This post reminded me of the strange commitment conservatism has made to the redistribution of income and the core economic values behind that redistribution that helped fuel the Great Recession. Conservatives did not learn anything. Gingrich Proposes Flat Tax Windfall for the Wealthy
Gingrich’s plan resembles Perry’s in many respects. Under Newt’s proposal, taxpayers could choose to pay at an optional 15 percent flat tax rate, compared to Perry’s 20 percent. The corporate tax rate would be slashed from 35 percent to 12.5 percent. Like, Perry, Gingrich would eliminate the capital gains tax altogether. (As the Washington Post recently explained the impact of the already historically low 15% capital gains tax rate, “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.”)
But as Suzy Khimm documented in the Washington Post, Gingrich’s plan would produce an ever larger payday for the upper class than Rick Perry, while ensuring Treasury hemorrhages even more red ink…
Yep, the biggest problem economic problem facing the United States is the wealthy are not getting their just rewards.
We have made a tectonic shift from a nation that rewards work to a nation that rewards people with a lot of money to even more money. That extreme wealth does not come from great management skills, an argument often made by defenders of the elite, if that were true one has to explain how such great managers lost trillions of the nation’s wealth, sent millions of families into foreclosure and created a lost generation of income earners. Right-wing conservatives have taken to calling the wealthy elite who drained the economy and borrowed money from the government the producers and people who have low paying jobs or just want a job that pays a living wage the “takers”. How Unequal We Are: The Top 5 Facts You Should Know About The Wealthiest One Percent Of Americans
1. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Owns 40 Percent Of The Nation’s Wealth: As Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out, the richest 1 percent of Americans now own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Sociologist William Domhoff illustrates this wealth disparity using 2007 figures where the top 1 percent owned 42 percent of the country’s financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home). How much does the bottom 80 percent own? Only 7 percent:
As Stiglitz notes, this disparity is much worse than it was in the past, as just 25 years ago the top 1 percent owned 33 percent of national wealth.
2. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Take Home 24 Percent Of National Income: While the richest 1 percent of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9 percent — meaning their share of the national income pool has nearly tripled in roughly three decades.
3. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Own Half Of The Country’s Stocks, Bonds, And Mutual Funds: The Institute for Policy Studies illustrates this massive disparity in financial investment ownership, noting that the bottom 50 percent of Americans own only .5 percent of these investments:
We bailed out Limbaugh’s heroes at the top and have had to fight tooth and nail to get unemployment benefits for the victims of the national Ponzi scheme rum by the figures of Limbaugh and the Right’s idolatry. The hardest working among the top 1% work real hard in their over stuffed leather club chairs tracking the millions in income they get from
creating jobs capital gains. These producers are just 16th century royalty with newer technology. Now as then, the modern feudal serfs do all the actual work which produces the value or capital on which the wealthy derive their money. Voting for Obama may not change the big picture, but voting for Newt or Mitt or any other conservative in the 2012 elections will just see this pattern of income redistribution from the peasants to the royals accelerate.
“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” Mr. Cain said. “Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.”
Mr. Cain, with his wife at his side, adamantly professed Saturday that the accusations of sexual harassment and of a long-term affair that have swamped his campaign were not true.
Cain has said that God told him to run for president. He now says people have said mean untruths, which he claims are not true. Though not true they are reason enough to call it a day. You know them by the strength of their backbone. The Right said far worse about Obama – who one assumes would be included in Cain’s previous assertion ( video) that black Americans have been brainwashed – and yet Barack Obama is now the President of the U.S.A. Cain, in a fashion similar to Sarah Palin has confessed that he does not have the moral strength to continue in the face of adversity. Has Cain brainwashed himself. That may seem like snark, but consider that in Cain’s book – which he has spent a good deal of his campaign hawking rather than organizing his support troops in key states – calls himself the CEO of Self. It is Cain’s own view that everyone is utterly and always responsible for themselves. There are no external problems that can account for your lot in life. It does not matter if you’re been unfairly terminated from your job, some Wall Street thieves wreck the economy, someone steals your car, you have a lousy math teacher, your parents beat you to the point of abuse, you were born with a birth defect, had your legs blown off in an unnecessary war – no excuses – you are the CEO of You. No one ever needs any help in Cain world – unless you personally have an affair with Cain then he might send you the occasional check.
