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Under the Mountain Bunker

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twitter.com/charyl:

    "The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t.

    kateoplis:

    The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election. […]

    Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility for Medicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.

    Or take a subtler example, the insistence that any revenue increases should come from limiting deductions rather than from higher tax rates. The key thing to realize here is that the math just doesn’t work; there is, in fact, no way limits on deductions can raise as much revenue from the wealthy as you can get simply by letting the relevant parts of the Bush-era tax cuts expire. So any proposal to avoid a rate increase is, whatever its proponents may say, a proposal that we let the 1 percent off the hook and shift the burden, one way or another, to the middle class or the poor. […]

    So keep your eyes open as the fiscal game of chicken continues. It’s an uncomfortable but real truth that we are not all in this together; America’s top-down class warriors lost big in the election, but now they’re trying to use the pretense of concern about the deficit to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Let’s not let them pull it off.”

    Paul Krugman: Class Wars of 2012

    — 1 year ago with 171 notes
    #economy  #oligarchy  #99%  #fiscal cliff 
    Mitt Romney: A person should “get as much education as they can afford” →

    “I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford…” —Mitt Romney on Wednesday, advocating for a class-based society of higher education, based on the wealth a person was born into as opposed to an individual’s talent and intelligence.

    New America: The math genius who’s poor shouldn’t go to college, but should spend his/her life shining the shoes of people like Romney’s sons (or Mitt and Marie Antoinette themselves) who are born with trust funds and inheritances. Because, let’s be honest, who among us couldn’t “afford college” without financial help from programs or services like student loans, scholarships, and grants? Not all of us can borrow money for college from our parents.

    And what a great way to enslave entire generations into a minimum wage existence — to the great advantage of corporations and the one percent.

    — 1 year ago with 19 notes
    #class war  #economy  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #99%  #and this isn't a class war?  #emperor romney  #fuck you mitt  #GOP  #king of bain  #one percent  #plutocracy  #Really  #Republicans  #thunderdome  #unbelievable  #you should get as much education as you can afford 
    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS sees a lesson for the United States in the European elections — “In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.” — Crooks & Liars

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS sees a lesson for the United States in the European elections — “In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.” — Crooks & Liars

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #news  #politics  #bernie sanders  #income inequality  #austerity  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #one percent  #99%  #class war 
    …
NEW AFL-CIO WEBSITE | EXECUTIVE PAYWATCH:
 Corporate Cash Hoarding Holds Back Job Creation – Since the Wall Street financial crisis, the largest U.S. non-financial corporations have amassed record levels of cash. But rather than investing these cash hoards to expand their operations and create jobs, many companies have shed workers in the United States. At the end of 2011, the largest non-financial companies in the S&P 500 Index had accumulated more than $1 trillion in cash, a historic high. Corporate cash was up 66 percent from the end of 2007, before the Wall Street financial crisis.[1] This comes at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent and more than 12 million Americans are looking for jobs. While overall employment at S&P 500 Index companies has grown since 2007, cash stockpiles have grown even faster. Most of this job creation has been overseas. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. parents of multinational companies cut a total of 864,000 jobs between 1999 and 2009, while their foreign affiliates added 2.9 million jobs.[2] Public companies are not required to disclose the percentage of their global workforce that is based in the United States. However, they must disclose the total number of employees, and a number of large companies have been cutting jobs while stockpiling cash.

    NEW AFL-CIO WEBSITE | EXECUTIVE PAYWATCH:

     Corporate Cash Hoarding Holds Back Job Creation – Since the Wall Street financial crisis, the largest U.S. non-financial corporations have amassed record levels of cash. But rather than investing these cash hoards to expand their operations and create jobs, many companies have shed workers in the United States. At the end of 2011, the largest non-financial companies in the S&P 500 Index had accumulated more than $1 trillion in cash, a historic high. Corporate cash was up 66 percent from the end of 2007, before the Wall Street financial crisis.[1] This comes at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent and more than 12 million Americans are looking for jobs. While overall employment at S&P 500 Index companies has grown since 2007, cash stockpiles have grown even faster. Most of this job creation has been overseas. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. parents of multinational companies cut a total of 864,000 jobs between 1999 and 2009, while their foreign affiliates added 2.9 million jobs.[2] Public companies are not required to disclose the percentage of their global workforce that is based in the United States. However, they must disclose the total number of employees, and a number of large companies have been cutting jobs while stockpiling cash.

