Posts Tagged Unemployment extension

Cantor Must Go!

As a Republican extremist and House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor has tarnished the nation’s credibility, damaged the economy and kept the unemployment rate high.  He is the most active contrarian in The House.  He has undermined Republican Speaker of The House, John Boehner, on numerous occasions.  Cantor has also drawn the ire of John Kerry, Chuck Schumer and many high-ranking Republicans.  His conduct has been detrimental to the needs of the public. Until Cantor is gone, residents of Virginia’s 7th District and taxpayers across the land will continue to struggle under the weight of rising debt and weakened national defense.

Eric Cantor
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gage Skidmore

The most notable disagreement with Boehner came after the Speaker and President Obama agreed to a $4.2 trillion debt reduction bill.  After the President and the Speaker shook hands on the deal, Cantor went about rallying Tea Party members of the House to oppose the most aggressive deficit reduction plan ever created..

Boehner was humbled and his role as Speaker of The House fell under heavy criticism.  Eric Cantor is supposed to represent his constituents but the Virginian is not ashamed to put his own interests ahead of all others; a personality characteristic that has existed long before he came to Congress.

To Cantor,  the Speaker of The House and The President represent similar problems.  Speaker Boehner and President Obama have power.  Cantor wants that power.  The Leader of Republicans in the House never fails to calculate his own personal agenda ahead of the best interests of the country.

As the Republican Leader of the House, Cantor has never proposed a jobs program and has never stated a position on foreign policy. What he has done is criticize every success of the Administration and every pro-We The People initiative.  What would please Eric Cantor the most is that the economy plunges back into recession and that the unemployment rate continue rises prior to the election.

Like the Republican Candidates for the Presidency, Cantor is long on criticism and short on proposals.  

The aspect of American society that Cantor represents is those contributors who fill Republican coiffures.  In the recent payroll tax extension and unemployment extension, Cantor once again stabbed Boehner in the back.  After Boehner gave Mitch McConnell his proxy in the recent negotiations, Cantor rallied opposition to the proposals.  This time President Obama stared down the majority Leader.

Eric Cantor was revealed for what he is; a childish and amateur politician.  He is self-serving and smug.  For his role in the payroll tax cut extension, many of his fellow Republicans turned on him, including Senate Minority Leader McConnell and Senator John McCain.  Had the Senate’s payroll extension been put before the House, the bill would have passed.

Cantor was not about to have that happen.  His dangerous behaviour is a pattern that has played out all his life.  In high school, Cantor was remembered as the person who wanted everything his way and wanted it immediately.

This mindset has allowed him to paint himself into a corner on several key issues.  His reluctance to accept the debt reduction plan created by Boehner and Obama caused the US credit rating to be lowered.  His opposition to the payroll tax extension not only damaged Boehner but also humiliated himself.  His greatest flaw was to undermine the Super Committee.  The result of that action will trigger billions dollar of defense spending, a key element of the platform for the Republican Party.

Since successfully undermining the Super Committee, Cantor has spent much political capital in attempts to overturn the automatic cuts to defense.

It should not be a surprise that Cantor is a big fan of Virginian Newt Gingrich; the father of partisan politics.  Americans would do well to remember that Gingrich was ousted from the House and fined $300,000 for unethical conduct.   Eric Cantor wants Boehner’s job so that he can continue his partisan politics and penalize the American populace.

Newt Gingrich
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Cantor has represented Virginia’s 7th District since 2001.  After serving one term, Cantor was selected by Minority Whip, Roy Blunt, to serve as Assistant Minority Whip.   In 2006, Republicans pushed Cantor to oppose Blunt and run for the office of Minority Whip.  Cantor declined.

When Blunt stepped down in 2008, Cantor filled the slot.  Cantor has proven to be a good fund-raiser.  He has moved further right since his initial campaign.  Today, Cantor is considered a conservative extremist or obstructionist.  During John McCain’s Presidential run, Cantor was often mentioned as a possible running mate.  He rose more than $60 million on behalf of Republican candidates in 2008.

