Thursday, February 17

Walking Like an Egyptian in Madison Wisconsin

Not long ago Rush Limbaugh suggested that people should "Go Egypt on Obama" over Health Care - but it appears that what he suggests is already happening, but it's already happening in Madison Wisconsin.

The issue for those who don't already know is the Governor Walker's attmept to fix the $130 Billion Million State Budget shortfall -Which just 2 Weeks Ago was Running a SURPLUS, until the Governor signed a massive business tax cut ill - by taking out of the Pay, Pensions and Health Benefits of State Union Workers. He hasn't done this by coming to the Unions and striking a deal, in fact he 's refused to negotiate at all, instead he has tried to ram these cuts through the legislature and at the same strip the Unions of their right to collective bargaining ensuring that he'll NEVER have to bother coming to the table and negotiating.

As a result thousands of people, tens of thousands have appeared to protest the Governors action - in response he's gone Full-on Mubarak and threatened to call out the National Guard.

Sometimes Rush, you really should wish for something when you don't really realize what you'll get.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have the Guard on alert. Why, if that is true?

WALKER: No, in our case we have contingency plans that we put into place that are updated from where they were before. The National Guard is part of that. They would be part of that whether it is a snow emergency, tornado, earthquake, flood, anything else. And a work walk-off is part of contingency plan.

Most of our local workers are going to continue to be professionals, they're going to continue to show up for work. And while there's a handful upset about this - the bottom line is that most of the Union leaders are upset about this because part of our plan is to - also says for state and local workers - you can no longer be forced by law to be in a union you get to have the option.

More from John Nichols on Scott Walker and how he's out to Destroy Government.

Nichols: Scott Walker is out to Destroy Government.

Rachel Raps this up by documenting how destroying the public section, and especially public unions, has become part of the open plan of the Republican movement to ro
ll back the overall rights of workers, including suggesting the return of child labor...

Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R) is pushing a bill which would dramatically claw back state child labor protections. As the bill’s official summary explains:

This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

And while we putting children into the workplace, we might as well stick mom back home making babies where she belongs - the better to open up that fresh new job for junior - by cutting head start funding as has been moving through the Maryland Legislature.

In yet another example, the Frederick County, Maryland, Board of County Commissioners voted to end the county’s contribution to its Head Start program, cutting overall funding for the program by more than 50 percent. Two of the Republican officials justified their decision to cut Head Start — which provides early childhood education to the children of low-income parents — by saying that women should really be married and home with their kids, thus rendering the program unnecessary:

COMMISSIONER C. PAUL SMITH (R): I think its very significant that we did make this marriage week announcement today, because that is the best long-term way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community. As many of you know, I had a lot of kids, and my wife stayed home, at significant sacrifice, during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age. I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly, as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we have to reach.

COMMISSIONER KIRBY DELAUTER (R): My wife, college educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids, we had to give up a lot to do that. I agree again with Commissioner Smith, you know, the marriage thing is very important. I mean, education of your kids starts at home, okay? I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids.

This is not just an attack on the middle-class, this is an attack on the American Dream - the ability to buy a home, start a family, provide for that family and offer them a a better future while working a trade. This is an attack on the ability to have a trade and build a future for your family working with your hands to improve your community. It's an attack on the ability to enter the middle-class in the first place and create a new permanent caste system of workers and managers. The owners and the owned.

This movement has to be fought and it has to be stopped. If State Governments want to work with their public sector Unions and renegotiate to helps these states gradually pull themselves out of debt until the economy begins to recover - that could be accomplished, but that's not the goal. The tax issue is merely a means to an ends.

If Walker manages to break the Unions in Wisconsin - which by his own words is his ultimate goal - it'll begin a wave across the nation and as the public sector Unions lose rights and the ability to protect their working conditions and work environment - so will the private sector.

