BREAKING: Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips: “I Want To Make A Million From This Movement”

January 15, 2010 / 6:18 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Embattled Tea Party Nation, Inc. owner Judson Phillips has been making the media rounds to defend his up-coming, February 4-6 conference at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

Disillusioned Tea Party volunteers are angry at Phillips for turning the grass-roots group into a for-profit venture without their consent and for charging more than $500 per person to an event that many worked for but can’t afford.

Local Tea Party insiders say that long-time Republican donor Bill Hemrick [he gave $1000 to the NRCC in late 2009 and to the Fred Thompson and Marsha Blackburn campaigns among others], owner of Upper Deck Trading cards, gave Judson Philips at least $50,000 and maybe the whole $125,000 to cover Tea Party Nation’s Sarah Palin speaker’s fee. This act led Tea Party activists to believe the Tennessee Republican Party has been involved in the closed-door organizing.

Meanwhile, all money made by the sold-out event will go straight to Tea Party Nation, Inc. while grassroots activists have donated their time to make the event happen.

Tami Killmarx, a nurse, and an original member of the Nashville Tea Party Nation Steering Committee says,” I don’t believe for an instant that this money that Judson Philips is making will go to anyone but him. He doesn’t have a PAC. He’s been promising to form a 527.”

He has done neither. Killmarx was asked to leave the Tea Party Nation group of volunteers and kicked off the Tea Party Nation social networking site for voicing her concerns. Her husband, Robert, was asked to leave soon after.

That’s not the only financial funny business Phillips is accused of making. Kevin Smith, the website developer who was never compensated for his work on the Tea Party Nation social networking site and who wrote an insider’s account of the Tea Party Nation dealings, says that Phillips called his account a lie, but offered no proof to the contrary. Smith asserted that Philips mishandled Tea Party funds by paying for expenses out of his wife Sherry’s PayPal account. Judson Phillips did not return my request for comment.

Smith says, “Judson has been very slick and deceptive about PayPal. He’s answered the wrong question. He had two different accounts. One was his wife’s account. After August, there was a TPN account.” Smith was paid from Sherry’s account.

In the same NBC article, reporter Domenico Montanaro notes Judson Phillips personal financial problems:

A background check of various public records databases raises questions about how he has handled money in the past. The search shows that during Phillips filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in 1999 and during the past decade, he has had three federal tax liens against him, totaling more than $22,000.

In an interview with NBC News, Phillips admitted to the financial difficulties. He declined to comment on the bankruptcy, but said the federal tax liens have been paid off.

Tami Killmarx said that she heard Phillips say more than once, “I want to make a million from this movement.”

Killmarx wasn’t the only volunteer who suspected Phillips intentions were to gain personally. Jerry Williams who ran security for the Tea Party Nation gatherings from the groups inception until August when he resigned, and was slated to handle security at the February 2010 convention, said, “We have a situation that’s like a natural disaster. [Likening the American political climate to a disaster.] You’ve always got people out there who want to make a buck on it. This is the same thing. There’s people out there who want to jump on this Tea Party thing for their own interests. They’re not really worried about the country or the people.”

He continued,”I think Judson is a good guy. He’s trying to do the right thing in the wrong way. We need to do it where everyone can get involved. Most of the people are like me, and just want to bring the country back to the people and to the constitution.”

Williams said that he resigned because he didn’t want to be a part of something that “leaves people out.”

Financial questions and personal gain weren’t the only problems with the Phillips. Internal emails reveal that Sherry Philips who is the Tea Party Nation Vice President forced dissenters from the organization. In one email sent to Anthony Shreeve, another Steering Committee member, Sherry Phillips says:

Due to the events of last Saturday and your indiscretion in relation to the National Tea Party Convention, it is apparent that your loyalties and interests are not compatible with those of Tea Party Nation. It is for this reason I am requesting your resignation from the TPN Advisory Board. I will give you 24 hours to remove yourself from the group before I remove it myself.

