Whose sacrifice? The So-Called Grand Bargain Would Fleece the Middle Class
So now that the election is done at last, we can get down to the hard work of striking a grand bargain on the budget by cutting spending and raising taxes, and thus avoid the looming fiscal cliff... The next media pundit who calls for shared sacrifice must describe in detail just what he or she is prepared to give up...Right now, shared sacrifice means that many wealthy, powerful people share the opinion that the rest of us should sacrifice.
Mr. Friedman, for instance, calls every few minutes or so for President Obama to endorse the Bowles-Simpson plan for closing the budget gap. In fact, its a stretch to say that any such plan even exists. The Bowles-Simpson committee that Mr. Obama set up never actually managed to reach an agreement. Instead, the two committee chairmen, former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a North Carolina Democrat, and former Republican senator and professional loose-cannon Alan Simpson of Wyoming came up with a plan between them that they trumpetedwith the help of a fawning mediaas a great, bipartisan accomplishment.
It is, instead, a prescription for hunting down every last remaining vestige of the middle class in this country and beating it to death with a stick.
Under the Bowles-Simpson plan to reduce the deficit, the top federal income tax rate would be dropped to 24 percent, the top corporate rate would be cut from 35 percent to 26 percent, and almost all deductions would be eliminated, including those for home mortgage interest, and employer health-care plans.
Meanwhile, military pensions, student loan subsidies, Medicare and Social Security would be slashed, while other revenue would come from new, regressive levies such as a 15 percent increase on gas taxes...
The grand bargain is in fact a grand and arbitrary cancellation of the social covenant thats brought this country unprecedented prosperity and social justice over the last 80 years, and its being pressed by a small coterie of wealthy, overwhelmingly white men who will themselves contribute about the equivalent of a working persons laundry money for the week...No one voted for it, and not even most political activists understand fully what it means or how likely it is to pass...
if we wanted the Middle Class screwed. What don't they understand about this?
Because for the one percent this is indeed mission accomplished.
the folks that still don't understand it, will this time.
all four needed and got some votes on the other side to move forward
instead of remain static or backwards
the above is all hyperbole and based on nothing near fact
Sometimes I think Democrats only oppose eliminating these deductions because Republicans have done such a good job of spinning "broadening the base" as "tax the moochers" that they actually believe that that is what these sorts of changes do. (Republicans spin it this way so they don't lose their voters).
One about the regressive nature of sales taxes, the poster I replied to was cheering on a boost in sales tax and decided that I was a socialist because I wasn't all that thrilled about it and preferred a graduated income tax.
This poster never saw a tax on the 99% he didn't like, or certainly gives that impression.
coupons to pay for the tax.
And yes, the internet should be taxed as if one goes into Macy's and buys it there.
Fair for the workers of the brick stores to have internet sales taxed as such.
and like the bozos who complain about taxes, yet during Sandy here, couldn't wait for the towns to fix their lights/streets and all.
Guess who pays for that? WE DO and I gladly want my taxes to shovel the snow or put the electricity back on. And of course the rates will go up after, what do you expect?
In France you pay more upfront, then when you are ill, you pay zero. And your insurance can't be cancelled due to illness, as you don't have insurance there. Just great healthcare.
A penny more taxed now, is paid back a zillion times over when you most need it.
I was pointing out the regressive nature of sales taxes and you called me a socialist.
Major slip on DU, socialist isn't quite the slur it is in some other places.
you have me confused with probably an NRA fan.
Here it is. The bid for compromise. What a ridiculous, reeking load of nonsense. Democrats are lectured for being one-sided and "purist," as though WE are the ones insisting on getting our way, all the time, with no compromise....when the truth is that this country has been dragged *so far* to the right over the past 30 years that:
*our middle class has been virtually obliterated through policy
*forty percent of our wealth has been looted
*virtually ALL new wealth of the past 30 years has gone to the top one percent
*93 percent of the "recovery" has gone to the top one percent
*over a million American schoolchildren are now homeless
*America now ranks higher than any other developed nation in child poverty with the exception of Romania, which a DUer mentioned was only recently added to the list, perhaps to spare America the embarrassment of being last...
*CEO pay is now 350 times the average worker's pay, up from fifty times between 1960 and 1985
*CEO pay has skyrocketed 300% since 1990. Corporate profits have doubled. Average "production worker" pay has increased 4%. The minimum wage has dropped. (All numbers adjusted for inflation).
*After adjusting for inflation, average hourly earnings haven't increased in 50 years.
*income inequality has gotten so extreme here that the US now ranks 93rd in the world in "income equality." China's ahead of us. So is India. So is Iran.
*Social mobility is near an all-time low.
*The top 1% of Americans own 42% of the financial wealth in this country. The top 5% own nearly 70%.
*Hundreds of millions of Americans are deep in debt.
*Taxes on the highest earners are near the lowest they've EVER been and lower than for many who earn less.
etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
*much, much more at link below,and that's just one of MANY we could post here...
We have received no compromise. We have been looted, again and again and again, with no end in sight. And still the message comes, like a drumbeat: You have not compromised enough. You are being a purist.
It doesn't fly anymore. In fact, it has reached the point of ludicrousness.
*Much here taken directly from this article at Business Insider, perhaps the best summary I have seen of the looting of America: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10?op=1
There is much, much more there. I strongly recommend that every DUer click through the whole thing again for a reminder of how how much "compromise" WE have received from the ones who are looting us blind:
who have been repeating for years that our wages and living standards must come down; while these ceos and corporations have seen unprecedented profits.
why does our standard of living have to go down? those free trade treaties should be fair trade treaties and allow citizens from all countries to have a decent living standard. instead, the already wealthy and getting wealthier, just want the whole world as their personal playground with no regulations and no labor laws. and to provide it, any greedy dictator will do.
So much is written about our politicians indebtedness and desire to please big money donors and ho0w much super pacs spent in this election but why do we want to apply the solutions to prevent the undesired outcome, would it not be alot more productive to examine the processes by which the Federal government is corrupted and do something about that where it occurs most early in the process rather than trying to deal with the horses after they have left the barn. In other words why are we always responding to crises created by those who are supposed to be representing us and spending billions of dollars and millions of volunteer hours defnding the coutry from those who are supposed to represent the people. I believe the first step in protecting our people and American values lies in forcing so called representatives to do as we wish , not just as big donors desire. We must do this by installing fair redistricting within any and all states. Until then we are screwed. Lets quit dealing with symptoms of the disease and fight back now.
We need to enforce tax laws on the rich, expose the loopholes they use (such as those Romney exploited) and eliminate them one by one.
That would take care of our deficit over time.
and make the first $75,000 tax free
while they have had the breaks.
It can still be shared sacrifice to point out it is now THEIR turn since we have already had ours.
It never had a chance begin with so can we stop the handwringing.
Obama and the Democrats have the leverage during the fiscal cliff negotiations and what is likely to get done is the most political appealing options. Raising taxes on the rich and maybe some minor budget cuts in government.
There is real stuff to worry about like unemployment benefits extensions, but they are not going to completely dismantle Medicare and Social Security over a phony crisis. Just keep our expectations realistic.