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It's so easy to get distracted. To lose focus. It's what Foxaganda, the Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce and the subsidized deadbeat corporations want. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the battle over shutting down the government. It's not that Democrats are wrong to make a big deal over Planned Parenthood funding for women's health. This issue matters. And it matters a great deal. The war on women has been a major theme of right-wing attacks for a long time and, as one can see in Congress and a plethora of state legislatures, it's being ratcheted up. These attacks should be fought against every inch of the way because, as Joan McCarter has written, they are part of a radical agenda that will have a negative impact at the most fundamental level. So huzzah for the Democratic caucus standing together against this latest woman-hating attack.

But there are two dangers. One of those, joanneleon points out, is that a (probably temporary) win on Planned Parenthood funding will be touted as an overall victory in the shutdown fight. The associated danger is that we will lose sight of the big picture in the heat of our battle on the details, even if those details are important ones. That big picture was recently described quite well by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a fellow who isn't a Democrat but who Democrats ought to be emulating. Here he is addressing the crux of our predicament:

Two- and five- and seven-minute versions of that speech ought to have been on the lips of every Democrat who's spoken about the government shutdown for the past two weeks. Every time.

While it may not provide the entire solution, the response to Paul Ryan's roadmap and every other Republican's effort to gut federal social spending and cut taxes for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations should include references to the need to restore progressive taxes. Because that is, at its core, what the government shutdown is really about, the 30-year failure to block right-wing efforts to transfer more of this country's wealth upward. Here's the outline of a proposal by Chuck Collins, senior policy analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author with Bill Gates Sr. of Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes:

By reversing years of tax giveaways to America’s rich and the corporations that enrich them, Congress could raise trillions in revenue. We could fund the public structures that safeguard our families and our future.

There are four revenue raisers that Congress could institute tomorrow that would generate $400 billion a year–or $4 trillion over the next decade. Such programs would restore greater fairness to our tax system and reduce the extreme levels of inequality polarizing our society.

Congress could levy a modest financial transaction tax on the transfers of stock, currency, and speculative investments that do little to strengthen the real economy. This would generate $150 billion a year while exempting smaller investors.

Lawmakers could reduce corporate tax dodging by closing overseas tax havens and requiring companies to pay U.S. taxes on the profits they actually earn in this country. This could generate as much as $100 billion a year.

Congress could establish new top tax rates on households with annual incomes over $1 million, which could generate another $100 billion a year. Under our current tax system, a person earning $374,000 a year pays the same top tax rate as someone earning $10 million a year.

Lawmakers could institute a progressive estate tax on fortunes over $5 million, with higher rates on billionaire estates. That would generate $45 billion a year.

Taking all four of these straightforward steps could raise a total of approximately $400 billion per year.

Class warfare? No. Self-defense. Which is our basic right as working Americans.

It will, of course, be argued that the Democrats shouldn't talk about raising taxes as Collins and Sanders propose because Republicans (and the remaining Blue Dogs) control the House and the votes just aren't there. And besides tax-raising proposals will be used to crush the Democrats and put Michele Bachmann or Mitt Romney or Donald Trump into the Oval Office. And blah, blah, blah.

Whether put forth by Democrats who are lined up with the corporations or by those too chickenhearted to actually fight, this is the approach that has got us where we are today, arguing over how much to cut Head Start, how best to eviscerate Medicaid, how far to reduce the top marginal tax bracket for billionaires.

It's obviously true that if some Democrats who aren't in the corporate bag vigorously took up the need for restoring progressive taxes, they would not succeed this year. The obstacles aren't imaginary. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't hammer the issue now. Relentlessly, incessantly, with passion and determination. Perhaps Sanders could give seminars.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now that's a budget plan! (25+ / 0-)

    I'd rather laugh with the sinners, than cry with the saints. The sinners have much more fun!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:28:20 PM PDT

    •  cheers for Bernie. It's good to see that the (16+ / 0-)

      Socialists haven't sold out their principles, unlike the Democrats.

      •  President Clinton handed George Bush an economic (11+ / 0-)

        in surplus with declining debt.

        Bush immediately destroyed this with unfunded tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, followed by dramatic increases in defense spending, and homeland security.

        Progressives should inlude the above, but combine these refinements, with a "Return to Prosperity" theme, as our foundation.

        Additional measures, such as these, and others will be necessary because of the decline in the economy.

        But, it can be accomplished without any large slashing of social programs.

        Closing the $35 billion in oil industry loopholes, and not paying royalties on current concessions, is just one of dozens of adjustments we can make.

        Taking the $36 billion in subsidies for the nuclear industry, or converting these to true, alternative renewables, would help.

        Republican SOD, Robert Gates has proposed about $150 billion of cuts in defense spending.  Simpson-Bowls, suggests cuts that I beleive amount to almost a trillion over a decade.  If it was not this group it was some other fairly extensive study.

        It's time to declare WWII over, and reduce our troop, equipment, and financial expeditures for NAT0, and the defense of Europe by, at leasts 95%.  We can participate in the same way others do.

        Same with withdrawing the 15,000 troops from Japan.

        We need to keep reminding folks that the Social Security Trust Fund is completely separate from the budget, and is well funded through the mid 2030s.  My understanding is that by removing the income caps, and a few other minor adjustments can insure solvency of the SSTF into the 2070.  As, Senator Reid has pointed out, it is not in crisis, and we can fix this later.  As in after 2012, when we take back the House.

         

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:06:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Democratic Establishment despises base. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Allogenes

        Someone in Salon last week wrote:

        The Repulbican Establishment fears its base. The Democratic Establishment despises theirs.
        (Sorry, I looked for the article to get a link, but couldn't find it.)

        If that is true, it would explain why, in the 41 years I've been watching the Republicans whine about how "liberally biased" the media is, no major Democrat has come forth to say that for the GOP to do the things it does, they'd have to know it's a lie or they're masochistically begging to be humiliated."

        It would be so much easier to argue that the Republicans aren't actually worried about the debt if we could say that they would have anticipated that a truly liberal media would have reminded everyone that they weren't so concerned last December when they opposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

        But that would have brought so many members of the Despicable Base to the party.

        Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

        by Judge Moonbox on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:33:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a no-brainer. (36+ / 0-)

    Wealthy people use a disproportionate amount of the public services, in furtherance of their wealth.  This is obvious and demonstrable.  Therefore, they should pay a larger percentage of the tax burden.  We NEED to hammer on the fact that the wealthy in this nation are getting  what is essentially a free ride, while the middle class is footing their bill and not understanding why the "deficit" keeps growing...

