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The Easiest Way to Cut the Deficit

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Posted on Nov 16, 2011
DonkeyHotey (CC-BY-SA)

Members of the congressional “super committee.”

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Here is a surefire way to cut $7.1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Do nothing.

That’s right. If Congress simply fails to act between now and Jan. 1, 2013, the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush expire, $1.2 trillion in additional budget cuts go through under the terms of last summer’s debt ceiling deal, and a variety of other tax cuts also go away.

Knowing this, are you still sure that a “failure” by the congressional “super committee” to reach a deal would be such a disaster?

In an ideal world, of course, reasonable members of Congress could agree to a balanced package of long-term spending cuts and tax increases to begin bringing the deficit down, coupled with short-term measures to boost the economy.

But genuine compromise can’t happen because Republicans refuse to accept any significant tax increases. This is not a partisan statement. It is just a description of the facts. It is maddening that the media are so desperate to avoid being attacked as “liberal” that they cannot describe the situation as it is.

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Democrats have put huge spending cuts on the table—and keep offering more and more and more. All the Democrats ask in return is that the cuts be balanced by some revenue.

By rejecting their offers, Republicans induce Democrats who are anxious for some deal—any deal—to keep coming their way. The Republican approach is wrong and irresponsible but brilliant as a negotiating strategy. As my Washington Post colleague Ezra Klein wrote this week: “Over the past year, Republicans have learned something important about negotiating budget deals with Democrats: If you don’t like their offer, just wait a couple of months.”

Finally, the Republicans decided they needed to look slightly flexible. So they came up with $300 billion in supposed revenue from a promised tax reform in a plan that also included a proposal to slash tax rates for the rich. There is a lot more tax cutting here than revenue. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, co-chairman of the super committee, who said on Tuesday that this was the GOP’s final offer, reversed field Wednesday afternoon and declared himself open to other ideas.

Even Democrats inclined to capitulate know how shameful agreeing to such a deal would be. And mainstream, centrist deficit hawks should be grateful if a deal on such terms is killed. What Republicans want to do in effect is to make at least 90 percent of the Bush tax cuts permanent. This would only make deficit reduction even harder in the future.

That’s where the do-nothing strategy comes in. Championed early this year in The New Republic by New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, it looks even better now because of the spending cuts scheduled to go through if the super committee doesn’t act.

Already, Hensarling is suggesting undoing the promised defense reductions. Here is an opportunity to challenge the fake deficit hawks among conservatives: If that military spending is so important, why are they not willing to ask wealthy Americans to finance it with slightly higher taxes?

The prospect of $7.1 trillion in tax increases and some cuts that would begin taking effect in January 2013 (thanks to Jim Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for walking me through the math) should hearten every deficit foe now prepared to mourn a failure by the super committee.

Because the bulk of the $7.1 trillion comes from automatic revenue increases, the power in future negotiations would shift toward those seeking a balance between cuts and taxes. Doing nothing is not an option when it comes to job creation. Congress still needs to act. But on the deficit, inaction now could lead to wiser action later.

Yes, this strategy works better if President Obama is re-elected. Yet if Republicans take over the whole federal government in 2012, it should fall to them to enact the draconian cuts required to protect the wealthiest Americans from tax increases. No moderate or progressive should want to be complicit in this.

A balanced deal would be nice, but it’s now impossible—and not because of some vague congressional “dysfunction” the media like to talk about. Sane fiscal policies are blocked because one party refuses to accept the need to roll back the excesses of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. If Congress does nothing, those tax cuts go away. That’s why a “failure” by the super committee to endorse a deeply flawed deal is actually a victory for sensible deficit reduction.


E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Bill Cimbrelo, November 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

The Super Committee’s failure to reach a budget
deficit reduction deal has resulted in our nation’s
worst I-told-you-so moment.  Never in the 237 year
history of Congress has this elected body shown such
ineptitude, lack of patriotism and utter disregard
for what is good for the nation and its people.