But after reading This Is Herman Cain!, I doubt very much that is how he sees things. Cain is so serene, so certain of his superiority to most of those around him, so assured that he is carrying out God’s plan for him and for America…, that he thinks that in fact, it’s everyone else’s candidacy that is a joke or a lark. He writes like a man who is confident that he will wake up on January 20, 2013, ready to take the oath of office. To Cain, this has all been foreordained…. He doesn’t have a ground operation in New Hampshire because true CEOs of Self don’t need things like ground operations. They exert their will and they win.
As the NYT piece notes Cain has blamed his predicament on the press ( a dry rotted standby excuse for every conservative) and a conspiracy by his conservative opponents. Funny how all that personal responsibility stuff gets trashed as soon as a Republican finds themselves in trouble.
What Senators McCain (R, Arizona) and Levin (D, Michigan), and those who voted for the legislation that they sponsored, cleverly realized, however, is that since the terrorists are attacking America for its freedoms and “way of life”, the only sure way to win the war is to eliminate all of those freedoms and way of life so that the terrorists will have no further reason to fight. (This is why the comprehensive laws that already exist in the USA that make the aiding and abetting of any terrorist organization or activity a crime, but leave untouched the inalienable rights of American citizens, simply do not suffice.)
Robin Koerner notes the bill passed (sections 1031 and 1032 being the subject of most concern). While it may not be much consolation that President Obama has promised to veto the NDAA as written, those onerous provisions are not likely to become actual law for now. If you are looking for someone to follow on what’s up with the NDAA, Adam Serwer is doing a good job, A defense funding bill would mandate military detention of foreign-born terrorism suspects apprehended in the United States.
The bill also authorizes the indefinite military detention of American citizens and permanent residents if they are suspected of links to Al Qaeda, something so controversial that even the Bush administration balked at it, slipping Jose Padilla back into the criminal justice system after years of military detention in order to avoid a confrontation with the Supreme Court. Congress is preparing to overturn a precedent that was followed almost without exception by the Bush administration: Domestic terrorism arrests are the province of law enforcement, not the military. The provision passed out of the Democratic-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee with only a single dissenting vote, from Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).
As many might remember when Abdulmutallab “the underwear” bomber was taken into custody conservatives wanted him simply disappeared into some military prison without trail. The language in sections of 1031 and 1032 are written in such contradictory and obtuse wording that such whisking off without due process, could happen to any American – say a tea partier or a OWS protester. Abdulmutallab was convicted in a civilian court with legal representation. He’ll die in prison.
Some documentation of injustice against Americans for exercising their 1st amendment rights, People Locked in Tiny Cages, Crying in Pain: What I Saw and Heard When the LAPD Threw Me in Jail for Exercising My Right to Protest the Oligarchy. When I read what these people went through I could not help but think of the video that much of the national and local media ran of the arrest of Jerry Sandusky. Here’s a monster that has sexually battered ten or more children. He’s in handcuffs, in a nice suit and tie being ever so gently led into court for his formal arraignment. Over the years we’ve all seen serial killers, rapists and other assorted monsters humanely treated as they are arrested and jailed. The OWS protesters have been physically brutalized, arrested, brutalized again and have grossly unfair bonds set. Many have been kept in custody when many others arrested for actual crimes have been let go on their own reconnaissance without even being required to have bail. Here a sheriff’s deputy was arrested for stealing from his own department, no bail required. This Is Definitely Not What Democracy Looks Like
After a “citizens’ arrest” by a security guard for a building largely owned by Goldman Sachs, police obligingly arrested political activist and Democratic congressional candidate Ray Lutz – in Freedom Plaza, home to Occupy San Diego – for registering voters.
I have mixed feelings about OWS in terms of strategy, long-term plans – how are they going to get anyone to take action against what they rightly see as economic and social injustice by continuing the camp outs. That said why do I see protesters, who for the most part mean well, but are hardly a threat to anything or anyone, yet so many city governments and police departments see them as such a big threat that the only way to deal with them is through tactics that are not even used on America’s worse monsters. While as usual we came at the events from slightly different perspectives, America’s far Right and moderates condemned Putin’s crackdown on Russian protesters. Protesters who were protesting the rule of “thieves”. Is it the intention of local mayors and police to be America’s Putin-style enforcers for the powers that be.