    "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

    by stophurtingamerica on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:29:20 PM PDT

    •  We need visuals, graphs to illustrate your (10+ / 0-)

      first sentence.

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:43:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true. (7+ / 0-)

        I am not a statistician... but I can research with the best of them.  I'll see what I can find.

        "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

        by stophurtingamerica on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:45:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you find stats, we can find a smart (3+ / 0-)

          graphic artist to make them make sense

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:23:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is Time to Rebalance the Load (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Allogenes, Chi

          In the last 23 years, while the income from our economy has shifted drastically upward to those at the top, the tax burden has shifted the other way - at least as a percentage of income.  

          I took a look at the figures for my state.  I'm guessing from what I found, figures from your state might show pretty much the same.

          Between 1988 and what's projected under current law for 2013, the effective tax rate for all state and local taxes has increased over twice as fast for those in the middle and upper-middle brackets (approx 38%) as it has for those in the the Top 10% (approx 14%.)

          During that same period, the effective tax rate for the Top 5% increased only 11% and that of the Top 1% increased only 9%.

          In 1988 the effective tax rates for all state and local taxes were roughly the same for the middle and the top (between 8.8% and 9.1%).

          But now, the middle pays an effective state and local tax rate (12.3%) roughly 2% more than that paid (10.1%) by the Top 10%, and over 2.5% more than that paid (9.7%) by the Top 1%.  

          And this is in a state with one of the more "progressive" tax systems in the country.

          It's well past time that we put some balance back into our state and local taxes.

          But in focusing on the shift in state and local tax load from the Top 10% down onto the "Middle" 90%, have we missed the impact on the downtrodden wealthy from rising federal income tax rates?  

          Au contrair, mon ami.

          For those taking the top incomes, their effective tax rate (fed income tax paid divided by AGI), is actually a bit lower than it was back in 1988 and significantly lower than it was in 1998.

          Average (Effective) Tax Rate for Federal Personal Income Tax:

                                1988          1998                  2008
          Top 10%         19.18        21.42                18.71
          Top 5%           21.14        23.63                20.70
          Top 1%           24.04        27.12                23.27
                                                             2001      
          Top 1/10%                                 28.2%    22.7%

          And while the effective rates of Federal income tax for lower income categories have also declined, those decreases have been offset in a fairly substantial way by increases in the payroll tax, which now nearly matches federal income tax as a source of federal revenue.

          During the same period, the only group that has seen an increase in it's share of the AGI pie ?

          You guessed it: Top 10%. (All lower categories are getting a smaller piece of the pie.)

          So over the past couple of decades the bottom 90% have seen their share of our economy's rewards get smaller and smaller while at the same time  they've been asked for a larger and larger portion of that dwindling share of the pie to support our government .

          I'll say it again, it's time to rebalance the load before we break the back of the American Middle class. .

          Sources:

          Figures from 2011 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study: pg 20.    Incomes are est based on reported 2008 and 2013 estimates.

          http://taxes.state.mn.us/...

          Fifth Decile:      1988: 8.8%; 2013: 12.3%
          Eighth Decile:   1988: 8.9%; 2013: 12.3%
          Top 10%:         1988: 9.1%; 2013: 10.4%
          Top 5%:           1988: 9.1%; 2013:  10.1%
          Top 1%:            1988: 8.9%; 2013:   9.7%

          Federal Revenue Sources
          http://www.cbo.gov/...

          Note: Categories are from the Tax Foundation report on Federal Income Taxes linked below and are not directly comparable to cateogories for state/local figures used above due to both different group covered (federal tax returns = national pool) and different definitions of income than used in the MN Tax Incidence Study.
          http://www.taxfoundation.org/...

          We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

          by Into The Woods on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:43:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, I never really looked at taxes as (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods

      a burden. Now that you've pointed out that they are an extra weight that I'm forced to carry, it makes me think about them in a totally different way.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:07:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Are The Load We Are Proud to Carry (5+ / 0-)

        as citizens of this great country.

        We just believe that load has become unbalanced.  

        Time to rebalance the load.

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:14:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I really hope this is snark. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fritzi56, Hirodog

        Definition of BURDEN
        1a : something that is carried : load
        b : duty, responsibility

        Yes, it is a burden.  Currently, a somewhat unfair one.  Just because the word burden can carry additional connotations, doesn't mean it is an inaccurate word.

        "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."  - Oliver Wendell Holmes.  

        I LIKE paying my taxes.  I like carrying my groceries in the house too... it means I get to eat.  That doesn't mean either task isn't a burden.

        "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

        by stophurtingamerica on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:23:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why lose anyone when we don't have to? (0+ / 0-)
          Just because the word [...] can carry additional connotations, doesn't mean it is an inaccurate word.

          Some words just aren't used, because there are better words...ones that don't trigger a bad image in minds of many potential listeners.

          Just because a word is accurate, doesn't make it the right word.

          -- We are just regular people informed on issues

          by mike101 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:46:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's not an accurate word in my case (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mike101

            I have no objection to paying taxes. Government services aren't free. We pay for them with taxes.

            But then, I'm not a greedy selfish bastard who only cares about himself and his own wallet.  I.e., I'm not a Republican.

          •  What would you call it? (0+ / 0-)

            Our tax gift?  I'm not trying to be a smartass here, I'm really curious.

            "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

            by stophurtingamerica on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:50:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Something like- (0+ / 0-)
              Wealthy people use a disproportionate amount of the public services, in furtherance of their wealth.  This is obvious and demonstrable.  Therefore, they should pay a fair tax.

              When we are voted back into office everyone will pay a fair tax according to their ability.

              (There are probably many alternate approaches that others skilled in the art could elaborate.)

              -- We are just regular people informed on issues

              by mike101 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:11:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  This is not obvious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzi56

      otherwise we would not be in the predicament we are today.

      I do have a brain, but this is not obvious to me.

      Please spell out here exactly how this is so.  Then, armed with those facts, we can take this to Democratic politicians representing us, and hold them accountable for not doing right by the people.

      ♥ Medicare For All. ♥
      "Our health care system is like a casino. The insurance industry is the House... The House always wins." -- UnaSpenser

      by Chi on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:22:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only are we ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...footing the bill we have to pay for their screw ups and bad wagers so they don't have to suffer the loss.  Privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

      The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true. J. Robert Oppenheimer {-8.25 / -5.64}

      by carver on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 10:00:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans are not our friends... (18+ / 0-)

    that is my only disagreement with this honorable Senator.

