If The Public Knew – Corporate Media Helps GOP Sneak In Plutocrat Agenda

Dave Johnson

Last week Republicans filibustered the Bring Jobs Home Act, when polls show dramatic support for ending tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Last week Republicans filibustered the DISCLOSE Act which would at least let us know who is pumping hundreds of millions into our election, when polls show overwhelming opposition to corporate purchases of politicians. That’s two BIG ones, and that’s just last week. You’d think that would clinch the election — but the public doesn’t know who to blame. In a democracy accountability is important but in a plutocracy impunity carries the day.

Campaigned Saying Dems Cut Medicare – Got Voted In And Eliminated Medicare

If people knew what Republicans were doing… but they don’t. In the 2010 election Repubicans spent hundreds of millions on ads telling the public that Democrats had “cut half a trillion from Medicare.” So the public “knew” that and Republicans took the senior vote for the first time, enabling them to gain a majority in the House. Except it wasn’t true. And when Repubicans got into office they passed a budget that … pretty much eliminates Medicare.

Eliminating Medicare Only The Beginning

That budget that eliminates Medicare is called the Ryan budget (more recently called the Romney-Ryan budget), and it was passed by House Repubicans. Here are just some of the things this budget — already passed by House Republicans and endorsed by Mitt Romney — does:

  • Raises taxes on wage earners who make between $50,000 to $100,000 by $1,300
  • Raises taxes on those who make between $100,000 to $200,000 by $2,600
  • Cuts taxes on those who make between $500,000 and $1 million by $35,000
  • Cuts taxes on those who make over a million dollars by $285,000.
  • Elimininates corporate taxes for money made overseas, and from offshoring jobs.
  • Maintains military spending at current levels, with some increases, in case we have to fight the Soviet Union.
  • Cuts 13% from veterans programs.
  • Cuts 25 % from transportation (airports, roads, etc.)
  • Cuts 6% from “general science, space, and basic technology.”
  • Cuts 14.6% from natural resources and the environment.
  • Cuts 33% from “education, training, employment, and social services.”
  • Cuts “income assistance” by 16% – food stamps, housing assistance, the earned-income tax credit.
  • Ends Medicare, replaces with a voucher plan for private insurance, raises age to 67.
  • Medicaid becomes block grants, states can decide how to use.
  • Repleals the health care plan – no replacement.
  • Repeals help for long-term care.
  • Reduces and removes public health programs.
  • Reduces and removes disease prevention programs.
  • Limits damages collectible when doctors or hospitals injure patients.

And that’s just part of what it does. This budget has passed the House of Representatives. (The procedure is that a budget passes the House, then must pass the Senate, then be signed by the President, so this budget is not the current law.)

If People Knew – But They Don’t

If people knew… but they don’t. Did you know what was in this budget, already passed by the House? I’d bet you didn’t. So what do you think most people out there know?

People are shocked and refuse to believe when told what the Republican agenda in Congress is. They refuse to accept it, it being so far from their understanding. It’s the opposite of what their campaign ads and propaganda says it is. They cannot believe politicians in America would do this.

Go try it for yourself. Go explain to someone who doesn’t follow the news what the Republican budget contains. See what their reaction is. They will think that you are some kind of extremist or nut, for trying to tell them people would actually do this. But this budget has already passed the House.

Republicans depend on the public not understanding their agenda, and they have good reason to feel secure enough to go ahead and pass such a budget. This is because our corporate news media is no longer providing the public with information they need to make decisions.

WHY Don’t People Know?

Go try to find information on what’s in the budget that House Republicans have already passed. I challenge you. I just did that, and it was not easy. (There’s this, if you can decypher what this says, through the propaganda…)

Why doesn’t our media make it easy for people to learn about things like the contents of the already-passed Romney-Ryan budget? Here is a possible explanation:

Just 232 Media Executives Decide What We Can Know About

From the following chart, “232 media executives control the information diet of 277 million Americans.” (Clich for larger.)

Media Consolidation Infographic

Source: Frugal dad

232 media executives decide what’s in 90% of the news media. What do you wanna bet those 232 people are paid? What do you wanna bet the worldview of those 232 people is?

Just 196 People = 80% Of Campaign Spending

People now get much of their information from campaign ad. There isn’t much choice, this is what is in front of people’s faces. And the campaign ads do not give the public honest information. Why is this?

Lawrence Lessig, in Big Campaign Spending: Government by the 1% in the Atlantic,

A tiny number of Americans — .26 percent — give more than $200 to a congressional campaign. .05 percent give the maximum amount to any congressional candidate. .01 percent give more than $10,000 in any election cycle. And .000063 percent — 196 Americans — have given more than 80 percent of the super-PAC money spent in the presidential elections so far.

Repeat, 196 people have given more than 80 percent of the super-PAC money spent in the presidential elections so far.

232 media executives control 90% of our information souces. 196 people decide 80% of the campaign spending. And the House has passed a budget that greatly increases taxes on people making less than $200,000, while dramatically cutting taxes on those who make over $1 million. (This is not related to the Bush tax cuts and the coming battle over the “Grand Bargain” to cut Social Security, Medicare and other things while cutting top tax rates and corporate taxes…)

When facts became inconvenient for the corporate right the corporate media stopped reporting the facts.

When the positions became inconvenientfor the corporate right, the corporate media stopped reporting the positions.

I leave you with this: 2/3 say Romney would be better on the economy. I’d bet that very, very few of those 2/3 know that Republicans filibustered the Bring Jobs Home Act, filibustered the DISCLOSE Act, and passed a budget that raises taxes on most of us, dramatically cuts taxes on the Mitt Romneys, and dramatically cuts or eliminates the things We, the People do for each other.

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