Cooperation between the two parties, euphemistically
referred to as bipartisanship, has dissolved away
like so many American jobs.  Congress seems to be
able to agree on only the most mundane legislation
while the country and our economy crumble before our
very eyes and the eyes of the world.

Had our Congress been generously mixed with a number
of third party candidates, this debacle would have
likely been avoided.  How could more parties possibly
make things better and not just create more division
and inaction?  Although it may seem counterintuitive
and contrary to popular opinion in the U.S., the
effectiveness of multi-party governing bodies has
been successfully and credibly demonstrated in
modern-day democracies throughout the world. This is
because the pressure for consensus building serves to
override any particular party’s individual, and often
extreme, ideologies.  Even the proverbial party-
related sacred cows may not be so sacrosanct.  Multi-
party governments foster a competitive spirit to
achieve, rather than to hinder.  Competing parties
are compelled to outdo each other by demonstrating
that they are part the solution rather than the
problem.

Even though the upcoming 2012 election is a year off,
it will be the next best occasion voters have to
change how Washington conducts itself.  It’s a
perfect opportunity to send, party entrenched,
diehard incumbents, packing and begin to transition
Congress to an effective multi-party system.

Although vilifying corporate America or the rich may
be in vogue, it is a little like criticizing a Great
White Shark for being “the perfect eating machine”. 
In truth, corporate America is quite good at what it
does.  Its sole purpose is to maximize profits by
selling its products or services at the highest
possible price the market will bear, while
simultaneously, and often creatively, minimizing
operating expenses. To even consider for a moment,
that we can legislatively force corporations to
become pillars of moral integrity, that dole out
social and economic justice, is an utter and complete
fantasy. 

What we can do, but have thus far miserably failed to
do, is to insist upon the repeal of existing
legislation and foreign trade agreements that have
given us uncontrolled market globalization and the
inability to compete with cheap foreign labor.  These
agreements, that none of us had the remotest chance
to vote on, have left our factories and Main streets
empty and dashed the hopes and aspirations of
millions. Americans have been left bobbing in the
water waiting to become the next reluctant shark
meal.

A sustainable economic recovery can only happen if
it’s based on solid, long-term jobs that pay
respectable wages and therefore serve to bolster
consumer confidence. Those kinds of jobs will only
happen if we return to a manufacturing-based economy
instead of continuing to rely on one that is largely
service-based.  “Shovel ready” projects are nothing
more than short-term, politically motivated, Band-
Aids, when what we really desperately need is major
surgery. 

In my October 21st press release I outlined a plan
for stabilizing the housing market and bringing back
home construction jobs.  This would be a small but
effective stepping stone along the path to economic
recovery.  However, for us to significantly reverse
the damage caused by years of relentless exportation
of American jobs, we must insist that Washington to
repeal NAFTA and withdraw us from the WTO.

I am running as an independent candidate for US
Senator of Massachusetts.  Thank you - Bill Cimbrelo

http://billcimbrelo.com

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By ardee, November 20, 2011 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

This ‘battle’ is about the Republicans’ desire to maintain and accelerate the
transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper 1%. That’s what this battle is
about.

I think this quote misses the worm in the apple, so to speak ( sorry for the attempted humor). I hesitate to boil an entire movement down into one sentence of course, however:

I believe this is more about the loss of our power over our government to the wealthiest among us, how the power of money has usurped the power of the people.

The battle is over the restoration of the attention of our Legislators to the needs of all Americans rather than its current focus on campaign contributions and the strings that come with those checks.

This is certainly not ,as the worm suggests,a contest between two political parties, it is a contest between a corrupted system and the people it is supposed to serve.

OK that’s actually three sentences….

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By the worm, November 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Ways to Balance the Budget

1. Corporations have record profits and record cash in the bank and dodge the
real tax rate , reducing the amount they actually pay be about a third the
published corporate rate.

