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By: T. Cahill
Washington, D.C. (Jun 22) – This afternoon’s Senate session, still in Round 2, found Senators Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) berating Republicans for ignoring “humans” in favor of corporations, drug companies, and the filthy rich with their estate tax exemptions. In their speeches in defense of the millions of American’s depending on their country to do the right thing and give them their unemployment extensions and benefits, the sheer disdain for the Republicans shown by Whitehouse and Brown would make any American proud.
Senator Whitehouse stated, “We have an entire party that is dedicated to preventing working people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own as a result of this economic melt down, preventing them from getting unemployment insurance. It has actually already expired and we’re trying to backfill it for that period.”
However, the Republicans protect the “super rich”. The priorities of Republicans are, and have always been, one sided. Siding with the rich is what they do. The GOP had no trouble at all running up a $9 trillion deficit, for their own priorities including the war in Iraq, favoritism to drug companies and corporations, and, in particular, the super wealthy. Now that it is the underdog, it is a completely different GOP story.
Whitehouse then stated that Republicans are “…completely satisfied with an oil tycoon worth $9 billion having his estate go completely tax free to his heirs”. Each member of the Duncan family, while grieving we are sure, are now billionaires in their own right. Each billionaire will pay no estate tax to the government. Zero. “If it was fair”, the family would, under normal circumstances be required to pay the government between $3 and $4 billion in taxes on that $9 billion.
“If you have been listening on the floor,” continued Senator Whitehouse, “You have heard a lot of critique about what a terrible procedure reconciliation is when it’s used to do anything to help regular Americans. But when it comes to cutting the estate tax so that the Duncan family can have a $9 billion estate passed tax free, that’s a perfectly fine use of reconciliation, according to our Republican friends.”
The kicker was Senator Whitehouse’s statement, “And while we’re in this period of economic turmoil, while we’re in this period where one party is trying to keep regular workers from getting access to unemployment insurance in the middle of this economic disaster, they are all for an unpaid for zeroing out of the estate tax so that a $9 billion estate passes completely tax free.”
During Senator Brown’s speech, he quoted a statement made by Warren Buffett in 2007 where Buffett made it clear that the wealthy have “been on a space ship” (implying super-speed growth in wealth) whereas the average working person has for the past 20 years “gone no where”. In other words, the hardworking, everyday people of this country who support it through sweat, labor, and taxes are still living at the same level, the same lifestyle equivalent as they did 20 years ago.
Republicans would “rather protect the super wealthy in our society than take care of this unemployed worker,” stated Senator Brown holding up a large photograph of an “everyday” woman filing for unemployment to feed and help support her family.
The Republicans are famous for “deficit concerns” only when it applies to those it most impacts – the unemployed.
At 5:11 EDT, Senator Brown wrapped up his remarks recognizing that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on the floor. WNV will be announcing word of the outcome of any further action with regard to H.R. 4213, when the missing Senators are hunted down, returned to the floor, and with luck vote to do the right thing, help Americans.