Recent comments

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   44 min 52 sec ago

    I would be content if we ALL paid the same percentage in federal taxes based on TOTAL income. Period., full stop...

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   1 hour 2 min ago

    Biden will have perhaps the most difficult job of any president before him, cleaning up the near-hopeless mess left by four years of radical Republican fascism, even worse than the widespread disorder after eight years of the Cheney-Bush, economy-busting war regime that Obama had to face.

    But in the relentless barrage of Trumpian lunacy dominating the headlines ad nauseam, let us not fail to keep our eye on the gravest danger facing all of us at this late date, magnitudes worse than any other:

    "When does the greed stop?"

    Billionaires exemplify that one trait all too common in the collective psyche of humanity -- the unfettered greed that is ultimately responsible for virtually all the ills of civilization, and that is on track to kill not only the two hundred thousand-plus in Trump's Un-united States of America by this election day but the potentially hundreds of millions! by the future election days (if any) of our children, grandchildren, and their children.

    According to all the scientific data available to this generation of Homo sapiens, it seems that our very survival, and likely that of most other species clinging desperately to Mother Earth, primarily depends on the evolution of human thought in the aggregate and a deep understanding of why our inner dilemma of selfishness and greed is universally destructive in every possible way -- so that we can end it altogether as a guiding force in society.

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   5 hours 55 min ago

    Thom Hartmann: Back in 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ru7mYEippY, “Giri and Gimu - Where Money REALLY Came From” your explanation about where money came from is IMO most probably true, at least as a concept. I think that if I replace money with tax then what you said appears to be an excellent interpretation of why taxes exist: Tax is imposed on a transaction (between 2 or more members of a society), so that the society as a whole has enough resources to protect and support these transactions (by making sure that the field is level, that infrastructure exists to facilitate the two parties of the transaction fulfill the exchange as smoothly as possible). However, this seems to be just an opinion, which I share fully, but I would like some hard-core proof for it. You know a lot of people, why can't you convince a true economist to listen to you long enough to be convinced and give us the hard core data that support this point of view. (The justification of this opinion with giri and gimmu is a joke for someone who understands these words. Actually, I learned the word giri by example while in Japan, but I had also the advantage that in my mother tongue this word exists. English on the other hand lacks this word. Potlatch is something completely different. Giri is not an obligation and has little to do with exchange of gifts. For example during Christmas a lot of people exchange gifts but they may have or may not have giri. I can not say much about gimmu, because I was not taught it by example (sure is a giri related to parents, but exactly what is another story). And Japanese (at least most of them) consider nijou a nobler form of giri. So, nihou, gimmu giri. All of them translated as “obligation”, “duty” in some ethical or “higher form” sense in English. But, all of them are not translatable in English and other languages (but there should be exceptions (Chinese? Korean? Are my guesses).

    Your todays’ comment seems to imply that tax should be imposed on something that does NOT involve a transaction. I strongly disagree. This is a “legal” way for governments to steal money and property. Is is only a step from charging us for breathing (we already have to pay for water, a place to sleep, a place to pee, and for survival food, which are contrary to the spirit of any society. Of course, nowadays humans have matured enough that only is some places people still die from thirst and lack of food). This “legal way” has been applied for years, and as you rightly write has deteriorated in more suffering for those below the “millionaire” status. On the other hand going back to the “republican” “standard” of taxing annual incomes over few millions with a rate of 95% (individuals, companies) is the right way to go. This means that IRS has the means to check and enforce these rates. Billionaires who do not like this deal should have the option to take their money bin and go wherever they please for ~10 years (to be ostracised), while their assets non-monetary assets within USA territory are frozedn for the same amount of time, in case the come back (with whatever is left of their bin). Despite our decline in democratical values, the deterioration of politics, indifference of voters, indifference in active participation in the “common things” I still believe that USA is one of the top places to live, because (from my experience) most people at least have several of their fundamental rights respected (especially if they are not black or other minority). Where the billionaires may go? Putin’s Russia is doing well and could do with some money bins, especially these days that oil price is down and there is military (expensive as we know from Afghanistan and other “excursions in the neighborhood). Xi’s China, has made a lot of progress towards capitalism, but still has a long way to democratize its communism. And for those who love the everyday excitement, there is Libya, Syria etc. As for Europe, well I wonder how much tax they will be paying there and what their fringe benefits will be. But that’s not my problem.