In addition, Judson Phillips threatened to sue one woman for her disagreement in an online forum. She asked to not be named for fear of recrimination. From other accounts, threats to sue were common. Judson Phillips is former assistant district attorney and current lawyer specializing in defending those accused of drinking under the influence. The email to the “banished” volunteer is as follows:

XXXX,

Please be advised your relationship with Tea Party Nation, INC, is hereby terminated immediately.

You may not speak on behalf of TPN, exercise any authority on behalf of TPN or interfere in any way with any business relationship tea party nation has;

Further, you will cease and desist from any defamatory statements against myself, or any member of the tea party nation board. You will cease and desist from any attempt to interfere with the National Tea Party Convention or the Sarah Palin appearance.

You fraudulently misrepresented your qualifications to be the planner for such an event. We have spent numerous hours since last Thursday trying to correct your incompetent mistakes. Had we followed your plan, you had us $100,000 in the hole.

You will issue an immediate retraction and apology or you will be defending a law suit for fraud, defamation, intentional interference with a business relationship and malpractice. As you consider this, remember what I do for a living.

Judson PHillips
President,
Tea Party Nation, INC.

Judson Phillips’ threatening email was prompted by this volunteer’s email sent to advisory board members:

To the advisory board:

Right now if the convention were to not happen for whatever reason Judson signed a contract that will leave either him and/or the board responsible for about $110,000. I’m not sure how this will work; perhaps we need a non-profit attorney to explain it.

The reason I am so concerned is that the Opryland wrote to me and told me that they needed to know who to take direction from, me (as the convention coordinator) or Pam and Sherry, as the people going behind my back and meeting with them. This makes TPN and the convention look bad to a very professional organization, the Opryland.. This hotel hosts dignitaries from all parts of the world, entertainment, and political. How embarrassing this is for us as a group for them to see the dirty laundry of TPN. Let’s hope they keep this confidential. Of course, within their walls, I’m sure we are a laughing stock.

I told them to go ahead and take their direction from Pam and Sherry. I will have no part in this type of high school backstabbing.

Many people interviewed about Judson Phillips called him a bully who would cut people out at the first sign of disagreement. More than one grass roots organization representative who interacted with Phillips called him difficult. Tennessee organizers note that there are many splits from Judson’s group and that he’s caused problems for the Tea Party movement state-wide with his divisive actions.

The Tea Party Nation volunteer group really fell apart, though, after the November 7, 2009 planning meeting at the local Golden Corral called The One Year Notice Rally.

Excited organizers found out October 22 that Sarah Palin had chosen to speak to the party. During the meeting, local activists urged Phillips to change the venue so more people could attend as the space was so limited at Opryland. At that point in November, he had 60 days to change the venue but was afraid if he changed it, Palin wouldn’t come speak to the gathering, says one person familiar with the meeting.

When Judson Phillips suggested the $550 convention fee, some members were so aghast they got up and left the meeting.

At one point, fisticuffs nearly broke out, emotions ran so high. Those who had been in the bottom-up organization felt betrayed because the event excluded so many average people and many of the volunteers themselves couldn’t even afford to attend. Philips and his few supporters saw an opportunity to make money.

This meeting prompted many long-time Tea Party members to quit.

To better control the conference planning, Judson Phillips excluded the Steering Committee members and instead included five key people: Sherry Phillips, Pam Farnsworth, sister-in-law to the Phillips, Bruce Donnelly, President of the Chicago-based Surge USA, and Bill Hemrick and his business partner Jason Lukowitz. In one email, Tea Party volunteers were notified that they wouldn’t need to stay for this meeting.

The decision was made to keep the conference, small, expensive and exclusive.

Internal documents show overall expenses to exceed $480,000 including Sarah Palin’s speaking fee. More than one person disclosed that it was quite possible that Phillips would lose money on the conference.

