2 minutes and 25 seconds from now, you will have new knowledge about why it should happen immediately.
You can sign their petition here: Raise the Minimum Wage to $9 / hr
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2 minutes and 25 seconds from now, you will have new knowledge about why it should happen immediately.
You can sign their petition here: Raise the Minimum Wage to $9 / hr
I'm not sure what George Will was smoking before he made an appearance on ABC's This Week on Sunday morning, but apparently he believes that Democrats agreeing to extend tax cuts for income under $400-450K somehow marks the beginning of the decline of liberalism and now no other taxes can ever be raised. And of course in Will's world, we must go after "entitlements" because the only way to keep them was going to be to raise taxes on the middle class.
Never mind that, as Robert Reich reminded him, we did just raise taxes on the middle class with the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. I'm just wondering how many things Republicans have voted for to which he's asserted that same sense of finality? Or anyone else, for that matter? Will, like other Republicans, seems to have a little bit of trouble with that whole concept of compromising -- which, as much as people may dislike the results, is what used to be considered the normal way politics operated in Washington. Now it's become a series of hostage taking events, with Republicans continually threatening to kill the hostage if they don't get what they want.
I'm pretty sure Will has been predicting liberals' demise for quite some time now, but if his party thinks the way they're operating these days is an acceptable form of governing, and if they continue to push to destroy our social safety nets, the voters will start to wake up to the fact that we've got a problem with one of the political ideologies in this country -- and it's not liberalism.
Liberal groups in this country are the ones pushing back against austerity, against the unfairness of the unequal income distribution, pushing for a tax code that's fairer and pushing to keep our social safety nets in place. Will and his ilk are ready to throw grandma and the poor and the middle class under the bus and back over them a few times.
Transcript below the fold.
Go read the whole thing, but I wanted to share at least this portion of Robert Reich's post from this Saturday: Bedford Falls or Pottersville?:
But we are still in danger of the “Pottersville” Capra saw as the consequence of what happens when Americans fail to join together and forget the meaning of the public good.
If Lionel Barrymore’s “Mr. Potter” were alive today he’d call himself a “job creator” and condemn George Bailey as a socialist. He’d be financing a fleet of lobbyists to get lower taxes on multi-millionaires like himself, overturn environmental laws, trample on workers’ rights, and shred social safety nets. He’d fight any form of gun control. He’d want the citizens of Pottersville to be economically insecure – living paycheck to paycheck and worried about losing their jobs – so they’d be dependent on his good graces.
The Mr. Potters are still alive and well in America, threatening our democracy with their money and our common morality with their greed.
Call me old fashioned or overly sentimental but I still believe the George Baileys will win this contest. They know we’re all in it together, and that if we succumb to the Potters we lose America and relinquish the future.
It seems Bill O'Reilly is terribly upset that that damned communist Mother Jones went and did something horrible, like letting us here Romney's own words from his time at Bain Capital, and so naturally he does his best to try to deflect from the situation by attacking the messenger.
I hate to break it to Bill-O, but if he thinks the average voter out there who hasn't been propagandized by Fox and right wing hate talk is going to hear the word "harvest" and not think of a vulture capitalist that just wants to extract the wealth from a company and raid pensions and salaries, I think he's sadly mistaken.
And you've just got to love the irony of O'Reilly in one breath defending the type of business Mitt Romney ran, and then in the next bemoaning median income going down. Par for the course for a network that keeps telling its viewers that everything that's wrong with the world started the day America elected Barack Obama.
The far-left magazine Mother Jones (possibly one of Fidel Castro's favorite publications) has put out another old video of Mitt Romney, in which he says Bain Capital 'was formed to invest in start-up companies and ongoing companies ... then harvest them at a significant profit.' Even though Mother Jones is appalled, that's what capitalism is! You grow companies, you make them more profitable, then if you're lucky you sell them for lots of money. Sometimes the free market is brutal, but it does provide vast opportunity for those willing to work hard and take chances.
Capitalism has made the USA the most powerful nation on Earth; it's the primary reason people all over the world are desperate to come here. But apparently some who support President Obama don't much like capitalism. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who criticized Romney's comments, doesn't like the fact that some American companies maximize profits by limiting compensation to workers and controlling their hiring. Reich wants guaranteed wages, salaries, and tenure, all the things that happen in socialistic countries. The question is, does President Obama believe the same things that Dr. Reich and Mother Jones magazine believe? The answer to that question is ... maybe.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin did a nice job of hammering home a few points about presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney on this Sunday's Face the Nation and I hope we see more Democrats continue to do the same.
I don't think most average voters care whatsoever about the ridiculous talking point we heard all week on the Supreme Court ruling on the individual mandate and whether it's a tax or a penalty. Who the hell cares? I can tell you this wasn't on the radar of anyone I encounter in everyday life and the people who don't follow politics that I'm around had no idea the court even ruled on the Affordable Care Act, much less some argument on the semantics of what you call the penalty on free riders.
