Robert Reich: The First Amendment is being stood on its head. Money speaks, and an unlimited amount of it can now be spent bribing and cajoling politicians. Yet peaceful assembly is viewed as a public nuisance and removed by force.
Robert Reich: Agreement or not, Washington is on the road to making budget cuts that will slow the economy, increase unemployment, and impose additional hardship on millions of Americans.
Robert Reich: If Occupiers are expelled from specific geographic locations the Occupier movement can shift to broad-based organizing around the simple idea at the core of the movement: It’s time to occupy our democracy.
Robert Reich: Occupiers and others have had enough.
Yet paradoxically the presidential race that officially begins a few months from now is likely to be as passionless as they come.
Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.
Robert Reich: The Court thinks corporations have First Amendment rights to spend as much as they want on politics, and Romney (and most of his fellow Regressives) think they need lower taxes and fewer regulations in order to be competitive. These positions are absurd on their face.
Robert Reich: The Occupier movement is still in its infancy in the United States, but it cannot be stopped. Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game.
Robert Reich: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou decided in favor of democracy yesterday when he announced a national referendum on the draconian budget cuts Europe and the IMF are demanding from Greece in return for bailing it out.
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.
Robert Reich: What better way for Obama to distinguish himself from Romney than to condemn Wall Street’s antics since the bailout, and call for real reform?
Robert Reich: The visa-for-home swap proposal also comes at exactly the same time the nation is actively closing its doors to foreigners who aren’t wealthy. Is this what America is all about?
Robert Reich: Simple fairness requires three things: More tax brackets at the top, higher rates in each bracket, and the treatment of all sources of income (capital gains included) exactly the same.
Robert Reich: Can we just put ideology aside for a moment and be clear about the facts? Consumer spending (70 percent of the economy) is flat or dropping because consumers are losing their jobs and wages, and don’t have the dough. And businesses aren’t hiring because they don’t have enough customers.