Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 17, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates






On the Run


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 29, 2011
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

By Moshe Adler

(Page 2)

If the Taft-Hartley law is detrimental to us as workers, the patent law is detrimental to us as consumers. While the Sherman Act was meant to take away the right of corporations to monopolize, the patent laws have not only returned this right, the government now enforces corporate monopoly power. The patent law is the reason that health care is so expensive that it is a major cause of the deficit, and that millions of people around the world die because they cannot afford drugs that cost little to produce and are often developed by government employees or with government financing. The patent law is also the reason that Monsanto, the agriculture giant, can sow despair and suicide among farmers around the world, with the most notorious example being the Green Revolution in India, because the law prevents them from growing their own seeds once they have bought seeds from Monsanto.

Does innovation require patent protection? George Stigler, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, researched this question and concluded that historically there were just as many innovations before patent protection as after. Stigler believed that all patents do is close entry to an industry without any benefits to society at all. What is beyond dispute, however, is that by granting a patent, the government confers on the recipient monopoly power. What is the government asking for in return? How is the government protecting consumers against the monopoly that it creates? The granting of a patent should involve the setting of a maximum price, and this should be what Democrats demand. If an agreement is not reached and the deficit is unfunded, the president should stop funding the enforcement for patents that are older than five years. This would preserve the incentive to innovate—if innovation even requires it—while lowering prices substantially on millions of products in the marketplace. With lower prices, workers will be in a better position to absorb cuts in the income security programs if these are made.

In the debate about the proper size of government, an agreement should be easy to reach: If the government stops serving the interests of the rich, the rest of us will not need to rely on it to dress the wounds that it inflicts.

Moshe Adler teaches economics at Columbia University and at the Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies at Empire State College. He is the author of “Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science That Makes Life Dismal” (The New Press, 2010).

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

go right young man,
I quote you:

‘You first wrote that 40 percent of the U.S. Federal budget was allocated to the
military.  Did you find that you were in fact wrong on that figure?’

no, not at all, because, if you really had studied the figures than you would
have realized that it all depends on the way you approach the subject. so, when
you pretended that the usa does not spend a lot on the military, someone else
can point out the following:

‘The baseline defense budget comprises 20 percent of the
overall federal budget and 50 percent of the discretionary portion.
      The U.S. share of worldwide defense spending grew from one-
third to one-half in the last decade. This means 5 percent of the world’s
population accounts for 50 percent of the world’s military spending,’

or

‘According to the Congressional Budget Office,
defense spending grew 9% annually on average from fiscal year 2000–2009.’

dig it?

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, July 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

THIRD-PARTY POLITICS

It is entirely possible that we shall be entering a period of third-party politics. The Brits have had a viable third-party for a donkey’s age, which - with the last elections in the UK - finally made it into government after a long, long period on the fringe.

For all that it is worth, a third-party is viable in the US with great difficulty. I suspect that we shall see the TeaParty wither on the political vine soon enough, it is so shallow.

And from what can be seen on the Net, the progressives are in movement to put together their brand on a liberal platform - which is most welcome. We shall see how well they are in transforming a hodge-podge of progressive notions into a viable political party.

It aint gonna be easy. Because progressives do not like to trick people - they do not like speaking with forked-tongue. But that is just the sort of mechanism in place to win elections.

Any party, Left or Right or Center, must be able to attract the grassroots, which is a very naive part of our electoral construction. How well the grassroots can be seduced by Progressive Values remains to be seen. And the more Looney Left are the progressives in campaigning, then the less they will have a chance of winning.

Regardless, there is no better a time to try than now - when people are most feeling the hurt. In all postwar years, the grassroots has swallowed the BS of the mainstream parties because it was relatively well-off during a very long economic cycle of low unemployment. Little did they understand how they were being ripped off.

That cycle has come to an end and wont be repeating itself for some time to come. We shall see how reactionary the grassroots will be to the presently reigning Plutocracy.

Because cry as we may, the only way to reform America is at the ballot box. Throw da bums out!

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

I don’t mean it in a denigrating way. your words are those of a young man, I guess
the age of my own children. I am, so to speak, an old man who advises you: go
right, young man!

Report this

By imatopos, July 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For Go Right Young Man:

You write to stan van houcke:

“Part of the problem with your argument comes when
considering that the United States spends 4.7% of GDP
on military expenditures.  Not the whopping 40%
you’ve come to believe.

Yours is a common misconception.  I do not intend to
belittle your argument.  Only adjust and correct it.”

Let me offer a counter-adjustment and counter-
correction. You are confusing % of GDP with % of the
federal budget. Look at stan’s post more carefully—
he isn’t making the mistake you say he is. The
official estimate of military spending as % of the
federal budget is ~20%. Depending on how you add
things up (i.e., depending on what one thinks should
properly belong under the rubric of defense
spending), it can easily be seen as 40% or greater.

But the real question is this: If you are discussing
the federal budget, why are you framing your remarks
on military spending in terms of GDP? Are you really
that coy, that you would mislead people into thinking
that military spending is really only a tiny part of
federal spending? Or are you making an honest
mistake?

If it’s the latter, consider my remarks a simple
adjustment and correction. If it’s the former, well
I’m sure you can guess what I think of your gesture.

Report this
Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, July 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

I meant to say,
I didn’t know how to take the title of this article, whether it was an attempt at fantasy or humor.

Report this
Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, July 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t know who to take the title of this article, whether it was an attempt at fantasy or humor. It might be both.

Hope is the opiate of the masses.

Unless you are the corporate elite or their henchmen (like an elected official), you will be screwed.

The heat you feel is the water slowly being brought up to the boiling point, and Obama and crew are telling you not to jump out of the pot. It is all for your benefit. Orwell could never have written a surreal story like the supporters of democrats and republicans believe. It almost makes the bible seem like scientific fact.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

thethirdman—That argument seems rather unsophisticated for Žižek.  I used to get it as a child from my right-wing relatives.  Are you sure Mr Ž. is the source?

Anyway, most people who postulate non-liberal non-capitalist arrangements don’t make provision for ownership and control of the means of production on the capitalist model, even if their plans provide for private personal property.  It would be pretty difficult for a class of individuals, however good they were at acquisition, to hold and manage extensive property without state support.

Report this

By CenterOfMass, July 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

“I don’t understand people like you.”

Seemingly.

“You know perfectly well what’s going on and still you fall for the bullshit.  Have you a problem with the truth? You just want to hope against reality? Help me here because I don’t get it.”

Here’s the crucial part: advocating something does not mean that “expecting: it or “hoping” for it.  I merely state the facts, as one can see by reading my posts carefully.

I have fallen for none of their stuff.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

stan,

How about we clear this up before you move on to so many other grievances.

You first wrote that 40 percent of the U.S. Federal budget was allocated to the military.  Did you find that you were in fact wrong on that figure?

Report this

By Anonymous, July 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama, immediately assuming the mantle of “wartime-President,” has condemned us to the world status as waste-byproduct. He could have immediately ended the occupations and put 20-million people to work in restoring bridges, monorail, grid and a modern Army. He opted for the weak-minded Hillary/GWBush approach. I’m embarrassed for him.

  Vote for any random nut in ‘012

Report this
THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., July 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

By stan van houcke, July 30 at 5:25 am Link to this
comment
I quote thx:

‘The missing parts (without which the whole cannot
exist) are wisdom and a new paradigm for this broken,
sick nation…’

on what can a ‘new paradigm’ be based? the old one
was based on the american
dream made possible by permanent expansionism.
without expansion the usa
needs to reinvent itself. who will do this and what
does it mean?
==========================
Based on sustainable lifestyles. Does anyone think we
can grow infinitely with finite resources?
Who will do this?
Ah, now that is the question isn’t it; who indeed?
If it isn’t “us” then this experiment is over, no?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

stan,

You may refer to me as Go Right, Go Right Young Man and/or GRYM if you’re looking for a response.  Otherwise good luck to you.

Report this

By Marian Griffith, July 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Lafayette,
True. Healthcare cost are out of control for two reasons. One being that is not a functioning ‘market’ (how much value do you place on your own life?) where people make a rational decision about how much the want to pay for someething.
The other reason being that both supply and demand are controlled by the middle men. In this case the insurance companies both determine how much somebody has to pay for health care and if and when it is actually received, while at the same time have pretty binding contracts with the hospitals about how much everything may cost. They have the hospitals in a grip every bit as much vise-like as they have the insured.
All this is why the USA is burdened by a system that costs twice as much per capita as in other developed countries while providing less care per thousand people (counting hospitals, primary and secondary care givers, specialist, average age). For those who do receive medical aid it is quite excellent, just needlessly expensive and restricted.

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, July 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

For the record. If any here want to visit a site that is not just a series of Obama/Democrat/Republican apologist articles then please visit
firedoglake

Time to go all Hampsher on the political establishment.

Try it, you will like it. To the apologists, please stay here.

New Progressive Alliance

October2011.org

Anonymous The Plan

Take your pick. Join the resistance and leave the Kabuki Theatre of the Absurd.

This message was not brought to you by the corporate powers that are attempting to destroy your country

Report this

By thethirdman, July 30, 2011 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

I see a lot of chat about income disparity and the evils of capitalism.

Thought experiment that I think I got from Zizek:

Let us suppose that the extreme left could finally pull their energies together
and pass the ultimate capital reform legislation.  All wealth was collected and
fairly redistributed equally, and everybody had exactly the same opportunity,
access, and wealth as his/her neighbor. Everyone was taxed on this wealth
equally and contributed to the betterment of society at large.  At this
hypothetical point, all of the evils of our structured violence should evaporate;
criminals would no longer need to commit their crimes.  Poverty, violence, and
drug use would be greatly reduced.  Life would be good.  But, does anyone
doubt that given enough time, the balance would begin to tip one to one
direction?  A small percentage of self-interested and cunning individuals would
begin to accumulate more and more wealth.  Many people would stay at about
the same level.  And some people would simply lose it all.  Now here is the
thought experiment.  In this world that started out so fair, and ended at about
the point we are at now, what kind of stats and lies would we use to justify the
reality of the situation?  What kind of myth would we have to invent to explain
why everyone was no longer “equal?” What kind of legislation would we expect
then, when it was quite evident that people actually did deserve their social
status?  I guess the real question would be, would much of anything be
changed if there were no more excuses to account for the disparity between
incomes in America?  How would it affect the way we look at wealth and social
policy?

I don’t know.  Just some thoughts that seem interesting when everyone throws
out stats on how the rich are so rich and the poor have nothing.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, July 30, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

OUR DAILY DOSE OF DORK-NESS

HD: But Moshe, Mr Obama is already making the rich pay - to his election campaign. Surely you wouldn’t want him to make them pay double up ?!!...

You are sooo right. He shouldn’t make them pay.

He should let them pay more to the Replicants. That way they will get elected.

And you won’t need to bitch-in-a-blog anymore about Obama.

Thank you for our daily dose of dork-ness.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, July 30, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

AINT NECESSARILY SO DEPARTMENT

{MA: The patent law is the reason that health care is so expensive that it is a major cause of the deficit, and that millions of people around the world die because they cannot afford drugs that cost little to produce and are often developed by government employees or with government financing.}

Not a bad article at all.

But the above remark is a first class exaggeration of the problem. Patented medicines do allow a company to obtain more than their fair return on any given medicine. But the fact of the matter is that most of the pharmaceuticals under patent protection that are the most commonly used were innovated so long ago that their patent coverage is coming to an end within the next few years.

For instance, men will be particularly pleased to read that Sildenafil, the molecule of pill called Viagra, will soon end its patent protection. So, guys, expect your love-making to become, literally overnight, much less expensive. In fact, if you live in New Zealand you are already able to by Viagra-Cheap where it is being test-marketed.

The cost of American Health Care (which, I will remind you, is twice that per capita of Europe) is a matter of a great many other factors. The most important is quite likely the fact that physicians prescribe far too many exams – done by subcontractors (wow!) in which they have a vested interest. Also, there is the fact that Europe has a single-payer system that renders the cost of delivery of HC-services less expensive.

As well, European National Health Systems negotiate med-costs with the pharmaceutical companies with a vengeance. So much so, that these same companies look to the “free-market” in the US to recuperate their costs and make the handsome profits that they make.

So, now you know what Free Markets means. They are free to gouge you and me, the customers, in order to make their salacious profits. (Well, in fact, they gouge you not me – I live in France ….)

Health Care in America is just another Market Boondoggle devised by TopManagement pirates at pharmaceutical companies - their cohorts in crime being the insurance companies who are the middle-man between you and the meds you need (in order to take their cut of the action).

MY POINT

We, the sheeple, we been had. We’ve been sheared completely.

Because the Federal Government surrenders its right to market oversight; that is, the agencies having been neutered by the Vested Interests of Business that contribute to presidential elections.  What we have, in many instances besides Health Care, are markets that are little more than Profit Machines for the few companies that serve the market. (Aka oligopolies.)

Cant believe that? Then just have a look at the make-up of the Health Care Insurance Market in America – here.

You’ve been spoon fed so much Free Market BS it should make your stomach turn.

Now go have a good cry.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, July 30, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

“You know perfectly well what’s going on and still you fall for the
bullshit. Have you a problem with the truth? You just want to hope against
reality? Help me here because I don’t get it.”  Lew Ciefer

Excuse me, but it appears to me that you understand such people very well.
“Shill:  one who acts as a decoy.”

Perhaps you have been so propagandised by Murdoch-type news media so long,
that your self confidence has been ground down to questionable status.
As has happened with a significant percentage of Americans. Which, is the
goal of Murdoch-type, CIA-controlled news media.

Trust your perceptions, and take the initiative. You are Americans, not
NAZI progeny, such as the GHWBushSr. family, or the NAZI element of the
C.I.A.
Don´t let the shills get you down. Support the truth, and the U.S.A.

