Today our old friend, former Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), will be joining us here in the comments section for a live blogging session at at 2pm (ET). Carol’s unlikely grassroots victory in 2006 over a Rahm Emanuel corporate Democrat in the primary and then over a conservative Republican incumbent in the general was a highpoint for progressive activists. Four years later, though, Carol was defeated by a Tea Party extremist in the mania that turned New Hampshire, a deep, deep shade of red. After just two years of right-wing extremism up close and personal, polls show that New Hampshire voters have come back to their senses and are ready for a course correction. Blue America is proud to endorse Carol again and we’re asking everyone to consider contributing to her campaign.
When Carol ran for office and while Carol was in office, she did something that a lot of Democrats talk about, but that very few actually do. She refused all corporate PAC and DC lobbyist money, not something that endeared her to the Beltway Democratic Establishment. Carol prefers to leave that kind of unethical behavior the careerist crooks, who take cash from corporate special interests and then vote to destroy the environment, and against the interests of working families and the middle class. And, as long as we’re talking about Frank Guinta, anyone who wants to get behind the fake mainstream conservative mask he wears for the media and for voters, might check out the extremist freak he exposed himself as when he filled out this questionaire for the Tea Party.
Her opponent, remember, cast the deciding vote on the Ryan Budget Wednesday, which passed out of committee 19-18, several Republicans joining all the Democrats on the committee to vote it down. Carol asked, rhetorically, what’s wrong with the bill. And she answered– for all of us:
To start with, Americans do not like the changes to Medicare in this budget. The budget pushes seniors into vouchers, or what Ryan euphemistically calls “premium support.” Seniors could use the vouchers to buy their own insurance with a private company, or they could stay in Medicare, but either way, when the amount of the voucher runs out, an individual’s wallet comes out, and it would be extremely expensive. The vouchers would not reflect the rising cost of health care, because while health care costs are expected to rise around 7% per year, Medicare spending would be kept at the CPI plus 0.5%. Also, if people are in a lot of different plans, Medicare would lose its ability to control costs and to negotiate better deals for seniors and other taxpayers, and that would push costs up as well.
…If you are trying to pay the bills, you might not appreciate the fact that the wealthy and corporations will get bigger breaks than they already receive. This budget cuts taxes by roughly $3 trillion dollars, but most of those tax cuts would go to higher income earners. All of the Bush tax cuts would become permanent cuts, and there would be just two brackets, 10% and 25%. The top corporate income tax would fall from 35% to 25%. (Remember, 2/3 of US corporations actually pay zero.) And to top off awful ideas with another awful idea, Republicans want to end U.S. taxes on any corporate money earned abroad, which could lead to a rush of jobs headed overseas.
So, if we cut taxes by $3 trillion dollars, and we have no new revenue, what happens? While Congressman Ryan and his followers are not saying exactly what they will cut for the most part, we can all figure out that the middle class and the poor will be out of luck if they cannot find members of Congress who will fight for them. Luckily, Democrats and some Republicans are going to defeat this budget.
They know that cutting money for education, from Head Start through college, is an assault on the poor and the middle class. It also would hurt business, because businesses require a labor pool of well-educated people in order to successfully compete. As Dr. Jill Biden says, the country that out-educates us will out-compete us. This budget would cut our research in science and technology at exactly the time when we need to step up our investments. Congressman Ryan has us spending 6% less on “general science, space, and basic technology.” Why? So we can give more tax breaks to oil companies? The world will not stand still, even if we do.
Transportation, nutrition programs, health care, research, environment… all these and more will have to be cut if the Paul Ryan plan becomes law. Thankfully, it won’t. But what are Representatives Ryan and Guinta thinking? In this time of high deficits, why would they cut taxes for the rich and US and multinational corporations? Why would they put forward a budget that would require massive cuts in the very areas that require our investment? The Budget Committee owes America an answer.
“I am so honored to have Blue America’s endorsement again,” Carol wrote us yesterday. “You and I share the same goals– to create and sustain a robust middle class, and to make sure our progressive voices are heard in our state capitols and in Washington.” Let’s help her get back to Capitol Hill where she will continue to shake things up… for the 99%.