    ‘Back in 2011……. "I don't want to be a rich man in a poor country."’

    Hmm. I may believe the story if a link with the interview is posted. Although, I will agree with the “conclusion” (Trevor Noah, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtahuPcsNVM, “Thomas Piketty - Why Capitalism Must Be Reformed | The Daily Social Distancing Show”), I think the story is made up. Why a German? Why not a Norwegian? Because they have monarchy? Why not a Swiss then? Switzerland ahs been a democracy for as along as she existed, and the tax evasion rate is lower than that of Germany.

  • The Washington Post Reveals Cracks in Healthcare   11 hours 43 min ago

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  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   11 hours 55 min ago

    Yes, it is true in part rationalized by their campaign to "Starve the Beast," as if their tax cheating is appropriate since all government is bad. THE REAL PROBLEM HERE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE BAD, and that just cannot be denied. The Pollyanna who sings cumbaya, is seen as just as big an idiot in the minds of the poor whites. Therefore, the paradigm against government, is partly true, which is why the poor white dolts vote against their own interests. The real problem here is that the fascists use bits of truth and hammer them into the heads of those who are rightly mad, but just do not know who to turn to, so they listen to their preachers and so-called conservatives, as they see the kind of debauchery that the liberal media brings them daily. They see intellectuals as the tool of Satan, and the may be have a point since Democrats have been complicit, up to now. Let's not forget that Clinton signed lots of deregulation, particularly the Banksters. And although Obama sure looked the part and gave a good speech, he brought back the same banksters who caused the Great Recession. At the top of both parties are just a bunch of lying lawyers who are akin to tag team wrestlers who are two cheeks on the same arse, the America of you and me that gave us this current witches brew.

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   15 hours 6 min ago

    This is my favorite story Thom tells; he always knows true wisdom when he hears it.

    The Libertarians magical thinking, and the Conservative's inability to grasp nuance makes it improbable they will ever understand. They get the hardship when it lands on their doorstep. It is how their brains function, literally. It has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence or education, and that's the mistake many people from the left make.

    Apathy is our true enemy. If you can teach one young person today that politics affects everything they do every day of their life, you will have made progress. By the looks of the of the youth in the streets, we are making progress and history. I hate the sacrifice, but love those young, old, and in-between who want to reclaim our humanity. TAG-YOU'RE IT!

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   16 hours 45 min ago

    People are more agitated because of the pandemic. They don't trust the government's effort. nugenix

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   22 hours 45 min ago

    People with property already pay property tax. This is aimed at people who hold their wealth in other forms who don't currently pay tax on it.

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   1 day 7 hours ago

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  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 7 hours ago

    lYes, the Rich have successfully, cut the legs off the IRS, and their buddies in Congress have manipulated IRS regulations to give them to ability to pay,very low, or no taxes. This has to change. I support what the Pres. Eisenhower admin did, 94% tax on the rich, our economy bloomed and created the middle class.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 8 hours ago

    Hope this isn't being designed against all homeowners, as I've paid off my modest home, live on "Social Security", and get by. Don't need nor can afford more taxes. On homes for the rich, yes? They use All Americans money to flout themselves as better than anyone else and support abuses against everyone. A Flat Tax for those making above say, $500,000 a year, to help other buy modest homes, would certainly help millions in this country.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 8 hours ago

    Thom, You need to research on why property taxes exist and what they actually cover. You also mistakenly assume that the uber rich live in or own only one residence, pay no sales taxes, donate no money, own one vehicle, or employ any outside contractors and services to manage their lavish lifestyle.

    The only idea posted here that makes any sense is a Wall Street transaction tax which could and should be used to pay down our national debt with no other option for it to be allocated elsewhere. Politicians see a new revenue stream and they cannot control themselves. That transaction tax could be a fraction of a penny per share on each share traded and it would bring in billions of needed revenue.

    The idea that makes sense that has never been posted here is a hard look at the reduction in the size of our overall Government and its many redundant departments.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 12 hours ago

    Not only do the wealthy not pay as much in tax. The IRS does not even audit them because the returns are too complicated. Corporations are not audited either. It is simple, you hire a tax attorney or consultant for 100000 and he saves you a million.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 17 hours ago

    Speaking of taxes... wouldn't a tax on securities trades bring in a whole bundle of loot?

