House & Senate Republicans hammer taxpayers

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House & Senate Republicans hammer taxpayers
By Ray Hanania — It’s been pretty clear since Barack Obama was elected president that the Republican Party has been going out of its way to block everything Obama tries to do.

They’ve done that with everything, from healthcare to raising taxes on the super rich making more than $500,000 in taxable income a year. (By the way, when someone makes $500,000 in taxable income, that’s AFTER their deductions which means that you probably have to be earning a million dollars before any Obama tax increases would take effect.)

The Republican-led obstructionism benefits them politically, but undermines this country, especially by helping to weaken the economy more than it already has.

But the Republican Party bosses and the members of Congress and the Senate don’t care.

For example, Democrats and Republicans have been negotiating on extending the payroll tax cuts for American wage earners before it expires on January 1, next week.

Because the two sides haven’t been able to come up with an agreement, the Senate passed a temporary measure to give negotiators more time, extending the payroll cuts two more months.

But seeing a clear political opportunity to undermine Obama, House Speaker John Boehner has refused and has instructed his members in the House to oppose any extension.

They’re demanding that they get a long term extension or else the country and taxpayers get nothing.

What that means is that a worker earning $35,000 a year will have to pay more than $700 more in taxes. A worker earning $110,000 a year will have to pay $2,341 more in taxes. All beginning January 1.

The nation’s economy is a shambles. The Republicans have tried to shield their own failures and thrust the blame on the Democrats. The fact is, the economy collapsed while President Bush was in office, beginning in 2008. Obama was elected in November 2008 and took office in January 2009.

On the Bush momentum, the economy has continued to fail in a large part because Republicans have fought every move to save the economy that might help the Democrats and Obama.

Remember when Republican leaders said that their goal is to bring down the Obama administration?

They don’t care about the taxpayers. They don’t care about the economy. They care about selfish politics.

Yet right here in Illinois. We have Republican Congressmen and Senator Mark Kirk arguing that the interests of the people don’t count.

If there ever was a reason to throw out the national Republicans across the board, there isn’t a better one.

The Republicans clearly have no chance of winning the presidential election next year.

Newt Gingrich is a loose cannon. Rick Perry can’t get his facts right. Mitt Romney is disliked by members of his own party because he is Mormon. Michele Bachmann is a Tea Party fanatic with no fresh ideas except confrontation. Herman Cain, who is now out of the running, was accused of being a philanderer. Ron Paul is Ron Pual. Donald Trump is a flip-flopper who can’t make up his mind about what to do.

But, Republicans do have the power to make this country worse, to fuel the continued economic slide into worsening recession, and to make the Middle Class taxpayers pay even more in taxes.

You can change that, if you care.

(Join Ray Hanania this Sunday on WSBC 1240 AM Radio from 8 am until 11 am to talk about this and other topics.

This post has already been read 51 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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