Judson made the comment to Politico that the ticket price was so expensive to cover the speakers fee, but it looks like he did not put the money up for the fee. Either Bill Hemrick gave Tea Party Nation, Inc. the money or paid the Washington Speaker’s Bureau himself. And in fact, the fee isn’t $75,000 but $115,000 plus $10,000 in expenses.

Big donors were sought to underwrite the “Tea Party” including organizations who had helped organize and sponsor citizen-lead events elsewhere. None of these groups wanted to go on the record for fear of recrimination and many refused to attach their name to this event. Those who have continued to sponsor the event are unlikely aware of Judson Phillips’ actions.

Says one original sponsor still deciding whether to stay involved,”This is not the event we signed on to in the beginning.”

The American Liberty Alliance, lead by Eric Odom, announced last week that his group was withdrawing support and would not attend.

Anthony Shreeve, another Steering Committee Member paints the controversy in stark terms,”It’s like a cancer. It’s like it’s consumed Tennessee.”

Shreeve took pains, as did others involved, to say his frustration wasn’t about Sarah Palin’s speaking fee. One person said, “we’re capitalists.” The real concern, Shreeve said, “We want her to endorse the movement with real grassroots people.”

Tami Killmarx echoed the concerns of many grassroots people from Tennessee:

“At every step of the way Judson is trying to poison the waters. He has ruined this for us. This is not “the movement” in Tennessee. People are fighting hard for our country. We are worn out. We have wanted to come out for months [to expose Phillips]. We are trying to salvage this movement. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman need to know what this is. It’s a ruse. Let everyone come and hear Sarah Palin. Un uh, they wanted to make money. They wanted get in bed with the GOP. They don’t want to make it so that everyone can hear Sarah Palin. We wanted to hear her. We wanted to hear someone who believed in us. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman need to understand where they’re coming.

I was in D.C. on 9/12. These weren’t elitist rich people. There were no “activists” there. I don’t have anything to gain to turn Judson in. I have fought too hard for this thing, to see the elderly people pouring out in droves and then be left out now.

Judson Philips stands to make thousands while we are outside the door knocking.”

Killmarx expressed sadness about not getting to see Sarah Palin after volunteering and giving her own money to fund early Nashville Tea Party events.

“I believe in Sarah Palin. I believe in her and she’s a good woman. She’s being deceived like the rest of us.”

  • BillyBilly

    My advice to any of you who consider yourselves a tea party supporter: don’t organize, don’t create a 501(c)(3), don’t hold expensive events, don’t do anything remotely corporate.

    Keep the ‘tea party movement’ entirely grassroots, because the minute money gets involved, you’re guaranteed get corruption and/or the laughably high-school antics portrayed above.

    Plus a truly grassroots movement is a helluva lot more powerful and impressive.

  • Tea Party Planner

    That was my intentions at least.
    I cannot speak for any of the others, only myself.
    and to Liberals comment above. I have not felt like a suker one second! I would do it all and spend it all over again!
    Its not about money its about love of country!

  • William

    What a shame that such has occurred and at this late date….I know of several dozen people who would have attended this gathering who live right in Nashville BUT because the cost is so high and the “pile” getting higher, a LOT of people will not be able to attend….We were thrilled to learn of the convention location..we were in Washington. Now we are looking for a no conflict event more basic, by the people, for the people….this back and forth is not what the tea party movement is all about….

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  • Rob C

    I can agree to that!

    What really disgusts me what they are perverting here. A movement that is specifically against gross waste and for conservative budgets.

    This event could have signaled that they were a genuine movement, who practiced what they preached. Instead, we get blatant hypocrisy.

    And for the comment that Wall St. has been under control by Democrats for a decade – did you just sleep through the Bush Era?

    I’m all for people taking risks and making a profit on it. I’m fine with people making their living working with social movements. But this is just absurd.

