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Under the Mountain Bunker

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    House GOP plans August vote to extend Bush tax cuts  – “Knowing that comprehensive reform will take time, we must ensure that while Congress is working to bring about competitive change, government does not increase the cost of business,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in a note to Republican representatives on Friday. “Before we leave for August, I expect to schedule a vote on legislation preventing the largest tax increase in history.” – Raw Story
The Hill reports that vote will happen in July.

    House GOP plans August vote to extend Bush tax cuts  – “Knowing that comprehensive reform will take time, we must ensure that while Congress is working to bring about competitive change, government does not increase the cost of business,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in a note to Republican representatives on Friday. “Before we leave for August, I expect to schedule a vote on legislation preventing the largest tax increase in history.” – Raw Story

    • The Hill reports that vote will happen in July.
    — 2 years ago with 7 notes
    #news  #politics  #gop  #republicans  #congress  #bush tax cuts  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #austerity for the rest of us  #class war  #income redistribution 

    REID DRAWS A LINE on Rolling Back Sequester – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that Senate Democrats would not agree to replace mandated spending cuts unless Republicans agree to a “balanced” approach that asks the wealthy to help pay for it. – Roll Call

    (Source: underthemountainbunker.com)

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #harry reid  #democrats  #republicans  #sequester  #senate  #spending cuts  #one percent  #austerity  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #bush tax cuts 
    The (nonpartisan) chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling
[…] Here’s something else to keep in mind while gazing at this chart:

“In 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over.” — University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, The rich are different; they get richer 

    The (nonpartisan) chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling

    […] Here’s something else to keep in mind while gazing at this chart:

    “In 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over.” — University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, The rich are different; they get richer 

    — 2 years ago with 2 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  #bush deficit  #Bush tax cuts  #chart  #deficits  #for the rich  #George W Bush  #nonpartisan  #obama deficit  #President Obama  #the stimulus should've been larger 
    …
Beyond a Buffett Rule, the Obama We’ve Been Waiting For – Later, in the speech, he sharpened his criticism of the Republican embrace of zombie-eyed granny-starving to a sharper point, daring the GOP to produce a list of things they would actually cut to make the pixie-dust math of the Ryan budget actually work. “They won’t do it,” he told the crowd, “because they know, if they do, they’ll lose.” This appeal to honesty and political courage likely will fall on deaf ears, alas. (How do I know this? Because of an interview that zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan gave to the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he spectacularly attempted to wedge zombie-eyed granny-starving into the Gospels: “A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private,” Ryan said in an interview released on Tuesday by the Christian Broadcasting Network. “So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person.” First of all, he doesn’t know what in the hell he’s talking about. The social magisterium of the Church is a lot of things, but consonant with supply-side trickle-down economics is definitely not one of them, no matter how hard the crowd at First Things tries to make it so.

    Beyond a Buffett Rule, the Obama We’ve Been Waiting For – Later, in the speech, he sharpened his criticism of the Republican embrace of zombie-eyed granny-starving to a sharper point, daring the GOP to produce a list of things they would actually cut to make the pixie-dust math of the Ryan budget actually work. “They won’t do it,” he told the crowd, “because they know, if they do, they’ll lose.” This appeal to honesty and political courage likely will fall on deaf ears, alas. (How do I know this? Because of an interview that zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan gave to the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he spectacularly attempted to wedge zombie-eyed granny-starving into the Gospels: “A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private,” Ryan said in an interview released on Tuesday by the Christian Broadcasting Network. “So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person.” First of all, he doesn’t know what in the hell he’s talking about. The social magisterium of the Church is a lot of things, but consonant with supply-side trickle-down economics is definitely not one of them, no matter how hard the crowd at First Things tries to make it so.

