So-Called Deal on the So-Called "Fiscal Cliff"

So-Called Deal on the So-Called "Fiscal Cliff"

The House of Representatives needed overtime – but late Tuesday night, they agreed with the Senate and passed legislation to avert half of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” And despite President Obama and some Democrats declaring victory after Republicans were forced to sign on to a small tax increase for the wealthiest Americans, this fiscal cliff deal is actually a dream come true for billionaires and banksters. Not only does it keep in place most of the Bush tax cuts FOREVER – it also gives massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and transnational corporations – while giving Americans who earn less than $100,000 a year a tax increase.

Since the payroll tax cut wasn't extended – most working Americans will see their taxes go up by as much as $2200 a year, but corporations like Goldman Sachs, GE, and big Japanese-owned Hollywood movie studios will get hundreds of billions of dollars in tax loopholes thanks to the Republicans they own. On top of that, taxes paid by millionaires and billionaires - like estate taxes, capital gains, and dividend taxes - were all drastically and permanently cut – meaning the Mitt Romneys and Koch Brothers will pay much lower taxes thanks to this deal.

Forget the sales pitch – this deal is a tax hike on working people – and a tax cut for the top 1%. And it’s a last parting "screw you" to the middle class, courtesy of the billionaires who elected the 112th Congress in 2010 – the first election after Citizens United.

Comments

GrundyGreen's picture
GrundyGreen 1 year 37 weeks ago
#1

We are facing in another debt limit crisis and we all remember how that went the last time.
As the Economist of London pointed out, the US credit rating was downgraded not because of doubt of our nations ability to pay.
But because questions as to whether our leadership can govern.

And yet Sen. Corker is promising yet another debt ceiling fight. One problem the debt ceiling is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
If you agree and don't want to see our country damaged again by brinkmanship, please sign and forward my White House Petition.
We need at least 150 signatures so the public can see it. 25,000 by Jan 30th to get a response.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/assert-section-4-14th-amendment-upcoming-debt-limit-crisis/dBrzgPwQ

Short link

http://wh.gov/U2fQ

KatherineK's picture
KatherineK 1 year 37 weeks ago
#2

I have a couple of friends that seem sorely misguided concerning current events. They both love Thom Hartmann. I now see the source of their ignorance. Yeah, keep beating that dead horse. You really think these guys only friends are in the Republican party?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 37 weeks ago
#3

Please clarify. That is, please add a little more detail.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 37 weeks ago
#4

Why does Hartmann have to flat out lie about the taxes on capital gains, dividends, and estates? Capital gains, and dividends went from 15% to 20% and estate taxes went from 35% to 40%. Does he think everybody is a stupid drone or does he just not care about the facts as they are and would prefer to make them up to push his agenda?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 37 weeks ago
#5

The history books will not consider Obama as very heroic but as a politician who looked out for his own comfort and convenience.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 37 weeks ago
#6

Thom's on the air right now. Call him and ask him, I wanna hear what he says.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 1 year 37 weeks ago
#7

Bought by the ultra-rich with promises of retirement jobs that will pay them millions a year, lawmakers from both parties, with the support of our president, rewarded their owners again. The tax bill that Congress just passed has a top marginal rate of only 20% on capital gains ( the primary income of the ultra-rich ), and a cut from 55% ( pre-Bush ) to 40% on estates. Consequently the ultra-rich will pay a paltry 20% tax ( only on the portion of assets that they sell ), and the 15% cut in the estate tax rate will allow them to pass an additional 3 trillion of their 20 trillion net worth on to their families when they die.

