Monday, April 30, 2012

There is No Racism in the History of the Conservative Movement ?

The Racism-Conservatism Link: 'National Review' Firestorm Over Racism Calls Up William F. Buckley's Troubling Legacy

The National Review's dropping of two writers -- one for publishing a racist article in another publication, the other for giving a racist talk -- has renewed discussion of that magazine's early positions regarding race and the legacy of its founder and guiding spirit William F. Buckley, Jr. Since Buckley's magazine was critical to the success of the postwar right, mainstream conservatism's supposed renunciation of racism has depended in part on a prevailing, little-examined notion that having defended white supremacy in the South in the 1950s, Buckley later apologized for that position.

His fans, both conservative and liberal, cite the apology. It's become part and parcel of a contention that racism and conservatism are not ineluctably connected.

But the aged Buckley was renouncing a position entirely different from the one he'd actually advanced in the 1950s.

Writing in 1957 in defense of jury nullification of federal voting laws, Buckley insisted that whites in the South were "entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, where they do not prevail numerically," because the white race was "for the time being, the advanced race." In 2004, asked whether he'd ever taken a position he now regretted, he said: "Yes. I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow. I was wrong: federal intervention was necessary."

Nicely done. Where in '57 he'd asserted a right even of a minority of whites to impose racial segregation by literally any means necessary, including breaking federal law, in '04 Buckley expressed regret for supposedly having believed only that segregation would wither away without federal intervention.

Stupid the man was not. He gets credited today with honesty about his past and with having, in his own way, "evolved up." Modern conservatives, more importantly, get to ignore the realities of their movement's origins.

Buckley did evolve, just not in the way his fans like to imagine. His effort to construct working-class white Southern racists as an advanced race was brief. (Given Buckley's ideas of what advanced races like to do -- sail, listen to Bach, defend high culture against barbarity -- it's not surprising if they disappointed him.) By 1965, at a famous Oxford Union debate with James Baldwin, Buckley was fighting what had already become a rearguard action on civil-rights legislation, and he was taking a new position. Claiming now that everybody already agreed that race prejudice is evil, he accused the civil-rights movement of no longer seeking equality but the actual regression of the white race. He announced that if it ever came to race war, he was prepared to fight it on the beaches, in the hills, in the mountains.

And he joked that what he really objected to was any uneducated Southerner, black or white, being allowed to vote. That's less a turnabout on equal rights for blacks than a retreat to a more logically consistent snobbism, and the joke was serious: that same year, James J. Kilpatrick put forth in the National Review an argument mixing states-rights populism with ruling-class prerogative, warning that federalism would be destroyed unless states were free to impose voting qualifications, and that such qualifications must discriminate equally, not racially.

Race nevertheless long remained a defining conservative issue for the National Review. In a 1969 column, Buckley hymned the research of Arthur Jensen on race and IQ, which showed blacks testing lower than whites on abstract reasoning skills, a finding from which Buckley deduced a racial imperviousness to improvement by education. In the 1970s the magazine persistently defended apartheid South Africa on the same basis that it had once defended Jim Crow.

The problem isn't that old Bill Buckley gets a pass. If conservatives today really mean to mark out an American conservative ethos with no remaining ties to racism, wouldn't they need to reckon, far more seriously and realistically than they seem prepared to do, with the painful legacy of the postwar right when it comes to what was then called racial integration? With the Cold War, integration was the hot issue of the day -- and that was the day when the right wing was taking over the Republican Party. Nelson Rockefeller was a fire-and-brimstone Cold Warrior but hyperliberal on race; he was just the type the Buckleyites were knocking out. Ties between conservatism and straight-up, hardcore, undisguised disgust at the presence of African Americans in any position other than servile were once so tight that for some of us with long enough memories it's somewhat bizarre even to have to review them.

And the deeper one digs into the history of race and the right wing, the trickier things get. There's another remark of Buckley's that gets him routinely credited with acknowledging, in old age, postwar conservatives' error on race and personally recanting it: a comment he made during an interview with Judy Woodruff in 2006 regarding his opposition to the 1962 Civil Rights Act. "The effect of that bill should have been welcomed by us," Buckley told Woodruff. He framed his old objection to the act in terms of William Rehnquist's supposedly having persuaded him and Barry Goldwater, when developing positions for the Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, to view opposition to the act as an inescapable conclusion of the supposed strict constitutionalism on which Goldwater was running, a position that Buckley told Woodruff he'd since come to regret for its "constitutional formalism."

Buckley's 2006 frame is a false one. Advancing states-rights and anti-judicial-review arguments against civil-rights laws was nothing new to Buckley in '63-'64, and his arguments certainly didn't depend on any "formalist" urging from Rehnquist. By the time of the Goldwater campaign, nearly 10 years of unrelenting objection to every form of civil-rights legislation had appeared in the National Review, weirdly blending the (supposedly race-neutral) "strict-constitutional" argument with Buckleyite claims for the right of cultures deemed superior by Buckleyites to violate the Constitution.

Most conservatives today are not racists, but that a large minority are remains a problem. First, conservatives refuse to acknowledge they have a problem with racists - who are drawn to the conservative movement ( why are racists sympathetic to conservatism. What is it about conservatism that appeals to racists). The other is that many conservatives in leadership positions may not be racists they are happy to use the conservative dog whistle to signal to racists that they should vote for conservatives.

Conservatives have a similar problem with women and are often even less subtle in their appeals to sexism and misogyny. First conservatives have to admit they have a problem before they can start to do something about it. The war on women continues - Top Republican Strategist Denies Women Are Paid Less Than Men To Do The Same Work.

10 Things You Need to Know About Conservative Fanatic Marco Rubio

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where Does Mitt Romney Stand on Veterans Issues? He'll Get Back To You When He Gets Around To Considering Them

Where Does Mitt Romney Stand on Veterans Issues? He'll Get Back To You When He Gets Around To Considering Them

President Obama announced today at Ft. Stewart in Georgia that he will sign an executive order to protect veterans, members of the military and their families from deceptive and predatory marketing practices by some for-profit higher educational institutions.

