Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Congressman DeFazio: "We need to help the next generation to succeed! We need money to pay for it!"

Fellow activist and author, Nando of Third Tier Reality, was watching C-SPAN Live this morning, and shared this clip with me. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) took the floor of the House and gave an impassioned speech. The overall talk was about jobs and taxes, but he then mentioned the need to INVEST in the next generation. We're apparently lost in the mix, but that will change. (I have already reached out to Congressman DeFazio's office and let them know how much I appreciated his remarks about higher education).

The gentleman from Oregon was given five minutes to speak. DeFazio first stated: 

Well, I was, uh, initially very supportive of the President's proposed Buffet tax based on the premise that no millionaire or billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a check-out clerk at Alberton's supermarket or a small business owner who only earns $40,000 a year. Seemed fair to me. But, you know, then I started listening to the Republican response. And it's pretty heavy, and really gives you pause to think whether or not this is a good idea for our country. It's class warfare. It will hurt job creation. You know, these are arguments . . . that it won't raise money. These are arguments that are certainly very, very, very telling. In fact I have some direct quotes from one Representative. 'This is really the Dr. Kevorkian plan for our economy. It will kill jobs, kill businesses, yes, even kill the higher tax revenues. These suicidal tax increasers hope to gain.'
Wow! Now that's some strong rhetoric! Suicidal tax increasers?!? How's that for describing your colleagues on the other side of the aisle? Talk about unleashing hatred and class warfare.

Donate $10 to help AEM continue to actively raise awareness about the student lending crisis. 

DeFazio didn't let up. He continued:
Another Representative [said], 'class warfare may win political campaigns, but it doesn't spur economic growth. Raising the capital gains tax may garner political capital, but it will not create any jobs.' And then finally of course, 'when are we going to get it? We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
DeFazio summed up:
Those are heavy criticisms. And what if those proved true? What a disaster it would be for America. Now these criticisms were all leveled in 1993 the last time we had a Democratic President propose that millionaires and billionaires should pay a fair rate of taxes in this country [my emphasis].  
And here we are again . . . Sound familiar?

He went on to say that the first criticism was from Rep. Christopher Cox, who he described as "total idiot." Cox ran the Securities Exchange Commission, "while Wall Street gambled our economy into the tank."

DeFazio also pointed out that the health of the economy was far better under Clinton, and unemployment was at 3.8%. And at that time, the country was asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.

 And then he asked "What have [the Republicans] done to create a single job this year? Nothing! In fact, they have eliminated jobs. But that's because," he said sarcastically, "we want to give the 'job creators' a break. We don't want to tax them . . . all to protect tax cuts."

And now what? DeFazio reminds us that there has been "$5 trillion of tax cuts over the past decade! $5 trillion! Five-thousand billion dollars of tax cuts! Heavily oriented towards the 'job creators,' the millionaires and the billionaires. Where are the jobs?!?"

The jobs?!? The jobs are disappearing still and rapidly! That's right, folks. They are cutting them! DeFazio knows that. I know that. You know that. We know they are cutting jobs left and right. Look at Bank of America's recent announcement. They are going to lay off 30,000 people!  Cisco Systems has gotten rid of over 12,000 employees, claiming that they are running more efficiently as a result! The list goes on . . .

As DeFazio continued to ask, and so do I, and so do you, "Where are the jobs?!? Where are they?!?"

He concluded: "It doesn't work. First, it was eight years of Bush tax cuts, and then two years of Bush-Obama tax cuts, and now we had President Obama's proposed further tax cuts. Tax cuts don't create jobs."

Meanwhile hedge fund managers on Wall Street, DeFazio asserted, enjoy less taxes on the billions of dollars they make on speculation than the small business owner or the Army Captain  who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq.

Pitch in $10 to help AEM return to D.C. in November! 

That's why we need the Buffet Tax. That's why Congress must pass the American Jobs Act.

