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Big Majorities Favor Progressive Tax-And-Spend Policies, Polls Show

Economy Memo Pad Politics

Big Majorities Favor Progressive Tax-And-Spend Policies, Polls Show

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A new poll finds clear, overwhelming public support for specific tax increases on big corporations and the rich.

In a stunning change of public attitudes, Republicans have lost majority support for their signature, if not only, economic policy issue: tax cuts.

The results from a host of polls this year indicate that Democrats can win big in future elections if they focus on progressive tax-and-spend policies that create jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare and require rich Americans and big corporations to shoulder more of the burden of supporting government.

Likewise, if the public views Democrats as nothing more than “Republican lite” on economics, offering a weak brew of deference to Wall Street and discredited Chicago School theories, these same polls suggest Democrats will throw away an opportunity to shift national economic policies away from Reaganism.

Asked what budget priorities they want Congress to focus on, 68 percent of voters chose strengthening the economy and creating jobs while just 28 percent want deficit reduction and lowering the national debt (the Tea Party platform).

Those figures come from a Hart Research Associates telephone poll of 1,009 registered voters conducted in late October for Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 325 progressive, labor and similar organizations.

While the poll was conducted for progressives, it is consistent with other polls sampling public attitudes about the economy, taxes and federal spending.

Indeed, the latest poll shows that even a quarter of Tea Party Republicans favor some progressive tax and spend policies.

It also shows that almost 4 in 5 registered voters want to close corporate loopholes — which both parties say they support, but which Republicans have repeatedly blocked, arguing that this would amount to backdoor tax hikes. Some Democrats have also worked to protect corporate tax favors.

A convincing 7 in 10 voters favor maintaining current tax rates on profits earned offshore and imposing a 30 percent or higher tax on annual incomes above $1 million, a policy known as the Buffett Rule. Both of these policies are favored by progressive Democrats and opposed by leading Republicans.

Looked at from the opposite perspective, the poll results show that only small minorities of voters support multinational companies that want to bring home hundreds of billions of dollars parked offshore while paying little or no tax.

This also means that few Americans believe the wealthiest Americans pay too much income tax.

This finding is crucial because it means an implicit rejection of the argument Republicans have made for more than three decades: that job creation depends on reduced taxes on the rich. The theory is not supported by decades of empirical data that I analyzed for my trilogy on the American economy: Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch and The Fine Print.

The very richest taxpayers pay the federal government a significantly smaller share of their incomes than single workers making $500 per week, the official data show. For years now I have been showing from the official data, tax code provisions and court cases how little-known rules let hedge fund and private equity managers as well as billionaires live virtually tax-free, paying taxes only on incidental income they cannot avoid.

These polls show the budget sequester and government shutdown were immensely unpopular, with most of the blame being assigned to Republicans.

The new poll found that 56 percent of voters favor a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts and 39 percent favor only spending cuts.

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

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  1. novenator November 12, 2013

    Great article David. While many of us are exhausted after 6 years of fighting for this, we have to keep fighting for common sense solutions like this. One note though, “tax and spend” is pretty bad framing. The term has been repeated ad nauseum by the rabid right wing over the last 4 decades, and has a pretty negative connotation in the minds of most Americans. Better to use a phrase like “asking the very wealthy to pay their fair share so we can start investing in America” or something along those lines.

    1. davidcayjohnston November 12, 2013

      The phrase was intentional.

  2. Sal D November 13, 2013

    LOL you notice how many comments your left wing nut case story got?????? Yes an how many of the people in the poll pay federal income tax?????

    1. 50 Cent None the Richer November 13, 2013

      These days most people think the Right Wing are the nutcases. lol

    2. davidcayjohnston November 13, 2013

      If you have a substantive observation I would love to read it. You do not challenge any of the facts so it is unclear what basis you have for your comment.

      And do you understand that the reason a significant number of people did not pay income tax in recent yeas is A) the Republican-sponsored Child Tax Credit and B) people lost their jobs or had their pay cut and fell below the thresholds. The 47% figure is an anomaly; the typical no pay range (including people who do not have to file, such as police officers on disability which is tax exempt) is in the high 30s.

