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Disappointing as was the government's monthly jobs report released Friday, it did mark the 23rd consecutive month of job growth. The average net increase in jobs for those 23 months was 148,000.

Positive is always better than negative. After all, the average for 2008-2009 was a monthly job loss of 360,000. But at the current rate of job growth and young people joining the working-age population, it would take until mid-2024 to restore the unemployment rate to where it was in December 2007. History indicates that by then we would have long since fallen into another recession.

Nearly everyone, including the president, agrees that job growth has been far too slow and that we have a long way to go to repair the devastation the lords of finance have visited upon us.

While the national economy as a whole is better off than it was four years ago, millions of Americans are suffering the ill effects of the Great Recession and the policies and lack of policies that produced it. They have spent their savings, exhausted their unemployment benefits, lost their homes and, if they have managed to get a replacement job, in all too many cases they have taken a pay cut even if they are now doing pretty much the same work as they were before the downturn. Many are doing jobs that don't take advantage of their skills.

The distribution of the benefits of the "recovery" from the Great Recession has been, shall we say, skewed in the direction of those self-same lords who have paid no penalty for their predatory arrogance. And five years on, it is obvious they are never going to.  

Meanwhile, large numbers of workers over 50 who were laid off have been unable to find new jobs right when many of them are caught in the three-way economic vice of sending their kids to college, taking care of aging parents and trying to boost their retirement savings. The only thing standing in the way of utter poverty for them is Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps, all of which the plutocrats and those whose strings they pull are eager to eviscerate.

Especially hurt have been public-sector workers. Heidi Shierholz at the Economy Policy Institute writes:

While overall the labor market has added jobs for the last two-and-a-half years, it’s actually just the private sector that’s adding jobs; the public sector is losing them. In August, the public sector lost 7,000 jobs. Since the peak of public-sector employment four years ago in August 2008, the public sector has shed 680,000 jobs. Through ripple effects, the loss of public-sector jobs also causes job loss in the private sector, amplifying the drain on the recovery.
Teachers and their aides, fire fighters, cops and other first responders, departments of motor vehicle clerks, librarians, safety inspectors, probation officers, janitors and maintenance crews have all felt the impact of this job slaughter. Many who have managed to keep their jobs have seen their benefits plunge and their health premiums rise. They've been coerced into taking so many furlough days that they have effectively been made part-time workers. Those unions which have stuck up for their members the way unions are supposed to have been forced to choose among contractual givebacks, layoffs or strikes. The last presents a big risk in economic down times. The former weakens collective bargaining clout.

Because public-sector employment is more highly unionized, more woman-heavy, more populated by minorities, attacking it as tax revenues plummeted was, of course, a no-brainer for you-know-who.

The plutocrats were able to gut programs and fire employees with the excuse that not enough revenue was available to cover the costs. That was only true in many cases because the bosses-of-us-all have done such a fantastic job of skewing the tax system to reflect their desires. It's Grover Norquist's bathtub-drowning dictum played out at the local level.

For the lords, the one-percenters, the plutocrats, the financial aristocracy, the ruling class, the assholes-in-charge—whatever you want to call them—the recession opened an opportunity to slam public employees and they went at with gusto.

Sadly, they had many willing accomplices.

There are the fellow-travelers, of course, mayors and governors and state legislators who enable these guys. But there are also working-class people who take an ax to their own long-term self-interests by agreeing that "something must be done" about a public-sector work force that is "too big" and has "too many" benefits. Stuff like decent health coverage, sick days, holidays, and vacation time that expands with longevity on the job, as well as protection from the whims of supervisors. You know, the kind of benefits every worker should have in every work place. Propaganda has persuaded a big slice of the population to buy the argument that public-sector pensions are too generous, public-sector pay is too high, public-sector jobs too easy and public-sector workers too unproductive.

It's ever more unlikely the Bain buccaneer and his Wisconsin sidekick will occupy the White House come January. Nor will Republicans control the Senate and maybe not even the House. But that won't stop the plutocrats from continuing to leverage the effects of recession into additional attacks on public-sector workers. Their successes at the state and local level will spur them to additional attacks, first by lowering the tax base again, thereby allowing them to claim programs and employees are unaffordable. Because they made them so.

Defeating this battle in the class war is no short-term matter. Our foes are relentless and with money, machination and manipulation eternally in search of ways to bring us to our knees. Street protests and asymmetrical direct actions are must-have elements of any effective counter-force against their attacks.

But replacing local politicians is equally important. Social media and other technological tools have yet to get a full work-out in this realm, the place where we create the deep bench of tomorrow's progressive leaders, the folks we can count on to keep public programs and public workers from getting trashed every time an economic crisis makes it easy. We need to be as attuned to these local and state contests as we are to those that decide who sits in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I sure everyone noticed (34+ / 0-)

    the emphasis on "public sector" jobs in every speech at the DNC.

    My job in DC disappeared after the 2010 midterms and will probably never come back. First, they stalled administrative funding, so we got laid off. When we came back, our benefits were gone and we were reclassified as seasonal workers. When the work was finished for that fiscal year, we were laid off again. I never got a call back for the next cycle, so I retired at 62.

    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

    by Zwoof on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:30:20 PM PDT

  •  If this is to change, the narrative that the (18+ / 0-)

    duration of the recession is being caused by the shedding of public sector jobs has to take hold.  And for that to happen, the Dems have to drive that very-easy-to-explain-and-exploit narrative.

    The big question is why this isn't already on the front burner, rather than, say, developing all sources of domestic energy regardless of their carbon contribution (ie, "Global warming? Meh").  The answer to that big question may well be that this admin's makeup, being largely of the DLC/Turd Way variety, isn't really interesting in reestablishing a vibrant public sector, or in bolstering state and local gov't in that regard.  Certainly, the Obama stimulus, having largely bypassed that method of economic resuscitation in favor of tax breaks, is reflective of that discredited neoliberal approach.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:34:48 PM PDT

    •  All I'll Say Is That Democrats Have Not Been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, wu ming

      inarticulate progressives these past 20+ years. Beyond that, I'll wait till Nov. 7th.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:40:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you modify "Democrats" with "some," I'd agree. (9+ / 0-)

        And if you want an example of how inarticulate they can be, here's an article by Ezra of a couple months ago, where he focuses on an Obama press conference, where the President had made a comment about private sector job growth being positive while the public sector is in the shitter, while "encouraging" Congress to do something about it.  Klein's point is that Obama's mention of the plight of the public sector was being ignored, but what he doesn't note is that there's no followup, just as (similarly) there will be no followup to the part of his DNC speech that mentions that climate change is not a joke.  IOW, great line, Barack, but where's the juice?  Why isn't this a top priority rather than a wan rejoinder?

        Klein understands the problem,

        That said, the place where you can most fairly blame the government for the shape of the labor market is in public-sector jobs. The federal government can choose to hire, fire or hold employment steady. It can give states money to keep employees on the job, or it can withhold that money. So the fact that the public sector is losing jobs isn’t just a problem, but a problem that the federal government could, with 100 percent certainty, fix. Today’s press conference wasn’t about whether the private sector is fine. It was about whether Congress could do more for both the private and public sectors. And that’s what we should be talking about.
        but he fails to note that Obama hasn't pursued this line of attack, other than to make occasional, impotent mention of the problem as he did in that presser.  FDR would have been banging the drum nonstop. But then again, FDR wasn't afraid of his own liberal tail.

        To me, there are two kinds of inarticularity: one is you can't explain what you're trying to say, and the other is you telegraph something in your words that you in no way intend to mean.  The the difference between the two is intention.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:13:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point yet we need more than drum banging.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pescadero Bill, nailbender

          ..if this American Jobs Act (fact sheet) can make it past republican obstruction. We need simple majority, NOT a super majority to prevail by correcting or ending rule 22 (filibustering) and be held accountable for it.

          Ezra Klein asks: Is the filibuster unconstitutional?
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

          But first he gives a brief history with an excellent chart of filibuster use 1919 – 2010 http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

          The article lays out a good argument with really cool charts of the filibusters history

          Ezra made two points @ Hardball w/ Chris Mathews that hit home for me especially after reading brooklynbadboys opinion http://www.dailykos.com/... that a majority should rule and be held accountable for it:

          Ezra Klein (paraphrased & bolded):
          • The way the filibuster works today is the majority isn’t accountable for what they do but what the minority keeps them from doing. This provides the republicans the means to their goal of obstructing and fouling the function of a people powered government while allowing  them to place the blame onto the Democrats while doing it.
          • One frightening point of the filibuster: Budget matters are protected against the filibuster, which means that Paul Ryans budget disaster could pass via reconciliation (if Mitch McConnell was Senate leader) whereas the Dream act or immigration reform – could not – the 60 vote super majority blocks it and many other needed bills. So instead of limiting destructive legislation  the filibuster facilitates destructive limiting behavior – exactly how the GOP has perverted it.
          It's looking like Dems have an increasingly better outlook to retake the house and hold onto the Senate.
          Filibuster reform would be the first move if enough Dems would take a stand on this imo.
        •  I've seen a complete lack of ability to lead. (0+ / 0-)

          The President certainly knows how to send his staff out to bully Democrats into joining whatever capitulations he makes to the Republicans, but I haven't once seen him take a specific issue that was being obstructed in the Senate and run with it for weeks. From my own perspective, his 'centrism' has been about a desire to win as opposed to a desire to implement any particular policy.

          He knows 'winning' a jobs bill is unlikely (though entirely possible with the right campaign), so he hasn't tried. He's simply complained about the fact that nobody else is filling the leadership vacuum he's left on this issue.

    •  Partly it's a matter of a language war (5+ / 0-)

      Remember when firefighters, cops, postal workers, teachers, government workers and - just imagine - elected officials were referred to as "public servants"...

      The village dems and msm have to easily appropriated rightwing tropes - because they are either naive, stupid, duplicitous or all of the above. A sampler:

      "deficit crisis/fiscal cliff"  "obamacare"  "war on __"   "entitlement"  "save social security"   "school choice" "___ reform" ...  etc., etc. etc.

      The rightwing defines the boundaries of the argument. And Democrats let them.

      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. - Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:02:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grover Norquist (12+ / 0-)

    "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

  •  And when everyone realizes the work done... (9+ / 0-)

    by those workers is necessary to a functioning government, well the Republicans have a plan for you.  It's called 'privatization.'  

  •  Firing public sector workers & hiring contractors (11+ / 0-)

    who often do a worse job at great cost (but I think are budgeted differently sometimes), is the worst.   The narrative needs to be repeated again and again -- it doesn't save money, and no one is served . . .

  •  PNAC and the Norquist Crowd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Lily O Lady

    Much of this nonsense got re-focused with the Project for a New American Century and the Anti-taxer crowd way back in the day.  PNAC wanted more defense spending and wanted to cut everything but to pay for it.  The anti-taxers just wanted to get rid of gov't.  Well, they've been having their way with us.  Remember the condescension and mockery when Hillary Clinton spoke of the vast Right Wing Conspiracy which was embodied in PNAC?  Sadly, the conspiracy she observed was considerably less vast than the real one.

    We need a 'conspiracy' of our own, one that places the welfare of all of us above the short term greed of a handful.  Say what you want, but the GOP has been VERY effective in getting their agenda rammed down our throats.  Tax cuts, wars, increased defense spending, threats against our civil liberties, and gov't in our bedroom...

    There is powerful messaging to overcome but the tools exist.  Look how quickly the theme of the 99% vs the 1% took hold.  We have the capability to get a message out provided we can get people to listen.  

    "Now if people got problems and they got problems with people oh yeah I know what it is to be there." - DW

    by ScantronPresident on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:45:48 PM PDT

  •  In shedding all of those public sector jobs (9+ / 0-)

    these Republican Mayors and Governors will eventually restore most of the services, many of which had previously been provided by union workers, with private companies contracted to do the work.