Mitt Romney’s campaign tried to get out front of the news today by issuing press releases suggesting that the president hasn’t done enough for the nation’s veterans. Campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul said:

    “Under President Obama, all Americans have suffered from one of the worst job markets in recorded history — and our nation’s veterans have been among the hardest hit. With more than twelve percent of our most recent veterans struggling to find work and nearly a million veterans unemployed, it’s clear that we need to do more to grow our economy and ensure that those who fight for America can find a job when they return home.”

Saul didn’t expand on the “do more” part of her critique. The other press release titled “Mitt Romney Will Give Veterans A Chance to Find Good Jobs” links to a page on the campaign website that makes no mention of any plan for veterans.

And it appears that no plan exists on Romney’s campaign website to address various issues affecting the U.S. military — for example, veterans’ health care and unemployment or, as Obama addressed today, servicemembers’ education. The “Issues” page lists 23 separate issues Mitt Romney has apparently chosen to focus on during his presidential campaign and none is “Veterans” or “Military.”

It seems like the only outline of any plan Romney has for veterans is to, as he said in a speech to the VFW last August, use “billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency and bureaucracy from the defense budget” and “spend it to ensure that veterans have the care they deserve.” He mentioned no specifics.

Romney announced a Veterans Policy Advisory group back in October to “help to formulate policies that will ensure America keeps its commitments” to veterans but it is unclear what those policies are.

Romney has even praised President Obama’s veterans initiative to encourage companies to hire veterans, saying last November that “it’s a good idea.”

On Veterans Day last year, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee did float a plan to privatize the veterans health care system but he was forced to back away from the proposal after swift condemnation from veterans groups.

Romney has also said he supports Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal. That budget “would cut $11 billion from veterans spending.”

ThinkProgress asked the Romney campaign if the former Massachusetts governor has a detailed plan to address veterans issues but it did not respond before this post was published.

In a primary season that has lasted a year and included over 30 debates and Romney thinks veterans are so important that he will come up with a veterans policy some day.

Digby takes a look at how the no nothing/do nothing little bug named John McCain has exploited war anytime he thinks such exploitation will get him votes - The maverick has a fainting spell

Back in 2010, Rep. Darrell Issa called Obama one of the most corrupt presidents in history, and pledged to investigate his administration. After a year’s worth of hearings and investigations, Issa has come out empty-handed. Of course, when has lack of proof stopped anyone from making ridiculous accusations in politics?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Spokesman Proto-fascist Richard Grenell Scrubs OnLine Attacks on women

Eight of the Top Ten 2012 Super PAC Donors Are Anti-Democracy Conservatives Hell Bent on Bringing Back Bush Policies

Mitt Romney Spokesman Proto-fascist Richard Grenell Scrubs OnLine Attacks on women

Mitt Romney Spokesman Proto-fascist Richard Grenell Scrubs OnLine Attacks on women

In the Twitter-fueled 2012 election, it's not surprising that reporters quickly began digging through Grenell's Twitter feed, even before he got a chance to scrub out a number of impolitic and sexist comments.

ThinkProgress noted Grenell's tendency to make cutting remarks about the appearances of prominent women in media and politics, including his tweet advising MSNBC host Rachel Maddow "to take a breath and put on a necklace," and another suggesting she resembled Justin Bieber.

In another tweet, Grenell wrote that "Hillary is starting to look liek Madeline [sic] Albright." He discussed First Lady Michelle Obama working out and "sweating on the East Room carpet." He also asked whether Callista Gingrich's "hair snaps on," and on another occasion, commented how Gingrich's third wife "stands there like she is wife #1." Politico flagged more examples and noted Grenell's "old pastime" of "ridiculing the Gingriches."

When contacted about Romney's hiring of Grenell and his removal of online writing, a campaign spokesperson referred The Huffington Post to a response Grenell gave to Politico. "My tweets were written to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous but I can now see how they can also be hurtful," Grenell said. "I didn’t mean them that way and will remove them from twitter. I apologize for any hurt they caused."

Maddow certainly didn't think Grenell's tweets were so "tongue-in-cheek" or "humorous," pointing out the ones written about her during Friday night's show, while asking if the Romney campaign sees "any sign that they understand that a long, string of really nasty, sexist tweets about Callista Gingrich's appearance might be alienating to people who might otherwise consider voting for Mr. Romney."

But Maddow's not the only member of NBC/MSNBC who Grenell has knocked in recent months. Grenell described NBC's "Meet the Press" on Twitter as "a commercial for the Democratic Party & its radical feminist agenda," while taking a few shots at chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell and political director and White House correspondent Chuck Todd.

"[A]re any reporters asking HillaryClinton tough questions?" Grenell asked on April 3. "NBC has expert foreign policy reporter Andrea @mitchellreports asking non-questions." On March 27, Grenell tweeted that MSNBC "has ushered @chucktodd so far left he's lost his ability to see a Russian video moment as anything more than a 2nd term reality." That same day, Grenell said what he "love[s] about twitter and facebook is that it has outed reporters from their phony facade of pretend non-partisan commentary."
Richard Grenell Twitter

He has also taken a few jabs at BuzzFeed, writing that the Ben Smith-led site "looks like it's either working for [liberal watchdog Media Matters for America] or the Obama re-election." (Smith wrote Saturday how the hiring of Grenell, who's openly gay, quickly prompted an attack from Bryan Fischer, the anti-gay chief spokesman of the American Family Association).

Grenell also recently tweeted that New York Times reporter Matt Bai "isn't fit to cover Obama," and once tweeted that this reporter is a "liberal" who "ignores george @stephanopoulos' secret coordination w/ WhiteHouse on contraception," both posts that appear to have been removed. On another occasion, Grenell disputed whether this reporter's article included a "clarification" or, in his view, a "correction." In a subsequent tweet, he alleged that bias was the motivation for clarifying the article.

On his now-removed personal site, according to a few posts archived online, the spokesman takes similar swipes at the "Fourth Estate."

In May 2010, Grenell criticized New York Times columnist Charles Blow in a post headlined "Charles certainly does Blow."

"Blow's writing is choppy and vapid," Grenell wrote in a post that has since been removed. "His filing today is a 474 word piece of partisan whining for his favorite political party labeled 'Liberals in Limbo". While conservatives won't be shocked that Blow is on staff and writing for the Grey Lady, intellectuals everyway [sic] should demand she do better than Blow."

Grenell has blogged for The Huffington Post as recently as last month.

