Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes.”
One of the best ‘what’s going on in our world’ kind of posts I’ve seen in a while. The back cover Cliffs Notes version: ”free market” ideology and corporate greed sometimes allied with government corruption result unbelievable amounts of fraud and the waste of enormous amounts of public money, while harming us all in the process.
Politics cannot be a spectator sport. There are too many greedy bastards out there whose only waking question seems to be “What’s in it for me?” The rest of us have to push back.
laliberty asked: Try that "Who increased the debt?" chart in real or inflation-adjusted dollars and see how meaningless percentages are here... Also, that percentage is grossly outdated for Obama's figure. The debt has increased during Obama tenure over 60%, or $6.5 trillion in 4.7 years. Compare that to even Bush's truly atrocious $4.9 trillion in 8 years. But it doesn't matter. The ultimate point is that spending is a bipartisan disorder. But I'm with you on military spending. Hell, I want to cut it all.
Thanks for taking the time to reply with extra data. I don’t like the deficit either. There was some debate about austerity vs. stimulus in order to bounce back from the potential global recession/depression around the bank bailout fiasco that dealt with deregulated greed run amok on Wall Street and people who couldn’t afford their 30 year mortgages or too confused to know what they were signing. The point is, the corporatist fox runs the hen house. Money buys votes and the GOP hamstringing of Obama’s stimulus to put the middle class back to work has ensured that most of the profits from the recovery is directed into the hands of the 1% who can afford to buy the next election. I’m all for tightening the belt as long as the fat cats cut back on their caviar and Bentleys first. Their success was largely due to the subsidization of their labor force so perhaps it’s time to pay it forward.
The chart is brutally bipartisan. Debt increased under Republican presidents and Democrat presidents. It increased under Democrat congresses and Republican congresses. In war and in peace, in boom times and in busts, after tax hikes and tax cuts, the Potomac filled with red ink. …
Math doesn’t care about fairness or good intentions. Spending vastly more than you have isn’t good when done by a Republican or a Democrat. Two plus two doesn’t equal 33.2317 after you factor in a secret “Social Justice” multiplier. And if our current president accumulates debt at the rate of his first four-plus years, the national debt will be $22 trillion by the time leaves office. …
The analogy is imperfect, but imagine the green is your salary, the yellow is the amount you’re spending over your salary, and the red is your Visa statement. Then imagine your spouse runs into the room and shouts, “great news honey, our fiscal crisis is over. We just got approved for a new MasterCard!” Your first call would be to a marriage counselor or a shrink.
Nothing to see here, folks.
Every time a conservative talks about how bad our deficit spending is I wince because they pay no mind when Reagan blew the deficit out of the water and George W muddled his war profiteering buddies into an unfunded and unjust war using Chinese credit.
If conservatives were serious about debt reduction they would take it out of wasteful defense spending first.
The United States spent more on its military than the next 13 nations combined in 2011.
The $2-3 million that each Patriot(TM) missile costs could go toward funding early childhood education which has been found to generate 11x savings over the lifetime of the investment. Now that’s patriotic.
I think there’s a word for people that want to make it purposefully worse…. hmmm what is that word….. I don’t know…. they want to take the American government down… hmm….. could they beeeee - TERRORISTS ? ? ?
This one is for all the political activists. I am so sick of seeing people praying and wishing for the government to start enforcing a high income tax on the rich to redistribute the wealth of the people. There will always be rich & poor people in a society, some more unevenly distributed than others. But quite frankly the way I see it is that the government has no business going into an individual’s bank account and STEALING 50%-60% of their income. If that person has lawfully and honestly earned that money, then no one ought to be able to take it away.
Think of it this way: as a student working hard in a challenging class you finally receive the well deserved 100% in the class. Shortly after you see your report card you are informed that 50% of your grade will be taken and redistributed to the students in class with the lowest grades. You have no control and no say in the fact that your 100% will now be seen as a 50% despite the numerous hours you put in to earn that A+.
Money is an incentive to work harder, to be better. Taxing the rich is discrimination, believe it or not. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be rich and help my family. Nowadays, how could I strive for that when I know my hard-earned money will be taken from me?
If you want to do something about the uneven wealth distribution and its effects, go to the SOURCE such as regulating business and cleaning up budgets, NOT stealing from the well-off citizens to balance the mess.
