The new congress (led by the right-wing) on its first day in office, opened up an attack on the Social Security System, which is insurance purchased by Americans with funds withheld from their pay-checks.
Not only that, this attack is mounted against disabled Americans, those who are the most vulnerable:
As one of its first orders of business upon convening Tuesday, the Republican House of Representatives approved a rule that will seriously undermine efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent.(On Day One, emphasis added). The congressional cowards who did this are also bullies who learned their wickedness from their spiritual mentors who are bereft of the traditional American conscience.
The rule hampers an otherwise routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program. Such a reallocation, in either direction, has taken place 11 times since 1968, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
But it's especially urgent now, because the disability program's trust fund is expected to run dry as early as next year. At that point, disability benefits for 11 million beneficiaries would have to be cut 20%. Reallocating the income, however, would keep both the old-age and disability programs solvent until at least 2033, giving Congress plenty of time to assess the programs' needs and work out a long-term fix.
The procedural rule enacted by the House Republican caucus prohibits the reallocation unless it's accompanied by "benefit cuts or tax increases that improve the solvency of the combined trust funds," as paraphrased by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
In practical terms, the advocacy committee says, that makes the reallocation impossible; it mandates either benefit cuts across the board, which aren't politically palatable, or a payroll tax increase, which isn't palatable to the GOP.
The next thing they want to do is cut taxes for the 1%, the extremely wealthy plutocrats:
"Republicans today are extending their embrace of voodoo economics by wrapping their arms around voodoo scorekeeping.They also want to pass the Oil-Qaeda inspired Keystone XL pipeline bill:
They are changing House rules to be able to cook the books to implement their long-held, discredited notion that tax cuts pay for themselves.
I think that former Reagan and George H. W. Bush administration official Bruce Bartlett said it best: 'It is not about honest revenue-estimating; it's about using smoke and mirrors to institutionalize Republican ideology into the budget process.'
That's what this is all about." -(NPR)
Call it the Brownback effect.
Republicans once idolized Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as a tax cutting superstar — now he’s a lesson in what not to do.
“It’s a cautionary tale on a national scale … Many of us felt that [Kansas] had been too aggressive,” said Indiana Senate Majority Leader and tax committee chairman Brandt Hershman, who helped GOP Gov. Mike Pence cut corporate taxes last spring. “We all like low taxes … but we have to ensure the stability of a revenue stream to provide basic services that our citizens expect.” -(GOP Doesn't Learn From Sam Brownback's Tax Debacle)
One of the first pieces of legislation on the calendar for the new Congress would give a green light to the Keystone XL oil pipeline. It's been held up by court challenges and a regulatory review for more than six years. Backers hope to change that through legislation, but the White House is threatening a veto ...(Keystone XL Pipeline Gets Another Chance With New Congress). So much for "responsible governing" by a whiny, gerrymandered group that got fewer votes than their opponents (House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans, Senate Democrats got 20 million more votes than Senate Republicans).
Next, they will try to destroy efforts to bring down green house gases to help all of civilization.
Which is exactly as Dredd Blog expected (Oil-Qaeda Wins Big - 2).
The previous post in this series is here.
Irrationality within the cultural trance ...