Ask enough people in the U.S. what the number one issue is facing our country, and the majority will answer "Jobs". The Bush-era economic policies resulted in those at the top being financially rewarded for shipping jobs overseas, and unregulated financial groups selling debt as assets until the whole ponzi scheme collapsed. The fallout has resulted in a stagnant job market as companies sit on money rather than investing in growth.
Despite it being Congress's job to create bills to alleviate this sort of thing, the Republican leadership in the House has criticized President Obama for not coming up with a jobs bill. So - he did. He created a comprehensive bill that covers a lot of territory and is well thought out. He presented it to Congress where it quickly stalled.
In the meantime, the House Republicans have been working on plenty of bills themselves - there was the bill redefining rape, bills about abortion, and - yesterday - the bill affirming "In God We Trust" as the official U.S. motto. What does this have to do with jobs, America wonders?...
It's not like there has been talk of doing away with the motto. The rationale for it was summed up by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) who said
"This was a priority because the president himself had stated that the motto of the country was E Pluribus Unum, so we thought we’d remind him”. In other words - as Jon Stewart said later that night - they just wanted to be dicks.
Republicans obviously don't believe in E Pluribus Unim (despite all the "United We Stand" signs that appeared shortly after 9/11), since they seem keen on being as partisan and divisive as possible. THAT is their main focus - destroying Obama's presidency - not uniting the country or creating jobs. It doesn't seem to be working - Obama's approval rating is up 6% from last month to 47%
, partly due to the in-fighting in the Republicans presidential primary race.
His improved approval rating is also probably due to Americans waking up and realizing just how bad things are. Some of this comes thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, and all the other "Occupations" that it has spawned. It's also possible that things have gotten bad enough that it's hard not to notice.
There's the city in Michigan that has turned off the street lights
to save money on the electrical bill...
The number of Americans living at or below the poverty line now number 1 in 15
While the jobs situation is improving, it is taking a long time getting there:
There is also the inequity in the way taxes are paid. Most middle class people pay federal income tax, social security and medicare tax, and state income tax. They also pay sales tax on the things they buy, and spend pretty much their entire paycheck each month, thus paying sales tax on their entire take-home pay (the lower the income, the more likely that's the case). Those at the upper end of the scale pay the social security and medicare taxes on only the first $100K they make. So - a person making $100K may be paying 8% of his income for SS tax, and a person making $200K only pays 4% of their income on SS tax. On top of that, the rich Wall St. types make most of their money on "Capital gains", and those are taxed at about 1/2 the rate of normal salaries.
Add to this inequity a new report showing that quite a few enormous companies are making huge profits and paying no taxes at all
. The income taxes of the middle class provide the infrastructure for these companies to make huge profits, and they don't help pay for it at all.
THIS is a huge ponzi scheme. Those at the top of these companies keep sucking up all the spare cash out of their company, and if it keeps up, the company will fail because there will be no one left with money to buy their products. It's a jobs disaster waiting to happen.
This is why it is SO important that Congress creates a bill that will create jobs directly (yes, that means "government jobs"), as well as via contracts with private companies to do work to improve the U.S., to create tax incentives and penalties to encourage companies to hire in the U.S., and fix the tax structure for the financial markets to raise more revenue for the government and prevent the upward flow of cash. THAT is what a jobs bill looks like. The President's bill covered a lot of this. Republicans?... all they ever talk about is tax cuts. After 8 years of tax cuts under the Bush administration, how well did THAT work out?
I suppose "In God We Trust" SHOULD be our motto - we sure as hell can't trust the Republican "leadership" in Congress to do the right thing...