    Of course, the workers will make less, get fewer benefits, if any, and the overall cost to the taxpayers will probably go up.  But those elected officials will get campaign contributions from all of the companies who profited from the privatizing of those public sector jobs, which was always the goal from the very beginning.

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:49:36 PM PDT

  •  Has the "public sector" ever decreased (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, eztempo, Eric Nelson, basquebob

    under a Republican? Thanks for the diary.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:51:51 PM PDT

  •  Economic cannibalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, 3goldens, Eric Nelson

    Economic cannibalism is no way to grow an economy. It's simply a way to transfer ever more wealth from those who do the work to produce that wealth, to those whose existence is predicated on leaching off of the producers.

    "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

    by Jasonhouse on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:56:17 PM PDT

  •  I am sorry I have to do this (0+ / 0-)

    But let me burst some bubbles.

    Every state in the union except Vt. has a balanced budget requirement. Especially with a housing crisis which hurts property tax revenues bad, that will necessitate budget cuts.

    The plutocrats were able to gut programs and fire employees with the excuse that not enough revenue was available to cover the costs. That was only true in many cases because the bosses-of-us-all have done such a fantastic job of skewing the tax system to reflect their desires. It's Grover Norquist's bathtub-drowning dictum played out at the local level.
    Now, even in Democratic-leaning states there is little appetite  for people to raise taxes on themselves.  In Illinois, Governor Quinn barely got his tax increase passed after 2-3 years of cajoling and a near riot by even the Democrats in his own party.
    In California, the extension of the terminator's tax increases were rejected in 2009 by a vote of the people, and in 2010, Governor Brown felt it necessary to say that HE WILL NOT RAISE TAXES without a voter referendum.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Same deal in New York, where Cuomo decided to balance the budget without raising taxes

    I pick these three states since they are left-leaning and all have Democratic governors at the time.

    More importantly, on a federal level, do you think it is an accident that outside of the most far-left Democrats, most Dems want to keep 80 percent of the bush tax cuts, those that are for people less than 250k. How do you think Obama would be doing in the polls if he was running on raising taxes on all Americans?

    The distribution of the benefits of the "recovery" from the Great Recession has been, shall we say, skewed in the direction of those self-same lords who have paid no penalty for their predatory arrogance.

    A great deal of that has to do with the fact that Bush-Obama spent 800 billion bailing out the banks, and preserving that growth in income inequality that came from the financialization of the economy , which is basically crony capitalism/socialism since many of these firms are operating with implicit and explicit government subsidies.

    You know this whole trench warfare that is obsessed with raising or lowering tax rates on people is a totally wrong and bizarre way of looking at things.

    I am planning on making this to a full-fledged diary, but here you go for starters

    http://www.slate.com/...

    In my column today I criticized Barack Obama forr hetorically embracing Teddy Roosevelt and his trust busting ways, a while implementing a very un-TR-like agenda of basically leaving entrenched monopolists in place and just asking people to pay higher taxes. Jon Chait today sagely notes that one can spin this out into a comprehensive critique of Obamaism, which seems founded on the idea that basically all is well with the American economy except rich people don't pay enough in taxes
    One key element is simply the implicit moral dimension of the economy. Loser liberalism, by implying that all fortunes are created equal, alternately goes too easy on scoundrels and comes down too hard on people who are merely prosperous. Chris Paul is in the one percent, but he's also a kid from a working class background who's spent his entire career being structurally underpaid and victimized by cartels. By contrast, even substantially lower-paid (and there's lots of room to be both lower-paid than Chris Paul and very highly paid) folks working on Wall Street are making a living in an industry that's systematically dependent on implicit and explicit government guarantees
    •  Is this right-wing production... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, 3goldens, eztempo, basquebob, KenBee

      ...your website or is your moniker a coincidence?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:14:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a coincidence (0+ / 0-)

        but you already knew that,

        •  Hard to tell given your right-wing... (7+ / 0-)

          ...approach to everything from tax law to Head Start.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:37:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  fact-based approach (0+ / 0-)

            I support what the facts tell me, not what some ideology says is the right thing.