This movement has to be stopped, and Egypt has shown us the way. The time to stop them is NOW - the place to stop them is in Madison, and then spread that resolve across the country to protect the rights of workers.


Lawrence Nails Rep. Chaffetz as Tax Cheat

This has to be seen to be believed.

After getting Rep. Jason Chaffetz that he would seek to raise the Social Security retirement age, and cut the COLA for Social Security Benefits - which by the way have already been frozen for the last two years - O'Donnell closes in and Boom goes the Dynamite.

The issue Lawrence raises is the fact that Rep. Chaffetz doesn't Rent a place to sleep in Washington and instead uses his office, as a result he gains a benefit from avoiding paying that rent which he doesn't declare on his income as taxes. The issue has been raised in a letter by CREW which points out that 7 Democrats and 26 Republicans are currently having these "Sleepovers".

[U]nder the Internal Revenue Code, members who sleep in their offices are receiving a taxable benefit. The IRS treats lodging as a taxable fringe benefit unless it is offered on the employer's business premises, is for the employer's convenience, and is required as a condition of employment. As living in a House office clearly is not a condition of serving in Congress, members must pay taxes for imputed income based on the fair market value of their lodging.

Notably, members of Congress and congressional staff already have imputed taxable income based on the fair market value of their reserved parking spaces. If members must pay taxes to lodge their cars, surely they must pay taxes for their own lodging.
"Americans expect members of Congress to follow the tax laws just like everyone else. If legislators are going to treat their offices as dorm rooms, at the very least they should pay the appropriate taxes."

CREW sent their letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics which has yet to respond or rule on the matter, but it's clear this type of thing has been going on for decades.

From CBS News.

By doing this these Congressmen will save about $20,000 in Rent out of their $174,000 yearly salary.

Chaffetz sort of laughs this all off as "ridiculous", but he doesn't seem to realize that O'Donnell was the former Chief of Staff from the Senate Finance Committee so he probably knows Tax Law better than most law makers since it happens to be staffers like him who actually write the laws.

In fact O'Donnell led the Senate Staff during the consideration of President Clinton's first budget - so when Lawrence brings this up - in all likelyhood he knows what's he's talking about!

It's also not like issues like this haven't come up before.

Many members of Congress may have a Tom Daschle problem. A week after the former senator withdrew his nomination for Health and Human Services secretary because of reports he didn't pay taxes on a car and driver, lawmakers are facing their own tax questions. Some of the same lawmakers who criticized Daschle also neglected to pay taxes when they brought family members on trips paid for by outside groups, according to tax experts and a watchdog group. Most Americans pay taxes when they bring a spouse or family members on a business trip on the company's tab.

But many members of Congress have been ignoring that section of the tax code since they wrote it in 1993. It's hypocritical for some members to criticize Daschle's tax problems while ignoring their own, said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group that filed a complaint with the IRS on this issue in 2006. "It is identical," Holman said. "It's such an obvious issue, but the IRS looks the other way." But most members of Congress don't see it that way. They don't agree that the money for spouse trips is taxable, and they don't see any comparison with Daschle's failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes on a car and driver. "There is a clear difference between members of Congress being accompanied by a spouse in the course of official duties and a private citizen failing to pay taxes after being given a limousine and driver," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). "This isn't comparing apples and oranges, it's like comparing apple juice to Dom Perignon." Boehner is one of many lawmakers who have taken their spouses on trips paid for by outside groups. Another is former Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who has been confirmed as President Obama's secretary of Transportation.

Just as the lawmaker themselves would have to disclose a gift and pay taxes for having received it, they should have to disclose and pay taxes for the gift of a trip provided by and outside group.

And I strongly suspect, although I'm not a tax expert, that O'Donnell is also correct that lawmakers who choose to avoid paying for rent by living on government property - which is essentially accepting a gift from the American people who actually OWN that property - they should disclose it and file it on their taxes as income.

Villanova Law Professor James Edward Maule thinks they possibly should.