Believe me, that is the kind of stuff that makes people's eyes start rolling back into their heads if you even try to find out if they read about the decision. The right wingers in the media won't shut up about it because they feel they're scoring points if they just use the words Democrat and taxes in the same sentence over and over again. The trouble for Romney is they're doing it now when almost no one is paying a damn bit of attention to them other than their hard core base, who was never going to vote for Obama in a million years anyway or the tiny segment of the population that covers politics year round.
Rather than continuing to respond to that nonsense, I'm happy to see the Democrats pointing out the hypocrisy of Romney now being against a plan that was essentially the same as the law his state passed when he was governor, as Durbin did here. Bottom line is, the Affordable Care Act was based on Romney's plan and now he wants to pretend he never passed the same thing in his state, because apparently he believes most voters out there are incapable of reading or will never watch old video tape and that everyone who votes in the upcoming election either a Fox "News" watcher or Rush Limbaugh listener.
Durbin also did a good job of hitting Romney on the offshore tax havens and Swiss bank account. The more I see the Democrats actually getting after Romney as they've been doing in recent weeks for Bain, for outsourcing, for the offshore tax havens and for the hypocrisy and as I've watched his campaign really have a lot of trouble responding, I've got to wonder how Romney's going to make it through the debates.
SCHIEFFER: Senator Durbin, started Governor Barbour off with a quote from a Republican. Here's one from a Democrat, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote in The Huffington Post this week that President Obama did inherit a bad economy from George Bush. But he says, "The excuse is wearing thin. It is his economy now, and most voters don't care what inherited." And "if the economy stays bad," Robert Reich said "he's not going to be elected." Is that fair? Does he have a point?
DURBIN: Well, I-- I tell you, it's-- it's clear that economy is the number one issue. It's also clear that the month that Obama was sworn into office we lost eight hundred thousand jobs that month. Last month we created eighty thousand jobs in the private sector. In the last twenty-eight months we have seen consistent private sector job growth.
It is also clear that when it comes to contrasting, Mitt Romney has no economic plan. He wants to return us to those thrilling days of the bush yesteryears that brought us into this recession. But he has two other problems in his campaign that have really dragged him down, he can't get lift. The second one is the whole question of health care reform. Let's get down to the bottom line here. Mitt Romney is the Obamacare daddy. He gave birth to this baby up in Massachusetts and now he doesn't recognize it; he can't pick out any straight-- strains in the hereditary chain there that looked like anything that he did in Massachusetts.
But let me tell you, Bob, there's a third issue looming here and it's all about a lighthouse off Nan-- Nantucket called Sand Katie. If you read the vi-- Vanity Fair piece and The Associated Press piece we understand the following. Mitt Romney has failed to make an economic disclosure that every President and candidate for President has made in the last thirty-six years goes back to his father, who disclosed twelve years of tax returns, he's disclosed one.
Secondly, he is the first and only candidate for President of the United States with a Swiss bank account with tax shelters, with tax avoidance schemes that involve so many foreign countries. And the third is that when it comes down to his Swiss bank account, there is just no way to explain it.
DURBIN: You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you are doing or you believe the Swiss Franc is stronger than the American dollar.
Last week on his show, Fox host Bill O'Reilly and his guest Lou Dobbs decided to attack former Secretary of Labor and professor Robert Reich, calling him a "communist" who "secretly adores Karl Marx." O'Reilly was called out by Reich both on MSNBC and in a post he wrote at the Huffington Post here -- Why Anyone Should Care That Bill O'Reilly Calls Me a Communist .
Reich challenged O'Reilly to a debate both on Ed Schultz's show and in his column. O'Reilly's response? He was "obviously joshing around" and laughing when he called Robert Reich a Communist. Whether O'Reilly and Dobbs were joking or not, Fox intentionally confuses their audience by conflating the words Communist, Marxist and Socialist on a regular basis, with the worst being Glenn Beck when he was still on there, to the point that all of them are meaningless and nothing but a general slur or insult to be lobbed at liberals. The sad joke is that their audience doesn't know the difference between any of them. And I doubt most of their viewers thought O'Reilly was joking at the time.
h/t Media Matters
Earlier this month we were treated to Rep. Allen West throwing around the “communist” insult for his fellow House members in the Progressive Caucus. As Ed Schultz reported here, now West has found himself being uninvited to speak at a Florida NAACP event. Not long after West's remarks, Fox host Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs decided to follow West's example, calling former Labor Secretary and professor Robert Reich a communist for some of his statements during an interview on The Daily Show earlier that week.
This Monday evening on MSNBC, Ed Schultz gave Robert Reich a chance to respond.