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

ciefer, the answer to your question:

‘And how many billions of working Americans labor is given out to our ‘friends’
(wink, wink) in the form of foreign aid every year?’

is not difficult. most of the money goes to the (wink, wink) rogue state israel,
and is totally contraproductive for the united states itself. israel has become a
liability, and is not an asset anymore, if ever it was one. the prize americans are going to pay for
this ‘aid’ is huge, as you will see in the foreseeable future. it is the tail which wags
the dog now. i expect this answer is satisfactory for you. by the way, this
foreign ‘aid’ is a fraction of what the american corporations squeeze out of the
third world. it is not so much aid, it is more an investment to secure american
interests abroad.  and don’t forget the warning of mark twain who pointed out
more than a century ago that one cannot have an empire abroad and remain
a democracy at home.

Report this
M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, July 30, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

But Moshe, Mr Obama is already making the rich pay - to his election campaign. Surely you wouldn’t want him to make them pay double up ?!!...

Henri

Report this

By Lew Ciefer, July 30, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

By stan van houcke, July 30 at 12:19 am


2012 Budget request & Mandatory spending[18][19]
Calculation[20][21]
DOD spending   $707.5 billion
FBI counter-terrorism   $2.7 billion
International Affairs   $5.6–$63.0 billion
Energy Department, defense-related   $21.8 billion
Veterans Affairs   $70.0 billion
Homeland Security   $46.9 billion
NASA, satellites   $3.5–$8.7 billion
Veterans pensions   $54.6 billion
Other defense-related mandatory spending   $8.2 billion
Interest on debt incurred in past wars   $109.1–$431.5 billion
Total Spending   $1.030–$1.415 trillion

Wow! That’s impressive.

And how many billions of working Americans labor is given out to our ‘friends’ (wink, wink) in the form of foreign aid every year?

Report this

By Lew Ciefer, July 30, 2011 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

By CenterOfMass, July 29 at 5:16 pm

I agree that increased taxes on the average American worker would not solve the unemployment problem.  However, I am not advocating increased taxes on the average American worker.  Rather, I am advocating increased taxes on the oligarchs who own most of the wealth in the country, which they gather to themselves by un-employing Americans in the name of “maximizing shareholder value”.  The main value these guys are maximizing is that of themselves, not of the American worker for whom you and I both feel the pain.
The high unemployment in the U.S. is a direct consequence of the uber-rich gathering an increasing share of wealth to themselves, and instituting systems of control (their own control over the government) to continue this trend.  They did not get incredibly rich for free; they got that way by skewing the system toward themselves and away from the general citizenry.

But the Washington vermin aren’t going to tax the oligarchs. It’s the oligarchy that controls everything. The pols are part of the oligarch for crying out loud. Nancy Pelosi increased her personal wealth 62% in fiscal 2010. Do you really believe she’s intelligent enough to outsmart all those Wall Street investors? Do you really think she’ll tax herself or her husband or any of her wealthy friends? Do you think Obama is going to raise taxes on Jeff Immelt? There isn’t any way it’s going to happen. They’re going to tax the working man and make a terrible situation even worse. That’s what governments do.

Go check the history books. Look at government solutions during droughts in Europe before the industrial age. Government intervention always made the situation worse. Government always took a share of the crops that best ensured their survival before that of the people. Nothing has changed in human nature to make anyone think that any politician is any different today than those of yesteryear. 

I don’t understand people like you. You know perfectly well what’s going on and still you fall for the bullshit. Have you a problem with the truth? You just want to hope against reality? Help me here because I don’t get it.

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

young man,

because you juggle all the time with figures, here is the truth:

2012 Budget request & Mandatory spending[18][19]
Calculation[20][21]
DOD spending   $707.5 billion
FBI counter-terrorism   $2.7 billion
International Affairs   $5.6–$63.0 billion
Energy Department, defense-related   $21.8 billion
Veterans Affairs   $70.0 billion
Homeland Security   $46.9 billion
NASA, satellites   $3.5–$8.7 billion
Veterans pensions   $54.6 billion
Other defense-related mandatory spending   $8.2 billion
Interest on debt incurred in past wars   $109.1–$431.5 billion
Total Spending   $1.030–$1.415 trillion

The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about
19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated
tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, defense spending was
approximately 28–38% of budgeted expenditures and 42–57% of estimated tax
revenues.[citation needed] According to the Congressional Budget Office,
defense spending grew 9% annually on average from fiscal year 2000–2009.[24]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Military_budget_of_the_United_States

Report this

By grokker, July 30, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

It’s more useful and illustrative to state military expenditures as a percentage of the budget. Stating it 4.7% of GDP is misleading as military spending can rise as the same expenditure as a percentage of GDP falls.

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

young man,

whatever you may claim it still is almost as much as the rest of the world spends
on the military and all this money can’t go to the necesssary things like health
care, education, housing, helping the poor and all other things which make up a
civilization. so what are you trying to prove? and please don’t evade all the time
my questions, and don’t put words in my mouth. just try to debate, that is the
essence of democracy as we europeans see it.

Report this

By aacme88, July 30, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

@double standards 11:27
I 100% agree that we will have to switch to something resembling the parliamentary system to survive the next decades. This is only the beginning, now that they have a taste. Coupled with the dysfunction in the Senate, the government is crippled, their entire point, of course. But if you can’t even do something that has been done some 80 times before, like raise the debt limit, can you imagine a constitutional convention?
To be honest, I think we’re doomed.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 30, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

MollyJ, - “I assume you are quoting something like Tax Foundation figures.”

-

Actually my figures come directly from the IRS.  The problem is in how so many people, particularly on this Web space, find the truth hard to reconcile with the narratives they’ve built for themselves. - Too much media garbage and not enough demonstrable data.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 30, 2011 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

stan van houcke,

Part of the problem with your argument comes when considering that the United States spends 4.7% of GDP on military expenditures.  Not the whopping 40% you’ve come to believe.

Yours is a common misconception.  I do not intend to belittle your argument.  Only adjust and correct it.

Report this

By the worm, July 30, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Let’s face it: America’s middle class has no advocate in DC.

The President, who is the closest official to being elected ‘by the people’, is
simply non-existent, and, when he does appear, it’s to announce that’s he’s
‘negotiated a deal’ with either McConnell or Boehner to extend Bush tax cuts
for the wealthy and cut more benefits and services from the middle class.

Last night, when I was called by the Democratic Party representative to
contribute to and support the Democratic Party and its proposals, I realized
once again that the Republicanization of the Democratic Party is complete. I
was being asked to contribute my money and my time to the extension of the
Bush tax cuts and to cuts in benefits and services to the middle class – in the
name of the Democratic Party.

After forty-seven years, I must say today that I will no longer support a
Democratic Party such as the one we have today. I would rather ‘waste’ my vote
on a third party, than waste my vote on this Democratic Part

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

I quote thx:

‘The missing parts (without which the whole cannot
exist) are wisdom and a new paradigm for this broken,
sick nation…’

on what can a ‘new paradigm’ be based? the old one was based on the american
dream made possible by permanent expansionism. without expansion the usa
needs to reinvent itself. who will do this and what does it mean?

Report this
THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., July 30, 2011 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

By stan van houcke, July 30 at 1:15 am Link to this
comment
I quote ‘go right young man’:

‘Correct me if I have this wrong.