  • SeattleGuy

    Real tea party independents don’t stick their heads in the sand when facts emerge. The Bush administration left Obama 1.2 Trillion dollars of debt when Obama came into office in January of 2009. This was a result of 2 wars, 2 major tax cuts and a Medicare prescription drug plan passed by Republicans during their total control of congress and the executive branch between 2001 and 2008. That is a fact! Trying to lay the deficits as far as the eye can see onto Obama and the Dems is sheer nonsense, but typical of what Republicans have done for 3 decades. Obama has raised the deficit to 1.4 Trillion in his first year and most of that has been an effort to restart the economy including 25 tax cuts for working class people and small businesses. Wake up, fool!

  • DaveR

    Sorry there SeattlePerson – just a little factual errors in your post. Tax Cuts don’t CAUSE deficits – SPENDING causes it. And yes, under Bush WAY too much money was spent – and the people THIS site complained too. Why do you think the Republicans LOST the Congress in 2006? We FIRED them.

    And the GOVERNMENT can’t “restart” the economy – only the PRIVATE Sector can and ONLY if the Government GETS OUT OF THE WAY – which BoBo won’t EVER do.

    Hope that helps you understand, but I really doubt it.

  • SeattleGuy

    One more thing about the Tea Party wanna bees. When someone tells you that government is too big and we need to control the growth of government, be very careful. What you are hearing is someone who is FOR BIG CORPORATE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES or CORPORATISM!!! These are the same people who are behind the egregious behavior of BIG BANKS, WALL STREET, and the REPUBLICAN PARTY!!! They are for shipping jobs offshore and deregulation of businesses so that corporations can run roughshod over individual freedoms. Several Republican political action committees are trying to co-opt the sincere effort by real American taxpayers to reign in federal spending. Don’t be a fool. Real control of spending requires a rational debate on how we spend our taxes. Do we want to limit the abuses of Wall Street and Corporations or do we want to reduce benefits for Medicare and Social Security recipients? That is the core issue, people. Social programs are on the table and the ASTRO-TURF, FAKE TEA PARTY FOLKS want to continue giving money to the wealthy elite who fund their PACs. They want to “Privatize” Medicare and Social Security. DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU! THEY DON’T HAVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF MAIN STREET OR YOU IN THEIR PLANS! WAKE UP!!!

  • DaveR

    Hey SeattlePerson – did you even READ the article written. That’s kind of the WHOLE point of this idiot hi-jacking the event in Tenn. Sigh

  • SeattleGuy
  • DaveR

    Umm….????

    Duh?? It’s the SPENDING???

  • SeattleGuy

    That WAS about the spending DaveR. When you spend more than you take in through taxation, you are in deficit. The 2 wars, 2 tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug plan were not paid for with concurrent spending cuts. They weren’t even placed on Bush’s budget, hence the big deficits that were left for the current congress to pay for. In total, during the period between 2003 and 2007 when these expenditures were realized, the federal government simply financed the debt by selling treasuries to investors like China and Japan. Bush left 8 Trillion dollars worth of deficit spending over the decade 2009-2019 as projected by the non-partisan CBO. Obama has added just 1 Trillion to that total, mainly to stimulate the economy. If he didn’t, well you could look at what happened between 1929-1933 for an example of delaying stimulus when the private sector refuses to grow on it’s own. It isn’t pretty. Unemployment spiked from 9% to 25%.

  • DaveR

    Yes, and when you CUT taxes the REVENUES to the Treasury INCREASE!!! But see you’ll NEVER hear that from any Dem or Lib website.

    As I said before – YES the Republicans spent too much, but again, that has NOTHING TO DO WITH TAX CUTS. IT’s the SPENDING. /sigh.

    And you also keep showing your ignorance of history – you somehow seem to claim that all the overspending the Republicans did was bad, but the CURRENT spending is STILL THE FAULT of the Republicans – HINT: Who’s been in charge of the purse strings since 2006?

    Also (and it was talked about here too last year) it’s been PROVEN that the “stimulus” back then actually PROLONGED the depression and the ONLY thing that brought us out of it was was WWII. But then again, you won’t that find that on any Dem or Lib site, because that would go against all they are trying to do today, and actually prove that it won’t work.