How do we end the buying of our lawmakers by the ultra-rich that sustains their oligarchy? - entirely public financing of campaigns, followed by mandatory retirement for life on a generous government pension. How much would this cost the average taxpayer? - about $10 a year.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 37 weeks ago
#8

It was really a rhetorical question of why he has to lie, it is obvious that he continues the left wing political campaign of class warfare and division. The beat goes on with this left- right paradigm. Talk shows think they need to do it to capture audiences and politicians do it to keep the people divided. It is pretty sick when they all treat you like sheep.

a2phil's picture
a2phil 1 year 37 weeks ago
#9

Nothing has changed in America in the last 200+ years...the rich get richer, and the poor get SCREWED!!!

cursedone's picture
cursedone 1 year 37 weeks ago
#10

This deal was a loss for the American people, but a win for the Democratic Party. It is a small victory, but demonstrated the Republicans division and desire to obstruct. Obama wanted a 1.2 trillion revinue increase, but he only got half of it. That leaves cutting spending as the main way to reduce the deficit. Proof of the spending cut desire of Tea faker's is the denial of the Sandy Bill to even be brought to the floor. My fellow Americans and I know that if it was a red state that was hurt and needed relief the Republicans would not be stopping it. I am an Independant, but I cannot vote for a party that is so disgraceful.

Femlin's picture
Femlin 1 year 37 weeks ago
#11

Just a note that nothing is "permanent" - these "permanent" taxes that Thom speaks about can be modified at any time by joint action of the executive and legislative branches. A little disingenous of him to speak about "permanently cut". I continue to hope for a democrat-controlled house & senate at mid-term. Then we shall see our President's "true colors". I'm not completely happy, but applaud this "step" as just that - a step in the correct direction. I keep wanting to scream at commentators and republicans "WHY WEREN'T YOU COMPLAINING WHEN W RAN OUR COUNTRY INTO THE ECONOMIC ABYSS WITH SPENDING". I also find it wryly amusing that the Red States complain about "giveaways" while those of us in Blue States keep subsidizing the Red States existence. Ironic.

ekendrick's picture
ekendrick 1 year 37 weeks ago
#12

I couldn't believe the Democrats were calling this a good deal for the middle class, & saying they had averted a big tax cut for us-when for me, as a middle class, working person, my taxes will go up by $100 a month due to the expiration of the payroll tax cut. They must think that if they don't talk about it, we won't notice. I know, it "could have been worse," but how many times do we have to take consolation in that? I felt blindsided, too, because no one was even talking about the payroll tax cut, & then boom! It was gone. After reading Tom's comments, I am furious & feeling sold out, once again, by the Democrats & Obama. The middle class continues to lose ground as the rich get richer-and it's an even worse deal for the working poor, who really can't afford a tax increase. I don't mind paying more in taxes to get something, like single payer healthcare, or govt. funded public transportation...but to think that we are paying more to subsidize tax breaks for the wealthy & corporations...that's a real slap in the face!

jdadam's picture
jdadam 1 year 37 weeks ago
#13

Thank you GrundyGreen, I signed & tweeted your petition. I wish us good fortune on this!

MrMontana2012's picture
MrMontana2012 1 year 37 weeks ago
#14

I understand the frustration with us progressives. There are things that are a bit bitter in the deal. Yes, it is true that those making "real" income (vs. "capital gains income") will see an increase but it is just the payroll tax being restored to its proper level.

The payroll tax cut was never meant to be long term. Yes, there will be a hit but I think most working Americans will understand. I am one of those Americans whose payroll tax will go up. I'll have to cut back on my expected savings transfer of $60/month but I'll try and make it up in other ways.

I would rather see the payroll tax cut being left out of the deal than seeing an issue with properly funding Social Security.

On top of that, the Republicans (in particular Boehner) came down to $400k from $1 mil for increasing tax rates. Yes, President Obama went up to $400k from $250k but I see that as a relatively small increase all things considered.

In my opinion, I think President Obama has a slightly stronger stance for the upcoming fight over the debt sealing. We did hit the bump since the votes were done in 2013. That can be an argument certainly. We need to continue supporting the president, continue calling our represetatives and sentators and make sure they all know what we want.

But most of all - we need to take back the House for the President come 2014 if we want true change to occur. If we want these tax laws to change that is how we can do it. 2010 is having a lot of repurcussions because democrats and progressives didn't come out and vote in large enough numbers to hold back the Tea Party and we are now seeing the result.

We've made the first small step in 2012 by re-electing the President and getting more progressives in the Senate and House. We need to continue this progress come 2014. It's right around the corner!

