Finally Confirmed: GOP ‘IS’ Out of Touch

GOP Report Shows Party is Out of Touch With Americans on Threats to Democracy: Money in Politics and Voter Suppression

The Republican National Committee released a report today reviewing its losses in the 2012 election cycle and laying out a roadmap for the future of the party.  People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This report highlights what we already knew: that the Republican party is out of touch with America. Instead of addressing the party’s anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-worker policies that voters resoundingly rejected in 2012, today’s report calls for a complete gutting of campaign finance reform – in essence calling for even more big money to be poured into our elections.  If the Republican party were listening to Americans, they would know that the country supports finding systemic solutions to the problem of unregulated money in our political system.  The answer is certainly not to gut the regulations we already have in place.  Instead, we need to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases so that we can create more effective regulations to get big money out of our democracy.

“The GOP report’s recommendations on voting rights also underscore a continuing focus on keeping certain voters from the polls.  After an election cycle overflowing with examples of discriminatory voter suppression efforts aimed at historically disenfranchised communities, the report recommends an ongoing focus on so-called  ‘ballot security training initiatives.’  This is simply another phrase for the same voter intimidation tactics used in the name of preventing supposed ‘voter fraud.’  It’s baffling that the GOP thinks it can improve its image with people of color while still working to block their access to the ballot box.

“This report is yet another example that the GOP’s ‘soul-searching’ hasn’t gotten them very far.  It’s time to refocus our efforts on getting the big money out of elections and the voters into the voting booth.”

Ready to go?

Just exactly how much lipstick have they purchased?  Maybeline and Revlon combined couldn’t make enough lipstick to take care of that pachyderm.

Yesterday— the Republican National Committee released its wide-ranging “autopsy” report called the “Growth And Opportunity Project Report.” In it, the party admits to several shortcomings that contributed to the party’s wide losses in the 2012 election. A portion of the report includes market research from voter focus groups around the country. Not surprisingly, when asked to describe Republicans, respondents said that the party was “scary,” “narrow-minded,” “out of touch,” and full of “stuffy old men.”  What’s most interesting is that the report failed to quantify just how out of touch their party has become on a number of issues, from climate change, to marriage equality, to universal background checks, to women’s rights, to the minimum wage, and more.

The GOP thinks they merely have a messaging problem … and just need to change a few words they used to talk about things.  HAH! Now that’s a joke and a half.  Maybe they should look at their 2012 Platform. Better yet, maybe they should look at what is happening in State Legislatures and what members of their party have introduced in the Congress:

  • Restricting access to or insurance reimbursement of costs associated with an abortion;
  • Restricting time frames in which a woman could seek an abortion to 12-weeks and in on case, to 6-weeks from conception;
  • Mandating the use of transvaginal ultrasounds and other medically unnecessary procedures as a means to shame women;
  • Gleefully and gloatingly defunding Planned Parenthood;
  • Attempting to elevate “religious” rights above all others to allow zealots to assert their religious rights to deny all types of service and/or medications should it offend “their” personal religious beliefs, making their beliefs superior to yours;
  • Continually attempting to repeal Obamacare and providing NO replacement;
  • Promoting continued systemic discrimination against the LGBT community, as a whole, via marriage inequality espoused throughout our Nation’s income tax and estate tax structures;
  • Attempting to enact one voter suppression tactic after another to disenfranchise voters as well as restricting early voting opportunities;
  • Continually filibustering one bill after another, even those introduced by Republicans;
  • Blocking Consumer Financial Protection and making multiple attempts to repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform;
  • Promoting racial profiling as a means of harassment to convince Hispanics to “self-deport’ ;
  • Promoting Personhood for embryos and essentially demoting women’s status to nothing more than an incubator;
  • Replacing Democracy with Dictatorships (Overseers);
  • Promoting fatherhood visitation rights for rapists.

I’m sure I’ve missed of few other big issues we’ve had to overcome … but need I go on?  There’s a politically incorrect term we frequently used when I was in the Navy to define that kind of behavior.  The term stars with “cluster.”  The GOPs (Grouchy Old Patriarchs) problem is much more than a “messaging” problem.  It’s a policy problem and we should cheer them on  in pursuit of their messaging delusion.  It will most certainly shorten their path to minor party status.  We may have a few challenges to overcome in the short run, but we’ll all be much better off in the long run.

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself,  take your pick, click a pic or two.  Read/compare a few — then compare the numbers.

2012-GOP-Platform GOP Growth Opportunity Rpt 2009-GOP-Road-to-Recovery 2010-GOP-Better-Solutions
GOP 2012 Platform GOP Growth Opportunites 2009 Path to Recovery 2010-Better Solutions
2010-Pledge-to-America Path to Poverty v1.0 Path to Poverty v2.0 Path to Poverty v3.0
2010-Pledge to America P2P v1.0 P2P v2.0 P2P v3.0
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Latest GOP Budget Marks Latest Attack on Women

Budgets are statements of values and priorities. Based on the GOP’s latest budget, apparently the interests of women are not a priority.

