Open Thread

This open thread is really nothing more than an excuse to wish Jerome happy birthday.

Big day: Obama's health care meeting, Rangel's ethics admonishment, the Black Caucus challenging the jobs bill, and more. What's on YOUR mind?

Tags: Open Thread (all tags)



Republican Roadmap: No Tax for Billionaires

The main focus from the Left on Rep. Ryan's Budget Roadmap has been the privatization of Social Security and voucherization of Medicare, but it is the tax provisions that are most shocking. Quoting from the Roadmap:


This plan discards a needlessly complex and manipulative tax code, replacing it with a simplified mechanism that promotes work, saving, and investment.

Provides individual income tax payers a choice of how to pay their taxes – through existing law, or through a highly simplified code that fits on a postcard with just two rates and virtually no special tax deductions, credits, or exclusions (except the health care tax credit).
Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
Replaces the corporate income tax – currently the second highest in the industrialized world – with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.

Under Ryan's Roadmap billionaires don't pay taxes. At all.

Some of us have recognized that if all extant Republican tax proposals were enacted that this would be the end result, but I never thought any on them would be so bold as to just spell it out. They don't believe Capital should have to pay for anything, not even the military that protects their economic interests around the world. Republicans do believe that Capitalists are the Masters of the Universe.

I call it the Roadmap to Plutocracy, the mask is off.


by Bruce Webb 2010-02-26 07:12AM | 0 recs
Thanks Nathan

I asked my two kids this morning when they would be "old" and the 10 year old replied at 30, and the 5 year old replied at 26. So, boy do they consider me an old man!

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-02-26 09:29AM | 0 recs


Republicans and Democrats met yesterday at Blair House and discussed health care reform for over 7 hours.  I watched most of it, which I guess shows that I have no life. All those hours of politicians with their talking points  - but it was surprisingly interesting.

Republicans were respectful in their opposition to the health care reform bill even though their main point was the Congress should start over- from scratch after almost a year of legislative work. Then, they also asked that the Democrats forswear the use a majority vote to pass the bill.  This strategy seems like the Bush diplomacy tactic of demanding that the other country give up its positions before we'll negotiate with it.

Again and again, the Republicans said that the American people oppose this huge bill. Some polls do show this, but, no wonder, after Republicans and Teabaggers havemisled the public, with talkof government takeover and death panels.

The Democrats were moderate in defending the proposed bills, with many pointing out that the legislation includes many provisions that Republicans had favored. President Obama presided, sometimes conceding value in a Republican point, sometimes explaining part of the bill and its rationale, sometimes correcting Republican misstatements.  At all times, he demonstrated command of the issues and command of the room.

The meeting was a positive event and somehat instructive.  No significant positions were changed; the Republicans really offered nothin to cover most of the uninsured and rally want just to kill the bill. The Democrats showed no inclination to include the logical and clearly popular public option, but seemed resolved to get this job done.

Interestingly, after months of Republicans complaints that Obama did not live up to his campaign promise of transparent negotiations broadcastby C-Span, this event was not covered by C-Span.


by altara 2010-02-26 11:13AM | 0 recs

C-SPAN is committed to showing the House when it's in session, the same for CSPAN-2 and the Senate. CSPAN-3 carried the Health Care show in its entirety.

All are available to stream on WWW.CSPAN.ORG

by QTG 2010-02-26 12:11PM | 0 recs


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