Tax the middle class

"Let's tax the middle class" is the only real policy Congress seems able to agree upon. So in this campaign season with all these debates and online mash-ups going on, maybe we can slip in this question: How come the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) can't seem to tax wealthy Americans with bank accounts in the Cayman Islands but has no problem going after upper-middle-income families with lots of kids who happen to live in high-tax states?

ex animo
The National Online Party

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John Edwards: From Humble Roots to Fighting for All Americans

"Today the Democratic Party stands between two great forces."

On one side stand the corporate interests of the nation, its moneyed institutions, its aggregations of wealth and capital, imperious, arrogant, compassionless.... On the other side stands the unnumbered throng which gave a name to the Democratic Party and for which it has presumed to speak. Work-worn and dustbegrimed, they make their mute appeal, and too often find their cry for help beat in vain against the outer walls.

Above is such an accurate description of what our party and our nation struggles against: the "moneyed institutions, its aggregations of wealth and capital, imperious, arrogant compassionless..." Yet, that appeal to Populism was not written in recent times.

In fact, those words were written in 1893. Recently quoted in the article "The Way Down South," by Bob Moser, they are the words of  33-year-old William Jennings Bryan, "the South's favorite `prairie populist,' shaking the rafters on Capitol Hill in 1893."

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Memo to the Netroots on Immigration from Drum Major Institute

TO:    The Netroots
FROM:     Elana Levin, The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy
RE:    Immigration and the blogosphere

The problem:
America's current immigration policy is clearly unacceptable to the general public, immigrant rights activists, immigration opponents and organized labor. Even corporations are dissatisfied with the status quo, even if for their own profit-driven reasons. There is a consensus that reform is needed but there is no consensus on what that reform should look like. At the same time, the status quo of maximum noise with minimum action is a political strategy for a certain segment of the organized right wing. The netroots can play a critical role on this issue by facilitating a conversation that will lead to increased political will for a progressive immigration policy that will benefit America's squeezed middle class and all those struggling to become middle class.

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John Edwards on Poverty & The Middle Class: A Dream Deferred

In the wake of Thanksgiving, when Americans take a moment to reflect on all they are grateful for---Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, raged in with a vengeance, for a few Americans.

For those who have  slipped from the Middle Class, those who are one paycheck away from being homeless and for 37 million in poverty who are struggling to provide just the basics, holiday shopping mania, simply isn't an option.

While the rich get richer in this Bush economy, the other Americans aren't doing as well. In fact, the gap between the wealthy and the poor has grown significantly. The U.S. has not seen a gap between the rich and poor this wide, since the Great Depression.

Over the last twenty years, American incomes have grown apart...The result is Two Americans, one struggling to get by and another that has everything it could want...I believe we cannot go on as two Americas - one favored, the other forgotten. I want to live in an America where we value work as well as wealth. _John Edwards

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UPDATED: The Peru FTA's Expanded Giant Sucking Sound Just Got Louder - with Clinton and Obama's help

In a few moments, I will sign three agreements that will complete our negotiations with Mexico and Canada to create a North American Free Trade Agreement. In the coming months, I will submit this pact to Congress for approval. It will be a hard fight, and I expect to be there with all of you every step of the way. We will make our case as hard and as well as we can. And though the fight will be difficult, I deeply believe we will win. And I'd like to tell you why: first of all, because NAFTA means jobs American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement.

- Former President Bill Clinton speech on NAFTA, Sept. 13, 1993

Well, that didn't work out so well for us, did it? In fact, third party presidential candidate Ross Perot was more accurate when he described NAFTA as a "giant sucking sound." So what's up with the Peru Free Trade Agreement currently being pushed through Congress? Is it more of the same?

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