Here’s a look at how the GOP budget is bad for women and children.

P2Pv3-0

Here’s a link to a comparison of the numbers of all three versions of Ryan’s Path to Poverty budgets. [Numbers compiled from 112-HCONRES34112-HCONRES112, 113-HCONRES###]

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Ryan’s Path to Poverty v3.0 = Romney Plan

— by ThinkProgress War Room, March 12, 2013

The New Old GOP Plan That Favors Millionaires Over the Middle Class

As you may recall, we had an election last year in which Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and their ideas were soundly rejected by voters.

Well, one person appears to have not gotten the message: Paul Ryan. Today, Ryan released the latest draconian budget from House Republicans and it is “almost identical to the Republican presidential platform in 2012.”

Here’s a closer at just how closely Ryan hewed to the unpopular and extreme policies he and Romney ran on — and lost.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

The Progressive Alternative

The United States faces a $15.6 trillion national debt — a debt that was largely brought about over the last 10 years by Bush Administration policies which included two wars, huge tax breaks for the rich, and a prescription drug program written by the drug companies — all unpaid for.  The national debt also increased as a result of the declining federal tax revenues occurring during the current recession, a severe economic downturn caused by the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street.

The debate now happening in Washington over deficit reduction comes at an unusual moment in American economic history.  While the middle class is in rapid decline and poverty is increasing, the wealthiest people in our country and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well.  Over the last several decades almost all new income created in this country has gone to the top 1 percent who now earn more income than the bottom 50 percent.  Further, the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country, with the top 400 individuals owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million.

Given the reality of record-breaking corporate profits and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, it should surprise no one that every recently published poll suggests that the overwhelming majority of the American people want the deficit to be addressed through shared sacrifice.  They believe that the richest people in this country should also contribute toward deficit reduction.  They do not believe that the deficit should be reduced solely on the backs of working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor — many of whom are already suffering as a result of the recession.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Republicans have proposed.

The Republican House of Representatives, led by Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, recently released their FY 2013 budget proposal which calls for devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare as well as cuts to Pell Grants, food stamps, employment training, affordable housing, infrastructure, environmental protection and virtually every program that low and moderate-income Americans depend upon.  Amazingly, while the Republican budget writers waged a vicious and unprecedented attack on the needs of working families, they do not ask the wealthiest people in this country, whose effective tax rates are now the lowest in decades, to contribute one dime more for deficit reduction.  Quite the contrary: they not only would permanently enshrine the Bush tax cuts for the rich for another decade, they actually add four new major tax cuts for wealthy Americans, worth $4.6 trillion more!  Clearly this budget has little to do with deficit reduction.  It is nothing more than an acceleration of the right-wing Republican war against the middle class and working families.  More tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and savage cuts in programs for struggling middle-class families.

Click here to read more about my progressive alternative to the Ryan budget.

Further, not only do they not ask wealthy families to pay more in taxes, they also ignore the giant loopholes that enable extremely profitable corporations (like General Electric, Bank of America, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and many more) to pay little or no federal income taxes.

While Ryan’s budget cuts low-income programs beyond the severe cuts imposed by last year’s Budget Control Act, it actually goes the other way on defense.  Despite the fact that we now spend more on the military than every other country combined, the Republican budget cuts $200 billion less on defense spending over 10 years than the act requires.
The American people are sick and tired of seeing the richest people in this country become much richer while virtually everybody else becomes poorer.  They want fairness and justice from Washington.  At a time when millions of working families are struggling to keep their heads above water economically, they do not want deficit reduction placed on the backs of the weak and vulnerable.

Together, we must take on the big money interests and their lobbyists and supporters in Congress and demand that the very wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes.  Through a strong grass-roots movement we must demand that Congress adopts proposals that they otherwise would like to ignore.  The Occupy Movement has played a critical role in exposing the growing income and wealth disparities in our country, as well as the uncontrollable greed on Wall Street.  That fight must continue.  The American people must stay engaged in this debate.

That is why I have outlined a number of ways that Congress and the President can tackle deficit reduction in a way that protects the needs of working people and the most vulnerable, while at the same time calling for shared sacrifice from the wealthy and large corporations.  I hope you will study these proposals and demand that Congress act on them.

Please click here to read more and to join me in calling for a just and fair approach to deficit reduction.  Please sign my petition today.

Thank you for all that you do.  Together we are ensuring that our progressive voice reaches not only the halls of Congress, but every corner of America.

Sincerely,
Bernie
Senator Bernie Sanders

Ryan-Romney Budget Gives Away the Store

Congressman Paul Ryan has finally endorsed Mitt Romney as his preferred candidate for president.   Yeah, like we didn’t expect that coming.  Thus, it should be no surprise that both Romney and Ryan support the same key budget tenets — massive cuts to programs critical to its economic security of middle class Americans, and ending Medicare for our nation’s seniors as we’ve known it and paid into throughout our working careers — all so they can transform our nation’s wealth into outrageous tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

There budget plans would

  • Turn Medicare into a voucher program to help pay for massive tax cuts to the wealthiest.
  • Turn Medicaid into a block grant program that can easily be underfunded or diverted by states for other purposes.
  • Protect tax loopholes that benefit oil companies and hedge fund managers.
  • Repeal Health Care Reform, re-opening the do-nut hole, re-instituting pre-existing conditions and increasing health care costs to every American by thousands of dollars for not just medical premiums and services but in increased taxes as well.
  • Make arbitrary cuts to programs essential to middle-class families like education, environment and clean energy.
  • Provide large new tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, above and beyond any permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts
  • Not balance the budget and in fact, would increase our national debt.

But beyond the deep cuts in programs, those cuts mean some serious job losses in the public sector.  That means the Republicans intend to dump more Americans into the unemployment roles and simultaneously slash the safety net that would have assisted them.

Romney has said he is on the same page as Ryan – even “applauding” Ryan’s budget – so America’s seniors and the middle class need to take note of what this budget means to and for them.  Here’s a press release from the Obama/Biden Campaign that compares the two GOP budgets.  Is that where you think American should be going?  Do those represent your priorities for America?  If not, then get of your duff and get out there and fight for our ticket!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Obama/Biden Campaign

THE RYAN-ROMNEY BUDGET PROMOTES GIVEAWAYS TO OIL COMPANIES, WALL STREET,
AND THE WEALTHIEST WHILE SENIORS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS FOOT THE BILL

“Governor Romney has said he is on the same page as Congressman Ryan, so America’s seniors and the middle class should take note of what that means for them. The Romney and Ryan budgets would turn Medicare into a voucher program, increase health care costs to seniors by thousands of dollars and make arbitrary cuts to programs essential to middle class families like education and clean energy, all while giving massive tax cuts to the wealthiest and protecting taxpayer subsidies to oil companies and hedge fund managers. And by repealing health care reform and cutting over $1 trillion from Medicaid, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan would deny coverage to approximately 50 million Americans who currently have it, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients and people with disabilities. We can’t do the same thing and expect a different result – Governor Romney has embraced a carbon copy of the policies that led to the economic crisis.” — Ben LaBolt, Press Secretary

ROMNEY-RYAN BUDGET: TAX CUTS FOR THE TOP, DEEP CUTS FOR THE MIDDLE-CLASS

The budget released today by Rep. Paul Ryan mirrors the radical policies supported by Gov. Mitt Romney: massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, privatize Medicare and deep, arbitrary cuts that hurt middle-class families.

Ryan’s Path to Poverty

Romney Budget Plan

Mutual Admiration 
  • “Look at what he put out! This is a great development. … This tracks perfectly with the House budget.” — Ryan on Romney’s budget,  Washington Post, 11/4/11
  • “When Paul Ryan put his plan out in the first place, I said it was a major advance, a big step forward, we were on the same page.”  — Romney on Ryan’s Medicare plan New York Times, 2/1/12
Privatizes Medicare 
  • YES. Turns Medicare into a voucher program that shifts costs to seniors.
  • YES. Similar voucher plans make seniors pay $6,350 more a year.
  • Charges seniors more for prescription drugs and preventive care.
  • Increases payments to insurance companies by $100 billion and repeals other reforms, accelerating the exhaustion of the Medicare trust fund to 2016.
Breaks Bipartisan Deal on Spending 
  • YES. Deep cuts to domestic spending would break the bipartisan agreement.
  • Cuts would cost jobs and hurt average Americans, slashing investments in education, clean energy and scientific and medical research.
  • YES. Proposes similarly deep cuts to discretionary spending that would also break the bipartisan deal.
  • Holding true to his promise to balance the budget would require deeper cuts to all domestic spending than the House plan.
Huge Tax Cuts for the Wealthy 
  • YES. Extends all of the Bush tax cuts.
  • Provides trillions more in tax rate cuts weighted towards the rich without specifying how to pay for them.
  • YES. Extends all of the Bush tax cuts.
  • Provides $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted towards the wealthy without specifying how to pay for them.
Deep Cuts in Medicaid and Healthcare Coverage 
  • YES. Repeals health reform and cuts over $1 trillion from Medicaid over the decade.
  • Deny coverage to up to 60 million people, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients, and people with disabilities.
  • YES. Repeals health reform and cuts over $1 trillion from Medicaid over the decade.
  • Deny coverage to up to 53 million people, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients, and people with disabilities.
Repeals Key Protections in Wall Street Reform 
  • YES. Rolls back key protections in Wall Street Reform designed to prevent future financial crises and end the era of “too big to fail.”
  • YES. Repeals all of Wall Street Reform,  even though it creates no budget  savings.

End note:  Absent from the Obama/Biden press release above was the restoration of the sequestration cuts that were made to military spending which takes up, by far, the largest portion of spending in the federal budget.  It is time to put our money “where our mouth is” and stop putting money into more and more weapons of destruction and involving our Country in one armed conflict after another.  Maybe we should mandate that every Republican is required to watch that new “Bully” film.