  • SeattleGuy

    DaveR sez: “And the GOVERNMENT can’t “restart” the economy – only the PRIVATE Sector can and ONLY if the Government GETS OUT OF THE WAY – which BoBo won’t EVER do.

    Hope that helps you understand, but I really doubt it.”

    Wow! FYI, DaveR, the federal government is NOT crowding out the private sector. In case you haven’t noticed, the deep recession has decimated the consumer. Excess capacity and inventory abounds. For all practical purposes, interest rates for businesses is effectively zero, yet expansion is nil. Where is John Galt when we need him? Where is that trickle down economics? Corporate balance sheets are full with profits. Wall Street and the shadow banking system is rich with ill-gotten gains. Some of our leaders want to reclaim the remaining 60 Billion dollars over a ten-year period from the largest 9 banks that was not paid back from the TARP funds taxpayers loaned them, take this money and use it to fund small business investment, and reimpose regulation to remove the dangerous risk-taking and casino-like behavior of Wall Street with money that the Fed makes available to them to fund normal business expansion. Their opponents think the government should stay out of the way and let Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, AIG, et. al. continue to take the same risks that brought the World’s Capital Markets to the brink of collapse. So, under the guise of “stay out of businesses’ way”, we have a corrupt banking system that has gotten rich in the last decade and wants to continue to party at our expense. I’m against the false choice of either being against Obama or for business. Obama has shown that he wants to take the country in a new direction. One that will make the U.S. a player in renewable energy, for example. His opponents want to focus our attention on drilling for oil here even though our demand has grown so much, we could never drill our way to energy independence. That can happen with wind, solar, nat gas, and nuclear. What are we staying mired in the 19th century? Also, this administration has already cuts taxes for individuals and small businesses 25 times:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/feb/02/david-axelrod/axelrod-claims-democrats-passed-25-tax-cuts-last-y/

    One last thought, whenever I hear someone champion “smaller government”, I instinctively know they mean “more corporatism” and this is the problem, not the solution. It was corporations that just raised your credit card rate to 23.99% APR in advance of regulation which is coming in February. It was corporations like Enron, WorldComm, and AIG that stole your 401K. Throwing incumbents out of office just because we’re unhappy with the friction in Washington is mindless. We need to look at policy issues and decide what we want our country to look like in the future.

  • DaveR

    I’m still wondering where in the world you get that anyone at this site is into your suggested “more corporatism”. Please state where ANYONE here has said that? All those “corps” you have listed are way above their head DEEP tied in WITH THE GOVERNMENT!! DUH – that’s the problem. You somehow think “just because” we are against BoBo and the current idiots in congress that we 100,000,000% agree with everything Pres. Bush and the Republicans in congress did. You know – and please remember this – WE CAN BE AGAINST BOTH. And also just so you can get it through your ONE website you keep linking head – THAT’S ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS WHY THE TEA PARTIES STARTED!!!

    That’s one of the problems – over the last THREE years the Dem’s have MADE it literally ILLEGAL for those corporations to NOT follow and support everything the Dems in congress want them too (by threat of LAW). If you can’t see that, then you aren’t paying attention. Maybe you should check out some OTHER news and information sited BESIDES that one you KEEP linking from. All those you listed should have FAILED and CLOSED DOWN when they made their BAD business decisions. That’s what most of us have been saying for YEARS.

    You keep complaining about all the things THAT GOT THE TEA PARTIES STARTED in the first place. (I’m hoping the bold will help you understand that your arguments are about a YEAR late for most all of us – we decided that long ago – and sheeeze – can you people EVER stop blaming Bush??)