To quote Tom, "Tag you're it"

leighmf's picture
leighmf 1 year 37 weeks ago
#15

Pardon my saying so, Femlin @ #12, but this is the second time today I have seen the word disingenuous blogged with the wrong definition, as well as misspelled:

disingenuous:"Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does. Synonyms insincere - false - devious - hollow-hearted "

In either case, the same word has been misapplied twice in the same day. Not a good sign of our literacy as a whole.

bming5 1 year 37 weeks ago
#16

Thank you very much! I signed, and shared/tweeted this. When I signed there were 9 signers, just a few moments later, it's gotten to 75 signers. So glad you got to promote this on the show.

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 1 year 37 weeks ago
#17

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is a bad deal because the measure locks in low revenue levels that will necessitate dramatic spending cuts in the future without new revenue generation resulting from economic growth. The question is what will the specifics of those spending cuts be during the debate on the sequester debt reduction?

At this stage of our anemic economic growth (2.5 percent) and the exponential march of tectonic shifts in the technologies of production that continue to destroy and devalue jobs, we need massive government investment via loan guarantees to stimulate economic growth and simultaneously broaden private, individual ownership in FUTURE income-producing assets with the result of creating "customers with money" and far less dependence on taxpayer-supported government welfare, open and concealed.

Until President Obama addresses the central issue of CONCENTRATED OWNERSHIP this exercise will continue with the result being no real ECONOMIC GROWTH in which EVERY American benefits as a FUTURE owner of the income-producing productive capital assets made possible by furthering technological innovation and invention, thus empowering them as "customers with money" who can then support the purchase of the products and services that the economy is capable of delivering. The issue comes down to Own or Be Owned!––whether the United States will become a country where EVERY American benefits as owners in its productive capacity or a minority of the wealthiest Americans dominate an otherwise slaved people––employed at low wages or on welfare and dependent on taxpayer-supported charity.

Wlw2000's picture
Wlw2000 1 year 37 weeks ago
#18

Were there really political earmarks in the final legislation passed by the House in the early morning hours of today? Tell me it is not so. Nascar got an earmark???

Zoktoberfest's picture
Zoktoberfest 1 year 37 weeks ago
#19

"I keep wanting to scream at commentators and republicans 'WHY WEREN'T YOU COMPLAINING WHEN W RAN OUR COUNTRY INTO THE ECONOMIC ABYSS WITH SPENDING' ".

Thom has recounted Jude Wanninski's "Two Santa Claus Theory" many times. Republicans run up the deficit with lower taxes and big spending (Santa #1). Then hand off a bloated, dysfuntional economy to the democrats who are forced to consider raising taxes, but must absolutely stimulate the economy (Santa #2), because private sector "trickle down" is complete BS.) The "theory" then dictates that democrats will be tarred and feathered as tax and spend liberals, which, of course, they always are!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxBfOj_1ebY&feature=player_embedded

KentInReno's picture
KentInReno 1 year 37 weeks ago
#20

On Estate Taxes I think they made two changes: raising the rates slightly while also increasing the amount that is exempted - I think the first $5 million is exempted now, isn't it? The rate increase alone could make it seem like the millionaires are being taxed more, while the total amount they are being taxed on inheritances could actually be less because of the increase in the amount that is exempted.

I wonder if anyone has calculated the amount added to the deficit because of the increased interest rate the U.S. has had to pay since Congress failed to raise the debt ceiling the last time?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 37 weeks ago
#21

No doubt about it, its REPUBLICANS who need to restrain spending. It's easy to take hypocritical potshots when you're out of executive power.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 1 year 37 weeks ago
#22

Thom's last sentence: "And it’s a last parting "screw you" to the middle class, courtesy of the billionaires who elected the 112th Congress in 2010 – the first election after Citizens United."

So what's been done about Citizens United -- it's been 3-years? " Democrats? Repugs? Conservatives? Libruls? Progressives? HUH? (Essentially) NOT ONE DAMN THING !!! The most important issue of our time (because it corrupts every other issue) apparently is fait-accompli.

