Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, October 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — Meg Greenfield, the late Washington Post editorial page editor, counseled against writing in “High C” all the time. By this she meant that an editorialist or columnist who expressed equally noisy levels of indignation about everything would lack credibility when something truly outrageous came along that merited a well-crafted high-pitched scream.

We now seem to be living in the Age of High C, a period when every fight is Armageddon, every foe is a monster, and every issue is either the key to national survival or the doorway to ruin.

This habit seems especially pronounced in the way President Obama’s adversaries treat him. It’s odd that so many continue to see Obama as a radical and a socialist even as the Dow hits record levels and the wealthy continue to do very nicely. If he is a socialist, he is surely the most incompetent practitioner in the history of Marxism.

The reaction to Obama is part of a larger difficulty that involves pretending we are philosophically far more divided than we are. In all of the well-off democracies, even people who actually call themselves socialists no longer claim to have an alternative to the market as the primary creator and distributor of goods and services. The boundaries on the left end of what’s permissible in the public debate have been pushed well toward the center. This makes the hysteria and hyperbole all the more incomprehensible.

But let’s dream a little and assume that the American left signed on to the proposals put forward by Lane Kenworthy of the University of California-San Diego in his challenging (and, by the way, very pro-market) book Social Democratic America, published earlier this year. Kenworthy’s argument is that we can “successfully embrace both flexibility and security, both competition and social justice.”

His wish list is a straightforward set of progressive initiatives. A few of them: universal health insurance and early education, extensive new help on job searches and training, a year of paid parental leave, an increased minimum wage indexed to prices, expansions of efforts that supplement wages such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the government as an employer of last resort.

His program, he says, would cost around 10 percent of our GDP. Now that’s a lot of money and the debate about whether we should spend it would be anything but phony. Yet would such a level of expenditure signal the death of our constitutional system? Would it make us like, say, Cuba? No, and no. It might make us a little more like Germany, the Netherlands or the Scandinavian countries. We can argue if we want to do this, but these market democracies happen to share with us an affection for freedom and enterprise.

And when it comes to High C, there’s nothing quite like our culture wars in which disagreements about social issues are seen as battles between libertines and bigots. When I look around, I see a lot of liberals who live quite traditional family lives and even go regularly to churches, synagogues and mosques. I see a lot of conservatives who are feminists when it comes to their daughters’ opportunities and oppose bigotry against gays and lesbians.

The ideological resolution I’d suggest for the new year is that all sides stop fighting and pool their energies to easing the marriage and family crisis that is engulfing working-class Americans.

This would require liberals to acknowledge what the vast majority of them already practice in their own lives: that, all things being equal, kids are better off with two loving and engaged parents. It would require conservatives to acknowledge that many of the pressures on families are economic and that the decline of well-paying blue-collar work is causing huge disruptions in family formation. I’d make a case that Kenworthy’s ideas for a more social democratic America would be good for families, but let’s argue it out in the spirit of a shared quest for remedies.

Maybe it’s asking too much, but might social conservatives also consider my friend Jonathan Rauch’s idea that they abandon their campaign against gay marriage in favor of a new campaign on behalf of the value of committed relationships for all of us?

Disagreement is one of the joys of freedom, so I am all for boisterous debate and tough political and philosophical competition. It’s how I make my living. But our democratic system would be healthier if it followed the Greenfield rule and reserved the harshest invective for things that are genuinely monstrous.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is Twitter: @EJDionne.

Photo: Susan E Adams via Flickr

106 Responses to Permanent Armageddon

  1. The most fascinating part of issues like this is that they dominate public opinion when the problems are reduced, rather than when they peak. Accumulation of debt is the result of recurring budget deficit, irresponsible taxation, an abundance of loopholes and tax shelters that allow the wealthiest members of society, and our corporations, to pay little or no taxes, and using accounting subterfuges to hide money spent without the accompanying appropriations. Our recent “crusades” come to mind, and so does trickle down economics, and tax breaks that are not enough to pay for what we get and benefit from.
    The largest accumulation of debt, and the largest increases in unfunded liabilities, occurred in the Reagan and Bush II eras, and that was not an accident. Contrary to what the GOP want the uninformed to believe, two Democrats, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, managed to achieve the opposite. Bill Clinton produce the first budget surplus in decades, and his policies – and the dot com explosion – produced a record 23 million jobs in 8 years. President Obama has managed to reduce the deficit by 2/3, and if the new Republican controlled Congress does not derail his agenda, he is likely to eliminate the deficit in its entirety by the end of his presidency.
    Incredibly, a plurality of Americans have been convinced that the economy is going in the wrong direction. Only the most ignorant, or traitors, would want us to go back to where we were at the end of the Bush presidency, when even he acknowledge publicly that the U.S. economy was on the verge of collapse, where corporate fraud was rampant, when Wall Street engaged in dangerous practices that required billions of public funds, and a lot of pain and misery, to solve and save capitalism. A cursory look at the record would reveal that when it comes to fiscal responsibility all the Republican presidents after Eisenhower don’t know how to spell it, and that some, such as Richard Nixon, went as far as explaining that borrowing at low interest rates was actually good for the country.

    • In fact, recent polls show that a majority of Americans now consider the economy either ‘better’ or ‘much better’. This can only increase as the results of the emerging economic boom begins to reach Main Street in full force.

      The interesting thing is that all of the promises that failed GOP candidates promised if Americans would only give them yet another shot at the economy they’ve repeated ruined have now been fulfilled by Obama, and the dire claims of economic gloom and doom have been dis-proven. Newt’s promise of $2.50 per gallon gasoline has become Obama’s LESS than $2.50 per gallon gasoline — some places even dipping below $2.00. GOP bimbo Sarah Palin’s exhortation to “drill baby drill” has become the nation’s number one standing in the world as the largest oil producer on the planet. Mitt ’47 percent’ Romney’s promise to lower unemployment as low as 6% has become Obama’s very real unemployment rate of 5.8% that continues to fall.

      All of the GOP candidates promises to save us from job-killing Obama policies — including the PPACA — have turned into the largest stretch of job growth in over 30 years — vastly outperforming both GW Bush (who LOST 462,000 jobs over his 8 years) with over 6 million net new jobs (over 6 years) — subtracting the job losses he had to first overcome by GW Bush’s economic disaster. Ronald Reagan has been beaten by Obama in every category except one: With a net of 16 million jobs, this one metric is still unbeaten by Obama. Only Democrat Bill Clinton created more net jobs at 22 million. But Obama still has 2 years remaining, and although he’s already beaten Reagan at every other measure (Reagan never achieve Obama’s current unemployment rate throughout his entire 8 years), it will still be tough to overcome the Bush economic train wreck to challenge Reagan’s 16 million net jobs. Tough, but not impossible, and he might just beat Reagan by the end of his term. If Obama’s latest monthly rate of job creation continues or even accelerates (likely), then 24 more months of 321,000 new jobs per month would total about 7.7 million jobs — putting Obama very close to Reagan’s last remaining unbeaten economic metric. Obama already has the longest streak of positive private sector job growth in the history of the US economy, and should job creation accelerate beyond 321,000 per month then Obama could very easily claim a better economic record than Ronald Reagan in every way.

      Despite the hysterical gloom and doom predictions about Obama’s ‘job killing’ tax increases on the so-called ‘job creators’, nothing of the sort has materialized and the wealthy are enjoying historical records of income growth. The stock market has reached the highest levels in history, and American companies are seeing record profits.

      So all of the GOP trap-flappers have been debunked in a very big way. When Reagan’s last economic record falls — what will they have to say then? I can hardly wait.

