Monday, July 12, 2010

How the Other 100 Live.

by Distributorcap

Unless you live on Klingon or have a brain the size of Snookie's (which is about 40% of America) - it comes as no surprise that the US Senate is completely out of touch with the reality of America. On Sunday July 11 - Senator John Kyl of Arizona, who is one of the biggest assholes to ever grace the halls of Congress, appeared on Fox News and stated that the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire this year, should renewed - even if they are unpaid for or not met with matching cuts in spending.

In other words - Kyl (who found his new inner deficit-cutter on 1/21/09) wants to let the rich get richer even if it grows the deficit.

This is from the same man douchebag who is one of the many Republicans holding up the extension of unemployment because - (are you ready) those dollars for the out-of-work Americans will increase the deficit.

I cannot fathom how any die-hard teabagger can justify this complete dive into this bizarro world of illogic - but they will. The hate of liberals and democrats and humane people manages to bring the best in justifying the un-justifiable.

Back in March, Kyl, ever the bundle of warmth and humanity said
Unemployment insurance "doesn't create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work,"
from Steve Benen
Kyl said what he actually believed: he wouldn't pay for them at all. Spending requires budget offsets, tax cuts don't. Indeed, in Kyl's confused mind, one should "never" even try to pay for tax cuts.

It's quite a message to Americans: Republicans believe $30 billion for unemployment benefits don't even deserve a vote because the money would be added to the deficit, but Republicans also believe that adding the cost of $678 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy to the deficit is just fine.
The US Senate is an enigmatic (or maybe phlegmatic) organization. You have 100 elected officials deciding the fate of millions of Americans when it comes to things like war, infrastructure, medical care and an unemployment safety net. For most Americans (probably even Snooki), all they know about the Senate is that it is one of the two legislative houses of government, that there are two from each state, and they give a lot of money to rich bankers.

What they don't realize is that the Senate is one of the world's most elitist and unbalanced organizations, designed to get the Constitutional convention beyond a stalemate. Each state has equal representation with absolutely no tie to that state's population. For example, the two asswipes Senators from Kentucky (population 4.3 million) have as much voting power and clout as the two Senators from California (36.9 million people). Washington, DC - which has more people than Wyoming - has NO Senate representation. Seems pretty stacked huh?

To any person with a brain, this would seem like an obvious case of taxation without equal representation. Barbara Boxer's is the agent for 18 million people, while the insane Jim Bunning "talks" for 2.2 million. Until the enactment of the 17th Amendment in 1913 - those 100 senators (96 back then) were not even elected by the people - they were 'elected' by the state legislatures.

The seeds of this dysfunctional body go back to the creation of the US Congress. Under the Connecticut Compromise of 1787 (which passed 5-4, a vote tally that is all too familiar) - a bicameral legislature was created with an upper house (Senate) that had a fixed number of seats per state, and a lower house that have representatives based on the population size. The lower house was given the right to initiate all appropriation bills. Years later, Theodore Roosevelt described the Senate as “where every great fortune was incubated, every new commercial empire was sanctioned, every reform circumvented”. His words ring true today.

Combine this history with the fact you need to be worth millions to even run for Congress - and you have the perfect storm for the creation of the world's most plutocratic (not deliberative) body.

Kyl's idiocy and coldness can easily be explained away - he speaks for the place where he works and plays. And this playground is definitely more Southampton than Coney Island. In 2010, 66 of the 100 Senators are millionaires. Yes that is 2/3. Back when Bush was appointed in 2000 - only 34, or one-third were. That is double in ten years. Not only are they rich, they are very rich. The wealthiest Senator is Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, worth an estimated $215 million dollars. There are 18 Senators worth more than $10 million. The top 6 (Kohl, Warner, Kerry, Rockefeller, Lautenberg, Feinstein) are all Democrats. The average net worth for each of the 100 is around $14,000,000 - meaning the combined net worth of all US Senators is $1.4 billion dollars. (as a note of comparison, the total net worth of all 435 House members is about $2.1 billion. Darryl Issa is wealthiest Rep, worth $250 million). A great source for all this information is the Center for Responsive Politics.

It is a safe assumption that any member of the US Senate would have no idea what is was like to go down to the unemployment office, to count pennies in the supermarket or to worry if your home would be taken away by one of the banks propped up by the US Senate. $1.4 billion buys a whole lot of Starbucks and Perrier.

Ask the average American about net worth and they will know how much Lebron James, Cameron Diaz, or even maybe Bill Gates are worth. But those three (even the odious King James) are not making policy or keeping unemployment benefits from those unable (read NOT unwilling) to find work. You would think it would make a difference to the struggling Kentuckian that Mitch McConnell, who has continuously blocked unemployment insurance extensions, is worth $17 million. Or that Ben Nelson - another heartless soul blocking the funding - is worth $18 million. You won't see either of these guys looking for change to buy coffee or begging Dianne Feinstein to treat them to a donut. That $425 unemployment check - buys food for the guy who has sent out 2,500 resumes, but in the US Senate - that check would be used to clean up Larry Craig's last wide stance.

It doesn't take a brain much bigger than Snooki's to figure out why Kyl (who is one of the poorer Senators at a net worth of $800K) wants to continue tax cuts for the rich, I mean his friends. His recent statement on Fox just proves that the US Senate is actually designed to protect the interests of the wealthy in America, while disregarding the interests of the masses. And yet, election after election, the voters continue to elect people like Kyl and Inhofe and Demint and Bunning and McConnell and a whole slew of other aristocrats because, well I have no idea why. I can't see how a stance on guns, abortion or school prayer would outweigh feeding your kids and holding onto a job. But it does.

Welcome to the United States of Stupidity where Lindsay Lohan is much more important than oil in the Gulf. Where 5 million people watched Lebron James choose which team would pay him $100 million.

Poor John Boehner Snooki, so orange and so dumb - but even I would bet on Snooki to know that the the relationship between corporations, wealth, and US Senators is stronger than ever. Only when Americans begin to really vote their pocketbook (not the donation tray or their fear of those nasty terrorists) will you see their interests being represented in the government.

Until then - the show goes on.

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