Givers, Takers, and Voters

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Steve Hochstadt: So we end up with the same racial profiling that conservatives have been using to win votes since Richard Nixon’s southern strategy. The euphemisms change, but the intent is the same.

Can Democrats Fix California?

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Dotty Lemieux: All is not gloom and doom for the Golden State after all. And if we tackle the inequities in Proposition 13, especially the ones favoring the largest corporate abusers, the outlook could become all the more rosy.

Mitt’s 13% Tax

mitt romney greed

Robert Reich: omney admits to an income of over $20 million a year for the last several decades. Which makes his 13 percent — or even 20 percent — violate the principle of equal sacrifice that lies at the core of our notion of tax fairness.

The Right to Shirk

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John T. Cumbler: Indiana ’s proposed “Right to Work” Act is not just anti-union, it is anti-democratic. Under the law if a majority of workers in a plant vote for a union, those who opposed the union would not have to contribute dues to the union.

Who’s the Scrooge?

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Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.

Herman Cain No More

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Steve Hochstadt: Palin and Cain are not foolish. They recognized that the elemental ideas of the Tea Party supporters could be exploited by slick slogans and political gimmicks.

Flat Tax a Flat-Out Fraud

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Robert Reich: All flat-tax proposals benefit the rich more than the poor for one simple reason: Today’s tax code is still at least moderately progressive. The rich usually pay a higher percent of their incomes in income taxes than do the poor. A flat tax would eliminate that slight progressivity.

A Unified Theory of War and Taxes

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David Swanson: Taxes are a byproduct of wars. Were it not for wars and war propaganda, this country would have never begun paying taxes. If we were to end wars, and only if we were to end wars, we could consider ending taxes too.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ Income Tax Oversight?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Miles Blue: Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, over a four year period, failed to report his wife’s rather substantial income. A one-time failure may be human error; a four-time failure is a willful, criminal, act. Thomas deserves impeachment. His behavior is not acceptable for a Supreme Court Justice.

Is No New Taxes What Voters Really Want?

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Steve Hochstadt: The voters spoke in November: They picked Quinn and a tax increase over Brady and no new taxes. One reason is that Brady could not identify for voters where he would cut much spending. The opponents of taxes did not propose any reasonable alternative to raising taxes to solve Illinois’ debt crisis.

The Big Lie

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Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

Do We Have Common Ground?

hopey changey

Steve Hochstadt: If we tune out the shouting, we might find that we American voters are not at war with each other. Tuesday’s results included several messages about national policy that most Americans agree on.

The Politics of Taxes

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Tracy Emblem: Bush Tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households – those least in need of additional resources – at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

Could Consume-atives Be Deficient?

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Adam Eran: Consume-atives proclaim we should cut something but seldom propose anything specific. The plan is for bankruptcy court to sort that out, rather than making consume-atives a target for blame. “Take 10% off the top” is another, meaningless Republican proposal in recent budget negotiations. What does that mean, though? Let 10% of the prisoners out? Only treat 90% of the sewage?

Obama Needs To Teach The Public How to Get Out Of The Mess We’re In, But He’s Not

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Robert Reich: The economic lesson President Obama ought to be teaching is that targeted tax cuts, mostly for small business, are good to the extent they give businesses a nudge toward creating more jobs. But businesses won’t begin to create lots of jobs until they have lots of customers. And that won’t happen until lots more Americans have work. The only way to get them work when businesses aren’t hiring is for government to prime the pump.