Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Call

McClatchy's Steven Thomma notes the much larger picture with all the GOP Clown Car Kids and their nifty tax plans:  every single one of them would shift the federal tax burder to the middle and lower class, cut taxes for the wealthy, and destroy revenues, necessitating more cuts in social programs when Americans need them more than ever.

The flat tax — so called because it offers one flat rate for taxpayers in all income groups while taking away many or all deductions — would simplify taxes. It also would almost certainly give big tax cuts to wealthy Americans. Republicans believe that cutting taxes, especially on the wealthy, helps to spur investment, economic growth and hiring.

At the same time, most of the Republican candidates are proposing other changes that also would mean big tax cuts for high-income Americans, such as eliminating taxes on dividend income or capital gains, and eliminating the estate tax, called the death tax by Republicans.

Their push comes at the same time that Democratic President Barack Obama is pushing to raise taxes on higher-income Americans. He's proposed raising taxes on those making more than $200,000 and has endorsed a push by Senate Democrats to raise taxes on incomes above $1 million.

The debate comes as new data show that the very wealthiest Americans have greatly increased their share of U.S. income in recent decades. The richest 1 percent claimed 17 percent of American income in 2007, more than double their 8 percent share in 1979, according to a report this week from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Protest over growing income inequality is also among the motive issues driving the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations around the country.

Polls show that a solid majority of Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy. But that's anathema in the Republican Party, where tax cuts, particularly for higher incomes, are popular. Seven in 10 Americans say that policies of Republicans in Congress favor the rich, according to a New York Times poll published Wednesday.

There's little doubt the Republican presidential candidates' proposals would cut taxes on the wealthy.

And now even Mittens is lining up to join the Flat Tax flatheads. Herman Cain's real purpose was to get Republicans excited about voting against their self-interests, with now all of the major candidates in the GOP offering different ways to destroy Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid and transfer even more wealth and income to the super rich at the expense of everyone else.

But then again, that's the point of the entire GOP, isn't it?

Introducing Zandar's Law

You know the right wing is painfully desperate and terrified right now when they play the ACORN card on Occupy Wall Street.  Steve Benen:

About a year ago, there was an unintentionally amusing survey from Public Policy Polling that found 23% of Republicans nationwide feared ACORN may help Democrats steal the election.

ACORN, of course, permanently closed its doors in March 2010, six months before the poll was taken. Groups can’t steal elections if they don’t exist.

Here we are now, more than a year and a half later, and ACORN is but a memory. But Fox News would have its audience believe the non-existent group is still up to no good. Today’s Fox News headline reads: “EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in ‘Occupy’ Movement.”

I hereby propose Zandar's Law:  whenever the right pulls out ACORN to try to discredit anything, they have automatically lost the argument.  It's literally all they've got left at this point, after calling OWS supporters racists, bigots, anti-semites, soshulists, parasites, anarchists, criminals, mobsters, thugs, terrorist sympathizers, potheads, Soros puppets and welfare queens for the last month and some change and Americans still support the movement, we've finally arrived at minions of Sauron ACORN.

Awesome.  You lose, Entire Right Wing Full Of Douchebags.  Good day.

The Lohan Family Portrait

Michael Lohan is cooling his ass in a Tampa jail this morning after getting arrested on suspicion of domestic violence charges.

Tampa Police arrested Lindsay Lohan's dad at 1:10AM ET after they responded to reports of a fight between Michael and a live-in girlfriend. Law enforcement sources confirm it was Lohan's on again-off again GF Kate Major.

Now this part is classic Lohan: We're told Michael complained of chest pains when he was taken into custody -- so police took him to a hospital. We're told Michael was treated, and then was attempting to slip out of the hospital on his own -- until an officer spotted him, hauled him down to jail and booked him for the alleged domestic violence.
Not since the days of Michael Jackson have we ever seen parents exploit their children to this degree.  Both parents have shamelessly pimped out their daughter, denied she had a drug problem, enabled her nearly to the point of death, and then sell a book about the drug abuse and profit from her misfortune.

I hope they both rot.  It will be better than they deserve.