REICH: It's like being back in the 1950's, this communist witch hunt that suddenly has been launched. And the irony Ed is that there are not even many communists left in the world today. It would be one thing if we were back in the 1950's, but there's not a Communist threat. What are these conservatives, these right-wingers like Bill O'Reilly – they have nothing else to say. They have nothing else to do. They don't have arguments. They don't have logic. They don't have any analysis. What do they have? They don't have facts. What do they have? They just simply have the same old epithets and slurs they've been using for the last sixty years. […]
And for Bill O'Reilly to say that simply because I a suggesting that it is a role for government to invest in schools and infrastructure and basic R&D, that makes me a communist? Bill O'Reilly, you don't know what you are talking about. You have absolutely no sense of history. You have no understanding of government. You have no understanding of our society. Debate me, head to head, person to person, like a man! Or a woman.
As Reich noted, he's told O'Reilly he's willing to debate him anywhere, any time, name the place and O'Reilly won't do it. Reich also slammed the Republicans for wanting to take us back to the “dark ages” in America where anyone had even a modicum of economic security. Reich said he hadn't seen anything like the extremism we're seeing from the right in the modern ages and expressed his hopes that not only President Obama is reelected but that the Democrats get the Congress back from these extremists as well.
Communist, Socialist, Marxist... it's all apparently the same if you're Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs out there lobbing insults at former Secretary of Labor and professor Robert Reich for daring to say the United States should be investing in things like education, research and development and infrastructure and that we can't expect big corporations to do it, during his appearance on The Daily Show this week.
Naturally O'Reilly and Dobbs use the opportunity to attack government as somehow 'draining the resources" of corporations, even though they're making record high profits and hoarding cash right now. And although they admit there are a number of things that the government is the only entity capable of managing, neither will admit Reich's point that there are investments government should be making into the private sector such as investing in alternative energy, since both of them are carrying water for the big oil companies, which is what they spent the beginning of the segment doing before the portion in the clip shown above.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I thought Dobbs couldn't get much worse back when he was ranting and raving about illegal immigration day after day on CNN. His move over to Fox's business channel and guest appearances like this one on O'Reilly's show have proven me wrong.
h/t Media Matters
This was a breath of fresh air rather than the usual nonsense we're hearing from Republicans with more "drill baby drill" as a way to control the price of oil and gasoline we're seeing rise again right now. From Fareed Zakaria GPS, former Reagan budget director David Stockman hit the nail on the head; stop with the warmongering and threatening Iran.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that's - what do you think will happen with oil? Because the demand certainly doesn't justify $105 barrel oil. I mean, China is -
STOCKMAN: I think you can address this decisively by stop beating the war drums right now. And Obama could do that, and he could say the neocons are history.
The policy that they're talking about right now is the same thing we heard in 2001, 2002, and 2003. And he needs to clearly say that we're not going to attack Iran. We're not going to permit Israel to attack Iran. They are not part of the axis of evil. They're part of the axis of medieval.
In other words, these are backward people that aren't going to threaten the western world, and we need to get into a serious process of negotiation. If we do that, the price of oil will drop $30 within a few months, and all the speculators who are on the wrong side of the ship would learn a good lesson.
But as long as the war drums continue to beat, as they are now, we're going to see this kind of speculative fraud. It's not real. It's not supply and demand world today.
Now if we could get the hawks in the United States Senate to listen to him -- Senate Trying To Force Obama To Go To War.
Full transcript below the fold.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote a terrific column today on how completely irresponsible Newt Gingrich's new tax plan he just released is, so naturally CNN apparently wouldn't put him on the air unless he was forced to argue with The Wall Street Journal's resident hack, Stephen Moore.
Here's Reich's column -- Newt’s Tax Plan, and Why His Polls Rise the More Outrageous He Becomes:
Newt Gingrich has done it again. With his new tax plan he has raised the bar from irresponsibility to recklessness.
Every dollar estimate I’m about to share with you comes from the independent, non-partisan Tax Policy Center – a group whose estimates are used by almost everyone in Washington regardless of political persuasion.
First off, Newt’s plan increases the federal budget deficit by about $850 billion – in a single year!
To put this in perspective, most forecasts of the budget deficit cover ten years. The elusive goal of the White House and many on both sides of the aisle in Congress is to reduce that ten-year deficit by 3 to 4 trillion dollars.
Newt goes in the other direction, with gusto. Increasing the deficit by $850 billion in a single year is beyond the wildest imaginings of the least responsible budget mavens within a radius of three thousand miles from Washington.
Imagine what Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s or Fitch would do if it became law. We’d go directly from a triple-A credit rating to triple X – the veritable porn star of fiscal mayhem. Interest on our debt would become larger than most of the rest of the budget.
Most of this explosion of debt in Newt’s plan occurs because he slashes taxes. But not just anyone’s taxes. The lion’s share of Newt’s tax cuts benefit the very, very rich. Read on...
So of course, Moore just loved the plan since it benefits the interest of the 1 percent he's always looking out for. Transcript below the fold with Moore's hackery, touting the tired old lines about how trickle-down economics works and claiming that slashing taxes on the richest among us is going to create jobs and with Reich calling him out for how utterly ridiculous his arguments were. Blitzer wrapped it up, calling it a "great debate." Sorry Wolf, but there's nothing "great" about letting one of your guests come on and spew lies aimed at making the income disparity we've got in the United States worse.