Redistribution is a fact of life. The tax code, by it’s very nature, redistributes wealth. It has to, in order “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States“.
The real question is: What kind of redistribution works best for the country?
The republicans have embraced upward redistribution, a strategy that is decimating the middle class. In a consumption economy, this is fiscal suicide.
The Democrats embrace a strategy that funnels more money back into the economy, empowering demand and driving sustainable growth. This is a strategy that built the United States into the superpower it is today.
It is a strategy that predates either modern political party. From the Louisiana Purchase to the Alaska Purchase, tax money has been used for expansion from the very beginning. Land given to farmers and ranchers, schools and land grant colleges.
And the transcontinental railroad, much of it wasted by corporate greed.
The G.I. Bill helped create a golden age of prosperity, even as the rich were heavily taxed.
State agricultural colleges and their extension services made farmers more productive. Hydroelectric dams, the interstate highway system, NASA, DARPA…all created opportunities or entire new segments of the economy.
We would not be who we are if not for the kind of government spending that republicans are opposed to.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
The first amendment gives specific protection to the press because it is intended to be the watchdog of the country, exposing problems in both the government and the private sector.
The commercialization of the news has nearly eliminated the watchdog role of the press, pushing it more toward schmoozing the audience instead of informing them.
Jaco dropped the ball because intellectual incuriousity has become the new normal. Fact checking has been drowned in the bathtub for economic and political reasons. It is no surprise that conservatives want to go after PBS as the last bastion of the fourth estate not corrupted by commercial interests.
If Newsweek is not fact-checking their articles before publishing, then they are more of a news kiosk than a reliable news outlet.
The decline of journalism represents a tangible threat to the survival of democracy in America.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
- Rep. Akin’s Response To Jaco Report (fox2now.com)
- Sen. Candidate Todd Akin Makes Controversial Statement About Rape (fox4kc.com)
By rejecting their constitutional responsibilities to provide advice and consent on these nominations, by substituting extreme obstruction for reasons unrelated to the qualifications and merits of the individual nominee, by doing this for pure political brinksmanship, the republicans have created a constitutional crisis.
They have defied the constitution to the point that the government therein defined can no longer function. President Obama took drastic action to minimize the damage, but this particular crisis will persist as long as conservative extremists remain in the Senate in sufficient numbers to sustain a filibuster.
The filibuster was never meant to be used as the republicans are using it. It is supposed to be a lever, not a straightjacket.
The oath to support and defend the Constitution carries the implied oath to support “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States”. Even the ones republicans hate.
Without that support, we are not a nation of laws. Without that support, we do not have a constitutional government.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
What I have been wondering is why Reid and the other Democrats have been going along with the pro-forma sessions in the first place. If they refused to not recess, and the House wanted to, then there would be disagreement between the two and Article II sec. 3 could be invoked. This would let the President dictate the time of recess and reconvening.
My freshman year at college, I lived in the West Quad. When I moved in, the returning residents were displeased with Leon West, who ran the Quad. In defiance, they had hung this big banner from the windows (facing the center of the quad) of one of the houses that said “Leon West, Eat My Shorts!”It was the first thing I ever saw of campus life.
Nearly 40 years later I have long forgotten what the dispute was over, but the memory of that protest banner still remains.
In honor of Allen West, his despicable lies, his deep prejudices, his extremely divisive assertion that liberals should “get the hell out of the United States of America”, and the eternal spirit of protest, I reprise that old cry of defiance:
Allen West, Eat My Shorts!
The Wall Street Journal opinion piece passes out the business-centric blinders.
“No employer is going to hire a worker based on such a small and temporary decrease in employment costs, as this year’s tax holiday has demonstrated. The entire exercise is political, but Republicans have thoroughly botched the politics.”
True, but not the point of the exercise. Employers will hire when they see customers with money coming their way – which is the point of the tax holiday: Putting more money in consumer pockets. Wasn’t it the republicans who said that people know best how to spend their own money? Conservatives consistently devalue the necessity of funding the demand side of supply and demand. Instead, they are aggressively working to weaken the economic foundation of the middle class.
“Their first mistake was adopting the President’s language that he is proposing a tax cut rather than calling it a temporary tax holiday. People will understand the difference—and discount the benefit.”
So people will understand when it comes time to end the Bush “tax holiday” for the rich?
“Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.”
Except that Obama44 has been cutting taxes. The “tax holiday” in question is only one example. Conservatives keep changing the definitions. Either the House republicans have voted for a middle-class tax increase, or we need to end one of the largest unfunded tax holidays ever.
Conservatives are nibbling at the edges of doublethink. The Obama44 cuts to payroll taxes and the Bush43 income tax cuts to income taxes are both temporary cuts. There is one notable difference between the two though. The Obama cuts are being paid for – how is a major point of contention. The Bush43 cuts went straight to the national debt.
The President and the Democrats want the rich to pay for extending the payroll tax cuts, and put some of that idle money back in circulation as an economic stimulus. The republicans want the middle class and poor to pay for it, which would negate the simulative effect and hurt the economy in the long term. Redistribution of wealth at its most ineffective.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
- Republicans lose the Wall Street Journal on tax cut ‘fiasco’ (dailykos.com)
- WSJ: GOP botched tax debate (thehill.com)
- How the Republicans lost the upper hand in payroll tax debate – Washington Post (blog) (washingtonpost.com)
- House GOP takes beating over payroll tax (cbsnews.com)
- House Passes Bill… for New Churchill Bust (newser.com)
- GOP senator says Republicans need to resolve payroll tax fight and ‘move on’ (thehill.com)
- Romney Boldly Refuses To Take Sides On Payroll Tax Holiday (alan.com)
The FAA shut down over House Republicans’ insistence on including anti-union provisions in the agency’s re-authorization bill and the airlines are poised to collect $1.3 billion or more of extra profits in forgone taxes. With the FAA unable to collect the $28.6 million a day in aviation taxes it usually takes in, some of the […]
This has become a most interesting situation.