And here's a critical nugget about student loan debt and financial aid. DeFazio said:

[With the Buffett Tax], we can create jobs, stabilize the economy, get down the deficit, and continue to fund critical programs . . . that ironically, that was in the grand deal . . . that was adopted back here a month ago - that I voted against - there was only one specified cut. One cut specified in that bill. Graduate student financial aid. That's because at the country club they don't meet anybody who can't put their kids through medical school. We need doctors. We need other professionals. We need to help the next generation succeed. Education, infrastructure investment, and we need money to pay for it! 
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!



Nando said...

Thanks for posting this, Cryn. Also, thank you for the recognition and plug.

You are doing great work, on this issue. I am glad to help out, when I can - and am not too busy beating up on the law schools. I realize that the problem is MUCH deeper than the law schools.

Outstanding student loan debt, in this country, is approaching $1 trillion. As far as I can tell, DeFazio is one member of Congress who is a deep thinker. In today's political climate, he seems to be an exception to the rule. (People would be surprised how many BLITHERING MORONS are occupying seats in the Congress. Many of these arrogant pigs do not even listen to those providing congressional testimony. They are not interested in learning, or the facts. MANY simply want to hear their own stupid voice.)

To your readers: you should also reach out to Peter DeFazio - and thank him for his work on your behalf. Furthermore, we should thank him for being a light, in a den of congressional cockroaches.

Anonymous said...

I believe Cox worked for the Securities Exchange Commission, not the Federal Exchange Commission.

In regards to DeFazio's reference of the 1993 tax increase, there was a huge tax increase imposed on luxury items, such as yatchs, under the belief that the rich needed to be punished for the crime of being rich.

Of course, the unintended consequence of that was that the rich weren't punished with the tax, it was the poor people who built the yatchs who got punished. All the higher tax did was discourage people from buying yatchs, which in turn forced the companies that make yatchs to lay employees off. Eventually, that luxury tax was repealed. Apparently, that lesson needs to be repeated again and again.

Anonymous said...


If tax cuts create jobs, where are all the jobs? We've been cutting taxes for years. Plenty of fortune 500 companies don't even pay taxes.

SG said...

I honestly think the issue of taxes is overrated. It's a smokescreen for the deeper infrastructural rot we've been taking on since at least the Reagan administration. This rot includes the toxic belief that we can spend our way to prosperity, a shift from a manufacturing economy to one of financial services which adds very little real value to the economy (what was the housing/securities bubble if not a huge Ponzi scheme?) and crony capitalism and crony deregulation between Wall Street and Washington that perverts everything free markets stand for.

I highly recommend everyone watch the video linked below in which Peter Schiff speaks to congress about why more stimulus, the jobs bill, and increased taxes on the wealthy won't work. His argument is clear-minded because he lives his arguments every day as a business owner. It's not just the taxes that are killing his business, but all the litigation he encounters when hiring and all the choking regulations. He's right when he says the cost of labor is just too high in this country when you factor in all the taxes businesses have to pay (just listen to how much he pays in taxes!) as well as all the federal regs they have to follow. You'll be shocked to hear he was fined $15K by security regulators because he hired too many people, and had to pay over $500K in legal bills defending his right to hire all those people! And because of this regulation, he's had a hiring freeze for three years by regulators! Also, it costs him millions a year just to stay in business so he can comply with regulations that don't help his bottom line, either for his workers or for his product.

This is largely the reason why businesses began outsourcing, because the cost of labor was so absurdly high due to government regulations, minimum wage laws, unions, and legal risk on the employer's part.

Everyone is quick to say deregulation is evil, but they fail to understand only CRONY deregulation is evil. That is, the kind of deregulation the TBTF banks got, which was absurd. The only way they got that level of dereguation was because they had the cash to buy out politicians. Peter Schiff and other smaller business owners don't have access to such corrupt deregulation (and they shouldn't!) and must make do with stagnating government regulation. The answer is to get rid of the choking government regulations on businesses and end the corrupt deregulation and financial goodies given to Wall Street and huge corporations like GE by the government. With either small or large businesses, GOVERNMENT is the common denominator, and it's a hindrance on businesses and the economy.