CREW could be correct, but it requires tax analysts to answer several difficult questions in particular ways to reach the same conclusion.

First, CREW contends that members of Congress are receiving lodging, and that it is taxable because it is not provided as a condition of employment, as required by § 119 for the lodging to qualify for exclusion from gross income. CREW points out that no member of Congress is required to live in their offices. Though this conclusion is debatable – certainly when Congress meets late into the evening or overnight, as sometimes happens, one might reasonably infer that members are required to remain on the premises – the difficulty with the analysis is that it presupposes that the government is providing “lodging” when a member of Congress stays overnight. But does an office constitute “lodging” simply because someone falls asleep therein? Or because someone takes a nap therein? [...]

If someone is specifically bringing a cot to sleep in, it's not a matter of then occasionally "taking a nap" - it's part of a deliberate plan to avoid paying for rent by squatting in their offices. And according to the CBS report and various others, saving money is exactly their goal - not just convenience.


Wednesday, February 16

A Truly Progressive Budget, could save $3.2 Trillion

So the President has put out a Budget that cuts $1 Trillion over the next ten years, while the House GOP has proposed $63 Billion in cuts that Obama has already promised to Veto. But has every reasonable (not to mention unreasonable) idea been brought to the table?

Thinkprogress has Five Progressive Ideas that neither the GOP or the President has mentioned, maybe it's something the House Dems should be putting on table.

1. Rein In The Military Budget: Neither the president’s budget or the House CR cuts the overall level of defense spending. In fact, Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s request for the Pentagon budget is a whopping $553 billion — “the largest request ever” by the Pentagon and the largest adjusted for inflation since World War II. CAP Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb has laid out $1 trillion in defense reductions that can be made over the next 10 years by phasing out outdated programs and resizing our military. This comes out to roughly $100 billion a year, which is approximately how much funding is being proposed to be cut from the Pell Grant program.

2. Reduce Or Eliminate Subsidies To Big Agribusiness: The federal government “paid out a quarter of a trillion dollars in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009.” “Just ten percent of America’s largest and richest farms collect almost three-fourths” of these subsidies. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has proposed — as a part of her progressive deficit reduction plan — a fifty percent cut in federal direct support for agriculture, which would save $7.5 billion in 2015.

3. Reduce Or Eliminate Wasteful Tax Expenditures: The CAP paper “Cracking the Code: A Closer Look at Tax Expenditure Spending” notes that “special credits, deductions, exclusions, exemptions, and preferential tax rates provide more than $1 trillion in subsidies intended to support public objectives,” yet are ineffective and should be reduced or eliminated. Eliminating this tax expenditure could save $100 billion, for example.

4. Enact A Financial Transactions Tax: A “0.25 percent tax on trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other Wall Street financial instruments” would do little to nothing to reduce commerce or productivity but would generate “between $50 billion and $150 billion annually,” according to a CAP analysis.

5. Empower Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices: One of the main drivers of the growing U.S. budget deficit is health care costs. While there are a number of things that can be done to streamline the efficiency of our health care system, like introducing a public option or even moving towards a Medicare-for-all system, one policy option that would be very simple to enact and would not require any sort of increased spending or expansion of government would be to simply allow Medicare to use its bulk purchasing power to negotiate with drugmakers for lower prices. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) estimates that doing this could save as much as $156 billion over 10 years.

Taken all together these proposals could save as much as $3.2 Trillion over the next decade, far more than what has been proposed by either the President's Budget or the Republicans - without negatively impacting Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare and leaving plenty of room for infrastructure investment, green job growth and even retain significant middle-class and small business tax cuts.

Wouldn't you love to see a budget like this put forward by Democrats in the House and scored by CBO lined up side-by-side against the GOP or Presidents proposals?