  2. Civil discussion by all would be a benefit but it will never happen. We have two opposing beliefs that drive the discussions; liberals believe government should fix everything and conservatives believe government should be smaller. History clearly indicates that big government creates more problems than it has ever solved.

    • Clue: Taxpayers pay taxes …some of the highest state taxes in the country are all in blue states. WHY? Because if these states didn’t, who’d make up the flush of tax subsidies and funds that end up in red states? Clue: Our taxes do not now nor ever have been the sole jurisdiction of Big Business. Why are nearly 50% of all federal taxes being handed to corporations and not used for their intended purpose? To repair infrastructure? I’ll tell you why not. Our tax dollars keep relic industries alive that should have died 50 years ago. But when you have a bunch of rednecks who despise change in any way, shape or form, they hang onto cheap labor job for dear life and their politicians know that means blue states paying out tax dollars for their red state industries. Hey…if the reds want ’em …the red pay for ’em.

        • This year…2014…$14 billion to Big Oil…Another $21 billion to the prison industries in red prison states. Another $15 billion to the gun manufacturers in 5 red states…MO, NC, GA, KY and VA. Oh and let’s not forget the tens of billions that go directly to VA for its military industries that makes VA No. 1 in trough feeding for defense funds. Oh gee…looks like you need a refresher course in math.

  3. Two governors, NJ’s Christie and NY’s Cuomo both Republicans refused to allow reforms to THE most corrupt governmental entity: The Port Authority. Why? For the same reason the right wing in this country is at war with any American who dares disagree with their trough feeding: cronyism that takes precedence over conscionable governance.

    As a former Republican for more than 3 decades, the loudest mouths in the GOP are the same loud mouths always open for a feeding from the trough.

    This country has been in debt since George Washington. Is that really what concerns the right wing? If it is, it’s the biggest joke in US history.

    Do we need to hand Big Rich Texas, That Whole Other Country $14 billion a year for Big Oil? You bet we don’t. Do we need to hand any of the trough feeding red states doing all the complaining about deficits the $1.50 to $2 they get for every dollar they pay in federal taxes while the blue states make do with a lousy 65 cents on average? You bet we don’t.

    Deficit is a state like AL that allows more than half of their unemployed to collect SSDI under phony claims that saves AL nearly $2 billion a year in having to pay state funded unemployment….feed at the federal trough. Then, complain about deficits?

    The reality is that today’s red states are all going under economically because they insist that all other states keep their relic industries in existence long past the “sell by” date.

    I’m fed up hearing these whiners and complainers all freeloading while they attempt to force other states to support theirs.

    These are the “MY way or the highway” boys who call “insisting” arguing their back room agenda.

  4. Big government? As opposed to what? A tiny faction of Koch billionaire shills? Read your Constitution….Where in the Constitution does it state that tax dollars have to be flushed to businesses? Where does it state in the Constitution that government shouldn’t help the people who provide the tax dollars? Conservatives today are greedy little pigs who can’t live on their 6 figure incomes so they rip off everyone else to maintain their wealth.

    No where in the Constitution does it allows $47 trillion to sit untaxed offshore…You want to lower the deficit? DUH……tax that $47 trillion.

    • Neither the Conservatives or the Liberals are immune from creating big government. They just do it in different ways. I am against private for profit prisons of any kind. Incarceration should only be a government function. When there is a profit to be made it only means we will create more laws to put more people behind bars. This is wrong. Liberials like to distribute our tax dollars to others who have less. This is also wrong. The Constitution states the right to Life, Liberty and the Prusuit of Happiness. The word Prusuit is the key. We as a government only have to help people to stay alive in times of need, not make them happy. That is up to them. You can not redistribute the wealth of one who has worked and earned it to another who has not. The government should not be in the business of good health, housing or creating jobs, that is the job of the people themselves. If they want happiness they need to prusue it themselves not be given it by the government.

      • I agree with the heart of your post, however… The redistribution of wealth to the needy you are referring to is small potatoes compared to the whole sale redistribution of the USA’s unfathomable wealth that has been funneled to her wealthiest citizens and corporate entities.

        James Madison- Founding Father and one of the authors of The US Constitution foresaw this possibility when he stated:

        “In every political society, parties are unavoidable. A difference of interests, real or supposed, is the most natural and fruitful source of them. The great object should be to combat the evil:
        1. By establishing a political equality among all.
        2. By withholding unnecessary opportunities from a few, to increase the inequality of property, by an immoderate, and especially an unmerited, accumulation of riches.
        3. By the silent operation of laws, which, without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort.
        4. By abstaining from measures which operate differently on different interests, and particularly such as favor one interest at the expense of another.
        5. By making one party a check on the other, so far as the existence of parties cannot be prevented, nor their views accommodated. If this is not the language of reason, it is that of republicanism.”

        After 30 years of favor in our pay-to-play legislature for our wealthiest citizens, and corporatist in the business and financial sectors who’ve recently ascended to the realm of “transnational,” or “multinational” status, it can no longer be denied that wealth consolidation to the top and the decimation of the middle class is a reality in the USA, thanks in part, to the “global economy,” but in larger part, to those few who’ve risen to the position of exploiting, and monopolizing it.

        Big $$$ special interest trumps national interest at every turn, and the economic treason needs cover in the form of rhetoric to keep we the people flummoxed and at each
        other’s throats.
        We’ve become the Tower of Babel…

        • The lying,thieving, scaming republicns make off with way more than $691 in SSI fraud. Try tens millons
          and start your search with Ricky “skinhead”Scott of

        • I agree with much of your post. Our government no longer represents the people, as it was originally designed to do. I am often amazed to listen to people who think that the current corrupt government will fix itself after the next election. As long as we have a two party political cartel monopolizing the elections, it will only get worse. While the people cry racism and inequality, those who they vote for keep kicking them in the head. When will people realize that despite our current political differences (the faux left/right paradigm), we all really want the same thing.

          • Actually it’s more like kicking you redneck bigots in the butt. But since redneck goobers don’t feel pain like real people it’s OK.

        • You are correct. I do not hold it against the billionaires but against big government. The government is corrupt and needs to be reformed. A start would be term limits and for election money to be limited. Maybe we need to get the lawyers out of government. Also the Judicial need to become independent and not tied to party policy through appointments..

          • Some great ideas. For starters, there should be a blind trust established to fund our elections. A small tax (no, it’s NOT a dirty word), single digit or less, on payroll, capital gains, retail, Wall Street investments, import-export, etc. so we all have skin in the game. Then distribute this font equally to candidates who emerge from their party primaries, funded by their own party coffers.

          • Taxes, which are far to high and far too many, need to be brought back to earth. They are not totally evil, as some do provide for good things and I’m not against that. See my post above.

          • The way the system works now is- Wall Street investments affect the wealth of approx. the top 10% of the USA populous because they are the ones with enough discretionary cash lying around to invest in the stock markets. Plus, Wall Street returns affect our IRAs and pensions. So when Wall Street does well, that’s good, right? So it makes a lot of sense that Wall Street’s record gains are a priority for our top 10% because they own 80% of the USA’s magnificent wealth. And as long as employing sweatshops along the Pacific Rim (China- $1.36/hr. avg. wage, some work for 30 cents/hr., Vietnam- 75 cents/hr.) is as profitable as it is in the age of “multinationals,” what good is the unskilled USA workforce that earns at least $7.25/hr? They’re a business liability; red ink. Thus, the record unemployment/underemployment of a once gainfully employed USA workforce that once upon a time paid into local, state and federal treasuries right off their paychecks, (no long term capital gains, tax deferred annuities, etc. in which to hide their earnings) instead of being a drain on them through Unemployment Compensation or in some cases, social welfare. Pity our kids graduating from Colleges, a must to qualify for even entry level positions in today’s workforce, with $60K in loan debt… (But that’s an issue for another discussion).

            The GOP profit protectors’ answer is for our workforce to capitulate to the downward pressure on their wages and benefits, and for national policy to repeal human rights, workers’ rights, OSHA regs., EPA regs., in other words; adopt scorched earth policies so we can compete for jobs in the global economy.
            You see this in “right to work” (for less) states and the demonization of Labor Unions. But how will that affect our standard of living, our middle class tax base that helps fund our governments (you can’t
            expect the “job creators to place their shoulder to any of the burden of the governance they benefit from!), and the future viability of our consumer market (once we max out our credit cards, of course…)

            Expecting our USA workforce to capitulate to the
            downward pressure on wages so they can be entered into competition for jobs with sweatshops
            offshore has been termed by some, “The Race to the Bottom.” I call it, “Entering them in a pissing match with a pole cat!” The balance between business interest and that of our working class, a product of policy engineered by our elected policy makers, has swung WAY in favor of the ‘multinational” business and finance sectors (notice I didn’t say small, local farms and businesses), leaving the middle class and the USA hang out to dry

          • Why are you hung up on taxes?? Americans today pay BY FAR the lowest rate of taxes of any similar industrialized nation on the planet (noncommunist). We’re paying the lowest taxes in the past 6 decades.

            For 2013 the average effective tax rate against gross income paid by people earning 35-50 thou was 4.7%; for those earning 50-100 thou it was 8.7% for multi-millionaires it was 20.4%.

            Compare those tax rates to these (remembering that most European countries don’t have the convoluted exemptions, credits and deductions that we do):

            European Countries’
            Income/Vat/Capital Gains
            Tax Rates

            Austria – 50%/20%/0%
            Bulgaria -10%/20%/10%
            Croatia – 40%/25%/0%
            Cyprus – 35%/17%/20%
            Czech Rep – 15%/21%/15%
            Denmark – 55.4%/25%/32%
            Estonia – 21%/20%/21%
            Finland – 53%/24%/28%
            France – 75%/17.6%/33%
            Germany – 45%/ 19%/0%
            Georgia – 12%/19%/?
            Greece – 45%/23%/10%
            Hungary – 16%/27%/16%
            Ireland – 41%/23%/20%
            Italy – 45%/21%/0%
            Latvia – 23%/21%/15%
            Liechtenstein – 17.89%/8%/0%
            Luxembourg – 38.95%/15%/19.48%
            Malta – 35%/18%/12%
            Netherlands – 52%/21%/1.20%
            Norway – 54.3%/25%/28%
            Poland – 32%/23%/0%
            Portugal – 46.5%/23%/15%
            Romania + 16%/24%/0%
            Russia – 13%/18%/30%
            Slovakia – 19%/20%/19%
            Slovenia – 41%/20%/10%
            Spain – 52%/21%/18%
            Sweden – 56.6%/25%/30%
            Switzerland – 45.5%/8%/0%
            Turkey 35%/18%/0%
            Ukraine – 17%/20%/1.00%
            United Kingdom – 45%/20%/28%
            U.S. – 39.6%/Varies1/ Varies2

            Varies1: U.S. sales taxes (Vat in Europe) vary from NONE in several states to a high of 7.5 in Calif.

            Varies2: After 2012, dividends will be taxed at the taxpayer’s ordinary income tax rate, regardless of his or her tax bracket. After 2012, the long-term capital gains tax rate will be 20% (0% for taxpayers in the 10% and 15% tax brackets).

            Note that most European countries Americans would really like to live in have max tax rates exceeding 40%

          • Good ideas, including the lawyers. I think term limits would be good, however if we reduce the pay and benefits, remove the lifetime healthcare and retirement income for life (which they voted for themselves) and term limits may not be needed. I’m not against term limits though, in principle. Election money is a problem, as are political parties. No Judge should be appointed by a politician, all should be elected.

          • The problem is not lawyers in gov. It’s not even the gov. It’s the corporate lawyers writing the laws for the politicians, then paying to have them enacted into law. Bashing a sick gov. is a waste of time. As is demanding a weaker, smaller ineffective gov. It simply lowers the price required to control it. Ever notice how out of place a teetotaler is at a frat party? That would be the ever rarer public servant that refuses to be bought. And how long is that one going to survive? Until we throw them out with term limits, so the next shill can take their place? Better yet, let’s throw them all out! Nothing like a brand new House of band new shills to get the Party roaring!

      • There can be no pursuit of happiness in a country so divided as it presently is. All sembleances of unity flew out the window as a result of the Koch billionaires most divisive establishment of the Tea Party. I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to see in person just how far these Tea Party thugs will go. I live in NJ. When Rush Holt was Congressman several years back, a bunch of fist pumping, shaven headed Tea Party bullies yanked the microphone from the Congressman’s hand which quickly dispersed the crowd hoping to hear his Town meeting talk. Of course, these thugs knew that would be the reaction and prided themselves on yet another job well done.

        You want happiness in this country? Stop demanding it without unity. IN unity there is strength. In division, there is only war.

        • Much of what you say is correct. I am a Republican and have never supported the Tea Party. It is a radical organization not willing to compromise, and compromise is the only way things get done. I do not blame the billionaires as they also have a right to speak and be heard. Two things have to happen. Government has to be reformed and the media has to stop inflaming things. Maybe we should fire the lawyers and elect some good old American farmers with common sense.

          • Billionaires have First Amendment Rights as we all do. What they don’t have is the right to overturn a government based on democracy for their personal benefit. I am not fooled by the media. I know that today’s media is in the hands of 5 major media billionaires, all ultra conservatives by their own admission: Charles and David Koch, Adelson, Turner and Murdoch. The idea of cornering the entire media market is a devious one. The intent of which is biased media that indoctrinates.

            When you consider which US faction of our citizenry most despises change, you see why they are so desperate to “take their country back.” How far back is a back room agenda bought and paid for by the very billionaires attempting mass indoctrination through biased media.

          • You are right. We are not supposed to be a democracy. The United States was set up to be a Republic. A democracy is doomed as it is run by a small group while a republic is run by representitives elected to do the peoples bidding. The larger the republic the better it works. In a republic the minority retains it’s say while in a democracy the majority rules. In a democracy a small group can rule over a very large group because they have the time and money.

          • You are right, Switzerland is a direct democracy and the people have a direct say in what that government does. If you look at the population it is small 8,061516 while the US has 318,892,103. The country is also much smaller and less diverse so they have more in common with each other. Imagine the backlog if we all had the right to vote on or start an initiative on every law made like they do. When you look at the dismal voter turn out in our elections most would not be represented. Democracies work well with small groups of people while republics work better with large more diverse groups.

      • Great on your take on for profit incarceration. Corporations are masters of buying influence, and rigging the system to produce maximum profits. And they are also relentless. Your take on wealth redistribution assumes a lot that simply isn’t true. For one thing, it’s no picnic being poor, and there is no gov. provided hammock for poor people, on which anyone is getting fat. The trajectory of the distribution of the wealth is going to the top. It’s only the clueless believing the greedy, that has the Middle Class on the ropes. With the top 20% of us, now owning 80% of the property, and the taxpayers subsidizing the wages of our top private sector employer, (Walmart.) To keep even it’s full time employees from living on the street. Whenever we’re losing more than a million solid Middle Class jobs every year in manufacturing, to cheap third world labor. And the Gov. hands out tax breaks to offset the moving costs. Cutting food stamps to single Mothers with Children is not the answer. And yet, we can’t turn on the T.V. without hearing how all the gov. dependence is driving us to financial ruin. We’ve got a problem in this Country. And it’s evidently a complete inability to simply follow the money.

  5. Conservatives know “why” they want a government so small that it resemble a dictatorship…They’d control every dime we earn. They’d tell us what law and order is. They’d decide how and when our income taxes would be spent. Sound like taking their country back to England of the 1600s yet?

    Don’t be fooled. If you pay taxes, you have every right to see how those taxes are spent and why. You have every right to a voice in where those tax dollars end up. When 17 red states end up eating up more than half of all federal taxes, what does that tell you?

    It tells me that DogPatch is too lazy to get off their duffs and move their states forward the way all other progressive states do. Progress? The red states think progress is returning to Plantation wages and sharecropping…all while Big Daddies lap up the brandy on verandas and everyone else does the dirty work for them for free.

  6. Here is a perfect example of why the CONs are liars. 2 years ago, a tiny town, Harden MT was convinced by Corp Plan out of TX to build a $27 million prison. Corp Plan is the prison industry’s biggest “consultant” on how to build prisons, load them up with prisoners and get as much of our federal tax dollars as $47,000 per prisoner can get these red state trough feeders.

    So Harden took the bait. Corp Plan promised that Harden’s prison population would grow from the current 4% to 6% in 2 years. It didn’t. Then when Harden officials questioned the scam Corp Plan pulled off, Corp Plan promised Harden Gitmo prisoners. That didn’t happen either. So, can we assume that the only thing that comes out of Corp Plan TX is long horn BS? Meanwhile, Harden is stuck with $27 million in debt and the prison that was built? EMPTY…funny how Corp Plan no longer takes phone calls from the state of MT all while it scums around the country looking for more states to suck into their prison industry scamming.

  7. The GOP has no rival when it comes to the dissemination of disingenuous rhetoric. Dems don’t seem able to stoop to the same level of deception, bless their hearts.
    I’ve posted this gem before to alert readers about the well orchestrated right wing propaganda strategies. It’s entitled, “The Integration of Theory and Practice,” a publication by Free Congress Foundation, written by Eric Heubeck and Free Congress Foundation founder, Paul Weyrich. This propaganda manifesto actually commits to writing, the low-brow dirty tricks and use of misinformation and lies to undermine their adversary through any means necessary…

    • Thanks for posting that! It answers a lot of questions with respect to how ‘dedicated’ right-wingers have been acting especially the past 6 plus years.

  8. What utter crap. Progressives were told to shut up in last election and just can’t handle the fact we ain’t Russia. I love all the whining, keep your crying towels close!

    • Anyone who posts with a bald eagle as their avatar is likely an un-American a$$hole — and you certainly didn’t disappoint.

      Midterm elections mean nothing. We heard the same bigot-talk after the 2010 midterms too, and Obama STILL easily won re-election. Obama has proven EVERY SINGLE gloom and doom prediction of you bigots DEAD WRONG, and it’s hilarious watching you stumble around trying to find new excuses as Obama whups your bigot-ass repeatedly with new economic records at every turn.

      Keep up the ineffectual bigot-squeals — they let us all know that things are on the right path. And besides, they are just so enjoyable to hear!

      • The intelligence of Liberals on display, all you got is name calling. Obama is the worst POTUS POS ever, those that follow him are mindless sheople who will get what they deserve, enslaved to the government they idolize and the false messiah who’s shoes they lick. You are most certainly an economic illiterate, a historical illiterate and have no idea what todays Liberal’s (Communist’s) are trying to do to this great nation. Envision my middle finger, as that also equals your IQ.

          • How does anyone know if that is your real name? Does posting an avatar of an eagle rather than your own face make you a coward?

        • all you got? how about “all you have”Nation – not nation . Messiah – not messiah.. If you wish to speak , at least use proper grammar.

        • Imagine my foot kicking your redneck a$$, because that’s the reason God put mouthy rednecks on Earth to begin with. After all, going around beating down real people — well, that just wouldn’t be right.

          I’ve noticed that you also get your redneck butt kicked quite often by the black man in the White House too. How does it feel to keep getting whupped by a black man? Just wondering.

          • Why am I not surprised? I always knew that Tionesta was full of sissies. But honestly — a crusty old bastard like you with the nerve to spout off his facial anus? Sheesh — I know that it’s God will to beat down redneck bigots and all, but I at least like to have a little challenge! I guess a crusty old racist like you doesn’t so much care anymore since your local Klan group was chased out of existence. What else is there for you to do?

      • Progressivism is Communism, idiot. You might want to pick up some books and get some education, your as illiterate as WhutHeSaid.

          • Really? So…of the 44,000 gun deaths last year…can you provide the same number of deaths from swimming pools, motorized vehicles and small toys? You’re trying to make a point that is in no way valid. No man NEEDS a gun who doesn’t have livestock to protect. 2 million guns manufactured every year in the US means 2 million more guns sold on our streets. And by the way, did you enjoy that Georgia gun smuggler who got nailed finally after 2 decades for smuggling guns on NY City streets? I danced a jig. Tell GA asshats to keep their damn guns in their own redneck state.

          • I’m against illegal gun smuggling, as I was against Holder’s Fast and Furious fiasco. It is not your business as to what I NEED. That’s the problem with Progressives, they think they know what people should and shouldn’t have. My suggestion is to mind your own business and take care of yourself and stay OUT of other peoples lives. Here, get a clue about guns: My Right to self defense trumps your progressive beliefs, all day long.

          • Have a good day Gary. I read the replies on Forum Found an opportunity to Gig someone and get a response. When it comes to ideologies -to each his own. Gun grabber? No, I live in the western part of the Country where virtually everyone owns a pistol or a rifle and, like my neighbors,, I also own a few – but I seldom use them and then only for target practice or bird hunting. If I reply on the forum again I will espouse to make it logical and constructive. Again – have a good day.

        • I’m a progressive populist. What are you? From your posts, I’d say you are a sociopath who prides himself on insuring that anything anyone else thinks or says has to be criticized by you. A little toooooo full of yourself aren’t you?

          • I’m an American, a veteran and I like freedom for all. I don’t like a vast majority of taxes, I think our government is totally corrupt and do not represent either you or I. I think the left/right paradigm is to divide the people so we can have a corrupt government (it’s working quite well). I believe we can do better, all of us, if we sit back and quite squabbling over stupid stuff that we are to blame for, like our government. I want to keep more of the money I earn, instead of giving it to corrupt people who misspend it on far too many things. I want the same for you and every other hard working American. To expect the problem (corrupt government) to fix the problem (corrupt government) doesn’t make sense. As a Progressive populist, what do you want and how do you want to get it?

          • What I want as Progressive Populist female is for men to stop lying, cheating and deceiving the entire nation. Corruption is so widespread in the US. It’s out of control. There can be NO trust until honesty is restored.

          • The USA and her allies could do a lot of good in the world if we stood together against the exploitation of sweatshop conditions found mostly in nations under a Communist or Socialist type government rule (China, India,

          • How do you get a progressive liberal democrat to betray his progressive tradition….Threaten his children? No…pay him LOL!!!

          • I think you’re referring to the scorched earth, profit-protecting, Robber Baron promoting members of the regressive GOP…

          • I was playing off your point regarding Obama’ fast tracking TTP which is NAFTA on “steroids”

            You do recall that Robert Reich (Mr. Income Inequality) advised Bill Clinton to sign NAFTA.

            In this matter, I see no difference between republicans and democrats.

            Both have contributed to the demise of the working and middle classes.

            Clinton also sold students out by signing an Omnibus bill that made it nearly impossible to use bankruptcy laws rich folks like Donald Trump and cities like Detroit and corporations like…all of them–use to dissolve debt they can’t manage.

            So, I’m equal opportunity with my criticisms these days.

            NAFTA and TTP are wealth incubators for people like Clinton, Obama, Reich and the usual cast of “r”epublican Robber Barons but it has been good for the working class???

            Just ask Robert Reich.

            I sent an email to him over at University California Berkeley about this but he didn’t reply!

          • Now I get it… Little slow on the uptake. I’m totally with you on the equal opportunity theme. I spend WAY too much time researching claims, especially those that appear to be disingenuous and deceptive (just ask my beautiful wife about this obsessive compulsion…)

            You have prompted me to investigate this claim (surprise!). Thanks for the lead! Weighing the implications of any danger involved in placing disclosures online vs. depending on Congressional employees to basically whistle blow on each other is pretty thin. Here’s an excerpt from an article on the topic:

            Excerpt: “Still, two major elements of the law remain. Insider trading is illegal, even for members of Congress and the executive branch. And for those who are covered by the now-narrower law, disclosures of large stock trades are required within 45 days. It will just be harder to get to them.”
            Thanks for the heads up! This one slipped past me, but indicates either the insider nature of the good ole boys club on Capital Hill, or the depths of desperation to which Obama has descended to cut future deals. Thanks again for the post!!!

          • You don’t like the vast majority of taxes?? So do you live in Texas where Rick Perry has eliminated most of them which should be real pleasing to people like you – AS LONG as you’re content with living in the CESSPOOL STATE OF AMERICA.

            Yeah. Taxes are real low in Texas, especially for the more well-off, which is why Texas ranks as one of the leading states in America which foists the burden of running the state (if you can call it that)on the working poor. Unfortunately, maintaining low taxes has it’s drawbacks like:

            Being one of the five worst states in America with respect to providing adequate police and fire protection.

            Being one of the five worst states with respect to having the most industrial related accidents like fertilizer plants blowing up and almost wiping out an entire town because there aren’t enough inspectors to keep track of company safety violations.

            Being one of the worst five with respect to the state’s infrastructure including its roads and bridges being maintained.

            Being the worst state in the nation for paying its teachers on the cheap.

            Actually being the worst state in the nation with respect to 100% of 23 random socio-economic measures. Even like having the most polluted environment in America.

            So when you “hate taxes” be aware there are consequences – some you may not really appreciate having to live with.

        • I hate to be the one to break the news, you ignorant redneck sissy — but the communism scare went out of style in the last century. Have you been sleeping in your trailer since then? ‘Bout time you woke up, now go find a bar of soap and wash yourself before prancing out into public again. We DO have SOME standards around here, you know.

        • You have again just proved that you are the one who needs to read a book!

          Progressivism is a broad philosophy based on the Idea of Progress, which asserts that advancement in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to improve the human condition.

          Communism is a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things
          that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property

    • No…WE progressive populist won’t shut up. And, get over your BS idea that the CONs actually won the last election. It was bought and paid for and the number of red state elections far outnumbered blue states. All the whining on MY tax dollars means I get to whine as much as I please…ON your tax dollars all CONS ever do is bitch.

      • Glad to see I can still get a few folks riled up. It has a purpose. I’m not telling anyone to shut up, but the elections were a huge voice against progressive policies. I hate elections, as I think they are a fraud. One side wins for a few years, then the other side wins for a few years and the circle keeps going round and round. WE, at least those of us who are not part of the Elite ruling class have no real voice in our government. That ended well over a Century ago. See through the propaganda. We can all talk peacefully when that happens.

        • Actually, you ae quite wrong…the elections showed that progressive polcies are desired (since most of them passed and/or conservative policy
          initiatives were voted down), but between obfuscation with secret money, an
          electorate that didn’t care enough to learn the truth, and a rabid base that
          didn’t care at all (and a low turnout in general), Republicans were elected
          despite their rejection of the same policy initiatives that passed. There are a few explanations, but the end
          result is that people voted against their own self-interest…hardly what I would
          call a “huge voice”.

          • I rarely fall for typical talking points such as yours, mainly because they are from typical Left Wing talking heads who are utterly clueless. They have however, taken many lessons on how to control the message (propaganda) from these people ( National Socialist German Workers’ Party). I suggest you try and get other views, like those of economist’s and scientist’s who actually understand both the economy of Progressivism and the politics behind the fraud called global warming. The Nazi’s said the same thing you did, in the mid 1930’s.

          • Gary: Where did you get these stupid ideas! Faux News! You think that because the word Socialist is in the Nazi name means they were leftist? They fought against the Communists in Germany before WWII. They were a right wing or Fascist party. Read a history book before stating obviously stupid remarks

        • You better wake up clueless!! An election won by 17% of the registered electorate and less than 50% of even the Republican electorate WAS NO MESSAGE AT ALL!! In fact, it was a worse message for the GOP than the Dems.

          Here’s one honest GOP columnist’s message to the GOP faithful (he writes for a Houston paper):

          GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP’s Midterm Victory

          But what about that RED Map….well it accounts for 149 electoral votes. The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. What was Red before in electoral politics is still Red (and maybe less Red considering NH and VA).

          Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.

          Some other observations:

          a) Republican Senate candidates lost every single race in the Blue Wall.

          b) There were some GOP victories in Governor’s races, but in each case there were no coat tails. None of these candidates ran on social issues, Obama, or opposition to the ACA. Look at Rauner who took out Quinn in Illinois, but Democrats in Illinois retained their supermajority in the State Assembly having not lost a single seat.

          c) Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote).

          d) Good news for the Democrats: They have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.

          e) Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. Eventually Democrats will top whining and will help people get the documentation they need to meet confusing new requirements and obstructions. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races, but the message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.

          f) Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.

          g) Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP.

          h) Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats with at least 18 of them very competitive based on geography and demographics. Democrats will be one seat looks competitive.

          i) McConnell’s conciliatory statements were encouraging, but he cannot persuade Republican Senators and Congressmen to cooperate on anything constructive.

          j) This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. Ladd say that the GOP could address a this with heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues, he claims, should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

          k) Instead, he predicts, what the GOP will spend its time on is: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.

          He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”

          • Oh! So it’s okay for you to throw out all kinds of false accusations but you can’t live with a description that accurately fits you CLUELESS??

            Because that’s what you are – Clueless. Despite what 5 lying judges on SCOTUS say, the Constitution DOES NOT give you or any American THE RIGHT to own a gun for self protection, UNLESS you happen to be involved in a bone fida militia.

            And for more than 200 years, EVERY COURT IN AMERICA UNDERSTOOD THAT, until 5 corrupt right-wing judges bastardized the meaning of the 2nd Amendment in 2008. That was the FIRST TIME, since the 2nd Amendment was adopted that a court have ever interpreted the 2nd Amendment to apply to the average citizen. Those 5 corrupt right-wing judges went against more than 200 years of precedent; clearly demonstrating that they had been bought by the NRA!!!!!!!!

            Even the fact that during all the ‘wild, wild west days”, sheriffs proved that even the famous gunslingers of the time didn’t have that right, by confiscating their guns whenever they entered a town. All those B movie shootouts in towns are fake – they never happened – because virtually every sheriff refused to allow guns in the towns they policed.

