Thursday was the first day of the 113th Congress

In the House, John Boehner was narrowly elected to his second term as Speaker – surviving a revolt by a handful of Tea Party Republicans. But the action is in the Senate, where the battle for filibuster reform is heating up. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the Senate into session yesterday, then immediately recessed it until later this month, keeping alive the option to reform the filibuster in a few weeks with a simple majority vote. That gives time for Senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall to whip up support for their plan to bring back the talking filibuster, which will force Senators to actually stand on the floor and talk the entire time they wish to filibuster.

Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan Senators led by John McCain are trying to kill filibuster reform, with a watered down version that will actually make the problem even worse. That’s because Republicans know there filibustering over the last few years has meant big money for their corporate donors. As the Public Campaign Action Fund found, huge money from corporate America, including Big Oil and Wall Street, is fueling the filibusters to make sure their tax rates stay low, their subsidies keep flowing, and that regulations are kept to a minimum. In other words, the filibuster is very profitable for Corporate America, which is why Republicans are desperately trying to keep it.

But if Democrats want any chance at taking back the House of Representatives in two years, then its critical they take up the Merkley-Udall plan, and reform the filibuster to finally get some good, progressive legislation passed out of the upper chamber. Stay tuned.


susyc56's picture
susyc56 10 years 21 weeks ago

Where is the link to the petition regarding the 14th amendment?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 10 years 21 weeks ago

You have a "there" instead of a "their".

mathboy's picture
mathboy 10 years 21 weeks ago

I still think John Boehner should be nick-named The Crying Shame.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

The "American Taxpayer Relief Act" - effectively written by Mitch McConnell because of the filibuster and 60% super-majority rule - gave our oligarchs a top marginal estate tax rate of 40% ( it should be at least 90% which would eliminate the national debt in one generation ), set the top marginal capital gains rate at 20% ( it should be at least 70% ), and raised payroll taxes on the working poor who produced most of the $20 trillion in wealth that the richest 1% now own.

Those low marginal rates guarantee that the flow of wealth from the working majority to the predatory 1% that began in the 1980's with Reagan's flatter, "fairer" tax rates will not be reversed, but will continue indefinitely. If this doesn't convince Americans that we need a talking filibuster, a 51% majority vote in the Senate, and public financing of lawmakers' campaigns and retirements, nothing will.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 21 weeks ago

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is the biggest joke yet to come out of Washington. America is so doomed if those clowns don't get it together and quit relying on the working stiffs to pay the bills. Just for starters? Cap Gain tax is only going to go to 20% and thats only for those now in the 39.6% bracket. Come on folks, how many people do you know that make 400k a year? Me? I see 500 tax returns a year and i might see 5 with that kind of income all of which typically gets written down in expense, sch C or E or deducted away. But? I've sure seen plenty in the 150-250, maybe even 300k. Of which when they get to bottom line because the way the stupid code is written, i see a huge disparity when w-2 earners pay 50-75% more tax then Cap gain earners. there is seriously something wrong with our country and the boobs in Washington. I am so disgusted. Another year that me and my ilk will be pciking up the tab for our societies true slags!!!! dam i think i need to go back to driving a truck at least then i won't see what i see and forget what i have come to know!!! ARGH!

CharlesN 10 years 21 weeks ago

I think it's fair to conclude that the President was able to bring about a deal over fiscal hyperbole because citizen activism did not conclude with their vote.

Such is the case regarding Merkley/Udall or returning the talking fillibuster.

Folks can yack here and elswhere but I hope that you will take a moment and call Senator Reid and your state's Senators as well. Reform of the filibuster rqr's citizen participation. Fix the filibuster; then Senate branch of federal governance can return to functioning in a manner that "...promotes the gerneral welfare..." not the welfare of 1%, the uber class. Do not allow the obstructionist maneuvering of the political wing of that class, the socalled Republican Party to continue.

Wendalore's picture
Wendalore 10 years 21 weeks ago

I think filibustering is a bad idea no matter whom it benefits. OK, if it was invented to protect small interests from getting crushed, there needs to be a different way to do that that is not so abusable. And ridiculous!! Imagine, coming from another place/ planet, country, whatever and finding out that perfectly reasonable, possibly beneifical bills can be avoided by senate members that don't like them just by talking and talking until the allotted time runs out. Isn't that just the silliest thing you ever heard? No discussion, no debate, no improved understanding, just blah blah blah blah blah. Reminiscent of a drunken uncle at a famiy party. (please forgive me if I have misunderstood some part of this.)

akunard's picture
akunard 10 years 21 weeks ago


Great plan to destroy farms and small business in less than one generation.. You need to visit Odessa to see how your plan works. 3 generations living in 1 small apartment, but full employment. 3 month wait to go to a U.S 1950's hospital.