2. The top 1% has rising income levels and the lowest taxes in memory.

3. No taxes are levied on what the hedge funds bring in; they call it ‘carried
interest’ and by doing so escape all taxes.

4. No transaction tax is levied on rapid fire stock trades that send the market into
wild gyrations.

5. Capital gains (the way most of the wealthy get their ‘income’) is taxed at 15%.

So, there are five ways to bring our budget into balance without cutting middle
class programs.

If the Republicans wanted a ‘balanced budget’, they should not have passed the
Bush tax cuts for the wealthy when we had a balanced budget and should not have
gone to a war based on lies and refused to pay for it.
If the Republicans wanted a ‘balanced budget’ now, they could easily have one.

A ‘balanced budget’ is not the Republicans’ concern.

This ‘battle’ is about the Republicans’ desire to maintain and accelerate the
transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper 1%. That’s what this battle is
about.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need term limits not just for politicians but for entire political parties. The damage done by the current corrupt ruling parties is staggering. And all they offer is more of the same shiny, attention-seeking puppet candidates? They botched our infrastructure, education and health care systems, stuck us in two overpriced wars, then cheated the entire global economy. And now they turn an unobliging ear and hand to We The People. ‘Do nothing’ come tax time is what’s overdue.

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By Lafayette, November 19, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

JUST THINK

EJD: Knowing this, are you still sure that a “failure” by the congressional “super committee” to reach a deal would be such a disaster?

Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. In fact, the Dems should up the ante on tax increases.

Our problem has been the fact that Reckless Ronnie brought down dangerously marginal income and capital gains taxes – coincidently with the inflexion upward of our National Debt. (See info-graphic here.) Note that marginal income taxes from the mid-1930s were above 75%. Note also that they started coming down in the early 1960s and were at about 70% in 1980 when Reagan took office. He subsequently brought the down throughout his tenure like a parachute to 30%. Note the coincidence between the start of these reductions and the inflexion upwards of the green National Debt line.

Reducing taxation levels, whilst also reducing expenditures on Social Services, can only benefit one class of American – the plutocrat class, or 1-percenters or 20-percenters (as I like to call them) who own 93% of America’s wealth. Do these people really give a damn about Medicaid and Medicare or subvention of student tertiary education? I doubt it.

If we want to reform America in terms of how our work - that generates wealth of this country - is shared out fairly such that we can all feed our families, it will have to be done by raising marginal and capital gains taxes on the plutocrat class.

For the moment, it is not trickling downwards - as the Replicants would have it - but gushing upwards to the plutocrats.

Such measures will not only increase revenues to the Treasury (that we can also use to reduce the National Debt), but it take the motive out of the crass fraud on Wall Street perpetrated on the American public – and which provoked the recession from which we have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That motivation is enormous. Imagine keeping 25% of all one’s additional income above $500K. If you made 10 megabucks, you’d keep about 7 million dollars. You’d then park it with an Asset Manager who would invest in rent-bearing instruments (debt, equity, realty). The Fat Cats don’t live like you and I.

MY POINT

Think of what a progressive administration could do with 7 megabucks to help establish a Public Option Health Care offering for all Americans. Or funding the study of the poorest amongst us thus enabling them to rise above poverty. 

Or jump-starting a private enterprise effort to install either hi-speed trains across the nation (that are ecologically friendlier than airplanes) or fiber-optic DSL to your doorstep. Or just Infrastructure Stimulus Spending to create jobs badly needed.

Just think ...

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By David J. Cyr, November 19, 2011 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, E.J. Dionne:

“Even Democrats inclined to capitulate know how shameful agreeing to such a deal would be.”
________________

Shameful capitulation is the job that the corporate persons purchase all their under reaching corporate party Democrats to do.

Republicans deserve no respect; Democrats deserve every disrespect.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Marian Griffith, November 19, 2011 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@esi42
Not sure what we are arguing about anymore, but it has been abundantly clear that the problem is not the president, or even the politician as such, but the whole system.