Given Grenell's repeated swipes at the media, reporters may be concerned that they won't get a fair shake and that legitimate questions could be dismissed as being motivated by liberal bias.

Mitt Romney has high standards, yes sir. His idea of running a campaign of substance is to hire a  lunatic who specializes in jokes so bad that no one likes them except Rush Limbaugh fans and cockroaches.

Not Just Labor Rights; America hating Conservative Republican Scott Walker(R-WI) Is Also Dismantling Women's Rights

The Right Wing's Insurrectionist Mindset. Conservatism is fanatical anti-American movement that tries to disguise its radical democracy hating agenda in patriotism.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fox News Antisemitism Shows in its Smear of George Soros

Fox News Antisemitism Shows in its Smear of George Soros

The chief executive of a leading Jewish policy organization is condemning Fox News president Roger Ailes for reportedly urging his hosts to push the false claim that Jewish philanthropist George Soros aided the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, criticized Ailes following a report today that Ailes had emailed Fox host Bill O'Reilly suggesting he promote the false claim about Soros. Van Cappelle said that those emails indicate "the hate at Fox starts at the top."

According to a story on Gawker, which obtained the emails:

    On November 1, 2010, Ailes sent an email to Bill O'Reilly and his producer David Tabacoff. It contained a partial transcript from a 12-year-old 60 Minutes profile of George Soros in which Soros, a Jew, acknowledged that he posed as a Christian under the Nazi regime and helped confiscate property from other Jews being shipped off to death camps.

The emails indicate Ailes received the transcript from Mitchell Kweit, Fox's vice president for news research and strategic information, in an email titled "Soros No Nazi Guilt," and forwarded it to O'Reilly and Tabacoff with the note, "FYI. This guy has no conscience."

In reality, as a fourteen-year-old boy in occupied Hungary, Soros was hidden from the Nazis by a Christian family. The man hiding Soros was assigned to go inventory the estate of a wealthy Jewish family and brought Soros along to protect him. Soros himself was never part of any property confiscation.

O'Reilly's producer Tabacoff replied to Ailes with a single word: "ugly." Ailes responded by asking, "Do you think you guys will use it or should I give it to someone else?"

That someone else was likely Glenn Beck. The following evening during the 5 p.m. hour of his show, Beck promoted a special about Soros. Beck referred to the billionaire philanthropist as a "puppet master" and questioned his Jewish identity. Earlier that day on his radio show, Beck said Soros "saw people into gas chambers."

Beck's "special," which was broadcast a week later, included the information Ailes forwarded to O'Reilly. Beck claimed Soros "had to help the government confiscate the lands of his fellow Jewish friends and neighbors." On his radio show Beck went even further, saying that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps." His comments were widely condemned by Jewish leaders.

"It's obvious that Glenn Beck could not have carried on his insane tirades against George Soros without the support of Roger Ailes, so these emails really just confirm what common sense tell us - the hate at Fox News starts at the top," van Capelle told Media Matters in a statement Thursday.

"George Soros lost family members in the Holocaust. As a 13 year old boy he survived because his father arranged for him to be hidden with a non-Jewish family willing to take an enormous risk to do the right thing. Six decades later Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck exploited these circumstances to call Soros a Nazi-collaborator. It's a characterization that speaks volumes about Ailes and Beck, and says nothing at all about George Soros."

Bend the Arc was formed in April 2012 from the merger of Jewish Funds for Justice and the Progressive Jewish Alliance.

No wonder conservative pundits and bloggers regularly treat President Obama suggestion that we have a more civil discourse with contempt. Where would conservatism be without its smears, daily lies, conspiracy theories, frequent racism and antisemitism. Conservatism cannot have a moral agenda because than they would have to hold themselves up to actual standards of moral behavior. That should be the clue that like every radical movement in history conservatism is a twisted dangerous set of weird beliefs.

Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth

But in order for progressives and others to make an honest and practical assessment about the Cato Institute and its battle with the Kochs, we need to first set the record straight about some of the claims being spun.

Cato Claim #1: The Cato Institute was one of the earliest and most principled critics of the Bush Administration’s wars abroad and attacks on civil liberties at home (here [4] and here [5]).

Fact: The Cato Institute’s actual record during the Bush Administration years was anything but principled and far from heroic.

    John Yoo, author of the notorious “torture memo,” [6] served on the Cato Editorial Board [7] for Cato Supreme Court Review during the Bush presidency. At the same time, Yoo was writing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for waterboarding, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and more. Yoo also contributed articles [8] to Cato Supreme Court Review and a chapter to a Cato book titled The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton [9] criticizing President Clinton’s “imperial presidency.” [10]

    The “Cato Policy Report” attacked progressive critics of Bush’s War on Terror as "Terrorism's Fellow Travelers [11]" in its November/December 2001 issue. Former Vice President of Research Brink Lindsey wrote, “Most of the America haters flushed out by September 11 are huddled on the left wing of the conventional political spectrum.”

Libertarianism is another strange and twisted series of beliefs. Once you can a closer look, they are much like the old saying that libertarians are just conservative right-wing zealots who watch too much porn and smoke too much pot.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thanks Conservative Republicans For an Economy That Rewards The Wealthy at The Expense of Workers

Both charts show economic growth during Obama administration.

Thanks Conservative Republican For an Economy That Rewards The Wealthy at The Expense of Workers

The AFL-CIO has released its CEO Paywatch with 2011 data. So how do CEOs stack up against ordinary workers? Well, the average CEO of a company on the S&P 500 Index earned 380 times the average American worker's wage, with average CEO pay having increased 13.9 percent in 2011.

The highest-paid CEO in the country was Apple's Timothy Cook, whose total compensation was nearly $378 million. That's more than 11,000 times the average worker's income of $34,053. The 100th highest-paid CEO, Heinz's W.R. Johnson, had total compensation of more than $18 million, 543 times the average worker's income.

What we can't know is how much CEOs make compared with the workers in their own companies; however, that's something the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill will soon require companies to disclose. And it turns out it might well be good for companies if transparency pushed them to bring CEO pay a little more in line with average worker pay:

    High CEO-to-worker pay ratios can reduce the performance of companies. Academic research has found that steep pay disparities hurt employee morale and productivity. Extreme disparities between CEO and employee pay also have been shown to result in a significant deterioration in the quality of products produced.

