Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) declared on Monday that he and other congressional Republicans would be willing to shut down the federal government in order to block further implementation of President Barack Obama's health care reform law.
The threat comes just days after House Republicans took their 38th vote to repeal part or all of Obamacare. Their latest move followed the Obama administration's announcement that it was delaying the law's employer mandate for a year, a decision that Republicans used to support their claims that Obamacare is unworkable.
Yeah. Shut down the federal government -
Except, of course, for their pay, their benefits and the taxpayer-funded government projects for which they accepted fat bribes to deliver to their particular state or district. Those MUST go on, "for the good of the country".
In addition to providing no funding for the health care reform law, The House Appropriations subcommittee has drafted legislation that “...would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 34 percent and eliminate [Obama’s] newly announced greenhouse gas regulations. The bill cuts financing for the national endowments for the arts and the humanities in half and the Fish and Wildlife Service by 27 percent.” Numerous other drastic cuts were included as well, including the elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The House GOP is not only comprised of fools but threatens the very existence of our country as we know it.
but THAT is the idea......
The Koch brothers can get left-leaning Americans' blood boiling just by drawing breath. Imagine the rage when they actually poke the bear a bit.
In its continued bid to leave its liberal counterparts as red-faced, flustered and hyperventilated as George Soros leaves his conservative detractors, the Charles Koch Foundation recently released a commercial that suggests an annual income of $34,000 puts a worker among the wealthiest 1% -- in the world.
The basic premise is that Americans don't need things like food stamps or the minimum wage to help them, because they're already so much better off than poor people in the world around them. The Economic Policy Institute can't help but disagree. Its Family Budget Calculator notes that a family of three would require an income of $45,000 a year to cover basic needs in Simpson County, Miss., the U.S. region with the lowest cost of living for a family of that size.
That need changes drastically by location and still dwarfs the $30,000 a year two parents working full time would make from the $7.25 minimum wage. In Wichita, Kan., where Think Progress notes Koch's $200,000 commercial campaign has begun, the amount of income needed to cover basic costs jumps to nearly $54,000.
Bloomberg puts Charles Koch's wealth alone at $43.4 billion. His brother and Koch Industries partner, David, is worth just as much. While that might jaundice their view of what a person on minimum wage needs to survive, Charles Koch insisted to the Wichita Eagle last week that the minimum wage is just one of the items that need to be removed:
In Koch's view, these factors put the hurt on "economic freedom." His ad cites a report from the Koch-funded Fraser Institute showing that the "United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom but our ranking fell. And it's projected to decline even further."
Granted, the same report ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Chile ahead of the U.S., despite the fact that they all have the government-run health care systems that Koch also loathes. When you're baiting your opponents into a lather, however, do those little details matter as much as the results?
Well this is both embarrassing and deeply telling.
In what appears to have been a gesture of goodwill gone haywire, McDonald's recently teamed up with Visa to create a financial planning site for its low-pay workforce. Unfortunately, whoever wrote the thing seems to have been literally incapable of imagining of how a fast food employee could survive on a minimum wage income. As ThinkProgress and other outlets have reported, the site includes a sample budget that, among other laughable assumptions, presumes that workers will have a second job.
As Jim Cook at Irregular Times notes, the $1,105 figure up top is roughly what the average McDonald's cashier earning $7.72 an hour would take home each month after payroll taxes, if they worked 40 hours a week. So this budget applies to someone just about working two full-time jobs at normal fast-food pay. (The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour, by the way).
A few of the other ridiculous conceits here: This hypothetical worker doesn't pay a heating bill. I guess some utilities are included in their $600 a month rent? (At the end of 2012, average rent in the U.S. was $1,048). Gas and groceries are bundled into $27 a day spending money. And this individual apparently has access to $20 a month healthcare. McDonald's, for its part, charges employees $12.58 a week for the company's most basic health plan. Well, that's if they've been with the company for a year. Otherwise, it's $14.
Now, it's possible that McDonald's and Visa meant this sample budget to reflect a two-person household. That would be a tad more realistic, after all. Unfortunately, the brochure doesn't give any indication that's the case. Nor does it change the fact that most of these expenses would apply to a single person.
Of course, minimum wage workers aren't really entirely on their own, especially if they have children. There are programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and the earned income tax credit to help them along. But that's sort of the point. When large companies make profits by paying their workers unlivable wages, we end up subsidizing their bottom lines.
there was a piece of detritus just posted about how much better things were in 1913.......what absolute bullshit.....the simpleminded keep looking back at the good old days forgetting what the good old days really were like.....the best the american people have had in the size of the middle class and the comfort of their existence just happens to have been inthe 50s and 60s....in the 70s the actual buying power of their income began to fade...coincidentally that waxing and waning coincides with union membership and with the offshoring of american manufacturing.....but these stooges want to convince the braindead to bring back the robber barons