How could either of them seriously argue they would prefer to go with the plans that Saves Less and Hurts More compared to a plan like this? Rather than sit on the sidelines, Progressives need to make sure their voice is heard and their priorities are on the table. You never know, just like with the Patriot Act Vote, we could pull more than a few surprise upsets as the GOP caucus splits, divides and separates into their far-right and super-far-right-libertarian flanks.


Tuesday, February 15

Fox Attacks Gregory for Questioning Boehner on Birtherism

Via Media Matters.

On his Fox News show tonight, Bill O'Reilly criticized NBC's David Gregory for wasting "valuable airtime" during the February 13 edition of Meet The Press by pushing Boehner on his refusal to condemn those who claim Obama is Muslim. O'Reilly said of Gregory: "We've got a country that's just about bankrupt. We may be selling furniture on Capitol Hill pretty soon. And he's back to the birth certificate Muslim stuff." According to O'Reilly, the issue is settled and stupid, and he can't figure out why NBC would be talking about it.

O'Reilly argues that this issue is "getting no traction" and doesn't affect any public policy issue - except that it came up multiple times at CPAC.

And this Fox News Focus Group who think Obama is a Muslim.

This is why the point is relevant, and that fact that less than half of Republicans think Obama was an American.


A Harris poll released on March 24 found that a majority of Republican respondents believe that President Obama "is a socialist," "wants to take away Americans' right to own guns," "is a Muslim," "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government," and "has done many things that are unconstitutional." The findings follow a year of such smears and attacks on Obama by conservatives.

Mary Catherine ham accuse NBC of having a double-standard because supposedly Chris Matthews has argued that Obama could resolve this by "Showing his Birth Certificate" but that's frankly a lie since Matthews already has a copy of his certificate.

The Only Official State Certified Document is the one that Obama has already released. There is no evidence that his mother left the country while she was pregnant and then smuggled her son back into Hawaii somehow. There is no evidence that Obama is a Muslim, or a Socialist (since Socialism is than transfer of all private property into public hands).

The real issue isn't the Birthers and Islamophobes, it's the fact that people like Boehner and cantor are more than willing to Pander to them by taking the position that they somehow have a "Right" to believe complete and total nonsense.

Just like the crazy idea that tax cuts increase revenues, and spending it "out of controL" when in fact it's actually gone down slightly for this year.


South Dakota GOP to Make Killing Abortion Doctors Legal

Yes, that's right the South Dakota GOP is literally and seriously considering making Murder - a legal option if the person being killed is a Doctor who provides abortions.

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state's GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

So now we're looking at adding "Justifiable Terrorism" to our lexicon?

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state's legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person "while resisting an attempt to harm" that person's unborn child or the unborn child of that person's spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman's father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.

Essentially this bill would make this type of argument part of the law.

Roeder: The blame for the death of George Tiller belongs more with the State of Kansas rather than me. Had the courts acted rightfully I would not have killed George Tiller. The State of Kansas permits, protects and promotes the slaughter of these children. George Tiller was their Hitman. Do you expect ordinary people to just sit back and watch this happen?

We fought a bloody civil war while our courts denied personhood to people of color. 37 years ago the rights of the unborn were similarly denied, and in 37 minutes a Kansas court found George Tiller innocent and me guilty of murder

There's just so much wrong with that it's hard to figure out where to begin. Clearly he is trying to equate Dred Scott with Roe v Wade -the problem with that is that sad though it may be, Dred Scott was correctly decided since at that time the Original Constitution included the 3/5th language for African Immigrants as well as the Fugitive Slave Clause.

This Constitutional Flaw wasn't corrected until the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were Ratified.

In the case where George Tiller was acquitted, he wasn't accused of performing illegal abortions - he was simply accused of not getting an independent second opinion before performing the procedures. While those on the right like the rail about the "Rights of the innocent" they seem to completely ignore the women - mostly girls - whom Tiller was trying to help.

When you look at the actual complaint against Tiller you find that of the 19 counts against Tiller - 7 of the cases were for girls who were just 15 years-old, one girl was just 16 years-old, two of them were only 14 years-old, one was just 13 years-old and one was only 10!. Only 3 of them were over 18 years old.