            So not only are you wrong about the 2014 election, you’re wrong that you don’t have A RIGHT to own a gun for your own protection.

            From the Washington Post and Justice John Paul Stevens:

            at the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, inUnited States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”

            When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

            Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

            The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. In its decision in Heller, however, the majority interpreted the amendment as though its draftsmen were primarily motivated by an interest in protecting the common-law right of self-defense. But that common-law right is a procedural right that has always been available to the defendant in criminal proceedings in every state. The notion that the states were concerned about possible infringement of that right by the federal government is really quite absurd.


          • Well, since you are all knowing and get your facts from the Washington Post and Hollywood, you are most certainly free to NOT own a gun of any kind. You are free to have no knowledge of how guns actually work. You are free to call the police when you and/or your family comes under attack from home invaders. You are also free to wait the 20 or so minutes for them to get there to help you, if your still alive. You are even free to put a sign in your front yard expressing your views on that matter. You are free to express your opinion on States that you do not reside in. You are free to pay all the taxes that you are told to pay and since you like them so much, why not throw in a nice tip for all the hard work the government does.

            In retrospect, I’m free to own guns for hunting wild game and for self defense against those same criminals who will make you a victim of their desires, which may include having their way with your significant other. I’m free to call the cops and not worry about how long it takes them to arrive, because I only need them to help clean up the mess and remove the criminals from my presence. I’m free to hunt deer during deer seasons, which are regulated by biologists and government laws, which I actually believe are needed. I am free and happy to pay for my hunting license to fund the conservation of wild game and the arrest of those who violate that conservation. I am free to go help my neighbor protect himself and his family should they find themselves under attack, as well as I’m free to let them suffer at the hands of their attackers because they believed that the cops will protect them.

            See, we are both free to make decisions about how we live our lives. If you would prefer gun control, then ask yourself if you are willing to lead the way and confiscate guns from law abiding citizens, or will you be a coward and send some government shmuck to commit suicide. Truthfully, there is no debate about gun ownership in this country, because no one has the courage to come take them, including your precious government.

          • You’re right. We all have the right to make our own choices. And given that I have no intention of becoming an expert at using a handgun – the last thing I would do is bring one into my home – where it becomes FAR MORE of a liability than a means of self protection. Having a gun in a home is what contributes to more than 100,000 shootings a year and increases the probability that someone in the home where a gun is will be killed by a gun by almost 5 times.

            And I didn’t make that up. That’s been proven by a number of studies, including this one from the medical department of the state of Utah:

            Some excerpts:

            In the U.S. for 2010, there were 31,513 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, declined to 1999, and has remained relatively constant since. However, firearms injuries remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among youth (CDC, 2001) (Sherry et al, 2012).

            The issue of “home defense” or protection against intruders or assailants may well be misrepresented. A study of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides (Kellermann et al, 1998). Over 50% of all households in the U.S. admit to having firearms (Nelson et al, 1987). In another study, regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home (Dahlberg, Ikeda and Kresnow, 2004). Persons who own a gun and who engage in abuse of intimate partners such as a spouse are more likely to use a gun to threaten their intimate partner. (Rothman et al, 2005). Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession (Branas et al, 2009). It would appear that, rather than being used for defense, most of these weapons inflict injuries on the owners and their families.


          • You are also free to believe all the left Wing BS propaganda as you choose. But since a vast majority is lies and can be easily debunked, you now know that gun control is a non issue. That is one of the many Rights that are not up for debate, so get over it, you already lost.

            This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.


    • A disenfranchised and confused electorate didn’t vote in the mid-terms… The disingenuous tactics of the right that appeals to humanity’s worst emotions (hate, anger, fear, paranoia, resentment, etc.) was used very successfully to mobilize their base to win the day.
      The biggest secret of the Republican triumph lies in the discovery that obstruction which amounted to SABOTAGE is a winning political strategy. The Republicans broke Washington. Then they spent millions of secret money, running against a broken Washington that they broke! BRILLIANT!!!

      • Yeah, and still the unwashed redneck heathens are frolicking outside their trailer parks and making a general nuisance of themselves. Real people shared the secrets of fire and soap with those Neanderthals, and just look at what a mess they made of things!

  9. DOW hit record highs like gold seems to reflect the devaluation of the dollar. Of course they don’t parallel tightly or there would be no speculation. Your BS comment on the market without a qualified why, like the era when the NASD Tech Market took off for sound reasons.

    • The once robust, gainfully employed middle class with ample disposable income that formed the world’s premier consumer market has been offered up as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of Wall Street gods, while Wall Street returns have been deified as the Golden Calf (or should I say Bull?).

      Money for influence in our “pay-to-play” legislature has assured that moneyed interest is the only “voice” that will be heard in Congress, as well as in our national elections! Heads- they win, Tails- we lose!

      Welcome to the advent of the “global economy,” where the gainfully employed USA middle class is kicked to the curb in favor of sweatshops offshore, while Maersk freighters (capacity 2.2 million train car size “containers”) roll up to our ports daily to fleece, tariff free, the declining middle class consumers at Walmart, to
      suit the profit margins of “multinational” corporatists and Wall Street.

  10. Republicans are thje dumbest pope on th lnet- They use every excuse in the world to cover their racism and they really believe they’re fooling people. That’s what you call not knowng what you don’t know.

    • While I’m not a Republicrat (can’t stand either party), can you please give an example of how republicans are all racist’s? Geez, I hope my grammar was better than before, I had to slow down a bit. Plus this darn keyboard seems to always misspell words and I have to remember to go back to fix it before I hit the post button.

      • “… keyboard seems to always be misspelling words…” You find the effect more pronounced on this site? I definitely do. Have to hit some keys several times.

      • How about the universally Republican expressed hatred for President Obama which was manifested even before he served one day in the oval office?? The hatred could clearly not have been about anything Obama had done – he hadn’t even pushed for one piece of legislation yet – and across the Republican spectrum they were posting all kinds of obscene caricature of him. And if all that was just the GOP speaking, how come I never remember seeing anything in the news about Republicans showing anything but support for the way the GOP has treated him over the past 6 years???

        • Do you think maybe it has anything to do with his calling out Wall Street and the Bankers as “fat cats” in 2009?

          I have NEVER seen this level of blatant disrespect and disingenuousness (flat out lying) in public discourse toward the President of the United States by ANY party.

          I have a theory: The pendulum has swung so far in favor of moneyed interest through policy written by our legislators, bought and paid for by legions of lobbyists who represent same moneyed interest, that to have the pendulum swing back toward the middle, would take a re-writing of policy in our legislature. Anyone, and I mean anyone who breaths a word or merely suggests that perhaps it would be beneficial for the USA to revisit these policies that have delivered such favor to moneyed interest in order to achieve a balance, must needs be submitted to public excoriated for all to see.
          Our representative form of government is the ONLY entity that CAN serve as an arbitrator of BALANCE among competing interests. This balance or JUSTICE would be the anathema of the recent (30 years) gains for moneyed interest, so my theory is that moneyed interest has set out to demonize the USA government’s role in ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! Thus you have the Koch backed Tea Party’s railing against Big Bad Government, and its constituents proclaiming loudly how utterly corrupt and bad the government is.

          On one level, they are, of course, right; in as much as our Representatives who write policy have been for sale, but that they have found a home as a resident within the GOP is interesting because they seem to sincerely want to make government more responsive to “we the people…” This would seem to be a contradiction until you factor in their espousal of how free market capitalism should work, using the Ludwig Von Mises model to bolster their argument, which fits nicely into the right wing paradigm.

