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.
Marian Wang: For months, comedian Stephen Colbert has been taking his satire to the field of campaign finance, highlighting how little-known groups can raise and spend unlimited — and sometimes undisclosed — funds on election ads.
Rev. Irene Monroe: Too many of us keep the n-word alive. It also allows Americans to become unconscious and numb in the use and abuse of the power and currency this racial epithet still wields.
Mark Nevin: In the 1964 presidential campaign, Republican Barry Goldwater initially criticized Social Security but then backed away from that criticism after he fell under attack from fellow Republicans. Despite his backpedaling, Goldwater could never shake the label of Social Security foe. Might current Republican front-runner Rick Perry be in a similar situation?
Randy Shaw: When you try to understand how Rick Perry defeated Barack Obama in the 2012 election, look to the summer of 2011. That’s when Obama did almost everything possible to alienate the voters he needs for re-election. Obama began with a humiliating surrender to Republicans on the debt-ceiling deal, leaving even longtime supporters questioning his leadership.
Robert Reich: Of all the nonsense Texas Governor Rick Perry spews about states’ rights and the tenth amendment, his dumbest is the notion that states should go it alone.
David Love: It is not surprising that Perry — whose Texas board of education erased black and Latino civil rights leaders and their accomplishments from the history books — would try to turn the narrative of the civil rights movement into a fight over tax breaks. But it is outrageous, nonetheless.
Jonathan Zimmerman: It’s one thing to oppose same-sex marriage; it is quite another to claim that gay people launched the Nazi Party in Germany. The former is a policy opinion, while the latter is a factual lie. Republican presidential candidates to distinguish between opinions and lies and to denounce those supporters who have made the gay-Nazi claim.