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Representative Jan Schakowsky (D, IL-09) is a member of the Progressive caucus and holds a seat on the catfood commission. Today, she released her proposal to reduce the deficit. It is good, sensible policy, focusing on:

  • Ending various corporate tax breaks (132.2 billion in annual savings)
  • Reducing defense spending (110.7 billion in annual savings)
  • Taxing Capital Gains and dividends as ordinary income (88.1 billion)
  • Passing cap and trade (52 billion)
  • Passing a robust public option (10 billion)
  • Reducing agricultural subsidies (7.5 billion)
And several other, smaller changes that would cut tens of billions from the federal budget deficit. Schakowsky’s plan also focuses on $200 billion in investment spending that would get people back to work, thus saving the federal government in unemployment benefits and raising tax revenues. For Social Security, she proposes raising the cap.

As strong and sensible as Schakowsky’s plan is, it faces twin political problems of being popular, and not cutting benefits to the working and middle class.

How can you ever expect to be “serious” about the deficit unless you are cutting public services in order to pay for tax cuts on the wealthy? As long as you are making popular proposals like raising the Social Security cap, targeting government spending to create jobs, increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, passing cap and trade, and enacting a robust public option, you are just not “serious.” The entire point of this exercise is to cut popular programs that actually help Americans so that a bunch of rich elites in the media, DC, and Wall Street can pat themselves on the back for making the difficult decisions of supporting stuff that makes them even richer.

As Schakowsky’s plan shows, it actually isn’t that hard in terms of policy to make steep deficit reductions without cutting benefits or services. The real problem is political, in that doing so would require the rich elites who own our political system to call off their class warfare against everyone else.

Most of the legislative fights we face over the next two years take that same form: defending programs for the middle and working class from a wealthy, establishment elite who consider government handouts to the rich sacrosanct. Take the first step to join in this fight by signing the pledge to never support cutting or privatizing Social Security. The American public can defeat this elite, but it has to stick together to do so.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What is really pissing off (49+ / 0-)

    the serious people inside the beltway was they thought they had it this time. Social Security was going to get slaughtered for sure. We got it.

    Fuck you, austerity pimps. Social Security is not why we have budget deficits and the national debt, and we'll always fight you.

  •  And the White House (14+ / 0-)

    will be where? on this kind of action.

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:20:31 AM PST

  •  And if you haven't yet, go play with this tool: (19+ / 0-)

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:21:32 AM PST

  •  Reasonable. Sensible. (26+ / 0-)

    Fair. And popular.

    Which is why hell will freeze over before this sees the light of day.

    Every time you purchase food you are casting a vote. Eat wisely.

    by alkalinesky on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:22:27 AM PST

    •  Sensible? All evidence suggests that health care (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      costs are driving deficits at a far bigger proportion than anything she's got in her plan. Not doing anything substantive about that problem is a problem.

      And cap-and-trade? Did Schakowsky really need to put that bull's eye on her back?

      •  Other than the $17.2 Billion savings you mean (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MJ via Chicago

        •Health Care – at least $17.2 billion in savings by implementing measures to bring down the cost of health care to the federal government and lower health care inflation overall.

        Repeal the Decriminalization of Naked Credit Default Swaps (Bucket Shops)

        by Into The Woods on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:38:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, that's exactly what I meant. (2+ / 0-)

          The nickel and diming outside of real health care reform isn't adding up to much. Serious, big dollar reforms are the only thing that are going to change the deficit curve.

          That, and equitable, post-Robber Barron tax rates on the rich.

          •  Your sugggestion? (0+ / 0-)

            And your assessment of its chances of passage either in the lame duck session or the GOP influenced next session?  

            Repeal the Decriminalization of Naked Credit Default Swaps (Bucket Shops)

            by Into The Woods on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:46:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  None. But if you only think that passed (0+ / 0-)

              legislation is politics, then keep going with that.

              Do you honestly think Jan Schakowsky kept that number low because it'd get her proposal passed? Yeah, me neither.

              She put this forward as a POLITICAL argument. The idea of a PO won't float until the country starts seeing it's reality as a cost-containment system. So there's no reason at not to make the complete argument for how a public option does that at scale.

        •  No one knows this stuff, though. (3+ / 0-)

          Because what would really make the plan popular does not go into effect until after the 2012 elections.  I don't know what the fuck they were thinking.  

          I have an intelligent friend who had decided HCR was a bust because her premiums didn't go down yet (she works and has employee health benefits).  The fact that her flaky 16 year old will be living with her until she's 35 and at least can be covered on her insurance until she's 26 -- well, if it didn't affect her today she wasn't interested.  

          •  No legislative remedy for HC Costs (0+ / 0-)

            Because the cost differential between states would have to be addressed.  

            Politically, almost impossible to do legislatively.

            Only through a new regulatory reimbursment system could that even be attempted.

            Repeal the Decriminalization of Naked Credit Default Swaps (Bucket Shops)

            by Into The Woods on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:45:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't that depressingly vague? (0+ / 0-)

          I mean this proposal is just about as unserious as the Simpson-Bowles proposal.

          Actually, given that no one is really able to step up and offer a real plan to curb the long-term deficit (this should surprise no one because the truth is, as many others have mentioned, the long-term deficit is all health care and we simply don't know how to tame health care inflation; the pilot projects in ACA are the 2nd most important part of the bill, way way more than the public option, the reason you know this is true is that Medicare inflation is no better than private insurance inflation so don't even bother pretending with me that a single payer system even would be enough to solve this problem), I think that we really ought to just stop worrying about it too much and solve the problem when the crisis (inevitably) hits. This is just a problem that neither side is going to be willing to solve until the cataclysm so I don't know why we bother even talking about it.

          Give me liberty, or give me death!

          by salsa0000 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:57:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This country needs a sensible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nannyboz, mayim

        discussion about health care. We need to talk about what works and what does not. We need to focus on prevention, rather than just treatment. We need evidence-based medicine. Think of all the post-menopausal women who were proscribed hormone treatments that, in fact, led to a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke. However, if we even try to have such a discussion, people will be screaming about "death panels."