You’re saying that the American capitalist system,
with one of the most
progressive tax structure on the planet, which has
built the largest planetary
economic engine in all of human history, is a bad
thing for the United States?’
==================================
While GRYM is entitled to his opinion; he is an
excellent example of one reason why society is so
fractured. There is no level playing field of
knowledge; either of economics or politics and
unfortunately common sense.
Until it is realized that the system (broken) cannot
be repaired by fixing or rearranging the parts or the
sum of those parts.
The missing parts (without which the whole cannot
exist) are wisdom and a new paradigm for this broken,
sick nation…

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 30, 2011 at 1:15 am Link to this comment

I quote ‘go right young man’:

‘Correct me if I have this wrong.

You’re saying that the American capitalist system, with one of the most
progressive tax structure on the planet, which has built the largest planetary
economic engine in all of human history, is a bad thing for the United States?’

I did not say this, but now you have said it, I agree with this statement. an
empire in which more than 40 million people live below the poverty line, while
the military industrial complex sucks up more than 40 percent of the federal
budget, is indeed a bad thing, not only for the usa but also for the rest of the
world, as anyone with brains can notice. when 1 in every 5 children in the usa is
underfed something basically is wrong with the system you seem to be so
proud of. the system cannot legitimize itself anymore. already half a century
more than 40 percent of the americans who can vote does not vote anymore,
because they know the system is corrupt. study your own country, young man!

Report this

By kdyson, July 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

it is indeed a sad state of affairs if the only option
the elected officials can settle on is how deep to make
the cuts to the social safety net…now the taxes are
off the table…now cuts in areas such as defence are
off the table…the race to the bottom has well and truly begun…are you ready for the neo-feudal state…

Report this

By Timothy Gawne, July 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hahaha!  Obama caring about more than sucking up to his rich patrons!  That’s
really funny!

Let;s make this totally clear: THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.  OBAMA IS A CORPORATE
SHILL.  ALWAYS HAS BEEN, ALWAYS WILL BE.  BUT HE ONLY GETS AWAY WITH IT
BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU LET HIM.

THERE IS ONLY ONE THNG WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW THAT MIGHT MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.  WE NEED TO DESPISE OBAMA.  WE NEED TO BOO HIM IN PUBLIC. 
WE NEED TO REFUSE TO SHAKE HIS HAND.  WE NEED TO RETCH WHEN ANYONE
MENTIONS HIS NAME.  POUR ENCOURAGER LES AUTRES.

We don’t have the money power to buy off Obama.  We don’t have the media
power to pay for his corporate hagiographers.  All we have is social power.  But
that is not without it’s effect.  But only if we use it!

The first law of politics: punish your enemies.  Otherwise shut up and stop
whining when Obama stabs you in the back.

Report this

By the worm, July 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

NEWS FLASH !

The Boehner ‘failure’, the McConnell stiffing of Harry Reid, the Obama twisting
himself slowly slowly in the wind & waffling on every issue…. Now, Reid’s bill
looks like McConnell’s.

The essential fact is the House, Senate and President are poised to screw the
American people by protecting the wealthy and the corporations and cutting
benefits to the middle class.

Obama’s been complicit in this and he cannot find ‘support’. Why? Because we’d
be fools to ‘support’ the proposal the President has put forward - as big fools
as we would be to ‘support’ the Republicans.

The middle class is faced with a House, Senate and President ready to through
us over the side to retain the perks enjoyed by the wealthy and the
corporations: low rates, lots of loop holes, ‘carried interest’, etc.; at-the-ready
bailouts, loans and subsidies; write-offs and ‘incentives’.

For corporations: We’ve protected their profits, their ‘bonuses’ and subsidized
their margins with low to no interest ‘loans’ from us so they can ‘buy’ our high
paying bonds and rake in the interest.

For the auto industry, we’ve sent money and now they open plants and invest in
India and China.

We kow what’s going on, we dont like and we’re powerless to change it. The Tea
Party is pure astroturf; the Democrats are completely useless; Republicans are
playing this for all the tax breaks and subsidies it’s worth. And Obama: Fiddling
while the middle class is destroyed. Please, a real Democratic President in 2012.

I just got a call from the Democratic Party asking me for a donation. Almost
simultaneously, I see that nominal Democrat Reid is proposing what is
essentially McConnell’s bill. And the Democratic Party wants me to contribute to
this. When the Democratic Party supports me and my family; I will support it.

Report this

By rumblingspire, July 29, 2011 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

jay leno said we are owned by the chinese.  (cue audience laughter).
Rediscover Freud.  The PR firms know him well.

Report this

By SteveL, July 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

If it takes a spine, think he’ll do it?

Report this

By Alan, July 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO: The Prez:

Mr. President,

Sir,

Your temporizing lack of leadership is shocking.
You continue to cave in to
a truculent fascist putsch.
What is required is
strong, resolute,
effective action, not
more make-nice with nazis.
This is a serious hour,
Sir, have you no true appreciation for the
gravity of the situation or the nature of the fascist threat?

Report this

By MollyJ, July 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

I assume you are quoting something like Tax Foundation figures….

At least we don’t need to worry ‘bout you running out of TP at your house.

Report this

By ardee, July 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, July 29 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

The wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the monies going to the treasury.

What does this mean?  It means the wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the cost of services offered by the U.S. Government.  What exactly does that mean?  It means the wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, the military, infrastructure, waste collection and student loans.

We can be thankful that there is no downwind here or the stench of this crap would be overwhelming.

This slimer carefully avoids the realities of our tax code where working families pay a larger burden of taxes by percentage of income taxed. Hedge Fund managers earning (?) a half a billion dollars a year ( there were more than a few who did) pay only capital gains taxes ( 15%) while workers pay upwards of 35% on income. Corporations pay little to no taxes at all in far too many cases as well.

The concept of paying ones fair share escapes this wretched excuse for a citizen, as it always seems to. Sad.

Report this

By ardee, July 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

CenterOfMass, July 29 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment


I agree that increased taxes on the average American worker would not solve the unemployment problem.  However, I am not advocating increased taxes on the average American worker.  Rather, I am advocating increased taxes on the oligarchs who own most of the wealth in the country, which they gather to themselves by un-employing Americans in the name of “maximizing shareholder value”.

The crux of the argument, sadly it cannot be heard over the soporific droning of the tea bagger you address . He and his ilk mouth the same boring and basically untruthful meme they have been taught. They cannot think only regurgitate.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

It’s quite possible, of course, that there is no nifty solution.  The U.S. has been running on the tab for many years.  Sooner or later the tab must be paid in one way or another.  The only people who produce substantial value are people of the working class, and therefore they are the ones who will have to make the payment.  The only question I can see is whether they are going to continue to be suckers, or demand something in exchange for their efforts.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, July 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

I like the game face of Obama in the picture accompaning this article.

Maybe he has finally learned to play poker.

Report this

By CenterOfMass, July 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

@Lew Ciefer: “How are increased taxes on American workers and higher inflation going to help your unemployment problem?”