    He makes me proud! I hate winter, otherwise I'd move to VT.  They seem to have most of the smart people there!

  •  The problem - who is the D and who is the R (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, pHunbalanced, Matt Z, Chi

    in this parable:

    16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
     19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

     22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”

       But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

     23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

     24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

     26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

       But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

     27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

     28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:30:03 PM PDT

  •  Two words: Citizens United (8+ / 0-)

    As long as they are going after their piece of that loathsome pie, Democrats have every reason to avoid discussing progressive taxation.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:30:19 PM PDT

  •  Because (7+ / 0-)

    The current Democratic Party by and large, fucking SUCK.

    And we're not going to get any better anytime soon.

    Let's take the best of the best of the Dumbocratic Party, form new party. Kick ass, take names.

    I'll run under that banner, right now.

    I'll be like Alan Grayson; Pull no punches, call out the bullshit.

    Populism wins. We can do it.

    Democrats? Can't, or won't.

    •  This is a Democratic site (9+ / 0-)

      Your name-calling does not set well with me.  I would advise you retract the term "Dumbocatic Party" as well as the slur in your first sentence.

      On substance, splitting the Democratic Party is a recipe for Repub dominance of all three branches of Government.  It's an extremely bad idea.

      "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

      by Zinman on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:42:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  much simpler explanation, I believe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzi56, Chi

      its because the current Democratic Party (since the colossal Dukakis failure) has been as frightened by the right wing noise machine about the power "tax and spend" as has the right wing constituency of the GOP that said language was devised to rally.

      You know you have a successful and powerful messaging machine when your sound bites work not only to energize your base but to cower your opponents.

      Many in the Democratic Party establishment don't realize that the 80s are over.  They also remember every defeat.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:05:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen. But to answer your question (5+ / 0-)

    We still have too many elected Dems that want to sure up their conservative bone fides like Mark Warner.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:31:19 PM PDT

  •  You don't GET it (8+ / 0-)

    The rich are rich because they are smarter and better than other people. This means they make the smartest and best use of their money. We should therefore give them all of ours. The money is better off that way, and so are we. I don't see what is so hard about this.

  •  plugging Rep Grijalva's diary (16+ / 0-)

    See Grijalva: People's Budget in 2012.

    Democrats should be repeating that proposal in every speech. It includes specifics on progressive tax changes that MB is talking about.

  •  Perhaps Sanders could run for president. (7+ / 0-)

    As the second party candidate, of course.

    We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

    by obiterdictum on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:36:04 PM PDT

  •  By Jove (3+ / 0-)

    I think you're on to something there, old chap.

    Jolly good show.

    My hat is off to young Mr. Sanders as well.

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

  •  Our good friend Kent Conrad (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy, TomFromNJ, joedemocrat, TexasTom

    actually did bring that up when he was asked about the Paul Ryan budget.

    He stated that the first thing Ryan's budget plan did was dig a 1.some Trillion dollar hole with tax give aways.

    He said  solve the budget problems the solution must be balanced, addressing both the revenue side and the spending side.

    ~a little change goes a long way~

    by missliberties on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:36:59 PM PDT

  •  Democrats can NOT say this (6+ / 0-)

    Because the "fight" was a couple of months ago when the tax cut was extended. The Democrats said it's ok for the next two years and they won't fight that fight until then.

    Any Democrat who believes the rich should pay more is a doom and gloomer, Obama-bashing firebagger.

    according to some, but that "some" includes just about all the Democrats in Washington.

    •  No. Because GOP Opened Up the Deal (0+ / 0-)

      With the cuts they are proposing now and those they will propose for the next budget year (ala Ryan at best - TP will come with worse, count on it), if we keep letting them break deals while we insist our obligations remain intact, we will doom the middle class and with them this country.

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:47:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Passion? From This Crew of Democrats? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, Silverleaf, esquimaux

    It's like expecting passion from a toilet seat.  The majority of Dems are the most spineless, weak,  mealy-mouthed, cowering wimps I've ever seen.  

    I agree with your call for Progressive taxation, but I cannot see this group of Dems uttering those words.

    Great diary, though.  

  •  Our country did damn well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, rlharry, Chi

    with the higher tax rates that we had in the '90s.

    How soon people forget.

  •  Bernie always makes me proud to be a (15+ / 0-)

    socialist!  I wish we had more in Congress.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:40:35 PM PDT

  •  Why? Stupidity... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:43:30 PM PDT

  •  Bernie Sanders should (12+ / 0-)

    start mailing out Daily Talking Points


    call it "Sanders Says"

    maybe.


    Got Time?
    Take ten, to find something else informative and fun to read. Thx.

    by jamess on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:43:55 PM PDT

  •  Why do only Republicans think long-term? (7+ / 0-)

    Democratic long-term thinking never goes beyond “we should keep out powder dry.” Never any serious efforts for long-term goals, never any attempts to fight the good fight even if we don't win everything today.

    (Unless you think Obama is really planning to push for a public health plan in the rest of his term. Yeah, good luck with that.)

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:44:06 PM PDT

  •  and what do we get instead? (17+ / 0-)

    an administration that gives away its negotiating points ahead of time, encouraging the other side to push for even more

    the numbers that will come out, perhaps shortly, will be $40 billion in cuts for the rest of the year.  But none of it will be from defense.  We are into the 6th month of the fiscal year, so that is the equivalent of something around 73 billion annualized.  Most of it will come from domestic programs that help ordinary people.

    Why not, instead, demand for each billion in cuts one billion in additional revenue from taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

    Then agree to 30 billion in cuts, 30 billion in additional revenue, you get 60 billion now which is annualized at over 100 billion.

    Or even better - for each dollar in defense cuts, 1 dollar in additional revenue.  For each dollar in non-defense cuts, two or three dollars in additional revenue.  Then let the Republicans pick their poison.

    Instead, we will wind up crippling social programs that help the neediest.

    What a travesty.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:44:15 PM PDT

  •  Every Democrat's speech should also mention (11+ / 0-)

    that liberals pay taxes too.  

