"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

9/11 First Responder Bill Passes

After multiple filibusters and blocks from Republicans, the 9/11 First Responders bill (officially called The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Bill) has passed. The bill was intended to provide around $7 billion in care for responders by closing multiple corporate tax loopholes. This would have actually resulted in a bill that would have been deficit neutral. However, Senate Republicans balked at this because it went against their core belief that everything should be done to make the rich richer. Closing the tax loophole was removed but that wasn't enough. Despite adding nearly a $900 billion to the deficit by extending the bush tax cuts along with some extras for the rich, Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mike Enzi of Wyoming balked at the $7 billion price tag. The final cost of the bill is $4.2 billion that might be paid for by foreign tourists and business visitors.

Once again, while this was debated for months, the Tea Party remained silent on this issue even though they happily invoke 9/11 frequently, are against anything that adds to the deficit and I would think would support the closing of tax loopholes. Yet again a reminder that the Tea Party is another name for Republican and neither group is nearly as patriotic or fiscally responsible as they claim to be. How people that are not rich (aka make under $250,000) continue to support such hypocrites is something I will never understand. The real shame is this was an easy bill to pass that should have been taken care of this summer without all the nonsense.

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