    I would think that kind of tax would tap into the largest category of "money" in the world, dozens or hundreds of trillions of dollars are held by speculators. A tax on buying and selling securities might be able to fund the entire U.S. budget, or health care for all, or free schools...

    Stan

  • The blowback over masks is just the latest faux conservative outrage   1 day 19 hours ago

    Ayn Rand would be so proud of the"conservative" mantra that surrounds the wearing of masks today. The "screw everyone else" attitude that has infected so much of the public today is totally consistant with her lifelong belief that society is non-existant, and only belief in the wants of self are important, dispite the fact she died on medi-care and social security.

    So much for "rugged individualism".

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 19 hours ago

    Excellent! Please advise the incoming Biden administration.

  • How Do We Pry the Confederate Monuments Out Of Trump's Tiny Hands?   1 day 20 hours ago

    deepspace: Maybe i am too late for continouing the argument from point #15 (up to now) but ....

    Thanks for bothering with a long answer and the link to Milton Meyers' excerpt.

    I believe in an objective reality, and i think (i could be wrong of course) we mean pretty much the same thing with "objective reality"). Furthermore i concede that my interpretation of this objective reality is subjective, most likely different (to some extent at least) from yours, or anybody else's interpretation, and in this sense i accept your well-meant criticism that my writing supports the case of relativism of interpretations of the same objective reality.

    Although a journalist who did not finish his studies, may be saying the truth and may have excellent ideas, I would like the experts' (a couple of historians for example,with "opposing" point of views") analyses on the "They thought they were free". The fact that Milton Meyer may be jewish does not make his version more objective. The fact that he is American, may insinuate that what he wrote about Germans maybe (at least in part) fictional, because he may be trying to describe USA in an artistically psychological and theatrical way (quite effectve as didactic method). To the extent that this is true, the objective truth of what the Germans (as a people) learned or did not learn from WWII remains in the realm of our (relative) opinions, and possibly (but not necessarily) not close to the realm of objective Truth.

    I am not familiar with the civil war. Where i grew up, it was considered as an antagonism between the industrial north and the agricultural south (or part of it). Abolition of slavery was more of an excuse rather than the cause. In this reading, it was a clash for the future direction of USA: move forward (and rapidly) towards the technological revolution (with all the mixed bag it brings) or delay (i do not think it is avoidable) it by having some states follow the traditional way of things. To the extent that this interpretation is true, some monuments may not symbolize only slavery, but other things as well.

    As a negative counter example. Does the lack of confederate monuments imply respect for black lives, for blacks in general? Presumably in Detroit and most of MI there are no such monuments. Yet the Algiers Motel incident back in 1967 has yet to be resolved in a respectable way. Furtermore, i would bet that rates of discrimination against blacks show little, if any correlation, with the absence or presence (defaced or not) confederate monuments.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 20 hours ago

    The challenge of implementing a fair "wealth" tax is how one defines wealth. Some wealth is earned by producing goods and providing services. Even more wealth is derived from legal privileges that create rent-seeking opportunities. The most appropriate source of public revenue was identified by the political economists going back to Richard Cantillon, Adam Smith and Anne Robert Turgot; namely, the rent of land. The economics are fairly straightforward. Every parcel or tract of land has some potential annual rental value based on advantages provided by nature (e.g., sub-surface minerals to be exploited, fertility, forests to be harvested, access to a natural harbor or navigible river, etc), or societally-created advantages (e.g., quality of infrastructure and other public amenities). These rental values are not individually-created. Justice requires that they be collected to pay for democratically agreed upon public goods and services (with the possibility of a distribution annually as a form of citizens dividend). There are other rents created by competition-limited licenses (e.g, liquor licenses and taxi medallions) and for assets with an inelastic supply (e.g., take-off and landing slots at airports). All of these and other sources of rents should be colllected as the basis for public finance.