    — 1 year ago with 23 notes
    #news  #politics  #99%  #one percent  #executive paywatch  #afl-cio  #unions  #labor unions  #organized labor  #middle class  #class war  #war on the middle class  #ceo pay  #corporations hoarding money  #no job creations  #job creators! 
    "The number one thing parents try to do with their money is to buy better opportunities for their children. […] The advantages George Romney transmitted to Mitt Romney include not just intelligence, height, good looks, and a stable upbringing, but a fancy private education at Cranbrook and a lot of money.
    The conservative rhetoric about inequality has been attempting to sustain the pretense that Romney is merely defending his business success and the larger principle of merit. But of course, he’s also defending his own upbringing and the larger principle of inherited privilege. The fact that he did so without anybody noticing shows the degree to which, far from being “very different” things, these are one and the same."
    — 1 year ago with 3 notes
    #news  #politics  #mitt romney  #silver spoon  #president obama  #opportunity  #outcome  #inherited wealth  #one percent  #99%  #class war 
    …
BUFFETT RULE: Democrats Vow To Keep Pushing Millionaire Tax Despite Expected Failure – Democrats found McConnell’s positions disingenuous, arguing that a GOP-waged filibuster would be the only reason for the Buffett Rule’s failure. “All of their arguments just don’t stand up because they’re so afraid of this issue,” [Chuck] Schumer said. “Are they for it or against it? They say, ‘Well, it won’t pass.’ It won’t pass because they are opposed to it,” he said, adding that Republicans are the ones guilty of chicanery. “The gimmick is when they block something and say, ‘Let’s not pay attention to it because we won’t let it pass,” Schumer said. “If they think fairness is a gimmick, if they think that having people pay their fair share is a gimmick, then they’re just completely out of touch with the American people.” […] Schumer vowed to keep bringing the Buffett Rule back until Republicans give in, the way they did on the payroll tax cut fight. “We’ll keep pushing this issue all year long, and we think we’ll pick up more and more Republicans,” Schumer said. He added that the idea is not just to score campaign points, but to show people that Democrats are more in line with them on tax policy, and to ultimately pass the bill.

    BUFFETT RULE: Democrats Vow To Keep Pushing Millionaire Tax Despite Expected Failure – Democrats found McConnell’s positions disingenuous, arguing that a GOP-waged filibuster would be the only reason for the Buffett Rule’s failure. “All of their arguments just don’t stand up because they’re so afraid of this issue,” [Chuck] Schumer said. “Are they for it or against it? They say, ‘Well, it won’t pass.’ It won’t pass because they are opposed to it,” he said, adding that Republicans are the ones guilty of chicanery. “The gimmick is when they block something and say, ‘Let’s not pay attention to it because we won’t let it pass,” Schumer said. “If they think fairness is a gimmick, if they think that having people pay their fair share is a gimmick, then they’re just completely out of touch with the American people.” […] Schumer vowed to keep bringing the Buffett Rule back until Republicans give in, the way they did on the payroll tax cut fight. “We’ll keep pushing this issue all year long, and we think we’ll pick up more and more Republicans,” Schumer said. He added that the idea is not just to score campaign points, but to show people that Democrats are more in line with them on tax policy, and to ultimately pass the bill.

    — 1 year ago with 3 notes
    #news  #politics  #democrats  #buffett rule  #chuck schumer  #will keep fighting  #republicans  #gop  #no more tax cuts for the wealthy  #no to austerity for the rest of us  #one percent  #99% 
    …
“Tonight, Senate Republicans voted to block the Buffett Rule, choosing once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class. The Buffett Rule is common sense. At a time when we have significant deficits to close and serious investments to make to strengthen our economy, we simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for. But it’s also about basic fairness—it’s just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires. One of the fundamental challenges of our time is building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. And I will continue to push Congress to take steps to not only restore economic security for the middle class and those trying to reach the middle class, but also to create an economy that’s built to last.” – President Obama in a statement on Monday’s vote
The Buffett Rule is supported by 72% of Americans, 53% of Republicans and 2% of GOP Senators. Even though the rule received majority approval in the Senate, Republicans had to show just how out of touch they are, filibustering it.
Wealthy Investment Banker: ‘It Is Ridiculous That I Pay Substantially Lower Taxes’ Than Working Americans

