The party doing most of the pulling, not surprisingly, is the Republicans, with House Speaker John Boehner bluntly laying down a limit on the committee’s mandate: no new taxes. That, while the Democrats, in the form of Nancy Pelosi and the president, have gone to pains to emphasize that every option, including raised revenues, should remain on the table. Unwilling to let Boehner dictate the terms of the game, President Obama has decided to call his bluff. Late yesterday, the White House announced that the president plans to unveil this Tuesday a $2 trillion deficit-reduction plan — a fair bit more than the $1.5 trillion the super committee has been tasked with slashing — that includes a tax on the country’s 500,000-or-so millionaires, and which will be dubbed the “Buffett Tax.”
One of the continuing narratives in criticisms of president Obama from left of center is his unwillingness to draw a line in the sand. Since the 2010 mi-terms Obama has played to the center-right hoping to get moderate conservatives and independents at the expense of the Democratic base. According to polls ( which I’ll get to more later) that ain’t work’n out too well. That Obama is getting the messaging right with a “Jobs” bill and a millionaires tax might mean he and his staff are starting to get it. Moderate conservatives are an endangered species who have been out maneuvered by the tea smokers who equate moderation and compromise with Maoism. Independents have largely fallen for the we must cut spending fairy tale. A tale constantly reinforced by the media who loves to cats political stories in simplistic terms. Shades of gray not being good for ad revenue. Even if Obama ends up losing – which is a better than even bet – he can justly claim he tried to create jobs, rise revenue and cut deficits, but as usual conservative put movement politics before country. Just to break up the tedium it would be nice to guess what the conservative dipstick response to Obama’s proposal has been. Unfortunately it is the same warmed over voodoo economics that has led us to the Pottersville economy –
Speaking about the president’s proposal on Fox News Sunday:
It punishes job creation and those people who create jobs. Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics.
But what Representative Ryan(R-WI) fails to mention — as it would clunkify his so-nice talking point there — is that most of the wealthiest Americans’ money is not tied up in the “real” economy, where it can create more jobs, as he claims, rather it is parked on Wall Street, in hedge funds, stocks, bonds, any number of exotic financial products. As such, it is only taxed at the 15 percent capital gains rate, while most middle and upper middle class Americans find themselves paying anywhere from 25 to 35 percent marginal income tax. This is why Warren Buffett calls Representative Ryan and his colleagues the “billionaire-friendly Congress” — and why Obama plastered the Sage of Omaha’s name on his new initiative. In reality, the money of the megawealthy feeds on itself. These trillions of dollars circulate between investment accounts, banks, and traders earning dividends and racking up returns as the prices of stocks and bonds shift, but it rarely ends up in a company’s coffers, where it could actually be used to hire new workers.
If tax cuts alone created jobs where are they. The proposed medicare cuts will not include raising the eligibility age and the reduction in revenue might be recaptured down the road – details are still stretchy. Still monkeying around with Medicare may make the conservative/libertarian let them die crowd cheer, but it no way to sway Independents – Medicare Cuts: Not the Way to Voters’ Hearts
But dig a little deeper, and you find that the deficit is a surrogate issue for the real concern that the economy is going down the drain and government can’t seem to fix it. Do you really think, if the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2021 looks better but the jobs and wages story is still dismal, that voters will be grateful?
Obama has been talking relentlessly about deficit reduction for two years now, and his popularity keeps sinking. In the most recent New York Times-CBS poll, 59 percent of independents now report that they disapprove of the President, his worst showing among independents ever. Banging away at the deficit will not help.
The Democratic base is very upset at his tempering with Medicare. He hopes to reassure the base with a call for higher taxes on the wealthy. The White House has branded this idea “The Buffett Rule,” after billionaire Warren Buffett, who contends that people like him should be paying higher taxes.
Republicans have termed this call “class warfare,” and have vowed to block it.
The problem with Obama’s approach is that raising taxes on the rich but not doing enough on the jobs front and mixing the message by cutting Medicare does not add up to a politically effective politics of class. It alienates people who don’t like higher taxes on anyone–but without rallying people who are waiting for government to do something big and positive.
There is a war. It is not even a simple war of the wealthy versus the bottom 90%. It is Republicans pandering to the top 10% purely for reasons of twisted ideology. Conservatives honestly believe the wealthiest Americans do all the work, create all the jobs and are drivers of demand. It’s usually called supply-side economics, but that kind of system is also called monarchism or feudalism – thou shall not take taxes from thy lords and ladies so as to fix bridges and build schools for the serfs. It is a warfare of classes that American workers are losing. The irony that fake populists such as Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann stand for working class real America is so blatant it is as though a stretch from the Jon Stewart Show is being played out in real life. And when they do not have the numbers, the experts or the facts to back them up they use super secret info only available to the Conservative Circle Jerk Club – Herman Cain Claims He Doesn’t Want to Compromise the Confidentiality of His Economic Advisers
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared on Fox News Sunday again this weekend and he’s still out there touting his ridiculous 999 plan as some magical cure for our economy, when it’s pretty much more of the same that we’ve been hearing from most of these Republicans, which is to lower taxes on the rich at the expense of everyone else and privatize Social Security.
When Chris Wallace pointed out to Cain that they took a look at his plan and his numbers didn’t quite add up and even though Cain claimed his plan was researched by leading economists, they couldn’t find any of their names.
Cain believes in lots of neat stuff and the rest of us can too if we only send five old pizza crusts and $2.00 to P.O. Box Crazy as a Loon for the decoder ring.
Mitch McConnell Doesn’t Have ‘Any Particular Reaction’ To Tea Party Audience Cheering For Death. If people want to cheer for an uninsured person to die isn’t that the kind of enlightened society our Founders had in mind. Letting people drop dead because they do not have insurance actually saves money. As everyone will remember having that Coliseum with all the tigers and gladiators was a rather expensive way to rid society of the leeches. In order for conservatives to care about your well-being you have to go back in time and become a zygote.
That the federal government wastes money isn’t news. Expenditures from the Iraq War have been estimated at $3 trillion or more by the Washington Post. It bears repeating that the Iraq War wasn’t even necessary to begin with, and it has cost many lives. Politicians who are attacking the Solyndra federal loan as an indication that solar energy is not worth subsidizing, are wrong, and are simply trying to make partisan hay from a single mistake. Some of them seem to have very conveniently forgotten that Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Agriculture all receive federal subsidies amounting to a great deal of money, year after year.
The oil industry receives about four billion dollars a year in tax breaks from the U.S. government. Robert Kennedy Jr. said in an interview that oil and coal each receive about one trillion dollars a year in subsidies both directly and indirectly. Also, corn farming in the United States received $77 billion in subsidies from 1995-2010. These are just several examples of industries receiving support from the federal government.
Solyndra Solar may have done something unethical. How is that different from the thousands of lobbyists in Washington getting special legislation. Or different from ALEC buying legislation from Republicans. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Exposed
Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists frustrated by recent electoral setbacks, ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics.