In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 38.3% of all privately held stock, 60.6% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top 10% have 80% to 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.
Top 10% own 80-90% of stocks, bonds, and trust funds....? Is that why the capital gains/dividends rate is only 15%? Is that why Obama only wants to raise it to 20%. So if you work for your money you pay the regular rates, but if you have money out there working for you, you pay less than half the regular rates.
It was on the top of the list of priorities of Boehner's "Pledge to America." What in the world makes anyone believe that the people will wake up when a cast of Republican representatives and senators reaffirm their support for these taxcuts?
Instead, Obama will veto any uncompromising Republican tax plan that comes out of the House that might get Senate approval, which extends the previous tax rates. As things stand, the Bush tax plan will end, the previous Clinton rates will be installed by default, and the Democrats will be charged with raising taxes, and raising taxes on the middle class. That result is opposite of what the Democratic leadership believes will happen, IMHO.
We need to single out the bad actors among the group, I thought, but then realized that none of them probably have had any political experience, as Reagan did. Also, Reagan came to light when racism was fashionable; we think in opposite terms.
None of this supports the idea that the American people support Cantor over Obama. Take this,
"Washington (CNN) - Only a third of Americans approve of the way President Obama's handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new national poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he's dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure.
This stands in contrast with how Americans feel about Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, with 48 percent approving and 42 percent saying they disapprove."
Who is not displeased with Obama allowing himself and the US to be bullied and demeaned by a second-rate right wing colonizer.
Eric Cantor seems to be settling in well as secretary of state. Technically, his position is expected to be majority leader of the House next year, but he is already operating his own foreign policy. He held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, according to the congressman's office, "stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the administration" in U.S.-Israel relations. As the administration seeks ways to revive peace talks in the region, it must be reassuring to all sides that Cantor will serve as a vital check on peacemaking efforts.
If Barak can admit that he was unable to get anyone in the Israeli parliment to "disengage" (withdraw) from West Bank settlements, including his own party, in order to create a Palestinian state, then certainly Clinton would not have been able to do so. Taba, according to Barak himself, was "nothing" but meetings among low level staff. He eventually called a halt to the continuing discussion.
The unresolved issues for Arafat were East Jerusalem and the refugees, and there was no budging on those points by the Israelis. He was agreeable to land swaps.
The-blame-it-on-Arafat hoax was engineered by Clinton's staff, and then played out hypocritically by Barak and the hasbara network here and in Israel.
UPDATE: Adam Serwer recalls that in 2007, Nancy Pelosi visited Syria -- she didn't pledge to side with them against her own country, just visited them -- and Eric Cantor himself was one of the many Republicans accusing her of likely having committed a crime. Cantor wrote: "Several leading legal authorities have made the case that [Pelosi's] recent diplomatic overtures ran afoul of the Logan Act, which makes it a felony for any American 'without authority of the United States' to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States."
As Serwer writes: "Based on Cantor's own standard, he's just committed a felony." For Cantor, the operative term distinguishing his conduct from Pelosi's is presumably "foreign government," which -- in Cantor's mind -- applies to those with whom Pelosi met but not to those with whom Cantor met. Steve Benen correctly argues that "this is a legitimate scandal worthy of far more attention"; the fact that it won't receive any real attention tells you all you need to know. Had Cantor done this with any foreign nation other than Israel, this would easily be the leading political controversy of the week.
It would appear that Israel is excepted from the law, such that any congressman or senator may interfere with US foreign policy, but only if it involves Israel. No longer does the executive branch have total responsibility for conducting US foreign policy.
And lastly, Fighter, your kind of blind support for Israel, now in the hands of right wing nationalist hawk, does not help Israel. All it does is to take down. Support for people like Cantor is nothing more than support of the most pernicious right wing government Israel ever had, and there have been some pretty bad ones.
As for this statement: "Israel is still our most important ally in the Mideast," you may not have heard, but Biden and even General Paetreus have remarked on how our fawning relationship with Israel has endangered our troops and stimulates terrorism by Islamic extremist groups.
When more Palestinians are killed by the IDF, and it happens weekly, or by the Gaza siege (where a two year old with cancer just died because she was not permitted to leave for treatment), it stimulates hatred and extremism. And it has been going on for over 40 years, nay, over 60 years.
It has to stop. Greater Israel is a formula for generations more of strife in the region.
No friend of the United States would want to cause more deaths, especially of American soldiers fighting in Iraq or Afganistan.
For reference sake, here is what a liberal Democrat supports as a solution to this conflict, written by Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Middle East Peace Negotiations?
1. A peace treaty that recognizes the State of Israel and the State of Palestine and defines Palestine's borders to include almost all of pre-1967 West Bank and Gaza, with small exchanges of land mutually agreed upon and roughly equivalent in value and historic and/or military significance to each side. The peace plan must also entail a corresponding treaty between Israel and all Arab states -- approved with full diplomatic and economic cooperation among these parties -- along borderlines that existed in the pre-1967 period. And it should include a twenty-to-thirty-year plan for moving toward a Middle Eastern common market and the eventual establishment of a political union along the lines of the European Union.
2. Jerusalem will be the capital of both Israel and Palestine and will be governed by an elected council in West Jerusalem and a separate elected council in East Jerusalem. The Old City will become an international city whose sovereignty will be implemented by an international council that guarantees equal access to all holy sites -- a council whose taxes will be shared equally by the city councils of East and West Jerusalem.
3. Immediate and unconditional freedom will be accorded all prisoners in Israel and Palestine whose arrests have been connected in some way with the Occupation and resistance to the Occupation.
4. An international force to separate and protect each side from the extremists of the other side who will inevitably seek to disrupt the peace agreement. And the creation of a joint peace police -- composed of an equal number of Palestinians and Israelis, at both personnel and command levels -- that will work with the international force to combat violence and to implement point number six below.
5. Reparations for Palestinian refugees and their descendents at a sufficient level to bring Palestinians within a ten-year period to an economic well-being equivalent to that enjoyed by those with a median Israeli-level income. The same level of reparations must also be made available to all Jews who fled Arab lands between 1948 and 1977. An international fund should be set up immediately to hold in escrow the monies needed to ensure that these reparations are in place once the peace plan is agreed upon.
6. Creation of a truth and reconciliation process modeled on the South African version but shaped to the specificity of these two cultures. Plus: an international peace committee appointed by representatives of the three major religious communities of the area to develop and implement teaching of a. nonviolence and non-violent communication, b. empathy and forgiveness, and c. a sympathetic point of view of the history of the "other side" mandated in every grade from sixth grade through high school. The committee should moreover ensure the elimination of all teaching of hatred against the other side or teaching against the implementation of this treaty in any public, private, or religious educational institutions, media, or public meetings. Such teachings would become an automatic crime punishable in an international court set up for this purpose.
7. An agreement from Palestine to allow all Jews living in the West Bank to remain there as law-abiding citizens of the new Palestinian state as long as they give up their Israeli citizenship and abide by decisions of the Palestinian courts. A fund should be created to help West Bank settlers move back to Israel if they wish to remain Israeli citizens and to help Palestinians move to Palestine if they wish to be citizens of the new Palestinian state. In exchange for Palestine agreeing to allow Israelis to stay in the West Bank as citizens of the Palestinian state, Israel must agree to let 20,000 Palestinian refugees return each year for the next thirty years to the pre-1967 borders of Israel and provide them with housing. (This number -- 20,000 -- is small enough to not change the demographic balance, yet large enough to show that Israel cares about Palestinian refugees and recognizes that they have been wronged.) Each state must acknowledge the right of the other to give preferential treatment in immigration to members of its leading ethnic group (Jews in Israel, Palestinians in Palestine).
8. Agreement by the leaders of all relevant parties to talk in a language of peace and openhearted reconciliation, and to reject the notion that the other side cannot be trusted. The agreement has the greatest likelihood of working if it is embraced in full and pushed for enthusiastically by the leaders of all relevant parties, as well as endorsed by a majority vote of the populations of each country that wishes to be a party to this agreement.
Do you have any problem with this very constructive resolution that would, going back to 1948, attempt to make right all of the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people, and would lead to a permanent peace?