Old Blue 10 years 21 weeks ago

The entire notion of a fillibuster is ludicrous. The idea of some moron, standing up for thirty six hours running, babbling on incoherently, just doesn't make much sense to me. And this the "preferred" solution? Why, after two hundred years, can't we have come up with a better method to protect the rights of the minority party. Maybe the answer is that we really don't care. It's all posturing. Dum Dum Gobbie Gobbie ....

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 21 weeks ago

Isn't that just the silliest thing you ever heard? No discussion, no debate, no improved understanding, just blah blah blah blah blah. Reminiscent of a drunken uncle at a famiy party. (please forgive me if I have misunderstood some part of this.)

Oh Wendalore you crack me up!

Unfortunately, I must admit that I'm probably that drunken uncle you're talking about at most of my family parties. However, I do believe that even my most blusterous, incoherent, drunken rant is more progressive and logical than anything I've heard recently coming out of the Right. It seems that their positions are scripted and echos of Reaganomics policies of 30 years ago. They are so out of touch and so used to lying to the American people that they can't speak unscripted for 3 minutes without sticking their foots in their mouths.

I can't wait to see them try to filibuster anything. They should record the efforts and sell them to generate revenue for the deficit. They could call them "Republican Buster Bloopers"!!

Their sales proceeds alone might balance the budget.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 21 weeks ago

I'm puzzled by the part of Ms. Hartmann's report that mentions "bringing back" the "talking" filibuster, as if this were a good thing. I thought the "talking" kind of filibuster was all that existed. Could someone please enlighten me to what the other kind is?

If I had my way (Yeah dream on!), there would be NO filibuster at all. It is a stupid, obstructive political game that invites abuse, used almost exclusively by those up to no good it seems.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

Welcome to the Fecal Abyss at the bottom of the Fiscal Cliff. We're all stuck in it now!

By the way, I saw the new movie "Promise Land" with Matt Damon. I thought it was a very good movie with a very important message. I hope anyone else, seeing this movie, picks up on it...I won't give too much away here because the ending has a bit of a surprise twist. Pay close attention to what John Krasinski, actor playing the environmentalist, says to Matt Damon, the actor playing the Global salesman, just before leaving town. It depicts the way these rich and powerful people, like Global, play the game and how much that sounds like how our political system works for the rich and powerful. We're all just like those poor people in town and we're all being played by the rich and powerful. We have no real's rigged against us so that no matter who we vote for....they will always rig it so that they always get just what they wanted in the first place. It's all a game of smoke and mirrors and delusions created by the rich and powerful. And you thought voting for Obama again was going to change things? He's part of the game...all the Presidents have been part of the game and the people always fall for it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 21 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: I may be wrong but my understanding is there has been abuse of what's called a silent filibuster since the 70's, but not used too much until Obama got in office. A single Senator can hold up any legislation without explanation or continuous speaking. As you most likely already know, the filibuster has been used by the Republicans close to 400 times the last several years simply as a weapon of mass obstruction, in other words the goal was to "make Obama a one term President."

The new rules will ban this abuse and give the Senate a chance to debate new legislation. The continuous speaking, "talking," requirement will also be back in place. So it looks like one Senator would no longer be able to secretly hold up new legislation and Turtleman won't be able to demand 60 votes on everything progressive and beneficial to the vast majority of us....... things like job creation. Thom's right, the new rules would help to.... "get some good progressive legislation passed out of the upper chamber."

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks "10K". I sure hope the new rules get passed. It's infuriating, how one senator could have enough power to obstruct legislation without so much as an explanation!! Our political process has been so corrupted by these neo-con fascists, I can hardly stand it.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago


What you, PALINDROMEDARY, have pointed out, is a perfect example of why I personally was not worried - unlike all those who cast fear votes - as to who (Obama or Romney) became president. Be it President Robama or President Obamney, it was going to be politics as usual.
So far in my life time - I'm 41 - there hasn't been a President that has represented the voice of the People; they have all been puppets for the Corporate Machine.
Now don't get me wrong, I do understand, and will agree to a point with those who cast a fear vote - ALICEINWONDERLAND - more so "against" Romney than "for" Obama; even though neither are truely represent the People. Romney's agenda - along with wonderboy Paul "Ayn Rand" Ryan - was just a wee bit more scary, however both Obama and Romney are Corporate Puppets tap dancing for the Machine; which is why I laugh (sadly) at how upset everyone is that Obama isn't hitting back.

