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America's workers and the American economy need jobs, not cuts; for the wealthy to pay their fair share, not for working people to sacrifice more. Tell your representative in the House that austerity is not what we need.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is that a poll of the general public? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arealniceguy, FisherOfRolando

    Or of AFL-CIO members? In the past, the AFL-CIO has hired Hart to conduct an election night survey of its members.

  •  Okay. Done. Rep. Don Young, here us in Alaska. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democrattotheend, Mother Mags
  •  It's Official--Austerity Does Not Work (5+ / 0-)

    John Cassidy in the New Yorker confirms what we already knew:

    With all the theatrics going on in Washington, you might well have missed the most important political and economic news of the week: an official confirmation from the United Kingdom that austerity policies don’t work.

    In making his annual Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was forced to admit that his government has failed to meet a series of targets it set for itself back in June of 2010, when it slashed the budgets of various government departments by up to thirty per cent. Back then, Osborne said that his austerity policies would cut his country’s budget deficit to zero within four years, enable Britain to begin relieving itself of its public debt, and generate healthy economic growth. None of these things have happened.

    Cassidy likens the citizens of the United Kingdom to test subjects in a vast, failed experiment:
    For the sixty-odd million inhabitants of the U.K., living through it hasn’t been a pleasant experience—no university institutional-review board would have allowed this kind of brutal human experimentation.
    *  *  *
    With Republicans in Congress still intent on pursuing a strategy similar to the failed one adopted by the Brits, this is a story that needs trumpeting. Austerity policies are self-defeating: they cripple growth and reduce tax revenues. The only way to bring down the U.S. government’s deficit in a sustainable manner, and put the nation’s finances on a firmer footing, is to keep the economy growing
    Casssidy draws a distintion between the economies of the US and of Britain. He notes that the Obama Administration responded to the financial crisis in a Keynesian manner (albeit less Keynesian than some recommended), applying stimulus as opposed to cutting spending, which is what the Republicans sought. The results are self-evident:
    Having adopted the policies of Keynes in response to a calamitous recession, the United States has grown more than twice as fast during the past three years as Britain, which adopted the economics of Hoover (and Paul Ryan).
    In a perfect world that really should end the discussion, shouldn't it?
  •  I would find this more heartening if I hadn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, rocksout

    recently read that Congress does what the majority of the people want only 50% of the time.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:48:11 PM PST

  •  Nothing More Nerve Wracking Than Watching Gov't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foucaultspendulum, conniptionfit

    these days address an issue where the people agree 70-80%.

    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 Dec 07, 2012 at 05:55:54 PM PST

  •  Plenty of millionaires are willing to pay (5+ / 0-)

    more taxes, and billionaires too. Too bad so much money goes to the military, war on drugs and other totally non-productive wastes of money.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:59:33 PM PST

  •  US have a distorted view of income distribution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foucaultspendulum, cai, wsexson

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:01:04 PM PST

  •  My rep posted just that on his (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Facebook page - I love Ear.

  •  Election Night Was The Best Time To Vote NO On (0+ / 0-)

    austerity. Too bad that there were so many who were more obsessed with getting the Black man out of the White House than they were in voting for their own, self-professed best interest....

    I mean, according to that poll, Obama should have gotten close to 62% of the vote, and the Democratic party should have, at least, 62% of the House and Senate. But there are other exit polls which detail just who it was who voted for the RepubliKlans...

    Read them and weep, if you have the balls spine guts heart to do so...

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:08:55 PM PST

  •  Laura, billionaires Trump the peasant (0+ / 0-)

    millionaires, imho.

  •  Right or wrong side of history? (0+ / 0-)

    There is absolutely no doubt what the right side of history is. All that is in doubt is which side of history the Roberts Court will come down on.

    Regardless of how the Robetrs court votes, the right side of history will insure equal rights for all.

  •  While I appreciate the help (0+ / 0-)

    Your thingy for finding your Congresscritter to send a message is inaccurate.  Coffman is no longer my critter, my new critter is Dianna Degette (yay!).

  •  What do "the millionaires" want? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As reported in the Wall Street Journal, a survey from Spectrem Group a year ago found that:

    68% of millionaires (those with investments of $1 million or more) support raising taxes on those with $1 million or more in income.

    61% of those with a net worth of $5 million or more support raising taxes on million-plus earners.