      If you read your AdamSmith or any otter classical economist you will know that income taxes are designed to apply to what are characterized as “surplus incomes,” not incomes to pay for what Smith called necessaries.

      1. midway54 November 13, 2013

        There may be good reason to believe that Sal never heard of Smith, and even should he look for a book to enlighten him, it would have to be in comic book form to aid (perhaps) his comprehension of the narrative.

        1. Allan Richardson November 14, 2013

          The Republicans are King David. The voters are Bathsheba. And Obama is Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband.

      2. Independent1 November 13, 2013

        David, I guess the only comment in your article that I take issue with is: “Obama has run up the federal debt enormously”. Sorry, but I can’t buy into that. 1st, he inherited a budget from Bush that had at least 1.4 trillion in deficit spending in it; 2nd – he was virtually forced to implement an auto bailout and stimulus of more than a trillion to prevent further economic collapse and to throtle rampant job losses; 3) he immedicately held the line or reduced spending in the following 4 years, such that since 2010 he has been by far the smallest spending president since Eisenhower (as substantiated by an article on Forbes.com).
        And, given that America was in a deep recession, which I believe most economists would agree required spending to stop the job bleeding, I find it troubling to suggest that a president is gulity of “running up the federal debut” when he has reduced spending about as fast as was realistic while trying his utmost to prevent the country from falling into a deeper recession, which is what has been the case with virtually every European country that has tried deep budget cuts (austerity).

        1. davidcayjohnston November 14, 2013

          You misread or skipped over part of the column. I stated facts and put them in context — the rapidly falling deficit (which is one of the reasons we lack jobs, BTW), for example.

          Did you notice my line about fewer than one in ten Americans knowing Obama has slashed the deficit (and has had the smallest spending increases in six decades, while GWB was No. 1?)

          It is a fact that the federal debt has grown tremendously under Obama. It is a fact that he inherited an awful situation, as my column states

          It is also true that Obama sought a much too small stimulus as I have written about repeatedly when that issue was alive and since.

          And it is true that he acquiesced to GOP demands for more tax cuts (which are inherently savings and thus anti-stimulus) that totaled about 40% of the undersized stimulus.

          So while I don’t disagree with your interpretation in any serious way, the facts I included were both accurate and in context.

          1. Independent1 November 14, 2013

            David, But the wording of your statement is incorrect: Your statement says:”Obama has run up” implying to millions of people that Obama’s is at fault for the continued climb in the deficits as if he continued the reckless spending of Bush, despite the fact that from the first full month he was in office, he as done everything to try and bring the deficit down. And the fact that he actually has kept his promise in cutting deficit spending in half during his 1st term – from the 1.4trillion he inherited from Bush to around 680 billion for the past fiscal year. You give him absolutely no credit for that. Your statement should have read: Deficits continued to climb under Obama despite his ever effort to bring them down. Sorry that I can’t agree with: OBAMA HAS RUN UP THE DEFICTS.

          2. davidcayjohnston November 14, 2013

            Again you have your facts wrong. You’re not reading with care.

            Miy column notes that under Obama the deficit has been falling very rapidly – too rapidly in my view. What I wrote is that the federal debt has gone up. It has.

          3. midway54 November 15, 2013

            In far too many cases the the problem with rightwing vulnerable targets within our society is not that they are failing to read with care but that they are failing to comprehend the text.

          4. Independent1 November 14, 2013

            When are analysts such as yourself going to realize that you CANNOT track the impacts of a presidency from inauguration day to inauguration day???
            The effects of presidents can continue for years – as has been the case with Bush Jr. His presidence is still impacting our economy. Historians and analysts seem to want to assume that when a new president steps into the White House, everything that happens suddenly becomes HIS FAULT.
            At a minimum presidencies have to be tracked from budget year to budget year – not inauguration to inauguration. And at a minimum Bush’s influence on spending continued well into 2009 – at least til 09/30 when his last budget’s affect ended.
            And for Reagan, the disaster he created for America is still with us – Republicans simply won’t give up many of his fantasies and hatreds – like the trickle-down economics nonsense and his hatred for unions – which has over the last 3 decades virtually distroyed any common bond between corporations and the people who work for them. Virtually distroying the fabric of American life.