    — 2 years ago with 83 notes
    #politics  #charles p pierce  #ryan budget  #paul ryan  #president obama  #buffett rule  #trickle down  #bush tax cuts 
    "Don’t you think it will be interesting to see if the GOP led Congress, which has sat on its collective ass since the 2010 election, will suddenly spring to life to defend the one percenters and their current tax rate on capital gains?"
    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #news  #politics  #war on the middle class  #class war  #income redistribution  #01/01/13  #Bush tax cuts  #capital gains tax cuts expiration  #captial gains  #do nothing congress  #GOP  #gop led congress  #january 1 2012  #Mitt Romney  #one percent  #payroll tax cut extension  #Republicans  #spending cuts for the rest of us  #tax cuts for the wealthy 
    …
For #OccupyWallStreet, an immodest proposal: forgive the debt of the 99%
So my immodest proposal is simply this: Individuals and  households in the bottom 99 percent who owe debt to any large financial  institution that received federal government support during and after  the 2008 crisis should see their debt forgiven. That would  certainly stimulate the economy, as most people would suddenly find  themselves with a great deal more money to spend on iPads (and food, and  clothing, and housing, and healthcare). The debt can be forgiven by  decree or if the government really wants to it can step in to pay it  itself; I don’t much care either way. (Though it’d be nice to see it  just wiped off the books, to enrage the banks.)
Let’s wipe the debt of the 99 percent off the books, tell the financial sector to eat it, and get on with our lives.
— Alex Pareene | A proposed demand for Occupy Wall Street
Would that be fair? Sure it would.

REMEMBER AFTER 9-11 WHEN BUSH TOLD US TO GO SHOPPING, to “enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed“. Who do you suppose that benefited, exactly? He and his rich friends knew exactly what they were doing:
Median wages grew too little over the past  30 years to drive the kind of spending necessary to sustain the  consumer economy. Instead, increasingly exotic forms of credit filled  the gap, as the wealthy offered the middle class alluring credit card  deals and variable-interest subprime loans. This allowed rich investors  to keep making money and everyone else to feel like they were keeping  up—until the whole system imploded. -– Study: Income Inequality Kills Economic Growth

NOW THIS:

Using 2007 figures, sociologist  William Domhoff points out that the top one percent have five percent of  the nation’s personal debt while the bottom 90 percent have 73 percent  of total debt. — The Top 5 Facts You Should Know About The Wealthiest One Percent Of Americans

    For #OccupyWallStreet, an immodest proposal: forgive the debt of the 99%

    So my immodest proposal is simply this: Individuals and households in the bottom 99 percent who owe debt to any large financial institution that received federal government support during and after the 2008 crisis should see their debt forgiven. That would certainly stimulate the economy, as most people would suddenly find themselves with a great deal more money to spend on iPads (and food, and clothing, and housing, and healthcare). The debt can be forgiven by decree or if the government really wants to it can step in to pay it itself; I don’t much care either way. (Though it’d be nice to see it just wiped off the books, to enrage the banks.)

    Let’s wipe the debt of the 99 percent off the books, tell the financial sector to eat it, and get on with our lives.

    Alex Pareene | A proposed demand for Occupy Wall Street

    Would that be fair? Sure it would.

    REMEMBER AFTER 9-11 WHEN BUSH TOLD US TO GO SHOPPING, to “enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed“. Who do you suppose that benefited, exactly? He and his rich friends knew exactly what they were doing:

    Median wages grew too little over the past 30 years to drive the kind of spending necessary to sustain the consumer economy. Instead, increasingly exotic forms of credit filled the gap, as the wealthy offered the middle class alluring credit card deals and variable-interest subprime loans. This allowed rich investors to keep making money and everyone else to feel like they were keeping up—until the whole system imploded. -Study: Income Inequality Kills Economic Growth

    NOW THIS:

    Using 2007 figures, sociologist William Domhoff points out that the top one percent have five percent of the nation’s personal debt while the bottom 90 percent have 73 percent of total debt. The Top 5 Facts You Should Know About The Wealthiest One Percent Of Americans

    — 2 years ago with 23 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #politics  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #1% vs. 99%  #Bush tax cuts  #demand  #forgive the debt of the 99%  #immodest proposal  #occupywallstreet  #plutocracy  #spending cuts for the rest of us  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #tell the banks to eat it 
    This morning’s good news and bad news… →

    First the good news (for the Teaparty Republicans and the 1% they fight for):

    Tax Rates For Millionaires Have Fallen 25 Percent Since 1995 | The Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon took a look at new IRS data and found that “as a percentage of their incomes, millionaires are now paying about one-quarter less of their income to federal taxes than they did in the mid-1990s”:

    “Millionaires paid an average tax rate of 22.4 percent in 2009, down by a quarter since 1995, when they paid an average of 30.4 percent,” Hanlon noted.

    Now the bad news (for the remaining 99% of us):

    Average Income Falls To Lowest Level Since 1997 | According to newly released tax data, “U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007.” 2009′s average income of $54,283, which is the latest available data, “was at its lowest level since 1997 when it was $54,265 in 2009 dollars, just $18 less than in 2009.”