I’m sorry, but I’ve lived in Sweden, and that’s not how it works. Also note that that number, for Sweden at least, is the MAX income tax percentage possible. But that’s not my issue here. Let’s talk about how this money is redistributed.
Do you live in the United States? If so, please tell me about the state of the roads in your area? If it’s at all like where I live in the good old US of A, they’re shit. Why? Because the governments, local and state and federal, don’t have enough money to keep them in good repair. In Sweden, a nice chunk of that tax money goes toward making sure the roads are well kept, because if the roads are well kept, then odds are better your car is not going to be damaged by them and oh hey then that’s less money you have to spend on the upkeep of your vehicle.
Tell me, how’s your health insurance? Can you go to any doctor or clinic in town and be seen for a nominal fee? Of course not! This is America, where everything’s privatized and we’re all looking to make the best profit. What about hospital visits? We all know those kinds of things can bankrupt a family here; it does on a regular basis. And yet you’re putting down a country with a higher income tax when I know for a FACT that a good portion of that money goes into the healthcare system that ensures that ALL residents have access to healthcare for minimal out-of-pocket fees. And you know what else? If you spend more than a fixed amount in doctor’s visits within a year, you get a nice little card that gives you FREE doctor’s visits for a year from that first payment. You know, so people are not having to forgo having sufficient food or new clothes because they have to go to the hospital. Oh, and the hospital visits? You don’t pay out of pocket for the treatments; you pay for your bed and food in the hospital, an amount that ends up being something around $10/day. And they can do this because their doctors are paid reasonably for the work they do, and also they don’t have ridiculous amounts of student loan debt to pay off.
Which brings me to my next point: higher education. Tell me what’s your student loan debt like? I just saw a statistic that we, in the United Stated, have a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Why is that? Well, we’ve privatized education. You want to know how much my husband paid to attend university in Sweden and get both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees? $0 in tuition. That’s also what I paid to attend an intensive Swedish language course while I lived there. Now, you still have to buy your books and pay your student union fees, but that’s nothing compared to the $44,000/year I was paying in tuition here in the US. You know when I’m looking at paying all of that back? Maybe by the time I retire. Maybe. In fact, students in Sweden can actually receive a stipend from the government to help cover things like living expenses, so they are not forced to have a side job in addition to going to school full-time. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that the government actually wants you to graduate from university without having to worry about things like what you can afford to eat. I’m not saying it’s the most generous stipend, but it’s enough to rent an apartment (maybe with a flatmate) and have a moderately healthy diet.
Not being burdened with that amount of debt is a huge relief when you’re fresh out of university and getting a job. Then again, the wage gap isn’t NEARLY so severe over there. Those who make the most in the company don’t make terribly much more than those who make the least. So the company VP isn’t making hundreds of thousands more than the guy on the factory floor.
Of course, remember that your numbers here don’t take into account the cost of living in these countries. What’s the cost of housing, food, transportation? Many people in these countries make use of excellent public transportation, made possible because of the higher taxes and the money invested into this stuff.
So when you say that 50% of your money is “given” to people who don’t make as much, that’s not actually accurate. It’s invested in the infrastructure that supports ALL the people of the country, no matter their income. If taxing the rich is discrimination, then isn’t taxing anyone discrimination? You should pay taxes proportional to your income, so that you can support your society. Otherwise you might as well go take your money and hide in a cave for all the good it would being you and the rest of the country.
WHY DOESN’T THIS HAVE MORE NOTES.
If you really want to get angry about where your taxes go consider that spending by the U.S. Dept. of Defense plus nuclear weapons (in $billions) is equal to the military spending of the next 15 countries combined. (source)
How about we redistribute that wealth first?
The admirable Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses the threat posed to US democracy and rational political debate by the secretive billionaire Koch brothers ..(there’s a longer expose of the Koch brothers activities here)
how are my american friends doing today
how does it feel not to have a government
Domestic abuse and rape crisis centers are losing their funding tomorrow, but congress is still getting their paycheck, so I guess we’re doing ok!
get me out of this fucking country
Oh and I learned today that the security personnel working for banks that have to evict people from their homes are considered essential employees of the federal government, but not the people trying to keep people in them like mortgage counselors.