          5. davidcayjohnston November 14, 2013

            Again you are fact-challenged. I have never measured from inauguration to inauguration and there many clips of my work on the Internet showing that.

            You evidently are not familiar with my fast body of work goes to the very points that you make.

      3. ThomasBonsell November 14, 2013


        We can also remember during the Reagan administration manipulation of the tax code, Ronnie’s tax cutting was praised by the right for “freeing” millions of Americans from the dread of paying income taxes. Now, those same “rescued” people are derided as moochers, the 47% who pay no income taxes; but do pay the payroll tax. Last I saw, the income tax and payroll tax were nearly identical in the amount of taxes collected, with the income tax one percentage point higher than the payroll tax, (think it might have been 47% income tax, 46% payroll tax).

        1. davidcayjohnston November 14, 2013

          You are quite right about these matters, which I have been documenting for many years. Roughly 70% of Americans pay more payroll than income tax and roughly 70% of income taxpayers do not itemize (so no tax complexity for them, though many have been scared into the arms of HRBlock et al by propaganda).

          1. ThomasBonsell November 15, 2013

            If you are the same David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winner (I think) of The New York Times, I have been following your reporting for years

            Here’s what bugs me about the tax system. Before I left the newspaper business to live off my investments I worked the final year only to about Labor Day. in those eight months I paid 33.26% of my income in income and payroll taxes. Mitt Romney has admitted to paying 13.9% without paying a cent in payroll taxes. In my final full year of work, I paid 29.96% in the two taxes. Once again, Mitt Romney admitted to paying 13.9%, and none of it in payroll taxes. And I never once muttered “Taxed Enough Already.”

            In researching for my book “Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly” I found that businesses in America paid about 43% of the taxes following World War II, and the economy was doing just fine. But today businesses pay about 10%, individuals the rest, and the economy continues to struggle.

            I also found that every GOP administration since the war has trashed the economy, some several times – for a total of nine recessions – while Democrats having recessions are rare – just two. One of those Democrat recessions was under Harry Truman when government reduced spending about 60%, millions of Americans were released from the military and others left civilian support jobs, and much of the economy shut down to convert from wartime production to peacetime production. But Truman produced more new jobs than did every Republican except Ronald Reagan, and Reagan did his with borrowed money. Why members of Congress do not know any of this is a mystery.

            I also grew up with the Niskanen family – high-school classmate David is still a good friend – so I was pleased to read in Bill’s obit in The New York Times in which the paper quoted his autobiography where he indicated complete dissatisfaction with the Reagan Revolution he claimed never happened. I think the Revolution happened, it was the Reagan Miracle that never happened.

    3. robertbenefiel@att.net November 14, 2013

      I do not know about you, but I was paying 35% federal income taxes while Romney was paying something like 12% and hiding his money in Swiss Bank accounts, then set up trust funds of $ 100 million for each of his sons. Does not seem right to me.

      1. Sal D November 14, 2013

        See this is what I mean. robert says he was paying 35% federal income tax while Romney was paying 12% LOL you really are a DOPE. Romney paid ZERO federal income tax. He paid 15% capital gains tax if you knew the diff you wouldn’t have made such a STUPID statement. LOL yeah you paid 35% OK LOL and you don’t know the diff between federal income tax and capital gains tax LMFAO you can’t make this shit up. See let me explain it to you, Romney never took a salary so he paid ZERO federal tax. He made money off his investments so he paid capital gains tax DIPSHIT.

        1. Allan Richardson November 14, 2013

          Actually, capital gains IS part of the income tax (it goes into the 1040 form), so Romney DID pay 12 % that ONE YEAR. We have no idea what he paid in prior years, and it might well have been zero, thanks to his “money parking” in the Caymans.

          Of course, after losing the election, he could, and most likely did (although the rest of us have no way to know for sure) amend that year’s return to take back the loopholes he gave up for show and end up paying nothing even for that year, after all.