Unless that is changed nothing meaningful will improve. The importance of OWS is not in if they can enact change but, at this early stage, simply in that they managed to raise awareness that change is necessary at all.

Because if we do not change the system we are headed towards a society where indentured servitude and slavery (by another name) are the norm. Where the rich nobility hides behind walls and hired guns in vast grounds and in unimaginable wealth while the rest of the population lives at subsistence wages in the factories and fields until they are used up and discarded like so much disposible assets.

Now the situation may never quite get there. The economy may tank irrevocably before it does (you can not have a consumer economy when at the same time you drain your consumers of all income to buy stuff with), or people may revolt violently when too many of them so no way out of grinding and hopeless poverty.
But unless the idea of feudalism 2.0 or civil war or bloody revolution appeals to us, we should try to change the system now rather than after we clean up the blood and the bodies.

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By ardee, November 19, 2011 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

esi42, November 19 at 2:57 am

Your surprise that TD publishes Democratic Party loyalists surprises me.

Outraged, November 19 at 1:26 am

It isn’t how many bills or amendments are put forth, it is how many are actually voted upon with success. I see this amendment as a campaign tactic and not a serious effort to deal with a real problem. You obviously do not.

Cake and eat it.
Now Representative Duetch can point to his “attempt” when campaigning among his constituents and the Party can feel warm and fuzzy while refusing to alienate all those big contributors. More politics as usual.

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By esi42, November 19, 2011 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

@Marian Griffith

People who blame this country’s problems on solely one party are just plain full of it.  Just look at the daily headlines; its a freaking dog and pony show.  EJ is just another Obama fanboy who ignores the truth. Thats the reason Im surprised he’s still on ‘TRUTH’dig.

Democrats had control of both houses and the oval office.  Did they fix anything?  No.  What has happened since the Dems lost majority?  Nothing. What will happen if Obama looses reelection?  Nothing.  The status quo will continue as it always has.  If you are waiting for government to solve your problems, you’ll be waiting for quite some time.  Politicians dont care about you or me.  Never have, never will.  Follow the dollar and youll see who they care about.

Obama’s had plenty of time to show his skills and has proven time and time again that he isn’t the answer.  Its important to judge leaders by actions and not words.  Obama talks a good game but what he ‘says’ and ‘does’ never match up.  If he gets elected again, ‘We the People’ have failed to do OUR jobs.  I voted for him once since he was the lessor of two evils but that wont happen again.

You can keep looking left and right, I prefer to look forward.

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By Outraged, November 19, 2011 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

Another bill is introduced to curb money in politics.
From ThinkProgress:

” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House
Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment
that would ban corporate money in politics and end
corporate personhood once and for all.
Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate
Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections
and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn
the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the
right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign
finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability
of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign
spending.”

http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/11/18/372361/rep-deutch-introduces-occupied-constitutional-amendment-to-ban-corporate-money-in-politics/

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By Bird48, November 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Since the Ds insist upon doing something in order to win over that mythical independent voter—whom they seem to think is a right-leaning plutocrat—they will continue to confuse “compromise” with “capitulation”. In the meantime of course they are losing their base of millions but then we don’t have enough money to buy a politician.

We do, however, have enough votes to toss them all out. Third party is the way to go.

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By FRTothus, November 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

The deficit is a problem only because that is where the focus of the corporate media wishes it to be. It is what they are paid to say.  The fact that the US dollar is loaned to the US government at interest, and that that in itself leads to debt-slavery, that the debt was a deliberate policy choice going back to Reagan as a means to destroy the New Deal, is too taboo among corporate press-titutes for the facts to intrude on their mythologies.  The fact that the corporate stooges in the Congress and White House and the Supreme Court and their Quisling press corps do the bidding of their masters is no surprise.  Single-payer and an end to the war-for-profit subsidies heaped on the Fortune 500 ever protected by the nanny-state, an end to private bankster control of the FED, would put this country back on sound financial footing, but apparently adherence to the US Constitution is radical, and as for EJ and the other press-titutes who so eagerly parrot the propaganda of oligarchy, it remains as Upton Sinclair noted, very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.