    Tonight, Senate Republicans voted to block the Buffett Rule, choosing once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class. The Buffett Rule is common sense. At a time when we have significant deficits to close and serious investments to make to strengthen our economy, we simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for. But it’s also about basic fairness—it’s just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires. One of the fundamental challenges of our time is building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. And I will continue to push Congress to take steps to not only restore economic security for the middle class and those trying to reach the middle class, but also to create an economy that’s built to last.” – President Obama in a statement on Monday’s vote

    — 2 years ago with 20 notes
    #news  #politics  #buffett rule  #senate republicans  #republicans  #gop  #blocked buffett rule  #filibuster  #supported by 72% of americans  #tax fairness  #majority approval in the senate  #on the side of millionaires  #one percent  #99%  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #austerity for the rest of us  #class war  #income redistribution 

    What’s Mitt Romney hiding? A lot, for someone asking for our votes – Mitt Romney has a secret plan to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Mitt Romney is filing for an extension on his taxes, a move that, not coincidentally, prevents him from having to release them. This all makes sense from a guy who thinks that the inequality from which he benefits so enormously should only be discussed in quiet rooms. But it’s not exactly the stuff with which he’s likely to convince a majority of voters that he can be trusted with the governance of their country. After all, Romney doesn’t even want to tell us what policieshe’s running on, let alone how his personal conduct has measured up.

    (Source: underthemountainbunker.com)

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #mitt romney  #taxes  #filed for an extension  #tax returns  #where are his tax returns?  #one percent  #99% 
    …
Unfortunately, this would explain a lot. What it doesn’t explain is rightwing Christians who support this behavior with their politics and, particularly, Christian leaders who justify it. I’m sure we’re all familiar with those sections in the Gospels that celebrate gluttony and greed.

How Wealth Reduces Compassion: Scientific American
But why would wealth and status decrease our feelings of compassion for others? After all, it seems more likely that having few resources would lead to selfishness. Piff and his colleagues suspect that the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior.
Given the growing income inequality in the United States, the relationship between wealth and compassion has important implications. Those who hold most of the power in this country, political and otherwise, tend to come from privileged backgrounds. If social class influences how much we care about others, then the most powerful among us may be the least likely to make decisions that help the needy and the poor. They may also be the most likely to engage in unethical behavior. Keltner and Piff recently speculated in the New York Times about how their research helps explain why Goldman Sachs and other high-powered financial corporations are breeding grounds for greedy behavior. Although greed is a universal human emotion, it may have the strongest pull over those of us who already have the most.

So when we wonder, “When will the one percent feel they have enough money?” Now we know the answer: NEVER.  When Romney says he’s not concerned about the very poor, he means it. We also know the one percent will continue to take more than their share as long as we allow it. Why wouldn’t they?
Related: 
US income growth: the one percent got 93% of it in 2010 while everyone else divided up the remaining 7%

    Unfortunately, this would explain a lot. What it doesn’t explain is rightwing Christians who support this behavior with their politics and, particularly, Christian leaders who justify it. I’m sure we’re all familiar with those sections in the Gospels that celebrate gluttony and greed.

    How Wealth Reduces Compassion: Scientific American

    But why would wealth and status decrease our feelings of compassion for others? After all, it seems more likely that having few resources would lead to selfishness. Piff and his colleagues suspect that the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior.

    Given the growing income inequality in the United States, the relationship between wealth and compassion has important implications. Those who hold most of the power in this country, political and otherwise, tend to come from privileged backgrounds. If social class influences how much we care about others, then the most powerful among us may be the least likely to make decisions that help the needy and the poor. They may also be the most likely to engage in unethical behavior. Keltner and Piff recently speculated in the New York Times about how their research helps explain why Goldman Sachs and other high-powered financial corporations are breeding grounds for greedy behavior. Although greed is a universal human emotion, it may have the strongest pull over those of us who already have the most.

    So when we wonder, “When will the one percent feel they have enough money?” Now we know the answer: NEVER.  When Romney says he’s not concerned about the very poor, he means it. We also know the one percent will continue to take more than their share as long as we allow it. Why wouldn’t they?

    Related: 

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #99%  #one percent  #psychology  #study  #the poor  #the wealthy are greedy  #the wealthy believe greed is morally defensible  #the wealthy have less compassion 
    …
Do You Favor Phasing Out Medicare? - Not sure this is going to get the level of attention it deserves or that most political reporters will call it what it is: Paul Ryan today unveiled the new House Budget, which doubles down on Ryan’s previously announced plan to end Medicare as a source of guaranteed health care benefits for the elderly. It’ll still be called Medicare, but it will be Medicare in name only. We’ve covered this ad nauseam, but it hasn’t really penetrated elite consciousness, let alone broader public awareness. (Incredibly obtuse fact-checking on the issue has compounded the problem.) But here we sit less than eight months before the election, with Republicans firmly and irrevocably on record as planning to dismantle Medicare. No guaranteed benefits. Period. End of sentence. […] No candidate for federal office should be able to dodge this question. It’s that simple.

