What They Do When We’re Not Looking

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Since Monday morning, if you’re like me, you have been focused on the death of Osama bin Laden and the details surrounding it. I admit that my attention has been away from politics because it is such an amazing story, so you can imagine my surprise when I finally went to catch up on what was going on in DC. 

I discovered the 2 bills the GOP pushed through at a time when they were aware no one was watching; the networks, news papers, etc, all were reporting about OBL and politics took a back seat. Well here is what they accomplished.

Republicans on Thursday voted down a motion from Democrats to consider legislation to end subsidies to oil companies.

This motion proposed, which subsequently failed in a 241-171 vote, was attached to a bill that would allow oil companies to more easily secure drilling permits off the Gulf Coast. The bill itself that pertains to easing of restrictions for big oil to obtain drilling permits subsequently passed, so GOP successfully allowed oil companies to keep their tax cuts funded by us, the tax payers, and make it more easy for them to get permits to drill in the Gulf (FYI–they are also working on removing regulations for deep oil drilling…GOP showing their love for oil).

Of note, according to the campaign watchdog group Public Campaign Action Fund, House members who voted to preserve Big Oil’s corporate welfare “received five times more in campaign contributions, on average, from the oil and gas industry in the 2010 election cycle than those who voted to proceed” with the motion to end the Big Oil welfare tax.

No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (this is a misleading title):
  • Any individual, regardless of sex, who uses their own money to purchases a health insurance plan that includes coverage of elective abortion services would not be allowed to deduct health care costs from their income tax bill.
  • If a woman uses funds from a tax-free Medical Savings Account or other flexible pre-tax plan, she would be required to report the money spent on abortion services as taxable income.
  • Small businesses that receive tax credits for providing health insurance for their employees would see their taxes go up if they fail to choose a plan that does not cover abortions.

Basically, this isn’t just about punishing women who have abortions, it’s about making safe abortions virtually unavailable.  

This isn’t just isolated to the federal government. State legislatures have been doing the same thing. Their bills have ran the gamut from defunding education, handing out tax breaks to corporations, and practically banning abortions even in extreme situations. The ruthless way Republicans pass legislation against the middle and lower classes and pro-corporations continue to surprise me. A lot of the GOP actually grew up in the middle class and yet they have completely turned their back on us in favor dismantling our government, deregulating industries, and breaking unions. 
Democrats better wake up and realize if they want to make real changes, they have to be just as ruthless.
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