Aaron Schock’s Conservative Boilerplate…


There is some truth in this…though one might see me scrolling through Paul Krugman articles trying to come up with data to refute ridiculous argumenst such as this one made by Aaron Schock:

This week, President Obama introduced his budget blueprint for the next 10 years. It’s a budget that isn’t serious but carries serious consequences.

Earlier this month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the federal government’s deficit will exceed $1 trillion for 2012, the fourth year in a row. Since January 2009, when President Obama took office, the accumulated debt has risen from $10.63 trillion to $15.4 trillion. Should our country choose to follow the president’s new spending plan, by 2022 the debt will reach $25.9 trillion. By that point, we would be paying nearly $1 trillion in annual interest alone. The U.S. already is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends.

Since taking office, he has advocated for the same policies: more increased taxes, more spending, more borrowing and more deficits. If consistency were currency, the president just might have a chance at wiping out our debt. The president continues to claim that the debt problem could be solved if the wealthy would pay more taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if we taxed all household income over $250,000 at 100 percent, the revenue would not cover this year’s deficit.

Despite these facts, the president’s budget contains $1.9 trillion in new taxes and $47 trillion in government spending over the next decade. He takes credit for more than $2 trillion in savings that were the result of a debt-limit deal passed last year by Congress over his objections. In addition, he claims to “cut” spending by $850 billion by not having wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is hardly honest budgeting.

Consider the facts:

Last year, the House was the only chamber to pass a budget. We have been waiting on the Senate to do the same for more than 1,000 days. Our plan would have put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path, encouraging private sector investment and growth in the U.S. economy. We need a willing partner in the Senate. Their inaction is a dereliction of their duty to the American people.

Next month, House Republicans will release our own budget. It will again offer bold solutions to curb short-term deficits and address the long-term drivers of our debt – entitlement programs. Medicare is on track to run out of money in 2024, Social Security the same by 2036. By choosing the strategy of the ostrich, the president is signaling that he isn’t serious about ensuring these programs for retiring baby boomers and future generations. That will hurt the very people he claims to protect: the middle class. The reality is that if we do nothing, every dollar we collect in tax revenue will go towards these programs in 2045.

At the behest of House Republicans, the government cut spending last year. For the first time since World War II, we spent less than the previous year. We have enacted legislation that cuts spending even further for 2012.

Our work is just beginning. These problems can be fixed. It will take leadership and tough decisions. The House will show again that it can be done. President Obama and the Senate need to join us.

Congressman Aaron Schock represents the 18th District, which encompasses Peoria.

Well, he gets a few things wrong, though I agree that Medicare needs to be fixed. As far as what he gets wrong: President Obama calls for a balanced approach. And his argument that “taxing the wealthy won’t completely solve our problems therefore we shouldn’t do it” is crazy. From someone who actually knows something about economics (Paul Krugman):

Let me suggest two areas in which it would make a lot of sense to raise taxes in earnest, not just return them to pre-Bush levels: taxes on very high incomes and taxes on financial transactions.

About those high incomes: In my last column I suggested that the very rich, who have had huge income gains over the last 30 years, should pay more in taxes. I got many responses from readers, with a common theme being that this was silly, that even confiscatory taxes on the wealthy couldn’t possibly raise enough money to matter.

Folks, you’re living in the past. Once upon a time America was a middle-class nation, in which the super-elite’s income was no big deal. But that was another country.

The I.R.S. reports that in 2007, that is, before the economic crisis, the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers — roughly speaking, people with annual incomes over $2 million — had a combined income of more than a trillion dollars. That’s a lot of money, and it wouldn’t be hard to devise taxes that would raise a significant amount of revenue from those super-high-income individuals.

For example, a recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center points out that before 1980 very-high-income individuals fell into tax brackets well above the 35 percent top rate that applies today. According to the center’s analysis, restoring those high-income brackets would have raised $78 billion in 2007, or more than half a percent of G.D.P. I’ve extrapolated that number using Congressional Budget Office projections, and what I get for the next decade is that high-income taxation could shave more than $1 trillion off the deficit.

If you use Mr. Schock’s logic: we should never cut any program because cutting any one program won’t balance the budget.
Also, this growth in spending is, in part, due to a poor economy that Mr. Obama inherited. We haven’t made it easier to qualify for safety nets; it is just that so many lost jobs that more are needing to use them.

Punish the slackers: A Republican fetish
Paul Krugman again:

And what these severe conservatives hate, above all, is reliance on government programs. Rick Santorum declares that President Obama is getting America hooked on “the narcotic of dependency.” Mr. Romney warns that government programs “foster passivity and sloth.” Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, requires that staffers read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” in which heroic capitalists struggle against the “moochers” trying to steal their totally deserved wealth, a struggle the heroes win by withdrawing their productive effort and giving interminable speeches.

Many readers of The Times were, therefore, surprised to learn, from an excellent article published last weekend, that the regions of America most hooked on Mr. Santorum’s narcotic — the regions in which government programs account for the largest share of personal income — are precisely the regions electing those severe conservatives. Wasn’t Red America supposed to be the land of traditional values, where people don’t eat Thai food and don’t rely on handouts?

The article made its case with maps showing the distribution of dependency, but you get the same story from a more formal comparison. Aaron Carroll of Indiana University tells us that in 2010, residents of the 10 states Gallup ranks as “most conservative” received 21.2 percent of their income in government transfers, while the number for the 10 most liberal states was only 17.1 percent.

You might say: well, people who live around these slackers are the ones who are against all of this free handouts. But from personal experience: I’ve heard the very recipients of such aid…complaining about people on the same aid!!! You see: THEY are different, it is all of those “others” who are undeserving.

Yes, I know that there are some no-good-for-nothings on public aid. Yes, I get a bit irritated when those on aid complain about the high price of cigarettes (if they can afford cigarettes…why can’t they afford food?)

Nevertheless, people will never behave optimally all of the time; I certainly don’t! It is unrealistic to make perfect optimal behavior a condition for aid. And yes, most people who get aid of some sort use it correctly….and many of us who claim to have never used the government HAVE.

Me: my college education was directly paid for by the tax payer; I served in the military, drew veterans benefits, got federal fellowships and grants to help with my graduate education (at a state subsidized school), had a teaching assistantship, got grants for research, etc.

And even now, my students get some state and federal aid for their studies…and for me, “no students” means “no job”.

I would be profoundly ignorant to claim that I get no help from the government.

And…some of those who scream about government spending too much money??? They went to the same school I did, drew a government paycheck…and many now work for….wait for it…DEFENSE CONTRACTORS. Their hypocrisy is unbelievable.


February 18, 2012 - Posted by | Aaron Schock, Barack Obama, economy, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans

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