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Hometown: South - Carolina and Dakota
Home country: Oz
Current location: Kansas
Member since: Mon Nov 15, 2004, 04:30 AM
Number of posts: 37,573

Journal Archives

"Rubin and his allies control the Democratic Party with their money"

"Rubin and his allies control the Democratic Party with their money at the moment. Their financial power will not be easily overcome. However, it is important that people understand that the Rubin-Clinton team is every bit as much about redistributing money from the rest of us to the very rich as the Republicans."

From Dean Baker http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/26-0

"Their financial power will not be easily overcome."

There seem to be those here who suggest that those of us from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" are not loyal Democrats because we would attack the perfidity of the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party.

Let me once again link to, listen to and quote Ted Kennedy

"I am asking you to renew the commitment of the Democratic Party to economic justice"

"The serious issue before us tonight, is the cause for which the Democratic Party has stood in its finest hours ... our cause has been, since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the cause of the common man, and the common woman. Our cimmitment has been, since the days of Andrew Jackson, to all those he called "the humble members of society" - the farmers, mechanics and laborers. On this foundation we have defined our values, refined our policies and refreshed our faith."

A deal that heavily favors the top 20% over the bottom 40% is NOT a deal worthy of that heritage.

The Rubin wing is happy to accept and fight for such a deal, but I am not. Nor am I willing to just roll over and accept their domination of the Democratic Party. No, I will stand with the bottom 75%, the common man and the commom woman and hope that they will join together to take our party back.

the AMT is not a middle class tax

from Citizens for Tax Justice


"If Congress departs from its annual tradition of steeply reducing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), 57 percent of the tax will be paid by the richest five percent of Americans and 91 percent of the tax will be paid by the richest fifth of Americans. If Congress does reduce the AMT as usual, almost all of the tax will be paid by the richest five percent of Americans.

The AMT is one of the factors contributing to the hysteria in Washington about the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the point at which several tax cuts expire and several spending cuts go into effect at the end of this year. Lawmakers and observers often mistakenly portray the AMT as a tax that will affect middle-income Americans if it is not controlled."

From 2009, the top 20% got a whopping 92.6% of the benefits from the AMT patch. The top 5% got 43% of the benefits.


Yet the M$M spreads the message that "we need to patch the AMT to help the MIDDLE CLASS"

I don't think the top 20% is part of the "middle" and the top 5% certainly is not.

the tax side of Obama's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad deal

First, a caveat, I cannot be sure that the proposals of today are the same as the proposals of 2010. They have many layers, these proposals do.

But, inevitably, keeping the Bush tax cuts for the first $250,000 in income means that those with more than $250,000 in income will still get tax cuts on that first portion of money, and under that plan somebody with $2 million in income gets bigger tax cuts than somebody with just $70,000 in income, especially if dividends are STILL given favorable treatment.

According to Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), that meant that the top 1% got $40 billion worth of tax cuts per year. The top 4% got another $40 billion and the rest of the top 20% got another $80 billion. The top 20% gets $160 billion and the bottom 40% gets only $42 billion in Obama's original plan. The 2010 plan.

I still think that plan is awful, to favor the top 20% so much over the bottom 40%.

This proposal may have changed from 2010, I don't have that information. But it appears to not have changed, according to CTJ. They show Obama's current proposal bringing in $104 billion in revenue per year, which is about what they showed for the 2010 proposal.

So I still think the $250,000 threshhold favors the rich too much and would like to see ALL the Bush tax cuts expire and have Democrats propose tax cuts that would not favor the rich.

Obama has now proposed, according to many news sources, a $400,000 threshhold. Which means another $16 billion in tax cuts per year - the whole $16 billion going to people with incomes over $250,000. The total over ten years is $222 billion in EXTRA tax cuts going to those with incomes over $250,000. The bottom 20% only get $14 billion, but what the heck, let's offer the top 2% another $16 billion on top of the $40 billion plus they would get from the original deal.

Boehner's counter-offer, which is very likely to pass the House, gives another $33 billion a year in tax cuts - all of it going to those with income over $400,000 - the Republican base, the haves and the have-mores. Yep, Republicans are proposing another $454 billion in tax cuts on top of the $3.2 trillion that Obama is proposing, because they are very worried about the deficit. And they insist that $3.7 trillion in tax cuts (with about a trillion of that going to the richest 1%) have nothing to do with the debt.