    Many taxpayers are sick of paying for wars and "defense".  Some taxpayers (like Quakers for example) might be appalled that their tax money goes to nuclear missiles, bombs, mines and other weapons of war.  How about if their money goes to Planned Parenthood - and the Repubs can fund the defense if they like.   Parents with kids are taxpayers too.  They would probably prefer that their tax money go for a better Department of Education.  Some taxpayers want a good space program.   Environmentalist taxpayers want a strong EPA.  I wish we could somehow poll taxpayers to see how they want their tax dollars spent.  Some people might even want their tax money to help the poor.

  •  For quite a while now, democrats have ceased (5+ / 0-)

    to stand for progressive policies. The ones that aren't bought off are timid and frightened. But take a look at Bernie Sander's top donors and you he's a true blue progressive

    • Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union    $85,000
    •    
    • Teamsters Union    $80,200
    • United Auto Workers    $72,250   
    • United Food & Commercial Workers Union $61,000
    • National Education Assn    $60,950
    • Laborers Union    $57,750
    • Communications Workers of America    $57,107
    •    
    • Carpenters & Joiners Union    $51,500
    • American Assn for Justice    $51,000
    • American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees    $49,498
    • Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers    $48,500
    •    
    • National Assn of Letter Carriers    $44,000
    • Sheet Metal Workers Union     $41,000
    •    
    • United Transportation Union    $40,000
    •    
    • Operating Engineers Union    $35,100
    • United Steelworkers     $34,200
    • Plumbers/Pipefitters Union    $34,000
    • Service Employees International Union    $30,382
    • AFL-CIO    $28,217   
    • American Federation of Teachers     $26,867


    Formatting errors not mine :)

    "Say little; do much." (Pirkei Avot: 1:15)

    by hester on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:44:44 PM PDT

  •  props for "Foxaganda", MB n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:45:23 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't fit with Obama's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bay of arizona, esquimaux

    re-election campaign strategy.  The one other DC DEMS have been ordered to get behind and otherwise STFU.

  •  The Republican Plan: skip the Panels go right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, rlharry

    to Death for not only the elderly, but kids and anyone not rich.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:47:48 PM PDT

  •  $5 gallon "Support Our Troops" Tax. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    The government is broke and can't "support our troops". Citizens must step up to the plate and pay the $1.2T military bill for out boys.

    Any real patriot would be more than happy to contribute $5 per gallon at the gas pump to support the troops.

  •  Heard Seattle V.P. of teacher's union puke up (5+ / 0-)

    the diaper-shitter conventional wisdom from our state capitol -

    revenue is a political loser -

    yesterday at a luncheon rah-rah.

    yawn.

    Find what the wingers want,
    and take it from them.

    do NOT negotiate with them.

    stop pissing your diapers.

    STOP hiring the affluent conventional wisdom political consultants who can NOT figure out how to stuff lies down the throats of liars -

    these right wing shit policies TAKE the earnings and the sweat of ALL of us - so a few of us can live like f'king pigs.

    IF you can't figure out a way to sell that to the drooling masses, so they get the f'k up off their asses, THEN you should thrown out on YOUR fucking incompetent ass.

    yawn.

    time to pass the torch to a REAL generation.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:50:26 PM PDT

  •  Of course, the Dems would never play offense (2+ / 0-)

    by offering affirmative legislation for ANY policy area, regardless of whether the chances of passage were slim, just as long as it could shape any future debate.

    In pathetic, fist-clenching, gut-wrenching contrast, the media is reporting a possible deal that includes $39 billion in cuts -- $7 billion more than Paul Ryan wanted in February, which the Dems said at the time was "too cruel", even if it's less than the $61 billion the tea partiers demanded. If these reports are accurate, with the distraction of defunding Title X health care, the GOP is on the verge of successfully playing the Dems again!

  •  You gain from the road, Pay for the load. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ed k, mike101, Brooke In Seattle, Hirodog

    Free shit is not free. Bridges, roadways, sewers, canals, traffic signals, road signage, flood control, there is a lot of shit to list that cost money. If you make money, You are using it. Pay up.

    "Misfortune shows those who are not really friends." Aristotle

    by JugOPunch on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:51:07 PM PDT

  •  Excellent post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ed k, rlharry, Situational Lefty

    You have proficiently articulated my frustrated views on the primary budgetary argument that democrats should be making.

  •  Just call me a firebagger (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cumulo, lams712, esquimaux, priceman

    The reason I won't vote for Vichycrats has nothing to do with "litmus tests" or "ideological purity" or any of those other buzz phrases that have been assigned to me. I don't think it's unreasonable to require people who call themselves Democrats to act like Democrats. I don't vote for Republicans. Ever. Not even the ones who call themselves Democrats.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:54:27 PM PDT

  •  Those days are gone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cumulo, esquimaux

    That Democratic party hasn't existed in years. They long ago conceded the conversation cannot include any whiff of "class warfare" which means any mention of fairness, or progressivity in the tax code, or any loose talk about the rich paying their share is off limits. Scares away the big donors don't you know.

  •  Your assumption that Democrats share your goal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, esquimaux, Chi

    Has been shown time and again to be false.  There is a reason Sanders isn't one.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:58:29 PM PDT

  •  Exactly! but it's sausage without the grinding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cumulo
    There are four revenue raisers that Congress could institute tomorrow that would generate $400 billion a year–or $4 trillion over the next decade. Such programs would restore greater fairness to our tax system and reduce the extreme levels of inequality polarizing our society.
    would that we could enact these swiftly and with discipline....

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:01:40 PM PDT

  •  4. Every Democrat Isn't Progressive. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Chi

    3. Most who are won't message like it.
    2. The party does not want to repeal Reaganomics.
    1. Nobody wants to remind anyone of the protective functions of genuinely progressive taxation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:02:24 PM PDT

  •  Yes! (6+ / 0-)

    But if they need to own it, so do WE.

    We can in fact get this on the table if we, the netroots, start hammering it relentlessly.  We need to demand that the Democratic party start proposing tax hikes of the sort outlined above.  We need to articulate this as a demand that the rich and corporations pay their fair share, given the prosperity they enjoy.  We need to articulate this as a demand we are not embarrassed or apologetic about.  

    As long as saying you're for raising taxes is the equivalent of coming out of the closet when I was in high school in the 80s, we're doomed.  

    So we need to own this shit, rather than run away from it.