    In companies where CEO compensation is disproportionately high compared with that of other employees, CEO-to-worker pay disparities can cause high employee turnover and lower job satisfaction. Another study found that firms with high levels of CEO pay relative to other top executives also reduce performance.

Those results are in sharp contrast to the current corporate wisdom self-interested myth that CEOs are worth every penny, that these pay levels represent meritocracy and that lower-paid CEOs would mean companies being less effectively run. But you have only to compare current CEO-to-average worker pay levels to those in the past to see that there just might be a decent argument for doing things differently.

Whatever this is, it is not capitalism as most American understand it. The average American stills believes that people get ahead on merit. And are paid more based on merit. Instead what we have is very wealthy people giving each other huge sums of money just because. Just because they're friends. Just because they talk a good game. Just because they are connected. Not because they produce anything themselves. Most CEOs - not all - most do not even know how to make their products. They would not have a clue how to distribute anything. If they had to do the work of the average employee they'd be lost. Middle- managers do the actual day to day management of the company. Conservatives have made America into 17th century France. All we're missing is the crowns and fancy velvet clothes.

Mitt Romney's Noblesse Non Oblige

There's nothing wrong with being born with a silver spoon in your mouth. It's what you do with that good fortune that matters. And that is at the heart of Mitt Romney's problem with the American people. With his proclamations and policies, the same man who denounces President Obama as "out of touch" and "Marie Antoinette" shows his aloof detachment and stunning incomprehension of the struggles Americans face every day. And yet, they don't begrudge him either his privileged past or financial success. Instead, they just want him to acknowledge the debt he owes to the society that made it possible.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tech Companies Make Billions But Pay Lower Taxes Than Middle Class Families

Tech Companies Make Billions But Pay Lower Taxes Than Middle Class Families

Apple and several other major tech companies, including Google and Microsoft, have been pushing for what’s known as a tax repatriation holiday, which would allow them to bring money they have stashed overseas back to the U.S. at a much lower rate than the standard 35 percent. As we have noted over and over, a repatriation holiday enacted in 2004 just provided a windfall to corporations and did not achieve any of its policy aims. And corporations, of course, proceeded to stash even more money overseas in the hopes that Congress would adopt another holiday somewhere down the line.

And as a new report from the Greenlining Institute found, tech companies are already doing quite well when it comes to lowering their tax bills. In fact, the top 30 tech companies in the Fortune 500 paid an effective tax rate of 16 percent, after making $181 billion in profits last year. Apple, despite its billions in profits, is paying lower taxes than middle class families:

    The tax rate paid by these companies has plunged – from 23.6 percent in 2009 to 19.9 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2011. The hypothetical top corporate tax rate of 35 percent is almost entirely a fiction.

    The tax rate paid by Apple, the world’s most valuable company with a stock valuation that passed $500 billion in March 2012, has dropped even more dramatically. With profits soaring past $34 billion last year, the company’s tax rate fell from 24.8 percent in 2009 to 14.7 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 2011. Apple’s tax rate over the last three years was less than that of middle-income Americans with average household incomes of $64,500 per year; its 2011 tax rate was lower than that of American households making an average of $42,500 per year.

Tech companies use a variety of activities, including shifting profits offshore to low- or no-tax jurisdictions to make their tax bills dramatically drop. And a Politico review of financial documents found that the companies pushing hardest for a repatriation holiday have moved hundreds of billions of dollars overseas, counting on Congress to provide them with yet another misguided tax break.
One of the great conservative Republican lies is that taxes are so high corporations will not hire. Those corps are making enormous profits, paying historically low taxes. Which means once again that conservatism is not a political movement as much as a deranged cult of pathological liars.

What Mitt won’t say in public - At a fundraiser he thought was private, Romney outlines specific cuts and brags about the “gift” of Hilary Rosen

Koch brothers Puppet Scott Brown(R-MS) Helps Defeat Buffet Rule Than Calls Elizabeth Warren ‘elitist’

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who Killed Womens Jobs? The Conservative Republican Pretend Patriots

Who Killed Womens Jobs? The Conservative Republican Pretend Patriots

Yesterday on Meet the Press David (the GOP Talking Point Spigot) Gregory peppered Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on the issue of jobs losses faced by women under President Obama.  Most news items covering his response have only pointed out the first said...

    "It's a ridiculous and misleading way of looking at the economy"

You can find that quote as the headline at the L.A. Times,, ABC News, Business Insider, Politico, and CBS News among others.

But what I found more interesting is what he said next.  He pointed out that many of the job losses that have occurred while Obama has been President have been in the Public Sector and that's has disproportionately affected police, firemen, nurses and Teachers who are overwhelmingly female.

    I asked Geithner about the technical accuracy of the Romney claim and he explained “this crisis was a very damaging crisis, hurt everybody.  And it began in, as you know, in early 2008.  And a lot of the early job losses in 2008 affected men, because they affected construction and manufacturing. And as the crisis spread and state and local governments were forced to cut back on services and fire a lot of teachers, that caused a lot of damage to women, too.”

Politifact Rated the Romney claim as Mostly False and correctly noted that it come from the BLS:

    Romney’s campaign pointed to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment figures from January 2009, when Obama took office, and March 2012, for all employees and for female employees.

    Here they are:

    * Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs:

    January 2009: 133,561,000

    March 2012: 132,821,000

    Net loss: 740,000 jobs.

    * Total Female Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

    January 2009: 66,122,000

    March 2012: 65,439,000

    Net loss: 683,000 jobs.

    They then divided the net loss among women by the total net loss and came up with 92.3 percent.

Although the number is technically true, it doesn't tell the complete story as noted by former Reagan Official Bruce Bartlett:

    "To the extent there have been excessive job losses among women, a lot of it has to do with the fact that there has been an enormous reduction in state and local government employment," Bartlett said. "The decline ... has been especially pronounced in this recession as opposed to other recessions."

This is what the loss of public sector jobs looks like compared to private sector gains under President Obama.

It's not like the GOP has necessarily been a fan of job growth among the public sector.

    "Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs," Boehner said. "And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We're broke. It's time for us to get serious about how we're spending the nation's money."

And the Center for Budget and Policy points out, State Budgets have been hit hard by this Recession.