Both parties had a field day hustling both Left and Right sides of Main and Wall Streets. What was it some $5- to $7-Billion spent on worthless politicing and media-misinformation (yes, some organizing). Think of all that could have done for medical research, education or other worthy causes.

Meanwhile the silly charade in the Capitol and the "news" sectors babbles on and on and on about governmental irrelevancies -- as one by one, safety-nets are being pulled out from under society.

Folks, we ain't gettin it; we're going nowhere, spinning out of control. We see it and we know it; but I don't have a clue what the answer is anymore.

The country has incredibly smart people and institutions in some sectors, doing great things; but our social-political-governmental sectors are unraveling at the seams, disintegrating, turning to mush.

How can we fix it; when most of the tools have been usurped -- being used to mislead, against rationality? People literally live in totally different tribal realities, beyond any comon consensus. With no viable solutions, animals (humans-included) fall back to self-centered random-violence. What are our stats -- a Newtown, every 2-days?

Happy New Year, may the 13th be our lucky-year.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 1 year 37 weeks ago
#23

Thom,

First, will the progressives EVER be happy? The 2% was FICA, Social Security...come on get real!

Now....ALL of the Washington DC bunch Left Right and Center + Obama LLC. are playing the Rock Game!

Go get me a rock....not that rock....go get me a rock....no not that rock....go get me a rock....no not that rock. And on it goes.

I do agree that GE, Verizon, Google, Oil Co, etc. are getting away with no taxes and that is fundementally WRONG

It will take 40 to 75 years to turn this econmy around to a more balances and fair one. Until then vote.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 37 weeks ago
#24

I tried signing the petition, without success. They want a password. MUST I create a friggin' password to sign this petition?! I'm all passworded out.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 37 weeks ago
#25

Thom is trying to get people to not accept what's being done to them. The business elites, their bought politicians and their pundits would otherwise likely succeed in decieving the public that isn't paying close enough attention to see what flim flam is being perpetrated. He might take a little liscence with it and, in his well intentioned eagerness, might go a little too far. He's technichally correct. At 12am of the 2nd the Capital Gains Tax automatically went up to 39.6%. When Obama signs the agreement it will be "cut" to 20%. What he really means is that we, the public, should be outraged that the tax on capital gains and inheritance, what used to be called "unearned income" but isn't anymore for reasons of political expedience for the Mitt Romneys of the world, through an elaborate shell game, isn't anywhere near where it should be. And I agree. And any program cuts will be tantamount to a tax increase on the 99%.

To call people's standing up for their rights "divisiveness" is torturedly ephamistic.

Half a century ago the predominantly male leaderships of left wing organizations dismissed the concerns of women and gays within the ranks of their organizations - when they wanted to be accepted as equals in their organizations or be part of the leadership and have their issues taken up by their organizations - as "divisive". Today they embrace those concerns.

A great, old time community organizer in Chicago who was my mentor, Sheldon Trapp, used to say when people who'd been taken advantage of stop taking any more shit and start standing up and demanding fair treatment and are then accused of gratuitously creating conflict in society, "They are exposing the conflict not creating it.".

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 1 year 37 weeks ago
#26

“It’s the media stupid” If there was ever a time in my life that could be recognized as theater, foul ball, deception, twenty four hour creepy information, with intention to confuse, mislead, and just be outright criminal it’s when America is blessed by the news.

It is disgusting, now the news seems to be talking about some of the crazy laws that have been enacted this New Year. Hell, for fifty years we have had crazy tax loop whole laws. If American’s had the chance to dig in some of the laws currently on the books America would likely find creepy crazy stuff that the news media would and should be able to ferret out but did not. It is obvious today’s news media does not serve America, it serves the one percent.

Day after day clips of politicians about America is at the edge and it’s almost near a solution. Then a simple solution and that solution is a stupid solution. Day after day a fiscal cliff is talked about. Or take MSNBC over the weekend always viewing the jails, I guess to instill fear about them. Yet never giving information about the fiscal cliff or details about specifics could be cut in the spending. Or any other station. These people have a job to report to America and all they do is frighten America.

