Bush Tax Cuts vs Unemployment Benefits: What Millionaires Will Stand Up for the Poor?

As the holidays loom closer it seems less likely that unemployment benefits will be extended to the 2 million families that are desperately dependent up on them. The main stumbling block is that GOP leaders John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell are demanding that tax cuts be extended to millionaires. Until then any attempt to give to the unemployed will be blocked. Today Congress will debate extending the tax cuts for millionaires with President Obama stating he hopes a compromise will be reached. Will that compromise extend job benefits?

Yes we all heard ‘noble’ sounding stories from these so-called leaders about how we all need to sacrifice and reign in the deficit. We all heard them express grave concern about how we all need to tighten our belts and lay down the ground work for our children to have brighter futures. Others like conservative media personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ben Stein have been pretty crass by stating those on unemployment are ‘too lazy to find work

This is all coming at a time where in many places where the unemployment rate is 20%. This is coming at a time when there are a reported 5-6 applications for every measly job available.  It was just yesterday that the local NBC affiliate here in the Bay Area ran a story called ‘economic migration‘ where they reported how thousands of people who’ve had homes foreclosed are living in cars, campers and RVs and have driven from state to state looking for work. The story showed a long line of people waiting to get minimum wage jobs at a Christmas Tree lot

Republican leader John Boehner wants tax cuts fir millionaires or no unemployment benefits for the poor.

A couple of months back McDonalds held a job fair here in the Bay and thousand showed up, all hoping for a chance to land a spot as a cashiers and french fry cookers. There’s no doubt times are definitely hard, but as long as millionaires don’t get  a tax cut millions will suffer.

In listening to Boehner and Cantor speak on behalf of millionaires, one has to wonder are they really representing their interests? Where are the millionaires, especially those who come from humble beginnings and poor backgrounds to speak on behalf of the poor, many of whom have spent their last dimes helping their millionaire brethren to fame, fortune and stardom?

It was just a few months ago the world was made to stand still as basketball star Lebron James, after weeks of intense speculation held a press conference to announce his ‘decision’. He unveiled to the world his new multi-million dollar deal and the team he would be playing for… the Miami Heat. Left behind and understandably angry were legions of fans in his home state of Ohio which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Imagine if Lebron James held a press conference demanding an extension to unemployment benefits?

Tonight King James is headed back to Cleveland to face off against his old team for the first time since he left. There’s no doubt there are throngs of basketball fans who can no longer afford to go to Cavalier games. Many more probably can’t afford a cable system to watch them on TV. Again its the times we’re in. But imagine if upon his return, Lebron James used his massive star power and took advantage of all the media covering him to stand up and say; ‘As a multi-millionaire he would like to see unemployment benefits extended. Do not hold up their checks on my behalf-I can wait for a tax cut’.. Could you imagine if James did that?

Wouldn’t it be great if an Oprah, DiddyJay-Z, 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and other multi-millionaires, many who are entertainers who we’re frequently exposed to held a press conference to announce, that the people in Washington do not speak for them and to please extend unemployment benefits? Is that too far-fetched? Unrealistic? Is it out of line to put that sort of weight on them?

After all, many of the aforementioned millionaires have come from poor backgrounds and had humble beginnings. Many obtained their financial status because poor people have admired them, spent their last dime on records, t-shirts, sneakers, concert tickets and any other thing being offered. And this spending is not limited to athletes and entertainers. Many who are poor have paid cable bills, cell phone bills and other now seemingly  necessary items resulting in quite a folks becoming uber rich.

Russell Simmons

I recall when then President George Bush first proposed those tax cuts several years ago I did an interview with music mogul Russell Simmons and he straight up said, while a tax cut would be great for him he honestly doesn’t need one. He said he makes more than enough money to pay his taxes  and that the people who need the breaks the most are poor people. If Russell is reading this, perhaps he can gather up some of his millionaire friends and hold such a press conference. Perhaps he can get them to speak on behalf of those who are dire straits.