    The Great Recession that started in 2007 caused the largest collapse in state revenues on record. Since bottoming out in 2010, revenues have begun to grow again, but states are still far from fully recovered. As of the third quarter of 2011, state revenues remained 7 percent below pre-recession levels, and are not growing fast enough to recover fully soon.

    Meanwhile, states' education and health care obligations continue to grow. Next year, states expect to educate 350,000 more K-12 students and 1.7 million more public college and university students in the upcoming school year than in 2007-08.[2] And some 5.6 million more people are projected to be eligible for subsidized health insurance through Medicaid in 2012 than were enrolled in 2008, as employers have cancelled their coverage and people have lost jobs and wages.[3]

    Consequently, even though the revenue outlook is trending upward, states are still addressing large budget shortfalls by historical standards as they consider budgets for the upcoming year. In some states with two-year budget cycles, projected shortfalls for fiscal year 2013 have already been closed through spending cuts and other measures scheduled to take effect in the next fiscal year, but in the majority of states they must be closed through legislative action in the coming months in order to meet balanced-budget requirements. Extremely large shortfalls addressed in recent years have led to deep cuts in critical public services like education, health care, and human services; the new shortfalls likely will prompt legislators to make further cuts in those areas on top of those already enacted.

And in which states have those public sector cuts been the worst?  You guessed it - in Republican Controlled States.

    The 11 states that the Republicans took over in 2010 laid off, on average, 2.5 percent of their government workforces in a single year. This is compared to the overall average of 0.5 percent for the rest of the states. [...] [T]hese 11 states as a whole account for a total of 87,000 jobs lost, reflecting around 40.5 percent of the total.


    Texas and the 11 newly-Republican states accounted for a total of 71.5 percent of the year’s public sector job losses, even though they account for less than one-third of the nation’s public sector workers.


    Many government job losses were due, indeed, to the recession’s impact on state budgets. But in many of the newly-Republican states, the GOP made the problems worse. In Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Maine, Republican-controlled legislators not only cut public sector jobs, they led assaults on public sector unions, targeting government workers under the guise of balancing their budgets. In those and others, Republicans exacerbated their states’ deficits with tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, thus leading to even more public sector layoffs that didn’t take place in states that didn’t pursue similar policies.

In several states the attack on public sector jobs has exempted police and firefighters, which leaves teachers and nurses unions to take the majority of the brunt simply so that GOP could give their corporate and Wall Street buddies Bigger Tax Breaks.

The bottom line is that President Obama attempted to stop these types of job losses by extending his emergency stimulus funding to the states.  Guess who stood in the way of that?  I'll let Jeff Hayes of the Institute for Women's Policy Research say it via Politifact:

    "If you break out the 683,000 jobs women lost between January 2009 and March 2012, 64 percent were in government and only 36 percent in the private sector."

    That leads us to a point made by Eileen Appelbaum with the left-leaning Center on Economic and Policy Research. She noted that after the first wave of money in the president’s stimulus bill had run out, Obama asked for another $23 billion in "emergency aid" for state and local governments. The money was sought to avert the layoffs of as many as 300,000 public school teachers, but House Republican leaders stripped it.

    "You could hardly blame Obama for that," Appelbaum said.

There you have it, we now see who killed all those jobs for women.  It wasn't President Obama.  It wasn't Col. Mustard in the Kitchen with a candlestick.

It was the G.O.P., in the Legislature, with a Tax Cut.

Lots of charts at the link. Conservatives cannot have it both ways - cutting jobs that disproportionately affect women and older workers, then turn around and claim someone else is to blame. When a political movement is constantly contradicting itself, telling the public long convoluted stories that bury the truth in bullsh*t, that political movement never has the best interests of the people at heart.

Ann Romney's and the Conservative Republican war on women has an actual body count.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The 2012 Elections - Another Season of Conservative Republican Lies, Real Values Become an Inconvenience

The 2012 Elections - Another Season of Conservative Republican Lies, Real Values Become an Inconvenience

A spring awash with Etch A Sketch conservatives, camera-wielding GOP con men and a bogus deficit reduction budget from House Republicans shows that for the right, wrong is justified when it achieves the desired results.

A perfect example of this political philosophy is the work of James E. O’Keefe III, a right wing, unsupervised, unaccountable, self-appointed and self-styled “investigative journalist” who has violated federal law, lied about his identity and deceitfully cut and pasted video to destroy what he perceives as liberal institutions.

Oddly for the party that claims conservative Christians as key constituents, O’Keefe’s misbehavior is celebrated by GOP talking heads — the likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. That encourages copycats. The New York Times last week told the tale of one. John M. Howting, a bungling video scam man, sees himself as an O’Keefe apostle.

Honorable journalists abide by an ethics code forbidding lying to secure a story. For them, the end does not justify the means. By contrast, for O’Keefe and today’s Etch A Sketch conservatives, the end they want vindicates any scheme to secure it. Deliberate lying, cynical deceit, cut-and-paste deception – all of that is rationalized by conservatives to get their way. It’s a lovely escape clause they’ve written for themselves from that annoying Judeo-Christian thou-shalt-not-lie commandment.

O’Keefe wanna-be John M. Howting tried clumsily to trod in his disgraced mentor’s footsteps, lying about his name, who he represented and his intentions in a failed effort to discredit a couple of what he perceived to be liberal New York community groups.

O’Keefe had better luck. This right wing rebel without a conscience lied about his name, who he represented and his intentions in successful efforts to manipulate some targets into saying stupid stuff, which he surreptitiously recorded. His deceptive and distorted films destroyed ACORN and damaged other groups he considered progressive. Despite O’Keefe’s liberal use of the Commandment escape clause, he became conservatives’ golden boy.

Among right-wing talk show hosts who urged their conservative Christian listeners to praise the con was Bill O’Reilly who said O’Keefe should be awarded a Congressional Medal. Not so worshiping were federal prosecutors who charged O’Keefe with misrepresenting himself in an attempted phone hacking at the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. O’Keefe pleaded guilty. And not so revering was the California state attorney general who determined that O’Keefe’s sliced-and-diced video misrepresented the actions of ACORN workers.

