When it comes to efforts to resolve the looming U.S. default on its debts–the first time in American history–Republican politicians are behaving like a “deadbeat dad,” who refuses to even consider any solution to his “family’s” financial crisis that involves bringing in more money into the household. Everybody’s just going to have to tighten their belts and cutback, that’s all.
I imagine the conversation going along like this.
“No,” dad says. “I will not get an extra part-time job. That’s out of the question. Junior will just have to come home from state college. There’s a junior college here in town. He can study there.
“No,” he continues. “Bristol can’t be on the cross country team. We can’t afford the fee. And she can forget about going to the prom, too. We can’t afford that either.
“And your mother is just going to have to move in and live with your brother or your sister, because we just can’t keep paying for her to stay in that fancy hotel they call an ‘assisted living center.’
“What? I will absolutely not stop racing my customized Mustang-Shelby-GT. I’ve already cut back to one out-of-town rally per month, and I only golf once a week now, and only go for drinks with the fellas two nights a week, so why don’t you get off my back, for crying out loud?
“And don’t even think about cutting back my premium cable-TV sports or girlie channels. That’s the only relaxation I have around here!”
And so it goes in Congress.Â House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) abruptly withdrew from the White House-led U.S. debt-deficit talks June 23 insisting that there cannot be any dream of increased revenue (tax increases) to solve the U.S. deficit crisis. No, the only plan Republicans will agree to is one which cuts the beejeezus out of everything except military spending.
Republicans will absolutely not consider any kind of new “part-time job” for the American family household, only cuts to things which are dear to the wife and children.
To their way of thinking, this means continuing the billions of dollars in tax subsidies received by the most profitable companies in the entire world’s history of profits–oil companies.
The Big Five oil companies include BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil and Shell. These companies receive billions and billions of dollars each year in tax subsidies from the federal government, meanwhile oil prices for individuals are going through the roof and their profits are unimaginable. Unimaginable.
For example, Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported first-quarter profit increases of 69 percent and 30 percent, respectively, from the same period last year. Exxon earned $10.7 billion in that period, up from $6.3 billion. Shell made $6.3 billion in the first quarter, up from $4.8 billion last spring. Let’s calculate this. Ten billion dollars (just one company’s profits) over a 90-day period amounts to profits of nearly $12 million per day! That’s nearly $500,000 in profits (this is after the exorbitant executive salaries and other operating “expenses” have been deducted) per hour. Profits per hour! And that’s not even counting the generous federal tax subsidies these companies receive.
In my opinion, there’s something wrong with that picture.
What’s worse is that Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate are insisting that those “gi-normous” profits as well as the individual incomes of the wealthiest cannot be subject to any tax increases, while at the same time they are proposing to slash Medicare, education spending, worker salaries and benefits, and anything and everything that even resembles a federal “safety net.”
What are these “deadbeat dads” thinking, except: “Take grandma out of the assisted living center and bring Junior home from college because I will not go out and get a part-time job to help support this family.”
These Republican strategies strike me as “class warfare.” They are like Robinhood-in-reverse, where the government robs from the poor and gives to the rich.