Category Archives: covid-19 relief package

Newt Gingrich Has No Moral Authority

Newt Gingrich Needs to Ride Off Into the Political Sunset

GingrichNewt Gingrich recently wrote an opinion piece in the right-wing Washington Times entitled: “Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president”. I could simply ask “Who gives a damn?” and end this post, but Newt Gingrich is rarely challenged on his bombastic bullshit. For those lucky folks who don’t know much about Gingrich, here are the cliff notes:

He’s an arrogant, self-important, self-delusional, self-aggrandizing, adulterous, finger-in-the-wind ex-politician. For more detail, read:

Politico’sThe Millennial’s Guide to Newt Gingrich

The Atlantic’s “How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics“, and

Time’s “How Newt Gingrich Laid the Groundwork for Trump’s Republican Party

Now, back to Newt’s opinion piece; without a doubt, the most hypocritical statement comes at the very start:

Having spent more than four years watching the left #Resist President Donald Trump and focus entirely on undoing and undermining the 2016 election, it took me several days to understand the depth of my own feelings.

Carrying the torch of Republican hypocrisy

In case you didn’t know, Newt Gingrich was the star of the show at the 2009 Inauguration eve meeting to sabotage Obama’s presidency.  Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” lists attendees as:

Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, … and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith.

As HuffPost’s Sam Stein reported:

For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform. (…)

“You will remember this day,” Draper reports Newt Gingrich as saying on the way out. “You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”

Sadly for Newt, the seeds dried up and Obama won re-election in 2012. Republicans never realized how much Democrats supported their President, and saw through GOP efforts to ensure the government failed. Just as they don’t realize even now that unlike their base, Democrats have always seen through Trump’s MAGA bullshit. Republicans elected a repulsive, vulgar, un-American, self-absorbed con-man who has done nothing but shit all over the dignity of the office and the reputation of the country. AND NEWT GINGRICH KNOWS THIS.

Covering for the Failure-in-Chief

Gingrich continues:

” …Democrat-led COVID-19 policies have enriched the wealthy while crushing middle class small business owners (some 160,000 restaurants may close).”

It’s DEMOCRATIC-led, brainiac, sheesh! Anyway, this kind of nonsense is why people like Newt write for conservative sites: No Pushback. And fact-checking? PFFFT. 

Whatever COVID-19 policies Democrats enacted were a result of the lack of leadership and blatant dishonesty from Washington. Blue states acted quickly and imposed the necessary lockdowns.

 

Republicans, however, hid behind their constituents’ selfish “freedom” arguments and practically reveled in doing the opposite of everything the disease specialists suggested.

Red States’ COVID cases are surging now, and Republicans and the White House have abandoned any pretense of having a plan.

The Right’s fine-tuned art of dishonesty

As for “enriching the wealthy and crushing middle-class small business owners”, that is a direct result of the non-existent oversight of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to SBA.gov:

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

But according to Vox (my emphasis):

As written in the legislation, any business that’s classified as an accommodation or food service that has 500 or fewer employees at its individual locations, is eligible. It’s a loophole that, in theory, was meant to help franchisees and independent owners — think a local McDonald’s store owner — but as Bloomberg notes, the “language didn’t clarify whether individual locations must apply for the aid or whether corporate headquarters could start vacuuming up millions in relief funds.”

Some of the “small businesses” that “vacuumed up” money included Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Shake Shack, and the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, the AP found that “… at least 94 companies that disclosed receiving aid since the program opened April 3 were publicly traded, some with market values well over $100 million.” True small businesses were left to fend for themselves, thus the money was gone before they could even get their applications processed.

Mnuchin’s Financial Free For All

Among others receiving PPP money:

A couple who purchased a $3.5 million estate, and a “ministry” that tried to buy a $3.7 million house in Disney World’s Golden Oak development. In addition, Small Business Trends reports:

Feds have seized a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan sports car, a Rolex Presidential watch, a 5.73-carat diamond ring, and a diamond bracelet — all purchased with PPP loan money. Other loot includes a Tesla, a 26-foot Pavati Wake Boat, a 33-foot Cruiser yacht, two Rolls-Royces, a Lamborghini Urus, a Kia Stinger, and a Ford F-350 pickup truck.

