Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Austerity. No Compromise with the Vultures. No bargaining with the Plutocracy. Barack Obama has the Mandate. It's time The Rich pay their Fair Share.

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.  - James Madison

Now, that Real America has rejected the preposterous slanders and smears of the rabid conservatives comes the serious task of reorganizing the Nation.

Overusing the bromide of being doomed to repeat history it seems We do have a difficult time learning from that which has passed before.

The Empire of Byzantium struggled with many of the same issues We, the People face today. Religion. Nobility. Taxes. Military interventions. Dynastic struggles. Culture Changes. Legal Codes.

As the centuries passed, new generations inherited problems and structures created by previous ones. They did their best to build upon the past work, reconcile new ideas with the old or create entirely new ones, but often their efforts became a jumble, a convoluted and a confusing mixture. Hence the term byzantine.

This was well understood by the Founding Fathers who sought to blend their new ideas with the ideas of the Ancient Greeks, Renaissance Italians, and the Thinkers of the Enlightenment in the creation of the New Nation.

One of the great myths of America is that we don't have Class Struggle and Class Warfare. Class division was written about and feared by James Madison, Father of the Constitution,
"The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property..."
During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Class Warfare was a major preoccupation of Madison and the other Founders. Some of the Founders, notably Alexander Hamilton, greatly feared that Class War was already upon them (he was thinking of Shay's Rebellion) and the common man would establish a Democratic Tyranny voting themselves the property of the Rich, but it didn't happen then and it isn't happening now.

James Madison believed his "extended republic" model aided by supplemental checks built into the Constitution would stave off Class Warfare, but that within 2 or 3 generations the struggles of rich and poor would result in conflict.

In 1829-1830 Madison became convinced the country was headed for Class warfare by 1930. He reasoned the massive populace crowded together would,
"necessarily be reduced by competition for employment to wages which afford them the bare necessaries of life. The proportion being without property can not be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its [property] right to be safe depositories of power over them." 
So, either the demos would rise up in revolt "by a law of nature". Or the Rich would degenerate into Oligarchy and destroy the Republic because,
"A republic cannot stand upon bayonets. We are free today substantially but the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few."
But, this is not the Great Man of History longing. A Great President lets other people rise and the greatest Americans often come from the Middle Class.

James Madison knew this. He and the other Founders also warned of Foreign Entanglements, Standing Armies, and Unchecked Corporate Power.

Do Conservatives not re-read their own mythology? The Myth of Ronald Reagan wasn't that he got the Soviets to pass a universal healthcare coverage for their citizens. It was that Reagan goaded the Red Menace into an Arms Race which bankrupted them. What did Bin Laden accomplish with the 9/11 attacks? He got us to waste $10 Trillion in overseas folly of Empire-building in the Middle East. And not to mention the thousands of american families shattered by the physical and mental scars of war.

What happened, since the End of World War II, was the establishment of the Permanent War Status by the United States have drained the lifeblood and treasury of the Country.

Who has benefited from the Overseas American Empire and the Massive DoD Budget? Undying Corporations and an increasingly isolated Cadre of Elites who see no Country and no reason to spend to aid the poor, or support the infrastructure of this Nation.

President Harry Truman famously stated,
"Poor Ike! He'll sit there and say 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen. It's not like the army. He'll find it very frustrating."
President Eisenhower presided over 8 years of American Prosperity. Ike had an America that was untouched by World War 2 and thus had it's infrastructure intact with which to dominate the world market. But, President Eisenhower had a tax rate of 52% on Corporations and a Top Tax rate of 91%!
"[W]e cannot afford to reduce taxes, reduce income, until we have in sight a program of expenditures that shows that the factors of income and of outgo will be balanced. Now that is just to my mind sheer necessity.” 02/17/1953
However, Ike had the benefit of a populace which was not going through a radical upheaval. Ike had a populace which was for all intents homogeneous religiously. He also had a Class of Wealthy Americans which still believed in the idea of Noblese Oblige. 

And what did Eisenhower warn of at the end of his Presidency? The Military-Industrial-Complex. 


Unlike in Ike's day it's not the same, today. The Rich see no reason to aid the poor or even to invest in the United States.