    What about taxing income? Most people earn income as wages by working. Those who have managed to accumulate or inherit large amounts of financial assets derive income from passive investment and speculation. In one of the great logical inconsistencies we tax earned wages higher than gains on the sale of financial assets. We call such gains "capital gains" and accept the idea that a low rate of taxation stimulates investment in the real economy. In reality actual capital goods (i.e., buildings, machinery, technologies) depreciate in value over time (even when well-maintained). Thus, gains on the sale of assets should be included with all other income and taxed progressively so that most tax revenue comes from income derived from rent-seeking, passive investment and speculation. So, here's what we need as an income tax: (1) Exempt all individual income up to the national median; (2) Eliminate all other deductions and exemptions: (3) Impose an increasing rate of taxation on higher ranges of income sufficient to raise enough revenue to balance the public budget.

    Scrap the business profits tax in favor of a graduated tax on gross business revenue, exempting, for example, all business revenue up to some amount, eliminating all other deductions, and imposing an increasing rate of taxation on higher ranges of revenue. The one possible deducation would be a tax credit for every person employed full time and covered for medical insurance and a defined benefit pension.

    There are more ideas to consider, but these are what I believe are the most important to achieve a far more just distribution of income and wealth.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 21 hours ago

    Wealth has been taxed in the past without weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth

    Where are they going to go? China?

    Do it again now!

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" (Roosevelt)

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   1 day 22 hours ago

    You have stated things quite well. Keep posting!

    };--))

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 22 hours ago

    Trump, the failed businessman and tax cheat who avoided paying taxes for eight years in the 80s and 90s, thinks that it's a winning talking point for Republicans when Democrats talk about raising taxes on the rich. As wrong as he is on virtually every issue, he does know his audience well -- Republicans always spin it falsely to mean that Democrats want to raise taxes on the middle class. He even lied like hell in a church (of course he did) in a recent speech to the enraptured faithful, his useful idiots:

    "One of the things is the Democrats want to raise your taxes to a level that nobody can even believe. And it won’t be nearly enough to pay for what they want to do. You talk about bad healthcare; it’s just going to be a disaster. But they want to raise everybody’s taxes. I always thought it was supposed to be the other way, right? But let’s see how they do on November 3rd. I don’t think they’re going to do too well."

    However, that standard billionaire lie only works with the Republican Party's mesmerized base, as the American people by vast majorities are much wiser than those who can be fooled all of the time:

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   1 day 23 hours ago

    Well, though I agree a wealth tax is needed - in fact, there should be an earnings cap, but that's another story - property taxes are not an apt analog. Property tax is a means of charging for shared services people are entitled to, regardless of whether they use them. The value of the property taxed is a convenient, if imprecise, measure of the value of services they receive. Where I live, we pay property tax to four distinct jurisdictions: Village, Town, County and School District. The first three are divvied up among things like water, sewer, garbage, police, fire, etc.

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   2 days 2 hours ago

    @ # 8; Great synopsis, better stated than I ever could. Thanks..

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   2 days 4 hours ago

    Thanks to the duplicitous Republican Party, the principal subsidiary of Wall Street (and their right-of-center, corporate Dem enablers), America's healthcare system is utterly broken; America's threadbare safety net for low-paid workers and the homeless is one of the worst in the industrialized world; decades of union-busting have left most American families struggling for the basics, leaving virtually no effective retirement plan for their overburdened breadwinners, who must toil away until they drop dead without ever escaping crushing debt; America's wealth is monopolized by the selfish, ruthless, and greedy few; trillions of American dollars have been lavished on a paranoid and delusional military empire whose jingoistic creed of endless expansion and war have spread across a world that hates us, rivaling the worst fascistic powers in history; all within six months, America's head clown has been impeached, a highly infectious and deadly pandemic is running wild with no end in sight, the real economy is collapsing into a depression of biblical proportions, social unrest has exploded under systemic racism and police brutality, which are still rampant 150 years after the war to end slavery; and with no rational strategy for mitigation, America is leading a planet hurtling toward the sixth mass extinction.

    And yet after all of that (If you need references for the painfully obvious then either you are not paying attention or just don't care.), America remains hopelessly infested with fcking idiots whose howling-at-the-moon notion of patriotism and religion compels them to vote Republican even when outside reality is slapping up against their impenetrable, braindead skulls.

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   2 days 6 hours ago

    I completely agree with you, that is a big part of the problem.

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