    "Two things that were left out of the bill of rights: the right to leave and the right to change one's mind" --Veronika, in Eustache's La Maman et la putain

    by ed k on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:04:45 PM PDT

  •  You can't even think about raising taxes unless (0+ / 0-)

    you agree to some rather draconian spending cuts.   The vast majority of Americans simply won't stand for a bigger tax bill, as the downward bracket creep is making higher taxes a reality for more and more Americans which they simply will not accept without some demonstrable belt tightening by the Government.  

    You can only buy votes with someone else's money.  After a while, if you spend enough, there is no one else.  

    We have to learn to accept this simple fact, and make sure that the pain is shared fairly and compassionately.  

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:05:18 PM PDT

    •  But the effective tax rate for the wealthy (3+ / 0-)

      is at its lowest point in decades (same for corporations), so there's lots of wiggle room there!

      •  No one will take the tax hit willingly unless they (0+ / 0-)

        know that the increased levy is not being pissed away. That's the truth.  

        Wiggle out of that.  

        If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:12:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  who the heck said taxes on the rich have to be (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ctsteve, Meteor Blades, mike101, Hirodog

          "willingly"?

          Fuck 'em.  Raise their taxes whether they like it or not.  (shrug)

          They already have some of the lowest tax rates in the world. If they don't like paying higher taxes here, let them all move to Europe and see how they like it there.

          I'm tired of kissing their fat fucking asses.

          They had a free party for the past 30 years.  It's time for them to pay their bar tab.

        •  yeah-- I've heard that argument before (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Kaib

          Per Prof Jacob Hacker, our tax policy itself has created the most severe income inequality in decades (Winner-Take-All Politics).  That in itself is reason to restore progressive taxation, if you care about things like freedom of opportunity.

      •  Not enough "wealthy" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpamNunn, VClib

        to get there by taxing the wealthy alone.

        Repealing the Bush Tax Cuts for households (2 income) with incomes over $250,000, putting those households back to the Clinton Tax rates -- the highest effective federal individual income tax rates ever on this income group -- raises $70 billion a year.  This year's deficit is about $1.5 trillion.  Even if you put Bernie Sanders' surtax on millionaires and billionaires on top of that, that's only -- at most -- $50 billion more.  

        The real money is in repealing the Bush Tax Cuts for families under $250,000 -- that's $300 billion a year.  But that affects everybody, down to raising the lowest bracket from 10% back to 15% and cutting the EITC in half.  

        There's no way the middle class will stand for significant income tax increases without some real spending cuts  

        •  C'est vrai. (0+ / 0-)

          If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

          by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:25:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If the 14 million officially unemployed... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Kaib, Silverleaf, joedemocrat

          ...the 12 million underemployed and a whole bunch of people who are unemployed but not counted had jobs and were generating income, they'd also be paying taxes and that $1.5 trillion deficit wouldn't be $1.5 trillion. Collins's proposal adds $400 billion a year in income, 30 percent more than taxing families under $250,000 income.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:29:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  just depends on where they come from, then (0+ / 0-)
        •  nonsense (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silverleaf, esquimaux

          The richest 1% of the US owns 40% of the entire national wealth.

          40% of the entire national wealth.

          Forty fucking percent.

          Think about that for a moment.

          We are the largest and richest economy that has ever existed in all of human history. Richer than the Roman Empire, richer than the Spanish Empire, richer than the British Empire.

          The very idea that "we can't afford it" and "we're broke" is laughably idiotic.

          The difficulty is NOT that we don't have enough wealth--the problem is that one fucking percent of us own nearly half of it, and they don't want anyone else to get any of it.

          I say we take it from them, whether they like it or not. Let them limp by on a mere hundred million instead of two hundred million. It won't kill them.

          And if they have to sell the private Learjet or the spare Bentley to pay their taxes, then tough luck.  

          •  We can't tax wealth (0+ / 0-)

            constitutionally.  It would take a constitutional amendment which has about as much chance of getting passed with the needed supermajorities as I have of being declared dictator.  

            We tax income.  It has to be transaction-based -- transfer of revenue.  We can't tax accumulated wealth.  Take a look at why there was a need for the Sixteenth Amendment.  

            The latest IRS statistics on income can be found summarized here.  

            There are some households with incomes that are extremely high, that's true.  But households with income over $1 million is somewhere around 1/10 of 1%, last I checked.  

            If we are going to bring the deficit down to what the Obama administration calls "sustainable levels," tax increases on the wealthy are going to have to be part of it.  But there are also going to have to be SOME spending cuts, for two reasons.  First, the numbers don't add up without that.  Second -- and more importantly -- deficit reduction down to "sustainable levels" based on tax increases alone has ZERO chance of getting enacted, practically speaking, just like deficit reduction by cuts alone has ZERO chance of getting enacted.  Any sane person knows that IF there is going to be significant deficit reduction, it is going to have to be a compromise with tax increases and spending cuts.    

            •  This is why (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              esquimaux, Hirodog

              ...capital gains taxes and estate taxes are such a big deal to the rich. They gain money using accumulated wealth, but it doesn't fit the lawyered definition of "income".

              The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

              by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:58:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Capital gains ARE income (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SpamNunn, lotusmaglite

                they are taxed at a lower rate, but they are taxed as income.  Short term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income, I think.

                Long term capital gains (capital gains from assets held over a year)  have the lower rate.  The purported reason for taxing capital gains at a lower rate is a risk-reward analysis.  The supposed thinking is that investment of capital is a risk, so to make it worth taking the risk, you lower the tax on the reward.  

                •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                  Capital gains are reported as income.

                  My slightly exaggerated point was that capital gains are not like regular income. Financial machinations account for an inexcusable amount of the economy, and the uber-rich get uber-richer in this way. They don't have regular jobs. This is what I meant about the "lawyered" definition of income. Capital gains are rich people's income, and so it must be protected from evil taxes as much as possible.

                  The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

                  by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:24:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  fuck their risk (0+ / 0-)

                  They can afford it. Their "risk" doesn't seem to be taking any of them to the poorhouse.

                  Tax their INCOME at the same rate as everyone else's income gets taxed at.

            •  of course we can (0+ / 0-)

              All that wealth comes from somewhere.  The uber-rich didn't print the money themselves.

              So we tax every source of it.  Income tax rates go up.  Capital-gains taxes go up.  Inheritance taxes go up.  Financial transaction tax gets imposed.  All the loopholes and tax credits go away.

