Trailer for The Dark Knight Rises
You’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.
The NY Times reports,
Conflict between rich and poor now eclipses racial strain and friction between immigrants and the native-born as the greatest source of tension in American society, according to a survey released Wednesday.
About two-thirds of Americans now believe there are “strong conflicts” between rich and poor in the United States, a survey by the Pew Research Center found, a sign that the message of income inequality brandished by the Occupy Wall Street movement and pressed by Democrats may be seeping into the national consciousness.
[…] The demographics were surprising, experts said. While blacks were still more likely than whites to see serious conflicts between rich and poor, the share of whites who held that view increased by 22 percentage points, more than triple the increase among blacks. The share of blacks and Hispanics who held the view grew by single digits.
What is more, people at the upper middle of the income ladder were most likely to see conflict. Seventy-one percent of those who earned from $40,000 to $75,000 said there were strong conflicts between rich and poor, up from 47 percent in 2009. The lowest income bracket, less than $20,000, changed the least.
The grinding economic downturn may be contributing to the heightened perception of conflict between rich and poor, said Christopher Jencks, a professor of social policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
“Rich and poor aren’t terribly distinct from secure and unemployed,” he said.
The survey attributed the change, in part, to “underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society,” citing a finding by the Census Bureau that the share of wealth held by the top 10 percent of the population increased to 56 percent in 2009, from 49 percent in 2005.
I think most of us realize we’re one layoff away from poverty ourselves.
But in Mitt Romney’s world, this simply means more people are envious. Here’s some information on what might be fueling our ‘jealousy’:
What’s actually happened with working and middle class wages along with the decline in unions? CEO pay has skyrocketed 300% since 1990, corporate profits have doubled. Average “production worker” pay has increased 4%. The minimum wage has dropped.
Since 1990, your pay and mine increased only 4% (if we’re lucky enough to have jobs), while the 1 percent have enjoyed a massive pay increase of 300%! I suppose that’s justified if the 1 percent contributed and produced and worked 296% more than the rest of us — but my guess is that they didn’t.
How many jobs did Mitt Romney create at Bain? The Romney camp has gone from claiming “over a hundred thousand jobs” to “tens of thousands of jobs” to this past week’s “thousands of jobs.” Steve Benen says: By next week, I expect Romney to tell us, “I probably created a handful of jobs.”
Mitt worked for Bain for over two decades, derived a personal net worth between $190 and $250 million, and now admits he created only THOUSANDS of jobs.
Can you imagine the plutocracy that Romney could create as president of the U.S. and one, true Corporate Defender? The final destruction of the middle class, the rich grabbing the rest of the redistributed wealth, the wages and indentured servitude that would be available to the working class, and the living conditions at the inevitable corporate-sponsored Thunderdome Camps™?
Corporations are people, my friends. Romney is everything the one percent have been waiting for.
This figures: Senate Republicans and two DINOs have introduced a bill to take away money that was designated to go to consumers as part of the Affordable Care Act, in the 80 / 20 ratio:
As part of the Affordable Care Act, health insurers must spend at least 80% of the money they earn from premiums on actually providing health care, with the remaining cash used to cover all administrative, advertising and payroll costs. Those insurers with plans that don’t follow this ratio are soon supposed to start giving the extra money back in refunds and discounts. But new legislation introduced in the Senate this week could jeopardize this,while giving insurance companies even more money to stick in their dog pillows.
The bill, introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu (DINO) of Louisiana and co-sponsored by John Isakson (R) of Georgia, Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson (DINO), is intended “to preserve consumer and employer access to licensed independent insurance producers“ by eliminating insurance broker commissions from the administrative overhead.
Does that “intent” sound like bullshit to you? Does to me. Broker commissions not coming out of insurance companies’ overhead helps WHO exactly? That’s right. It helps insurance companies and those who receive commissions.
So under the current rules, an insurer that takes in $100 million dollars in premiums must spend $80 million on paying for health care and those broker commissions are included in the remaining $20 million.
But if this bill becomes law, those commissions — let’s just put a number of $3 million on them for this example — would no longer be part of the equation. That would mean the insurer would only have to spend $77.6 million on health care but would now have $22.4 million to use for its own purposes.
The National Association of Insurance found that altering the rule to remove broker compensation will result in a loss of more than 60% of forthcoming rebates for consumers.
Conservatives in Congress like Landrieu, Isakson, Murkowski, and Nelson just can’t stop themselves from fighting for the best interests of the corporations and the one percent.
And, by the way, this is part of Obamacare, part of health care reform, so would all the Republican base voters who hate, hate, hate Obama and the Democratic Party,and pay for health insurance, please explain how this new conservative
trick bill will work out better for them personally? I’d like to hear that argument.
It’s way past time to put that Republican fairy tale called ”Investors and Job Creators Need Lower Taxes” to bed:
According to Republican gospel, taxes on investment must always be low, or else investors will simply sit on their money, refusing to do the very thing that could earn them more money. However, as David Abromowitz laid out in Bloobmerg View today, Mitt Romney’s tax returns undermine this argument.
