Saturday, July 5, 2014

Last Call For Another 47% Solution

Republicans are terrible learners, that's all I have to say.  And yes, their absolute disdain for half of America is legendary.  It's a feature of Republicanism, not a bug.  Take Colorado GOP former Rep. Bob Beauprez, for instance.  He's running for Governor against John Hickenlooper in November, and he just lost the race, Mitt Romney-style.

On Wednesday, as Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez toured Colorado to "build unity," a video surfaced that Democrats say shows his divisiveness.

The video shows Beauprez in a speech to the Denver Rotary Club in 2010 making comments that echo those that hurt Mitt Romney's challenge to President Barack Obama two years later.

"I see something that frankly doesn't surprise me, having been on Ways and Means Committee: 47 percent of all Americans pay no federal income tax," Beauprez said in the video. "I'm guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent — God bless you — but what that tells me is that we've got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill, and most of that half is you all."

He indicated Democrats had reasons to keep it that way.

"I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largesse of government that somebody else is paying for," Beauprez said.

When Beauprez says that, he means Grandma and Grandpa on Social Security and the poorest working-class Americans.  And as I said, many working American pay payroll tax.

The canard that people don't carry their fair share is a trope that Republicans love to roll out, and the 47 percent figure is their favorite data point to support it.

But as I have been saying for some time now, the 47 percent figure, while technically accurate as it relates to federal income taxes, doesn't include what people do pay through the payroll tax, sales taxes, excise taxes, and all sorts of other levies . So here is a partial breakdown of how those other burdens fall on the population, courtesy of the Tax Policy Center and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy:

28.3 percent pay payroll taxes, which cover Social Security and Medicare.

10.3 percent pay no federal income tax because they are retired or elderly, and Social Security payments are not taxed. I can't imagine that Romney objects to this category.

It turns out that just 6.9 percent of people who are non-elderly don't pay income tax. That is a far cry from 47 percent. We are not, in fact, a nation of moochers, as Romney seems to suggest

But why would Beauprez tell the truth?  It doesn't fit the Republican lie that "the majority" of Americans are lazy moochers that need to be punished by God-fearing, patriotic Republican voters.

We're all "those people" to the GOP.

The Unending Cycle Of Payback

Three Israeli teens found dead near the West Bank two weeks ago has escalated into the latest IDF bombing campaign against the Palestinians, who have responded with rockets, prompting retaliation where a Palestinian teen was abducted and burned alive.

Mohammed Abu Khedair, a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and killed in Jerusalem this week, died from being burned alive and hit with a blunt object to the head, according to Palestinian General Prosecutor Mohammed al-Auwewy, sourcing the medical autopsy.

Al-Auwewy said the autopsy discovered traces of smoke inside the lungs of the 16-year-old , meaning that it was inhaled during the burning.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said his country is aggressively investigating the killing. "We'll get to the bottom of it and catch those responsible," he told CNN on Saturday.

This of course led to more fighting at the teen's funeral.

The teenager's death sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians and clashes with Israeli security forces broke out during his funeral on Friday.

More than 60 people were injured in fighting in parts of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, a group that said it was involved in evacuating injured Palestinians. It said the injuries mostly involved rubber bullets fired at the upper body and chest.

Israeli police said 13 of their officers were slightly injured in clashes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, where Palestinian protesters were throwing rocks at police, who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

 And so on, and so on, and so on...

In a separate incident, two videographers recorded men in the uniform of Israeli security forces holding down and pummeling a teenager in Shuafat. Relatives say he is a U.S. citizen from Florida and a cousin of Abu Khedair.

The victim, Tariq Khdeir, 15, is a high school sophomore in Tampa, family members there said. He was visiting his Palestinian relatives in Jerusalem for the first time in over a decade when he was attacked and detained outside the home of his cousin, who was kidnapped and killed on Wednesday.

The two videos, which were posted independently, say the beating occurred on Thursday.

CNN's Ben Wedeman confirmed that the videos appeared to show an area near the home of the killed teen.

Hard to fight thousands of years of hatred and death.  Very hard indeed.
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