    •  I'll "learn" to accept this simple fact... (5+ / 0-)

      ...as soon as Collins's proposals in my excerpt above is passed. What you're saying here is of the same order as what the Republicans said when Bill Clinton raised taxes: Biggest tax hike ever!! Except that it wasn't. And ALL the newly imposed taxes affected only those individuals making $175,000 ($215,000 for households) in 2011 dollars. And the biggest effects were on people making a lot more than that.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe in taxing "accumulated fortunes" (0+ / 0-)

        We pay taxes on our earnings when we earn them.   We should be able to transmit our accumulated wealth to whoever we damn please.  

        Our labor, like that of a farmer, can create more of a commodity than we need for our own sustenance.  We should be able to store it, for lean times, or give it away, or burn it if we want to, because it belongs to us, and no one else.  

        If you want to ask someone to share their accumulated wealth, you shouldn't be able to take it from them at the point of the Government's tax bayonet.  They should give it willingly, because that's what's fair, and it's only fair when you are not pissing away what you are taking.  

        No one can tell me that we are not pissing away our tax dollars.   We give most of them back to the oligarchs.   I can't run with the big dogs, but I can hunt for my own family.  If I can squirrel some away, I ain't giving it to them without a fight, not unless I know that it's being used for the greater good, and not to subsidize the Goldman Sachs of the world.    

        If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So work should be taxed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silverleaf, esquimaux, Hirodog

          but birth windfalls are sacred? And you think that position is good for regular people but bad for Goldman Sachs?

          Are you sure you don't have that backwards?

          •  The birth windfall is the fruit of (0+ / 0-)

            my labor.  It wasn't a windfall.  I planted the tree.  I tended the orchard.  I picked the fruit.  I get to decide who eats the apples.  Not some bureaucrat who sat on his fat ass while I was working.  

            If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

            by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:41:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  have you forgotten that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hirodog

          the corporations pay no taxes at all . . . . ?

          And people who make more, should pay more.  Period.

          BTW, are you aware that most of the income made by the ober-wealthy is not even job income at all--they don't even work for it?  It comes in the form of stock dividends and interest, things that the IRS, in a wonderful bout of honesty, classifies as "unearned income".

          Think about that phrase "unearned income".

          Then ask yourself what tax rate they pay on that "unearned income" . . .

        •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi

          First this:

          I don't believe in taxing "accumulated fortunes". We pay taxes on our earnings when we earn them.

          Except that those accumulated fortunes (the very large ones) continue to acquire more fortune that is either not taxed or undertaxed (capital gains). The that money is passed on to an heir who suddenly has an one-time income increase of your entire estate, and what sort of tax should this person pay for the "earnings" they have received (estate tax)?
          Our labor, like that of a farmer, can create more of a commodity than we need for our own sustenance.  We should be able to store it, for lean times, or give it away, or burn it if we want to, because it belongs to us, and no one else.

          Perhaps that last bit is true for people like you and me. But most people's labor does not belong to them in any real sense, and that has been a problem for over a hundred years. Most people's labor belongs to creditors who exist to make money from the widening gap between cost of living increases and wage stagnation.
          They should give it willingly, because that's what's fair, and it's only fair when you are not pissing away what you are taking.

          Then why pay taxes at all? On anything? Most of your money is going to go to the brobdingnagian defense industry, and tell me that's not pissing it away. Besides, this isn't taking money away. It's taking it back.
          No one can tell me that we are not pissing away our tax dollars. We give most of them back to the oligarchs.

          Isn't that MB's point? To stop giving back to the oligarchs?

          I get it. You don't want your family to suffer. Perfectly reasonable. But doing something about the fact that well over 80% of all wealth gained in the past 30 years has gone to the top 20% isn't going to put you and your family out in the street.

          The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

          by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:17:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  we don't live in an Adam-Smithian world (0+ / 0-)
            Perhaps that last bit is true for people like you and me. But most people's labor does not belong to them in any real sense, and that has been a problem for over a hundred years. Most people's labor belongs to creditors who exist to make money from the widening gap between cost of living increases and wage stagnation.

            The free-market fans ALL pretend that we still live in an economic world made up of small English shopkeepers.  We don't.  That world doesn't exist anymore--the corporados killed it over 100 years ago. The economic world today consists of a small number of huge corporations that are bigger, richer, more powerful and with more effect over people's lives than any national government.

            The Adam-Smithian world that the free-market fans defend, simply does not exist any more.

            I don't want the little nobodies like SpamNunn and his piddley little small business.  In the economic world, they don't even matter.  They're just krill who exist solely to feed the bigger fish.

            I don't care about the minnows.  I want the sharks.

            •  Explain, please (0+ / 0-)
              I don't want the little nobodies like SpamNunn and his piddley little small business.  In the economic world, they don't even matter.  They're just krill who exist solely to feed the bigger fish.

              I don't care about the minnows.  I want the sharks.

              Do you mean to say that the SpamNunns of the world are not a significant part of the corporate hegemony and therefore need not fear any sort of reckoning?

              An honest inquiry.

              As for the rest of your comment, quite accurate. That world does not exist, and the worst punishment we could visit upon those who use it's image to defend the so-called free markets would be to give it to them.

              The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

              by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 10:43:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux

      This is such a pitifully obvious false dilemma that it's not even worth any more extensive response than that.

      "Two things that were left out of the bill of rights: the right to leave and the right to change one's mind" --Veronika, in Eustache's La Maman et la putain

      by ed k on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:26:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ?? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, David Kaib
      The vast majority of Americans simply won't stand for a bigger tax bill...

      The vast majority of Americans aren't corporations or the people whom the corporations have made obscenely, blasphemously rich.

      The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

      by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:29:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the corporations don't GET a tax bill (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotusmaglite

        Apparently they're too big to pay taxes, or something.

        •  But of course (0+ / 0-)

          Taxing them "costs jobs".

          The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

          by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:27:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep, that's the BS both parties have swallowed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotusmaglite, fritzi56

            Both the Dems and the Repugs seem to honestly believe that the goal of the business world is to give us all jobs, and to make more so they can give us better paychecks.

            Both Dems and Repugs have embraced the trickle-down bullshit.

            The fact is, of course, that businesses aren't in business to give us jobs. They're not there to make money for US--they're there to make money for THEMSELVES. We're not people to them--we're equipment, just another expense that they have to pay if they want to make money, no different than a computer terminal or a tow motor or a box of raw materials. They buy us as cheaply as they can, and then they use us until we wear out or we break down or we go obsolete, and then they throw us away and buy a new one. And when they buy a new one, they don't care what color it is or what country it's from or what language it speaks--all they care is "can this one make me more money than that one over there?"

