This week we're doing something different with Hell to Pay, and honoring the memory of Sen. Paul Wellstone. The plane crash that killed Sen. Wellstone, his wife, daughter, and staff was Oct. 25, 2002. To honor his memory, we're going to devote Hell to Pay fundraising to the candidates who best embody the spirit of Wellstone.
You had some fantastic suggestions, including two Senate candidates who have been previous recipients of our fundraising efforts, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin. Because we've raised for them before, they're getting honorable mention here. Update: and also Jim Graves in MN-06. We've raised for him, too.
And greytdog had a great idea in picking both a Senate and a House candidate. The Senate nominee who came up most frequently with commenters is Sen. Sherrod Brown, and they make a compelling case:
Brown has guts and compassion which make him a champion. He knows the winger army of the night is after him, but he turns slightly and waves at them as he goes onward out of their reach--so far. At least the wingers got this target correct because they have much to fear from a successful progressive.So Sherrod Brown for the Senate it is. Here are your House nominees:
by judyms9 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:45:58 PM MDT
Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Another fighter for an inclusive govt an inclusive country - a man who understands that America is about Community, that the people are America's finest asset and greatest strength.
by greytdog on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:22:09 PM MDT
It is so good to see David Gill on this list. Unfortunately David won't be my congressman due to redistricting. But I have donated to his campaign because his is a voice like Paul Wellstone's. David will provide a strong fact backed progressive voice in the house!
by Maximilien Robespierre on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:10:04 PM MDT
Rick's running an unabashadly progressive campaign and demonstrating that you can do that and win, which is exactly what Paul Wellstone taught us all. Please do what you can to help send Rick Nolan to Congress as my representative.
by Joel in Duluth on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 06:51:41 PM MDT
Lois Frankel of Florida. She gets it. She understands that not only does she represent her district & her state, but that she does also represent every American in the House. The House of Representatives is the people's voice and Lois believes in people, she understands that this isn't just about women, it's not just about people of color, it's about Americans?about how we define ourselves as a people, as a nation.
by greytdog on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:22:09 PM MDT
Jim Graves -- he's from MN, he's running against the truly horrible (Michele Bachmann), he's a hotel CEO who's supported by the hotel unions, so he gets my vote. by Tamar on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 06:57:11 PM MDT
Long time reader, first time commenter... and I have to chime in about Ami Bera. He is NorCal's Paul Wellstone. From the first day I met him over 3 years ago, this man has made reaching out to local activists his priority, and he has genuinely appreciated my help and support. He is uncomfortable about his notoriety but continues to fight on because it has meaning, especially with Dan Lungren as his opponent. Ami is running because, as a doctor, he knows just how important basic health care, a clean environment, and the protection of women's rights are to our society. He gets it. In every fiber of his being. And it shows in the loving relationship he has with his own family. I can't vote for Ami because I don't live in his district but I would do anything to make sure he gets elected. And re-elected.All making a compelling case, so here are your nominees for the week. Who's going to join Sherrod Brown as our House Hell to Pay candidate? Who's gonna give the Republicans the most hell?
by SacramentosKing on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 10:23:11 AM MDT
4:08 PM PT: I messed up. We've already had a Hell to Pay for Jim Graves. So it wouldn't be fair to Warren and Baldwin to keep him in the mix. I can't edit the poll, unfortunately, but please consider him out of the mix.
I strongly recommend voting for Lois Frankel (1+ / 0-)
We need her to defeat Adam Hasner, who was speaker of the most right-wing, Tea Party, special-interest controlled Florida House in memory. He abandoned the Senate race when he was hand-picked by Allen West to take his place so he could run in a more conservative district. We need her in the House to stand up to the GOP and support the middle class.
David Gill!!! (1+ / 0-)
I, too have been redistricted out of Dr. Gill's congressional district and have STILL donated to him. A quality man and a quality candidate who has a real chance of winning against a man hand-picked in a Republican closed-door session- not even by the voters- and they are pissed about this. Please read about him: http://www.gill2012.org/ and support his campaign.
because I live in Florida and even though Debbie WS is my congresswoman (Yayyy!), I've been contributing to Patrick Murphy (against Allen West). I didn't know that Lois's opponent was picked by that idiot AW for that district.
CNN's new poll shows Obama winning likely voters in Ohio by a four-point spread. But that's not how they're reporting their own numbers:
Please chip in $5 to help President Obama.
Have white voters been taken for granted? That?s the basic thesis of a recent piece from Politico?s John Hohmann, who argues that if Mitt Romney wins, it will be proof that ?white voters still matter.? This, we suppose, is true. Mitt Romney is winning by historic margins among white voters, and Barack Obama's re-election depends on his ability to win over at least 40 percent of them.
The problem with Hohmann?s argument, of course, is that no one has said otherwise! There is no one in American politics arguing that white voters somehow ?don?t matter.? In fact, the exact opposite is true. At the moment, the campaigns are obsessed with winning voters in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Colorado. What do these states all have in common? They are fairly white compared to the rest of the country. Obama has been campaigning with Bill Clinton in an explicit effort to increase his margins among the ?Bubbas? of American politics.
