s name attached to them — majorities of Republicans supported them.

According to the poll, 58% of Republicans support the payroll tax holiday, 63% support federal aid for teachers and first responders, 54% support federal aid for rebuilding roads, bridges, and schools, and 56% support raising taxes on income more than $1 million.

That's a terrible and self-destructive case of misplaced priorities, putting their hatred of the president ahead of their own views about what's in the best interest of the country.

by Mike Luckovich

The Republicans are rooting against the American economy and American workers. They believe that they will do better politically in the 2012 presidential elections, if the economy does worse. And for the last thirty-six months Republicans in congress have done everything they can to assure that the American electorate sees Pres. Obama as a failed President.

After Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections they repeated threatened to shut down government and allow the U.S. to default on its obligations all during 2011. Republicans controlling the House refused to compromise and meet Pres. Obama half way, often even 90% of the way, to GOP positions, just to paint Pres. Obama as a failed President.

Republicans claim they just have a different view of what will create jobs. And that is partly true. Generally their view is that whatever is in the short-term interest of the big Wall Street banks, insurance companies, big oil and their wealthy donors is what is "good for the economy" and "good for job creation."

Republicans implemented their program of $1.8 trillion in tax cuts for the rich and allowed the reckless Wall Street banks to do whatever they pleased for eight long years during the Bush administration. The result was a $2,000 decrease in real income for most Americans, a massive increase in incomes for the top two percent of the population, zero net private sector job creation, and the collapse of our economy in the closing months of Pres. Bush's administration in 2008.

But it's not just their commitment to tax cuts for the rich "trickle down" economics that has caused them to do everything in their power to block economic recovery. They believe that their political fortunes can rise only if the fortunes of the rest of us decline.

The next time someone tells you that the Republicans care about the American people just give them this list of just some of the bills that Republicans have blocked, or attempted to block, since Obama became President:

Tax on Companies that ship jobs overseas – A bill that would have eliminated a tax break that companies get when they ship jobs overseas. Republicans blocked this, allowing companies to keep the tax break they receive when they ship jobs to other countries.

Political Ad disclosure bill – Would have required all donors to political campaigns to reveal themselves. Republicans blocked this, not once but twice.

Subpoena Power for the Committee investigating the BP Oil Spill – Give subpoena power to the independent committee responsible for investigating BP’s roll in the oil spill that almost DESTROYED the fishing and tourism industries of the Gulf Coast. Republicans attempted to block this, despite the fact that they control the Southern states that were most impacted.

The Small Business Jobs Act – Would give LOCAL, community banks access to billions of dollars to loan to small businesses. Republicans blocked this, then attempted to block it a second time and failed. On Sept. 27, 2010, President Obama signed into it into law, the most significant piece of small business legislation in over a decade.

The DREAM Act – Gives immigrant youth who were brought here as children a path to citizenship by earning a college degree or serving the military for 2 years. Republicans blocked this.

Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – Repealed the law that forces gay and lesbian services members to lie about their sexuality and gives the military the right to discharge soldiers based on their sexuality. Republicans blocked this until December 2010.

Defense Appropriations Act – When John McCain led the filibuster of the Defense Appropriations Act, he blocked far more than the DREAM Act and repeal of DADT. Here are just a few of the other blocked provisions, courtesy of Mother Jones, with a hat tip to Crooks and Liars:

  • No permanent military bases in Afghanistan.
  • Report identifying hybrid or electric propulsion systems and other fuel-saving technologies for incorporation into tactical motor vehicles.
  • Protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation.
  • Improvements to Department of Defense domestic violence programs.
  • Department of Defense recognition of spouses of members of the Armed Forces.
  • Department of Defense recognition of children of members of the Armed Forces.
  • Enhancements to the Troops-to-Teachers Program.
  • Fiscal year 2011 increase in military basic pay.
  • Improving aural protection for members of the Armed Forces.
  • Comprehensive policy on neurocognitive assessment by the military health care system.
  • Authority to make excess nonlethal supplies available for domestic emergency assistance.

And those were just some of the progressive provisions. On the conservative side, there are these, and more:

  • Prohibition on the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Prohibition on the use of funds to modify or construct facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Prohibition on use of funds to give Miranda warnings to Al Qaeda terrorists.

And here’s the bills that Republicans blocked or attempted to block early in Obama’s first term;

Senator Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill – Makes it so that women raped overseas while working for foreign contractors have the right to have their case heard in an American court instead of having their case mediated by the company they work for. Only Republican men voted against this, but it finally passed in December 2009.

Benefits for Homeless Veterans – Would have expanded benefits to homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children. Republicans blocked this, even though notes that as many as 1/3 of all homeless men in America are military veterans.

Affordable Health Care For America Act – Prevents insurance companies from discriminating against you on the basis of “pre-existing conditions”. Requires that insurance companies spend 85 cents of every dollar that you pay on your actual health care. Limits health insurance companies profit margins. Republicans blocked this for months before it finally passed and have vowed to repeal it if they are elected.

Health Care for the 9/11 First Responders who got sick from being at Ground Zero – Would provide billions of dollars in health care to help the 9/11 First Responders who were at Ground Zero on 9/11 and are now sick because of it. Republicans blocked this bill, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Ola., opposed the bill on the grounds that it provided "overly generous funding." It eventually passed, and the President signed it in January 2011 – 10 years AFTER 9/11.

The Jobs Bill – Offsets the payroll tax for 1 year for companies that hire new employees, or people receiving unemployment insurance. Also gives other tax incentives to companies hiring new employees. Republicans attempted to block this.

More at Obama Administration’s Achievements Center

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