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By ardee, November 18, 2011 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

So, then, we are to understand that ,when in the majority, Democrats are not responsible for their failures, and, when in the minority, Democrats are not responsible for their failures.

Hmmm….

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By Outraged, November 18, 2011 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

Republicans are absolutely to blame for the shape the
country is in.

“This isn’t isolated. If you look at almost any
economic indicator, it will do better under Democrats
than under Republicans. No matter how much they lie
about it, Republicans can’t deny the actual numbers
show that they are terrible for the economy compared
with Democrats.

Let’s look at the bottom line for most people: JOBS.
Job Growth is always better under Democrats than
Republicans”

http://www.dailygotham.com/mole333/blog/thebottomlinedemocratsarebetterfortheeconomy

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By mapol, November 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

As bad as the Republicans are, they’re by no means alone in contributing to the
poor shape that this country’s presently in.  The Democrats at large, including
President Obama, have been so complicit with them and gone in lockstep with
them in pretty much everything, including our wars, that there’s no hope of either
party improving things.  The tired old Democratic mantra “Vote for the
Democrats, for the Republicans are much worse” doesn’t really work any more,
and neither does the “we must vote for the lesser of two evils” mantra. 

I now go by Eugene Deb’s quote “I’d rather vote my conscience and vote for
someone who can’t win than to vote for someone who can win and will betray me.”

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By Outraged, November 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “genuine compromise can’t happen because
Republicans refuse to accept any significant tax
increases. This is not a partisan statement. It is
just a description of the facts. It is maddening that
the media are so desperate to avoid being attacked as
“liberal” that they cannot describe the situation as
it is.”

Thank you Mr. Dionne.  That is the long and short of
it. You can’t compromise with someone unwilling to
compromise. It’s that simple.

It reminds me of that video of the judge that was
beating his daughter. He kept demanding that she lay
across the bed so that he could beat her, and he beat
her because she didn’t acquiesce. But obviously she
would be beaten either way!

This is the very same mentality that the Republicans
are using. It’s their way and if they can’t have
that, then they want THEIR WAY. And they’re proud of
that.

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By hogorina, November 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ONE GREAT AMERICAN PATRIOT

MANIA FOR THEFT BY VOTING WAS CONTRARY TO BILLY
CARTER’S INSTINCTS : BILLY CARTER, UNSUNG AMERICAN
and no polished sycophant, not ignored during life,
as brother of a president, was a
self-made man. This gentle personality was no brush
off, when meeting preselected political whores
huffing it off at tax payer’s expense in D.C., nor a
sucker to be glorified by many curious tourists. He
was a man of men. He made it clear, in so many
utterances, that he would rather sleep in his filling
station than the White House! Yes, far ahead of his
time, a bottle of beer was more precious than being
forced into shaking hands with some low-life creep
serving within the State Department, or meeting
scoundrels strolling along Pennsylvania Ave.

In essence, the vast majority of Americans could care
less in staggering around the White House in viewing      
portraits of past presidents. Billy was compelled to
question political whores, of whom actually made it
to the the top during the yesteryears. We can begin
with Woodrow Wilson, a troubled man that sent our
flowering young men over seas to be slaughtered, in
the attempt to sell out our nation to the European
League of Nations. Failing, brought him a miserable
death. And there was the late Franklin D. Roosevelt,
a traitor, in allying with Communist red Russia in
1933. His follow up was the late Harry Solomon
Truman, who tried to conceal his ancestral background
with an S for a middle name.