Cantor’s legislative record is unimpressive.  He has made his mark as an opponent for the President’s job plan, the opposition to the most aggressive debt reduction plan to date and for every other constructive program initiated by the President.

His unwillingness to engage in constructive negotiations has drawn the ire of We The People and of his own party.  Democratic Senator John Kerry served on the Super Committee and was especially critical of Cantor’s influence on Republicans on the committee.  He has become famous for walking out of negotiations.

It is time Americans and Virginians realized that Cantor’s negative contributions put the country at risk.  Just as he was unconcerned about the country’s credit rating, he is also unbothered by the state of the fragile recovery.  Cantor’s enemies are not communists or even al Qaeda, instead they are Democrats and President Obama.

In a recent meeting with the media, Cantor chastised the media for not accurately reporting the Republican position on jobs.  When pressed to elaborate about the Party’s jobs plan, Cantor was speechless.  Instead, he made a vague generalization about creating a favorable environment for jobs programs. He offered no details.  Offering no solutions is typical of Republicans and Cantor.

In December 2008, Cantor made a strong speech on the floor of the House opposing the government bailout of GM and Chrysler.  His theory reflected the far right theory that the companies had failed in the marketplace and should be allowed to fail as employers.  At the same time, Cantor was supportive of the Wall Street and financial institution bailout.   Of course, these institutions are powerful financial contributors to Republican coiffures.

In December 2011, Cantor drew criticism from Palestine’s MK Ahmed Tibi, the late Yasar Arafat’s political adviser. In an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Tibi pointed out Cantor’s comments regarding the relationship between Palestine and Israel as inciting more tension between the two countries.  As the lone Jew serving in the House, Tibi suggested that Cantor was a hypocrite and that the Majority Leader in the House was creating a bigger divide between the two nations.

Tibi said Cantor’s remarks were inflammatory and were helping to create a create a recipe for disaster.

In the year-end Gallup poll, The House easily posted the worst approval rating in the history of the country.  The 86 percent “disapproval rating” is hardly surprising. However, independents registered the highest disapproval rating. The final approval rating was 11 percent.  The average approval rating of Congress for 2011 was an anemic 17 percent.  Among independents, the approval rating was a shocking 7 percent.

Just 12 percent of Republicans approve the 2011 conduct of Congress. 32 percent of Americans feel the Congress is permanently broken.  52 percent believe that the failure is due to the elected politicians in Congress.

Cantor has also drawn the ire of the Occupy movement.  Cantor has refered to the Occupy movement as “class warfare.”  He also attacked Nancy Pelosi for praising the protestors.  Cantor views the Occupiers as an unfounded protest movement by the poor, the needy and the homeless.  He has said that he is concerned about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Republicans describe the Occupy movement as an uprising of the poor.   Republicans and especially Eric Cantor have no time for the poor.

Majority Leader of the House, Cantor, is fittingly dubbed “Overdog.”  This moniker is intended to describe his strong support for large corporations and We The Few at the expense of We The People.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer located a high school quote of Cantor’s, “I want what I want when  I want it.”  This is the attitude that has led Senate Majority Leader Reid to characterize Cantor as”childish.”  In every discussion about the deficit, Cantor has walked away.

In the payroll tax cut extension, Cantor found himself opposing a tax decrease.

2102 Election and Ernest Wayne Powell

In the 2012 election, Cantor will be opposed by Democratic trial lawyer Ernest Wayne Powell, a former military officer. Powell has listened carefully to the voters of the Seventh District.  He presents a strong challenge for Cantor because he is not a career politician.  He has succeeded in the private sector and is committed to representing the needs of the majority of constituents in the district.

Powell will be bucking the odds against the well-financed Cantor.  However, with more controversy, Cantor’s contrarian is sure to keep him in hot water right up to the election.  His continued opposition to the payroll tax extension will reveal Cantor for the dangerous obstructionist that he is.