Just for the record I did not vote for either Obama or Romney. I cast my vote based on what I value...Justice. Not todays corrupt two teared system, but True Justice; which means to right a wrong...Justice that recognizes the "ends" do not justify any "means" that disfranchise any person or persons. It is our only way out of the mucky mucky.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago


Your concerns about farms and small businesses are nonsensical if you consider the details of my plan as I presented them in previous posts; - an example appears below ( with a relevant addition in the last paragraph ):

Obama and Congress just made a big mistake. A "permanent" top marginal estate tax rate of 40% is wrong now, a "temporary" rate below 55% was wrong in 2001, and lowering the rate below 77% was wrong when Reagan did it in the 1980's. Why? - because low marginal estate tax rates, in combination with low marginal capital gains rates ( the top rate should be at least 70%), let the richest 1% acquire a net worth of 20 trillion dollars; - most of it just "redistributed" from the rest of us because Reagan's flatter, "fairer" tax rates did not increase the inflation adjusted rate of GDP growth.

Fortunately, there is a simple remedy; - No taxes on estates up to 10 million dollars ( which includes farms and small businesses ), rising from there in geometrical progression to a 90% marginal rate over 50 million ( the pre-Reagan rate was 77% over 10 million ). This marginal rate increase would reduce the power of our oligarchs, and raise enough revenue in a generation to eliminate the national debt.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 21 weeks ago

For once I agree with the Liberals. Filibusters are childish waste of time.

JohnGutta when you say capital gains does that include retirement investments and personal residents down there?

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 21 weeks ago

Never understood this filibuster thing, now I find out they just play music or do nothing in this period called filibuster time. If that’s what they call representation it doesn’t matter about going over the fiscal cliff. Anyway that fiscal cliff stuff was pure political theater. I did a rough view at the Tax relief act of 2012. It’s pretty obvious America got punked. It took some time to put that tax stuff together, they just did not whip that up and toss it out.

Then Mr. Hartmann makes the claim that corporate money is channeled around through or to various politicians. I believe it.

“As the Public Campaign Action Fund found, huge money from corporate America, including Big Oil and Wall Street, is fueling the filibusters to make sure their tax rates stay low, their subsidies keep flowing, and that regulations are kept to a minimum.”

Actually, knowing Mr. Hartmann is a detective, and me wanting to be one chuckle, chuckle, it seems plausible that America has in your face corruption headed by John Mc Cane. The Senate knows it’s going on yet take no action to clean it up.

What really jumped out at me was nothing in the mainstream media about Tom Delay getting jail time. A lot on the web but nothing on cable was very curious. I wonder if what he did was similar to what Blagojevich did.

That corruption is chaos that is confounding yet those in that political circle casually look the other way as if it does not exist. Sort of like watching Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair, probably didn’t realize that he is the punk now and shot himself and the party in the head. That skit defined our Republican friends. An empty filibuster hall, with empty chairs, nobody talking to nobody about the who, what, why, or where of an important America issue. America should have a shake down to see if Mc Cane has a huge money pit buried in his back yard. Or, how about an ultra sound probe in the back yard of all those politicians! Chuckle chuckle.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

Full o' Bluster (filibuster) signifying nothing! I wonder if C'span will be going on holiday during this filibuster too. Those with insomnia can just turn to the Cspan channel and fall right to sleep. But I doubt counting politicians will help...verses counting sheep...politicians..sheep...what a notion! Maybe the politicians can play reruns of Mr. Roger's Neighhood. "♫Oh,won't you be my neighbor?♫"

No Fraud: Yes, I agree with you on all counts and I've seen a few more Presidents in my lifetime...although I wasn't much cognizant of the first few during my earlier years...too busy getting my head pumped full of "Duck and Cover" cartoons and drinking strontium-90 laced milk...I guess. Remember the Duck and Cover cartoon put out by Disney as a propaganda tool telling us that lots of nuclear testing was necessary for our protection against all those devious Ruskies and that an all out nuclear war was survivable all you had to do was "Duck and Cover"?