Authorities also seized cash hoards and froze bank accounts. They are in the process of trying to recover other assets.

Some defendants blew taxpayer money on wild spending sprees, including Las Vegas gambling, visits to strip clubs, and day-trading. In one case, a married couple was apprehended at JFK Airport purportedly attempting to flee the country after submitting 18 fraudulent applications — allegedly.

As a result of public outcry over the program’s fraudulent loans, Steve Mnuchin decided to conceal the names of businesses receiving PPP loans.

I’m not going to continue to point out the blatant lies in Gingrich’s opinion piece, I think you get the drift. Aside from tax breaks for the wealthy, starting wars, suppressing the vote, and denying people their rights, lying is one of the things Republicans excel at. Newt Gingrich’s opinions are about as important as something you’d scrape off of your shoe, and his character is no better.

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Filed under Corporate Greed, COVID-19, covid-19 relief package, newt gingrich, Politics, relief package corruption, stimulus

Now YOU’RE Paying For Corporate America’s Meals

When the Hell is Enough Enough?

Republicans fought long and hard to get the 35% statutory corporate tax rate lowered. They claimed it made U.S. companies less competitive than their foreign counterparts. At the same time, Republicans KNEW that corporate effective tax rates averaged much less.

In 2016, the Senate Budget Committee’s Ranking Member received a report from the GAO on effective tax rates. The GAO report, using tax years 2006-2012, found:

cash and cigarsThe statutory tax rate on net corporate income ranges from 15 to 35 percent, depending on the amount of income earned. For tax years 2008 to 2012, profitable large U.S. corporations paid, on average, U.S. federal income taxes amounting to about 14 percent of the pretax net income that they reported in their financial statements (for those entities included in their tax returns). When foreign and state and local income taxes are included, the average ETR across all of those years increases to just over 22 percent.

Insanity is… well, you know.

Even so, the GOP majority got their way in 2017, rewarding those big-money donors at the expense of American taxpayers. In 2019, a report from ITEP (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy), Corporate Tax Avoidance in the First Year of the Trump Tax Law found:

TCJAWhen drafting the tax law, lawmakers could have eliminated special breaks and loopholes in the corporate tax to offset the cost of reducing the statutory rate. Instead, the new law introduced many new breaks and loopholes, though it eliminated some old ones.

Key Findings:

pigs at the troughThe 379 profitable corporations identified in this study paid an effective federal income tax rate of 11.3 percent on their 2018 income, slightly more than half the statutory 21 percent tax rate.

91 corporations did not pay federal income taxes on their 2018 U.S. income. These corporations include Amazon, Chevron, Halliburton and IBM. An ITEP study released in April 2019 examined 2018 Fortune 500 filings released to date and found 60 companies paid zero in federal income taxes. Now, all companies have released their 2018 financial filings, and this report reflects that.

Another 56 companies paid effective tax rates between 0 percent and 5 percent on their 2018 income. Their average effective tax rate was 2.2 percent.

Now, instead of the mere 27 companies paying no income taxes in 2015, we’ve jumped to at least 91 companies avoiding taxes in 2018.

Feeding Corporate Pigs

Fast Forward to 2020. A raging pandemic, over 300,000 U.S. deaths, huge job losses, people facing evictions or losing their homes, and THIS is what Trump and Republicans insisted be part of the latest COVID Relief Plan:

feeding corporate pigsCorporations will now be able to deduct 100% of the cost of “business meals”.

Paying 50% of their meals was obviously too burdensome, so Americans will pay even more now to prop up our so-called “self-made” corporate Americans. We already subsidize their

          • Operating Expenses

          • Employee Expenses

          • Insurance

          • Travel

          • Bad Debts

          • Interest

          • Equipment

          • Taxes

          • Professional Services

          • Advertising

Not to mention yachts, planes, second homes…

Now we can feed them, too.

Meanwhile, working families are struggling to put food on their own tables. Republicans are vile, despicable people who’ve never given a rat’s ass about America.

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Filed under Congress, Corporate Greed, COVID-19, covid-19 relief package, Economy, Frontline Workers, Politics, relief package corruption, Republican Priorities, Republicans, stimulus, Taxes, Trump