I agree that increased taxes on the average American worker would not solve the unemployment problem.  However, I am not advocating increased taxes on the average American worker.  Rather, I am advocating increased taxes on the oligarchs who own most of the wealth in the country, which they gather to themselves by un-employing Americans in the name of “maximizing shareholder value”.  The main value these guys are maximizing is that of themselves, not of the American worker for whom you and I both feel the pain.

The high unemployment in the U.S. is a direct consequence of the uber-rich gathering an increasing share of wealth to themselves, and instituting systems of control (their own control over the government) to continue this trend.  They did not get incredibly rich for free; they got that way by skewing the system toward themselves and away from the general citizenry.

Report this
screamingpalm's avatar

By screamingpalm, July 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man
I believe that particular Johnson quote says less about the creation of wealth than it does about Lyndon Johnson.

That he admired Napoleon Bonaparte?

The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.

Report this

By Lew Ciefer, July 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

By CenterOfMass, July 29 at 2:43 pm

They are buying into the fallacy that all taxation is bad, and that free markets regulate themselves to the people’s advantage.  I don’t believe that the 90% would support this system if they knew the real story that they are being disenfranchised, and that free markets are sending away jobs in the name of “maximizing shareholder value”.

There’s little value in being unwillingly unemployed.

There is no ‘free-market’ operating in the U.S. Increasing taxes on an already overburdened worker class isn’t going to resolve unemployment. It’s going to make it much worse. Employment comes from derived demand not Obama saying he’s gonna get ya some shovel ready jobs.

How are increased taxes on American workers and higher inflation going to help your unemployment problem?

Report this

By SoTexGuy, July 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

False Prophet! ..

Government spends zilch on Social Security. Social Security is a paid annuity in the Black and fully funded for the near future at least. Rather, the Congress and the general fund has ‘borrowed’ billions from that fund and left IOUs.. Social Security is OWED money.. not the other way around.

Sure the Banksters and Portfolio Managers want all that money.. The Dow would soar and be underwritten by the Government.. after it is privatized all talk of seeing it fail would be heresy! Plus, then Congress would never have to pay back the fund.. They’d borrow Trillions from all of us and then claim it was for your Grandma!

‘Too big to Fail’! the Administration of course would Bail out SS (meaningless,
since they gutted it), after it was privatized,  Goldman Sacks needs our money..

Adios!

Report this

By CenterOfMass, July 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie: “...most of the 90% believe they are or will be among the 10%, the laws of arithmetic to the contrary notwithstanding.”

I would actually hypothesize that the 90% are either unaware, or worse, deceived about the mechanisms of control and greed at work here.  They are buying into the fallacy that all taxation is bad, and that free markets regulate themselves to the people’s advantage.  I don’t believe that the 90% would support this system if they knew the real story that they are being disenfranchised, and that free markets are sending away jobs in the name of “maximizing shareholder value”.

There’s little value in being unwillingly unemployed.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Gmonst—Your observations are correct, but they cannot be the basis of policy, because, clearly, those who are most powerful will continue to appropriate most of the common social product one way or another no matter how the tax laws are arranged, and in any case they will be the ones who will do the arranging.

Any significant change to this state of affairs would be revolutionary, and Mr. O is anything but a revolutionist.  Like the rest of the Democratic leadership, he is a conservative.  In any case there is at present no popular base for revolutionary change; most of the 90% believe they are or will be among the 10%, the laws of arithmetic to the contrary notwithstanding.

Report this

By lip11, July 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

By Hulk2008, July 29 at 1:20 pm:

Even if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the Administration and Fed can play rough…
———-

Good points, but you’re assuming that someone in the white house has b@lls or a spine, which is clearly not the case.

Report this

By Lew Ciefer, July 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Bwaaaa!

Obama isn’t going to make the undefined ‘rich’ pay anything. Obama and the Dems and Repubs in the House and Senate are going to raise taxes on working Americans—Dems, Repubs, Libertarians, Independents, etc. You don’t make the undefined ‘rich’ pay by increased taxing of income.

You make the super-wealthy pay more by taxing capital gains, not income. You eliminate all those tax evasion and avoidance schemes for the super wealthy in the tax code. You lower the limit of so-called Death Tax to about one million. Obama and the Dems and Repubs aren’t going to do that because the super-wealthy are their Masters. Slaves live obedient lives obeying Masters. Obama, the Dems, and the Repubs are some of history’s wealthiest house negroes because they are trustworthy and obedient slaves who don’t represent a threat to their masters’ lives or interests—Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Arms, Big Media, and Big TNC.

The ‘debt ceiling crisis’ is theatre folks. It’s a ‘bait and switch’ scheme to raise taxes on working men and women. It’s a scheme to bail out Wall Street a third time. Don’t you think it odd that the proposed amount of increase in the so-called ceiling is the same amount that Wall Street needs to pay off the people they scammed?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

TDoff,

Flail about trying to save-face all you want, you horrendous bigot.  What you wrote about a suffering human-being is deplorable.

Let me make this clear.  You are a putrid and disgusting individual.

Report this
Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, July 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Even if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the Administration and Fed can play rough with how payments are made for a while - just to put the heat on recalcitrant supporters of the Tea Party.

1.  Don’t pay subsidies to oil companies or ethanol grain growers.
2.  Don’t pay Congressional salaries
3.  Instruct insurers who cover members of Congress to delay medical claims payments for them and their dependents
4.  Withhold payments to states whose members failed to vote for the increase - e.g. from Dept. of Education (Tea Partiers hate DOE anyway) and Dept of Commerce
5.  Withhold all agricultural subsidies
6.  Disallow motorized traffic and parking within the inner two miles of DC - force Congress to use self-paid public transportation
7.  Shut off the electricity and A/C in the Capitol Bldg and all Congressional offices - talk about doing what the forefathers wanted?  Use candles, quill pens, etc. like the 18th century.
8.  Cancel all government-paid travel
9.  Withhold all tax rebates and refunds
10.  Order the IRS to only do audits on those earning over $500K - costs too much to audit small fish anyway and more resources can focus on big fish
11. Shut down the congressional exercise and canteen facilities

Report this
BrunoDiderot1's avatar

By BrunoDiderot1, July 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Those who pretend to make a distinction between “taxation” and “stealing” are just playing “weak-tea libertarian” games.

To libertarians, ALL taxation is theft.

Once one has made an argument in favor of ANY tax, one has made the argument
for ALL taxes ... literally.  There is no basis for a distinction between any tax and
all taxes, at least on a moral basis.

Ditto re: laws in general.  Once one has made an argument for enforcement of
laws against “crime” (however defined) ... which is a traditional weak-tea
libertarian or conservative position ... one has made the argument in favor of ALL
laws, on a moral basis.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

drbhelthi,

I believe that particular Johnson quote says less about the creation of wealth than it does about Lyndon Johnson.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Gmonst,

I would be willing to wager that most Americans, including the wealthiest individuals, are not at all upset that the wealthiest 10% pay 70% of all income-tax going to the Treasury.  In light of the fact they the wealthiest 10% hold most of the nations wealth, I sure don’t lose any sleep over the fact.

The sole reason I continue to raise the issue is because most on this Web space have no idea that the wealthiest 10% pay 70% of the nation’s income-taxes.  The all too common fallacy here is that the wealthiest Americans are screwing the nation by paying zero tax.