Mitt Romney's former energy policy advisor Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources. gave a speech on 09/13/12 to Congress demanding National Parks be opened to Oil Exploitation and that his Federal Corporate Welfare which he's received since 1967 continue. Hamm also pouted that, "Continental’s effective tax rate is 38%!" Except it isn't. Over the past 5 years Hamm's Corporation Contenintal Inc paid 2.2% in Income Taxes when adjusted for all the tax breaks, corporate kickbacks and federal assistance he's received.

On the books his Oil Company probably has a stated tax rate of 38%. But, Hamm paid next to nothing when all the byzantine tax laws are applied. The Tax Code has been made circuitous specifically because it aids the Plutocracy.

A business owner in Las Vegas on Wednesday November 7th, told a CBS radio station that he had fired 22 of his 114 "mostly Hispanic" employees because President Barack Obama had won re-election. David noted that he had "mostly Hispanic" employees and some had come to work wearing Obama shirts on election day.

The Republican Party's favorite Michele Bachmann believes in a platform of No Taxes on Corporations. That would be Zero. 

Corporate Profits have gone up quarter after quarter since the beginning of 2009. Verizon, for instance, reported a pre-tax income of $24.2 Billion in 2009-2010 and received, through U.S. federal income tax loopholes, a $1.3 Billion dollar refund.

The Richest 1% of this Nation control 50% of all financial investments. The top 10% have almost 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Less than 10% of the country own the United States of America. 

But it's important to note that for the Rich, most of that income does not come from "working": in 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries.

What the Plutocracy wants is a closure of the Middle Class because the Middle Class is too unpredictable. It's much better to have a pliant working class who are satisfied with crumbs from the government and whatever wages/benefits the Moneyed Overlords are willing to bequeath upon them.

The Middle Class too often flexes it's political power and votes themselves things like Supplemental Social Security Income and Medicaid for the poor. The Middle Class votes against Child labor and for safer working conditions and regulations on the dumping of coal slag or mercury waste from Oil refineries into rivers and lakes. The Middle Class fights and strikes for pensions and dental care for their family.

Much easier for the Rich to move to a Third World Hellhole and have a Totalitarian Government enforce Wage Slavery and Corporate Bondage.

Today, the reason "47%" do not pay Federal Income Taxes are because of the slap-dash additions and shaky edifices built into the Tax Code. The EITC, marriage deduction, child deductions, home ownership deductions were Republican backed ideas to encourage people to adopt mores, behaviors and family structures which Republicans favored. The biggest Moochers are the Ultra-Rich.

The last time we had a restructuring of the Tax Codes, with the Bush Tax Cuts, Conservative shills for the 1% shamelessly lied about it's goals. The Heritage Foundation's 2001 report proclaimed if the Bush tax cut legislation were to pass, it would:
1) Effectively pay off the federal debt; 
2) Reduce the federal surplus by $1.4 trillion; 
3) Substantially increase family income; 
4) Save the entire Social Security surplus; 
5) Increase personal savings; 
6) Create more job opportunities.
None of this happened and we've been stuck in the Republican Recession ever since. But, what this did accomplish was a massive transfer of the Nation's Wealth into the hands of the Ultra-Rich.

What the Rich desire is the semblance of Democracy with the reality of Plutocracy. They privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

Most of the problems, President Obama is dealing with, he inherited. Some he's allowed to happen; for instance, the ratio of public-sector employees to the overall population is the lowest it’s been since 1968.

What Barack should do is tear down the rotten Tax Structure and Economy of Income Inequality built by right-wing lies:

1) Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, completely.
2) Void the Sequestration.
3) Eliminate the Cap on Social Security taxes.
4) Raise the Tax Rate on Capital Gains and tax it as normal income.
5) Eliminate the deferred compensation rule.
6) Eliminate any and all Tax breaks and federal subsidies with Corporations which out-source jobs and off-shore manufacturing factories.
7) Bring back a Financial Transaction Tax to curb Wall Street volatility and curb rampant Hedge Fund speculation gambling.
8) Propose a Tax cut package for the first $250,000 of income (98% of America).
9) Create and augment spending and hiring for public-sector employees.
10) The follow-on Budget should include a 50% reduction in DoD spending. 
Then watch Republicans tear themselves apart as they reveal their entire Party is devoted to guarding the obscene theft and reverse-robin-hood robbery of Middle Class wealth by the Rich. House Speaker Bohener immediately genuflected to the Rich after President Obama's resounding win. Congressman Peter King of New York has declared he and the Republican House members have a "Mandate" to protect the Tax Breaks for the Rich.

