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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Senate Republicans intend to rob Social Security to fund highway spending bill.

There is not much in Republican leadership to admire these days as it searches ways to fund the highway transportation bill. It dare not raise gasoline taxes and if the fund is not shored up in the next week or so it may no longer fund highway building and repairs. The House plan pushed by faux Tea Party Rep. Paul Ryan would levy a one time tax on  unrepatriated corporate earnings thereby setting a dangerous precedent that could force American corporations to register in countries with a saner corporate tax code. The U.S. is one of the few industrialized countries that even taxes foreign earnings. Bear in mind how many Republicans have pledged to cut the federal budget without raising taxes.
As bad as the House bill maybe it is infinitely better than the Senate version. The Senate bill would sell off 101 billion barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We no longer need petroleum reserves? Is it because of the nuclear arms bargain Obama made with Iran or are we just overstocked? That would raise $9 billion if the federal government sells the oil between 2018 and 2025 but only if it can get $89.10 per barrel. That's an iffy proposition but not the chief cause of my vexation..
There is very little reporting on another source of funds. The low life Republican who we voted for are looking toward Social Security as another source of funding. The Hill calls it a "tweak" to Social Security. How benign! raid one trust fund to shore up another trust fund. And who pays for it? The segment of the driving public that drives the least. Under the propose legislation a fugitive from justice would lose Social Security benefits. This is an update to the CUFF act that was recently gutted in Martinez v. Astrue and Clark v. Astrue with one prime difference. Under that law the money recouped from so called fugitive remained in the Social Security trust fund, not spent to build bridges to nowhere.
By law, the revenues received by the Social Security Trust Funds are reserved exclusively for the purpose of paying benefits to the American people and covering associated administrative costs. Americans understand this arrangement and overwhelmingly support it as a vital element of the program’s status as an earned right benefit. Personally I would rather see a felon spending his SS check on hookers and drugs than see one more damned bike path.

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