I wonder if that also holds true for the all-out economic war being waged against us from the modern day Ayn Rand Capitalist devious Reds of today? "♫Duck... and you...and you...and you.♫ Cute jingle anyway.

susyc56's picture
susyc56 10 years 21 weeks ago

Thank you!! Posting it on my FB!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Palindromedary - Duck and Cover! Talk about giving away your age! Ha! That means you’re at least old enough to remember getting under your desk in elementary school for the duck and cover drills of the fifties. That means you probably have seen that movie about a young senator, Jimmy Stewart, using the talking filibuster to keep a bill alive while the "bad guys", waited for him to stop talking and he eventually began to physically exhaust himself. Then like in all those old movies multiple bags of mail poured into the Senate floor in favor of his Bill to help the citizenry. Unfortunately that was just a movie from the late forties. I am only sixty so no I did not see the movie when it first came out and I doubt you did either. I first remember seeing it on Sat. afternoon movies on T.V. and than on Turner Classic Movies. But, more to the subject you are right we do not have a chance in hell of getting our voices heard or even considered by anyone in Washington. Talking filibuster is a good idea, but who out there really believes it makes a difference? With the House still firmly in the control of the Republinuts nothing is going to be passed to help those of us in the working middle class in America. It is nice to dream about, but the real voices that are heard by the Senators, Congressman and Woman and President are those with big wallets to pay them off in campaign contributions. Obama is a friggin joke and a LIAR. I voted for him the first time in hopes he actually was a true representative of the people who would really make this country great and I am not talking about those blood suckers who get wealthy off the sweat and labor of the working class. Everything he said he would do, he has not done. Everything he said he would not do, he has done. So for once I think everyone who has comments on this Blog feels about the same concerning how this President and Congress has screwed the working class and given tax relief to the wealthiest in this country. And believe me it takes all my restraint not to call them what I would like tool. The bastards that have sucked the life out of this country for their own accumulation of wealth off our sweat. And any of you foolish enough to make remarks like the wealthy make the jobs, have your head so far up you intestinal track you’re a joke! Most of the jobs that are being created are in the service sector, low paying service jobs! The wealthy billionaires and multi-millionaires must have been pissed when the realized they could have saved their Millions they spent to buy the 2012 election after getting their tax break from Obama for free!! If anyone out there has any belief that America is a democratic country and the elected politicians represent the people at large that actually voted for them, I have some nice beach front property for sale in Arizona...P.S. Palindromedary; I think I have a pretty good idea on your gender, age and the approximate place of residence. The reason I mention this. is that you stated no one could guess your personal info!

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago


Assuming that "and personal residents down there" was a typing error, I believe the answer to your intended question is contained in the following excerpt from another of my previous posts:

Increasing the top ordinary income tax rate by only 3.5% to 39.5% on marginal income over 250K ( Obama's original proposal ) would generate about $70 billion a year; but letting it rise from there to 70% over 400K ( the pre-Reagan top marginal rate ) would generate about $700 billion a year.

 And applying this 70% marginal rate to any combination of all forms of income over 400K ( including stock grants, options, dividends and capital gains ) would generate hundreds of billions a year more.
 The result would be a budget surplus.

P.S. On the low end of the rate structure, I believe that we should eliminate both income and payroll taxes for the first 40K of household income, and eliminate taxes on corporate profits ( excluding personal pass-through profits) in exchange for a federally mandated living minimum wage for all working adults - subsidized by the government if necessary. The reason follows:

“ A man must always live by his work, and his wages must be at least sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more; otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family.” - from the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, the founding father of Capitalism

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Johngutta - It is great to debate what might be a good solution to the tax problem and tax revenues we needed to create to help our country. But in fact, that ball game is over. The President, Senate and House have already decided to give it all away to the wealthiest Americans. The only thing left to debate is the part of Sequestration that they all kicked down the road until Feb. At that time they will decide how much to screw the poor and middle class out of, when they decide which programs to destroy. I noticed the Farm Bill for the Corporations got passed! So if you’re retired or rely on any social program you will just have to sit back and wait to see where you stand in Feb... The president gave away the only bargaining chip he had over the Republinuts, taxation of the Wealthiest Americans. He is sitting his ass in Hawaii and enjoying his vacation, on the tax payer’s funds. Nice to have your own 747 jumbo jet to Wisk you away for your vacations. I bet most CEO's wish they had that toy free of charge. I did not vote for him and I truly wish he could be impeached over some of the B.S. he has pulled off from the White House.'s picture 10 years 21 weeks ago

Let's keep the seat being vacated by John Kerry! Let's get Rachel to run! Like this page, then share it on your newsfeed and ask your friends to do the same!

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware,

Lawmakers from both parties usually decide in favor of the wealthy for two reasons; - the first is massive contributions by wealthy 'special interests' to lawmakers' campaigns, and the second is their promise of 'retirement' jobs paying millions a year in return for lawmakers' votes.