So, the Congress, the Senate, and media keep misinforming America. Then they wonder why some of our children act crazy or even resort to mass murder. Our children get crazy from the news. America spins around like squirrels in a cage, listening to uncertainty, anger, to hate.

The hate radio in Chicago is at an incredible pitch. WIND and ABC radio Hannity. Medved, Cummings, Limbaugh, in elevated smear style. Like Medved talking about many in the Nazi army where Gay. Is the message for our Army today? My view is a serious one when it concerns Fox News since a huge percentage is owns by the Arabs, the emirates of Dubai. I cannot believe anything that is broadcast from Fox News in reference to the Middle East. Especially the Benghazi stuff, I always thought the Marines protected our American diplomats with a chain of command that is pretty thick even before it gets to the State Department or Clinton.

delster's picture
delster 1 year 37 weeks ago
#27

All this information is so dis- heartening. I feared something like this would happen. In response to "nothing is permanent " I believe if it isn't nailed down and signed in blood by the sold out dems and repubes permanent is the result. Injustice, prejudice, and corruption can only be defeated when every

citizen is informed, has the moral and intellectual capacity to understand the information, and is willing to participate in activism even to the point of martyrdom or at least discomfort. This does not require hippies but does not exclude hippies, nor does it exclude large and small business owners, community leaders, Democrates or Republicans, conservatives or liberals. Not all liberals are Democrats. There are a considerable number of liberal Republicans. I know and am related to many very Liberal Republicans with excellent moral conscience. Lets real them in and embrace all patriots so Republicans no longer feel shame for being Liberal. Lets rally the patriots by conscience not by affiliation and lets get it all together for the good of US citizens. We will never defeat the problems of this nation with such an advanced moral disease among our elected officials. Labels in this society are decieving and are being used against our common welfare. It's time we trash the labels and get down to business of raising up the hopes, dreams and ambitions of the people. Not many chose to be lay abouts or under achievers, It is the option provided for survival. We can do better, but we have to invest in their education, aleviate their economic oppression, and instill self esteem. We cannot become the huddled masses of depression and shame.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 37 weeks ago
#28

But nothing has changed if you do work very hard you will always be successful and may become rich. Some people in some parts of the world don't get the same great freedoms.

It just seems to me if you put your energy into making the money your self instead of finding a way how to take someone else's wouldn't you be better off?

Estate tax. Taxing dead people come on how low can you get.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 37 weeks ago
#29

Come on Alice. I just signed the account. You have to create an account and give them your email and then click on a link in your email. Then go back to the tab of the original link and sign in with your new account then hit sign the petition. It's fun. Don't give up!

Michael L Farrey's picture
Michael L Farrey 1 year 37 weeks ago
#30

Are you fed up with the Republicans in congress blackmailing Americans to get sweetheart deals for their rich backers?

Help take away one more tool that they use to harm America.

Sign this petition and share it everywhere to tell Congress that the President has the right to use executive order to pay raise the debt ceiling to the amount they have already allocated.

STOP THIS INSANITY! FIGHT BACK EVERY WAY WE CAN!

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-president-use-executive-order-raise-debt-ceiling-every-year/rqnS5kbK

Michael L Farrey's picture
Michael L Farrey 1 year 37 weeks ago
#31

Here is a link to mine, similar

i signed yours I'm 117.

Are you fed up with the Republicans in congress blackmailing Americans to get sweetheart deals for their rich backers? Help take away one more tool that they use to harm America. Sign this petition and share it everywhere to tell Congress that the President has the right to use executive order to pay raise the debt ceiling to the amount they have already allocated. STOP THIS INSANITY! FIGHT BACK EVERY WAY WE CAN!

ALLOW THE PRESIDENT TO USE EXECUTIVE ORDER TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING EVERY YEAR.

ALLOW ANY PRESIDENT TO USE EXECUTIVE ORDER TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING TO WHATEVER THE AMOUNT IS THAT CONGRESS HAS ALREADY APPROPRIATED EVERY YEAR

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-president-use-executive-order-raise-debt-ceiling-every-year/rqnS5kbK

http://wh.gov/QM7s

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 37 weeks ago
#32

You got it Mike,. I'm 110 with the first petition and with your's 23. Come on everyone else, "Make it so!"

cwendt64's picture
cwendt64 1 year 37 weeks ago
#33

I signed my name to https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/assert-section-4-14th-amendment-upcoming-debt-limit-crisis/dBrzgPwQ

your turn...