Follow-Up: School Shooting Arrests

(CNN) -- Two students were in custody Tuesday in connection with a shooting outside a North Carolina high school in which another student was injured, police said.

The incident occurred Monday on the grounds of Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville. A high school student was shot in the neck. She was in stable condition at a hospital Monday afternoon, according to school spokeswoman Theresa Perry.

Ta'Von McLaurin, 18, and a 15-year-old boy were arrested at their homes Monday night, Cumberland County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said Tuesday. The juvenile's name was not released because of his age.

Authorities were led to the boys after they reviewed surveillance camera video that showed them walking in a hallway with a rifle, Tanna said. A .22-caliber rifle was recovered inside the school, she said.

I'm glad to hear the victim is stable.  One has to wonder if she was chosen intentionally or if she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I'm also wondering how two students walk down a hallway with a rifle and nobody notices.  The footage is certainly helpful, but how did they get that far in the first place?

As always, updates to follow as the news catches us up on the facts.

What Happens To Real Heroes

JOPLIN, Mo. -- By all accounts, Mark Lindquist is a hero, an underpaid social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado. Both houses of the Missouri legislature honored Lindquist, the Senate resolution calling him "a true hero and inspiration to others."

But heroism doesn't pay the bills. The tornado's 200 mph winds tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated his shoulder, knocked out most of his teeth and put him in a coma for about two months.

Lindquist, 51, ran up medical expenses that exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming. He requires 11 daily prescriptions and will need more surgery.

But he has no medical insurance. Lindquist couldn't afford it on a job paying barely above minimum wage. He assumed workers' compensation would cover his bills, but his claim was denied "based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado," according to a letter to Lindquist from Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, his company's workers' comp provider.
132 worker's compensation claims were filed, and only eight were denied.  Lindquist is among those denied.  He went above and beyond the call of duty, risking his life to protect those who could not protect themselves.  He nearly died for his efforts, and deserves better than "at least you have your health."  It's a bitter smack in the face to those who take their duty as caregivers seriously.  His life will be forever ruined because of his act of greatness, and before the tornado he was like so many who cannot afford health insurance.  On one end or the other, this poor guy deserves a break.  However, he isn't likely to get one.  And that, friends, is the reality of a hero in today's world.

Greek Fire, Part 43

German lawmakers are expected to approve the latest maneuver to save the euro's butt this week, but only after putting a limit on the price tag.

German lawmakers are set to back a planned increase in the European rescue fund’s capacity, removing one hurdle in the path of Chancellor Angela Merkel as she prepares for a summit on tackling the euro-area debt crisis.

Merkel is due to address lower-house lawmakers on the crisis at about noon in Berlin today before the government puts plans to bulk up the 440 billion-euro ($612 billion) backstop to a vote. The coalition ensured cross-party support after persuading the main opposition Social Democrats and Greens to sign up to a motion that includes a cap on German guarantees.

“This greatly strengthens the negotiating positions of the government and the chancellor” as she heads to the summit in Brussels from the lower house, or Bundestag, Volker Kauder, the floor leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc, told reporters in Berlin yesterday after the CDU caucus met.

German backing to increase the effectiveness of the European Financial Stability Facility is one piece in the crisis-fighting jigsaw puzzle being assembled in Europe’s capitals. Agreement is still missing on how to bolster the EFSF, reductions in Greece’s debt load and recapitalizing banks. 

It's a start, and I still think it's more or less too late to save the eurozone at this point, but Europe is going to give one last try to stopping the ever-burning Greek Fire before it immolates the continent and the global financial community...oh and the US as well.

Still, it's necessary for Germany to lead the way here.  Nobody else in the EU is going to at this point.  But I have to wonder how large the German appetite for schisse truly is.

Bringing Home The Bacon

Here's your chart of the day, courtesy TPM:

And the best part of Reaganomics tripling the income of America's wealthy? This was *before* the economy fell apart and the numbers for the vast majority of the rest Americans plummeted over the last four years.

So yes, trickle-down economics trickled down and ate the foundation beneath your feet. Enjoy the hole we're in, for we've been digging it since 1980.


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