There is only one solution; - entirely public financing of lawmakers' campaigns, and mandatory retirements for life on generous government pensions. The cost to the average taxpayer would be about ten dollars a year, but the majority of us are too penny-wise and pound-foolish to pay it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware: I'm only 23 and live in Semipalatinsk and I watch a lot of old movies in the old movie house on Comrade Square. The Duck and Cover and Jimmy Stewart movies are very popular there. Hey, this is the internet, we can be any one we want. ;-} And I certainly agree with you about all you just said. Keep up the good fight for our freedoms..we don't have many in Semipalatinsk. But I figure if you guys can manage with your government it might set a good example for this one. ;-}

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware: "P.S. Palindromedary; I think I have a pretty good idea on your gender, age and the approximate place of residence. The reason I mention this. is that you stated no one could guess your personal info!"

I believe what I had stated was that many of us say too much that can give away our identities and that we probably all should be more reticent in what we say on-line...and that definitely included me. And that there are a lot of nuts out there that could prove to be dangerous...some have no problem identifying people and their location especially if they, or someone they know, has a degree in computer science, perhaps. But it really doesn't take a degree in anything for some of these people to hack into someone's computer or the server that holds identifying information at some blog like this one. I don't know how secure this web site is...I've never tested it nor do I ever intend to risk my butt in trying to do so. But, I have a general idea of how it's done.

I sure don't think I have ever said that I was invulnerable; and, I indicated that I felt vulnerable knowing how easy it is with the right tools and a willingness, on the part of some people, to risk doing something illegal.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Johngutta - I agree with your analogy on the idea of public funding. My point was that the politicians in Washington have already dealt with the tax problems we have and it would be difficult for it to be changed. And it does not take a rocket scientist to know who calls the shots in Washington and that is the wealthy and super wealthy Americans. I would get into this a little deeper, but I just got up to get a glass of water and noticed my computer was still on. So I commented back, and I am too tired to type anymore! Have a good Sunday! I need some sleep now!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Palindromedary - I was trying to be friendly in a non-aggressive manner. I am not a computer hacker nor am I trying to do something illegal. I mentioned where I live and you made a comment about the oil refineries located around parts of the South Bay. My comment was made in a joking manner, not trying to put you on the offensive. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. From your comments I assumed the following, and I am not trying to publish where you reside. 1. Your comments sound like a male. Your references sound like you may be retired from a tech career and between 62 and 67 years old. 2. You mentioned the California elections so it sounded like you may be from California. 3. You sounded like you worked in the tech sector of a defense contractor type of company. If that is so it would mean you probably live near the defense industry, probably in N. or S. Calif. 3. Los Angeles and the Bay area up north are where most defense industries are located. If I thought you would get a little upset over my assumptions I would not have mentioned it. It was just a friendly reply to one on your comments you made on the last of Hartmann's blog. Lighten up a little; I am not trying to release any personal data on you! I am not usually up this late, but I left my computer on and it was on Hartmann’s blog. Sorry if I touched a nerve concerning this matter. It sounds like everyone is taking these comments from everyone a little to serious. I thought I was aggressive in past comments, but after reading other comments posted in replies to my comments it sounds like it was contagious!

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware, - Public funding of campaigns and retirements is not an analogy, it is the only solution to the problem of law buying in America, - but the solution is nonsensically opposed by a majority of Americans because it would cost them a few dollars a year.

Which leads to what might be the most important of all self-evident truths: A government of the people and by the people can be no wiser than the majority of the people.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 21 weeks ago

No what I was asking is if I was retired and sold my house that I bought for $100,000 in 2000 and sold it for $200,000 2012 is that concidered "capital gains" it isn't in Canada is it in the US?

My concern is a lot of seniors live on what they make on capital gains, stocks, dividens etc. and they are barely getting by now.

As fair as a "living wage" when I couldn't feed my family on what I made I got a second job.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