Thanks GrundyGreen

Kay Merkel Boruff's picture
Kay Merkel Boruff 1 year 37 weeks ago
#34

Thom, I have lots of billionaire friends who do good with their money. Move to France and see how that works out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 37 weeks ago
#35

My ancestors are from France. Just what is that supposed to mean, if I might ask?

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 37 weeks ago
#36

I am so sick of the hypocrites in the Democrat Party and the Republican Party. I am not talking about the politicians; I am speaking of people I know personally. The Capital Gains tax was scheduled to go back to 39.5% from the existing level of 15%. Your President and the Democrats in Congress settled for a 5% increase to 20% and the Republicans call this a tax hike! The Republicans and the Democrats in the middle class will see an increase in their payroll taxes if you make more than $50K. a year or if your married and make that amount as a combined income. What couple in the middle class makes less than $50K a year? Most of the educated young people I know make $50K a year per person in their household. So whether you’re a Dem. or a Repub. your taxes are going up and the wealthy made out like bandits robbing a train. The tax rates will stay at this level for a long, long time. But the real losers are the poor and senior citizens. They will see their help from social programs fade away. From what I understand, and I could easily be wrong, Sequestration is not over. Social programs can still come under the ax of the Republicans and the Democrats just gave away the only bargaining chip they had, taxes on the wealthy Americans. And still no one is even talking about cutting the largest welfare program we have, the Defense Department. I watch PBS news because they seem to show both sides to the coin, the way news programs use to be required to do. But that law or requirement ended a few years back leaving us with Fox and MSNBC who are both so slanted it is surprising they can stand up while broadcasting, the only time you know they are lying is when the newsperson's (ha,newspersons!) lips are moving. They (PBS) reported that only about .7% of the population making $450K. a year will be affected. And this new deal does very little to help the growing national debt! The real losers are the people on the right and left who will see an increase in their next paycheck and the poor. Yet people on both sides think they won something, when actually Washington screwed them again and nobody felt a thing. Just my comments from a simple Independent. I am just glad I did not vote for either side in Nov., my hands are clean....

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 37 weeks ago
#37

If I were a Billionaire a 75% tax rate would be cheap. Stop being so selfish. The French are far more sophisticated then Americans. If I had my way Billionaires would pay at least 91%.

That would still afford a standard of living far beyond anything even a upper middle class American could ever hope to achieve. It would even afford a standard higher than a Millionaire.
Ma'am you're talking about justifying an income that is opulent and grotesque! Don't you realize that there are human beings right now starving and freezing to death in the street. There are children going to bed hungry across the country right now. In low income areas people are killing each other over what your friends would consider spare change. How do you live with yourself?
What good do your 'friends' do? Do they toss crumbs to dogs? What good could they possibly be doing? They are simply profiting off of the misery of their fellow citizens. Shame on you and shame on them! They aren't even contributing their fair share for the commons and resources that made them rich.
In French history it was the Bourgeois like your friends that inevitably met the fate of the guillotine. Don't forget, history tends to repeat itself!

France RULES!!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 37 weeks ago
#38

I look at it this way.....I figure I must pay close to 50% of my total income in some sort of tax or fee. I don't complain and spin webs to avoid paying these taxes, like the Koch Bros., instead I simply remind myself just exactly what it is I'm helping to pay for. I look around and see bus loads of happy kids going to school. I look around and see neighbors with mental and physical problems that any of us could end up with. I see the Highway Department plowing my road and realize it's one of my neighbors in that truck earning a living and raising a family.

