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Unfortunately for Pennsylvanians, Republican Pat Toomey was swept into Arlen Specter's old Senate seat on the inertia of the angry, angry Tea Party voters last November. I felt sorry for Keystone Staters when Toomey won that election....they deserve better.
"I intend to introduce legislation that would require the Treasury to make interest payments on our debt its first priority in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a Friday Wall Street Journal op-ed.
What would Toomey's boneheaded idea accomplish?
Toomey's plan would require the government to cut large checks to foreign countries, and major financial institutions, before paying off its obligations to Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens owed money by the Treasury -- that is, if the U.S. hits its debt ceiling.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said of Toomey's plan....."this idea is unworkable", adding.....
"...Adopting a policy that payments to investors should take precedence over other U.S. legal obligations would merely be default by another name, since the world would recognize it as a failure by the U.S. to stand behind its commitments."
Radical rightist, Pat Toomey....just in case his Party members and he fail to raise the U.S. debt ceiling in a couple of months......would like for Chinese investors in U.S. Treasury bonds to be paid BEFORE U.S. seniors get their Social Security checks.
Here's what one of Toomey's colleagues had to say about his plan...
"I think it is a dreadful idea," Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) told National Journal. "Basically what they are saying is, pay China first. Are we going to forget about the American public and the things that they need? Somehow they are secondary? And paying the Chinese and the Japanese is the first priority of this country? I don't even know how to describe that idea; it's just a very, very bad one."
There's something not quite right about Mr. Toomey's planned legislation. It has an ugliness....an odor of disdain for Americans contained within it. The chances are his legislation will never see the light of day, but it's worth noting that it almost appears as if Toomey prefers the well being of Chinese investors over the well being of U.S. citizens. But that couldn't be, could it?
I'm saddened to report.....yes, it could.
While Democrats believe they are always in negotiations.....Republicans believe they are in a war. As we know, no options can be taken off the table when war has been declared. Republicans have been at war against FDR's New Deal protections for 60 years....preferring the minority will of big business and Wall Street over the will of the people.
In this GOP war against the will of the people, Tea Party darling, Pat Toomey, is proposing a bill which would honor obligatory payments to Chinese investors and Wall Street bankers BEFORE honoring obligatory payments to U.S. seniors....if elected officials fail to raise the national credit card limit.
Offensive? You're damn skippy.
But wait...there's more...
Weeks ago, new House Oversight Chairman, and the richest person in the House, Darrell Issa (R-CA)....sent out a letter to his constituents...."trade, industry and think tank leaders"......asking them to identify burdensome government regulations. Government regulations which "trade, industry and think tank leaders" deem worthy of roll back because...well....because those regulations cost trade and industry, businesses.....money.
The Heritage Foundation, the conservative welfare institution which sustains itself with rich people's donations, responded to Issa's letter asking to identify burdensome regulations. As you read the list, don't forget....this is the list of government regulations which the pre-eminent conservative think tank group, the Republican Harvard as it were, wants eliminated. Here is Heritage's list....
•Individual health insurance mandate
•Employer health insurance mandate
•Minimum health insurance benefit standards
•All future Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations
•Limiting debit card fees
•Transparency for shareholders
•Credit card regulation
•Incandescent light bulb phase out
•Broader energy efficiency standards
•Fuel efficiency standards
•Carbon pollution regulation
•Auto tailpipe standard
•Renewable fuel standards
•Low-income housing promotion
•Corporate accounting requirements
•Corporate media ownership rules
•Dairy price controls
•Domestic sugar subsidization
The one downside of capitalism is what I'll call the Locust Factor. Greed, left unchecked, unguarded, destroys everything in sight....like locusts. The very reason America has experienced so many economic roller-coaster hills and valleys in the last dozen years is because our political leaders, instructed by groups like Heritage, started believing that greed no longer needed to be guarded against. After the financial collapse, a one-time believer in Heritage hokum, Alan Greenspan, had to admit that he was completely wrong.....most of his life.....to believe that capitalists could be trusted to do the right thing if left to their own devisings.
And yet, look at Heritage's new list to Issa. It's deja-vu all over again, Yogi.
From internet access....to fuel efficiency...to regulating banks, Heritage, the most prestigious Republican thought-mecca around, would remake our country in the spitting image of a corporate boardroom. Everything we thought we knew was just and right for the U.S. would be sacrificed for the sake of profits.
While both political parties today are controlled, somewhat, by corporations and their army of campaign check bearing lobbyists....it is only from Republicans and conservatives that we see such a radical...'give business and capitalists everything they want'....attitude.
Today's Republicans are little more than corporate mercenaries. Americans deserve better.
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