            Businesses don't give a flying fuck about us or our jobs.  They've already shown that they are more than happy to ship everybody's job to Mexico or China and put us all out on the streets, as long as THEY can make more money doing it.

            The very idea that business owners want to give us all good-paying jobs because they love us so much, but the burdensome taxes and regulations are preventing them from doing that boo hoo hoo  . . .  is laughably idiotic.

    •  Bull. 81% Would Support Surcharge on Income Tax (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, fritzi56

      for those making more than $1 Million.

      What they won't accept is more stealth shift of taxes to them throught state and local taxes and fees or cuts in what they get.

      If we both continue to pay the same rates, but what I count on gets cut and what you count on does not, have we retained the status quo.

      We're not asking more from the rich but we sure as hell continue to give more to them.  (Buying more of their toxic crap securities every day it seems, loading them up into our debt and "assets".)  

      But things we count on, those get cut and cut and cut again.  

      So if someone had balls enough to say that straight, the American people would jump all over it and yell hoofuckinray.  

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  self defense ? no, class-warfare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, Into The Woods

    they started it.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:05:52 PM PDT

    •  It Indicts That Which Could Heal it And Defends (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzi56

      that which will eventually destroy it.

      Any discussion of the growing dangers of American economic disparity is inevitably met with the charge of "class warfare".

      At best we can say this characterization is premature.  (It may eventually come to that, but they can rest assured that this is not what it would look like. )

      At worst it is a calculated attempt to stifle discussion by plucking on our belief that America is still  America (and Americans are still Americans) only if we continue to pretend we are a class-free society where all people are afforded equal opportunity to succeed and government is of the people, by the people and for the people.

      Somehow, to stay healthy we must not admit that we are not ill.   So the illness is left to spread.

      It is sadly ironic that when "class warfare" is used as an indictment of this kind of discussion it protects the very concentrations of wealth (and power) that are turning  American dreams and ideals into shallow American rhetoric.    

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:08:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG it just occurred to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Situational Lefty

    If they shutdown does anyone know if the national cemeteries will be open tomorrow?

    I'm going to my sisters tomorrow to go with her and my niece and nephew to visit their fathers grave site (Vietname Vet). His birthday was yesterday.

    It'll be closed won't it?

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:14:58 PM PDT

  •  It doesn't because the Democrats have..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Chi

    .....already lost on this issue. They are agreeing to 79 billion dollars in cuts out of the original 100 billion the tea partiers wanted.

    Oh, and the Democrats largely are funded by the same sources as Republicans and serve the same masters.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine..."

    by lams712 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:15:36 PM PDT

  •  Wrong question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, Chi, fritzi56

    Good diary, but wrong question.

    The better question is 'how can we ensure that more Democrats mention progressive taxation in their speeches'?

    •  OK, so we ask why don't Dems mention (0+ / 0-)

      progressive taxation. We get a few plausible answers.

      Then, with that in mind, we ask how we can get them to mention it.

      Maybe then we could discuss the better ways to mention it.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:30:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a very good diary Meteor Blades (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotusmaglite

    Not a piece of art, not a major piece of investigative journalism, but a very good diary. You say things that need saying and make recommendations on how to move things along.

    I only wish many of the comments lived up to the spirit in which the diary was written. You're a bid D Democrat.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Why not? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat

    Gosh, I think after the last week of disputes tossed back and forth, that adding a mention of progressive taxes on the pile from the Republicans would probably be information overload for many Americans. Can Dems talk about this when they begin the budget for 2012?  Not only would Dems have to express their disdain for Republicans hacking at women's health, they would have spent even more time fighting about taxes.  Again.

    Honestly, I believe beating the drums and making the very important point to Americans about how Republicans are trying to take away healthcare for women created a climate where many voters are against Republicans for their ugly stance, and just maybe this idea that they could shut down our government over abortion, birth control and healthcare for women in this country is enough.  It was the issue that has kept this budget from passing, after all.

    I can't tell you how many college students I know (male and female) were aroused out of their sleep by the fact that Republicans are trying to attack Planned Parenthood.  The ones I know were actually calling the Democratic AND Republican Reps to fight this!  That's a big deal as far as I am concerned! It's apparent to me that this has been a win for Democrats, and if Boehner backs off tonight, it is a bigger win for all of us (women).  I do believe this.

    I do understand why you believe the Dems should have mentioned progressive taxes, and I am hoping this issue will be brought to the attention of Americans.  But maybe this wasn't the time?

    I know, I know... many are saying, if not now, when.  I get it.  But this 2011 Budget has been a mess.  People will be hurting if our gov't is shut down.  Our economy can't bear a shutdown now.  

    And finally, I do believe President Obama does have the big picture in his mind.  One step at a time....

  •  tipped and rec'd for progressive taxes: (0+ / 0-)
    the need for restoring progressive taxes... they should... hammer the issue now. Relentlessly, incessantly, with passion and determination.

    Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. - r. bach

    by poliwrangler on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:32:08 PM PDT

  •  This debate was lost 30 years ago. If you're (0+ / 0-)

    counting on rational thinking from the electorate, now is not the time to have this debate.  The battlefield has been shaped for Republican victory.  The Democrats will lose with this argument.  

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:32:34 PM PDT

  •  I watched the video of Sen. Bernie Sanders (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat, Allogenes

    speech and I full agree with the points that he made.

    Right after the video ended I believe I was given a choice of five videos four of which were of Ryan. The last video was of an O'bama speech.

    So it seems to me that youtube is very slanted towards the Republican point of view. Can anyone explain why?

    Beyond all that, it seems that there is a huge gap between Sanders' views and that of every Democrat that I can think of and I just doing get why that should be the case.

    Sanders is standing up for the Democratic Party while Democratic members of Congress are standing down for the most part.

    I know that Sanders is in a safe situation politically and that's no doubt a bit part of the difference. But,
    surely there are a few Democrats in safe states or districts who should be standing up with Bernie.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:35:57 PM PDT

    •  I'm confused about this too.. (0+ / 0-)

      You'd think the Paul Ryan budget proposal - which will probably pass the House but die in the Senate- would give us a huge opportunity to get our message out...

      I don't know of anybody on Medicare today who would want to lose it for a voucher system.

      Maybe we will really begin to get our message out.

