Mark Pryor

The “Buffett Rule” Is The “Reagan Rule”, But Instead Cut Food Stamps: Republican Party Message To America!

The “Buffett Rule”, the idea that those who earn more than a million dollars a year should pay a tax rate of 30 percent, more than their secretaries and other workers, was defeated in the Senate on a party line vote on Monday, with only Susan Collins of Maine voting with Democrats, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas voting with the Republicans, and 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster being unable to be accomplished.

Of course, the “Buffett Rule” is really a restatement of the “Reagan Rule”, the assertion of the 40th President that one should not expect an employee to pay a higher level of taxes than his or her employer. It is an embarrassment to the GOP of 2012, that they are actually defying their icon, their god, their “savior”, who they claim to be following and worshiping, but only when they choose to follow his lead. The fact that 72 percent of the American people in polls support the “Buffett Rule” has no effect at all on the Republicans, as they argue that $50 billion over ten years collected if the “Buffett Rule” went into effect is a “drop in the bucket”!

Meanwhile, the Republicans wish to cut spending on food stamps, the main source of funding for nutrition for poor families, attacked as socialism, but they insist that cutting it over ten years, saving $33.2 billion, is substantial, and must be done as part of the Paul Ryan budget plan in the House of Representatives.

The Republican Party has no conscience, as they are willing to take from the poor to give more tax cuts to the rich. They are Robin Hood in reverse, with no second thoughts!

So 4,000 families will benefit from the defeat of the “Buffett Rule”, while $46.4 million Americans, who are already dependent on food stamps for survival will see an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after September 1.

The long term unemployed, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, will now suffer even worse, as we now live in a society in which government leaders do not care about what hunger means, and do not care about the desperation of millions left behind, a large percentage of them children and single mothers, as long as the elite continue to get tax cuts!

Obscene Vote In US Senate On Jobs For Teachers And First Responders: How Can This Be Justified?

In an attempt by Senate Democrats to pass part of President Obama’s jobs plan, a proposal for $35 billion in spending on hiring or retaining 400,00 teachers and first responders was brought up in that chamber last night, resulting in a 50-50 tie, with all 47 Republicans and Democrats Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut joining them in opposition!

The jobs bill had been touted by Vice President Joe Biden as essential to help promote education and safety and security in local communities, and it would have been financed by a half penny tax on millionaires on incomes over one million dollars, meaning if one had two million in income, he would pay $5,000 in extra taxes, a small amount of contribution when compared to income and the public need!

It is shocking that Joe Lieberman would vote against this, and that Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine would vote against this as well!

At a time of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, the Senate minority and even a few Democrats seem tone deaf to the reality of what is going on in America!

These 50 Senators are to be condemned for playing politics and being short sighted in a time of need!

Sad Ending On DREAM Act: “The American Dream” Denied To Young Illegal Immigrants Who Wish To Contribute To The Only Nation They Know! :(

A very sad development yesterday in the US Senate was the denial of an opportunity for young illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as babies or very young children, and never have done anything illegal, but are being denied the right to move toward citizenship by pursuing college or entering the military.

These children are not lawbreakers, even if their parents are, and they have no memory of their former homeland. They have been discriminated against, and just wished to pursue the “American dream” that we hear so much about, but the Republicans in the Senate, except for three courageous souls, refused to allow such an opportunity.

The only three Republicans who voted in favor of cloture to end the filibuster by their party on the proposed DREAM Act were Richard Lugar of Indiana, Robert Bennett of Utah, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

However, since the vote, with four Senators not present, was 55-41, we must also look at the five Democrats who voted against the DREAM Act–Kay Hagen of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana. These five Senators did not show reasonable justification for their votes, and should rightfully be condemned for their vote.

With this defeat, and with the reality of GOP control of the House of Representatives for the next two years, and fewer Democrats in the Senate as well, it is unlikely that the DREAM Act or anything similar to it will have any fortune in the next few years.

But the battle for immigration reform, including giving opportunities to children who have done no wrong except being born to the “wrong” parents, will continue, and with the growing Latino population in this country, eventually human rights and civil rights will come to these deserving children of illegal immigrants!

Time For Use Of “Reconciliation” To Enact Health Care Reform

The tactic of “reconciliation”, requiring only 50 votes if the Vice President breaks the tie, or 51 votes majority in the Senate to enact legislation, is ready to be utilized if the conservative Democrats, including Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Max Baucus of Montana, refuse to be loyal to their party and complicate the passage by not cooperating to overcome a filibuster.

The “reconciliation” tactic has been used before, as for instance to enact the two Bush tax cuts, so there is no reason why it cannot be used now to bring about the most important legislation in at least a generation.

Statements by Senator Nelson and Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma that such a tactic would be wrong is pure hypocrisy, and it is time to make it clear to both the GOP and the conservative Democrats that the party will ignore them and pass legislation over their heads if they refuse to cooperate!