  • SeattleGuy

    Anyone who thinks that the Democratic agenda is in any way similar to the Republican one is simply a fool. While every pol has corporate backing, all you have to do is follow the money. Populist ideas don’t require money to take hold and money being spent to distort perception is clearly what is going on in your movement. I do understand that many of the Tea Partiers are soulmates, but the vast majority completely misunderstand the complex issues of the day. The overarching idea of throwing all of the bums out is stupid, but explains why the GOP is trying to hijack the movement. Anyone who reflexively says that the federal government is bad and corporations are good is ignorant of who the true enemy of the people is. Do I make my point? Please feel free to show me how being angry about deficit spending to save our economy justifies the tea party’s response? We have already seen that the Classical or Austrian School of Economics has failed. Just look at the results of the last 30 years mostly under Republican leadership. We have seen the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. Why is this good public policy? Moreover, how does throwing out the baby with the bath water make any sense? It is counterproductive.

  • SeattleGuy

    DavR sez, “All those “corps” you have listed are way above their head DEEP tied in WITH THE GOVERNMENT!! DUH – that’s the problem.”

    and

    “That’s one of the problems – over the last THREE years the Dem’s have MADE it literally ILLEGAL for those corporations to NOT follow and support everything the Dems in congress want them too (by threat of LAW). If you can’t see that, then you aren’t paying attention.”

    WTF are you talking about? Whatever you’re smokin, I want some.

    Also, “Maybe you should check out some OTHER news and information sited BESIDES that one you KEEP linking from. All those you listed should have FAILED and CLOSED DOWN when they made their BAD business decisions.”

    I watch FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN. But as Reagan said, “Trust but verify”. Use Politifact.com and Factcheck.org to separate truth from spin. Both of them are still online. You obviously don’t do any fact checking from what you posted. you are just a lap dog for well-heeled corporate interests.

  • DaveR

    And yet Seattle – you keep spouting the Liberal talking points word for word from DailyKos and Huffington and BoBo’s websites.

    Please keep posting so we can all have a good laugh.

  • SeattleGuy

    BTW, DaveR, where the hell were you over the 8 years previous to the current administration when the “spending” you are troubled by was occurring? You want to somehow blame the Democrats for that, but Republicans have been quite proud to say along with Cheney, “deficits don’t matter”. Kind of like Alfred E. Newman’s line, “what, me worry?”

    Please give me the sources you’re are using to place blame on the current administration. I welcome the chance to reconsider my beliefs.

  • SeattleGuy

    I never go to the websites you mention. Again, where are you getting your “facts” from? Please? Explain it to me as though I was a little child.

  • SeattleGuy

    Here’s proof, DaveR, that the stimulus is working. This is from Mark Zandi, McCain’s financial advisor:

    http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/TARP-Assessment-111909.pdf

    As he clearly says, “When all is said and done, TARP will cost taxpayers a substantial sum of money, but not nearly as much
    as most taxpayers and policymakers thought when the plan was conceived. TARP was well worth its’ cost.” and remember, TARP was demanded by Paulson and Bernanke, both Republicans and signed into law by Bush. It was a poorly implemented plan because of Paulson’s conflict of interest, but it did work. He didn’t need to save AIG so as to make GS whole and kill LEH so as to destroy his old nemisis. By the way, the TARP was passed in October of 2008 before Obama was elected or did that little detail slip past your big brain?

  • SeattleGuy

    READ THIS:

    “The GOP is unable and unwilling to have a serious conversation with Americans about the fix we are in. Instead, the party’s leaders posture and pose, as practiced as a Gregorian chorus in chanting their poll tested messaging that makes utterly no sense.

    President Obama has just put forth his 2011 budget. It wrestles with priorities in a country facing double digit unemployment and record deficits while waging two wars. The president seeks a small jobs program in the short term, while committing to deficit reduction beginning next year. He would raise top end taxes, crack down on multinational tax havens, force equity fund managers to pay income taxes like the rest of us, while putting a freeze on domestic discretionary spending for three years, embracing “pay-go” budget discipline on any increase in entitlements or cuts in taxes, and pushing for health care reform which addresses the source of long term deficits — out of control health care costs.