In other words: mine is not a complaint.  It’s only a statement of fact.

-

It is true that the majority of American millionaires are Bakers, Butchers, Electricians, Engineers, Contractors, Salespeople, Restauranteurs, Sports figures and Entertainers.  Very common and hard working people.  In fact some of the most productive people America has to offer.

It’s also true that most American billionaires are first and second generation and are self-made. 

-

If we read the comments on this Web space we quickly see that most here detest the wealthy and wish to confiscate their wealth.  That is not a tax.  That’s called stealing.

I for one will hope that even more Americans will become millionaires and billionaires.  The alternative would be India, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey growing their respective economies at a faster pace and producing more wealth than does the United States.  Both China and India has produced more billionaires in the last decade than any nation on the planet.

I don’t begrudge Oprah her billions.  She deserves it.  The woman built an empire right here in the United States.  Her hard work has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. I’ve never been given a job by a poor woman.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, July 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

“Are most wealthy people sociopaths?” Rixar13

The answer was provided by one of America´s finest sociopaths.

“No one gets wealthy by being honest.”  Lyndon B. Johnson

Report this

By lip11, July 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Why would Obama make the rich pay?  He works for them, like most congressmen.  Meaningless labels like democrat, republican, left, right ... only divert us from facing the plutocratic system of gov’t we really have.  We don’t even get a chance to vote for those really in power.

Report this

By doublestandards/glasshouses, July 29, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It took the debt ceiling crisis to get economists out of their ivory towers to teach the public something about economics. 

Economics professor Richard Wolff who appeared on democracy now yesterday has a great website with audio - video at http://www.rdwolff.com

Report this

By Rixar13, July 29, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

“Any agreement by Congress to cut the income security programs while leaving the main beneficiaries from our government—the rich—untouched, would be unconscionable.”

Are most wealthy people sociopaths?

Report this

By doublestandards/glasshouses, July 29, 2011 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who would have thought a year ago that it would come to this - the Tea Party having the power to shut down the government.  A party faction that has at most the backing of 20% of the electorate.  In a parliamentary system the republican leadership would have to resign and new elections would have to be held.  We should make the switch to that type of system.

Report this

By bogi666, July 29, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For ObomberBush to raise the debt ceiling like Truman did, Constitutionally, would require ObomberBush to be a President which will not happen, he’s just not presidential material which is why he’s a president, not a president. ObomberBush campaign slogan “Give me a $billion and I will give you Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, plus anything else you want”.With the likes of Clarence Thomas and Barack Obama, how that Affirmative Action working out for U.S.Yeah, I know this isn’t PC.

Report this

By Marian Griffith, July 29, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@gwym
—-You’re saying that the American capitalist system, with one of the most progressive tax structure on the planet, which has built the largest planetary economic engine in all of human history, is a bad thing for the United States?—-

Depends on what you call progressive. But no, he did not say that at all. He said that if the richest americans on average pay only half the taxes, in percents, as the other 90pct and that still amounts to 70pct then they must make a huge amount of money.
The reality is even worse than that, because within each ‘rank’ the top 10pct owns more than the other 90pct combined (so the top 1pct own more than the top 9pct below, who own more than the 90pct below that). And once you get to the top 0.1pct you are both disgustingly rich and able to avoid paying taxes at all safe for a token amount you decide to pay (plus you get to buy your own senator or congress member to protect your interests).

—-As a notable aside: The World Health Organization has estimated that roughly 800 million people people about the world are currently in real danger of starvation while the poorest in the United States suffer from obesity.—-

Yes. Unfortunately you left out the part that explained this obesity epidemic being a result of poor diet quality. Too much sugar and grease, and far too little nutrients. Yes, a lot of America’s poor are too fat and eating too much. They are starving nonetheless.

The simple fact is, all party rhetoric aside, that the USA is spending far too much compared to what it earns. It has been doing so for decades now (and much of the infrastructure your laude is paid for with borrowed money, in other words by the rest of the world).
The country will have to find 1 trillion dollar in a combination of less spending and more income, just to stop its economy from further haemoraghing. If this is not done, just take a look at Greece to see what happens. Or at Zimbabwe for a look a little further into the future. The ‘one trillion over ten years plan currently being pushed is not even going to be enough to stop the debt from growing due to increasing interest rates. It is beyond foolish to believe that this can be achieved on cutting expenses alone. Every economist outside the USA (and most inside it as well if they are not being paid by the republican party) agrees that it is not only impossible but probably worse than doing nothing. Raising taxes by 1 trillion dollars is not going to do good things to the economy either, but again it is better than doing nothing, too little or cutting 1 trillion dollar of expenses.
Too many politicians are betting that if they can stall long enough the economy is going to recover so that it is possible to do something without causing a new recession. Problem is the deficit is such that the economy is not going to recover without pretty drastic measures. But those measures have to be aimed at improductive sectors, not at the ones that have a multiplying effect. Sadly things like military and financial services (and offshored accounts) are the least productive and the most protected. Until that changes the problem will simply keep growing and stumble from one recession to another.

Report this

By Rixar13, July 29, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

“Any agreement by Congress to cut the income security programs while leaving the main beneficiaries from our government—the rich—untouched, would be unconscionable.”

Are most wealthy people sociopaths?

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, July 29, 2011 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

It must be election time coming up. With a variety of Obama and Democrat apologist articles appearing. They must be very difficult to find these days but we can suppose that they will be found and published.

So that the corporate friendly “lefties” and corporate friendly “righties” can continue to argue in this Kabuki Theatre of the Absurd, pseudo democracy.

Go Red Team. No Go Blue Team. It is the Blue Teams turn to rule the world.

Meanwhile, we all get screwed.

Report this

By Tokin Lib, July 29, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

I actually enjoy such breath-wasters as this.
Every reform mentioned would have to be accompanied
by enabling (or repealing) legislation.

Those bills would, funnily enough, have to pass
through a Congress which is diametrically opposed to
EVERYTHING they’d try to accomplish.

A COngress which is owned bodily (there’s no soul
there anywhere) by the people whose interests those
bills would attack and/or undermine.

So, I asks, in my most subservient, accommodating
voice: How the fuck is ANY of it gonna happen?

Echo answers: NA GONNA HAPPUN!

Report this

By Gmonst, July 29, 2011 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

This article is nothing more than a fantasy piece, mental masturbation. 

I personally don’t care if the top 10% provide 70% of the United States tax revenue.  This statistic is posted to make it seem like 10% of the people are being ripped off by supplying money for programs like medicare, social security, and medicaid for a bunch of free loaders in the bottom.  If you add in the next 10% for the top 20%, they pay 85% of the taxes, but they also control about 85% of the wealth. 

What we have to remember that each and every person’s wealth is tied to a system which requires other people to work.  The financially best off among us did not get to that point in an isolated bubble but because of others who are not so well off.  Walmart doesn’t make a lot without a lot of the bottom 90% shopping there, oil companies only profit because of that 90% driving cars and consuming their product.  The top 10% makes their money from the bottom 90%.  That bottom 90% that is out there working, earning, and spending.  Those at the top are at the top because of the existence of those at the bottom.  I don’t see how its unfair that those who benefit so much from this system should have to pay back into that system.