Schiff also goes on to make another excellent point, that government revenue doesn't help grow small businesses in the form of loans to small biz because that loan money is instead used to grow bubbles like the housing bubble and -- wait for it -- the student loan bubble! That's largely a reason I don't think raising taxes will help and that the Buffett tax is a joke, because the increased tax revenue won't go to established small businesses who could use it to hire more people and grow their businesses. I say ESTABLISHED to distinguish those successful small businesses from the ones that were just spawns of crony capitalism, like Solyndra.


Schiff link:

SG said...

...part II:

Finally, Schiff made me realize that the Obama jobs plan mandate of giving tax incentives to employers to employ those out of work longer than six months may very well backfire, especially if it is made law. If it's made law, employers simply won't even bother to interview long-term unemployed because if they do and they turn down that applicant, they could be sued by the applicant for job discrimination because they were out of work too long. No employer wants that litigation headache, so they won't bother at all with long-term unemployed. They could also game the system by giving someone a job who's only been unemployed for maybe 5 months, wait a month, and then formally hire them and get the tax credit that way. Either way, the long-term unemployed's situation is made worse, not better, by this plan.

Now, I'm aware that taxes on the wealthy were higher during the Clinton era, and the economy was booming. But I think this might be a "correlation does not equal causation" issue. Things were fundamentally different during the Clinton years: crony deregulation and crony capitalism was gaining steam for sure (Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Greenspan were running wild in the White House, after all), but it was nowhere near as bad as it would become in the Bush era, and we still had a better manufacturing base before outsourcing and high tech displaced an absurd amount of jobs. AND we didn't have an insane amount of debt from endless wars of choice that the Bush administration enacted. All of these positive factors helped our economy thrive and overcome any drag on the economy that taxing the wealthy may have incurred.

About layoffs: honestly, I'm not heartbroken that BoA is laying off 30,000 workers. Talk about a bloated and corrupt organization that needs to trim A LOT of fat. They're damn lucky they got that bailout and didn't fold completely, which is what SHOULD have happened if Washington wasn't in bed with Wall Street. And the blame for the layoffs should really go to the government, which allowed the housing bubble to blow up which allowed BoA to employ all those unnecessary people who are now being laid off.

Look: both Republicans AND Democrats haven't done a single thing to create jobs, and I don't think more stimulus such as Obama's new job plan or a Buffett tax is going to help because it's like Peter Schiff says: it's just more heroin for the dying patient. It soothes the pain temporarily but doesn't get to the root of the problem: a bloated government keeping major institutions like banks and auto companies on artificial life support instead of lending money to small businesses that have promise, and strangling businesses with taxes and regulations. And corruption being what it is in Washington, any additional revenue from the Buffett tax will be misspent anyway.

But will any politician -- on the left or the right -- do the sane thing and stop the government bailouts and spending and let the recession run its course and perhaps get worse for it to get better in the long run? Of course not, it's political suicide!

However, I do think that the vast amount of student loan debt should be forgiven simply because so much of the debt was based on fraud -- either directly by the schools who lied about post-grad employment stats, or the government itself that helped grow the student loan bubble and shoot tuition into the stratosphere with evil shit like SLABS.

One Who Survived said...

Jesus H Christ, you fell for this?

De Fazio is just another mainstream hack political opportunist.

Emperor Obama and the "Democrat" wing of America's ruling party, are doing NOTHING to "change" anything. 3 trillion dollars over the next TEN years, isn't even a reduction in spending, it's just a fraction of a reduction of the anticipated increases in spending, most of which increases in spending are, and will be, as they've been for several decades...

...increases in spending on America's STUPID F---ing MILITARY EMPIRE!

And the bloody Democrat wing of America's ruling party has still NOT made even the SLIGHTEST MOVE to END THE BLOODY AMERICAN EMPIRE!

And you still fall for this bullshit? What, just because this Congressman is a "Democrat"?

Hey, I'll tell you what would make me take Congressman De Fazio seriously: He could start by saying, "America's national interests do not require any military bases outside of the USA, so I propose withdrawing all US military from everywhere outside of the USA, and destroying our nuclear arsenal, and as for Israel, Israel's problems are none of our business."

Cryn Johannsen said...

@OneWhoSurvived - uh, I "fell for this?" Wow. That's not condescending or anything. Thanks.

But you only kinda give a shit about me, so should I be surprised by your tone. Nope.