There is a window here for Barack Obama to cement himself as True Class Warrior fighting for the 300 Million Americans who desire the American Dream but are being shackled with the chains of Wage Slavery and Corporate Bondage to the Moocher Class of the Plutocracy. It is our Job as a Center Left People to pick him up and stand beside him and guide him to that Destiny.

*- I think Jerome Corsi did this same post, except his use of "man-date" meant Barack Obama was Gay Muslim *Married* to a Pakistani Man whom he later murdered.

29 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

We already know what the republican solution will do. It has been tried before and failed. We need to do just the opposite of what the republicans propose. It will solve all,our problems by default.

Patricia said...

Wow! Thanks for blowing my mind with all that information I didn't know about James Madison.
All of your ideas for the President are long overdue. (If only he would read your blog!)
He should definitely let those damnable Bush tax cuts expire. He wouldn't have to do anything to let that happen. My question is this, couldn't the President use an executive order to accomplish the other goals? My research shows Bush, "the lesser Shrub" used this 291 times. The Rethugs aren't going to cooperate. I'm thinking the President is on his own on this one.

the yellow fringe said...

Excellent, I will not it on my blog. Add a number 11 to your list, preserve the inheritance tax, this was one of the taxes discussed by the framers of the constitution on the grounds it would prevent an aristocracy developing from wealth passed down over generations.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Thanks, Jerry, Patricia, and yellow.

We have to pressure our Congressmen and Senators and President Obama that the Grand Bargain is a No Deal. Taxes Need to be raised on the Courtier Class of Moochers. We have the impetus and we need to make sure that fake pragmatism isn't acceptable.

Silverfiddle said...

"reorganizing the Nation"

That is scary.

Here are some facts for you guys:

The Bush Era Tax cuts are said to cost the government $1 trillion over the next 10 years. (Source: HuffPo)

That's $100 billion per year.

Now, the budget:

$ Defense is 20% of the budget.

$ Social Security is 20%,

$ Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP is 21%,

$ Safety Net Programs 13%

$Interest 6%, which ironically, will balloon if the economy ever takes off

That leaves a little over 20% of discretionary spending.

We could zero out the DoD, saving $715 billion, plus undo the Bush tax cuts saving another $100 billion.

We've still got $200 billion to go to balance the budget. Now what?

Jerry Critter said...

Social Security is not part of the budget. It is entirely paid for by participant and employer contributions.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Of course, some are scared. The Era of fleecing the Middle Class to fatten the bank accounts of the Plutocracy in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland might take a hit.

Corporations are the biggest Moochers in History.

From 2008-2010, 78 corporations had at least one year where they paid no federal income tax at all, while 30 corporations paid ZERO over the entire three years. Even though those 30 Corporations made $160 billion in profits over that period.

Halliburton and their subsidiaries received Billions in No Bid Contracts from their Moocher buddies under the Bush Administration.

Boeing ($644 Million), Northrop Grumann ($410 Million), and Lockheed Martin ($61 Million) admitted to fraudulently "overbilling" while they and hundreds of other Corporations received $1.1 Trillion via contracts through the DoD.

Multi-National Oil Corporations, Chevron, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil receive Billions in Tax Payer dollars from the US Government via subsidies some of which were crafted as early as 1916.

But, of course, those things are just Free Enterprise! It's the peanuts we spend on Social Welfare which is the problem.

We have a real chance to get some Economic Justice and Equality but it's going to take the efforts of Real American People against Corporate "People".

Silverfiddle said...

Jerry:

Go here and learn:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

There is no lockbox.

Money comes in, money goes out, regardless of the category you put it in, and government budgeters put it all in the federal budget category

Gene: I appreciate your passion, but what say you about the numbers and the math?

Grung_e_Gene said...

Well, how fast must we reduce the debt? Who is clamoring to Fix the Debt?

Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and other CEOs who got us in the mess. So, I am not going to fix their problems by cutting social security and healthcare benefits or food stamps for people who have nothing.

From the Twice elected President who has a Mandate to raise Taxes on the filthy rich scum:
Allow the Bush tax cuts on high earners to expire. $849 billion
Limit itemized deductions to 28 percent, close some loopholes and deductions on high earners, eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies, eliminate the carried interest loophole, plus a few other items. $584 billion
Create a special "Buffett Rule" tax rate for millionaires. $47 billion
Restore the estate tax to 2009 levels. $143 billion
Limit corporate income shifting to low-tax countries. $148 billion
Other miscellaneous tax increases and reductions. About -$200 billion
Total: $1.6 trillion

That's the plan.

Jerry Critter said...

Social Security is often included as a budget item, but it is funded by a separate, and independent tax, and does not impact the deficit. For example, if Social Security were to disappear, so would the money stream. We would not be paying for SS, but we wouldn't have the income either. Net effect is zero. Reducing SS is not a deficit reduction option.

Silverfiddle said...

There is a fictional "fund" but in reality is all goes into the same government pot, and that is how government budgets.

I refer you again to the White House budget website.

Gene: Your numbers are over 10 years. Divide by ten for a one year budget, and your plan doesn't come close, even with no new spending.

Your numbers don't add up.

Silverfiddle said...

And speaking of Social Security, taking it out of the budgeting figures actually makes the picture worse because it is running a thin surplus right now.

Of course, in less than ten years, the opposite happens. It begins sucking money from the general revenue pool.

Study up on Greece.

Silverfiddle said...

And, unlike a 401K fund, You have no legal right or claim to the money you have paid in to Social Security

Grung_e_Gene said...

You didn't answer the questions! Why are the people clamoring to Fix the Debt people the same ones who caused it in the first place? At what speed must the debt be paid down?

This is a conservative shell game. Deficit spending balloons under Republicans then they ask Democrats to fix it by cutting entitlements. Then once they get back in power the Republicans balloon the debt again giving billions to the MIC and Plutocracy.

Because the Rich want the Social Safety Net destroyed and all monies earmarked for Social Security rolled into Wall Street.

And the Debt doesn't matter because in 40 years the Depression Generation and Boomers will (sadly) gone. All long term Deficit projections ignore this.

Jerry Critter said...

SS is not allowed by law to draw from the general fund. Benefits are reduced instead of funding from the general fund if insufficient money is available from the SS funds. These funds are not fictional.

SS has zero impact in the deficit.

Silverfiddle said...

Well Jerry, I'll assume you are right on the second point, so now the budget crisis is even worse.

So how do you solve it?

Again Gene, I admire your heroic rantings against the forces of evil (many of which I consider evil as well), but you've got to be able to pay for it.

Jerry Critter said...

1. Increase taxes, tax capital gains are regular income, eliminate corporate loopholes and welfare.

2. Single payer healthcare.

Significantly cut the Department of Defense.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Jerry covered the proper course. Thanks JC!

- Increase rates and collection on the Rich.
- Tax capital gains as normal income.
- Pass the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act
- Eliminate Corporate Welfare and loopholes
- Eliminate the tax cap on Social Security.

Cut the DoD budget by 50%.

Joe Markowitz said...

Lots of good ideas here. How do you propose to get them through Congress?

J.O.B. said...

I like Jerry's ideas. I disagree with a 50% reduction in the DOD budget. Over time it may be a good goal, but I think it is too much up front, and would never pass in the house. How about 4% per year over the next 10, leading to a total 40% decrease.
The Capital Gains tax increase concerns me. How would that effect someone like me. Blue Collar, but yet I do make investments, not on a 1% scale, but investments none the less. Then there is pension and annuity.

Jerry Critter said...

Treating capital gains same as income will automatically apply a graduated rate to it based on total taxable income.

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks for the answers, but I'd like to see some math. You've got an over $1 trillion gap per year to fill.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Joe Markowitz,
Good point. I think the way to get things through the House is to do nothing. Let them gnash and gnaw and let the "fiscal cliff" hit . Then propose a tax cut for the first $250,000 of income. (100% of Americans).

