Archive for ows

Let’s Talk About ‘Fair Share’

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by rottenart

Steve Benen has a good post today about the persistent meme that’s been making the rounds since the deficit became the holy grail of national political discussion: it’s not fair to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes because they already pay so much! John Boehner, ever the voice of the oppressed 1%, said this:

“Come on. The top 1% paid 38% of income taxes in America. How much more do you want them to pay?”

“We are not going to engage in class warfare,” Boehner said, adding: “The president’s clearly trying to do it, and it’s wrong.”

Well, let’s just parse that a bit, shall we? As Steve puts it:

“Just as important, while these very Americans are paying a larger percentage of the nation’s overall income taxes, they’re also paying a smaller share of their personal income in income taxes.”

As a percentage of their income, they’ve seen their tax rate drop significantly. While the top 20% do pay the majority of the income tax, they also control around 90% of the wealth and account for ~80% of the income.  In fact, while the middle and lower classes have seen their wages stagnate and even decline over the past 30 years, the uppermost 1%  have seen their incomes soar by 275% in the same period. And those vast majority who Boehner thinks aren’t paying enough? They’re already poor and don’t make enough money to have to pay!

Beware the Republican bearing statistics about taxes and who pays their ‘fair share’.

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Big Government is Bad, Right?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by rottenart

An interesting catch over at digby’s blog: did you know that Alabama has its own Dept. of Homeland Security? Not just a couple of officers, mind you, but a cabinet level agency on top of their state and local police forces, FBI offices, and Federal DHS offices. As digby notes, it’s not surprising that everyone went a little nuts in 2001, creating an entirely new government bureaucracy from whole cloth (with a 2010 budget of nearly $100 billion, by the by) but the extent to which this federal system was mimicked by the  states is staggering. As this WaPo special report lays out, this is a very lucrative and extremely comprehensive network that essentially does the work that the federal agency already does and still manages to find very little to do.

What’s even more striking is how little attention this receives and how it explains things like this:

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Consumers Lose, America Wins

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by rottenart

Most of you have probably seen this video by now. The one-time nominee to head the Consumer Protection Bureau and current candidate for the senate from Massachusetts lays out the foundation for everything that is gripping the country’s current psyche in blunt words.  I would even argue that this video, going viral and galvanizing support for her campaign almost immediately upon release, was one of the primary catalysts for the first people heading down to Wall St. The fact that the GOP is trying to use that as an attack means she’s doing something right.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the sentiments in this speech aren’t exactly popular with the moneyed elite. Her willingness to articulate the ills of the country so honestly is what guaranteed that she would never be confirmed by a senate so beholden to that same elite. President Obama, in a move pilloried by his base as yet another capitulation, passed over Warren once it became clear the the GOP in the upper house weren’t going to sway, giving the post instead to Richard Cordray. The Left was furious at the time but as it turns out, it couldn’t have been a better move.

Consider this photo showing a volunteer meeting for the Warren campaign. Scott Brown, Cosmo centerfold, misogynist and documented Koch-sucker, must be shaking in his boots. That he’s an outlier Republican in one of the bluest states is worry enough but Warren has nearly erased any lead he once held and done so in only a few short weeks.

2012 is likely to be a topsy-turvy, nausea-inducing election year but there is one bright spot in the cycle. America may have lost a strong middle class advocate at the CFB but it seems that she has the potential now to be an even more powerful force for working people in the US senate.

Elizabeth Warren for Senate

 

It’s Easy to Understand.

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2011 by rottenart

Hell, even Calvin gets it.

The Occupy movement has been tough to pin down for a corporate media drunk on its own self-worth and slowly going the way of the dinosaur. They treat it as if it’s rowdy kids climbing the counter and pulling down cookies as opposed to a true populist uprising. That is, when they don’t scoff outright.

On the bright side, opinion seems to be shifting. Here’s Melissa Francis explaining to Joe Scarborough what he clearly doesn’t take seriously. That’s great, and I applaud Francis and any other outlet willing to actually talk about OWS and why they’re so mad. The big focus so far has been on why they don’t have any demands in sound-bite form. I don’t seem to remember the Tea Party discussing the finer details of “Take My Country Back” but I digress.

The point is that even as the media is shaking off the dust, the powers that be are not sleeping at all. In fact, they seem to be scared shitless of the power that the masses hold. That means that what we’re doing is working.

Keep pushing. Keep standing your ground. History is on our side.

 

Yeah, Buddy!!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by loudmouthliberal

With the extreme , wide range of choices for the Republican nomination, the candidates are a subject I have stayed as far away from as possible.  It is not probable , to me, for any of the front-runners to earn the nomination (okay, maybe the nomination) as they are all far right Christian conservatives with little grasp of the average American, have little stability of view-point, offer scandalous voting records as opposed to their current views, and are environmental science denying, corporate puppets.  I know this can be said about many politicians, but with where we are as a nation right now, I don’t see us handing one of these thugs the White House.  Except for two… maybe. And while these two’s views on issues aren’t exactly my own on a lot, listening to them is like a breath of fresh air across the wild, overgrown Republican field.

Now, neither are probable candidates, mind you. They’re not even showing in the polls.  One has not even been allowed to debate. But what a mistake that is for the right! I really think that one of them is probably their only real chance at beating Obama. Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m Obama 2012 all the way.  However, I would like for the two best men for the job to be running in November. Actually, the four best

That being said, my first pick for a reasonable candidate is Jon Huntsman. Unfortunately, too many Americans are unaware of the fact that America is not, in fact,  a Christian nation and that it is actually unconstitutional to use one’s religion against them to deny them the presidency. In short, I’m afraid, the fact that he is a Mormon will not help his cause in the least. If you combine that with the fact that he doesn’t get much media coverage and has little name recognition compared to other candidates… fat chance.

Now comes the real disappointment… the lack of presidential nomination promise for the Roemer campaign!! I’m telling you, what he is selling is right where the people are headed and what the country needs right now if we’re talking about getting the money out of politics and holding corporations and banks accountable. The problem with Buddy is his very message is to his own detriment with the way our electorate process works right now.

No PAC money. No corporate sponsors. $100 donations from the public. That’s it. Both a blessing and a curse, as it’s impossible to win an election against the kind of money the others have without having that kind of money yourself; Which is pretty impossible to get without a corporate sponsor. It’s a vicious cycle. Also, he’s the only candidate so far to make an appearance and spend time with the protestors at the Occupation. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

We have several major issues we need to be working on as a people and will need to do so indefinitely. Unfortunately, we can only get there if we correctly express our voices at the polls, as much as we can in our daily lives, and whenever the opportunity forces itself into our consciousness, such as OWS.  Since Citizens United, corporate money in politics has been at the top of that list. It also expresses the necessity of taking a good look at the SCOTUS, and working to reform that and other corrupt branches/agencies/policies that work against the will and prosperity of the people. The 99%.

It really is a  shame how we got here. It is a tragedy where we are. And it’s gonna be a hell of a  journey where we’re headed.  Giving in is not an option. Giving up is not a choice. It’s a long, hard road ahead and we are only just beginning. If everyone, everyday, makes a conscious effort to make a difference, we’ll be there in no time.