johngutta - Golly gee whiz, I am so honored to be in the presence of such a great mind and thinker. I cannot even begin to put into words how blessed we are, the simple Americans that comment here, to receive such enlightenment from such an esteemed and self-important scholastic as yourself. Man, and to think we had the answer to all our fiscal problems right here in the good ole' U.S. of A. and did not realize it. I guess the lazy and penny scrimping sloths that we are just did not have the capacity to understand your wisdom you have been sharing here on this Blog! I cannot believe all the economists and politicians haven't gotten together and adopt everything you have said! I guess that just shows how a whole nation could be so stupid as not to have realized your genius and the simpletons that we are had the answer to our problems all this time. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and opinions on this insolvable fiscal dilemma that has pitted the ignorant Dems and Repubs against each other. With great haste I will copy and e-mail your wisdom and answers to the President, Senate and House and hopefully they will have the insight to recognize your infallible economic plan to solve all or our debts. Thank you from a sincerely humbled heart and next time I will make sure I am addressing your comments with the proper respect. How foolish of me to use the word analogy, when addressing your comments on how to solve America's fiscal crisis and possibly the answer to World's present economic woes. I should have stated your, Economic Theory or your Hypothesis on resolving the fiscal problems facing America. I guess that will teach me to be more accurate when addressing, a person so well versed in economics! Sincerely and Humbly Yours, Ken.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Kend - Gosh, I guess they should go out and get a second job, the way you did to make sure their income is enough to have an income that is equivalent to a living wage to live on. Gee, I really feel sorry for those who were able to invest in stocks, have income from capital gains from investments and dividends from their investments on the stock market. I really feel sorry for those poor souls who were able to purchase investment properties that they are now collecting money from leases. I will have to remind that retiree I see standing in line at the church getting a "free lunch", because their Social Security that the CONservatives want to cut back on is not enough to live on, how lucky she or he really is. After all it is their fault the income of the middle class has been falling for the last 30 years. They should have worked two or three jobs so they could have a higher income from Capital Gains or Investments in stocks and Property they could have purchased with the extra jobs, like you did. I guess they are just part of the, “lazy Americans", down here that Romney would not consider representing if he were President. I am pissed Obama caved into the Republinuts in the House and settled for a lousy 5% increase when it was supposed to go back up to 38.5%! So forgive me for not feeling sorry for those who have to pay a whole 5% more on the millions and billions of dollars the wealthier class down here in the United States make each year. In America there is not a tax on selling your first home that you lived in, only commercial property like houses you lease out for profit or commercial properties. That should make you feel better, right...How many middle class Canadians make more than $400,000 a year? The people who should be upset are the people who make $50,000 a year because they just got a 2% payroll tax increase on their wages. The Republinuts were so concerned about raising taxes, why didn't they make sure the middle class kept their big 2% on their wages. They are hypocrites like that jerk Obama.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

I remember Duck Duck Goose!!! Ho ho!

Talk about promoters of propaganda, PALIDROMEDARY...Disney is the worst. They are to Brain washing as STD's are to unprotected casual sex...Easy to spread!!!

When I was in elementary school we had Tornado drills...same as Duck & Cover. Even as a youngster I thought how stupid such drills are..."Yeah, like my desk is gonna save me when the roof flys off the building!" I got in alot of trouble back then for questioning/challenging authority. ;)

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 21 weeks ago

Did any of you that voted for Obama and supported his Health Insurance Bill, I believe it is called the Affordable Health Care Act, happen to see the L.A. Times article today. If you’re not from Southern Cal you probably missed the front page. Well, it now appears that this Act to make healthcare more affordable has some serious LOOP HOLES. It appears there is a loop hole that will affect small businesses and those who are buying their first healthcare insurance here in California. Here in Cal. the major insurance companies are going to be able to rise or I should say they are petitioning for an increase of between 20% and 32% in the cost of providing health care insurance to these groups. I have to assume Cal. will be a testing ground to increase rates all over the U.S. Right, who would have guessed? Obama admitted there needed to be changes in the initial bill and he would take care of it in his second term. Talk about ego, his must be as high as Mt. Wilson, that is high ground here in So. Cal., it is where many towers are located for TV. and various communications towers. Any way it appears he did not bother to address these problems when he had the House and the Senate. So now those who will get either higher costs for healthcare insurance or pay a yearly tax or penalty are screwed once again by this President. Once again this President and I hate addressing him with that title has either purposely allowed these loop holes to increase the ability of the insurance corporations or it is another of his screw ups. This President I believe has conspired with the Insurance Industry to allow them to increase their revenue, just like the loop holes for the big pharma corporations that handle Medicare Part D. This guy is a frigging Repub in a blue suit. So I guess the Repub's might have seen this coming or they just opposed any bill that would help the poor or the middle class with their healthcare costs. I believe they were not aware of these loop holes or they would have nailed Obama a great deal sooner on this Health Care Act. They just wanted to make sure the Americans that needed healthcare would not get it because it might cost them through their taxes. Now we have a Republican like President and a Republican House and partial Senate that is anti-middleclass.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware: I am not at all upset in any way..I was trying to be funny...hence the little winky/smileys I put after the comments. Man, I'm agreeing with most everything you are saying about Obama and the your comments..right on...keep up the good work! And no, I didn't think you were coming across in any threatening or hostile or aggressive manner nor was I trying to imply that you, in particular, was a computer hacker or knew someone who would do such a thing. Just trying to point out that many(?) other people read these blogs, besides us, and I was referring to the unknown. It's hard to show, via print, what one's true meanings are...and much can easily be misinterpreted. That's why I use winky/smileys sometimes. Wishing you good luck and all the best. :-} that was a non-winky/smiley.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 21 weeks ago