          1. Sal D November 14, 2013

            LOL nice try dope but you guys keep giving up your money to people who will waste it and let me know how you make out. By the way Romney learned that from the best of all time at not paying federal income tax his name is Warren Buffet. Remember him the left wing nut you guys love so much. Yet Buffet is fighting the government over 2 billion dollars in corp taxes he refuses to pay. Hmmmmmmm Yeah OK nice try DOPE

          2. charleo1 November 15, 2013

            I see this a lot from commenters such as yourself, espousing
            what is an extreme absolutist position on matters surrounding
            tax policies. That foremost, you see the issue as a purely partisan one. Your position being rooted entirely in a base fundamental hatred, and, or complete lack of confidence, in
            the Government itself. So this, renders all other opinions about the tax code, as it relates to the wider economy. Or,
            other issues, such as what we as a Country expect out of
            our government, and so on, made moot, by your standards.
            Namely, that taxes are always bad, because they are always squandered. Squandered, as in all of them, in all cases. I’m also curious as to why you believe your case, which is not agreed with by a large majority. You do realize this? Right? So then, why do believe your views are made more salient,
            or convincing, by the interjection of personal aspersions directed at those commenters you are replying to? Did you notice, you’re the only one engaged here, in this sort of thing? Do you think your anger might be because, you very strongly believe in your position. But, seem to find people
            that disagree with you, at your every turn? Have you considered that perhaps, there might be a reason for this?

    4. 788eddie November 14, 2013

      I do. And I support raising the tax rate on people like me. And I am (and always have been) a registered Republican.

      Doing what’s fair is not always easy, but it is always right.

      If you love this country, you’ll support it, too.

      1. Sal D November 14, 2013

        Sure eddie sure LOL. OK you keep giving your money to a country that is 17 trillion in debt and you see no waste yeah you maybe a republican but you are no conservative.

        1. mandinka November 15, 2013

          you sound like a moron

  3. dana becker November 13, 2013

    “Three-quarters of the national debt on the day Barack Obama became president in 2009 was rung up in the 20 years of Reagan and the two Bushes.

    Obama has run up the federal debt enormously, but he has also brought the federal budget deficit down by more than half in dollars and nearly 60 percent as a share of the economy. Polls show fewer than 10 percent of Americans know this, but the latest polling data suggests these facts may finally be seeping into the public consciousness.”

    Facts the Republicans don’t like or want the average American to know.

    1. robertbenefiel@att.net November 14, 2013

      Really, Obamas was given the ball so far behind the line of scrimmage and the feeling was lets see what he can due with that and we will trip him up and then we can say, see he is a failure.

      1. Allan Richardson November 14, 2013

        The Republicans have been doing to Obama what David did to Uriah so he would be free to marry Bathsheba.

        (The story is in your Bible, in 1st Kings.)

    2. David Silbernagel November 16, 2015

      To run the budget deficient sky high the first two years in office just so you can say you brought it down by half in the last five years is being very dishonest. If the yearly deficient is still higher then the average under other presidents then I say you are being dishonest with your rhetoric!!

  4. GaryReber November 13, 2013

    There is no question that corporate tax rates need to be raised significantly with the carrot extended to corporations to exempt them from the corporate tax if they 1) pay out fully the earnings of the company to the stock owners (which would then be taxed at the personal level) and 2) finance all future growth using financial mechanisms that will create new stock owners––namely employees and non-employees. Such mechanisms include Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) trusts and Capital Homesteading Accounts (CHA), both utilizing future earnings as the means to pay off the capital credit loans issued by banks for investment by corporations desiring to expand.

    While CAPITAL OWNERSHIP is not in the consciousness of the American people, largely due to their lack of education on the subject and exclusion from the primary source of income and wealth accumulation that benefit the rich, we must forge leadership that will focus on OWNERSHIP CREATION of the capital assets of corporations by which over time EVERY American can accumulate a viable, diversified portfolio of wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets in the form of stock ownership in corporations that pay out fully their earnings and extend full voting rights to every stockholder.

    As constructed, the poll focused on jobs rather than being inclusive to include stock ownership as well. Yet a focus on jobs is not the solution as tectonic shifts in the technologies of production of the products and services needed and wanted by society is exponentially destroying jobs and devaluing the worth of labor as corporate America replaces human labor with non-human instruments of production.