Powell’s success may very well hinge on a grass-roots effort.  Residents of Virginia’s 7th district must ask themselves if they are better off today than they were when Cantor became the Majority Leader in the House?  This really is a question that all Americans should ask.  The solution is simple.  Vote Eric Cantor out of the House.  If Democrats can bond with Independents, Cantor can be ousted and the American economy can get back on track in 2013.

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House GOP No Substance, All Talk

House Majority Speaker John Boehner says Americans should not worry.  One arm of the most dysfunctional  Congresses in history is at work.  Really?  On What?
John Boehner
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Today, Republican House members tabled the Senate’s bi-partisan payroll tax cut extension and the unemployment benefits extension.  These bills were passed by the Senate in a decisive bi-partisan vote of 89 – 10.  For the 2011 Senate, the margin of approval for the bills was astounding.

Failure to extend the payroll tax cut will result in 160 million Americans paying between $1,000 and $2,500 more in 2012.  Millions more Americans will lose 40 weeks of unemployment benefits.  Passage of the Senate bill would have granted the continuation of these benefits.

Republicans fail to acknowledge that the payroll tax cut has successfully added jobs and increased take home pay while encouraging small businesses to hire.  The country is inching out of the recession.  Unemployment rates are decreasing.  Housing is getting a bounce.  The GDP is off the dime and growing more quickly than expected.

This fragile recovery serves We The People well, but is not to the Republican’s benefit.

The only consistent policies from Republicans is their commitment to replacing President Obama while protecting millionaires and billionaires. To advance these two goals, Republicans and Tea Party politicians have been willing to undermine the economy and intimidate the middle class and the poor; the most vulnerable Americans.    

The essential terms of the Senate bills included:

  1.      Two month extension of the payroll tax reduction.
  2.      Two month extension of long-term unemployment.
  3.      An agreement to discuss the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Senate passed the extension plan and promptly left town assuming that the House would realize the strong Senate support for the bills and approve them.  This is where things get sticky.

Majority Leader Boehner and Tea Party big shot Eric Cantor refused to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.  Instead, House members opted to move to conference with the Senate in the hopes of carving out a one-year deal.  Of course, the Senate went home understanding that their bill had Boehner’s blessing.

New York first-term Congressman Michael Grimm was interviewed Tuesday morning.  During the interview, Grimm voiced the Republican spin on why the bill would not reach the floor.  The newest Republican spin is that the House rejects a two-month extension during which time final details of the bill would be negotiated.  The extension is called “kicking the can” down the road.

In a midday speech, Boehner called upon the Senate to reconvene and conference with House members to finalize a one-year bill.  Boehner’s premise that the bill that passed the House was more than an extension of the payroll tax cuts.

No matter what you hear, the elephant in the room is the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Republicans downplay the addition of this contingency to what should have been an up or down vote on the payroll tax cut and the extension of unemployment benefits.  As described by the State Department, the pipeline does not have EPA approval. The State Department’s report indicates that the pipeline will create between 3,500 – 4,000 jobs.

What the pipeline will do, is increase the international export business. It will also diminish the supply of the Canadian tar sand oil to farmers in the midwest.  The State Department estimates that the farm belt can expect to pay $0.20 per gallon more than they now pay.

Let’s be clear.  Most of the oil provided under the Keystone XL pipeline will be shipped abroad and not used to reduce American energy costs.  So, if the environment is to be endangered and there are very few jobs connected to the pipeline and if American fuel prices will increase, not decrease, why are Republicans pushing to accelerate the Keystone XL?

