Sunday, November 21, 2010

Neoconservatism is Like Living in a Parallel Universe

Poverty is the worst form of violence.” - Gandhi

I was drawn to a headline on the CNN site:
Why tax cuts for the rich make no sense, written by Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain.

I expected to agree with the piece because it's something I absolutely agree with.

He starts out by saying that both the Republicans and Democrats, rather than simply stopping the proposed tax cuts to the wealthy, promised by George Bush, should instead extend the tax cuts to the middle class.
People who are already struggling to get by do not want to see their taxes go up on January 1. The question is how to define middle class and whether to give tax breaks to the rich that would add nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars to the deficit.
There should be no question regarding the tax cuts for the rich. They need to be cancelled period. But Westen takes kind of a bizarre turn here in his attempt to advocate for the middle class. He redefines "rich" when discussing Sen. Chuck Schumer proposal to extend the tax cuts to families earning less than $1 million (????).

That is a serious proposal and a serious compromise. It would cost American taxpayers about $8 billion a year, but it has two advantages. First, it eliminates any concern about raising taxes on small business owners or people who live in large metropolitan areas, where $250,000 a year (the cutoff for tax cuts vs. tax hikes under Obama's proposal) is arguably not "rich." Second, it draws a clear line in the sand: As a nation, we are going to cut the taxes of working and middle-class Americans -- and we will even make sure we don't raise taxes on the 3 percent of small business owners who could get caught in the $250,000 net.

A similar alternative would set the ceiling for tax cuts at half a million, which would accomplish many of the same goals and allow Democrats the same advantage of being able to hold Republicans accountable if they try to cut the taxes of millionaires and billionaires, since anyone who has made $500,000 a year for a couple years or more has either put away more than $1 million (and hence is a millionaire)

What the hell? Why are we having this conversation? Earning $ 250,000.00 a year and you are not rich? Extending the tax cuts to those earning less than one million dollars a year?

"A serious proposal and a serious compromise"????

Westen says:
Given the more than 60 percent disapproval rates for both parties, it's clear that this election was a mandate for helping solve the problems of the millions of Americans who are out of work and the two-thirds of American workers who are now living month to month. It was not a mandate for more gridlock, ideological battles or a continued transfer of wealth from the ordinary Americans ....
I doubt those "ordinary Americans" earn $250,000.00 a year and certainly earn under a million.

None of this makes any sense.

Those Americans out of work don't care about tax cuts. They want a job and the corporate sector is not delivering on that. The first sign of trouble, they lay off employees, while still giving themselves enormous bonuses, many of them paid for by the very Americans who are now out of work.

Tax cuts to the wealthy should be at the very bottom of the list of priorities for both Republicans and Democrats. The only thing that will get the economy moving is job creation.

Stephen Harper is adamant that he will go through with his proposed corporate tax cuts in January, despite the fact that many "ordinary" Canadians are struggling. Errol Mendes asks: So which programs will be cut, and which Canadians will pay the price? A very good question.

I wonder how Harper defines Canada's "rich". We already know how he defines Canada's poor. "Lazy".

There is a good in depth article in the Globe and Mail, discussing the feasibility of a guaranteed income, but the headline sets the tone: To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year. But are you willing to trust the poor?

Are we willing to trust the poor? The question should be are we willing to trust the rich? So far they have definitely failed us. And yet those are the only Canadians the Harper government is paying attention to.

He completely ignored a senate report on poverty.

The corporate sector is currently going after Michael Ignatieff for vowing to put a stop to these additional corporate tax cuts:
Canada's business community launched a full-scale lobbying effort Monday urging MPs to support corporate tax cuts, which runs contrary to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's plan to cancel them if he wins the next election. Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says there is concern Parliament might block the next cut to the corporate tax rate — scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 — and such a move would stifle Canada's economic recovery.

"Parliament voted for this," he said. "Some people are proposing they reverse course and rescind it; we're saying it's the wrong thing to do if you want to create jobs and growth in the economy and that Parliament should keep its word."
Horse feathers.

We can no longer depend on the corporate sector to keep our economy afloat. They have become far too greedy, and instead have us up the creek without a paddle. According to the Economist: The recession has made employers more cost conscious, this may make them more apt to outsource jobs. These are both structural factors brought on by a bad recession.

We need to revive The Committee for an Independent Canada and start going after these "Corporate Welfare Bums" ... again. How dare they ask for more money when they've squandered everything we've given them. Let's shorten their leash.

It worked before and it can work again.

Because earning less than a million dollars a year does not make you poor until you are earning less than $ 20,000.00 a year. That is the real world.

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