    While this is the reality, by embracing “full production” rather than “full employment,” in the relative short term “full employment” will occur because every person willing and able to work will be needed to build a future economy that will support general affluence for EVERY citizen. At the same time corporations will benefit from the populous support to keep labor input and other costs at a minimum in order to maximize profits for the owners––which will consist of both the current ownership class and a new, ever expanding ownership class that ultimately comprises EVERY citizen. With such structural reform America will be able to compete more effectively on a global basis as American corporations will be able to operate far more efficiently with less costly overhead. Such structural reform will put us on a path to prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice without taking from those who already own and destroying the principles of private property, and without having to rely on redistribution of wealth and income to support the masses needing taxpayer-supported government welfare sourced from tax extraction and national debt .

    Other necessary structural reforms in addition to encouraging corporations to pay out all their profits as taxable personal incomes to avoid paying corporate income taxes and to finance their growth by issuing new full dividend payout shares for broad-based citizen ownership, would include:

    • Eliminate all tax loopholes and subsidies,

    • Provide an exemption of $100,000 for a family of four to meet their ordinary living needs,

    • Eliminate the payroll tax on workers and their employers, but

    • Pay out of general revenues for all promises for Social Security, Medicare, Medicare, government pensions, health, education, rent and subsistence vouchers for the poor until their new jobs and ownership accumulations provide new incomes to substitute for the taxpayer dollars to fill these needs.

    • The tax rate would be a single rate for all incomes from all sources above the personal exemption levels so that the budget could be balanced automatically and even allow the government to pay off the growing unsustainable long-term debt, but the poor would pay the first dollar over their exemption levels as would the hedge fund operator and others now earning billions of dollars from capital gains, dividends, rents and other property incomes which under some tax proposals would be exempted from any taxes.

    • As a substitute for inheritance and gift taxes, a transfer tax would be imposed on the recipients whose holdings exceeded $1 million, thus encouraging the super-rich to spread out their monopoly-sized estates to all members of their family, friends, servants and workers who helped create their fortunes, teachers, health workers, police, other public servants, military veterans, artists, the poor and the disabled.

    • The Federal Reserve would stop monetizing unproductive debt, including bailouts of banks “too big to fail” and Wall Street derivatives speculators, and

    • Begin creating an asset-backed currency that could enable every man, woman and child to establish a Capital Homestead Account or “CHA” (a super-IRA or asset tax-shelter for citizens) at their local bank to acquire a growing dividend-bearing stock portfolio to supplement their incomes from work and all other sources of income.

    • The CHA would process an equal allocation of productive credit to every citizen exclusively for purchasing full-dividend payout shares in corporations needing funds for growing the economy and private sector jobs for local, national and global markets,

    • The shares would be purchased on credit wholly backed by projected “future savings” in the form of new productive capital assets as well as the future marketable goods and services produced by the newly added technology, renewable energy systems, plant, rentable space and infrastructure added to the economy.

    • Risk of default on each stock acquisition loan would be covered by private sector capital credit risk insurance and reinsurance, but

    • Would not require citizens to reduce their funds for consumption to purchase shares.

    The end result is that citizens would become empowered as owners to meet their own consumption needs and government would become more dependent on economically independent citizens, thus reversing current global trends where all citizens will eventually become dependent for their economic well-being on our only legitimate monopoly –– the State –– and whatever elite controls the coercive powers of government.

    This is the Just Third Way (http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797) advocated by the Center for Economic and Social Justice (www.cesj.org) and the essence of the proposed Capital Homestead Act at http://www.cesj.org/homestead/index.htm and http://www.cesj.org/homestead/summary-cha.htm. See the full Act at http://cesj.org/homestead/strategies/national/cha-full.pdf

    1. Allan Richardson November 14, 2013

      “The Capitalist Manifesto” by Kelso and Adler. I read that in 1962 and wondered whatever happened to it. One little tweak, however: they did not write about ways to protect that “nest egg” from unscrupulous people and corporations doing what happened to many people’s 401(k) plans and home values in the last decade.

      1. GaryReber November 14, 2013

        The 401(k) “investments” are in stock traded on the casino floor of the exchanges with no or minimum earnings dividend payouts to the owners. We advocate a system where corporations are incentivized to pay out fully earnings as dividends to the owners and finance future growth by issuing and selling new shares of stock with citizens using insured capital credit loans to purchase the stock. The corporate tax rate, thus needs to be increased significantly. Once increased corporations can zero out their tax obligations by documenting expanded individual ownership and full payout of earnings and full voting rights extended to the owners.