The old saying, ” What’s in a name.?” Ask Harry.
Harry worked well with his buddies, red Russian
agents, in laying the ground work for a then future
United Nation’s Organization, of which basically is a
front for an approaching global socialism. And this
goes on for ever, when a political hack is wheeled
into office .Now getting back to Billy Carter. He
knew as to what specific nation in the near east that
was up to its neck in fighting off international
banksters. No matter who makes it to the White House,
and even before the present, all are merely tools of
universal gangsters, using the global empire as a
front for an ancient religious order, that needles
its octopus like methods to gain control of any and
all lulled into its net. A man like Billy Carter
would never betray his manhood, by grasping hold of
one octopus tentacle that reached from afar, right
into the center fold of Washington’s political
whoredom. Incidentally, it was rumored that Billy was
hauled via a military aircraft to a clinic for a
rest,  being forced against his will, to be socially
indoctrinated, politically.  Nevertheless, Billy was
faced with a hive of his brother’s insiders. Many
Americans believe that Billy had received a
chemically devised lobotomy from the identical
better part of professional of hoodlums that
originally drove him to the bottle

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By BrooklynDame, November 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

We could start with eliminating some of those vestiges of WWI and WWII; there’s no
need for us to have military bases all over the world.  Then we could streamline
the healthcare system.  For real this time - by using the power of government to
negotiate across all of its agencies. 
http://borderlessnewsandviews.com/2011/06/are-we-broke/

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By Grant Devereaux, November 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am actually hoping for exactly this outcome. Allowing all of the tax cuts to expire is a brilliant strategy to finally et taxes back to where they should be. Then revise the tax code to make billionaire hedge fund managers and other wealthy investors to pay at least 28% taxes on their earnings. The deficit crisis will end overnight and government will have the money to do what they need to do.

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By HoggyBear, November 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me we are all being played. There is a faction in DC that is not politically aligned at all, but that ultimately controls the agenda. This faction simply wants our power and to line their pockets with our money. It has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican, or any party affiliation at all; though that’s what what they want us to think. To get what they want all they have to do is get the American people to go at each other on political issues. The tool they use to accomplish this distraction is the media. Who do you think came up with the idea that there are liberals, moderates, and conservatives. Wake up people, we’re all Americans. We may have different view points, but the freedom to voice those differences is what makes us strong. The gridlock is intentional. Common sense tells us that reasonable people can work together and find solutions. But they don’t want solutions, because that would mean unveiling the scam. Instead they throw a few bones out to to make it look like they’re earning their pay. But in truth, these unscrupulous capitalists and legislators, from both parties, have been raping us of our dignity and our wealth for as long as I can remember. The question is how long are we going to put up with it? The more we focus on marking our political territories and going after each other the more they laugh at us as they pick us clean. People, were being duped! I recommend we all stop listening to the media that’s playing us for ratings, and stop trying to piss on each other and just get out and vote these criminals out of office. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

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By Aarky, November 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One poster suggested crating a progressive tax on investment income. A better method would be to put a tiny tax on all the billions of trades on the stock market every year. Mayot Bloomberg’s occupation before mayor was electrical engineer and he created the system for hi-speed trading of stocks. A hundred thousand stocks in one company can be bought and sold in five minutes. This has also helped along with lax regulations in creating a casino on Wall Street. A tax on all these split second trades might rein in the wild activity.
  When we hear all the hype about lowering the national debt and the military, what happens? Obama starts braying about keeping the Pacific safe for Democracy and challengingthe Chinese to an arms race. WTF is he thinking or were these the instructions from the military industrial groups that will use this Hype to get out of any cuts to the military?

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By GoyToy, November 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Did E.J. even take a peek at the “defense” budget?