Most of these girls were in fact raped by members of their own family, usually their father.

If a ten-year-old in this situation doesn't deserve to be protect and isn't "Innocent" I don't exactly know who is.

And now South Carolina would make helping this girl - essentially a non-judicial Capital Offense - while the rapist scumbag who put her in this situation gets what, a pat on the back for "nailing" her? Where is the argument for birth control to avoid unwanted and unplanned pregnancies? Where is the argument to provide better and simpler adoption services for babies born to parents without the means or ability to care for them?

If this doesn't make you sick to your stomach you might be suffering from compassion deficit disorder.


TeaPublicans Balance the Budget on the Backs of Bruised, but save the Best Cheddar for themselves

Rachel Contrasts the Budget Priorities of the President and Republicans. Both suggest harsh cuts - but it's on the spending that we see interesting and dramatic differences. Obama still wants to invest in Fast Rail, Green Tech and High Speed Telecom Backbone - they want to buy C-17s and engines for the F-31 that the Pentagon Doesn't Need.

And isn't it an interesting coincidence that the plants for these unwanted military projects just happen to be in Rep. Beohner and Cantor's districts? What was that about "No More Earmarks" again?

Before I get into the heart of this I just want to get one pet peeve from watching today's talking head class chatter about how "Obama's Budget Cuts aren't Serious because he didn't address Entitlements".

That is nothing but a Crock.

Obama spent well over a year passing a Health Care Plan that does address entitlements, it's saves $500 Billion from Medicare without cutting quality or restricting service and according to the Medicare Trustee's brings it into Surplus starting in 2012.

The outlook for Medicare has improved substantially because of program changes made in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the "Affordable Care Act" or ACA). Despite lower near-term revenues resulting from the economic recession, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is now expected to remain solvent until 2029, 12 years longer than was projected last year, and the 75-year HI financial shortfall has been reduced to 0.66 percent of taxable payroll from 3.88 percent in last year’s report. Nearly all of this improvement in HI finances is due to the ACA. The ACA is also expected to substantially reduce costs for the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) program; projected program costs as a share of GDP over the next 75 years are down 23 percent relative to the costs projected for the 2009 report.

Medicare is doing just fine.

Social Security is also going to be fine for Decades and before we start talking about raising the retirement age - we need to have increasing the payroll cap on the table too.

The biggest cause of the deficit was not spending (both TARP and the Auto Bailout were Loans which have been largely paid back), it was loss of revenue from the economic downturn and tax cuts - Spending as the CBO explains.

Since 2007, the recession and financial crisis, as well as the legislative responses to those problems, caused individual tax receipts to fall markedly. In 2009, individual receipts totaled just 6.4 percent of GDP, the lowest share since 1950.

Therefore the best way to fix this shortfall is to rescind necessary tax cuts and to invest in jump starting the economy. It's all about Jobs, Jobs, JOBS!

Let's all jump in the way back machine and recall how Republicans trashed the Stimulus in public, but praised it's "Job Creation" in private.

As Thinkprogress has noted nearly half the Republicans in Congress last session have engaged in rank Stimulus Hypocrisy.

ThinkProgress finds that over half of the GOP caucus, 110 lawmakers — from the House and Senate — are guilty of stimulus hypocrisy. Among some of the key findings:

– Top Republican Senate Recruits Are Stimulus Hypocrites: As ThinkProgress reported, Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), a candidate for Senate, touted over $5 million in stimulus programs he voted to kill. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the GOP nominee for Senate in Illinois, signed a letter urging Gov. Pat Quinn to provide “Recovery Act (ARRA) funding to expand the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network.”