Conforming to the conservatives’ philosophy of wrong-is-right-if-the-right-benefits is GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Like a Judas, he betrayed his own health insurance program.
Romney contended that requiring everyone to get health insurance – known as the individual mandate — was good when he was governor of Massachusetts and signed Romneycare, which includes it. As Congress considered health care reform, Romney repeatedly said Romneycare should be the model for the nation. But later when conservatives blasted the individual mandate in Obamacare, Romney sold out his Massachusetts plan, saying an individual mandate was not good for the nation.

Similarly, in 1994 during Romney’s failed campaign for U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat, Romney and his wife attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser and she donated $150 to the group. But now, in pursuit of the vote of the anti-abortion Christian right, Romney no longer likes Planned Parenthood so much, promising:

    “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.”

Are those switches adorable little flip-flops or calculated lying? The comments of a chief Romney aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, show they are calculated. A reporter asked Fehrnstrom how Romney would appeal to crucial middle-of-the-road voters in the fall after taking such hard right positions in the spring to win the primary. Fehrnstrom compared the campaign to an Etch A Sketch:

    “You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

So, basically, tell the conservative Christian primary voters one thing. Then tell the mainstream general election voters something else. This is the campaign of the GOP front-runner, the party’s likely standard-bearer. This is who most Republicans voted for.

It makes sense really. Apparently Republicans don’t expect the truth. Look at the Ryan budget. He calls it the Path to Prosperity. The nation went down this road of tax cuts for the rich and program cuts for the middle class before, under Bush II, and it was a one-way road to increased income inequality. Voodoo trickledown economics is a path to prosperity only for the already prosperous.

Congressman Paul Ryan contends his budget is a deficit-buster, that it would shrink the deficit to 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product by 2022 – which is exactly the same place where the country would be if it did nothing, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. In addition, the cumulative 10-year deficits under Ryan’s plan would be $200 billion higher than just doing nothing. No busting going on there.

The GOP wants conservative Christian votes so badly it’s willing to break those set-in-stone rules conservative Christians revere.

Conservatives only have two choices if they should wake up one day and be cursed to only be able to tell the truth - they either hate America or they love America the way a child abuser loves their children.

Conservatives are completely out of touch with reality - Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has 'little tolerance' for student loans

I'm not sure how a full-time college student is supposed to come up with $50,000 per year, unless it's selling things Virginia Foxx probably doesn't approve of. But I guess back when Virginia Foxx went to college the tuition was five pumpkins and a bag of turnips, and if she could come up with it then, surely an 18-year-old can come up with $200,000 now. Get a job! Well, it's minimum wage, so get four jobs, slacker! (Oh, and did I mention that back then, they all tied onions to their belts, which was the style at the time?)

For newcomers who haven't heard of Virginia Foxx before, she is a proud member of the House dimwit caucus, alongside such esteemed freedom-geniuses as Allen West and Louie Gohmert. Amongst their weaponry: Gullibility, foot-in-mouth disease, and a fanatical lack of awareness as to the most basic realities faced by other people in the country. So yes, she says stuff like this all the time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) Might Be an America Hating Nazi

Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) Might be an America Hating Nazi

A top official of the Communist Party USA on Wednesday ripped Rep. Allen West’s “sad ploy” for claiming that as many as 80 Democratic members of the House are communists.

“I just think it’s an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues. It’s kind of a sad ploy,” Libero Della Piana, a vice-chairman of the national Communist Party, said of the Florida Republican’s charge that about 80 House Democrats were members of the radical party.
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“It’s just guilt by association taken to an extreme,” he told POLITICO. He also said there are no members of Congress who are members of the Communist Party – not even avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

(Also on POLITICO: West claims there are 80 communists in the House)

“I think it’s just absurd,” Della Piana said.

In a video clip of the event posted Wednesday, West was responding a question from a constituent asking “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?”

“That’s a fair question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,” West says in the video. He went on to say, “It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” according to a West spokesman, Tim Edson.

Della Piana also said that using the term “communist” as slander ran counter to democratic principles.

West does not feel he has to prove any accusation. he states his "feelings" and that is his complete standard for delivering his message to the public. Let's all go by the standards of this "conservative" "Christian" and simply say that West is a Nazi. That is how some people might feel. Thus by West's very own standards he is a Nazi. West says that if you 're against regulating business you are a communist. So being a Nazi West is OK with corporations dumping toxic waste into your family's drinking water because disposing of waste cots too much. West thinks that Wall Street should be able to steal your house and life savings because anyone who wants to regulate Wall St is a communist. Since West thinks that any rule that might cost Wall St even one dollar is wrong, so that makes him by definition a fascist. Let's us not assume that West is crazy and radical - though he may be. Let's assume based on the evidence we do have that West is just old fashioned evil.

Mitt Romney's 'Women for Romney' surrogate is not for equal pay for women in Wisconsin

Newt Gingrich Campaign Vendors Wonder If They'll Ever Get Paid. Shouldn't a good little capitalists like Newt have figured out a way to pay for his expenses rather than relying on the kindness of strangers to pay his debts. Conservatives are always completely self-sufficient. Right?

Ann Romney and Working Moms It is simply a fact that Ann has not had to rise children while also working a job outside the home. If she finds that offensive then she finds simple facts offensive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why Does Conservative Scammer Rick Warren Hate Jesus and America

Why Does Conservative Scammer Rick Warren Hate Jesus and America

Because it was Easter, the Sunday talk show circuit was filled with conservative religious figures telling us the meaning of the season; apparently, it mostly revolves around how religious freedom is being curtailed by not giving old cranks the proper deference in meddling with other people's sexytimes. Saddleback Church's megapastor Rick Warren's contribution to the discourse is being especially noted, as he tells us what Jesus meant by all that, you know, communist-sounding stuff.

    OBAMA: And I believe in God's command to love thy neighbor as thyself. And when I talk about shared responsibility, it's because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it's hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills, to shoulder the burden alone."


    TAPPER: So, is he -- is he right?

    R. WARREN: Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There's over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness." Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of  money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

    The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You -- you rob them of dignity. The primary purpose of government is to keep the peace, protect the citizens, provide opportunity. And when we start getting into all kinds of other things, I think we -- we invite greater control. And I'm fundamentally about freedom. You know the -- the first freedom in America is actually the freedom of religion. It's not the second, third, fourth or fifth.