  •  Good for Jan... (12+ / 0-)
    but it will probably be ignored by the corporate media. I think we also need some taxes on financial transactions - raises money and cuts down on incentive to speculate wildly.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:22:34 AM PST

  •  It is not hard to solve the deficit crisis. I (20+ / 0-)

    solved the problem in less than 15 minutes using the tool that appeared in the NY Times on Sunday. As you note, the real agenda of the cat food commission is to transfer more wealth from the working and middle classes to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. The cat food commission was a stupid idea from the start. I am tied of being ripped off so that Paris Hilton can have another tax break.

  •  No, not looking where there are actual (3+ / 0-)

    sources of useful income, and places we spend money to less effect.

    We need to put people into giant presses, and put rocks on them till loose change starts flowing out of their pockets.

  •  heh. (17+ / 0-)

    As strong and sensible as Schakowsky’s plan is, it faces twin political problems of being popular, and not cutting benefits to the working and middle class.

    I like the way you put that.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:23:41 AM PST

  •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)

    We need to keep making these proposals and watching (and shouting about) those who vote against them.  This is the Number One Priority.  People are not going to vote for candidates that do not work for them.

    Economic efficiency is not an absolute good, let alone a priority over human welfare.

    by RequestedUsername on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:23:56 AM PST

  •  Isn't Rep. Schakowsky the one who introduced (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, Loge

    our former president to the name "Barack Obama"?

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:23:57 AM PST

  •  ouch. perfect: (16+ / 0-)

    How can you ever expect to be "serious" about the deficit unless you are cutting public services in order to pay for tax cuts on the wealthy?

    Perfectly said, indeed.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:24:29 AM PST

  •  I guess the party leadership (8+ / 0-)

    will have to disavow her now.

    The grownups have this, Jan.

    Yes, that's sarcasm. - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:24:41 AM PST

  •  "A robust public option" (6+ / 0-)


  •  Absolutely not serious (6+ / 0-)

    Serious people think that a Wal-Mart clerk making $22,000/yr is a Lucky Duck.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:25:22 AM PST

    •  And compared to peasant serfs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      isabelle hayes

      in third-world countries, IS a lucky duck.  It'll be a long old while before America's citizens are at the bottom of the global heap, but we do seem to have peaked.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:31:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If so, so have corporate profits for a long time (4+ / 0-)

        because it will be decades before China's and India's 'middle class' consumers can take up that slack.

        There's a hole in the bottom of their yacht, but they keep ripping out planks to build better luxury cabins.  

        Good luck with that.

        Repeal the Decriminalization of Naked Credit Default Swaps (Bucket Shops)

        by Into The Woods on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:42:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cap & Trade = $52 Billion is a joke. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, SpamNunn

    First off, even if you could squeeze that much out of cap and trade, it is a tax.  New taxes on the American public at this point in time is

    1. political suicide
    1. dumb for an ailing economy
    1. a non-starter in the first place (see a. & b. above)

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:25:27 AM PST

    •  The only time in months I've agreed with you. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Tax on oil & coal corporations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vacantlook, MJ via Chicago, trumpeter

      =/= tax on the american public.

      People like you should rejoice. This might lead to large scale revival of nuclear power. Isn't that what you conservadems like to see?

      •  I'm in favor of nuclear... (0+ / 0-)

        ...if by nuclear we're talking about the biggest nuclear reactor available to us that provides us more energy than we could ever use if only we would bother developing ways to capture what we need.  For those who don't know what I'm talking about, go outside on a clear day and look up.

      •  I do think nuclear is a good stopgap (0+ / 0-)

        until solar and wind are further along..

        And if you think cap and trade taxes will not be passed along to the public, you are very naive..  In addition, coal power will be taxed.. that will goo directly on to consumer's monthly energy bills.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:35:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you believe in the power of competition? (0+ / 0-)

          Free market and all that 'Econo 101' jazz? The free market will keep prices down. Any polluters who passes their penalties down to the consumers will price themselves out of existence in a few years (Cap & trade system will gradually reduce amount of CO2 quotas)

          •  You're dreaming.. (0+ / 0-)

            How many choices do you have for buying electricity for your home?  I have 1.

            As far as big manufacturers go, they will simply ship those manufacturing jobs out of country to avoid the whole mess.

            We'll still get the pollution from all those dirty factories in Mexico and elsewhere who don't need to worry about no steenkin' cap and trade rules.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:54:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have one, but that one power company (0+ / 0-)

              buys power from operators all over the western United States. A polluting power generator would be history in a few years.

              Also- the majority of the electricity in this country is consumerd not by consumers, but by industrial use. These industrial plants do have the option of buying from different suppliers.

  •  Schakowsky labels her plan cap and trade, but (10+ / 0-)

    it's really a cap and dividend plan.  Permits to pollute are auctioned off (the number of permits decreases each year, hence a cap).  However, 50% of the money that's generated from the auction is rebated to consumers, so it's really more of a cap and dividend than a cap and trade.

    Which doesn't make it any more feasible, alas.

  •  Thank you Rep. Schakowsky. (8+ / 0-)

    Good to know there is at least one person on that wretched commission who doesn't think that Social Security is the embodiment of 310 million mammaries.

    Take the pledge on Social Security

    by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:27:35 AM PST

  •  Rep Schakowsky could carry this commision to (5+ / 0-)

    a win.

    Now it's time for Simpson and Clinton's boy to argue against the ELECTED representative in their commission.

    Can't wait for Corporate pinup Kent Conrad to weigh in on this.

    So what do we do now, continue to call for closing this commission?
    Or do you think it's a better idea to make Schakowsky the "defacto" leader, making the MSM have to reframe the commision under her terms, not Alan Simpsons.

    Even better, make the media think that her position is that of the President and the Democratic party.