      The debate about the economy has been reduced to one party who wants to drastically cut spending and another who wants to raise taxes on the rich, and cut spending less.

      That's frustrating because I read this article by Robert Shapiro-

      http://ndn.org/...

      "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - Dorothy Day

      by joedemocrat on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:13:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the fundamental problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat

    It is incredible to me that raising taxes on the rich upsets working people so much.  The "trickle down" theory that this is supposed to be about is so thoroughly discredited by now.

    People vote consistently against their own economic interests.  The GOP/Corporate/Fox propaganda machine has been so very effective.

    •  how can people vote against trickle-down when (0+ / 0-)

      neither party is against it?

      When the well has shit in it, we all drink shitty water no matter who draws the bucket.

    •  This would be key (0+ / 0-)
      The GOP/Corporate/Fox propaganda machine has been so very effective.

      I've never liked the meme, "people vote against their interests". IMHO, the problem is that people Republican/Blue Dog voters think they actually are voting in their interests. Your last sentence explains why in clear, concise, and wholly accurate terms.

      The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

      by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:39:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great diary and Bernie is 100% right. (0+ / 0-)

    and I recommended Joanne's diary as it was great too.

    I'm worried about 2012, but I'm hoping the Paul Ryan budget is a total overreach and polls begin to reverse.

    Charlie Cook thinks it could be the start of a reversal.
    That's could-

    The public seems to think we just ran up the national debt and we have nothing to show for it- they don't seem to realize the stimulus package stopped a freefall.
    I wish we could have started another WPA or similar jobs program like FDR did - didn't the New Deal Dems create 4 million jobs in one month?  Well, if the public could connect the dots between our spending and how it improves their daily life we could turn this around!!!!
    FDR got them to connect these dots. We need to or maybe I'm just discouraged seeing these polls?  

    Great diary Meteor Blades and I listened to the video and read Joanne's great diary.

    "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - Dorothy Day

    by joedemocrat on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:01:22 PM PDT

  •  Why does every body at DK... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhannon, tiggers thotful spot, cumulo

    ....keep pretending that Democrats have the same progressive values as we do.  THEY DON"T!!!

    They are in the game for the same reason any Republican is -- for the money.

    Why everybody keeps acting disappointed that the Democrats don't pick up the Progressive standard and march forth into battle for the little guy is just childish.

    They are NOT your friends.  They are NOT your allies.  They are the ENEMY.

    We need a Progressive Party!  The sooner you all understand that, the sooner we can leave the lunacy behind.

    •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Allogenes

      ...that probably means you leaving Daily Kos behind. A great many (probably a majority) of kossacks believe that this is a partisan Democratic site. Agitating for a third party is verboten. Others feel that they can change the Democratic Party from within.

      Having said that, you have a valid point in that our elected representatives are not going to do things for us. Every single good thing we have in this country, be it the ever-shrinking progressive taxation, a social safety net, health care, labor laws, civil rights, etc was fought for and won by the people, not the politicians.

      As Aldous Huxley said, "liberties are not given. They are taken."

      The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. - Yasutani Roshi

      by lotusmaglite on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:44:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  between a rock and a hard place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes

    Real Democrats don't seem to get elected in the red or purple areas. So we end up either without a majority, or if we have a majority it includes confused or conservative democrats.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:09:51 PM PDT

  •  This is not rocket science. All of Congress is (0+ / 0-)

    composed of very rich dudes.

    Rich people are not going to voluntarily raise taxes on themselves.

    Only fear - maybe only abject terror - can make them do that.

    Try Article V.

    Ask yourself why are we so afraid of Article V when it is perfectly plain that the Government is totally terrified by it.

    They refuse to convene the Convention even though that means that they have voided this contract called the Constitition that the American People have with their Government.

    Technically speaking the Republic ceased to exist the first time that Congress refused to call the convention and they have been doing it now for over 100 years.

  •  As usual Bernoe Sanders is 100% right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes

    But why am I not hearing this exact speech from every Senator?  

    I have lost faith in this country.  For the first time in my life, I am seriously considered moving overseas.  I thought I would never say that but I am now at that point.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:45:34 AM PDT

  •  It's not just the Dems in Office (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes

    That need to promote progressive taxation and all the other elements of social and economic justice every time they open their mouths, it's the so-called "left" as well.

    There are certain liberal bloggers -- MB comes to mind -- for whom the issues of social and economic justice really matter and who focus on them relentlessly. But many others do not.

    One of the consequences is that there is not really a unified liberal voice on these issues. Much like Congressional Democrats fail to have a unified voice.

    The People, it seems to me, are much more united on the issue of progressive taxation, say, than are Dems in Congress or the liberal blogosphere/liberal media in general.

    It might be wise to pay more attention to the People and a little less to the CW.

    --felix

  •  Horray for Bernie Sanders n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "In a world of the blind, the one-eyed man is a pariah" Ask Galileo -- Ask Darwin

    by OKParrothead on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:12:19 AM PDT

  •  It's frighteningly depressing (0+ / 0-)

    how a concerted effort can render certain words radioactive for a half-life of 130,000 years. Thanks, and burn in hell, Reagan and Grover Norquist.

    If there was a law they was workin' with, maybe we could take it, but it ain't the law. They're workin' away our spirits, tryin' to make us cringe and crawl, takin' away our decency. Tom Joad

    by Uosdwis on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:21:48 AM PDT

  •  Without Wall Streets permission, (0+ / 0-)

    Obama does nothing except lecture everyone on how ungrateful they are.   When this country needs a daddy instead of a leader and a Democrat, we'll have to remember to call him.   Corporate welfare and military off the charts, and this ass negotiates tax cuts to entitlement and taxes for billionaires.  

    He'll be lucky if his wife shows up to vote for him in 2012.

    If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

    by dkmich on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:52:27 AM PDT

  •  That's because the Democrats don't CARE... (0+ / 0-)

    ...about progressive taxation. It's not like they are a labor party, or anything. Hell - they helped get the Bush tax cuts PASSED. It is SO TYPICAL of the Democrats to go to the mat over abortion rights, but not put up the slightest fight to end the Bush tax cuts. As far as I can tell, abortion rights are the one immutable plank in the Democratic platform. Everything else is negotiable. Progressive taxation? Nope. Gun control? Sorry. Responsible use of the military? Umm, not that either. Social welfare? No, not really - unless you mean access to abortion.

    Not my kind of liberals. Not my party.

    Kilgore.

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