    Like any budget, the president’s is a political document — reflecting both his priorities and his compromises. Progressives and conservatives will find much to criticize. It deserves, at the very least, an adult response from the opposition.

    Instead the House Republican leader, the perpetually tanned John Boehner, greets the president’s proposal with poll-tested message:

    “President Obama is submitting another budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. Filled with more reckless spending and more unsustainable debt, the president’s budget is just more of the same at a time when the American people are looking for Democrats in Washington to listen and change course.”
    Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, fresh from voting against what was his own wrong-headed enthusiasm, the bipartisan deficit commission, says, “‘Look, I don’t think anybody in the country thinks we have a problem because we tax too little, I think the problem is we spend too much.” So, I like the commission idea, just as I said a few months ago. I think a better way to do it is target spending.’

    “Spend too much, tax too much and borrow too much.” Clearly, Republicans believe that we can reduce our deficits by cutting spending even while cutting taxes. So what would they cut?

    Boehner refers the president to the 2009 Republican budget, put together by Rep. Paul D. Ryan, who passes as the party’s idea man.

    That budget would freeze domestic discretionary spending till 2014, but Obama’s budget does that. It would increase spending on the military over the Obama budget, and pledge all the money needed to fight two wars (with Republicans insisting that the military get more, not less resources to do so). It would create a “trigger” on Social Security that might cut benefits for “high income earners,” but not until 2036. No savings there.

    So where do the cuts come from? The Republican budget would repeal any spending remaining in the recovery act and oppose any new spending for jobs. This includes repealing the “Make Work Pay” tax credit that gives most Americans a small tax break, and presumably the support for food stamps, aid to states to avoid layoffs of teachers and police, and the infrastructure construction projects that remain. But there isn’t a lot of money left in the recovery plan and the president’s new proposal is modest, at best.

    The big cuts come from Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans now rail against any “Medicare cuts,” referring to the end of billions in subsidies to enable private insurance companies to compete with Medicare. But the Republican budget would abolish Medicare for everyone under 55, replacing it with a voucher program that would be outpaced by inflation over time. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that means about $600 billion in cuts over 10 years would come from Medicare spending.

    It would similarly end the guarantee that Medicaid provides to low income children, seniors and the disabled, turning it into a block grant to states that would create over $600 billion in cuts below projected expenditures.

    But at the same time, the Ryan budget extends generous tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. It would not only extend the top end Bush tax cuts that Obama would let expire, it would lower the top rate from 35% to 25%, and eliminate taxes on capital gains which go overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Americans. The Citizens for Tax Justice estimates this constitutes another tax break of about $75,000 a year for America’s millionaires (the wealthiest 1%). (While over a third of low and middle income taxpayers would pay more under the Republican plan that Obama’s plan). It would cut the corporate tax rate to 25% without closing any loopholes that already enable the US corporations to pay one of the lowest effective tax rates in the industrialized world. The income tax proposals would have cost about $225 billion more in 2010 alone than the president’s budget.

    Lowering taxes while cutting Medicare and Medicaid doesn’t help in lowering the deficits. The Republican budget suggests — ignoring the lesson of the last 10 years — that trickle down tax cuts will produce faster growth.

    Fact is Republicans don’t have a plan for deficit reduction — they just have different priorities. They want tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporations that they would pay for with deep cuts for working and poor families, and the elderly in Medicare and Medicaid. They’d spend more on the military and even less on domestic investments.

    This is what George Bush Sr. called “voodoo economics,” the same voodoo that led us off the cliff under George Bush and handed Obama two wars, an economy in free fall and a trillion dollar deficit when he walked in the door.

    Republicans don’t have a policy, they have a posture. They don’t have a program; they have a “message.” We could call them the stupid party, but this is working well for them. Only for the country, it doesn’t add up.”

    From Robert L. Borosage

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  • lol at Sarah palin being deceived…really?

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