    Blue Dogs lost big and they lost their leverage.
    Don't ever forget that.
    Also don't forget that Rep Schakowsy will be in office longer then Kent Conrad, I can guarantee you that.

  •  She's got to stop eating lunch with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill White, lgmcp, MJ via Chicago

    Dennis Kucinich.  

    Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

    by SpamNunn on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:28:25 AM PST

  •  Thank you to a brave and bright Dem (5+ / 0-)

    for giving us something to argue for instead of against.

    Let's hope America wakes up soon.

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:29:24 AM PST

  •  i nominate you to be our Frank Lutz. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "he real problem is political, in that doing so would require the rich elites who own our political system to call off their class warfare against everyone else".

    Yes, this is class warfare.  Unfortunately most of the middle class (tea party) are fighting against our interest.  BECAUSE of the constant framing that the Rs are so good at.

  •  They want grandma to starve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's time for the progressives to start marginalizing this current crop of Republican con artists and ideologues. I don't think seniors should have to pay for their ideology. I don't think kids should go hungry to appease Wall Street. I don't think Axelrod has the stomach or the skills for this fight. We, the numerically tiny progressive echo chamber, have to push simplified talking points into the mainstream. They are out of touch with real American families who don't care about the deficit and don't want their children going hungry for discredited libertarian theories.

    (I keep reposting this and it may at some point qualify as over posting - sorry for the spamming but it's time to GO NEGATIVE. They did it to Pelosi constantly for 2 years, lets get talking points and spread the word because we're on our own. If the White House helps, great, if not I'm not prepared to run luke warm dishwater Hope t-shirts against Rubio in two years.


    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:29:50 AM PST

  •  Gibbs better run! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It looks like the professional left shape shifted and showed up in the Catfood Commission!

    And SHES A WOMAN  Run Shuler RUN!

  •  If only Nancy had done this over the last session (0+ / 0-)

    we wouldn't be in this mess.

    My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

    by angry liberaltarian on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:31:05 AM PST

    •  Nancy did (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vacantlook, icemilkcoffee

      everything she could to pull the party back to the center.  But she doesn't have magic powers.  420 bills passed the House and died in the Senate (ok, are about to die, since the Lame Duck Senate won't pass anything of consequence).

      In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
      The young emerald evening star,
      Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
      And ladies soon to be married.

      by looty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:33:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  to the center? who wants to go to the center? (0+ / 0-)

        i want left, lefter and leftist.  i want progress.  the middle offers nothing but a defense of the status quo.

        nancy was a huge failure.

        My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

        by angry liberaltarian on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:41:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  center as in (0+ / 0-)

          not far-right.

          What we call "liberal" would, in any sane country, be right in the center.

          In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
          The young emerald evening star,
          Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
          And ladies soon to be married.

          by looty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:57:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  With us, or against us. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    Part of the problem, or part of the solution.

    The Democrats will soon make it clear which side they have chosen.  It's not complicated. They can choose to represent the democratic wing of the Party, or the corporatist wing.  There is no middle ground.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:31:07 AM PST

  •  Lower and middle class Americans did not cause (8+ / 0-)

    "Lower and middle class Americans did not cause the deficit.

    Just ten years ago the federal budget was generating a surplus as far as the eye could see.  That surplus was turned into a deficit due to massive tax cuts – mainly to wealthy Americans; two wars paid for by borrowed money; and a major recession caused by the recklessness of the big Wall Street banks."

    Good stuff.  It would be nice if we had a POTUS who believed this, as well.

    In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
    The young emerald evening star,
    Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
    And ladies soon to be married.

    by looty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:31:12 AM PST

  •  Competing plans = good news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Jerry056

    Although I would be very happy to place a large bet that this one gets nowhere  near the kind of publicity the chairman's mark got.  Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that they released theirs first just to make sure hers is an afterthought.  

    Thanks, Jan.

  •  Dem Pres, Spkr & Majority Leader w/ a strategy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...could have sliced and diced these elements into multiple bills passed on a fast track through Congress along with the simple health insurance regulatory mods they ended up with and we'd have had a very different election. Would each be guaranteed re-election? Probably but irrelevant.

    "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

    by kck on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:33:17 AM PST

  •  "Ending corporate tax breaks"--yes! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fossil, isabelle hayes

    ...That should be at the top of the list, IMHO, but it seemingly has been ignored in the discussions of extending tax breaks, with the discussion centering on the individual (of all income brackets) rather than on the corporations.  In the last several decades our politicians have shifted a major portion of the tax burden from the corporations (and instead of using the breaks to employ more people here, the corporations have responded to these tax breaks by downsizing, outsourcing and offshoring jobs) to the individual.  

    •  Here's her exact language: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Non-Defense Discretionary  – $8.55 billion in savings through increased efficiency and cuts to programs that benefit large corporations that don’t need assistance.

       (emphasis mine)


      1. Reductions in tax expenditures

         * Raise $132.2 billion by closing tax subsidies for companies that ship American jobs overseas.

      1. Increases in revenues

         * Raise $144.6 billion in revenue through progressive reforms to the estate tax, treating capital gains and dividends as regular income, and enacting a cap and trade proposal that includes protections for lower-income people.
         * Enact President Obama’s budget proposal to let the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 brackets expire and return to 2009 estate tax levels.
         * Non-tax revenue – raise $7 billion by addressing places where the private sector is currently under-paying.

  •  Cut Defense Spending?!? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, mrkvica

    But that contract for biplanes will cost dozens of jobs in Ohio if it's cut.

    "You have nothing...nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with all your strength".

    by The Lone Apple on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:35:04 AM PST

  •  Yea, Jan! (4+ / 0-)

    She's not my congresswoman, but she lives in my neck of the woods.  And I'm damn proud!