        1. Allan Richardson November 14, 2013

          I agree that this would make accumulation of capital estates less risky than currently. I still would want some insurance against sudden catastrophic loss of principal, perhaps similar to the PBGC. Also, I would want the law changed so that only shares held by INDIVIDUALS have voting rights, to prevent company-eat-company skullduggery. In the case of shares in a mutual fund, voting rights could be in the individuals who own shares OF the mutual fund, with some kind of proportional “electoral college” type of math.

          1. GaryReber November 15, 2013

            Yes, always individuals an Yes, alw always individuals and full voting rights and full earnings dividend payouts. Commercial capital credit insurance is one means to provide insurance against investment failure or a government
            reinsurance agency (ala the Federal Housing Administration concept). The promissory note can be offset to the government’s central
            Federal Reserve Bank in return for the cash equivalent of the amount of the
            loan, less an administrative fee. The only cost to the direct lending bank in
            making a loan to the corporation would be the administrative fee, or about 2
            percent of the loan’s principal and then another 2 percent for capital credit
            insurance, with an additional quarter of a percent paid to the Federal Reserve
            Bank to monetize the loan and give the lender the same cash as it would have
            had if it had actually loaned money to the corporation. The lender’s cash
            loaned to the holding trust, such as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) trust or Capital Homestead Account (CHA), is replenished with the Federal Reserve Bank cash.
            When the company pays the ESOP trust or CHA enough money to enable the trust or the CHA to repay
            the lender, the lender has to retrieve the note and pay back the Federal
            Reserve Bank. Thus, the loan cost would be essentially not more than 5 percent
            to allow ownership broadening financial capital to be in­vested in ownership
            broadening ESOP trusts and CHAs to create new capitalists. Thus, national capital credit
            insurance replaces the requirement for the current corporate owners to pledge
            security. Such financial mechanisms become Super IRAs accounts with multiple company diversification.

            see “Financing Economic Growth With ‘FUTURE SAVINGS’: Solutions To Protect America From Economic Decline” at NationOfChange.org http://www.nationofchange.org/financing-future-economic-growth-future-savings-solutions-protect-america-economic-decline-137450624, “The Income Solution To Slow Private Sector Job Growth” at http://www.nationofchange.org/income-solution-slow-private-sector-job-growth-1378041490, and “A Solution To Eroding Retirement Security” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-reber/a-solution-to-eroding-retirement_b_4103834.html and at http://www.nationofchange.org/solution-eroding-retirement-security-1382020223.

            Support the Capital Homestead Act at http://www.cesj.org/homestead/index.htm and http://www.cesj.org/homestead/summary-cha.htm. See the full Act at http://cesj.org/homestead/strategies/national/cha-full.pdf

          2. Allan Richardson November 15, 2013

            You seem to know what you’re talking about. Are you going to run for President? Maybe start a movement to take over the Republican Party (I’m a Democrat, but if there were a more REASONABLE alternative that would promote values of the Democrats BETTER than the Democratic leadership does, and if it removed the DIS-alternative of Republican voodoo from the debate, then maybe …).

            On second thought, your ideas are too “liberal” (meaning, aimed at protecting the average American and lifting up the poor to become average) to be Republican. They are just a different, possibly better, strategy to achieve true equality of opportunity, while first doing no economic harm to anyone.

            The planet is in need of an economic system that does not require “infinite growth” to be stable and healthy, which means that we need to phase out the 100 percent labor force idea once the task of catching up and making “green” the standard of living of the undeveloped countries has been done. Your ideas may be a good way to get there.

          3. GaryReber November 15, 2013

            Alan, I appreciate your encouragement. Please friend me on Facebook and visit my blog at http://www.foreconomicjustice.org.

  5. midway54 November 13, 2013

    The rightwinger servants of our Gilded Age II Plutocracy to which they are dedicated will continue to ignore the wishes of the public in this area as well as others.