No Fraud: Yes, I know...Disney was one of those people that believed that there was a commie crawling out from underneath every rock. He testified at the HUAC witch (commie) hunt trials and some of the reasons why he believed that one guy was a commie, that had worked for him in the art department, was that he didn't appear to be religious and that he had visited the Moscow Art Museum. *

Disney was thought of by many of the workers to be very demanding and strict and when the Unions came along he was not very happy with them. Calling someone a commie in those days was enough to get a person fired and blacklisted..didn't have to have any proof..just an accusation. Looks like we are well down the road to, perhaps, another HUAC (House UnAmerican Committee)/Joe McCarthy like atmosphere. And in their fight to stamp out free speech on the internet we may all soon be threatened about anything we say on the internet. Problem is that now with NDAA they can pretty much bully us, with the threat of torture and death...just like in the old Soviet Union.

* quote from HUAC transcript:

"SMITH: Can you name any other individuals that were active at the time of the strike that you believe in your opinion are communists?

DISNEY: Well, I feel that there is one artist in my plant that came in there, he came in about 1938, and he sort of stayed in the background, he wasn't too active, but he was the real brains of this, and I believe he is a communist. His name is David Hilberman.

SMITH: How is it spelled?

DISNEY: H-i-l-b-e-r-m-a-n, I believe. I looked into his record and I found that, No. 1, that he had no religion and, No. 2, that he had considerable time at the Moscow Art Theater studying art direction or something. "

Duck and Cover!

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

Now that, KEN, is Funny! ;)
You can't beat kill'en 'em with sarcastic kindness.
Thanks for the humour. :)

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago


This country will never see "true" Universal Healthcare; At least not as long as we continue to have, Corporate Elected Representatives and Insurance Lobbiest in Washington.

The voice of the common people has spoken; unfortunatly no one in "power" has been listening.

I could name a few good men and woman just from this blog that would be capable of doing a better job than any current or past REPUBLICRAT.

President Obamney SUCKS!!!

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

I grew up in a Right Wing Conservative Christian family...By the time I was 14/15 years old I dismissed much of the propaganda I had been spoon fed by most of my family and the Southern interpertations of the Bible.
But it wouldn't be until I took an American History class while attending West Point that I started to discover the truth about our country. The first "real" American History book I read/studied was Howard Zinn's "A Peoples History of the United States", which floored me. The first question I asked after reading the first chapter on Christopher Columbus was; "Why do we glorify and cellebrate such diplorable men?" The answer(s) that I came up with a decade later; "Our American ideology tells us to." and, "We are only taught 'half truths'." Which is exactly why we continue to "stay the course" even though NONE of our solutions ever really truely resolve our issues.
To say this another way; "The ends 'do not' justify 'any and all means'."

Later after I had left the Army as a Consciencious Objector, I took a course in World Religion. There I discovered two things; The first was Buddism - which I later furthered on and claimed as my spiritual philosophical path - and a collective simmilarity to the "Golden Rule" by all conventional practiced religions, some that even date back before Christianity.
Looking back on my studies and travels before, during, and after my 8 years in the military I recognize that all mankind - in general wants - is to survive. And in order to do that, man needs; someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Without those three components we suffer at our own hands as well as at the hands of others.
Practice the Golden Rule...Always.

As far as Disney and other propoganda polluters, and ill minded commities...Every generation has always had its share of scondrals; who come and go under the guise of do gooder patriots; it is that generations responsability to not fall into their propaganda.


Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 21 weeks ago

First of all I never invest in stocks, trust those crooks come on. Anyone who invests in a company that pays its CEO hundreds of millions is a fool. I worked hard to earn those investment properties I could make you sick to your stomach telling you stories about the &@$# I had to clean up. There are a lot of Canadians that make $400,000 a year where I live, the oil business pays well. By the way Alberta Canada needs workers badly. Average wage here is $83,000.00 a year. It is very easy for a trade or a skill to make $100,000.00 plus. It is estamated we will need 150,000 new workers over the next 10 years. FREE health care (wait til they see the taxes they pay) great schools, etc. only a 2 hr flight from California. Fox news had a special on it google "alberta boom" maybe you we see my point a little.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

Ken Ware,

I believe that it is our responsibility as citizens to propose and discuss solutions to national problems, not complain endlessly about their symptoms; - so what, if anything, did you disagree with in my proposed solutions, and Why?

