26th September 2011 11:28
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► reblogged from jonathan-cunningham (originally abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)
6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People

abaldwin360:

Denying the very existence of an entire class of citizens? That’s waging some very real warfare against them.

By Joshua Holland  - AlterNet

There hasn’t been any organized, explicitly class-based violence in this country for generations, so what, exactly, does “class warfare” really mean? Is it just an empty political catch-phrase?

The American Right has decided that returning the tax rate paid by the wealthiest Americans from what it was during the Bush years (which, incidentally, featured the slowest job growth under any president in our history, at 0.45 percent per year) to what they forked over during the Clinton years (when job growth happened to average 1.6 percent per year) is the epitome of class warfare. Sure, it would leave top earners with a tax rate 10 percentage points below what they were paying after Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, but that’s the conservative definition of “eating the rich” these days.

I recently offered a less Orwellian definition, arguing that real class warfare is when those who have already achieved a good deal of prosperity pull the ladder up behind them by attacking the very things that once allowed working people to move up and join the ranks of the middle class.

But there’s another way of looking at “class war”: habitually vilifying the unfortunate; claiming that their plight is a manifestation of some personal flaw or cultural deficiency. Conservatives wage this form of class warfare virtually every day, consigning millions of people who are down on their luck to some subhuman underclass.

The six ways from The article

  • Registering the Poor to Vote is ‘UnAmerican’
  • Unemployment Benefits Have Created a ‘Nation of Slackers’
  • You Can’t Really Be Poor if You Have a Color TV!
  • Food-Stamps: ‘A Fossil That Repeats All the Errors of the War on Poverty’
  • ‘The Main Causes of Child Poverty Are Low Levels of Parental Work and the Absence of Fathers.’
  • Taxing Working People Less Than the Rich Is ‘Perverse’

[FULL STORY]

20th September 2011 14:27
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► reblogged from letterstomycountry (originally abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

abaldwin360:

By Alexis Levinson - The Daily Caller

As Republicans attack President Barack Obama for a plan being proposed Monday to increase taxes on the wealthy, a liberal group called the Patriotic Millionaires is hitting back at some of those congressman they say are millionaires who are defending their own self-interest over the good of the country.

In a new web video released Monday, the group targets Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. John Boehner, Rep. Eric Cantor, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Mitch McConnell.

“Most AMERICANS want to raise taxes on MILLIONAIRES,” says the script on the screen in the video, as patriotic-style music plays. “These POLITICIANS don’t.”

The video shows pictures of Republicans with the word “Millionaire” stamped across their photos.

The video ends with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “Each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.”

“Millionaire Politicians who want to give themselves a tax cut are hardly trust-worthy stewards of our country’s future,” said Erica Payne, spokesman for the Patriotic Millionaires and founder of the Agenda Project. “Their continued support of policies that advance their own economic self-interests is un-American.”

“It’s time for millionaires “ LIKE ME AND THE ONES IN CONGRESS – to step up to the plate and start paying their fair share, ” said Guy Saperstein, lawyer and Patriotic Millionaire.

Paul Ryan called Obama’s plan ““Class warfare,” on Fox News Sunday, adding that it “may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”

[VIDEO & SOURCE]

19th September 2011 12:53
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► reblogged from letterstomycountry (originally yung-lysenko-deactivated2014040)

letterstomycountry:

The expected proposal by the President to tax annual income above a million dollars may be too cute by half. It clearly looks like a “populist” initiative and clever political maneuver. By setting the threshold at $1,000,000 it boxes out almost all the Republican allusions to small business entrepreneurs and hits a number associated with wealth in popular culture (“So You Want To Be A Millionaire”, etc).

But, it looks so much like an “in your face” political challenge to his opponents, that may have evaporated all that talk about “constructive compromise” that popped up after the disgraceful debt ceiling debate. Markets sold off after the debt debate on fears that if a real national crisis were to erupt, both parties would continue to posture in partisan acrimony as the situation worsened. We’ll see if the new tax proposal re-ignites those fears.

Secondly, the tax proposal is being dubbed the Buffett tax since Mr. Buffett has long proclaimed that it is unfair and embarrassing that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. That could be instantly remedied by Mr. Buffett (or one of his accountants) by listing his income as ordinary income on his 1040A. Then he would be taxed at a rate equal to, or, more likely, higher than his hard working assistant.

Third, the proposal flies in the face of the lessons of history. According to the Tax Foundation, after the 1929 crash, Congress proceeded to raise the top marginal tax rate from 25% to 63% by the end of Hoover’s term (hat tip to the sharpeyed Mike Higley’s “By the Numbers”). As you may recall, hiking those rates may have made folks feel that rates were more equitable but it sure didn’t help the economy. Just a few thoughts.

It is perhaps no surprise that I disagree with the commentator, but I’d like to focus on the following paragraph for great justice:

Secondly, the tax proposal is being dubbed the Buffett tax since Mr. Buffett has long proclaimed that it is unfair and embarrassing that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. That could be instantly remedied by Mr. Buffett (or one of his accountants) by listing his income as ordinary income on his 1040A. Then he would be taxed at a rate equal to, or, more likely, higher than his hard working assistant.

Emphasis added.  I find this criticism of Buffet’s position to be extremely annoying because it’s intellectually dishonest to the point of being glib (no offense to Logicallypositve, for whom I would give my first born son and the right of Prima Nocta/Droit du Seigneur in event of marriage).  

Commentators who criticize Buffet on this ground are completely missing the point (knowingly, I suspect) of why Buffet criticizes America’s tax system.  He’s not arguing that it’s *personally* unfair for him to pay lower rates while his secretary pays more.  He’s arguing that it’s unfair that people who are rich enough, as a class of taxpayers, to make their money largely through the vehicle of Capital Gains have the option of paying a substantially lower rate than people who make their money largely through labor hour wages.  The system, as it is set up, rewards wealth over work.  If Buffet changed his personal filing methods, it wouldn’t make the system any more fair because 99% of taxpayers in his income bracket would still opt to pay a lower rate than their secretaries.  That defeats the purpose of why he criticizes the tax code.

If the tax code was amended so that people in Buffet’s tax bracket had to list their Capital Gains as ordinary income on their 1040A, Buffet would almost certainly support that reform.  He would also support a reform that, say, taxed all Net Capital Gains above a reasonable threshold as ordinary income.  But again, he’s not just talking about himself.  He’s using himself as an example of a larger class of taxpayers, not simply making a personal observation about his tax situation.

7th September 2011 13:30
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► reblogged from corruptpolitics-deactivated2011 (originally abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

OH HELL NO.