I love the United States.  I want it to be a system where those who work hard can prosper and get ahead.  Such a system requires all the people to work.  Those who have worked hard and prospered have a DUTY to pay back into that system from which they benefited so much. They have a duty to make sure it remains that the hard working and industrious can continue to prosper in the future.  That poor kid who has a mom on food stamps and medicaid, even with the public assistance, doesn’t have even close to the same chances for success as a kid born to a family in the top 10%.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, - “Why is it that anyone who would dare challenge the sacred-cow “wealthy” be accused of calling the wealthy “evil?” Didn’t write that.”

-

I did make it clear that I did not wish to replace what you had opined but only add some context.  My comments were written generally.  Not in direct contradiction to your opinions.

In light of your criticism, why do you mis-characterize my words as arguing that the wealthy are losing something by paying taxes?  Clearly I wrote nothing of the kind.

Perhaps we can both take more care in what and how we respond to each other.

Report this

By TDoff, July 29, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

BTW, my entire post, re: New Joisey ‘Fats’:

Too bad about Chris. Had Christie been formally, officially declared brain-dead while hospitalized, he could have entered and won the republican primary, no contest, over all the other candidates, whose mental states are in doubt.

Does that sound as though I wished Christie dead? Or that I wondered why the hospital was not more observant about his lack of mental capacity, which was my intent?

So what’s-his-name, initial ‘G’, is either lying again, as is his wont and habit, or is illiterate. Does it really matter? Illiterate and hypocritical nincompoops do bring a form of amusement to this site. So let’s not totally discourage him and his fantasies.

Re: FICA tax. It is just another tax that is disproportionately, excessively paid by the lower 90% on the income scale. That it is an income-based tax only more effectively refutes the lies of GRYB when it claims that the rich pay their fair share, or even more, of the costs of running this plutocracy.

Report this

By truedigger3, July 29, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Moshe Adler wrote:

“Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay”
——————————————————————————-
Obama will not make the rich pay.! He works for them.
The rich put him there to guard and further their interests.
All what you will get from Obama is good speeches, good talking points, make believe theatrics and bullshitting but no action whatsoever.
Obama is a mole, who instead of defending the poor and middle class, he is shafting them big time. This is glaringly clear by now!!!!????

Report this
mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, July 29, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man -

Why is it that anyone who would dare challenge the sacred-cow “wealthy” be accused of calling the wealthy “evil?” Didn’t write that.

I don’t care how people “get rich” I just get tired of people like you defending the wealthy as if they have a higher status than the rest of us. You live in a “transactional republic/democracy” which seems to be all about buying one’s way to the “dream.” I simply disagree that wealth = the measure of our society.

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 29, 2011 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

except for trying to insult someone, can you refute the argument of TDoff?

Report this

By California Ray, July 29, 2011 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

NEXT UP: impasse over U.S. debt ceiling fosters magical thinking by leftists.

Let’s be realistic. The impasse has given the U.S. economy a flat tire. It will still run on three good tires, and nothing much is going to change—except that the U.S. is going to be poorer and less economically robust. That’s a good thing for people who live under the threat of unlawful U.S. military intervention in, say, the Middle East and Latin America. More importantly, leftists should find comfort in the fact that the Pentagon’s wet dream of weaponizing space has been “drowned in the bathtub.”
Let it go at that, and don’t expect fairy-tale endings from this President.

Report this

By TDoff, July 29, 2011 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Quelle surprise! GRYM has made a total ass of itself again. And lied.
Property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, FICA tax, and the plethora of other fees and taxes pay for quite a number of government services. And they are paid, quite disproportionately, by the lower 90% on the income scale.

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 29, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, you are absolutely right. the rich didn’t get rich and remain rich by
doing honest work, but by speculating on a huge scale. more than 90 percent of
all transactions in money worldwide has nothing to do with goods and services but
everything with speculating. most of the ‘money’ which flows from one
hand to another does not even exist. at the most 35 percent of it consists of paper
money or coins, the rest is digits on a computer screen. one could say without
exaggeration that we are confronted with a small parasitic plutocracy, who
controls almost everything, from politics to warefare, and who control first and
foremost the mass media, the propaganda institutions which control the way the
citizens perceive reality.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze,

Alongside your post we should inject some needed context.  In other words; I don’t intend to replace what you’ve written, only add perspective to your narrative.

The majority of millionaires in the United States are comprised of Bakers, Butchers, Electricians, Contractors, Salespeople, Doctors, Engineers, Restauranteurs, Money Managers and a plethora of small to medium business owners who work 12-14 hours a day while doing their best to put their children though college.

According the the Congressional Budget Office the majority of American billionaires are first and second generation “self-made” entrepreneurs. - This makes these people “successful” not Evil.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

stan van houcke,

Correct me if I have this wrong. 

You’re saying that the American capitalist system, with one of the most progressive tax structure on the planet, which has built the largest planetary economic engine in all of human history, is a bad thing for the United States?

As a notable aside: The World Health Organization has estimated that roughly 800 million people people about the world are currently in real danger of starvation while the poorest in the United States suffer from obesity.

Report this
mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, July 29, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man -

The often quoted statistic that the top 10% of Americans pay 70% of the federal income taxes sure “sounds incredible.” Indeed, it might be incredible except that it’s really a meaningless statistic when in comes to running a country:

1) If the wealthy are SO put-upon by such a situation, why are they not picking up and leaving (as they so often threaten the will do) in droves?
2) If the wealthy are taxed so terribly….how can they remain wealthy? After all, isn’t the whole whiny-pissy argument based on the notion that they are “harmed” by paying so much?

No, I think the truth is much different:

1) The wealthy are not being damaged by our tax system. As a % of their wealth, the wealthy pay far less than average folks.
2) Also, the wealthy enjoy the privilege of spending part of their money on attorneys and accountants who make sure they pay even less than they should.
3) The uber-wealthy pretend that they “earn” their money (probably a whole other discussion) but in reality, they’re merely using other-people’s-money. This is much different than actually working for a living. So when you, GRYM, want to argue that the wealthy are losing something by paying taxes…..you’re indulging in the fantasy that the rich want us to believe: that they earned their lot.

Report this

By Jim Yell, July 29, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So much verbage, let us say one thing this is a Depression and getting worse. The only reason people may not know it is a Depression is that we still have a social support network, which the rich with the help of truely lets cut our noses off to spite or face Republicans, are trying mightly to destroy this same help system.

The rich are too rich. Minimum wage is too low and the only treason in this country is not from young people, but from old nasty rich bastards.

George Bush/Dick Cheney and their unfunded wars have done much to create this mess, but of course the real culprit is the low taxes on the rich and the deregulations that started with Ronald Reagan and got worse with the Bushes and Bill Clinton, who even the one time I voted for him, I realized he was just a Republican in sheeps clothing. So let’s call the situation what it is a Depression and stop playing games with words.