CANTOR: And what airlines have done is have stepped in and said, well, if we’re not going to pay that money to the federal government, we’re going to keep it towards our own bottom line. And I guess that’s what business does.
This is not just an admission that businesses are predatory, but that conservatives approve of it. But where does the Fair Tax Act come in? Because the Fair Tax is based partly on the premise that 23% of the price of a product is due to business taxes, and if the business is relieved of that tax burden it will reduce the price 23%. Cantor has just admitted that businesses won’t do that, because keeping the money (or as much as they can get away with) is how business works.
“disingenuous” is the word I have been looking for. Yet I remain flabbergasted at the disingenuousness of the republican party. It shows utter contempt for the democratic process, the foundation of our national identity.
“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.”
~ James Freeman Clarke, Sermon
By their own admission, republicans have been focused on the next election since the beginning of Obama44. This has directly resulted in bad policy and bad government.
It is hard to believe that conservatives care about this country. They seem to believe in something that few people would recognize as America, or want to live in.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I usually reserve my analysis for the republican clunkers. This is the first time I have analyzed a Democrat Bill.
[Congressional Bills 112th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 1116 Introduced in House (IH)] 112th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1116 To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES March 16, 2011 _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Respect for Marriage Act''. SEC. 2. REPEAL OF SECTION ADDED TO TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE, BY SECTION 2 OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT. Section 1738C of title 28, United States Code, is repealed, and the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to that section. SEC. 3. MARRIAGE RECOGNITION. Section 7 of title 1, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``Sec. 7. Marriage ``(a) For the purposes of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State. ``(b) In this section, the term `State' means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or possession of the United States.''. <all>
This Act is about general marriage equality, but I like the term “Respect” too. Technical accuracy is rarely inspirational or engaging.
This raises a question I have wondered about before: is it enough to say that a section is repealed, or should the bill also include instructions to delete the section from existing code?
I am concerned with the difference in wording between DOMA and RMA.
Constitutional Authority Statement:
By Mr. NADLER:H.R. 1116.Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuantto the following:Clause 18 of Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution,and Section 5 of Amendment XIV to the Constitution.
Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 18:
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
I do not see anything in section 8 that applies to marriage. FAIL
Amend XIV, Sec. 5:
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
I do not see anything in the 14th amendment that applies to marriage. FAIL
Amend XIV, Sec. 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This refers to state law and state restrictions, where the Bill refers to federal law and federal recognition. This Amendment is irrelevant to the Bill. FAIL
These are prove-nothing vague citations that fail to specify any particular power or authority. Mr. Nadler needs to be more thorough:
Article IV, section 1:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Article IV, section 2:
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
Article IV, section 3, Clause 2:
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage’ and `spouse’
`In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 6 the following new item:
`7. Definition of `marriage’ and `spouse’.’.
To properly generalize the definitions, it seems to me that the starting point should be the original language.
If I had written the Bill:
_______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Respect for Marriage Act''. SEC. 2. REPEAL OF SECTION ADDED TO TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE, BY SECTION 2 OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT. Section 1738C of title 28, United States Code, is repealed and stricken, and the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to that section. SEC. 3. MARRIAGE AND SPOUSE RECOGNITION. Section 7 of title 1, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``Sec. 7. Marriage and Spouses ``(a) For the purposes of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States in which marital status is a factor, (1) an individual shall be considered married if (A) that individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, (B) in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State. (2) the person an individual is married to is considered to be the spouse of that individual, irrespective of gender. ``(b) In this section, the term `State' means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or possession of the United States.''. <all>
Constitutional Authority Statement:By Author:H.R. 1116.Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuantto the following:U.S. Const., art. IV, sec. 1,U.S. Const., art. IV, sec. 2,U.S. Const., art. IV, sec. 3, cl. 214th Amendment, sec. 1
This Bill applies to federal laws, contracts, policies, and programs. It does not apply to State laws, etc. with the possible exception where the two interact. Such a situation would be best resolved case by case rather than attempting a catch-all set of laws or policies.
The republicans will never accept equal rights or freedom of religion for beliefs they do not agree with. The majority of people, however, believe it is time to end this discrimination.
Obviously, I am not impressed with the wording or the authority citation, and I hope they fix it before it does get passed – someday.
- Obama Backs Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act (latimes.com)
- Should the Defense of Marriage Act Be Repealed? (usnews.com)
- You: Repealing Defense of Marriage Act is cast as a civil rights matter (latimes.com)
- Supporters, foes sound off on marriage law repeal (sfgate.com)
- “Respect” For Marriage Act Would Repeal DOMA (themoderatevoice.com)
“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”
I wonder if her class on the Constitution made it as far as the First Amendment. She simply does not believe in Separation of Church and State. This tells us, in turn, that she does not comprehend the reason for Separation – or, for that matter, the demands and limitations of democracy.
As far as scientific issues go, she’s wrong on that point too. A federal court ruled that intelligent design is NOT science, but religion presented as science. I guess that law degree from a faith-based “university” isn’t really working for her. One would think that her time at William & Mary School of Law would have straightened her out on the law.
- BBC: ‘Intelligent design’ teaching ban
- Bachmann’s Unrivaled Extremism
- Bachmann: teach both sides, no matter how stupid (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Republican Leadership Conference 2011: Pragmatism vs. principle. (slate.com)