Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Have The Poor Done For Us?

How often have you heard something like (From Here):
1. "Is the government now creating hobos?"

2. "You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to blow it on drugs.

3. "We shouldn't turn the safety net into a hammock. It should actually be a safety net."

4. "[W]e have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry

5. "[C]ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."

6. "You know, there is an argument to be made that these extensions of unemployment benefits keep people from going and finding jobs.

7. "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans [after Hurricane Katrina]. We couldn't do it, but God did."

8. "If you've seen one city slum, you've seen them all."

9. "You know, people are poor in America ... not because they lack money; they're poor because they lack values, morals and ethics.

10. "[Y]ou gotta look people in the eye and tell 'em they're irresponsible and lazy .... Because that's what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.

Statements like these begs the question:

What Have The Poor Done For Us?

Here is a great list of what they have done for us:
  1. They built it. The country was literally built on the backs of poor immigrants and slaves. To this day, construction workers are some of the hardest working people in the country, yet their average wage is only $50,000 per year, which includes management. People that maintain the roads driven by the wealthy (and everyone else) are paid only $30,000 per year.
  2. They care for our children. The average nanny is paid only about $30,000 per year, usually without benefits.
  3. They teach our children. The average teacher makes around $45,000 a year, which might not sound poor, but for that salary, most positions require advanced degrees.
  4. They make the world beautiful. It would be difficult to determine the average salary of an artist, but very few of even the most talented artists achieve financial success.  They inform and entertain. Writers, actors and filmmakers are just as likely to live in poverty as visual artists.
  5. They create. Inventors are often poorly paid for their inventions, if paid at all.
  6. They are entrepreneurs. Two thirds of startup businesses fail. Many of them fail because they were simply out financed (think the big coffee chain moving on to the same corner as the independent coffee house).
  7.  They keep our world clean. People that do the dirtiest jobs are notoriously some of the least paid, yet can you imagine a world without people emptying our trash and cleaning our toilets?
  8. They keep you alive. Without poor people, produce would rot in the fields. There would be no goods on the shelves. There would be no store clerks to sell them to you. Most Americans would most likely starve.
  9. They fight for our country. The average starting salary of enlisted personnel is about $30,000 per year.
  10. They save the world. Many of history’s most selfless people live their lives in or near poverty. They join the Peace Corps. They work for or start charitable organizations.
  11.  They pay their taxes. Much is made of the statistic that between 40 and 50 percent of people don’t pay federal income tax. That is typically because they are too poor. But even if they don’t pay federal income tax, they pay taxes. They pay Social Security taxes. They pay state taxes. They pay the identical sales tax on food and clothing as their wealthy brethren. They pay identical gasoline taxes as their more fortunate counterparts. Unlike the wealthy, taxes deeply impact the well being of the poor, yet, unlike the wealthy, they are unable to take advantage of the loopholes that were designed to specifically benefit the wealthy.
In otherwords,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

U.S. Achieves Biggest One-Year Deficit Reduction In American History

That's right.  We have achieved the biggest one-year deficit reduction in American history.  Read about it here.
The federal government budget deficit shrank in fiscal 2010, but the big gap was only $122 billion lower than the record high set a year ago.
The U.S. spent $1.294 trillion more than it collected in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Treasury Department said Friday.
The deficit amounted to 8.9% of gross domestic product. That's down from fiscal 2009, when the deficit of $1.416 trillion was 10.0% of GDP.
Spending fell and revenues rose in fiscal 2010 as the economy recovered from the deep recession that contributed to the nation's troubled fiscal condition.
The republicans and the teabaggers have been yelling about reducing the deficit by $100 billion dollars.  President Obama has already beat that level by 22 billion dollars.  For those of you that are math challenged, Obama has beat the republican's talking point by 22%.

And the best that the Boner can come up with is a measly 352 million.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Looks To Me Like Someone Got Schooled!

A new budget estimate released Wednesday shows that the spending bill negotiated between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would produce less than 1 percent of the $38 billion in promised savings by the end of this budget year.

Way to go Boner!  You just stiffed the Tea Party!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The People's Budget

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has put out a People's Budget to counter the GOP budget proposal.  The highlights of this proposal are:

The CPC budget:
• Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus
• Puts America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program
• Protects the social safety net
• Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
• Is FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly)

To summarize what our budget accomplishes:
• Primary budget balance by 2014.
• Budget surplus by 2021.
• Reduce public debt as a share of GDP to 64.4% by 2021, down 16.9 percentage points from
a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
• Reduce deficits by $5.7 trillion over 2012-21
• Both outlays and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

Breakdown of Policies
Individual income tax policies
1. Extend marriage relief, credits, and incentives for children, families, and education, but
let the upper-income tax cuts expire and let tax brackets revert to Clinton-era rates
2. Index the AMT for inflation for a decade (AMT patch paid for)
3. Rescind the upper-income tax cuts in the tax deal
4. Schakowsky millionaire tax rates proposal (adding 45%, 46%, and 47% top rates)
5. Progressive estate tax (Sanders estate tax, repeal of Kyl-Lincoln)
6. Tax capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income

Corporate tax reform
1. Tax U.S. corporate foreign income as it is earned
2. Eliminate corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies
3. Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee
4. Financial speculation tax (derivatives, foreign exchange)

Health care
1. Enact a public option
2. Negotiate Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies
3. CMS program integrity and other Medicare and Medicaid savings in the president’s
4. Prevent a cut in Medicare physician payments for a decade (maintain doc fix)

Social Security
1. Raise the taxable maximum on the employee side to 90% of earnings and eliminate the
taxable maximum on the employer side
2. Increase benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side
Defense savings
1. End overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals starting in 2013,
providing $170 billion in FY2012 funding for withdrawal
2. Reduce baseline Defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional
forces, procurement, and R&D programs

Job Creation
1. Invest $1.45 trillion in job creation, early childhood, K-12 and special education, quality
child care, energy and broadband infrastructure, housing, and R&D
2. Infrastructure bank
3. Surface transportation reauthorization bill
4. Finance surface transportation reauthorization

The "liberal" mainstream media has been all over the GOP proposal.  Where are they for this liberal democratic proposal?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Is There A Law About Lying To Congress?

Isn't there?

Senator Jon Kyl made this statement the other day.
Not intended to be a factual statement!  I call that a lie.  Right?  A lie is a non-factual statement.  Just to be sure, I checked the internet.  I'm right.  The internet say a lie is
a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
And where did he say this?  On the floor of the Senate.  See, he is the Senate Minority Whip.  That means he is one of the leaders in the Senate.  It means he is one of the republican leaders in the Senate.  Leaders are supposed to set a good example.  I guess a good republican example is a liar. 

What was he lying about?  It doesn't matter.  If you really want to know, check out the link.  It will tell you.

But the important point that I want to make is that here is a leader of the Senate admitting that he was lying in statements he made on the floor of the Senate.  LYING! 

Should he be charged with lying to Congress just like other people have?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here Is One Of Our Problems

Term-limits is part of the problem.

Since when is experience a bad thing?