– GOP Leadership Leads The Way In Hypocrisy: Although he regularly slams the stimulus as a waste while in DC, McConnell has returned to Kentucky to take credit for stimulus programs, even taking time to request more funds. ThinkProgress attended two job fairs held by Cantor, where we found dozens of employers able to hire directly because of the stimulus. Indeed, even Boehner’s office released a statement boasting that the stimulus will create “much needed jobs.” – The Audacity Of Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds: Many opponents of the stimulus have been quite brazen with their ability to try to claim credit for the program. For instance, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) spent the morning of July 28th railing against the stimulus, yelling “Where’s the stimulus package? Where’s the jobs?” on the House floor. On the same day of his rant, Kingston’s office sent out multiple press releases bragging that he had secured hundreds of thousands in stimulus funds to hire additional police officers in his district. Other stimulus opponents, like Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) — who has called the stimulus a “trillion dollar debt bill” — have printed out jumbo-sized ceremonial stimulus checks to present to local communities to try to garner positive press.

Individually, over half of the entire Republican caucus has hailed nearly every aspect of the stimulus as a success — from infrastructure funds, to food programs, to education grants

Despite this Republicans latest Budget Cut Proposal won't help create any jobs as it attempts to cancel and rescind all unspent Stimulus dollars, but it could also very well could help Kill People.

(Republicans) would cut about $60 billion relative to the 2010 baseline (under which the government is currently operating), or about $100 billion compared to President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request (which was never enacted).

The GOP’s proposal includes a slew of cuts to important programs, agencies, and investments, and would be detrimental to job creation, education, and scientific research. But they also specifically zero out many programs, cutting their funding entirely, including:

– High speed rail investments ($5 billion)

– COPS Hiring (supporting local law enforcement) ($298 million)

– High School Graduation Initiative ($50 million)

– Weatherization assistance program ($210 million)

– National Park Service climate change monitoring and response ($4.5 million)

– Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($86 million)

– Green Jobs Innovation Fund ($40 million)


the proposal includes a 22 percent reduction in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, massive cuts in basic science research, budgets slashing seeking to essentially eliminate U.S. government research on climate change, ... a true anti-science syndrome agenda.

This would be in additional to cutting all Health Care Funding, all funding for Wall Street Reform as well as funding to help stop lose nukes.

On Friday, House Republicans put forth a “continuing resolution” (CR) to fund the government past March 4th that was filled with spending cuts. While this came as no surprise, one focus of the cuts is causing some heads to turn. House Republicans are choosing to significantly cut the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nonproliferation programs, the sole purpose of which is to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on loose nuclear weapons and materials. While Republicans have talked about the need to inflict pain in their budget, doing so in a way that increases the risk of the nuclear annihilation of an American city is perhaps taking the pledge too far.

House Republicans have proposed to cut funding for these programs by 22 percent or $647 million. Michelle Marchesano of the Partnership for Global Security warns:

The US programs charged with securing fissile materials and thwarting terrorists’ efforts to acquire them are among the victims of this year’s federal budget fights. … Without appropriated budgets commensurate to program agendas, efforts to improve global nuclear material security will stall.

So the GOP don't want to spend on Health Care to help save the Lives of 45,000 Americans per year, they won't spend on Food Safety, Clear Air or Water (EPA), early warnings for Hurricanes and Storms (NOAA), to protect America from Nuclear Terrorism or from reckless Wall Street Investing which nearly destroyed the World's Economy - but they will spend to make Jet Engines we don't need?

The President has essentially staked out the middle ground, calling for tax increases (reversing the Bush Cuts), investments to spur the economy further and some spending cuts. Democrats need to champion their priorities, even if they differ from the President to pull as much of the budget back from the abyss as possible while the Republicans are sliding slowly off the far right edge. Ultimately this tug of war will probably bring us right back to where the President has started out, but one thing the Republicans can no longer claim is that they don't support spending to create jobs because it's quite obvious that THEY DO.

It's just they support spending on things we don't need, while Democrats want to invest on things that not only create jobs, they'll also save lives.