In today's On the News segment: The Congressional Budget Office released a report that found that allowing the Bush tax cut to expire for the very rich will have the least negative effect on the economy; the notoriously abusive manufacturing company Foxconn may be coming to the United States where Americans are desperate for jobs; Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledged the fight about "Obamacare" is over; and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news...
You need to know this. If Republicans really care about reducing the deficit and helping the economy, then they'll let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday on the economic effects of the looming fiscal cliff. It finds that among all the consequences of going off the fiscal cliff, allowing the Bush tax cut to expire for the very rich will have the least negative effect on the economy. Extending all the Bush tax cuts for everyone will boost U.S. GDP growth by 1.5%. Whereas, extending all the Bush tax cuts for everyone except those making more than a quarter million dollars a year will boost GDP growth 1.25% - meaning they have a negligible effect on economic growth beyond just giving millionaires a couple million dollars more in their bank accounts. Mitt Romney did his best to protect tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires like himself. But in the end, Democrats clearly won a mandate on Tuesday to raise taxes on the rich. And if it takes going off the fiscal cliff to ensure the rich pay their fair share again, then so be it.
In screwed news ... there are reports that the notorious manufacturing company Foxconn, known for abusing workers to produce Apple products in China and Taiwan, is looking to open up factories in the United States. At Foxconn factories overseas, workers endure 12-hour shifts in atrocious factory conditions and are forced to live in crowded dorms with fellow co-workers. Workers routinely fall ill from chemicals, and 17 workers have killed themselves over the past five years. Nets are installed around the factory to catch people who jump out of the windows and off the roof. And now Foxconn may be coming to the United States where Americans are desperate for jobs. While we do have better labor standards than developing nations, Republicans are working to scrap protections for workers, and have declared everything from workplace safety laws to minimum wage laws unconstitutional. If they get their way, then America will be the new home to sweatshop labor.
In the best of the rest of the news...
Believe it or not, Republicans are learning lessons from their resounding defeat on Tuesday. To begin with, Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledged the fight about Obamacare is over. According to ABC News – when asked about future prospects of trying to repeal Obamacare in the House, Speaker Boehner accepted the fight was over, saying, "The election changes that...Obamacare is law of the land." Though he did later backtrack from the comments. But on the issue of immigration, Republicans are drastically changing their position now that President Obama won 75% of the Latino vote. Several prominent Republicans – Including Speaker Boehner, former Governor Haley Barbour, Senator Jerry Moran, and even Sean Hannity have called for a more moderate immigration stance within the Republican Party post-election – including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. Republicans must accept the fact that comprehensive immigration reform is supported by the majority of Americans.
Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman and former small-time crook Darryl Issa has launched witch-hunt after witch-hunt against the Obama administration since taking the gavel in 2011. But now, someone may be investigating him. The organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – or CREW – is accusing Issa of again violating House Ethics rules. Days before the election, Issa used his committee's resources to upload a YouTube video attacking the President over State Department dinner spending. As CREW asserts, the ad had nothing to do with Issa's work on the Oversight Committee and was a blatant attack-ad against the President. According to Ethics rules, committee resources, which are funded by taxpayer dollars, cannot be used for political campaigns. Rather than addressing the allegations directly, a spokesperson for Issa attacked CREW as a partisan organization. What's the point of government oversight, when the guy in charge is himself a crook and a liar?
According to new election spending data – Tuesday was a good day for women's rights and a bad day for guns. The Sunlight Foundation is reporting that Planned Parenthood political organizations spent 98% of their money this election cycle on winning candidates. On the other hand, NRA political organizations spent just 1% of their money on winning candidates. However, it's not all bad news for the NRA. With another four years of the Obama presidency, right-wing crazies claiming guns will be confiscated will spur a lot more gun sales. Already, gun manufacturers like Smith and Wesson are seeing their stocks soar. On Wednesday, Smith and Wesson saw it's stock shoot up 9.6% - it's biggest gain since early September. Ironically, in reality, President Obama has expanded gun rights during his first-term in office.
And finally ... Karl Rove has a lot of 'splaining to do. The world watched on Tuesday night as Rove desperately tried to deny the math showing President Obama won re-election. That's because he knows he'll have to answer to the millionaires and billionaires he took $300 million from, and to whom he guaranteed a victory for Romney. Rove continued his "explanation tour" in a recently published op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, blaming Obama's re-election on everything from Hurricane Sandy, to New York Times editors, to hotel employees who may have filmed Romney's infamous 47% comments. The one person he didn't blame in the op-ed was himself. Rove thought he could buy the election this year, but, ultimately, organized people overcame organized money. We should all be proud of this – AND acknowledge that when election time comes around again – Rove and the oligarchs will try even harder and spend even more to win one for the billionaires. Which is why we should amend the Constitution to reverse Citizens United. Movetoamend.org.
And that's the way it is today – Friday, November 9th, 2012. I'm Thom Hartmann – on the news.