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago


All forms of income, including capital gains and dividends, would be taxed as ordinary income; - but under the graduated rate structure that I proposed the home sale and investments of low income seniors in your examples would be taxed at a lower average rate than they are now.

A fair living wage in America must be an hourly living wage or it would not be fair. No-one in a country as resource and asset rich as ours should have to work more than 40 hours a week to support themselves and their family.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

I agree with you JOHNGUTTA.

I have said for over twenty years that minimum wage needed to be increased by more than just inflation.
In my opinion todays economy demands a national wage of no less than 16.00 per hour; some states like N.Y. or California, where the cost of living is even more, would need to be higher.
People from those states would have to vote to get their own min. wage set.

It is simple economics; what gets me worked up is when large companies like, Wal Mart, Home Depot who make billions of dollars per year say that they can't afford to pay higher wages...sounds like poor buisness practice to me...CEO's, CFO's TAKING 6 and 7 figure salaries just so they can have 2 Benz's, a Bentley, and a Yacht... Meanwhile those who are actually doing the work can barely make ends meet.

I wonder what others on here will say about this. My wife and I are both working middle class people. Combined we gross just over 38k. We make it work, but in no grand way are we contributing consummers beyond basic needs. And if one of us were to become ill or lose our job...We could make it for a couple of months, but after that it would be game over.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

And about 60% of the voting public agrees with both of us; - not only on a living minimum wage, but also ending outsourcing by restoring tariffs on slave wage nations and taxing the ultra-rich to pay down the national debt. The only major impediment to getting all three is a Congress full of bought lawmakers.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

So JOHNGUTTA, do you think that we will soon see a return to a balanced playing field.

I remember hearing Cornelle West state during an interview that if we are to ever have a return to a more fair and balanced economy between the middle class and upper wealthy class we will have to start having average everyday people elected into office...specificly; more teachers, scientist, working class people, and less lawyers and corporate buisnessmen. As well we may need to recognize that unregulated capitalism is the fuel that flames class warfare.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

I don't see any path to a fair America without entirely public financing of lawmakers' campaigns and retirements, that's why I push for it so hard.

Regarding your last sentence: The economic system that we now have is NOT Capitalism. Consider the following arguments made by Adam Smith, the founding father of Capitalism, in his book "Wealth of Nations"; -

For a labor based economy:

" Labor was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased."

Against outsourcing:

" By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he [ a businessman ] intends only his own security; and by directing that [ domestic ] industry in such a manner as its produce may be of greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this led by an invisible hand to promote an end [ the good of his country ] which was no part of his intention. "

" The ultimate object [ of Capitalism ] is to enrich the country by an advantageous balance of trade. It discourages the export of the materials of manufacture 
[ natural resources ], and of the instruments of trade [ machinery and factories ], in order to give our own workmen an advantage. It encourages the importation of the materials of manufacture, in order that our own people may work them up more cheaply, and thereby prevent a greater and more valuable importation of the manufactured commodities." ( the Reaganites have us doing the exact opposite )

For progressive taxation:

" Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. In reality high profits tend much more to raise the price of work than high wages."

"The rate of profit of merchants and manufacturers is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin."

Against corporate control of government:

" Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counselors are always the masters."

“The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order [ merchants and master manufacturers ] ought never to be adopted till carefully examined with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men who have an interest to deceive and oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

Against bought laws:

“ which the clamour of our merchants and manufacturers have extorted from the legislature, for the support of their own absurd and oppressive monopolies: Like the laws of Draco, these laws may be said to be all written in blood."

For a minimum wage that will support a family:

“A man must always live by his work, and his wages must be at least sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more; otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family.”

For economic justice:

" Every man, so long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest in his own way."

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 21 weeks ago

So JOHNGUTTA, is your answer to my question saying that we need to abolish Corporate Personhood, and get corporate money out of politics???If so I think there is a growing support for this.

In response to the last statement by Adam Smith..."Every man, so long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to purchase his own intrest in his own way." Obviously during the time Smith wrote this there wasn't a corrupt "Two Teared Justice System". Today ALL major corporations (and there Captians) violate all kinds of laws, yet are never (or rarely) brought to justice and held accountable.

johngutta's picture
johngutta 10 years 21 weeks ago

My response to your question is contained in #27 above.

Human nature has not changed, that's why most of Adam Smith's ideas are just as relevant today.

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