Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

The AMERICAN JOBS AND CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES ACT of 2010, H.R. 4213, is a bill about putting Americans back to work. House Republicans love to tell us that the STIMULUS failed. They refuse to be honest and come clean with the truth about Republican economic policies which deregulated Wall Street and the lax efforts over at the Securities and Exchange Commission. What happened is that Republican policies loosed the fox in the henhouse, greed ran amuck.
Of course it is hard to get the facts straight when you've decided not to participate in governing the nation and all your efforts are doubled down in demagoguery. Let's remind the Republicans, that means you Lynn Jenkins, of some important events.

The AMERICAN REINVESTMENT AND RECOVERY ACT (ARRA) was passed shortly after President Obama came to office. He signed the bill February 17, 2009.

In the final year of the Bush Presidency a number of laws were enacted to curb the economy's critical condition. Chief among these were the ECONOMIC STIMULUS ACT OF 2008, the EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008, and the TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM (TARP),

The BUSH ECONOMIC STIMULUS ACT provided economic stimuli for the economy. It provided for, inter alia, ◊ tax rebates to low and middle income families, ◊ tax incentives to increase business investment, ◊ and an increase on the limits imposed on mortgages eligible for purchase by FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC.

Then came BUSH'S EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008 is commonly called the BAILOUT. The Act proposed by Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, provided up to $700 Billion to back banks in crisis as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis. The subprime mortgage crisis is a result of Republican efforts to, as former President Ronald Reagan was want to say: "Get Government Out of Our Boardrooms!" Those regulations, like Glass-Steagall, were developed after the madness of laissez-faire economic policies brought about the Great Depression.

The TARP legislation enacted by President Bush used the taxpayers' dime to purchase the assets of financially troubled Big Banks and Insurance Companies. Originally thought to cost upwards of $356 Billion, as of April 12th the cost was down to $89 Billion.

When President Obama came to office the economy was in shambles. goals of the ARRA include ◊ Preserving and creating jobs. ◊ assist those most impacted by the recession, ◊ provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health, ◊ invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits, ◊ stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.

According to the Wikipedia summary, ARRA specified that 37% of the package is to be devoted to tax cuts equaling $288 billion and $144 billion or 18% is allocated to state and local fiscal relief (more than 90% of the state aid is going to Medicaid and education). 45% or $357 billion is allocated to federal social programs and federal spending programs.

The success of these measures in keeping America out of another Great Depression, albeit in a tremendously difficult recession, can be seen from the jobs chart below.

Red = Bush & Blue = Obama

Now back to H.R. 4213, the AMERICAN JOBS AND CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES ACT. This bill provides for Tax Credits for Alternative Fuels; Individual Tax Relief; Low Income Housing Credits; Business Tax Relief; Temporary Disaster Relief Programs-Nationally, for the New York Liberty Zone, for the GO-Zone for states affected by Hurricane Katrina, and for Midwestern Disaster Areas; Unemployment Insurance; Health - for provisions affecting COBRA, pushes back mandatory Medicare limitations on medically necessary therapy caps, Medicare provisions for ambulances, extends reimbursement for Medicare Part B, and continues the Erickson Advantage Continuing Care Retirement Community program; extends Child and Family programs under Title IV of the Social Security Act; provides funds for Farmers experiencing loss from disasters including drought and flooding;  Provides for Pension Funding; and Homebuyer Credits. This list was not inclusive, this is a major piece of legislation. Oh, and by the way, it is a PAYGO bill.

We've heard from the Republicans about no jobs, all Wall Street and no Main Street. Time and again Lynn Jenkins and the Party of NO votes for the Big Banks and against the common folk. This is another one of those times. On roll call 943 the bill advanced by a vote of 241 to 181. Lynn Jenkins voted no. The bill passed the Senate by a margin of 62 to 36 on record vote number 48. Kansas' Senators Brownback and Roberts voted against it.

The recession is not over yet. H.R. 4213 is needed to keep us going in the right direction.  The bill remains in the Senate where it is being subjected to a number of amendments.

Yesterday the Senate rejected an amendment by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to eliminate big oil and gas company tax loopholes, and to use the resulting increase in revenues to reduce the deficit and to invest in energy efficiency and conservation.Sam Brownback backed Big Oil while Pat Roberts was a no show on the vote.

The Senate also rejected an amendment from Louisiana's Republican Senator David Vitter, whose stated intent ensure that any new revenues to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund will be used for the purposes of the fund and not used as a budget gimmick to offset deficit spending. Sam Brownback voted for this amendment while Pat Roberts was AWOL.

The Senate did pass an amendment to H.R. 4213 by Minnesota's Democratic Senator Al Franken.  That measure creates an office of Homeowner Advocate in the Treasury Department to assist homeowners with foreclosure issues.

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