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.

Don’t Fall for GOP “Budget Crisis” Lie

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Robert Reich: Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

California’s Silence of the Scams

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Craig Williams: The best cure for California’s budget problems might be a big statewide tax reform campaign based on the commercial property tax legislation proposed by the progressive organization Cal Tax Reform (CTR) and sponsored by Assembly member Tom Aminao.

Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

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Ivan Eland: Deep down, both Republican and Democratic politicians believe something needs to be done about the monstrous and dangerous deficit and debt, but they are scared to do anything because, unfortunately, the American people want their government handouts but are unwilling to pay for them.

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.

A Crock Pot Tax-Exempt Idea

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Walter Brasch: “There are four million words in the IRS Code,” said Marshbaum. “Lower-class and middle-class Americans get a few thousand of those words. The rest of the code is a roadmap to help the wealthy and their corporations avoid paying taxes.”

War and Workers

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Lydia Howell: Whether it’s debt-ridden college graduates working as baristas or small town youth with only fast-food and Wal-Mart as post-high school career options, high unemployment keeps a volunteer military ranks full.

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

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Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

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.

Why Inequality Matters

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The only alternative available to working people that offers real prospects for success are mass mobilizations in the streets and strikes – the kind of militant struggles that scored so many gains in the 1930s.

Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson

Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

The Perfect Storm

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Robert Reich: The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.

Watch “Deficit Hawks” Rush to Defend Pentagon Bloat

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Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.