          The GOP’s demonization of the USA government, has been very effective at neutering government’s role as an arbitrator of justice among competing interests. While at the same time they seek to control that government so that policy coming out of that government benefits the continuation of favor for moneyed interest.

          Here’s the best part of all: to win elections and keep favorable policy flowing, they need the votes of “we the people.” How do they manage that? Look at the title of this article! They do it through a constant stream of divisive, disingenuous lies to incite hatred, anger, fear, paranoia (the worst in human instincts) in the minds of a gullible electorate. The use of social issues like religion, social decay, gun rights, infringements on freedoms, and other “patriotic” themes, while simultaneously smearing the left to undermine them, pinning all of the social ills on them to stir their base to action and into the voting booths to capture their vote. A vote that they unwittingly cast to assure their demise! BRILLIANT!

  11. If you follow the tax percentiles we have percentiles 81% to 100% financing the lercentles 0% to 80% which are a net tax income LOSS to the fed.
    Look at illegal aliens ruining that part of the economy by socialist(?) gov handouts to illegals.
    Our nation is not well off or all those businesses would not be leaving America because they can not afford taxes here. I do nomt see you addressing this problem with less taxes.

    • And why is the mighty USA broke(n)? For the answer you’d have to go all the way back to the (roaring) 1920’s.

      The Great Depression was arguably caused by wealth consolidation at the top, while declining income for the workforce resulted in reduced demand for production and the ensuing snowball effect of unemployment, further demand reduction, and the domino effect of curtailed capital investments, the withdrawal of capital when stock prices fell, and finally the bank runs, and the crash of ’29.

      Coming out of the Great Depression, with its lessons fresh on the minds of our nation and its elected officials, policies were enacted to fortify and bolster the middle class. To kick start a recovery, Roosevelt enacted New Deal work programs for the displaced workers like the CCC, CWA, and PWA. Then policies like The Fair
      Labor Standards Act of 1938, The Wagner Act, otherwise known as The National Labor Relations Act, and later, the Employment Act of 1946, were measures enacted to fortify the middle class. The Glass-Steagall Act separated the investment banks from commercial banks, and marginal tax rates were set at 90%.

      These measures, it was agreed, were necessary to fortify the middle class (create and sustain a dynamic consumer market), stabilize the financial sector, and practically assure the investment of capital back into the USA.

      These measures were met with bitter opposition and cries of protest from the financial and business sectors and their friends and profit protectors in Congress who claimed they were “unconstitutional,” an “infringement on freedoms,” “socialism,” etc. … Sound familiar?

      But look at the results! For the remainder of most of the 20th century, the USA cultivated the world’s premier, most prosperous consumer economy. The cumulative effect of employing millions of high wage workers resulted not only in the clearing of
      retail shelves (demand) and the uptick in production, but in the filling of local, state, and federal treasuries. To get a tax break, our wealthy INVESTED their vast wealth in the USA. A win-win-win set-up. Our middle class was gainfully employed, our wealthy received outstanding returns on their INVESTMENTS, taxed at a fraction of their marginal rate or 90%, and our treasurieswere plush with cash.

      Together, we were able to achieve the largest expansion in US history, create a “social safety net” (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and unemployment compensation),
      develop the world’s most powerful military, rebuild post WWII Europe and Japan (The Marshall Plan), win the Race to the Moon, AND win the Cold War against the competing Communist system.

      During those years of unparalleled Historic USA expansion and investment, we even had a few years when there were budget surpluses (1951, 56, and 57). We also had steady trade surpluses up until around 1975; by then the offshoring of manufacturing
      jobs (shoe, garment, textile, toys, and electronics) to 3rd world countries to by-pass the high wage US worker began to take its toll. Then, by the end of the millennium, GATT and NAFTA, but in 2001, when China (Avg. wage- $1.36/hr., some work for 30 cents/hr) joined the WTO (with MFN status), even our jobs in Mexico left for China, and it’s been a steep downhill plunge ever since. (Incidentally, our burgeoning trade deficits exceeded over Half a Trillion $$$/yr. by 2004 and have not diminished!)

      In my view, our middle class got fat and happy and left the fight for their slice of the American Pie to “someone else,” but in the business sector, their eye never wanders from the bottom line. They continued to probe the fences for weaknesses so they could reclaim their “losses” to US labor.

      FTAs incentivized the jobs exodus to offshore sweatshops and introduced the “global economy” where “multinationals” and “transnationals” continue to monopolize world commerce. The Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act, initiated the deregulation fever that created the lucrative bonus systems on Wall Street and witnessed the “smartest men in the room” behaving badly, then Citizens United, where Super PACs in our “pay-to-play” legislature we have today purchased our elections. Marginal taxes on our top earners were continuously reduced since the 50s and 60s until today where marginal rates are around 35% (they were dropped to 28% throughout the 80s) and capital gains (where most of the earnings of the wealthy reside, have been reduced to somewhere around 15%, about half the rate the middle class pays… All of these bills advanced the interests of BIG $$$, and the by-pass of the spoiled, fat and complacent US middle class (aka: we the people). And now, after 30 years of favor for our “job creators” (how disingenuous), and the decimation of the middle class, the USA has her tit in a ringer!

      Ironically, no sooner had the USA won the Cold War, proving to the world that capitalism, combined with a prosperous middle class consumer market was a system that really worked, than capitalists went about proving Karl Marx right about how unchecked capitalism works.

      And now, after just 30 years of legislative favor, we’re back to pre-Great Depression conditions where corporatists have managed to garner all of the gains to themselves that they were once required to share. Our Utopian (sophisticated and expensive) society is going broke, and guesses who is making record gains again?

      We’ve forgotten the lessons of the past.

    • “In 1952, the corporate income tax accounted for about 33%
      of all federal tax revenue. Today
      despite record breaking profits, corporate taxes bring in less than 9%” Bernie Sanders.

      Funny how the middle class grew and made the “American Dream” a reality. Business are leaving America because they want cheaper labor and a larger bottom line.

      America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders

      1. General Electric From 2008 to 2013, while GE made over $33.9 billion in United States profits, it received a total tax refund of more than $2.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Service.

      G.E.’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six year period was -9 percent.

      In 2012, GE stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens to
      avoid paying income taxes. If this practice were outlawed, GE would have paid $37.8 billion in federal income taxes that year.

      During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided GE with $16 billion in financial assistance, at a time when its CEO Jeffrey Immelt was a director of the New York Federal Reserve.

      GE has been a leader in outsourcing decent paying jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries.

      Mr. Immelt has a retirement account at General Electric worth an estimated $59 million and made $19 million in total compensation last year.

      He is a member of the Business Roundtable, a group that wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70, cut Social Security and veterans’ benefits, increase taxes on working families, and cut corporate taxes even further…..

      2. Boeing: From 2008 to 2013, while Boeing made over $26.4 billion in U.S. profits, it received a total tax refund of $401 million from the IRS. Boeing’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period was -2 percent.

      Boeing is one of the top recipients of corporate welfare in the United States and has outsourced tens of thousands of
      decent paying jobs to China and other low-wage countries.

      Boeing even has its own taxpayer-funded bank known as the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Boeing has received
      so much corporate welfare from this bank that it has been dubbed “the Bank of Boeing.”

      Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. made $23.3 million in total compensation last year. Mr. McNerney, as a member of the Business Roundtable, wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70 and make significant cuts to Social Security.