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By Blueokie, November 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

When is E.J. going to start running the disclaimer that he is on the payroll.  The “Bush Tax Cuts” for the rich expired last year and were converted to the Obama tax cuts for the rich.  Does he really believe with tools like Baucus and Hoyer on the Super-committee that anything that isn’t pro-oligarchy can’t help but come out of it?  Does he really think Pres. Wall Street Puppet won’t eagerly sign something that eviscerates S.S., Medicare, Medicade, Education, etc., while protecting wealth, and claim it too be “fair”?  That is if he has time to spare from directing his law enforcement minions to collude and coordinate with all
the Chambers of Commerce paramilitaries to quell peaceful dissent from the status quo while keeping all law enforcement within miles of Wall Street.  Can he not see that the supercommittee is nothing more than a fund raising vehicle,
and that anything they do is non-binding on any future Congresses? 

In this managed democracy the purpose of the Dim-ocrats is to give bi-partisan cover to Republican policies, nothing more, nothing less.

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By Dennis in MI, November 17, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress has a responsibility to enact law. They have been doing the job for 236 years and gridlock would be preferable to a 2000 page health insurance giveaway or a 10ft stack of IRS regulations. They need to erase 2 laws for every one they enact. An ordinary person can’t live a day in this country without breaking many ordinances, regulations and laws.

GRIDLOCK—GOOD

Obama can’t stop himself and keeps offering up more spending cuts. He doesn’t have to beg those f&^%rs and by continuing to negotiate his loyalties are exposed. Those loyalties are to Wall Street and the Banksters of the world, the “NWO”, if you are paying attention.

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By Namro, November 17, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

There is one particular tax reform that would reduce debt even more than your $7.1 trillion.  That would be to make a simple change in the way capital gains are taxed.  Currently hedge fund managers, ceos and other executives, and day traders take advantage of being taxed at only 15% which is a lower rate than an average taxpayer faces.  The rate on capital gains should be progressive and match one’s marginal tax rate for ordinary income at that total level.

Hopefully, most Democrats, especially President Obama, have reached the conclusion that it is impossible to negotiate with the GOPTP.

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By dyomedes, November 17, 2011 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a simpleton.  Trillions pour into the treasury every year, but it will never be enough.  There is always ANOTHER program or group of victims to help.  The problem is Congress has TOO much money.  The Fed Gov has increasing control over every aspect of our lives, but still wants more. 

What’s more pathetic are the people willing to give up their autonomy in order to have the Government take care of them.  Its time for the poor entitled class to stop crying victim and work for what they get.

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By ardee, November 17, 2011 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

I am in complete understanding of this “do nothing” strategy of Mr. Dionne. As a Democratic Loyalist of the first water he understands full well that doing nothing is the Democratic Party way.

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By Big B, November 17, 2011 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Phoney “progressives” live in a fantasy land where the capitulation of the democratic party to neo-cons doesn’t happen.

What have Baucas, Kerry, and Pelosi done lately that could be considered ever remotely liberal?

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By Marian Griffith, November 17, 2011 at 3:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@esi42
Maybe he is still here on truthdig because it -is- the fault of the republicans that the whole process of trying to do something about the economic depression is stalled for three years now, and going to be stalled until after the next election (and the one after that if they do not win the coming one).

Just look at the voting and posturing. All concessions have been made at the democrat side (admittedly with various degrees of glee in being able to do so), and every time the got a concession the republican response was not ‘we can agree with that’ but ‘oh, that reminds us, we -also- want ...’. For the past two years at least every time the democrats moved a step forwards they pulled the goal post back at least a step, if not two.

And of course, Truthdig does not exist to provide a platform for every political movement. They report -and interpret- news as they see it. They are news reporters in the classical sense, but they make no pretense about being neutral when in reality being anything but, like certain (in)famous news corps.
If you are honestly surprised after all this time that Truthdig and its reporters have a liberal (leftish) slant then I have no idea how more obvious things should be to get through to you.
On the other hand, if you are aware of this and still feel the need to ask this question then you are trolling.

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By esi42, November 17, 2011 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

Typical E.J. - Its all because of the republicans

Seriously, why is this guy still on TD?

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, November 17, 2011 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

I was hoping you would say single-payer health care.

Sigh

I think it is a moderate proposal.

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