    Possible solution:

    Your morning must-read: Andy Kroll breaks down Tuesday’s big recall elections in Wisconsin.

    BlueRobot/Flickr

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #1% vs. 99%  #austerity measures  #Bush tax cuts  #election day  #job creators  #millionaires  #no jobs created  #rest of us  #spending cuts  #spending cuts for the rest of us  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #tax revenue  #wisconsin 
    S&P Downgrade: no question, it happened because of the extreme positions of the Teaparty Republicans →

    I’ve put off talking about S&P’s credit downgrade all morning, but I can’t hide from it by watching Arrested Development on Netflix download forever. Here we go.

    Think Progress points out that S&P, in a press release, repeatedly sites GOP “intransigence” on taxes as their reasoning behind their downgrade. From the press release:

    Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.

    What would S&P have to see to raise U.S. credit rating back to AAA?

    Our revised upside scenario–which, other things being equal, we view as consistent with the outlook on the ‘AA+’ long-term rating being revised to stable–retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015 and to 78% by 2021.

    In other words, LET BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY LAPSE! We need new revenue! We have spending problems COMBINED with a revenue problem. Duh.

    Thank the teaparty, John Boehner, hostage-taker Mitch McConnell, Eric “I want what I want when I want it” Cantor, and all the members of the Republican-led House for bringing America into this historic milestone of a credit downgrade.

    Once upon a time, Osama bin Laden wanted to bring economic collapse to the U.S. Ironically, it’s the Teaparty that seems to be on track to fulfill his wishes.

    — 2 years ago with 13 notes
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #war on the middle class  #Bush tax cuts  #Eric Cantor  #extreme positions  #GOP  #intransigence position  #John Boehner  #Mitch McConnell  #no new taxes!  #Republicans  #S&P  #spending and revenue problems  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #tax revenue  #tea party 
    What doesn’t the average teaparty voter understand about income inequality that’s been growing since the ’70s? →

    The working- and middle-class teahadists continue to scream for tax cuts for the wealthy, in open defiance of their own self-interests. I don’t get it.

    John Cole lays out the case that luxury goods (like $9,000 Chanel sequined tweed coats) are flying off luxury store shelves and mebbe it’s time the rich folks contribute a little more tax revenue to our sinking ship called the USA:

    Via Economix: …the nation’s income distribution may be quite lopsided, but its wealth distribution is even more so.

    The top 1 percent of earners receive about a fifth of all American income; on the other hand, the top 1 percent of Americans by net worth hold about a third of American wealth. (Note that the top income earners are not necessarily the same people as the top net-worth Americans — after all, lots of high-net-worth people don’t work or have much else in the way of sources of new income.) Wealth-related inequality has also been relatively stable over the last few decades, whereas income-related inequality has been growing since the ’70s.

    Cole ends with this:

    Our Galtian overlords have the most money they ever have, their taxes are at the lowest levels they have in many decades, and they have plenty of money to blow on luxury items. Why? BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE FUCKING MONEY. It’s no coincidence that luxury items are flying off the shelves while concomitantly, the middle class is slowing down their spending on food, furniture, etc. In fact, this is precisely the point many dirty hippies have been trying to make- we are never going to have an economic recovery until some people other than the Kochs and Warren Buffet have money to spend. And with unemployment at astronomical levels and with the official government policy to make things worse with austerity and then hope a magical unicorn comes sliding down a rainbow showering jobs on the middle class, it is going to stay this way. Fer fuck’s sake.

    Agreed. WTF, teaparty?

    Related:

    Matthew Yglesias: Sales of luxury goods are sharply accelerating. …the key sentence in the piece is this one (emphasis added): “Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming.”

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #war on the middle class  #1% vs. 99%  #Bush tax cuts  #growing gap  #income inequality  #luxury goods  #rich people buy really expensive things!  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #the poor  #the rest of us  #the rich 
    “Cut, Cap, Balance — and cause 700,000 Americans to lose their jobs — Act” →

    Oh, Republicans… you so crazy!

    The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year that starts 75 days from now, despite a 9.2 percent unemployment rate.  These cuts would equal 0.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 2012 and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.