J.O.B.
You raise a good point. I have a pension although I'm not vested yet and a long way away from collecting. If your realized Capital Gains are under $250,000 then you've got no worries. What this is aimed at are the Romney Billionaires (I'm certain Mitt has over $1 Billion hidden away when he was hiding money in off-shore tax havens). I think Yellow Fringe also hit it earlier with need to stop the passing along of Billions of defered income hidden from the Us and then passed along outside inheritance tax rules

Silverfiddle,
What I'm not understanding in your all of sudden fixation that the debt is a problem? The spending which caused this debt was done from 2001-2008, when they ramped up the spending and some of it they pushed forward to be stuck on Obama's tab. But, NOW we have to fix the debt by cutting spending on social services?

The Medicare bubble is used incorrectly by forecasters who act as if the Boomers will never pass. The Fix the Debt gang are a shady bunch who want to be able to launder their money held in foreign tax havens back into the US with no tax liability. Corporations are the biggest moochers and are a prime cause of the deficit.

Silverfiddle said...

Barack Obama added 5 trillion to that debt. You conveniently omitted that little factoid.

Forget the bubble and the rest of it and whose fault it is.

We are spending $1.2 trillion more than we take in in revenue. How much longer do you think we can do that?

How will we ever pay it back?

Forget paying down the debt. I'm not even talking about that. How do we get to the point where we can stop borrowing money?

Does that matter to any of you? Or do you think we can continue borrowing over $1 trillion per year forever?

And I didn't just get concerned about this. I was criticizing it during the Bush years.

Somebody, anybody, please show me the math on how your plan will work.

Jerry Critter said...

Here is an interesting article that claims that deficits should be increased.

"The equation shows that federal deficits are the ultimate source of all dollars, and despite economically suicidal efforts to reduce deficits, if there were no deficits there would be no dollars. Without federal deficits, your net savings — even Bill Gates net savings — would be zero.”

And

"Banks create dollars by lending, but those are not net dollars. For every dollar created by a bank, a loan obligation also is created –- the new dollars are offset by new obligations, so they net to zero. Only the federal government creates net savings dollars."

Interesting take on the deficit!

Silverfiddle said...

@Jerry

Oh! That explains it. Thanks.

Now go explain it to Greece and the EU countries that are going under.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Silverfiddle,

Greece is going under because they allowed Germany, France and England to control them. Greece is being forced into bankruptcy ala the Bain Capital Mitt Romney Vulture Model.

the yellow fringe said...

The condition of Greece is meaningless here, may not recover without a kind of bankruptcy of the nation action and start over. And why is the Greek comparison meaningless to our situation? No matter the degree of our condition it is nothing, nothing at all like Greece. Greece are a few million scattered on the Agean, it has no industry, well a tiny one but when is the last time you saw anything imported or heard of anything produced from manufacturing centers in Greece? Probably never. The only way they can make money is olive oil, wine, cheese and tourist and stolen yachts. Thats it, and the wine and cheese industry is actually to small to help, and the olive oil is not much bigger, tourist is it, and that industry is never going to support them and pay down the debt. They got nothing else. Mr. Silverfiddle, who assured us Romney would win now assures us we are in the same fix as Athens. Not so, poor example. First the US has every kind of industry available, many are hugh, and we have almost every kind of agriculture but bananas and monkey meat, we have banking, oil, coal, clean and dirty industry both, high tech, forest products, cars, aerospace, on and on, (ok we don't make TV's) our potential is hugh, even in down times the employment was about 10%, not Greeks 30%+, our economy which comes and goes every few years by cycle, events, and politics, but it comes back, and will again, and when it does, as it seems to be doing now it will pay down the debt and grow the gdp in comparison to the debt which also is a way to reduce it. Second the corruption index is not even close to Greeks, we (well not Romney) usually pay our taxes, keep our money in America and don't bribe the assessor, the cop, the judge.
Not wearing rose colored glasses, sure this ignores some problems, but it does not ignore the potential for the number one economy in the world to fix some of it's own problems.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Fringe: Mr. Silverfiddle, who assured us Romney would win...

Wrong. I did no such thing.

Did you read the link Jerry provided?

Should we follow the Rodger Mitchell plan and just print off $15 trillion and call it good?