It's important though, if you have a Democratic Senator, that they hear from you to vote AGAINST Boehner's deal.


for the original deal http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxcompromise2010.pdf

for the new proposals http://www.ctj.org/pdf/latestfiscalcliff.pdf

elimination of deductions does not raise near enough in the long term

Because the income at the top keeps growing.

In 1995, the average income of the FAB 400 (the top 400 incomes) was $50.8 million by 2007 it had grown to a whopping $344.8 million. Higher rates would impact that extra $290 million, but eliminating deductions would not. Because all deductions are effectively utilized at $50 million, so there are no more to take to shelter that $290 million.

Just figuring $290 million times 2.6% times 400 is a tax cut of $3 billion per year - and that's just from the top 400, to say nothing of the other multi-millionaires.

It also amounts to an average tax cut of $7.54 million per plutocrat.

And then Republicans will say things like "The country is broke" or "we cannot afford this" or "we cannot afford that".

But we CAN afford $7.5 million tax cuts for each of the 400 richest people in America?

the lies of David W, Corn

Way, way back in 2004 or so, I donated $50 to the DNC to get an autographed copy of David Corn's book "The Lies of George W. Bush."

He wrote, for example, "By now it was old hat. If Bush was pushing a tax plan, he would describe it as deliverance for the middle class." page 244

Kinda funny too, now that I look at it. Corn's autograph looks like - DLC----

So now here is Corn now praising lies from a President and claiming that the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and also the accursed payroll tax cut are

wait for it

"deliverance for the middle class"

He writes http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/obama-fiscal-cliff-budget-deal-bush-tax-cuts?page=2

So Obama went after a deal. And what Biden cooked up with McConnell was pretty good for the White House. The package would extend the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers for two years and would reduce estate taxes for the wealthy (a move many Democrats couldn't stand), but it also included a payroll tax cut, a child tax credit, additional unemployment insurance, renewable energy grants, and other stimulative measures. A White House chart noted that Obama had won $238 billion of stimulus in return for yielding on $114 billion in high-income tax cuts.

So, the accursed payroll tax cut is good for progressives. Some sort of victory for working people, or wait - the middle class.

The accursed payroll tax cut gave $13.55 billion in benefits to the bottom 40%, and $15.79 billion in benefits to the RICHEST 5%. And it gives a whopping $36.2 billion to the next 15%, making a grand total of $52 billion for the top 20% and less than a third of that for the bottom 40%.

But politicians like Bush, and now Obama, always want to include that 80-95th percentile group as part of the "middle class". That way, they can claim that tax cuts which give as much to the top 5% as they do to the middle 20% are really "middle class tax cuts".

Thank goodness there are progressive journalists like David Corn who won't let them get away with such lies.

Oh wait, now that a D (LCer) is in the White House, Corn is all too happy to catapault the propaganda.

I have to wonder if he, himself, is in the 90-95th percentile. Makes a cushy litttle living with his keyboard. Unlike myself, still at the 42nd percentile making a living with my back. Does his household make more than $88,000 a year? I strongly suspect it does. That unlike myself and Mr. Debs, he cannot say "If there is a lower class, I am in it ..."

Here's another lie - "yielding $114 billion in high income tax cuts".

Well, that seems to leave out the $80 billion in estate tax cuts, and also the $32 billion (over two years) going to the top 5% with the accursed payroll tax cut. But CTJ also says that the Obama "compromise" gave $108 billion PER YEAR to the top 1%. So that looks to me like $216 billion right there in "high income tax cuts". Unlike David W. Corn though, I also consider the rest of the top 5% (or as I call them, the top 4%) to also be "high income". They got $55.5 billion in tax cuts per year, for a total of $111 billion.

Not to mention the rest of the top 20% which is higher income than 80% of us make. They got $214 billion in tax cuts for the two years.

That compares pretty favorably to the $164 billion that the bottom 60% got.

So there's $621 billion in tax cuts going to the top 20%.

Corn describes this as "a good deal". Which it certainly was for him and his fellow members of the top 20%.

Not such a good deal for me. In 2011, my wage income was $15,814.01. And Obama's "good deal" replaced the "making work pay" credit with the accursed payroll tax cut. So unlike members of the top 20%, my taxes went up! (Granted, by a mere $83.72, but it's pretty tanjed aggravating that taxes for people like me would even go up a nickel as part of a "good deal" which gave average tax cuts of $77,000 to the top 1%. One small tax increase for a little man, one giant windfall for a plutocrat.)

