SEN. SANDERS is filibustering as I type this. He’s been going since 10:30am EST, I believe — and incredibly, his voice is still in good shape AND he’s still interesting! Here goes a bit of a liveblog (disclaimer! I may get some of this wrong. Do fact checking if you’re basing anything on this):
We support a $400/year tax break for every worker in America. When they have the money, they spend it, which creates more jobs. Yes, we want more workers to have more money in their pockets.
But lowering the payroll tax is not a good idea. The idea originated from conservative Republicans whose intention was to destroy social security. One way you do that is to divert funds intended for the social security trust fund.
Here’s the problem. Historically, the reason social security works is that the fund is *funded*. Even just stopping this for one year, the accusation will become “now your taxing employers”. It’s a backdoor method for breaking social security. What are the odds that the Republicans will allow the tax cut to expire?
What this issue is about, is breaking the bonds we’ve had since the inception of social security. Historically, it’s *always* been paid for by the workers.
The real debate about social security is not about finances. It has a $2.6Trillion surplus. For the next 29 years, it can pay for every person who will need it. It’s just wrong to say the fund is going bankrupt.
Another problem with this Agreement – it provides businesses with tax cuts. Almost all economists understand that if we’re serious about creating the kinds of jobs we desperately need, as rapidly and effectively as possible, the way to do that is not to provide corporate tax cuts. Corporate America is sitting on $2Trillion cash. Instead, what we have got to do is make significant investments in our crumbling infrastructures – our bridges, our roads, broadband, dams. In every single one of these areas, our infrastructure is crumbling.
It doesn’t get better all by itself!
According to Society of Civil Engineers, we should be spending about $2trillion (?) dollars on our infrastructure, excluding Alaska (me: why did he exclude Alaska?).
It’s also water systems. The mayor of Rutland, Vermont showed me a pipe. It was in bad shape. It was laid by an Engineer who later went to war. Guess which war? THE CIVIL WAR. And that pipe’s still being used.
(me: when to Filibuster-ers use the loo??)
Compared to China, our (US) investments in Rail is inadequate. China is investing in high speed rail, thousands of miles, and 100s of new Airports.
So one of my objections is We can do better in job creation be investing in infrastructure, than we can by giving tax cuts to businesses.
Some Americans can’t get cel phone service, or decent broadband. When we make those investments, we not only provide jobs, but make our nation stronger.
Another objection: I was quite disturbed to hear about one of the compromises that was struck – to extend unemployment benefits to (by?) 13 months. How can we turn our backs on these workers? What happens to those families? Do they lose their homes? Do they move out onto the streets? How do they take care of their kids? There are parts of this country where it’s very, very hard to get a job. I get upset at the Republican’s willingness to support this extension to be considered as “a major compromise”. For the past 40 years, whenever the unemployment rate has been above 7.2%, (today, at 9.8%), regardless of Republican / Democrat gov’t, unemployment benefits have been extended. So what kind of compromise are the Republicans offering? It’s just continuing sensible bi-partisan policy.
We are offering tax cuts to 98% of Americans. And THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Republicans? We have to give tax cuts to the top 2% too?
So Mr. President, while there are some good provisions in this Bill, and extending the tax breaks to 98% of Americans, if the American people demand it, we Can Do Better. I don’t know if you or I alone will be able to convince our Republican friends to make this into the kind of proposal we need to work for Americans. The way we defeat this and come back with a better proposal and millions of people write their congress-people and say “Are we NUTS? Do we really think that at this time, we need to give the richest 2% a tax break at this point in our history”
Republican strategy is pretty clear. They want to destroy social security. We’re hearing more and more about raising retirement age (me: personally, I think that has to happen).
OK. This blogger’s pooped. Filibustered out. PLUS, he finished (big OOPS – I thought I was watching a livestream but it wasn’t! He’s already done!)