Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm not anti-rich, I'm pro-fairness

The people who are in the top one percent of income saw their incomes grow by 275 percent between the years of 1979 and 2007.  The middle class saw their incomes go up as well, a whopping 40 percent.

That means that middle class America averaged an annual 1.4 percent raise during that time period.  The top one percent?  An annual raise of just under ten percent.

And what have the top one percent done to repay America for providing them with the right, the freedom and the infrastructure needed to reap such wealth?  They have lobbied for - and gotten - more tax breaks, more loopholes, more opportunities not to reinvest in America, the country that has done so much to make their wealth possible.
"The rules have been changed by the unfair tax policies of the last decade and our tax code is doing less to level the playing field than it was in the past." [said Representative Sander Levin.]
Levin is the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
As a result of this uneven shift, income was substantially more skewed toward the very top of the income scale in 2007 than it was in 1979, CBO said.
So much so, it said, that in 2005-2007, just before the financial crisis, the top 20 percent of the population received more after-tax income than the entire bottom 80 percent. Income of top 1 percent far outgrew others: report
If this tells us anything, it tells us that that the Reagan "revolution" was an economic failure.  It tells us that the rising tide doesn't raise all boats, it just lifts the yachts and puts the average Joe's mortgage underwater. 

And what does the Republican field of Presidential candidates want to do about it?  Well, Herman Cain and Rick Perry want an even more regressive flat tax.  They want to put even more burden on the poor and middle class.  Isn't that just the opposite of what America needs right now?

Instead, it is time for America to deliver a bill to the wealthiest among us for services rendered.  Republicans are all about accountability, or so they say, so isn't it time for the uber-rich to be held financially accountable. This country helped make them wealthy so it is time for them to do the right thing, the patriotic thing, and start paying their fair share.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cain Tax Plan Benefits the Rich, Hurts the Rest of Us.

See -- I'm not the only one who says so.

9 - 9 - 9 Plan would make 84% of people pay more - CNN

Quick Hits: Now With Catch and Release

"Ewwww, but there are commom people there!"

If I decided to shoplift and got caught, I'd be thrilled with the opportunity to do community service instead of time in the pokey.  Apparently, Lindsay Lohan feels differently.  She got hauled in front of the judge today for failing to come anywhere near to fulfilling her community service obligations.  After reprimanding her, the judge revoked her probation. After two hours and $100,000 dollars in bond, she was back on the street, again doing little for the community.

Why can't they just lock her up and be done?  Not that I'm in favor of throwing petty criminals in the joint but I'm tired of looking at CNN and finding stories about her.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I think the best public service that could be done would be for her to turn herself in and just do the time.  Then maybe the rest of us could catch a break from being pummelled with news about the disaster that is Lindsay Lohan.

Lions and Tigers and Bears (and a Corpse)

In Ohio, some dude committed suicide.  Okay, sad but not unheard of.  Before he did it, he let his pets go free.  Again, kinda sad, but not that strange.  Unfortunately, the authorities had to kill a bunch of them.  That's right, kill.  You see, he kept some rather exotic pets.  According to the news report:
As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities had killed 49 animals -- 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. Another grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys had been captured and taken to a zoo.
Oh, and a monkey remains at large.  I think he started the whole thing.
Who the hell keeps that many, and that kind, of animals in Ohio?  And how unhappy do you have to be to set them loose before you dispatch yourself to the Great Beyond?  I saw Zookeeper, if they want to find that monkey, they should stake out the nearest TGIF.

Hey, maybe Lindsay Lohan could go hunting for him, that would be a community service.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Yorkers Back Protesters

In a new poll, registered voters in New York overwhelmingly support the Wall Street protestors.  The person they blame the most for the situation?  George W. Bush.

If this is the mood of the rest of the country, then Obama is positioned well for reelection.

Chicago Tribune: New Yorkers Firmly Behind Occupy Wall St. Protestors

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Herman Cain: The Wealthiest Mugger Ever

A lot of people seem to be drawn to Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.  I have some real problems with it and nearly everyone else should as well. Allow me to offer a couple:

1) It is inflationary and could contribute to another recession.  It would automatically increase the price of most goods by nine percent.  That is a huge increase in prices at a time when the consumer is barely contributing anything at all to economic growth.  In order to keep our country on the right path economically, we have to provide the consumer with the ability to participate.  An automatic nine percent increase in prices will only decrease consumer buying and put pressure on employers to reduce overhead in the form of lay-offs. 

2) It benefits the rich and increases the taxes on the poor. The top income tax rate, when they actually pay it, is 35 percent. This would slash that rate to nine percent. 

On the other hand, according to ABC news:

"If you have a family of four with an income of just under $50,000, they could end up paying more under the Cain plan. Currently, they are taxed around $3,850 in income tax. Under Cain’s plan, they would be taxed at 9 percent or pay $4,500.
That’s $650 more.
Although the family would save almost $4,000 in Social Security taxes, it would have to give up the child tax credit worth the same amount. Furthermore, it would pay an additional national sales tax of 9 percent on everything purchased, including groceries and clothes, which totals about $2,000.
That means under the Cain plan that family could end up paying $2,725 more."  ABC News: What Could Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Mean To You

Just so we are clear, what he is proposing is a massive redistribution of wealth. He wants to take the precious few dollars that the poor have left and he wants to use the Federal Government's tax code to do it.  At the same time, he wants to reduce the tax burden of the rich.  We all might as well be writing checks directly to the richest among  us.  Under Cain's plan, the result would be the same.

UPDATE: As if we didn't already know that he was a shill for the rich, but it seems that the infamous Koch brothers are big backers and influencers on Mr. Cain.  Long ties to Koch brothers key to Cain's campaign - Associated Press

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Just Leave the Guns at Ft. Bragg

This was posted on my old high school buddy Kathy's Facebook page this morning.

I guess when we do it abroad, it's national security but when we do it at home, it's Socialism.