Katie: I got my check today and it's my last one. I don't know what we're going to do... I don't know what we're going to do.
The Non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office has clearly stated the the most stimulative thing that the government can do, is put cash in the hands of those who will immediately go out and spend that cash on gas, food, rent and their mortgage payment.
They even made a handy dandy graph of the comparative effects of eleven different policy options. See?
Add some chalk and it's something even Glenn Beck could understand. As you can see the least stimulative - I repeat the Least Stimulative - option on the list is reducing income taxes.
Unlike the poor and unemployed, all current economic indicators show that at this point in time, the Rich are doing JUST FINE. If fact they're going on Spending Sprees but don't expect that turn into a job for you and me.
THE world's economies have barely emerged from the global financial crisis and in Europe countries are still falling like dominoes into financial strife.
But a fortunate few have escaped unscathed. They're mega-rich, they're increasingly Asian, and they're forking out mega-bucks on art, fuelling a resurgence in the auction world as vigorous as it is unexpected.
In the traditional hot spots of London and New York, and the burgeoning hub of Hong Kong, artist records are being toppled and astronomical prices being set for everything from 19th century European masterpieces to Pop Art to antique Chinese pottery.
Got a couple 19th Century European masterpieces hanging out in the garage? You might bet set for some GOOD TIMES.
Don't have any classic art? How about a few priceless chandeleirs?
And this isn't new, according this report from New York Times, last year. Via Gawker.
Today, the New York Times reminds us that some members of the filthy rich continue to be filthy rich, recession notwithstanding. They're just hiding their spending places where regular people can't see it: in their homes. Designer Clive Christian's extremely high-end wares—think over-the-top chandeliers and the sort of Liberace-inspired designs that would appeal to someone like Celine Dion—are selling better than ever.
So who continues to buy this stuff? People like Thia Breen, the president of Esteé Lauder North America, and a bunch of other important people who are either too embarrassed or too smart to be interviewed—or named—in the piece. (One of the unnamed clients is a fertilizer mogul, though. Blind item!) In any event, Christian's firm reports 2009 is shaping up to be its best year yet: It's already collected $5 million in sales thus far in 2009, far more than the company made in all of 2008.
A fertilizer mogul? Somehow that's fitting.
These people are not "hurting" from the economic downturn one teeny, tiny, micro-scopic, bit. The last thing they need while American's are dropping into poverty like flies, is more cash to buy European Art and Chandeliers.
Yet hand them more cash is the one thing that Republicans are dead set on doing, no matter whether it tosses the American People out into the cold, damages the readiness of our Troops with a policy that removes those fully capable of contributing for bigoted reasons or delivers dangerous Nuclear Materials into the hands of Bin Laden and his ilk.
Update: In fact, they've made it Official
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress.
"While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike," all 42 GOP senators wrote in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The 42 signatures are more than enough to block action on almost any item he wishes to advance.
Tehcnically this threat doesn't affect the Russia START Treaty, so they're going after that seperately by trying to trade it for the DADT repeal.
More Via Thinkprogress.
LIEBERMAN: I don’t know if I can say I’ve been lobbying my friend John McCain, [but] I’ve been talking to him. I can say that I’m not making progress in my efforts with Senator McCain. But I believe we have more than 60 Senators, including a good solid handful of Republicans, who are prepared to vote to take up the Armed Services bill, which already has within it the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
And the real challenge here is the clock. Will we take the time to have the debate, not just on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but on the underlining Defense Authorization bill. And I can tell you that some of the Republicans who want to be for this, also want to make sure that Senator Reid offers them a fair amendment process.
As the Wonk Room points out, some GOP leaders are hinting that they will try to run-out the clock or pressure Democrats to drop the measure in return for Republican cooperation on the New START treaty.
The Right has long called this "Class Warfare" - well, alrighty then - lets survey the Battle Field and put this fight in true perspective.
If Paris Hilton gets to keep her TAX CUT so she can buy more Bling Bling - we just might be able to put food on the table for 2 Million Americans for another few months.
If Paris Hilton gets to keep her TAX CUT so she can be a fine upstanding role model to anorexic and bulimic young women everywhere who look forward to a future being well respected for how many of their ribs show while crawling on their knees in a mini-dress - we might consider Supporting the Troops and passing the Defense Authorization Act (with DADT & the Dream Act).
If Paris Hilton gets to keep her TAX CUT so she can pay for more Lawyers to explain how the Cocain that isn't hers ended up in the pretty little clutch purse the IS HERS - we might consider the new treaty with Russia to keep Lose Nukes out of the hands (or crotch as the case may be) of people like the Underwear Bomber.
In order to keep this silly woman and her family literally drowning in spare Walking Around Money, the Republicans are holding the Unemployed, Our Troops and Our National Security HOSTAGE.
And in the end, it won't help the economy except for those whose careers lean toward Maid Service, Butler, Chauffeur or Toilet Bowl HAIR HOLDER at Voyeur, however it will only cost the rest of us another $700 Billion in increased Federal Debt.
The choice is clear: It's either Paris' American Express BLACK CARD - or the rest of America, no quarter asked, no quarter given.
P.S. To be fair, this isn't all poor little Paris' fault. She had little choice in being born rich, feckless, vapid and vain. No, the real villain family here are far less photogenic and TMZ friendly, the villains here whose family owns the largest private Oil Company in America, and have funded bat-shit-crazy wingnuts for decades starting with the John Birch Society all the way to American's for (Some American's) Properity and Freedom Works.
America, I give you the true enemy in the War of the Classes - the OWNERS of the Republican Party, and Half the Democratic Party - The Koch Brothers.
For these guys these tax cuts are nothing more than PAYBACK, a Return on their $Billion Political investment.