Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We Need the American Jobs Act and the Buffet Rule

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll indicates that most Americans support the individual provisions contained in the American Jobs Act that President Obama has proposed:
Cut payroll taxes
Good idea 56%, bad idea 30%
State aid to prevent public-sector layoffs
Good idea 52%, bad idea 40%
Infrastructure investments
Good idea 80%, bad idea 16%
Small business tax cuts
Good idea 81%, bad idea 14%
Also, a 71% majority believes any deficit reduction plan should include a combination of both tax increases and spending cuts.

Source: Steve Benen's blog, Political Animal

The President is expected to call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers. (Nicknamed the Buffet Rule after billionaire Warren Buffet who advocates that America's richest should be contributing more in taxes.)

The ball is now in Congress's court.  It will take considerable pressure from Involved Voters to get Republicans to agree to give us what we need and do it now.

Wall Street and the "Food Bubble"

First the "tech bubble" then the "housing bubble" - now new food market derivatives are creating a "food bubble".  Is there a way "to stop investors from turning the global food system into a casino that brings huge winnings to a few and hunger to millions?"

This is a complex issue.  A recent article by Tom Philpott explains the situation in detail and offers a possible step toward counteracting it.  If you care about global food security, this is a must read.