      3. Verizon: From 2008 to 2013, while Verizon made over $42.4 billion in U.S. profits, it received a total tax refund of $732 million from the IRS. Verizon’s effective U.S. corporate income
      tax rate over this six-year period was -2 percent.
      In 2012, Verizon stashed $1.8 billion in offshore tax havens to
      avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Verizon would owe an estimated $630 million in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance was eliminated.

      In 2013, Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon made $15.8 million in total compensation. He wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70, and make significant cuts to Social Security as a member of the Business Roundtable.

      4. Bank of America: Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS in 2010, even though it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of more than $1.3 trillion.

      In 2012, Bank of America operated more than 300 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, which has no corporate taxes. In 2012, Bank of America stashed $17.2 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Bank of America would owe an estimated $4.3 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance strategies were eliminated.

      Last year, Bank of America CEO Brian
      Moynihan made $13.1 million in total compensation, but he wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and
      Social Security to 70, and make significant cuts to Social Security as a member
      of the Business Roundtable.

      5. Citigroup: Citigroup made more than $4 billion in profits in 2010, but paid no federal income taxes. Citigroup received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury during the financial crisis. Citigroup has established 427 subsidiaries
      incorporated in offshore tax havens. In 2012, it stashed $42.6 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Citigroup would owe an estimated $11.5 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance strategies were

      6. Pfizer: Pfizer, one of the largest prescription drug companies
      in America, not only paid no federal income taxes from 2010 to 2012, it received $2.2 billion in tax refunds from the IRS at the same time it made $43 billion in profits worldwide. In 2012, Pfizer stashed $73 billion in profits offshore and has used aggressive offshore tax strategies to avoid paying U.S. income taxes….

      7. FedEx; In 2011, Federal Express received a $135 million tax refund from the IRS even though it made more than $2.7 billion in U.S. profits that year. FedEx receives more than $1 billion a year from the U.S. Postal Service to provide air service for all express mail and priority mail shipments…

      8. Honeywell: From 2009 to 2010, not only did Honeywell pay no federal income taxes, it received a $510 million tax refund from the IRS even though it made a combined profit in the U.S. of almost $3 billion. In 2012, Honeywell stashed $11.6 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Honeywell would owe an estimated $4.06 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance were eliminated.

      9. Merck: In 2009, not only did Merck pay no federal income taxes, it received a $55 million tax refund from the IRS, even though it earned more than $5.7 billion in U.S. profits. In 2012, Merck stashed $53.4 billion in offshore tax haven countries to avoid paying income taxes. If this practice was outlawed, it would
      have paid $18.69 billion in federal income taxes….

      10. Corning: From 2008 to 2012, not only did Corning pay no federal income taxes, it received a $10 million tax refund from the IRS, even though it earned more than $3.4 billion in U.S. profits during those years. Corning has stashed $11.9 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Corning would owe an estimated $4.165 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance were eliminated…..

      • So well stated! Your research and conclusions coincide with mine precisely. Thanks for stating what WILL NOT be aired by many Dems, and certainly NO Republicans, owned as they are by moneyed interest…

    • Our nation is not well off??? Interesting total nonsense!!

      America’s debt to GDP ratio IS THE LOWEST OF ANY INDUSTRIALIZED NATION ON THE PLANET!! At close to 73% whereas the majority of similar nations have debt to gdp of over 80% and even Canada’s is over 85%.

      And how can America “not be well off”, if it’s the only industrialized nation on the planet who has seen economic growth in the past 4-5 years??

      Just what planet have you been living on – Mars???

      Sorry clueless, but the fact that corporations have been leaving America HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AMERICA not being ‘WELL OFF”. IT’S ALL ABOUT THIS LITTLE HUMAN FAILING CALLED GREED!!!!!!


  12. A kid in first grade could figure out that if you hand out tax cut after tax cut to the 1% and corporations, someone else has to make up the difference lost by the mass reduction in tax revenues. Why didn’t the GOP?

    With a Harvard MBA president of 8 years, how did the GOP and Bush administration not figure out that they were sending the entire country on a path of financial destruction? They didn’t care…that’s how. These are little boys who pull tantrums to get their way. They needed a swift kick in the pants to the curb.

    • Only when people take the time to vote will things change, I know so many people who hate what’s happening to them but still will not take the time to vote. It makes you wonder when they will learn what the GOP already knows.

      • I so agree. I think you find the lack of initiative to vote more among the younger generations. This is obvious from the way the GOP has tried to stifle voting in district with higher percentages of seniors who always faithfully vote.

        There’s also a push in some red state schools to demonize voting among school students. That too is obvious from the way these schools try to indoctrinate students to be monolithically partisan.

        Children need to start in kindergarten to understand the importance of voting. I was a member of the League of Women Voters in NJ and they had a wonderful program for high school age kids to teach them in 9th grade about the use of voting machines so they would acclimate themselves to the process of voting.

    • The ideological answer is that as government (especially federal) shrinks, there will be less need for tax revenue, which sounds very appealing to the folks who either live with short paychecks all year and HOPE to get some back in April, or who plot all year to keep their tax liability low and HOPE not to have to write too big a check in April.

      But the fact is, that a government sufficient to regulate an 18th century PRE-industrial economy, with a standard of living appropriate to the 18th century (horseback communication, wars fought with muskets, the ability to start over in a new town with no employment record following you around, no medical care except folk remedies EVEN for the wealthy) CANNOT manage a 21st century industrial and communications based economy sustainably except by cutting the standard of living of ALMOST ALL citizens back to the 18th century. And the oligarchy’s propaganda arm (Fox, for one) minimizes the ACTUAL advantages of having tax money provide services which would have to be cut back with a smaller tax base. Even the “mountain men” wannabee survivalists would have a hard time without their GPS devices, which use signals from a GOVERNMENT launched and maintained fleet of satellites.

      • What a wonderful, insightful post! If the idea of smaller government is to reduce the need for tax revenues, can we count on the top 1% to repair bridges, supply the military in event of another 9/11? The basis of taxation has gone from the Founding Fathers’ ideas that all should contribute to the needs of the whole embodiment of the country to handing out so many tax cuts to the wealthy only because they are wealthy and to corporations who don’t reciprocate by hiring or creating US jobs.

  13. The GOP boys are acting like silly little kids. What they are in for is a President who has NO intentions of EVER standing down in the face of their tantrums. The ball is now ALL in GOP court. One step out of line and they get as good as they give. They’d have to be idiots to think this nation will just endure another epic era of hardship, struggle and working with nothing to show for our labors.

  14. Very nice sentiments with which all decent people of all political persuasions can agree…BUT it will not occur because conservatism in this country, once an honorable doctrine espoused by reasonable people, e.g. Barry Goldwater, Everett Dirksen, etc., has now morphed into authoritarian fascism. Yes, fascism. Including some prepared for armed insurrection. They are not amenable to reason so E.J. Dionne’s prescriptions regrettably will not come to pass.

    • One big factor in the hysteria and hyperbole is the long-term, multi-hundred million dollar campaign by right-wing oligarchs for ever more wealth and power. An effort to make themselves the Robber Barons of the 21st century, free of government regulation and taxation. They might even be secretly behind the drive for a national surveillance state, as a defense against the inevitable populist revolt against their control of the economy and the political system.

      • It is no longer a question of whether they will “make themselves the Robber Barons of the 21st century.” They ARE the Robber Barons.

  15. Elliot Stamler is correct….
    The argument made in the article is essentially the “false equivalency” argument, as in, “both parties (GOP and Demo) are the same”, etc., blah, blah, blah, blah….
    Wow, do I get tired of the false equivalency, projection, cognitive dissonance and propaganda of the GOP and Libertarians…..ssmdh

Leave a reply