After all, Romney made his fortune via investments made by Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he ran. And Bain’s investments between 1984 and 1999 “occurred when capital-gains rates were much higher than they are today. Yet Bain consistently attracted massive amounts of private capital, and thrived”…
[…] As billionaire investor Warren Buffett put it, “I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital-gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.” It’s worth remembering that it was conservative icon Ronald Reagan who completely equalized the tax treatment of investment and wage income, rejecting the argument that a lower capital gains rate was necessary to incentivize investment.
As Pat Garofalo noted earlier:
[Would the wealthy really] squirrel away their money under the mattress if the capital gains rate goes back to the level at which it was under Clinton? In fact, business investment was stronger under President Clinton that it was under President Bush. The overwhelming majority of capital gains go to the richest households. Keeping that rate so far below the rates applied to normal income is simply a giveaway to the wealthy that doesn’t boost the economy.
And what’s Mitt Romney, the GOP’s preordained presidential candidate, have to offer? Nothing if you’re not in the top one percent. For the rest of us, it’s the same old bottom to top income redistribution scheme — only more so: Continue…
Romney tells west Mich. businessmen he’ll fight unions - ”I’ve taken on union bosses before,” Romney said before hundreds at a furniture manufacturer. “I’m happy to take them on again.” […] Romney kicked off his “welcome home rally” with a meeting with 10 business, economic and political leaders, who advised Romney of things on their wish list: less regulation, more certainty, more state power, less spending and right-to-work legislation. One business owner asked Romney to sign an executive order on Day 1 to end a provision that federal work be done by union labor. “You’ll have that,” Romney said. || Note: The King of Bain ‘kicked off’ his welcome home rally with the one percenters, promising to fight for their concerns, which in many cases includes reducing wages and benefits!
When Romney Courted The Unions - in 2002 the former Governor was actively courting the labor vote. Romney prominently featured on his campaign website a call for union members to vote for him because he would invest in infrastructure, adjust the minimum wage annually to inflation, and have labor be a critical factor in developing the state.
Class Warfare: Which Side Are You on? - The good news is that there is growing awareness among the 99 percent that they’ve been ripped off; that they’re engaged in a decades-long class war and their side is losing. As a result working Americans are in favor of raising taxes on the 1 percent. And there’s some evidence that the 99 percent are waking up to the problem of big money in politics, the problems caused by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The bad news is that this may not be enough to save our Democracy. Over the last 30 years, the United States has been looted. The rich and powerful, the 1 percent, have taken a disproportionate share of the economic gains that we’ve all worked for. As a consequence America is teetering on the brink of Plutocracy. To remedy this inequity and restore Democracy, fundamental changes must be made. […] Barack Obama is not a perfect candidate but at least he is willing to talk about class warfare and to propose common sense steps towards economic justice. That’s a big difference from Mitt Romney who doesn’t think we have a class problem or issues with economic fairness and says of people who suggest this “[Its] about envy. It’s about class warfare.”
Worst of the Worst: Rob Walton, Walmart - Want to see who’s using their wealth to exploit the 99%? This series of 1-minute videos reveals the methods of the worst of the 1%. In 2007, according to the labor economist Sylvia Allegretto, the six Walton family members on the Forbes 400 had a net worth equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans.The Waltons are now collectively worth about $93 billion, according to Forbes. Watch how they take advantage of the 99%…
BREAKIN’: Mitt Romney to unveil brand new tax cut plan for himself - Nothing says “desperate loser seeking seal of approval from right-wingers” than proposing yet another tax cut for the wealthy in a last minute Hail Mary: Team Romney tells me there will be a bolder tax-cut plan released either at the debate tomorrow night (if Mitt gets it in) or more formally at his Detroit Economic Club speech on Friday. I’m embargoed from releasing details until tomorrow. But I can say that the new plan will be across-the-board with supply-side incentives from rate reduction, and that it will help small-business owners as well as everyone else.
Five super-rich men are deciding the GOP nomination - A quarter of the money that has fueled a bitter nomination battle among Republican White House hopefuls, from which no settled favorite has yet emerged, has come from just five super-rich Americans. The sway that wealthy donors have been able to exert has come about due to them pouring money into so-called super PACs, political action committees with no formal affiliation to a candidate but, more crucially, no funding cap. […] Around $126 million has so far been donated to super PACS, with nearly 25 percent of that money coming from Simmons, Adelson, Friess, Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, and Houston construction magnate Bob Perry.
Romney Admits He’d Give Huge Tax Break To Top 1 Percent - Romney admitted that his tax plan contained a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans: SANTORUM: Governor Romney even today suggested today raising taxes on the top 1 percent, adopting the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. I’m not going to adopt that rhetoric. I’m going to represent 100 percent of Americans. We’re not raising taxes on anyone. ROMNEY: Number one, I said that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent. So that’s number one. […] Romney’s plan to give a 20-percent tax cut, lowering rates for the wealthiest Americans from 35 percent to 28 percent, and repeal the alternative minimum tax would, as Romney admitted tonight, provide a huge tax break to the richest Americans, at a cost four times higher than the Bush tax cuts.
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.