  •  More of this, please. (5+ / 0-)

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:37:18 AM PST

  •  Chris Bowers is the MAN for this line (5+ / 0-)

    As strong and sensible as Schakowsky’s plan is, it faces twin political problems of being popular, and not cutting benefits to the working and middle class

    NAILed it, if we did that, we might win elections by governing in the nest interests of the working and middle class, against the interests of the very rich. We can't be having that, can we?

    Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

    by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:37:47 AM PST

  •  I live 3 blocks from being in her district. Sigh, (4+ / 0-)

    and have repug Roscum for a rep. I've met Jan once or twice and always liked her.

    "Those who begin by burning books will end by burning people." Heinrich Heine

    by mayrose on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:38:12 AM PST

  •  Leave Social Security alone (0+ / 0-)

    They need to raise taxes deducted for SS to build a future fund instead of talking about capping or raising the age. First very few people get the maximum $3000 per month in SS. Only high age earners get that much. There is already a cap on earnings. At a certain point in life, you get no more added to your SS benefits,if you are a high wage earner. Young people are very uninformed about SS & Medicare. Her's an example. Right now the full retirement age for people  born after 1945 been raised to 67. Early retirement is 62, but you get reduced amount of money. I.E. If you SS monthly was going to be 1250-1300 at full age, but you took it at 62, you only get approx 900 per month. You can only earn 13,000 non taxed income. Medicare starts at 65, if your getting SS they deduct your Medicare premium minimum ($96 minimum per month fro your ck.) of course you need supplemental private insurance plan, plus Plan D drug coverage to cover what Medicare does not.
    If your still earning money they base your monthly Medicre premium on your income.

  •  The Village will ignore it. (12+ / 0-)

    The tradmed will not cover it.  

    Deficts only matter when Dems are President and the only way allowed to cut deficits is to undo the New Deal.

    Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

    by TomP on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:39:51 AM PST

  •  Now, that's change I can believe in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, MJ via Chicago
    Obama can go suck eggs.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:41:33 AM PST

  •  Jan just guaranteed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Jerry056

    that she never will be invited to appear on Meet the Press or CNBC.

    "We have to deal with the world as we find it (and not fight to change it)." David Axelrad

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:42:49 AM PST

  •  This is the person from Illinois (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    we should have elected.

    "We have to deal with the world as we find it (and not fight to change it)." David Axelrad

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:43:59 AM PST

    •  She never would have been elected (sigh) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MJ via Chicago, Jerry056

      She talked about running for the Senate but you have to walk a moderate line in Illinois.  You can be totally progressive but you need a moderate persona.  Jan is unabashedly liberal and proud of it.  She never would have come close to winning the election.  

  •  i LOVE Jan Schakowsky! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome, isabelle hayes

    Can we all please get behind this plan?  Maybe there is some shred of possibility that enough Americans will wake up and realize that this is the most common-sense solution out there by the factor of a million.  Let's see more of these kind of solutions.  I can't wait to hear the ridiculous Rethug response...

    U. S. Chamber of Commerce not working for US. Stop outsourcing American jobs!

    by MJ via Chicago on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:47:37 AM PST

  •  So when will Dems revisit job exporting trade? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Instead they f'around with extending unemployment and green jobs drop in the bucket.

    •  We aren't going to have any recovery without it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But then we know that our party has been siding with corporations and their labor arbitrage.

      Where is the driver for Main Street economic recovery?  It sure isn't going to be the casino of finance or selling hamburgers to each other.

      Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

      by Fossil on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:38:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like 1, 2, 3, and 6 (0+ / 0-)

    meh on 5. super meh on 4.

  •  Question for non-economists (0+ / 0-)

    First let me say that this sounds like a good plan for a number of reasons.  But one thing that doesn't make sense to a lot of people--myself included--is how a public option would actually save the government money.  I understand how it would save the country money, but it seems to me that the government would spend more.  Not that that would put me against it--I want a public option because I think it's the right thing to do.  It will make America healthier and will force private for-profit insurers to be either more honest or to go out of business.

    But how will it save the government money?

    I play 11-dimensional Smess.

    by Menocchio on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:48:58 AM PST

    •  You have to pay premium to the government (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is not a free program. The premium you would normally pay to the insurance companies, you pay to the government instead. It will certainly save the government money. Right now Uncle Sam insures the oldest population with Medicare, and the least healthy and disabled population with Medicaid. This is a horrible bum deal for uncle Sam. Meanwhile, the private insurers get to cherry pick from all the remaining healthy young patients. The public option would be a good way for the government to grab a share of that young healthy pool.

    •  bringing down costs ultimately saves $ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the current system of private insuance ads huge levels of bloat and middleman payouts. The govt usually ends up paying for the uninsured anyway, in the form of emergency care, the most expensiv kind of medicine.

      Also $ will be saved when the uninsured who go to emergency rooms after an illness has progressed too far can get preventative care. Cheeper to treat someone in a doctors office with a nagging cough, than to treat that same person who now has pnenomia a couple months later in the emergency room.

      •  yes, true. Preventive care is cheaper (0+ / 0-)

        and, as icemilkcoffee pointed out, the premiums paid will also contribute (which I wasn't even thinking of when I asked the question.

        Thank you.

        I play 11-dimensional Smess.

        by Menocchio on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:02:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  its a good question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          because often govt spending is criticized on what it costs, not what it will save. Education is also a good example. Better to educate kids  so they can get a job than to pay them welfare or the cost of their incarceration, when they are adults.
          Another example: A safety regulation might cost the industry it regulates short-term money (like madating cars have seat belts) but that is offset by the savings in not having millions of people on disability for head inuries from car crashes.

    •  Spreads the risk to more people; no cost control (0+ / 0-)

      I think one thing that got really, really lost in the debate over the public option is that while it is a way to reduce costs at any given moment of time it doesn't do anything at all to control the growth rate of costs. How do we know this? Well just look at Medicare, which is a full-blown single payer system. Even better than any public option, which has to compete with other insurance providers. But Medicare doesn't control costs, it doesn't curb healthcare inflation and in fact that's why we have a long-run debt bomb problem at all!