    While this is not exactly the same question as posed in the AFL-CIO survey, it is presumptuous to presume "what millionaires want" without actually asking them.

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:41:21 PM PST

  •  Ironic.. (0+ / 0-)
    America's workers and the American economy need jobs, not cuts; for the wealthy to pay their fair share, not for working people to sacrifice more.
    So much irony in such a short statement. First of all, while you're correct that the American economy needs jobs, to imply that the government can create them is a foolish notion. Now if I understand the rules of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, working people can't receive benefits from any of those programs so how is it that working people would be sacrificing if there were cuts to any or all of these programs? I also find it humorous that you make a clear distinction between wealthy people and working people. It has been my experience that if you're working, you have the potential to become wealthy. If you're working and you're not at least on your way to becoming wealthy, you're not doing it right.

    At this point I would normally go into my long speech about how the term "making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes" is a ridiculous and ignorant statement that shows just how few facts you know and understand. About how the political left understand that "the wealthy" already pay more than their "fair share" but don't care because saying they don't is a good way for them to incite their base. About how the political left understands that in order to stay in power they need more tax payer dollars to buy votes with and apparently don't understand or don't care what kind of damage it might do to our country.

    Instead, I will simply ask this: What, in your opinion is "the wealthy" people's "fair share"? Is it just the extra few points Congress is currently talk about increasing their rate by? What do you think the top tax bracket should be and why do you think that?

    •  Really. (0+ / 0-)
      If you're working and you're not at least on your way to becoming wealthy, you're not doing it right.
      Rather myopic and general  statement considering that the average American is basically working to survive on a month-to-month basis, through no fault of his/her own.   The costs of housing, health care and child care have generally converged to deprive a significant amount of Americans the opportunity of "becoming wealthy," in the sense that term is normally understood.

      Someone else will likely HR your crassly ignorant comment. I'm more circumspect in delivering my donuts.

      •  Really.. (0+ / 0-)

        If you can't afford the house/apartment you live in, move. If you can't afford health care, do more to maintain your health.

        Now, those statements are what you could call myopic and ignorant but that isn't what I said. The statement that "if you're working and your not at least on your way to becoming wealthy, you're not doing it right." is a valid statement. Do you know what it really takes to become wealthy in America? It's not as difficult as people make it out to be. Are there people in America that have legitimate problems and need legitimate help? Absolutely. But to say that the "average American is basically working to survive on a month-to-month basis, through no fault of his/her own" is just silly.

        The "average American" spent $1,048 on dining out last year. The "average American" spent $1,028 on entertainment last year. (Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics) That means the "average American" is spends about $40 a week on eating out and "entertainment".  If you ask me, that's at least $50 a month of unnecessary spending and I say $50 because everyone should go out for a meal or to a movie once in a while. But 40 bucks a week means that the "average American" is going to dinner and a movie once a week and like I said that's not how you build wealth.

        If the "average American" would put $50 a month from the age of 18 to the age of 60, that person would have $175,000 saved up at retirement assuming a mere 8% interest rate. Now obviously, having $175,000 doesn't make you "wealthy", but I came up with those numbers based on $50 a month for 40 years. You know how much it would be if after 5 years of putting $50/month in you bumped it up to $100/month for the next 35? $291,174, so you gain over $100,000 and you only put in an extra $21,000! You know what happens if every 5 years you increase your monthly contribution by $50 and you do that for 40 years? You end up with $474,028. That's nearly half a million dollars and in the last five years you're still only contributing $400 a month. I can keep showing you these numbers all day long. You know what it takes to be a millionaire? I do because I have my handy little calculator. If the 'average American" put $285 a month into a retirement account earning 8% per year for 40 years they'd be a millionaire when they were done so don't tell me I'm being myopic or crass when you're the one that doesn't know what you're talking about.

        Oh and by the way, the US stock market has had an average annual return over the last 60 years of about 11% so I'm being rather conservative with these estimates. You should go see what those numbers do if you use an 11% return rather than 8%.

        •  It's too bad you lost me at this (0+ / 0-)
          That means the "average American" is spends about $40 a week on eating out and "entertainment".  If you ask me, that's at least $50 a month of unnecessary spending and I say $50 because everyone should go out for a meal or to a movie once in a while.
          You neglect of course to account for the fact that the "dining out" may not be voluntary--it may be a function of many things, including work shifts, lack of facilities, timing, children, and other factors which don't seem to have occurred to you in judging why that average of 40 dollars per week is spent the way it is.   But it's interesting to me that you would focus on such a picayune argument as a justification for your statements about "building wealth."