You know, don’t you?  Of course, the Republicans are pushing for passage of the Pipeline at an accelerated pace because big oil will reap big profits; not We The People. Once again, the Republicans have included a project, that will benefit We The Few, to a bill that puts money in the economy right now.  Can there be any doubt about the Republican agenda?  House Republicans are shown their immoral persona one more time.  They take huge amounts of money from big oil and they refuse tax breaks for working Americans.  Congress pads their pockets with insider trading and charge taxpayers for their time.  Seems like a good job, don’t you think? Of course, Congress passed legislation banning insider trading but it does not apply to Congress.

It is Republicans that have caused the country’s credit rating to fall.  It is Republicans that held American workers hostage by only agreeing to extend the unemployment benefits if the Bush Tax Cuts were extended in 2009.  The Tea Party has vowed to oppose all tax increases.  But, when an extension of the payroll tax cut was on the table, Republicans suddenly changed direction.  They opposed the Payroll Tax Cut for two reasons.

  1.      The payroll tax cut was working.
  2.      Extended unemployment benefits pump money into the economy.

Republicans added the pipeline to their bill knowing full well that the Senate would not approve.  The addition of this proposal has clouded the middle class benefits and small business hiring incentives.  House Republicans blocked submitting the bill for an up or down vote.  The reason is that Republicans do not want to be on the record for voting against the bill.

A week ago, Speaker Boehner worked with Senate leaders McConnell (R) and Reid (D).  Behind closed doors, Boehner agreed to the deal and represented to the Senate leaders that the bill would pass.

It was not that long ago that Boehner and the President ironed out details on a $4.2 spending reduction plan.  However, when Boehner took the plan to his caucus, he was forced to change directions.  The result was that no plan passed.  The end result was that the American credit rating fell.  This was the exact outcome that the Tea Party and the Republicans wanted.

Today, the big losers are millions of Americans.  There are no winners.  Voters must come to realize how dysfunctional the House is.  Boehner has no control.  He is weak and lacks credibility.  He has been the Majority Leader in an arm of Congress that has the lowest approval rating and worst legislation record in the history of the country.

House Whip Eric Cantor looks familiar doesn’t he?  He is that elementary school bully; the one that does things behind your back.  He is the epitome of the sleazy politician.  He stands behind Boehner with his chesire cat grin and nods his head because every time Boehner changes direction, Cantor takes one more step toward the Speaker’s gavel.  He wants Boehner’s job and there is no hiding it.

Eric Cantor is a dangerous man.  He hides under the cloak of fiscal responsibility in a party that launched two unfunded wars and passed the Bush Tax Cuts at a time when the government needed increased income.  These acts, Bush’s push to socialize and deregulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed the economy and the world to the brink.  It is Republicans that caused the socialized relief of the banking sector.  It is We The People who bailed out the corrupt banking system.

When we look into the black hole that Republicans created, remember that when George Bush took office, he inherited a budget surplus.  He set out to fulfill the big spender Texan appetite and placed the country in an unsustainable position.

Every time poor John Boehner takes the podium, viewers suffer the same symptoms as they do when Rick Perry tries to respond to a question.  There is a difference.  Perry actually believes in his philosophy.  Boehner’s political beliefs seem to change after every meeting of his caucus.  It is a matter of time before he is replaced and/or has a public tearful breakdown.

NY senior Senator, Chuck Schumer, said that just last week, Boehner attended a meeting with Senate leaders Reid and McConell.  He left the meeting giving McConnell his proxy.  McConnell and Reid agreed to the revisions and the Senate passed the bill 89-10.  This margin rarely happens.

Adding insult to injury, Boehner now says he never liked the Senate bill.  Untrue! Perhaps he should stayed at the meeting and saved face.  Could he have had a golf date?  One look at Boehner tells you where he spends most of his day. The position of the House has now caused a rift between Senate Republicans and House Republicans.

In summary, the losers are the middle class, the elderly, the infirmed, the poor and John Boehner.  The Speaker’s integrity has suffered.  His credibility in his own party is shattered.  Meanwhile, Eric Cantor is several steps closer to the Speakership. If you want to untangle Congress, vote Boehner, Cantor and Tea Party candidates out…

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