African Americans are nearly taken for granted by Democratic politicians, and Latinos are well on their way to the same status?after all, their only alternative is a party that has institutionalized hostility to Hispanic immigrants. The only swing voters left in this country are whites, and both parties have bent over backwards to accommodate them.
Put another way, the idea that white voters are ?overlooked? is so ludicrous that the only proper response is to mock it. Mercilessly. Have fun.
"I?ll wash John Boehner?s car, I?ll walk Mitch McConnell?s dog."
?President Obama's last-resort fiscal cliff tactics, as explained to radio host Michael Smerconish
New polls from Ohio show Obama still holds an edge, albeit an increasingly narrow one. The CNN/Opinion Research poll holds the score at 50-46, while the Purple Strategies and ARG polls hold the advantage at 46-44 and 49-47, respectively.
For more polling information, go to the Prospect?s 2012 election map.
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Back in June, Mitt Romney's top economic adviser Glenn Hubbard caused a stir when he took his partisan politics beyond the water's edge and onto the op-ed page of a German newspaper. Now, the man the New York Times labeled Romney's "go-to economist" has uttered something far more appalling, if entirely predictable. "The rich," Hubbard declared, "are taxed enough." As it turns out, Uncle Sam's total tax bite as a percentage of the nation's economy isn't just at its lowest level in 60 years. The effective tax rate for American millionaires--one which Governor Romney's plan will slash further-- has been plummeting for two decades.
The former head of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers made his remarks during Monday's Intelligence Squared Debate. There, Hubbard echoed Bush's 2004 pronouncement that "the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." As ABC reported:
"Raising tax rates on the rich is both counter-productive and unnecessary to fund the government we want," said Hubbard.
While steering clear of specifics, Hubbard told the audience at the Intelligence Squared Debate that "higher tax rates won't necessarily produce enhancements in revenue."
"We can and should achieve fairness and growth without taxing the rich more than they are today," he said.
It was altogether fitting that Hubbard's debate teammate was supply-side snake oil salesman Arthur Laffer. The architect of the fiscally reckless and thoroughly disproven Republican mantra that "tax cuts pay for themselves," Laffer told Fox News in 2009 that raising revenue "cannot be done at the high end because those people can get away from it" for a very simple reason:
"I mean, you really can't collect much money from upper-income people. They know how to get around taxes."
Of course, Mitt Romney has become the poster boy for tax avoidance that Bush, Laffer and Hubbard endorse. But his paltry 14 percent tax rate isn't just the result of endless machinations avoid paying his fair share to the United States Treasury. Changes to the tax code over the past two decades made Mitt's pittance possible.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities revealed in the chart above, the effective tax rate paid by millionaires and those among the top 400 richest earners in the country has been falling for years even as their incomes have reached stratospheric levels. Despite right-wing mythology to the contrary, economic expansion and employment growth were both faster when taxes on supposed "job creators" were much higher than they are today. (It is also worth noting that while most Americans are still recovering financially from the Bush recession that began in December 2007, by 2010 the wealthy had more than made up their losses.)
But it wasn't just the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 (which Glenn Hubbard helped put in place) which created this perverse result. The plummeting tax bill for the upper-crust is due in large part of the reductions in capital gains taxes both parties pursued over the past 25 years. An analysis by the Washington Post concluded that "capital gains tax rates benefiting wealthy feed [the] growing gap between rich and poor." As the Post explained, for the very richest Americans the successive capital gains tax cuts from Presidents Clinton (from 28 to 20 percent) and Bush (from 20 to 15 percent) have been "better than any Christmas gift":
While it's true that many middle-class Americans own stocks or bonds, they tend to stash them in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, where the capital gains rate does not apply. By contrast, the richest Americans reap huge benefits. Over the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people; about half of all the capital gains have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent.
This convenient chart tells the tale:
But Glenn Hubbard's deceit hardly ends there. Republican politicians and their conservative water-carriers pretend that it's always 1980 (when the top marginal rate was 70 percent) or 1944 (when it topped 90 percent). As Dylan Matthews explained in the Washington Post today ("When taxes are high, raising them hurts. When they're low, not so much."), research shows the impact of a small tax increase on wealthiest Americans has almost no impact on the economy when current rates are low, as they are now:
So the more realistic Jaimovich and Rebelo's model gets, the less likely it is to see any effects on growth of increasing taxes for high earners, and certainly if the increases are as small as the ones Obama has been proposing. That's in line with a recent Congressional Research Service study that found zero effect of changes in top tax rates on growth.
There's definitely a point at which high tax rates for the rich hurt growth. But we're nowhere near there yet.
Nevertheless, Glenn Hubbard's would-be future boss (Hubbard is rumored to be at the top of Mitt Romney's list for Treasury Secretary) would slash taxes for the rich further still. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that Romney's plan would result in a tax increase for the top 5 percent and increase for everyone else. But while Team Romney has protested that their magical scheme to close some to-be-determined deductions and loopholes would prevent that from happening, neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan has had the courage to name a single tax break they would close. Or as Glenn Hubbard explained when Romney rolled out his 20 percent across-the-board cut earlier this year:
"It is not his intention to take on any specific deduction or exclusion and eliminate it."
Apparently, all Hubbard is willing to tell the American people is that "the rich are taxed enough."
(For more background and charts, see "15 Things the GOP Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes and the Debt.")