    Brian Beutler explains that it’s the wingnuts at Club for Growth pushing this current insanity:

    “Cut, Cap, and Balance will fix our fiscal mess. The McConnell-Reid plan does not,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement accompanying an alert that these votes will be counted on the group’s scorecard. “McConnell-Reid simply punts our budget problem further down the road and is everything that’s wrong with Washington. Congress has proven that they are unable to balance the budget without reform. Cut, Cap and Balance is the only plan that permanently handcuffs politicians from spending more money than they take in.”

    If you’re a Republican, voting for Plan B means you’re that much likelier to face a primary. By holding the test votes on Cut, Cap, and Balance, and the Balanced Budget Amendment, they can at least meet the Club for Growth, and similar groups half way.

    They’ll hold the symbolic vote tomorrow. Republican politics over country — you can always count on that.

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #700K jobs lost  #Bush tax cuts  #club for growth  #cut cap and balance  #debt ceiling  #debt crisis  #GOP  #job losses  #Kamikazes  #Republicans  #spending cuts  #tax cuts for the rich  #tea party  #vote 
    The growing income gap, stalled economic growth, and financial deregulation →

    “The idea that people make the same or less today than they made 40 years ago is a stunning historical fact.” — Author Jeff Madrick

    NPR: As income gap balloons, is it holding back growth?

    “This inequality is destabilizing and undermines the ability of the economy to grow sustainably and efficiently,” [Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin] said. Income inequality, she continued, is “anathema to the social progress that is part and parcel of such growth.”

    The income gap in the United States has ballooned: It’s wider than any time since 1928, in the days before the stock market crash triggered the Great Depression.

    […] “In the 1970s, there was an assault on government oversight and regulation,” Madrick tells Raz. “And eventually, the financial community stopped playing by the rules. There was an economic theory that kept justifying what they were doing. And the American public was not fully aware of what was going on.”

    The traditional argument for deregulation states that those policies make America richer, and that a rising tide lifts all boats.

    But Madrick says that for the typical American worker, the wage tide has gone out since 1969.

    “The typical male worker makes less today, discounted for inflation, than the typical median worker made in 1969,” says Madrick. “The idea that people make the same or less today than they made 40 years ago is a stunning historical fact.”

    […] “[Bank failures] peak up in crisis years. They peak in the 1920s,” [David Moss, a professor of economics at Harvard Business School] tells Raz. “But then most striking, after 1933, when we saw the introduction of federal banking and financial regulation, these banking crises disappear almost completely. And then it continues very, very low until the 1980s, then they pick back up again.”

    Moss found it striking that banking failures go down after financial regulation and start rising after the introduction of deregulation.

    Then, one of Moss’ colleagues showed him a chart of income inequality over the same period. Moss took that curve and plotted it on the same page as his bank failure curve.

    “And lo and behold, it was a striking, striking connection,” Moss says.

    As bank failures went up in the 1920s, so did income inequality. As inequality came down in the 1930s, bank failures stayed down. They stayed down together until the advent of deregulation in the 1980s.

    For Moss, this coincidence raises more questions than it provides answers. He isn’t sure what exactly the correlation between income inequality and financial failure means.

    Read the rest…

    So there’s an historical correlation that financial regulation might be one of the best things that could happen for creating economic growth and closing the income gap? Maybe that’s because government regulation and oversight actually keeps financial institutions more honest and accountable than fictional concepts, such as some “invisible hand” guiding everything or Reagan’s “trickle down” fallacy. Maybe it also helps ensure that individuals in financial institutions won’t gamble away everyone else’s money on things like sub-prime mortgage loans while they walk away with their own fortunes intact.

    And I’m not even bringing up the 10.5 years of tax breaks for the job creators wealthy here, or that the wealthy compounded their fortunes during a time of economic loss for everyone else. They work harder than us, right?

    It’s almost TOO SIMPLE. That must be why the Tea Party base sides with millionaires like the Koch brothers to protest “big” government and regulation and expiring Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. Because they’re morans.

    The gap in income between the wealthiest Americans and all others has grown strikingly in recent decades, the CBO data show. In 1979, when the data begin, the average after-tax incomes of the top 1 percent of households were 7.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth of households. By 2007, top incomes were 23.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth — a more than tripling of the income gap.
    — 3 years ago
    #politics  #news  #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #GOP  #Republicans  #tea party  #NPR  #financial regulation  #Bush tax cuts  #tax cuts for the rich  #deregulation  #federal government  #income inequality  #big government  #income gap  #economic growth  #bank failures