          Skimming down there seem to be some statistical points that would have made your position at least...arguable.  Although an 11% average rate of return would strike me as being arguable only by, well maybe Bernie Madoff.

          But that's all Libertarianism is, isn't "argument."  It's not reality and it will never be. It's a comfort zone for those who've talked or stroked themselves into a soft realm of self-satisfaction because they have a personal aversion to what is widely seen as the "social compact."

          And that's OK. We'll continue to provide for you,your defense, your clean water, your police, fire, etc. through our taxes. We'll continue to repave the road you drove on today. It's OK for you to have these interesting thoughts.  I've had a lot of quite well-off individuals come to me with the same thoughts...and it's always... interesting.

          •  Well.. if your goal was to wear me out.. (0+ / 0-)

            You're getting there.

            If you'd take the time to actually read the numbers, and assuming you're as capable at math as you are at using excessively large words, you'd see that $20 a week was for eating out and $20 was specifically designated "entertainment" so even if you use your rather inadequate excuses for eating out, because anyone can pack a peanut butter sandwich, that still leaves $20 a week in complete discretionary spending which still means there is $50 a month available to save and invest.

            As for the 11%, that is a fact. I know liberals have a hard time understanding reality, but try just a little harder for me. I took some time Googling for you and found dozens of sites publishing historical average returns in the 10-12% range. Here is one such example. I didn't bother giving sources earlier because I know you guys who believe government is the answer to every problem wouldn't begin to believe a statistic if it didn't come from a government agency and they don't do much on the stock market.

            Once again I find irony on this thread in that you mention Bernie Madoff, an admitted Ponzi scheme operator, in a thread defending Social Security which is, by definition, a Ponzi Scheme.

            You're right that Libertarianism is an idea just like Socialism is an idea. The difference being that Libertarianism is a practical one that could actually come to be a reality and accomplish the things it set out to accomplish where Socialism is doomed to mediocrity or complete failure. It's not that Libertarians don't believe there is a duty to help others in a society. What did I say in my last post?

            Are there people in America that have legitimate problems and need legitimate help? Absolutely.
            I do believe there are people who need help. But I also believe that the ones who are capable of helping themselves should have an incentive to do so. The largest flaw in Socialism is that it assumes that everyone actually wants to put in effort to see that the society succeeds when human nature is to put in effort to the extent that it will help the individual succeed.

            Where the heck do you people get the idea that Libertarians don't want roads, defense, clean water, police, fir, etc? Really? If that's what you truly think Libertarians want, no wonder you think it's dumb. What Libertarians really want is for the government to do for us only the things we cannot efficiently do for ourselves. That means that all those things, since the government is the logical choice to perform those tasks, should be performed by the government but that doesn't mean everything has to be done at a federal level.

            And to give you an example of what an "average American" can accomplish in this country with a Libertarian mindset, let me tell you my story. I graduated from a public high school in Arkansas in 2005. I was eighteen years old making $6.75 an hour washing dishes at a local restaurant. At nineteen I applied and was hired by a company in Oklahoma for $13 an hour. From there I worked and climbed and in March 2010 I was laid off. In May that same year I was hired on at another company for $40k a year. Again, I worked hard and I rose. Today I'm Inventory Control Manager at that company making $48k a year and I'm 25 years young. I've earned an Associates degree here while working full time and I paid for it out of my own pocket. I'm currently attending school for my bachelors degree, again paying for it out of MY pocket. I've been married to my lovely wife since October 2010. I contribute $450 a month to my 401k and $350 a month into my HSA while paying $400 a month in health insurance premiums. Don't tell me that anyone in this country is preventing people who want to succeed from doing so. Don't tell me that the 'average American' can't build wealth. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? To me, absolutely. To others, obviously not or they would be working harder for it. You may hate this country because you need someone to blame for your short coming, or maybe you've been extremely successful but mistakenly think that the government somehow gave it to you and can do the same for others. I don't know and I don't really care. What I do know is that there are entirely too many people willing to just accept what people are willing to give them even though they could have so much more if they would work and fight for their own.

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