Sunday, March 22, 2015

Here's What the Budget Proposed by Republicans Is Meant to Do

Economist Paul Krugman called them the trillion dollar fraudsters.  What's he referring to?  The Republicans who have proposed budgets that further shift the tax burden to those in the middle and low income brackets while putting earned benefits in jeopardy.

The full op ed is here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/opinion/paul-krugman-trillion-dollar-fraudsters.html?_r=0

It's time for Republicans to own up to the impact of their proposals and stop pretending that making the rich richer will benefit all of us. Trickle down has never worked - it didn't when the shift started in the Reagan administration and it hasn't since.  Just look at where the US stands in terms of inequality of income - in 2010 the top 1% got 17% of the income in the US, and the picture is worse when it comes to concentration of wealth.
(See the sample graph below. More at http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/11/daily-chart-2)


Source: An article in The Economist
A NEW paper by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics suggests that, in America at least, inequality in wealth is approaching record levels. 
Note: the upward trend in concentration of wealth in the top one-tenth of one percent of the population beginning in the late 1970's and the corresponding drop in net household wealth of the bottom 90%.  The reality has been an upward transfer of wealth from the bottom 90% to the .1% not "trickle down".  Despite what you've heard from Republicans and others, this is not the natural order of things resulting from the free market.  It is the result of deliberate policy decisions - and Republicans are calling for more of the same and worse.

We need to call them out on this.  The Republican Congress won't look out for the interests of the 90% unless we make them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

It appears that the "no tax" Republicans in charge of state governments are "no tax" only to the benefit of the richest in their states.  Here's a link to a report on the situation and recommendations for how to fix it.

http://keystoneresearch.org/taxfairness
Taxing Top Incomes at the Same Rate as the Middle Class Could Fund Critical State Priorities, Including Education, Infrastructure, and Public Pensions

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Beware the Last Minute Political Ad Blitz - Follow the Money!

Use your vote to show that our country is NOT for sale. Watch for and disregard ads sponsored by these groups.  They have a hidden (or perhaps, not-so-hidden) agenda.
  • Americans for Prosperity, 
  • the American Energy Alliance, 
  • Concerned Veterans for America, 
  • the Freedom Partners 
  • Chamber of Commerce, 
  • Generation Opportunity and 
  • the 60 Plus Association

These groups are heavily funded by the Koch brothers who are notorious for selecting politicians who will vote in ways that disregard the public interest and promote the Kochs' business interests.

The Koch brothers have made their fortunes in industries that pollute. (Source: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/koch-brothers-products.html)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, shows Koch Industries as the nation’s 14th largest polluter/emitter. But with their 2013 purchase of Molex, Inc they will slide closer to the top. See detailed emissions breakdowns - www.peri.umass.edu/toxic_index 
Koch Industries spent a total of $37.9 million on oil and gas lobbying during 2006 to 2009. www.sourcewatch.org
According to the International Forum on Globalization, Charles and David Koch are America’s single largest source of private money for attacks against environmental protections. They have spent over $643 million to block or rollback legal protections for clean air, clean energy, clean water, and other environmental issues through sketchy scientific research, lobbying lawmakers, contributing to electoral candidates’ campaigns, media manipulation, etc. kochcash.files.wordpress.co
Petroleum coke (a byproduct of tar sands refining) has been irritating numerous residents in both Chicago and Detroit. Koch Carbon is storing enormous quantities of petroleum coke on the banks of Chicago’s Calumet River and Michigan's Detroit River. The ever growing piles await processing, but refineries cannot keep up with the quantity. thinkprogress.org
A routine aerial inspection found Koch Pipeline Co. spilled 400 gallons of crude oil in Texas in late October, 2013.
I repeat: Use your vote to show that our country is NOT for sale.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is the US No Longer a Democracy?

Severe financial inequality and "money as speech" = US oligarchy (rule by the richest few).

Among the blog posts worth taking time to read are:

Erza Klein's: http://www.vox.com/2014/4/11/5581272/doom-loop-oligarchy

Matthew Yglesias': http://www.vox.com/2014/10/2/6889147/winship-tcherneva-inequality-debate

Kevin Drum's: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/09/rich-are-getting-richer-part-millionth

The only way to maintain our democracy is for ALL eligible voters to get informed and VOTE.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

When Corporations Abandon Their Corporate Citizenship

Talk about not paying a fair share of taxes for the benefits received.  Some corporations who do most of their business in the US are scheming to "locate" in other countries to avoid taxes.

Norm Ornstein explains how in this piece from The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/corporations-still-not-people/373889/

Condensed Guides to Inequality in the US

You might be one of the many who haven't the time or the inclination to read the latest best seller on the topic of how the economics game in the US is rigged in favor of the super rich.  If so, you might want to check out this summary by Nicholas Kristof:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/opinion/nicholas-kristof-idiots-guide-to-inequality-piketty-capital.html

And if you prefer a humorous approach to the topic, John Oliver has just the thing for you in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfgSEwjAeno

Tuesday, July 15, 2014