I’m sure you know by now that our Republican Senator, Roy Blunt voted yesterday to increase the taxes of working and middle class Missourians in order to prevent a raid on the petty cash drawer of his fat cat buddies. In order to do this, Blunt, who made jobs a mantra during his senatorial campaign, was also willing to kick the economy down the stairs one more time – the payroll tax cut he summarily rejected has even been described by John Boehner, a member his own party leadership, as an economic necessity.
Wanting to deflect attention from their favoritism toward the wealthy, the GOP did make some symbolic gestures toward asking their tycoon pals to pay up. According to an AP article that was quoted earlier today by Joan McCarter in the DailyKos:
Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative on Wednesday that relies on freezing federal workers’ pay through 2015 and reducing the government’s bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs. The bill also would raise Medicare premiums for the wealthy, and take steps to deny unemployment benefits and food stamps to anyone with a seven-figure income.
I guess that their willingness to ask millionaires to forgo food stamps and unemployment benefits didn’t have quite the anodyne effect that the GOP leadership aspired to. Witness the fact that the same AP article has now been edited to read:
To pay for the measure, Senate Republicans proposed freezing federal workers’ pay through 2015 – extending a two-year-freeze recommended by Obama – and reducing the bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs through attrition.
Additionally, note the use of the phrase “reducing the bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs” in this write-up. Doesn’t bureaucracy have generally negative connotations? Reducing bureaucracy can’t be bad, can it? Even if it means thousands of middle income earners are turned out on the streets to join the millions of others who can’t find any of those jobs Blunt’s “job creators” should certainly have created by now given that their tax rates have been at historic lows for the past decade? I guess it just isn’t GOP pols who like to play tricky games with words; AP reporters aren’t too shabby in that department as well.
Language and and news editing practices aside, though, I still think we ought to ask Roy how he can justify raising taxes on the 99% during rough economic times while throwing major tantrums when it comes to raising the taxes of the 1%. And while we’re at it, we ought to ask him how many millionaires he knows who are drawing unemployment and financing their caviar off of food stamps.