I know that conservatives are trying to convince the American people that we can cut our way to a better economy but that just isn't true. We can hold our breaths and jump up and down and scream but that isn't going to change reality. Conservatives tell us that we are spending too much. Really?
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Recently Ben Bradlee's fading trophy-wife Sally Quinn stumbled out of her Labyrinth of Deep Thinking (where she had been communing with God over a pitcher of Minotaur Mojitos) only to discover that The World As She Knew It had gone straight to hell in a[...]
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DJ and social commenter Jay Smooth, whose work can be found at WBAI 99.5 FM in New York, illdoctrine.com, YouTube and NPR, argues that people should be much more afraid of Mitt Romney than they currently are. In his latest web video, Smooth makes the case that Romney is comparable to Woody Allen's character in the movie Zelig, in that he morphs into a copy of the people he is surrounded by.
Smooth points out that, according to Colin Powell, Romney has been surrounding himself with the worst people who were associates of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Cheney's associates, in particular, were architects of much of the worst policy that was put upon the country during the Bush administration. Smooth says that Romney's greatest power is to appear to not be particularly offensive or dangerous, but that if he surrounds himself with this group of people, we are likely to see a return to the types of policies that got us in so much trouble in the last decade, and that people should be much more afraid of this outcome than they currently are.
The latest cable news talking point is that President Obama will be running a "campaign of fear" against Mitt Romney. I think this sounds like a good idea.
Artist: James Brown Tune: Sexmachine
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Missing every lesson from Richard Nixon's behavior during the Watergate investigation, Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two sitting United States Attorneys (one from Maryland, one from DC) to investigate the national security leaks that[...]
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Well this pretty much settles it for me; the smartest person among the punditry class here in America believes that the Bush tax cuts failed us.
Of course you don't have to be a Harvard educated scholar to realize that trickle- down economics never works. The money trickles into the pockets and various safe havens for the wealthy. It doesn't mean more jobs or investment in America's infrastructure. (The first Bush had a name for it back in the day. My friends from New Orleans will be quite familiar with it.)
But republicans love to talk about tax breaks for people who don't need it because those are the people who prop them up and buy elections for them year after year. (I see you Scott Walker)
The problem with president Obama is that he is too much of a centrist. He didn't push for more money into the stimulus and he allowed the Bush tax cuts to go on far too long. He was hoping for bi-partisanship and he tried to play nice with [right] wingnuts. That is always a big mistake. These folks are hard liners when it comes to their tax ideology, and they have all taken a pledge to protect the wealthiest among us by keeping their taxes low.( I see you Grover Norquest)
Wingnuts spend most of their time advocating for cutting government deficits and worrying about the long term debt outlook. Excuse me if I sound a bit selfish, but I am living in the present, and if we (by we I mean the government) don't do anything to spur economic growth by way of more (not less) government spending and programs, we could be facing another Bush style depression. I think it was Larry Summers who said, (God I hate to use him as an example) -and I am paraphrasing here- that the greatest threat to America's credit worthiness is a sustained period of slow growth. Just in case you have been living on another planet for the last few months, I would like to inform you that we have had a prolonged period of slow growth. Of course republicans, ever the patriots, are hoping that their fellow Americans will suffer more if it means that their guy can win the White House.
This will not happen if we have more spending on public works projects, more payroll breaks for real people in the middle class, and higher taxes for those who can afford it. Let's take care of the consumers first for once in this country. I know that they can't write fat checks like big business, but they are the ones spending their weekly earnings at Wal-Mart.
"Mitt Romney?s first major ad is substantive ? and wrong. He tells us that on his first day in office ? after approving the Keystone XL pipeline ? he will ?introduce tax cuts .?.?. that reward job creators not punish them.? The one idea that is almost certain not to jump-start this economy is a tax cut.
Why can we be sure of this? Because that is what we have done for the past three years. For those who think President Obama?s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies ? in dollar terms ? has been tax cuts. They actually began before Obama, with the tax cut passed under the George W. Bush administration in response to the financial crisis in 2008. Then came the stimulus bill, of which tax cuts were the largest chunk by far ? one-third of the total. The Department of Transportation, by contrast, got 6 percent of the total to fix infrastructure.
In the wake of a financial crisis caused by excessive debt, tax cuts are highly unlikely to lead to increased economic activity. People use the money to pay down their debts rather than shop for cars, houses and appliances. As for the idea that job creators are not creating jobs because their taxes are too high, think about it: Would Mitt Romney invest more of his money in American factories if only he had paid less than the 13.9 percent rate he paid last year? Please!"