The 2,000 verses in the Bible dealing with the poor are, of course, outshadowed by the nearly 10,000 verses outlining how employers shouldn't have to pay for medical insurance for their employees if that insurance might cover medical needs that those employers have personal moral objections to. But the rest of it is pretty interesting. Apparently we're supposed to care about the poor, but not care for them—that seems to be the distinction, because as long as their souls get saved, hey, screw 'em. Sorry we're cutting your food stamps, little Timmy, but if it's any consolation it looks like you'll be getting to meet Jesus a lot sooner than the rest of us!

It's puzzling how an Obama reference to loving thy neighbor and, rather more specifically, not asking poorer Americans to shoulder the burden of our suddenly-scary deficits "alone" morphs so quickly into tsking about fairness and wealth redistribution and, in the end, "freedom of religion." What the hell does "freedom of religion" have to do with poor people "shouldering the burden alone" unless your religious viewpoint is that they should, yes, shoulder the damn burden alone? How do you get from one part of that discussion to the other?

I get it already; giving poor people food or medical care creates a "dependency." Screw little Timmy, if we let him eat tonight, we're gonna rob him of his dignity, and injure the feelings of all those deeply religious folks who think Timmy can eat a rock and die already. But it's not even that usual Prosperity Gospel drivel at work here—Rick Warren is pushing back against the notion, expressed by Obama, that those poorer people should not "share the burden alone." As far as I can determine, the opinion being expressed here is that rich people shouldn't have to pay more taxes and government shouldn't meddle in God's plan for sick people to get bent because "religious freedom" says "wealth distribution" is bad.

I think, anyway. That's as close to an actual complete thought I can parse out of Warren's dismissals. Or to paraphrase, feed a person a fish and you feed them for a day; don't do a damn thing for them and you get to keep more fish. Oh, because Jesus said so. Happy Easter!
 Like many conservatives who claim to love Jesus, Warren has rewritten Jesus to fall in line with conservative dogma. He is not the first. Organized religion has been doing so for hundreds of years. That is what it is, good and bad. Though what would be nice is if the far Right would just be honest about their agenda, which includes remaking the compassionate Jesus into Jesus the greedy corporate hedge fund manager.

The America hating Koch brothers Find a Screw-ball expert That Can't Add, Koch-Funded GOP Economist Uses New Math To Find That Health Reform Increases The Deficit

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In Obamacare Constitutional? Obamacare Is No Different Than Tax Incentives For Mortgages

In Obamacare Constitutional? Obamacare Is No Different Than Tax Incentives For Mortgages

Earlier this week I argued that the Affordable Care Act should be ruled constitutional. There are genuine reasons to be concerned about the scope of Congress’ commerce power, which has been used to justify the federal laws concerning what appear to be non-commercial issues that could easily be addressed by local laws. Gonzales v. Raich, for example, affirms the federal government’s power to criminalize under the Commerce Clause the growth of marijuana for personal medical use, even in states where it would otherwise be legal. But I argued that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution was intended to give Congress the power it needed to address commercial issues that no state can readily solve on its own. This is what Jack Balkin calls the “interstate externalities principle.”

Nevertheless, Justice Kennedy suggested in oral argument that by creating “an affirmative duty to enter into commerce” the health care mandate is “unprecedented” and “changes the relationship between the federal government and the individual in a very fundamental way.” The health care act would arguably exercise the commerce power in a somewhat new way—Carl Cecere puts the debate in the context of the history of the commerce clause here. But Kennedy is wrong to suggest that it would really be any different from the way the federal government already uses its power.

The health care law doesn’t call for people who don’t get insurance to be thrown in jail. It calls for people who don’t have insurance to pay a fine. As I wrote earlier this week, fining people who don’t have insurance is essentially the same as offering a tax break for people who have insurance. And the federal government already offers tax breaks to encourage an enormous variety of activities, many of which are a lot less valuable than buying health insurance.

Consider that you can deduct the interest on your home mortgage from your federal taxes. Giving people who buy houses a tax break might seem different from penalizing people who don’t buy houses. But giving a tax break to people who have mortgages means relatively higher taxes for people who don’t have mortgages. The economic effect is to redistribute money from people who have outstanding mortgages to people who don’t have them. This effect is exactly the same as fining people who don’t have mortgages. The mortgage tax deduction actually seems a lot more problematic to me than fining people who don’t have health care—why should I pay a penalty for not buying a home? why am I financing homes for people who can’t otherwise afford to buy them? And the mortgage interest deduction is just one of the numerous deductions you can take.

There’s a real debate to be had over whether a health insurance mandate is a good idea. It would push Americans to buy into a free market version of a national insurance program, and have the effect of making those of us who don’t get sick subsidize the medical care of those who do. But let’s not kid ourselves that offering people an economic incentive to behave a certain way is some kind of radical new assault on freedom. That’s just overheated partisan nonsense.

The conservatives on the court think it is OK to strip search people stopped for running a red light and hold people only suspected of maybe having a connection to terrorism, indefinitely. So appeals to logic are probably not going to work. 

One can understand why America hating conservatives also hate green jobs and lie about the impact on the economy. Green jobs are on of the bright spots - Green jobs growing even as economy wilts

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Koch Brothers Anti-American Agenda Exposed and They're Not happy About It

The Koch Brothers Anti-American Agenda Exposed and They're Not happy About It

With my new film Koch Brothers Exposed set for release, the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are doing everything they can do hide their behavior. First they got their lawyer to fire off a menacing letter that all but threatened news organizations that dare to cover the film’s content. Now they’re insisting — get this — that there’s nothing to debate anyway.

That’s right. In response to my offer to a debate or public discussion, the Koch brothers, hiding behind their attorney, wrote, “We are confused about what there is to debate.”

Perhaps the Kochs have not seen what my team and journalists such as Lee Fang, Adele Stan, and Jane Mayer have uncovered. What we’ve found is that Charles and David Koch are using their vast fortune to buy the political and legal process. They are corrupting democracy in ways that are harming the 99% while serving their own economic interests.

One area of excessive influence is energy policy. The Kochs own Koch Industries, one of the top 10 polluters in the nation, which means they have a strong interest in eliminating or preventing environmental regulations. The Kochs have given over $500,000 to members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee, which proposes environmental regulations and is supposed to hold polluters accountable. Indeed, as our film reveals, the Kochs are the oil and gas industry’s single biggest donor to that committee. Is it any wonder that Congress won’t pass bills to curb climate change or tackle other environmental problems?