Corn also mentions "additional unemployment benefits". Which I also call bullsh*t on. Unemployment benefits were extended by this same Congress on 6 Nov 2009, and on 22 July 2010. So why should we believe that agreeing to an extension of the Bush tax cuts was the ONLY way to get another extension of unemployment benefits? It sure was convenient though that the July extension expired at just about the same time as the Bush tax cuts. Like somebody planned it that way, so they'd have a bone to throw to the masses at the same time they gave another windfall to their donors.

And it appears I was wrong as well. The chart that Corn links to, is one that, first of all, describes the accursed payroll tax cut as a stimulus (which it is - Reagan style http://journals.democraticunderground.com/hfojvt/160) but also dishonestly hides $57 billion in estate tax cuts http://journals.democraticunderground.com/hfojvt/138.

Maybe Obama could not win those fights, but I still say he could have at least fought them. Could have at least tried. Don't try to tell me that a horrible deal was really a good one, and do NOT expect me to accept a bad deal now without some sort of fight. Especially when, once again, we hold the trump card. The tax cuts will expire - even if we do nothing.

By which I mean a fight FOR me, not a fight AGAINST me, as Obama began trashing the left after they complained about his surrender in 2010. He wasn't willing to fight the Republicans but he sure was willing to fight the left. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/12/love_obamas_smack_at_the_sanct.html

the 78% Bush tax cuts

On December 31, 2012 the Bush tax cuts will finally expire. Unless Obama, Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid can find common ground.

I hope they don't find common ground.

That common ground is almost certain to be yet another big tax windfall for the rich. Obama's proposal is essentially 78% of the Bush tax cuts. The trouble is, the bottom 80% only get 34.5% of the Bush tax cuts.

Obama's proposal is being sold as a tax increase on the rich. In some way, it is, but in another major way it really is - yet another big tax CUT for the rich. One that should be unacceptable to Democrats.

Under the 78% Bush tax cut plan, the top 1% gets over $40 billion a year in tax cuts. The top 4% get another $40 billion, for a total of $80 billion for the richest 5%. The richest 20% get $163 billion in tax cuts. The poorest 20% get only $14 billion in tax cuts.

Presumably if a Republican President offered such a plan, Democrats would object.

Democrats should be objecting now. Pelosi should be objecting. Reid should be objecting. Newly elected Senators Warren and Baldwin should be objecting. Newly re-elected Congressman Grayson should be objecting. Lame duck Congressman Kucinich should be objecting.

Such objections would strengthen Obama's bargaining position, If the debate is between Obama at 78% and Republicans at 100%, then 89% looks like the middle ground. Well if 0% gets thrown into the mix, then the middle ground shifts. The media cannot say "Obama needs to reach out to Republicans" because the 78% is ALREADY meeting them more than halfway.

And we can get zero percent, as easy as pi. Simply by doing NOTHING. Take that, Mr. Sartre. Score one for nothingness.

Of course, it will be objected that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will "increase taxes on the middle class" or even "will increase taxes on the poor".

One problem is that Obama has spent four years now defining a couple making $249,000 as "middle class". This in a country where 50% of households make less than $60,000 a year.

But as for taxes going up on the poor - we can fix that. And we can fix that in much better ways than the 78% Bush tax cuts. Here are some suggestions

1. Increase the standard deduction by $5,000 per couple. This will save people at the bottom about $750 a year without being a windfall for the rich.

2. bring back the making work pay credit (without the extra damn form). That was a refundable $400 per person, $800 per couple, phased out for higher incomes.

3. increase the personal exemption by $500. Unfortunately the rich will benefit from that, but not by much more than the poor. It means $75 for the poor and only $197 for the rich. It would be a $2,000 automatic deduction for a family of four.

4. Re-introduce lower brackets. Say, a 5% bracket on the first $3,000 and a 10% bracket on the first $7,000 for individuals. The first would be a $300 tax cut for most taxpayers and the second would be another $200 for most taxpayers.

Of course, such proposals will NEVER pass the current Republican House.

But that is just one MORE reason to propose them. When Republicans vote against them, we can use those votes to drive them out of office in 2014. It uses their own propaganda against them. They have spent years praising tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, and now they will have to run as - the person who voted against the tax cuts.

