The Fake Budget Debate

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Shamus Cooke: This two-party big lie is not an accident, but an expression of a deeper held belief: that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations.

Tax War!

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Tina Dupuy: Republicans claim to be the arbiters of fiscal discipline, but their record says otherwise. The Ryan Plan, which passed the House, was like a cat burglar writing the charter for the neighborhood watch.

The Saccharine Republican Ire

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Joseph Palermo: The “conservatives” and “Tea Partiers” are quite convincing at playing the aggrieved victims, but what, exactly, do they have to be “aggrieved” about?

The Republican Shakedown

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Robert Reich: As long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all about government and unions.

Fighting ‘Divide and Conquer’ in Wisconsin

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Lydia Howell: Madison is ground zero for resistance to the dismantling of workers’ rights and cutting anything in government budgets that serves human needs while corporate “persons” get subsidies and tax cuts and are in effect made exempt from law supposedly governing such offenses as pollution and worker safety.

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The Coming Shutdowns and Showdowns: What’s Really at Stake

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Robert Reich: Public budgets are in trouble because revenues plummeted over the last two years of the Great Recession. They’re also in trouble because of tax giveaways to the rich.

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.

Why the Attacks on Public Sector Workers and Their Unions

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Seymour Slavin: Ultimately, the way to overcome the fog of misstatements is to bring the truth to the American people. Thus, the attack against public sector unions can be viewed in its true light—protect the super rich and disarm the voice of the people—the trade union movement.

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The Republican Strategy

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Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

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Obama Returns U.S. Politics to 1995

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Randy Shaw: Republican policies that drove the U.S. economy into the deepest ditch since the Great Depression are given equal credibility with Obama’s. It is as if the past fifteen years and the 2008 elections never occurred. How did this happen?

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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.

Jerry Brown’s Karma

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Tom Hayden: It’s possible that Brown will take to blaming Washington’s priorities for California’s ills, but not any time soon. For now, he wants Californians to see themselves in the mirror.

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.

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.

What’s at Stake in Tax-Cut Deal

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Norman Solomon: More than two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his decision to make a tax-cut deal with Republican leaders, the shock waves continue to buffet many Democrats and others who are stunned by the grim implications.

Tax Deal Will Normalize Bush Era

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Joseph Palermo: Whatever President Obama accomplished during his first two years in office, with most of the heavy lifting thrown on Nancy Pelosi’s shoulders, his decision to normalize the sweeping changes in American governance of the George W. Bush period will likely neutralize any lasting positive effects for Democrats.

Why the Bush-Era Tax Cuts Should Not Be Extended to the Nation’s Top 2%

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Tracy Emblem: Let’s give the new legislation which provides tax breaks and job incentives for “small businesses” time to work before blindly accepting McConnell’s argument that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses. We must start closing the deficit gap.

America’s Future in Global Economy: This Week’s Words and Deeds

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Robert Reich: By extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, shrinking the estate tax, and freezing discretionary spending (on everything except defense), Obama’s leaving almost nothing for education and infrastructure.

The Big Economic Story; Why Obama Isn’t Telling It

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Robert Reich: In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top.

The Showdown On Tax Cuts for the Rich

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Robert Reich: In political terms, a strong stand enables the President to clearly demonstrate who’s side he’s on (the working and middle class that’s still bearing the brunt of this lousy economy) and who’s side the Republicans are on (the powerful and privileged who brought much of this on, and who are now doing just fine).

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week

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Robert Reich: The best outcome would be an agreement to extend the tax cuts for the bottom 99 percent, for two years. This would stimulate the economy in the short term when it most needs it, and reduce the long-term deficit.

Obama Wooing Economic Royalists

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Norman Solomon: The best way to defeat right-wing xenophobic “populism” is to build genuine progressive populism. In the process, we can draw on the spirit of the New Deal.

Looking Forward

Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Why the Lame Duck Congress Must Extend Jobless Benefits For Hard-Hit Families But Not Tax Cuts For the Rich

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Robert Reich: Don’t extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Give unemployment benefits to people who need them.

Republicans Beware!

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TEd Vaill: The Republicans should remember that the vote in the 2010 elections, especially in Middle America, was not a vote of support for them, as their approval rating is worse than the Democrats, but it is a sign of huge discontent: a house that is underwater, with no relief from their crushing mortgage debt in sight, a job that has vanished or is in danger of being shipped overseas, diminishing hope that they will be able to afford to send their kids to college, and a feeling that their government has turned a blind eye to their problems.

Deficit Commission: Keynesian by Default

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John Peeler: The fact is, neither liberals nor conservatives, neither Republicans nor Democrats, have the stomach for the major sacrifices that Simpson and Bowles are calling for, and it’s not at all clear that the public in general is ready either.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

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Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

Do We Have Common Ground?

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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.

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