Recently investor Warren Buffet one of the richest men in the world bluntly stated that taxes needed to be raised on the wealthy. Why aren’t we hearing more people who have means listening to Buffet? Why the silence from our millionaire friends?  More people of sound mind, good hearts and political conscious are needed this holiday season to counter the claims that the world will fall apart if millionaires don’t get tax cuts.

Will millionaires especially those from humble beginnings stand up for the poor?  As I posted this, my homie Mookie hit me up and said the irony to all this in today’ twisted society the poor will stand up for millionaires.

Something to ponder

-Davey D-

PS Here’s a link to a story in which 80 millionaires have stepped up and demanded that the tax cuts not happen http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/patrioticmillionaires

Where are the Real Terrorists? Right Here at Home! Members of Congress Threatened with Violence

This is coming on the heels of the racial epithets being hurled at Black congressmen like John Lewis and anti gay epithets hurled at lawmakers like Barney Frank. Right now we’re spending a lot of time looking over our backs at Muslims and people from the Middle East as possible terrorists.. The way things are going now, we need to be looking in the Mid-west down south and back East  with some of the terrorists right here in the good ole US of A..

I wonder if they’re gonna start doing all the profiling that many of us have been subjected to..I wonder if we’re gonna start hearing the word terrorists used to describe those who dare threaten Congress over the passage of a bill.. At the same time, lawmakers have at their disposal the Patriot Act and other laws that allow for secret surveillance..

I wonder if those laws will be enacted and misused while searching for the culprits who made death threats..I get the feeling that there is some real concern going on, but I am also thinking of Naomi Kline‘s ‘Shock Doctrine’.. I’m paying close attention at the moves made behind the moves.. While folks are shocked at the brazenness of Tea Party types and nut cases threatening Congress people over a Healthcare Bill, what moves will be made to overcompensate? Will laws be tightened or will there be a push to create total chaos-a race or class war of sorts?  pay close attention because this ride is just beginning. Once we start talking about Immigration Reform that’s when it’s really gonna get ugly..

-Davey D-

All that is going on reminds me a conversation I had last year..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dk4_DHXh4U

Democratic members Get Death Threats..
By Jake Sherman
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34953.html

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning that some of his Democratic colleagues are being threatened with violence when they go back to their districts — and he wants Republicans to stand up and condemn the threats.

The Maryland Democrat said more than 10 House Democrats have reported incidents of threats or other forms of harassment about their support of the highly divisive health insurance overhaul vote. Hoyer emphasized that he didn’t have a specific number of threats and that was just an estimate.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Capitol Police and sergeant at arms briefed Democrats behind closed doors today about the incidents of violence — the most high profile of which have been toward Democratic Reps. Tom Periello of Virginia, Steve Driehaus of Ohio and Louise Slaughter of New York.

Hoyer hinted that Republicans should do more to condemn these threats of violence.

“I would hope that we would join together jointly and make it very clear that none of us condone this kind of activity,” Hoyer told reporters. “And when we see it, we speak out strongly in opposition to it. And I would hope that we would do that going forward.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the majority whip, said Democrats and Republicans should continue to speak out on these threats. “Silence gives consent,” Clyburn said.

But Minority Leader John Boehner already has condemned threats of violence — and sought to explain why people are so angry.

“I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Boehner said. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let’s do it the right way.” 

A Republican aide also pointed out that over the years Republican members of Congress received their fair share of death threats during volatile times. Newt Gingrich after the 1994 Republican revolution and the late Henry Hyde during the Clinton impeachment in 1998 both received numerous death threats. And just last month, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) received death threats after his filibuster of unemployment benefits, according to a report in Roll Call.

Hoyer said steps are being taken to protect members of Congress. Most lawmakers do not have formal security protection, but if any member feels threatened, they will be getting “attention from the proper authorities.”

On Wednesday, the FBI began a preliminary investigation into fuel lines cut at the Virginia home of Perriello’s brother, whose address was posted online — the poster thought it was the lawmaker’s address.

Driehaus said his address was posted Wednesday on a right-leaning blog.

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