Report this

By Alan MacDonald, July 29, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

The real problem hiding behind this charade of the “debt crisis” is that our former country is now fully controlled by a disguised global corporate/financial/militarist Empire, which hides behind the facade of its ‘bought and owned’, modernized, and TWO-PARTY “Vichy” sham of faux-democratic government—- far more sophisticated than the single-party Vichy government the occupying Nazi Empire invented to disguise their control of 1940 France.

The ‘symptom issue’ of the debt-crisis will be finessed to bed and the American people will go back to induced sleep again, but the Empire will continue to “roll on under the night”, as Fitzgerald concluded about the distortion and death of the American Dream from democracy to elitist, capitalist corpocracy in “Gatsby” (1925).

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Liberty & democracy
over
violent
empire

New America Peoples’ Party 2012 (our last chance “Against Empire”)

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 29, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

I quote:


‘The wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the monies going to the treasury.

What does this mean?’

well, as a european I would say this means quite a lot about the inequality of
wealth in the united states. fact is that 1 percent of the richest americans
possess more than 40 percent of the nation’s wealth and 22 percent of the
yearly income. and if I have to believe the 70 percent, it means the rich must be
disgustingly rich that they still possess more than 40 percent of the wealth of
the nation. and when half of all your senators are millionaire than you really
have a problem in the us of a.

Report this

By Truth, July 29, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Go Right Young Man why do the wealthiest pay all the taxes? Because, duh, they have all the money!!  We on the the left love and our just as willing to die for our country as you patriots on the right.  Just not blindly so.

Report this

By TDoff, July 29, 2011 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

The truth behind the apparent D.C. idiocy surrounding the debt and deficit ‘debates’ is beginning to leak. So those of you in despair about the obvious mass psychoses to which all our political ‘leaders’ have succumbed, can take heart in the knowledge that nothing we are now seeing in the nation’s capitol is reality. It is all merely the result of a computer glitch.

For years, in the dungeons buried deep beneath AIPAC headquarters, a top secret project has been maturing. A group of Koch suckers has invested heavily in the latest super-computers and hired all our ‘best and brightest’ to develop them and their software. (Which, not so incidentally, is why there are no ‘best and brightest’ on the national scene, and have not been for some years).

These computers, programmed with the latest photo-shop techniques, and coupled with the Koch sucker owned media programming computers, are theoretically able to produce a 24/7/365 total virtual reality of all aspects of US life to appear on the nation’s media screens.

The switches were finally thrown to have this virtual reality take over just before the 2010 elections, so the real election results were replaced by Koch sucker programmed virtual reality, and everything we’ve seen and heard since then is the creation of the warped imaginations of the Koch sucking programmers. (Which, finally, explains the horrid anomalies of the Tea Party and Michele Bachmann)

The current apparent confusion and disarray of the GOPer/TPer positions on the debt/deficit/budget is the result of a glitch in the software, which the Koch suckers are desperately trying to find and correct.

Only the obviously incoherent incompetence of the Democratic party has turned out as planned by the Koch suckers.

This is a breaking story, so details are sparse. We may have to wait some time for the full revelations to be exposed on Wikileaks, and revealed on some non-Koch controlled media outlet, probably in Palestine or Iceland.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

kerryrose,

You certainly are a true Progressive.  Progressives become completely unnerved to learn that the wealthiest 10% of Americans pay the cost of 70% of all government services.

You desire proof?  Study IRS data yourself.  As sure as you’re breathing you’ll not believe any data I post.

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, July 29, 2011 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

GRYM

Your numbers are absurd, and you better back them up with references and links to prove that you didn’t invent them out of your brown nosing head.

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, July 29, 2011 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

GRYM

Are you a Capitalist, or in reality a wage laborer who carries water for corporate interests.

Take a history class, or read Zinn.

Report this

By Tobysgirl, July 29, 2011 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

This makes the huge assumption that Obama would ever use his power in a constructive way. He seems to have no idea he is president and can put incredible pressure on the Republicans in the House to do what he wants. The only people he’s capable of pressuring are Dennis Kucinich and other progressives.

Democratic presidents: Two Southern governors and some guy who was a senator for about five minutes. Not people who know how to maneuver in Washington, DC.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 29, 2011 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

The wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the monies going to the treasury. 

What does this mean?  It means the wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the cost of services offered by the U.S. Government.  What exactly does that mean?  It means the wealthiest 10% of Americans pay 70% of the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, the military, infrastructure, waste collection and student loans.

-

On another subject:  Who here LOVES the new MSNBC television commercials with Ed Schultz talking about America being the “greatest nation on earth” and how we need to get back to “the American values that made America great”. 

Then there’s the tingling Chris Mathews waxing poetic about President Obama being proof positive of “American Exceptionalism”.

I particularly enjoy Rachel Maddow talking directly to the MSNBC audience about how American parents and Grandparent capitalists built the infrastructure, which she calls “the amazing inheritance” that is the “spine of the country”.

-

America, according to MSNBC, is the Greatest Nation on Earth.  An Exceptional Nation with Exceptional Values.  WOW!  Not the sentiments often heard from the Left side of contemporary American political culture.

Report this
thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, July 29, 2011 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

You mean this guy?

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/killin/

Report this

By ardee, July 29, 2011 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

Why does it seem so simple? All who reside within the USA must assume their fair share of the burdens as a privilege of enjoying the rewards.

Corporations used sneaky methods to assume the guise of “personhood” in the courts, thus they must accept the taxes levied upon persons as well.

The military budget is not just bloated it is absurdly so.

All the talk centers around cuts to working folks, to seniors, to children yet the wealthiest pay a far less percentage of their own incomes in taxes than do the workers who are the foundation of our nation.

Is it so much to expect a fair and balanced approach to the issue? Yes, Capitalism eats itself in the end, perhaps we approach that end?

Report this
stan van houcke's avatar

By stan van houcke, July 29, 2011 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

‘Without a Debt Deal, Obama Can Make the Rich Pay’?

he won’t, the rich paid him and will pay him again to do what they tell him to do.
that is american democracy.

Report this

By Dr Bones, July 29, 2011 at 3:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I only hope Mr Adler is in a secure location and doesn’t plan to fly or visit DC.

And why at this late date would Mr. O do anything to ruin his love affair with Wall St?

Report this
mecormany's avatar

By mecormany, July 29, 2011 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

Exactly. I’ll have whatever Mr. Adler is drinking, please.

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, July 29, 2011 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

All good points, but the author is dancing around the umbrella word.  You know, the word for the laws the government passes to protect the rich and businessess.

The word is Capitalism, and it’s time for the people of this country to discuss alternative economic systems.  US citizens are so brainwashed by the system that work-a-day stiffs proudly proclaim themselves ‘Capitalists.’  Where did they get that idea?  They are wage laborers.

Report this

By r nemo, July 29, 2011 at 2:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Spread the word! Truman was the only president since WW2 not
to raise the debt ceiling. Instead he invoked the 14th
amendment! Why is only the ED SHOW reporting this fact?
Spread the word! Maybe then Obama will find some spine!

I know, pigs can’t fly!

Report this
Kjeld's avatar

By Kjeld, July 29, 2011 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

And pigs may fly.

Report this

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.