      Anyone who tells you that the public option would solve our cost containment problem is bullshitting you. Some people like being bullshat upon. I'm not one of them. That's why I always thought that, 2nd to the subsidies and Medicaid expansion, the cost control pilot experiments were the most important part of the ACA. Period. That's what's going to give us quality, affordable healthcare in the future, not a public option.

      Give me liberty, or give me death!

      by salsa0000 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:25:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like a plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago, rasfrome

    We can all get behind.  I agree with the posters who suggest framing this as the de facto commission report, against which any other is measured.  Nice work, Rep Schakowsky!

  •  Great plan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    My congresswoman.

    I've got to write her a congratulationary message.

    Of course, it won't be mentioned by the MSM -- capitalist press, as my father used to call it.

    They will only talk about the co-chair's proposal. and that will have to be discussed because it is the only suggestion on the table.

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:50:34 AM PST

  •  5 of those 6 ideas already in the Catfood Draft (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oxfdblue, SanAntonioKrusty, Jerry056
    OK, all of you who are (rightly) cheering on this very, good, sensible plan while pissing on the Catfish commission draft. You should actually read that draft. 5 of the 6 ideas raised here are already recommended by the draft report. The only thing not found there is the cap-and-trade.

    Let's start fighting for the good stuffs in the Commission report instead of giving up.

  •  The Republican Response... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    If the Democrats offered a plan to cut taxes to zero, the GOP would still say no since it was a Democratic suggestion.

  •  Where in her plan.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....does she talk about the public option?  She talks about rolling back inflationary health care spending.  

    Here's the statement on health care:  

    Health Care  – at least $17.2 billion in savings by implementing measures to bring down the cost of health care to the federal government and lower health care inflation overall.

    Am I stupid and missed some link?  Or does she mean "lowering the cost of health care to the federal government" means the public option?  

  •  Sorry, I can't take any plan seriously that tries (0+ / 0-)

    to pass off cap and trade as a deficit reduction mechanism.

    At least have the guts to propose a straightforward tax.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:58:47 AM PST

    •  uh, taxes reduce the deficit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All taxes are "deficit reduction"- so what are you talking about

      •  Yes they do. But cap and trade if far more (0+ / 0-)

        insidious than a straightforward tax.

        Presenting cap and trade as a deficit reduction mechanism is, to me, utterly dishonest. Cannot take anybody seriously who would do that.

        Must admit, in way of a disclaimer, that it's hard to take anybody seriously who promotes cap and trade as a good thing on any basis at all.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:05:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry: cap and trade is excellent when compared 2 (0+ / 0-)

          the current strategy of denial

          •  Not a very high standard, and even then it (0+ / 0-)

            fails. As it stands, per-capita CO2 emissions are falling slowly in the US, but increasing explosively in China, the most likely location for the jobs that cap and trade would cost.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:12:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  jobs are ALREADY going to china (0+ / 0-)

              the idea that cap and trade will somehow accelerate that may seem like common sense coming out the mouths of AM radio talkers, but show me some evidence of that  NOT sponsered by oil companies

              •  Yes they are. Nothing like throwing gasoline on (0+ / 0-)

                the fire.

                So -- let me ask you. What would that mighty, mighty mind of yours consider to be evidence, given that

                a) You are able to see that jobs have gone to China, but unable to comprehend that cost differentials may have played a role in that process?

                b) We don't have cap and trade in place, so no jobs have been lost to it -- yet.  The best we can do is postulate that increasing the cost of doing business relative to the Chinese might not be an optimal job-retention strategy.

                I realize that this stuff is very to understand when you really don't care about the people who will be hurt by your position, but them's the breaks of the game and them's the breaks that will make cap and trade a no-go proposition.  Find a way to do it that doesn't retard job growth, and you could have a winner.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:21:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Am radio rhetoric has already convinced you (0+ / 0-)

                  but I am not buying it
                  But hey, while we are at it lets repeal all those things that make US labor expensive (Osha, minimum wage, child labor laws, overtime) that way we can beat China in the rush to the bottom.

    •  A tax on polluters. You got a problem with that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is a very, very straight forward tax on polluters. What's wrong with that?

      •  here is the problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        unless they are taking this into consideration in the number above, and I have my doubts they are...

        For Tax and Trade to be viable at all, you'd need:

        1. Enough spending or other things to promote job growth to counter jobs lost due to cap and trade...and let's be honest, it will cost jobs
        1. You really need to target many of those programs to areas which would be the most harshly effected.

        That spending would likely counter any actual tax revenue gotten from tax and trade I would think

        •  Worst of all, it will promote job transer to (0+ / 0-)

          other countries that are unencumbered by such things.  Hard for me to grok the argument that we need to give employers even more reason to shift jobs overseas -- especially when you consider that those jobs are likely to go places where they will have a worse environmental impact than staying in the US.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:10:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  the response (0+ / 0-)

          Enough spending or other things to promote job growth to counter jobs lost due to cap and trade...and let's be honest, it will cost jobs

          yea- that's the right wing talking point, so lets be REAL honest. Got any actual evidence that cap and trade will cost jobs?

          •  Oh -- wow! Lets just ignore the last twenty years (0+ / 0-)

            or so. That way, we can pretend increased costs don't lead employers to shut down plants and buy product from overseas suppliers.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:13:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jobs already are going to china w/o c&t (0+ / 0-)

              any actual evidence that c&t would increase that?

            •  Energy Can't be Outsourced (0+ / 0-)

              ...the power lines won't make it to China.  Manufacturing I can see your point, but C&T focuses primarily on energy, which has to be produced domestically.

              •  Sure it can. China is already buying up (0+ / 0-)

                West Texas oil leases.
                They have previously purchased at least one Canadian oil company.

                Don't know if they're buying any American coal, but I seem to recall that they have become a net coal importer in recent years.

