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Katlin Profile
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The Rich Keep Getting Richer


and the statistics are staggering:

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent.

. . .

The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.

. . .

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.




To read the rest of Joseph E. Stiglitz's article, go here:

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If this doesn't speak to the need for public financing of elections, I don't know what does.
Apr/5/2011, 7:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


Republicans to Unveil Budget Plan With Sweeping Changes

Ryan’s plan “is the same old ideological agenda, except this time on steroids,” Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Ryan’s budget began in a big hole because of his party’s unwillingness to raise taxes. Obama’s budget proposal would reduce the deficit in part by relying on more than $1 trillion in tax increases, including by allowing President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 to expire at the end of 2012. Republicans will have to replace that with equivalent spending cuts to show the same amount of deficit reduction. Ryan’s budget proposes to set the top individual and corporate income tax rates at 25 percent.


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And let's not forget, this is only the beginning:

Even as Democrats denounce the changes, some of Ryan’s Republican colleagues want even bigger savings.

The Republicans are on their way to drowning the government in a bathtub, wouldn't you say?
Apr/5/2011, 7:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


Shutdown Threat Doesn’t Faze Tea Partyers

Tea party activists trumpeted their all-or-nothing stance on spending cuts Thursday on Capitol Hill, even as House Republicans negotiated a compromise with Senate Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.

“Cut it or shut it” was the mantra of activists at the rally hosted by the Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella group, with some participants carrying signs demanding $100 billion in cuts or more in a spending bill for the remainder of the fiscal year.


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It doesn't faze them that most economists say that this is not the time for deep budget cuts and trying to balance the budget. In fact, most economists say with such a fragile economy, we should be stimulating the economy. The budget cuts this year will actually cause people to lose their jobs and will increase the unemployment rate, which these same TeaPartyers will then blame on Obama.
Apr/5/2011, 7:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


Behind Closed Doors, House Republicans Cheer A Possible Shutdown

Republican leaders have repeatedly said they don’t want the government to close its doors. “Our goal is to avoid a shutdown,” a spokesman for Boehner said this week. Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-KY) — a powerful House budget negotiator who will attend the meeting –told ABC News yesterday that Republicans in Congress are “serious about trying to prevent a government shutdown.”

Behind closed doors, however, it doesn’t appear they are all that serious:

"House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown. That process includes alerting lawmakers and senior staff about which employees would not report to work if no agreement is reached."

Republicans have been rallying their Tea Party base with calls for a shutdown for weeks, despite public pronouncements to the contrary. For example, influential Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has repeatedly said that “nobody wants a government shutdown” — but then spoke at a Tea Party rally last week and cried out: “Shut ‘er down!”


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And now the Republicans have the nerve to say that if there is a government shutdown, it will be Obama and the Democrats fault. Ryan also had the nerve to say that if anyone critcizes his budget plan, they will be lying and demagoguing the issue. Hmm, isn't that exactly what the Republicans did during the Obama health care debate with their cries of death panels and Medicare cuts? I suppose Frank Luntz advised them to make a pre-emptive strike by accusing Democrats of doing what they themselves do whenever it serves their political purposes.
Apr/5/2011, 7:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


Republicans are hard at work trying to undo the New Deal and removing the safety nets:

The plan [i.e. Ryan's plan] would slash federal spending by $5 trillion or more over the coming decade. It would leave Social Security untouched but shift more of the risk from rising medical costs from the government to future Medicare beneficiaries. It also calls for sharp cuts to Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled and to food aid for the poor.

"They're ending Medicare as we know it. They take away the Medicare guarantee for seniors," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. "All the risk of increased costs will be borne by seniors."


And speaking of rich, how's this:

A Congressional Budget Office analysis released late Tuesday also showed Ryan's budget would leave in place roughly $500 billion in Medicare cuts that were part of President Barack Obama's new health care law. Republicans blasted those cuts in their successful campaign to take back control of the House. A spokesman for Ryan said the savings would be plowed back into Medicare.

But the GOP budget would also repeal Obama's plan to gradually close the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, known as the "doughnut hole."


 
Apr/5/2011, 7:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


I've been following these developments too, Kat. I don't know what will happen at the federal level but state-by-state, people seem to be getting it and fighting back. Interesting times we live in, huh?

Chris
Apr/6/2011, 9:23 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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I too have been following events. To focus in on one aspect of the current event here are two things I know.

The majority of Fed Govt employees are rated as a GS 7 or less. While, say, a GS 14 makes over $100,000 annually, a GS 7, Step 10, which is as high as the grading system goes for any GS, makes less than $50,000 annually. In other words that employee is a member of the working class. Again, the majority of govt employees work at the GS 7 level or less.

Also, the Feds have long since contracted out many, many tasks, from janitorial services to such trades as electricians, plumbers, engineers, and IT specialists. This means the private sector will also be impacted by the shutdown, not if but when it happens. Once again the working class gets screwed.

I've decided these teatotalers drink from tea pots of fermented tea.

Tere
Apr/6/2011, 5:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Rich Keep Getting Richer


Here it is. An itemization of cuts in the 2011 budget. Case cannot be clearer. Middle class, working class, lower class targeted, all targeted. Corporate subsidies, also known as corporate welfare, to stay in place. Tax cuts to the wealthy to stay in place.

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Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Apr/10/2011, 5:16 pm
Apr/10/2011, 5:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
libramoon Profile
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Apr/10/2011, 5:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 


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