I'm aware of the existence locally of the Code Enforcement Dept., Dept of Motor Vehicles, Office For The Aging, Planning and Community Development, Temporary Assistance, Veteran's Service Agency ,Work Force Development & Youth Bureau, Environmental Health Services, Highway Department, Weatherization, Mental Health Department, Sherriff's Department, Public Health Department, Weights and Measures, Child Support Collection Unit, Personal Care Aid Department, Real Property Tax Services, Recycling Department, the local Fire Department, the Public School System.......the list goes on! It all adds up to a collective and beautiful humanity.... while the Billionaires Tea Party stands in total contrast, an ugly antithesis of this very American way.

If I can afford to pay this tax rate, then most certainly the Koch's and all of their billionaire pals sure as hell can........ the 20% tax rate on a lazy rich man's income is both offensive and immoral.

By the way, the same 50% tax rate I pay gets the citizens of European Countries with Democratic Socialism a much bigger bang for their buck....just saying!

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 37 weeks ago
#39

If success means doing well is living in a 600 sq/ft apartment with no car then your right France rules. I have been there many times nice place to visit......

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 37 weeks ago
#40

Kay don't you know the government is much better at choosing what should be done with your money. That's why they have a 70% tax in France.

OK but the south of France is a beautiful place to visit.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 37 weeks ago
#41

That's really so LAME! You shills gotta do better than that, you really think you're fooling somebody? Your dispatcher must groan and grimace when he or she hands you the $20.

Okay, I'll play along.

No Kend, it's not theft when somebody expects to be compensated for the hard work they do making YOU rich. If you don't give them a fair percentage of the profits YOU are guilty of theft.

Estate tax is not taxing dead people, Kend (you really need to work on these, try saying it's outrageous 'cause it's taxing inanimate objects - 'cause all money is, right?) it's taxing the heir, their unearned income. The dead are dead, they have been ultimately separated from their money already. Everybody is eventually.

"Freedom" is a very manipulated term, especially when somebody has an agenda. The freedom of your fist ends where my jaw begins, and vice versa. Your freedom cannot be at the expense of someone else's as you are not more deserving of it than anyone else. Your freedom cannot be at the cost of someone else's relative enslavement - which it is if you don't justly compensate your help.

nora's picture
nora 1 year 37 weeks ago
#42

Fiscal cliff cartoon: Obama and legislators arelooking over the Fiscal Cliff at the old and sick and poor people holding on to the ropes dangling over the precipice. Obama and the legislators have big knives with which they are cutting the ropes, and they are saying to the dangling people, "Don't worry. These cuts are going to be a big help!"

This is a sad day. All the P.R. SPIN from the Dems and Reps is just plain SADISTIC.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 1 year 37 weeks ago
#43

KAY MERKLE BORUFF Please share with us their generosity. I am no billionare, nor am I a millionare, in fact I make way less than 6 figures a year. I lived in France, as well as Germany; each for a little more than 2 years, and then Austrailia for 3years...ALL wonderful places to live healthy and happy lives. I have a cousin who has lived in Finland for 7 years now and a friend who moved to Denmark back in 2005 after 15 years in the U.S. Army. Australia was my very favorite, mainly because my brother and sister - who are dual citizens - live there and have for the past 38 years. New places are always better when you have at least one person to introduce you to the locals and their culture. I must say all three countries taught me alot about societies that are socialley organized as a collective and opporate quite successfully as a Social Democracy; the pros and cons...I found the pros far out weighed the cons. Americans and the U.S. government could certainly learn a thing or two from these countries when it comes to healthcare, and education.
I left Austrailia in 2007 and returned back to the states so that my now wife could be closer to her then 76 year old father. We have plans to move back to Austrailia once he passes away, which won't be too much longer since we as a family can no longer afford the treatment and medicines that he needs. I wanted him to apply for dual citizenship and take him to Austrailia where he could receive the treatment and meds he needs for less than 1/2 of what it cost here, but he's too proud and bigoted to go.

I hope and pray that my generation and future generations will be able to organize and apply more humain social policies than those that have divided this country into a culture that believes only the rich count while the middle class - the largest population - are merely pawns for the war machine.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 1 year 37 weeks ago
#44

We need anpther Amendment to the Constitution.

"No appropriation by Congress is vadid law until the taxes are raised to complete payment therefore."

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 1 year 37 weeks ago
#45

Obviously KEND your idea of success is very American; limited and merely about how much stuff and crap you can gain.