                The more relevant point is this one:

                It's disingenuous to claim that C&T is not a tax on the entire economy. The economy is what drives CO2 emissions because the economy uses all of that energy.

                I'd prefer a simple and straightforward tax over making a new group of traders rich, and serious investment in chopping the cost and availability of alternative energy -- with a very special and explicit emphasis on jobs, especially for those whose jobs are highly dependent on dirty energy.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:01:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's like saying... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...China's purchase of concrete is equivelant to outsourcing highway production.  You're argument is unrelated.

                  The C&T IS a tax on the entire economy... which would produce revenues that benefit society.  It's kinda the purpose of government (and civilization for that matter).

                  •  I may have misunderstood your point. (0+ / 0-)

                    In which case we have to reverse direction, and use oil as the counter-example because we import something like 2/3 to 3/4 of our oil.

                    Don't know what percentage of uranium for nuclear plants comes from overseas, but do know that the US produces only about 4% of the world's uranium.

                    And -- You actually can outsource electricity.  California does it now (so does the town I live in). To my knowledge, that stuff is all state to state, but there's no technical reason why electricity can't be produced in Canada or Mexico and supplied to at least a portion of the US.  Hydroelectric production at Niagara Falls comes close to doing that now.

                    And yes, C&T is a tax on the entire economy, but it's a damned crappy kind of tax designed to make a few people rich, most people poorer, and the government needlessly intrusive.

                    Just pass a damned tax on the fuels. There is no need for something as convoluted as C&T.  Better still - push for cheaper alternative energy instead of going at back-asswards.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:42:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  If China is producing oil in West TX (0+ / 0-)

                  They would have to play by the same C&T rules too. What's the problem?

            •  We had cap & trade on sulfur emissions (0+ / 0-)

              Did that cost any jobs?

          •  basic economics (0+ / 0-)

            Increased cost on companies = needing to cut costs elsewhere, shedding workers is an obvious place to start. This is one of the basic arguments used by some for going single payer in health care - it gets that costs off of employers, allowing them to hire more workers.  You can't invoke that set of economic principles on one issue and then toss them away on the next (unless you don't support single payer, in which case, I apologize)

            If cap and trade means using fewer fossil fuels - and it will - then people working in those industries will lose their jobs.  It's not rocket science, really. I think it should be Congress' responsibility to try to ensure that people who lose jobs as a direct impact of their policies should be aided in finding new jobs.

            Now, some of those jobs might be recouped by investment into alternative energy, but if that's boosted by federal spending, you have to take that out of the money gained via tax and trade, meaning that the "savings" it gives you is reduced by that much.

            Will some of the tax get eaten - yes, again, economics would say that some of the new costs would get eaten via just reduced profits.  But do you really think they won't pass a good portion, if not a majority, of the costs on, either by cutting costs or higher energy costs?  These aren't right wing talking points, these are real effects in a market system.  Just pretending they don't exist isn't going to help matters.

            •  "basic eccomincs" is not evidence (0+ / 0-)

              and your long-winded attempt at explanation ignores the fact that basically the govt subsidises oil companies by allowing them to ignore the true cost of their product in terms of pollution

              •  I didn't say nothing should be done (0+ / 0-)

                I was saying that ignoring the obvious effects of the legislation or rejecting it as mere "right wing talking points" doesn't do anyone a favor.

                Even the CBO says that certain sectors will experience significant job losses, though they think there will be jobs gained in clean energy sectors - and that's probably right.  However, the question is whether congress will let areas that would be devastated by cap-and-trade, such as the heavy coal mining VA-09 that I live in, hang out to dry.

            •  Increased tax could also mean less profits (0+ / 0-)

              Last time I checked, the oil companies are not exactly starved for profits. A few extra points of taxes on their enormous profits is not going bring down civilization.

              As to investment into alternative energy - what makes you think the private sector will not finance it? If cap & trade is in place, they will have a financial incentive to move to alternative energy. No government subsidies needed.

      •  Hmmm. You must not be able to read. (0+ / 0-)

        First, you characterize cap and trade as a straightforward tax on polluters when it is nothing of the sort.

        Second, you ask me if I have a problem with a tax on polluters when I wrote:

        At least have the guts to propose a straightforward tax.

        I worked as a volunteer on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992, when we were proposing a 50 cent per gallon gasoline tax ridiculed by none other than one Albert Gore.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:08:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  dream along with me... (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Public Option is out-of-order. (0+ / 0-)
    I support a public option, but we really don't KNOW that whatever plan that passes will save EXACTLY any amount, and to me, the most pressing points of an available public option have nothing to do with its expense or lack thereof.

    Donk is a poker term for someone who is really bad at "the game". Still, a poor choice in name I guess.

    by DonkSlayer on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:12:15 PM PST

  •  Survey the Two Plans (0+ / 0-)

    Schakowsky's and the DRC's.  Let the public decide based on ACTUAL plans instead of republican hyperbole.  I'm not a betting man, but I'll give 2-1 odds to anybody who thinks the DRC's plan is more popular with the American people.

  •  Mostly good, but can't go with investment penalty (0+ / 0-)

    I agree wholeheartedly with the plan, except taxing capital gains and dividends as income. That's money that you've already paid taxes on before investing (except Roth IRAs).

    Let's say you get paid $50k/year and live in a state without income tax. You're in the 25% bracket, so you take home $37.5k. So far, so good.

    Being thrify, you sock away $1000 in a promising stock.

    The stock appreciates by 10% (historical market average) for three years, and then you sell for $1331. Great!

    Except now you pay 25% on the $331 gain, netting $248. Your 10%/year investment actually paid 7.7%. Given historical 2% inflation, your net over just putting it in a mattress is 1.6%. You're almost certainly better off in t-bills which have no risk.

    Does this make sense to anyone? Certainly it means an end to middle class investing.

    •  I don't buy this argument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seeds, Fossil

      The "I already paid taxes on that money" is the argument used against the estate tax.  Your example is static and doesn't allow for the changing winds of inflation, etc.  You've picked numbers to prove your point.  You don't have to sell your investment after three years, in order to fit your scenario of your profit being less than the current t-bills.  