What's that they say about the definition of madness? Oh yeah, it's doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Wingnuts, my friends, are truly mad people.
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Digby is not fooled by partisan electioneering; she lets us know the plans to kill Social Security and Medicare and eliminate social spending are speeding along with bipartisan approval.
And their latest trick to distract us is bogus "tax reform."
That's quite a sacrifice, isn't it? And to think that all they want in return is draconian cuts to social programs and painful shrinkage of the safety net. They're heroes, for sure.
This is why I don't care about this ridiculous obsession with "revenues" by the Democrats. Yes, billionaires and corporations should be paying more. They can afford it right now, they are doing quite well. But the way they plan to do that is fraudulent: "tax reform" that consists of lowering rates and allegedly closing loopholes (which will only remain closed for people who can't afford lobbyists to open them again.) It's a scam.
Moreover, we don't really need to be collecting more money right now. We can borrow very cheaply and pay for infrastructure and putting people back to work, creating demand. This entire discussion of deficits is bullshit. We're in a depression.
Democrats should not die on the tax hikes for millionaires hill (however that's defined.)"Tax reform" is a joke which will be killed one corporate donation and lobbyist inserted exception at a time. The safety net, on the other hand, will never be the same. They should just say no. We can run these deficits easily for the time being and when the economy does turn around we can do real tax hikes (raise rates, not "reform") on real millionaires to pay back that debt. Let's see how that works out before we start slashing away at the safety net people depend upon. There's just no good reason to do anything else.
Update: Unfortunately, the Democratic buy-in has filtered down to the community level. I got this email this morning from a reader named Bert:Yesterday, June 3rd, 2012, I was volunteering at Lummis Day. This is a Celebration of North East Los Angeles, named for a remarkable man, Charles Lummis, who was an early City leader and envisioned a multi-cultural California back in the 1880's. The Celebration is to further that vision.
The Democratic Party was well represented at the Community Booths and I approached Xavier Becerra's table. I introduced myself to the woman at the table as a constituent and someone who has donated to, and written to Congressman Becerra in the past. I asked her opinion on Social Security and Medicare. What I heard was not reassuring. Briefly she said that politically unaffiliated economists, when they run the numbers, show that we cannot continue supporting these programs because the retiring population is larger than the working population that pays for them. The congressman supports them and wants to keep them, but that changes are going to have to be made. She was not specific about what types of changes and to be fair we were talking generically about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
My response was that once the door is open to making adjustments, then it's a quick slide down a slippery slope to cutting and more cutting. I told her that the $106,000 tax cap on Social Security taxes should be raised. I felt her response was non-committal, and not the response that I wanted to hear, which would've been "We will stand by these programs and fight to the death."
What I found interesting is that the Washington conversation that there is not enough money for these social programs, is at the level of the community booth. That was disappointing.
That bolded sentence is a piece of propaganda perpetrated by the financial industry. It isn't true. Seriously, do people think that someone just woke up yesterday and discovered that the baby boom was going to retire? We've been around a long time now.
For a thorough explanation of why that line of argument is completely wrong, click here.
... which of the above arguments would you want to make, the one that simply says, "we want tax cuts for everybody!" or the one that says "we want to draw-down-future-budget-deficits with both-higher-taxes-and-lower-spending without making-radical-changes-to-the-safety-net (while also breaking the GOPsantitaxabsolutism)?
Right. One side is staking out a negotiating position. The other side is trying to be all things to all people. Which one do you suppose is likelier to win?
Deficits shouldn't be a priority right now. The economy is very weak. So, let the GOP argue for their tax cut extension. The Democrats should argue for protecting all programs that benefit real people. If there has to be a deficit deal (and honestly, there shouldn't be one at all) they can cut useless defense spending. That's your compromise. If they won't go along, then just agree to extend the tax cuts for two more years and protect the programs. This whole fiscal cliff nonsense is a kabuki pageant and from the sound of the dialog, the Democrats are playing the role of the designated losers again. They are good at it, you have to admit.
What's coming up on Sunday Kos ...
- Daily Kos Radio: Kagro in the morning, by Armando
- Tom Harkin's Rebuild America Act echoes New Deal legislation, by Meteor Blades
- The California 'top two' open primary format: A postmortem, by Steve Singiser
- Mitt Romney, going the full-Breitbart, by Dante Atkins
- Climate denial: The GOP war on science should be the Democrats' greatest political weapon, by Laurence Lewis
- Union basics the media often gets wrong?and ways right-wing messaging sneaks into labor coverage, by Laura Clawson
- Fighting for reproductive justice, by Denise Oliver Velez