In fact, the Kochs frequently have secret summits where they host wealthy right-wing donors as well as federal policymakers to talk strategy and fundraising. Participants have included U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Those two justices recently increased the Kochs’ power by voting in the Citizens United case to allow unlimited corporate money into politics. And just last week, the justices heard a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — a bill that the Koch-founded and -financed group Americans for Prosperity has been pushing to overturn. Should our system permit such a conflict of interest, enabling the Kochs to wield influence that virtually no other citizen can match?

This influence also extends to the state level. The Kochs have given at least $1 million to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that writes pro-corporate laws that are often passed nearly verbatim in state legislatures across the country. Among these laws are onerous voter ID restrictions (to reduce the number of votes from the young, the elderly, the poor, and people of color) and various bills that undermine workers, consumers, and the environment.

Moreover, the Kochs have been propping up Wisconsin’s anti-union governor Scott Walker, who recently rammed a bill through his state legislature to gut the rights of public sector unions. AFP ran attack ads and organized a bus tour to stymie the union members opposing Walker’s power grab. Although the Kochs’ lawyer tries to distance his clients from all of that unpleasantness, he cannot take back what David Koch recently told a reporter: “We’re helping [Scott Walker], as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years…We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

Why won’t the Kochs debate these things? What are they hiding from? The fact is they have an undue, indeed corrupting, influence on our democracy, and they don’t want anyone to notice. After all, true democracy isn’t just a process where the rabble get to enter a voting booth every couple of years while the rich guys fund the candidates, think tanks, media campaigns, and on-the-ground organizations that set the parameters of public debate. Democracy is supposed to be a vibrant, participatory process where every citizen can have an impact on how the country is governed and narrow interests can’t commandeer the process for themselves.

Surely, that’s something worth debating.

Some days it is as though real life has become an episode of the Twilight Zone. We have proto-fascist like the Koch brothers and their bought and paid for puppet conservative politicians actually trying to end our democratic republic, all the while accusing President Obama, Democrats and anyone to the left of Mussolini of being dangerous.

My 14 Year Old Son Has Brain Cancer - Without Obamacare, We May Have Been Dropped By Our Insurance Company

The GOP’s nuke-dump donor. Another Koch brother type, Harold Simmons has given the most money to Republicans this election. Could his nuclear-waste dump be the reason? It has become as easy to buy a conservative Republican as it is to buy a loaf of cheap white bread. Simmons and the Koch brothers are the kind of people that Scott Brown (R-MS) calls his friends.

RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Conservatives Are Wacky. America's Tax Rate and Revenue Stream Is Too Low

Federal Income Taxes on Middle-Income Families Remain Near Historic Lows

Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows,[1] according to the latest available data.  That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes.[2]

    Income taxes:  A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 5.6 percent of its 2011 income in federal income taxes, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. [3]  Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s, as Figure 1 shows.  (As discussed below, 2009 and 2010 were particularly low because of the temporary Making Work Pay Tax Credit.)

    Overall federal taxes:  Overall federal taxes — which include income as well as payroll and excise taxes — on middle-income households are near their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Federal Income Taxes Have Declined Significantly in Recent Decades

Federal income taxes on middle-income families have declined significantly in recent decades.  In 2000, the year before the 2001 tax cut enacted by President Bush and Congress, the median-income family of four paid 8.0 percent of its income in individual income taxes, according to Tax Policy Center estimates — a smaller share than in any year since 1967 (except for 1998 and 1999).[4] 

The Bush tax cuts further reduced middle-income tax obligations.  This year (i.e., when people pay income tax on 2011 income) the Tax Policy Center estimates that the median-income family of four will pay 5.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes.

The 5.6 percent rate (as well as the other rates discussed here for both 2011 and other years) is the effective tax rate, or the percentage of its income that a family pays in taxes.  It is well below the 15 percent marginal tax rate — the rate paid on a filer’s next dollar of income — that a family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum faces.  A family’s effective tax rate typically is significantly lower than its marginal tax rate, because the family takes the standard deduction (or, in some cases, itemized deductions), personal exemptions, and tax credits such as the child tax credit, and because a portion of the family’s taxable income is taxed at lower rates.  (For the median-income family, some of its income is not taxed, some is taxed at a 10 percent rate, and some is taxed at a 15 percent rate.)
Despite what the "lame stream media" says the US does not have a deficit problem, we have a revenue problem. We have millionaires who have every, and take every advantage of our infrastructure to make money, but are not paying their fair share of maintaining that infrastructure. Only in the USA have or values been so corrupted as to think the worse plague on society are the working poor. It is the tax welafre recipients at the top we should be concerned about.

Conservatives are complaining about President Obama's assertion that conservative judges are engaging in judicial activism. Over the years conservatives have not only complained they have threatened and attacked judges.

Monday, April 2, 2012

This Week's Biggest Conservative Enemy of the Working Poor and Middle-Class - Paul Ryan (R-WI)

This Week's Biggest Conservative Enemy of the Working Poor and Middle-Class - Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Our new report shows that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s tax plan would provide $265,000-a-year tax cuts to the nation’s highest-income households.  Here’s an excerpt:

Even as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget would impose trillions of dollars in spending cuts, 62 percent of which would come from low-income programs, it would enact new tax cuts that would provide huge windfalls to households at the top of the income scale.  New analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) finds that people earning more than $1 million a year would receive $265,000 apiece in new tax cuts, on average, on top of the $129,000 they would receive from the Ryan budget’s extension of President Bush’s tax cuts. . . .

Millionaires Would Receive More Than One-Third of New Ryan Tax Cuts

Underscoring how tilted the proposal is toward the top, the TPC figures show that people making more than $1 million a year would receive 37 percent of the new Ryan tax cuts even though they constitute less than one-half of one percent of U.S. households (see graph).

Let's say you are a janitor, a teacher's aid, a sales clerk, a seasonal farm worker or a taxi driver - someone who works hard and lives a very modest lifestyle. For some reason, Ryan like most conservatives has nothing but contempt for the fact that you do work for every penny. Like most conservatives Ryan thinks the people made rich via your labor and your purchases of their products deserve even more money that didn't earn. Ryan believes in redistributing money upwards to the lazy plutocratic elite. You know the people that if they all got up and left the country tomorrow we wouldn't miss them.