    Do You Favor Phasing Out Medicare? - Not sure this is going to get the level of attention it deserves or that most political reporters will call it what it is: Paul Ryan today unveiled the new House Budget, which doubles down on Ryan’s previously announced plan to end Medicare as a source of guaranteed health care benefits for the elderly. It’ll still be called Medicare, but it will be Medicare in name only. We’ve covered this ad nauseam, but it hasn’t really penetrated elite consciousness, let alone broader public awareness. (Incredibly obtuse fact-checking on the issue has compounded the problem.) But here we sit less than eight months before the election, with Republicans firmly and irrevocably on record as planning to dismantle Medicare. No guaranteed benefits. Period. End of sentence. […] No candidate for federal office should be able to dodge this question. It’s that simple.

    — 2 years ago with 2 notes
    #news  #politics  #paul ryan  #republican budget  #medicare  #one percent  #99%  #safety net  #every candidate should be asked 
    The United States of White Male Corporatism™ →

    Here’s an example of one of the corporations that the Republicans are so concerned about not  increasing marginal tax rates on — the “job creators”. Sure, let’s get them more tax cuts, so they can pay out ridiculous bonuses to themselves and their executives while laying off more American workers. Why not?

    Newspaper Giant Gives CEO $32 Million Severance Package After Laying Off 20,000 Workers In Six Years

    When Craig Dubow resigned as CEO of the nation’s largest newspaper conglomerate amid health problems last year, he ended a six-year stint that “was, by most accounts, a disaster.” Gannett, the parent company of the USA Today and 80 other American newspapers, had seen its revenue plummet $1.7 billion and its stock price fall 86 percent, from $72 a share to just over $10.

    To counter those losses, Gannett shed jobs, and a lot of them. Industry estimates say the company has laid off at least 20,000 workers since 2005, reducing its workforce from 52,000 to roughly 32,000. Despite those losses, Gannett awarded Dubow a severance package worth $32 million, NPR reports:

    Dubow’s final compensation package includes $12.8 million in retirement benefits, $6.2 million in disability benefits and a $5.9 million severance payment, according to the filing. Gannett stock options and restricted stock, which Dubow had accrued during his years of employment with the company, were also part of the package. Those stock awards are valued at nearly $7 million.

    Separately, Gannett will pay $25,000 to $50,000 annually for a $6.2 million life insurance policy covering Dubow and another $70,000 annually for benefits such as health insurance, home computer and secretarial assistance and financial counseling. He will receive most of these benefits for three years unless he goes to work for a competitor, according to the filing.

    Only in the United States of White Male Corporatism can you be a complete failure, put 20,000 people out of work, get a $32 million severance package, and still get an entire political party to fight to get you even more — while convincing the plebeians to take even less.

    — 2 years ago with 27 notes
    #vote!  #politics  #news  #99%  #austerity for the rest of us  #bonuses  #ceo  #craig dubow  #failure  #Gannett  #GOP  #greed  #it's never enough  #one percent  #Republicans  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #USA Today  #what bullshit!  #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class 
    image: socialistexan
…
Santorum makes zero mention of jobs in CNN debate - In total, the four GOP contenders mentioned the word “jobs” only 10 times over the span of two hours — and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) uttered the word a grand total of zero times. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said the word four times each. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) mentioned it twice (one of those mentions was in reference to “the job Barack Obama isn’t doing”). Moderator John King said the word “jobs” four times.

    image: socialistexan

    Santorum makes zero mention of jobs in CNN debate - In total, the four GOP contenders mentioned the word “jobs” only 10 times over the span of two hours — and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) uttered the word a grand total of zero times. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said the word four times each. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) mentioned it twice (one of those mentions was in reference to “the job Barack Obama isn’t doing”). Moderator John King said the word “jobs” four times.

    — 2 years ago with 29 notes
    #news  #politics  #jobs  #gop debate  #rick santorum  #mitt romney  #newt gingrich  #ron paul  #unemployment  #one percent  #99%  #gop  #republicans