    1. JSquercia January 19, 2014

      Let’s not forget that most of our so called representatives are Millionaires themselves

      1. midway54 January 20, 2014

        Absolutely, and much of the window-dressing rhetoric coming from most of the Democrats allegedly concerned with plight of the average American under our plutocracy really masks their hope that some of their proposals for relief will be unacceptable to the political opposition so that there will never be any earnest committee hearings with markups and thus little chance that either chamber will ever vote on them.

  6. howa4x November 14, 2013

    Americans what things done. They want the roads repaired, the bridges fixed, college tuition more affordable and want the wealthy to share the burden, no matter what Grover Norquist says. The meltdown of the economy and the recovery of which 80% went to the upper 10% really woke people up. Republicans have been hostile to any stimulus and that hasn’t gone un noticed. People have already played the game of tax cuts for the rich and it hasn’t produced the jobs promised. Bill gates took his and built a factory in Bangalore India, and Jobs took his and transferred all production of IPhones to China. What we should be doing is tax every job that is shipped out, and not one penny of any federal money should go to any corporation that doesn’t manufacture 100% of the products here. The middle class has to wake up and realize that it can’t cast their lot with the 1% that could care less about them.

  7. Mark Forsyth November 14, 2013

    For those who are doubtful about our economic disparity or are sitting on the fence about the need to fix it,consider this: In America today- the top 1% owns 38% of financial wealth.The Walton Family of Wal-Mart owns more wealth than the bottom 40%,the top 400 individuals have more wealth than the bottom half of the nation-more than 150 million people.
    In terms of income,the top 1% earns more income than the bottom 50%,while the wealthiest 16000 Americans who make more than $10 million per year saw income increase by a third from 2011 to 2012. From 2009 to 2012,95% of all new income went to the top1%.Since 1999 median family income declined by more than $5000 after inflation adjustments.
    Currently,46.5 million people in the U.S. live in poverty.We have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world at 21.8%. Over 9% of seniors lived in poverty last year.Higher than in 2009.There were more seniors in poverty last year than in 1972.
    Median family income declined in recent years while the number of millionaires and billionaires has grown.In 1996 there were 121 billionaires in the U.S..Today there are 442. Yet there are those both in and out of government who insist that the rich must not be taxed.
    And there are people who wonder why revolutions occur.

  8. mandinka November 14, 2013

    Yu only have t look who Hart Associates does polling for to see how out of touch they are. Its a who’s who left wing nuts

  9. Defend Liberty November 20, 2013

    Without the constraints of private property & private enterprise, collectivists could more easily force people to chase “social justice”.

  10. joshua88 February 21, 2014

    I love your articles, Mr Johnston, but you know as well as I do that the Political Class is lightyears away from the public. Everybody is more concerned about electoral politics. The Republicans have lost the ability to feel or exhibit shame and the hypocrisy of the Dems is startling.

    When the Obama admin took up the mantle of debt/deficit, the chance to make concrete changes were blown. As much as the “talk” might be encouraging, this is another election year, so nothing will get passed.
    Funny thing about elections is that we have them every two years, so the actual window to legislate is small. It gets smaller every year because of the divisiveness, the partisanship, the out-of-touch legislators, etc.
    The Congressional calendar is an embarrassment and nobody who has a job on the line will vote for anything even remotely controversial. (I realize that controversy is in the eyes of the beholder, though.)

    In these issues (taxes, the economy, jobs) I think that putting forward an agenda, even if it has no chance of passing, is better than not – and far better than not doing something, like an adequate Stimulus, because the numbers wouldn’t fly in the Congress.

    They (the Dems) can’t just pick popular issues because they play well, but most of the time, that’s all it is. I don’t trust many of these people to do what’s right for the vast majority of people.

    It’s encouraging to know that some of the citizens are more aware than even I would given them credit for being, but popular sentiment doesn’t mean a lot when it comes to certain legislation. Until the Millionaire Caucuses get a clue about how to govern, and write laws that show they are serious, nothing will progress. It took about three decades to get here – how long before we realistically see some changes?

  11. Denominator August 26, 2014

    Isn’t it amazing that more people don’t vote to have someone else pay their taxes.

  12. mardec November 15, 2015

    The rubbish I’m reading here on this blog simply blows my mind. How simplistic and utopian can you get? Read on folks.


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