Republicans choose tax breaks for the rich over extending benefits to unemployed Americans

I don’t know that I’m all that surprised to hear that all 42 Republican Senators have gone on record saying that they’ll block any legislation moving through Congress until the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy are extended. I kind of expected as much, given the amount of money they receive from the CEOs of corporate America. What surprises me, though, is the laughable lengths to which they’ll go in order to make it sound as though they’re doing it in order to help those of us who aren’t super-wealthy. The following video is of one such Republican – Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana – who appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program earlier today.

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OK, did you catch that bit at the end, where, after saying that his heart goes out to those Americans kept unemployed by Obama, Pence is asked straight up whether he’d prefer to extend unemployment benefits for those Americans who currently find themselves out of work, or cut taxes on the rich? Did you hear his response? He essentially says that the absolute worst thing you could do to an unemployed person in America is raise taxes on the rich, as they’re the ones who create jobs. Yup, that’s apparently better for them than… you know… feeding their families over the holidays, or keeping a roof over their heads. What those folks really need, according to Pence, is the wealthy to pay less in taxes. And it burns my ass that no one on the panel calls him on it, and that no one has the balls to ask him why, if these tax cuts are such powerful job creators, they haven’t led to jobs over these past 10 years. Bush passed these tax cuts way back in 2001, and these assholes have the audacity to stand up in front of us and say with straight faces that, if we extend them a little further, or, better yet, make them permanent, the jobs will start rolling in. And, then, on top of it, Pence has the audacity to say that in the last election the American people made it clear that they’re, “tired of class warfare rhetoric.” With all due respect to the Congressman, they said so such god damned thing. I just wish I’d known that he was in town on Monday, speaking to the Detroit Economic Club, so I could have told him so to his face.

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  1. Knox
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    In defense of Pence, licking crumbs from boots isn’t all that bad.

  2. Edward
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Rachel Maddow had something last night on the Republicans and their threat to filibuster if the Democrats suggest extending tax cuts for all but the rich. They have said, on the record, that they would be willing to stop tax cuts for 99% Americans if the rich aren’t included. In any other country, they would be run out of town on a rail. Here, no one gives a flying fuck.

  3. Tommy
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t take a brainiac to understand that individual income tax rates for the rich and rich people creating jobs are two very different beasts. Jobs are created when there is a demand for the product or service, which has nothing to do with a millionaire paying 350K (35%) as opposed to 375 or 390K (39%) in taxes. That extra 40K does NOTHING!. Buisness tax policy – something I am not overly familiar with and are unique from state to state – is obviously an area that needs to be addressed, as is creating an environment for small businesses to begin, grow, and thrive. That would involve lending and credit – something the banks want no part of theses days.

    It is not that those on the panel don’t have the balls to question this guy’s statements, they are just too dumb to know any better.

    Now – if the rich Senator said that extra money in everyone’s pocket helps create more consumption, which leads to big corporations continuing make big profits for their major shareholders (who just happen to be rich people) by using cheap Asian labor I would have some level of respect for him for telling the truth. They’re all a bunch of assholes – on both sides of the aisle.

  4. Mr. X
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t get how this fight is over 1.5%. The far left aren’t even asking for more taxes from them. They’re just asking that the rate go back to what it was before Bush “temporarily” raised them. They were never meant to be permanent, as we couldn’t afford them. They were meant to stimulate the economy, which they failed to do. Regardless, shouldn’t there be in a party in America pushing for the rich to pay more than 36.5%? Shouldn’t there be someone fighting for 50%, so that we can compromise on 38%? I don’t get how we decided that 36.5% is the absolute ceiling.

  5. Alice
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I think Stabenow came across really well on the Maddow show. It’s nice to be proud of her for a change.

  6. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I echo Edward. This is an outrage but everyone is too scared or working too hard or just too tired to act up. :(

  7. 734
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    One things that’s worth noting is that the top 2% would still benefit from the extension of the so-called “middle class” tax cuts. They will still get the lower rate on the first $250,000 of their income. It’s just the income above that that would be taxed at the pre-Bush rate.

  8. Edward
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    74% of American’s want to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

  9. Posted December 3, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Remember when “conservatives” were calling foul on the Health Care Bill stating that lawmakers were ignoring the wishes of everyday Americans?

    Wow, here we are.

  10. dan gillotte
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Hopefully, the Dems learned from Clinton to not budge on shit like this. When the Gingrich repubs threatened to “shut down” the government, CLinton called their bluff and won. A good essay on the sunject here: Hopefully, Obama and the Dems play this right.

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