Bottom line - let ALL of the Bush tax cuts expire AND propose more progressive alternatives. We should be fighting for something much more progressive than 78% of the Bush tax cuts.

Wide and growing income gaps

A state by state analysis


I have to note though - they look at two income gaps

1. The gap between the lowest quintile (20% of the population) and the highest quintile
2. The gap between the lowest quintile and the top 5%

income over $101,582 puts you in the top 20%
income over $186,000 puts you in the top 5%

according to census measures here http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/inequality/index.html

I also would note that policies like the payroll tax cut and the 73% Bush tax cut (Obama's plan to keep 73% (or more) of the Bush tax cuts) increase those gaps by giving more benefits to the top 20% than they do to the bottom 20%.

Under Obama's plan

the bottom 20% gets $14 billion in tax cuts
the top 20% gets $163 billion in tax cuts
the top 5% get $80 billion in tax cuts
the top 1% get $40 billion in tax cuts
the bottom 40% gets $42 billion in tax cuts


Another $150 billion added to the wealth gap, but who's counting?

seems to me it WAS close

Margin of victory

Virginia 114,000 13 EV
NH 40,000 4 EV
Iowa 87,000 6 EV
Ohio 107,000 18 EV
Florida 64,200 29 EV

simply flip 207,000 Obama voters into Romney voters in the right states and Rmoney is in the money.

207,000 votes out of 122 million cast. That's a .17% margin of victory in practical terms.

We were THAT close to going out forever.

My point is

that people making over $250,000 are still getting huge benefits from this plan.

80% of this country makes less than $88,000 a year. So the people getting the benefits of those tax cuts from $88,000 to $250,000 are people in the top 20% including the top 1% which still gets to keep $40 billion a year in tax cuts.

Consider this. The Bush tax cuts expire automatically - all of them, for all incomes.

Now pass that bill that Obama wants to pass - the 73% of the Bush tax cuts bill. That bill is heavily favorable to the rich. The top 5% get $80 billion in tax cuts, and the bottom 20% get $14 billion.

How the fuck is THAT acceptable to even a conservadem, much less to a progressive? Republicans are all over the media, demanding that the $250,000 limit be raised - to infinity and beyond. Well progressives should be somewhere, at least on DU, insisting that the $250,000 limit be lowered. Instead we are given a shit sandwich and we cheer like it is really chocolate ice cream. It's NOT.

So where are the progressive voices calling for the $250,000 to be lowered? Rachel? LarryO? Colbert? Stewart?

Oh wait, all those people make way more than $250,000 a year. They are NOT on my side in this battle. Senator Baldwin? Lame duck Kucinich? McFly? Anybody? DU?

Lynn Jenkins' positive ads

Positively sickening.

"America faces big challenges ... We're Americans and together there's no problem we can't solve."

Except for one glaring problem.

One of America's biggest problems seems to be - politicians like Lynn Jenkins.

There is no "together" with Lynn Jenkins. There's the rich people that she represents and works for, and there's the rest of us, that she lies to. The rich people take care of her though. They give her the millions of dollars that she can use to make ads to lie to the rest of us - to smile at us and say that "we are gonna work together".

Because Jenkins idea of working "together" seems to be that we all work together to create tax cuts for rich people. Sure, why shouldn't we ALL get behind that? Because what would be more helpful to the 80% of us who make less than $90,000 a year than huge tax cuts for people making over $500,000 a year? Yet that seems to be Jenkins' top priority, even as she says that we need to "reduce the debt". Sure, that also makes perfect sense. "Together" we will cut taxes for rich people as we strive to "reduce the debt".

I guess if we were CPAs that would make some kind of sense. Only a CPA could figure out how to reduce revenue and still reduce the debt. CPAs can probably magically make 5 minus 4 equal 7.

At least that's what Jenkins would have us believe.

But as long as Jenkins gets rewarded by rich people so she can run TV spots while her opponents cannot, this problem, of having a dishonest politician in Congress who is serving the rich and powerful and working against the rest of us is gonna be very hard to solve.

But Jenkins is right. Together we CAN solve this problem, and it is actually very simple to do. Simply goto the polls on election day and vote against Lynn Jenkins.

Problem solved.

At least in one Congressional District.
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