I have several friends that meet your superficial idea of success; BIG house, fancy cars, lots of stuff and crap. None of them are happy because of what they possess or how much space they have. They will tell you their success is do to happy and healthy employees; along with being community active and reaching out to help those less fortunate.
They will also tell you that the upper 2% - which they fit into very well - can afford to pay higher taxes and still be very wealthy, successful, and happy.

The difference between you and them is clear...You - along with all neocons, and republicrates - buy into the hype, they don't.

During my 7 years of living abroad, I discovered just how much stronger familey and community values are compared to here in the U.S.
Sure middle class people in France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Austrailia, etc. may not live a life of superficial luxury but thay are in more ways happier.
Take my brother and sister for instance; they are dual citizens - born in the U.S. but have lived in Australia for 38 years (since they were 4 and 7 years old). Both of them have traveled and lived in many other countries as adults. They both have good paying jobs and live quite comfotablely, (though you may disagree because they don't have alot of stuff and crap).
When I was living in Austrailia I asked both my Brother and Sister why they have never moved back to the states; their reply was that the U.S. is to expensive, all Americans do is work work work...Americans do not live life...Americans work their lives away...And when Americans get sick they suffer unless they can affoard to have health Insurance...They went on to discuss how poor the American Education system is and how people who live in countries that pay for ones education are more likely to be successful in obtaining a degree or apprenticeship.

There are 6+ billion people in the world...The U.S. population is only just over 300 million. If the American Dream is still in tact then why are more people not clammering to come here. Sure lots of people do come here under the guise of what once was a country where a person could work hard and have a better life than where they came from...But that is no longer.
Many countries have surpassed the U.S. in areas of: Medicine, Education, Technology, Energy, Engineering, Social Services, etc.
The U.S. however does lead the world in Military Power, Obesity, Highschool Drop Outs, Heart Disease, Suicide, Gun Violence, Homicide, and Prison Population.
The United States of America is no longer the greatest country. Today more Americans fail than prosper...And that ain't do to lack of effort!

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2 1 year 37 weeks ago
#46

Once again our politicians kicked the can further down the road and did not really solve the problem. A one trillion dollar a year deficit and how much of it did they close? Not much.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 37 weeks ago
#47

All I am saying is all I want to do is work work work shouldn't I have the right to do that with out someone taking 70% of my money? I believe poeple have the right to be unequal. Don't you?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 37 weeks ago
#48

I love America as much as anyone. However, it breaks my heart to see people gathered together under freeways living in cardboard boxes, children preferring to scribble misspelled graffiti on public walls than attending public schools and playing in public parks, and our cherished senior population feeding out of garbage cans and moving in with their children.

How bad is it going to get before the 'affluent' realize that there is more to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than fashion, luxury, and the pursuit of wealth. Can a Billionaire truly by happy if then have to have more than they need to live in luxury? How much more than a billion dollars does one need to be happy?

I respectfully submit that if you need more than a billion dollars to be happy what you really should be pursuing is the counsel of a psychiatrist and a preacher.

"Give unto Caesar that which is Caesars and give unto God that which is Gods."

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 1 year 37 weeks ago
#49

You funny KEND...work all you want, but you completely dismissed what I was pointing out...
No one is taking 70% without giving back in return; Universal Healthcare system, Better Education system, Roads, Bridges, better Energy Policy, in general an Improved way of life.
This country was "suposedly" founded on the EQUAL Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There ain't noth'n equal about unregulated capitalism; it creates and allowes for unethical business practice. Why do you think we are in the mess we are in!?

I'm not against a person working to improve their situation...Thats what the U.S. "use" to be about, However their were regulations and a better playing feild; one that strenghtened the working middle class...The largest population of consummers.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 1 year 37 weeks ago
#50

Amen to that brother!

GOP Blocks Equal Pay...again.

Just in time for election season, Senate Republicans blocked legislation aimed at closing the gender pay gap. For the third time since 2012, Republicans refused to allow debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and reminded women that the GOP doesn't believe in equal pay for equal work.

From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy