Sea-questers

Jason bringing Pelias the Golden Fleece; a win...

Jason bringing Pelias the Golden Fleece; a winged victory prepares to crown him with a wreath. Side A from an Apulian red-figure calyx crater, 340 BC–330 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Greek mythology, the original sea-questers were Jason and his band of Argonauts who sought the Golden Fleece on the southern shore of the Black Sea. It is thought that the Golden Fleece was an ordinary fleece that was used to separate gold from the surrounding ore much like modern gold miners use a pan while panning for gold.

In Washington, DC, on the banks of the Potomac, Grover Norquist and his band of Republican‘ts seek to mine taxpayer gold from the US Treasury for the 1%. Rather than panning for gold or seeking a modern-day Golden Fleece, they use lobbyists and campaign cash and back-room deals to mine for gold, hidden from public scrutiny by 501(c)(4) charitable? organizations.

Advertisements

Loopholes

Loophole

Loophole (Photo credit: Travis S.)

Loopholes in Federal tax laws were originally enacted to aid struggling industries by subsidizing them with lower rates or accelerated depreciation or some other mechanism. Many loopholes were put into place during the period 1953 to 1959 when Ohio Congressman John H. Loophole was the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means committee of the House of Representatives. Now 50 years later, many of those loopholes have outlived their usefulness, but industry is unwilling to give them up. Who outside of the oil industry would argue that Big Oil needs an $8 billion per year tax break? Very few I believe.

President Obama has proposed a balanced alternative to the looming sequester, a balanced approach that raises revenue and reduces future expenditures. Republicans in Congress are unwilling to even consider raising revenue by closing some loopholes.

Please see Sequestration

If

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I lost my home due to fire, earthquake, flood, hurricane or tornado, and the insurance company refused to reimburse me or went bankrupt due to a large number of claims, I would be homeless.

If Congress reduced my Social Security payments below the rate of inflation and cut Medicare payments and I did not save enough for retirement, I would live my golden years in poverty.

If I suffered a major accident or acquired a life-threatening illness and my insurer refused to cover the necessary treatment, I would live on with pain or die early.

If I subscribed to the above, I would support Ron Paul and the GOP. However, I do not subscribe to those views and therefore I support Barack Obama.

Minimum wage

US Minimum wage laws, from Image:Blank_US_Map.svg

US Minimum wage laws, from Image:Blank_US_Map.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama has proposed raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. I support the proposal, although I think that a higher, living wage that accounts for different regional costs of living would be better. The higher minimum wage would make life easier for the working poor and it would lift all boats by raising the entire pay scale for everyone. It would not decrease employment significantly.

Members of the GOP oppose a minimum wage increase for several reasons:

During periods of full employment, which is not the case now, a higher minimum wage would add to inflationary pressures.
They don’t care about the working poor.
Profits and possibly stock prices might be decreased, leading to lower bonuses for the CEOs of large corporations who are the people the GOP do care about.

The GOP should support a higher minimum wage since it would allow a portion of the 47% not currently paying income tax to start paying income tax on their higher take home pay. After all, Mitt Romney and others want more people to pay income taxes, but not higher taxes on members of the 1%.

Immigration reform

Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested 5

Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Congress will discuss the contentious idea of immigration reform later this year. Opponents will decry reform as a form of amnesty. Some in the GOP want to reform our immigration laws to grant a path to citizenship for the undocumented already here in the US. The final path to full citizenship will be tortuous and expensive. Basically the Republican position is we will grant you the right to vote if you will vote for us. If not, we will make it hard for you to gain citizenship and the right to vote and then we will work to make your vote not count through redistricting (gerrymandering).