      Trillions of dollars change hands in an exercise that builds nothing, makes nothing or provides a service except justifying its own existence.  If maybe taxing profits precisely like income is too high, assuming you have taken on some risk that could lose you your investment, there should be some revenue generation out of investment income for the commons.  It is the no-cost-to-you mindset that has increased the gulf between the middle and upper classes and needs to be addressed.  We give more and more tax cuts, borrow money to pay for unnecessary wars and tell the wealthy that they should bear no responsibility for the profits they make.  

      •  "I don't buy it" is not a rebuttal. (0+ / 0-)

        So your entire argument is based on... you don't buy it. And then there's that bizarre rant about the gulf between classes, when I just demonstrated that this proposal would increase that gulf by curtailing middle class participation in times of growth.

        10% is the average historical return in the stock market since 1919:

        2% is below the average historical inflation rate, and also the Fed's target inflation rate:

        If you can make an argument for using different numbers that make sense, go for it.

        Alternatively, if you think that people will accept a net ~1.6% risk premium over inflation-linked, risk-free securities, go for that.

        Finally, if you just don't think it matters whether the middle class invests in stocks, make that argument.

        Otherwise you're just sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nyah nyah!" because you don't like the facts.

        •  all this over a cap gains tax on a thousand bucks (0+ / 0-)

          you don't really believe your 50,000/year citizen will not invest in a promising stock because he may one day have to pay 25% on the return, do you? and if 10% is the average return since 1919, and 2% is your historic inflation assumption, why stop your investment return at 3 years?

          just for giggles, I ran your numbers for 15 years and at the end of it your citizen's 1000 clams are worth $2,563.89 after taxes. are you telling me he'd rather not invest the original ammount at all because he'd have to pay ~500 bucks in taxes on his ~2K gain? the end of middle class investing? puhleeze

          •  Check your math. (0+ / 0-)

            Yikes. Are you that condescending in the real world? Does anyone talk to you?

            Run your numbers again; you got them wrong. After 15 years, the $1000 has appreciated to $4177 before tax. $3177 is taxable at 25%, netting $3383 (including principal) after tax. Adjusted for inflation, that's $2499, an annualized return of 6.3%, with considerable risk (though admittedly less, at the 15 year timeframe).

            And I'm not telling you he'd rather not invest, I'm telling you that, unless the risk premium means nothing to him, he will be better off investing in tax-free bonds or, in many cases, just spending the money. It's not the end of middle class investing, just of middle class investing in the stock market.

            You're talking about adjusting the real return of stock markets by something around 25%. It will have an impact. Maybe it's a positive impact. But thinking that it will go unnoticed and won't change investing behavior is as willfully ignorant as any global warming denier.

            PS: If you don't understand how this works, or if you can't do the math, you shouldn't be so strident.

            •  Middle class investing in the stock market... (0+ / 0-)

              ...hasn't been a very positive thing, from what little I know.  

              The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

              by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:52:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Just exactly why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rich in PA

          should investors but not workers receive such elaborate preemptive consideration for the potential effect of inflation on their well-being?  

          When you consider that holding an investment for anything more than a year is considered "long term" and thus eligible for the favorable tax treatment, irrespective of the inflation rate, you would realize that inflation does not have a lot to do with the favored tax status.  

          •  Um (0+ / 0-)

            I thought we were talking about the proposed scenario, where investment income is treated as wages. In that case, the whole "one year" and "long term" thing goes away.

            And there have been plenty of times when inflation as approached 10%, which has a real impact in a year.

            And workers are investors, if they have any kind of retirement plan.

            And the idea isn't to protect investors' well-being, it's to encourage (or at least not discourage) investment. Republicans pro-business nonsense aside, that is still a good idea.

            And I'd be fine protecting workers from the effects of inflation. How about inflation-indexed wages, like many unions have? Or inflation-linked increases in the minimum wage, which are a no brainer.

            Other than that, you've got a pretty good grasp on this.

            •  Not a single real response (0+ / 0-)

              Seriously, the point is, we can promote to a lesser or greater degree investment through tax incentives.  Right now, an investment is heavily favored without regard to whether it is really "long-term" and thus vulnerable to the effects of inflation.  

              I have a better idea: let's work to have a stable financial system that, generally, limits inflation.  This has basically been the sole goal of the Federal Reserve ever since Alan Greenspan became chairman. Look at how hard Bernanke has to justify any move that might even in theory even though it's highly, highly unlikely cause inflation.  

    •  No, not really -- because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      only the GAIN is taxed -- you paid taxes on the basis of the investment, and should not have to pay taxes on that component again, but e.g., if I received a $10,000 bonus from my employer that is taxed at a 30% rate, I have $7,000 to invest net of taxes.  If I invest that amount in the stock market and it gives me a 10% return for the year, I gain $700.  How have I paid taxes on that return?  

      The operative logic for the lower rate is that when I use after tax income to invest, I should receive some credit for having already paid taxes on the original income that generated the revenue for investment.  But there is nothing logically inevitable about this outcome.  The real purpose of the lower rate is to encourage investment over spending by giving preferential tax treatment to the former.  

      Moreover, by preferring capital gains, that is, money generated through investment, we might actually be incentivizing some destructive patterns in our economy.  Let's just say that if you look around and see the mania with which Wall Street firms generate "investments" that are nothing more than shell games, you realize that unbridled enthusiasm for capital versus ordinary income is not an unalloyed benefit to our economy.

      Dividend income, for instance, has always been taxed at ordinary income rates.  

    •  Double Tax (0+ / 0-)

      That's a misnomer.  Everything is taxed infinitum by your definition.

      Your company pays you from their "after sales tax" revenues, which you put in your "after tax" bank account, then it earns interest which you pay tax on, then you spend it with the company incurring another sales tax.

      You have to separate these things out.  Capital gains are INCOME... period.

    •  I agree with not taxing investments as income (0+ / 0-)

      But for a somewhat different reason. First, as we all know, short tetm capital gains are taxed as income; you have to hold the investment >1 yr to qualify for cap gains. Second, those of a lower income are already taxed at a very low rate on any investment income they have. But the real reason I disagree with taxing dividends as income is that dividends are one of the few ways to keep CEOs honest. You either have the money or you don't; you cant hide dividends in a balance sheet.
      BTW many retirees, hardly all of them wealthy live in part on their dividends.
        I would be OK with increasing marginal tax rates on wealthy people (which includes myself) to make up for the loss of revenue, or, even better, a modest consumption tax instead.
        Otherwise agree w. the proposal

      An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

      by MichiganChet on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 02:00:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  unless i am missing something (0+ / 0-)

    Rep Schakowsky is proposing ~400 billion in new taxes and spending cuts, offset by ~$200 billion in redirected spending.

    not saying they are not all good ideas worth exploring, but if its an attempt to fix a >$1 trillion dollar problem at today's levels (never mind 2020 levels when baby boomer health care costs go through the roof), doesn't look like this is going to do it.

    •  Deficit Reduction Plan (0+ / 0-)

      ...not Deficit Elimination Plan

      •  And furthermore..... (0+ / 0-)

        the redirected spending is a means of bringing more money into the treasury in the long run.  She flat out says that any deficit reduction plan has to have at its core a return to sound economic fundamentals.  

        •  That's the not-really-believable part (0+ / 0-)

          That's pure progressive speculation, the mirror image of the Laffer Curve.

          The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

          by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:50:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  great (0+ / 0-)

        as reductions go, she's 1/5 of the way there, and falling behind by more than that in the out years according to her own numbers.

        at what point does a proposed reduction not really do much of anything other than shift deck chairs around?

    •  Simpson's plan has tax increases of $1 trillion (0+ / 0-)

      on the middle class, but cuts taxes on billionaires.

      •  and he has it backwards (0+ / 0-)

        but at least his numbers are appropriate to the scale of the problem. just because he predictably places the burden of the fix away from the people who can afford to fix it doesn't automatically mean that Schakowsky's altnerative is an equivalent fix. her own numbers say its not.

        like I said, some good ideas there worth exploring, but this is very much a numbers game, and it shouldn't be too hard to use those numbers to tell us who is proposing a solution and who's ducking the problem.

    •  I'd be happier if she didn't redirect spending (0+ / 0-)

      The real compromise is progressive cuts as Jan has outlined, but progressives give up their reflexive preference to "reinvest" (i.e. spend in new ways) the savings.

      The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

      by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:50:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Schakowsky the lioness (0+ / 0-)

    Why isn't this woman the next Senator from Illinois?

    •  She has foreclosed that possibility... (0+ / 0-) supporting cuts to ag subsidies.  So my hat's off to her, but that kills her as a statewide candidate.

      The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

      by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:49:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why isn't Obama out there saying this...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What is he waiting for?  Presumably, he's waiting for GOP members to "compromise."  What a disappointment he is, like he's given up and is hoping to get reelected by default, if the GOP chooses an idiot to run against him.

  •  And how much (0+ / 0-)

    serious media coverage will this get?

    Wanna bet: None?  Faux may make fun of it, but other than that, it will get diddly.

    And without the people being aware of it, it will get nowhere.

    My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

    by trumpeter on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:33:53 PM PST

    and forgive me for raising my voice because I care

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 12:34:16 PM PST

  •  there really is no reason why SS should be (0+ / 0-)

    capped.  After all, it is a safety-net program, and it is completely possible that a high roller could get his/her 40 quarters in and go bust thereby requiring SS benefits in their retirement and, quite posssibly, having contributed less to the system than someone with lower income who has been contributing throughout their working life (if the caps were in place).  But the fundamental reason is that we are our brother's keeper, and that is what SS is really all about.

  •  So let me get this straight............... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama gets no credit for this? He gets all the blame for what Simpson and Erskine put out, but when  A PROGRESSIVE THAT'S ON THE COMMISSION THAT HE PUT TOGETHER comes out with something you guys like the only mention of Obama is:

    'where is he? why he's not saying this? he's out playing golf'

    I believe that the commission's ideas are the commission's ideas and no one should be guessing where Obama stands based on him have said nothing yet or based on preconceived notions of Obama. HOWEVER, that has not been the case here at this site and at other liberal blogs. I've been told that if Simpson wants to cut SS then that's what Obama wants. Yet no one here is saying that this is the plan Obama wanted, Why not? So what if she's not chair? The chair person doesn't get an extra vote.

    Nothing but a bunch of two faced hypocrites on this site. What's worse is that you guys don't even see it.

    •  It seems like you just came here to complain (0+ / 0-)

      It's always about the same thing, which makes it even more unusual that I can't determine what that thing actually is.

      The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

      by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:48:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pledge to support Schakowsky's proposals. (0+ / 0-)

    Rather than a single-issue Social Security pledge, I'd like to see a petition attached to a resolution supporting Schakowsky's progressive-leaning proposal, specifically citing public option, tax code changes, defense spending cuts. Activism to protect SS benefits is needed, but IMO opportunity has been squandered by not focusing on worthwhile deficit reduction items. Rather than be effective, netroots embraced the "catfood" nickname and constant whipping of outrage about the commission and its members. It's not so easy to grow a movement in support of Schakowsky's proposal after months of commission disparagement.

    I hope that a petition on issues that actually affect our lives could exceed the 200,000 signatures on the petition to support Keith Olbermann.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:40:34 PM PST

  •  Oh good! (0+ / 0-)

    One member of congress is sane.

  •  Deficit (0+ / 0-)

    This is pretty good, but why not raise the top rate to 90% and cut defense spending in half?  One is afraid that if those big-ticket items are not tackled then the deficit will always be with us.

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