            If you want to re-hash those arguments go ahead, I'll particularly enjoy your arguments that 70 percent tax rates don't distort incentives, retard growth, or encourage tax evasion.

            I suggest mentioning Paul Krugman or Brad DeLong would do no good, heavens if we give weight to economists with economic policy.

            •  Economists include a rather wide range... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lineatus, basquebob, Eric Nelson, KenBee

              ...of points of view. Gunnar Myrdal and Friedrich August von Hayek, for instance, both were Nobel laureates in 1974. Their economic perspectives were rather far apart from one another. And while I appreciate both DeLong's and Krugman's views, they are center-left and I am well to their left on many economic issues. We have never had an effective tax rate of 70% in the States, that's not on my agenda. But a tax rate of 50% on income above $750,000 or so with percentage surcharges at various incomes above that level would be perfectly reasonable.

              If you wish to discuss capitalist strikes and what to do about them, we can certainly do that.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:14:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ahem (0+ / 0-)

                It's probably an important thing to note why Hayek won the Nobel prize. It wasn't an endorsement of his entire ideology, but for his specific argument vis a vis the economic calculation problem.

                That's an important contribution as it discredited the central planners of the Soviet Union and other socialist reactionary governments like those of Cuba, and the PRC by showing that their economies were bound to fail.

                It wasn't necessarily an endorsement of his entire ideology which is extreme.

                However, this is pretty off topic from my original critique of the diary, the points of which haven't been refuted .

                Trying to steer this into the right direction,

                http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

                o where’s the problem? Well, to pay interest on that debt, the government will have to raise a lot more revenue. Again, this is a wash — the extra revenue is matched by the extra income people receive as bondholders. But tax rates will have to go way up; and because lump-sum taxes don’t exist in the real world, this means that marginal tax rates will have to go way up.

                And you don’t have to be a right-winger to acknowledge that yes, very high marginal tax rates act as a disincentive to productive activity. So real GDP may well fall significantly.

                •  Almost ALL Nobel laureates in economics... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  basquebob

                  ... are for specific arguments, not their entire ideology. My point was that even the smartest economists are, isn't this obvious, not cut from the same cloth.

                  So, if you want to play the economists' quote game, let's do it. Here are Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez:

                  According to our analysis of current tax rates and their elasticity, the revenue-maximizing top federal marginal income tax rate would be in or near the range of 50%-70% (taking into account that individuals face additional taxes from Medicare and state and local taxes). Thus we conclude that raising the top tax rate is very likely to result in revenue increases at least until we reach the 50% rate that held during the first Reagan administration, and possibly until the 70% rate of the 1970s. To reduce tax avoidance opportunities, tax rates on capital gains and dividends should increase along with the basic rate. Closing loopholes and stepping up enforcement would further limit tax avoidance and evasion.

                  But will raising top tax rates significantly lower economic growth? In the postwar U.S., higher top tax rates tend to go with higher economic growth—not lower. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP annual growth per capita (to adjust for population growth) averaged 1.68% between 1980 and 2010 when top tax rates were relatively low, while growth averaged 2.23% between 1950 and 1980 when top tax rates were at or above 70%.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 11:26:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well here's my critique (0+ / 0-)

                    of their article, and it's based on facts.
                    The only reason the higher marginal tax rates of 1950-1980 didn't lower growth is because the tax  code was so filled with deductions and loopholes that no one actually paid those tax rates.

                    This isn't speculation. People from all sides of the spectrum respect the tax policy center and here is their data. Heck I'll just quote from amother DK poster.

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    Third, your listing of top marginal rates is completely misleading, because it doesn't take into account two things:  (1) where those top rates started (nowhere NEAR $250,000 in today's dollars, more like 10 times that in today's dollars); (2) more importantly, what income was subject to those rates and what income was subject to exemptions/deductions/shelters. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed that so, so much that most honest discussions of tax rates recognize that it is impossible to compare marginal rates before and after -- it's apples and oranges.  The only reason that Eisenhower 90% rate was palatable in Eisenhower's day was (1) it started on Adjusted Gross Incomes over what would be millions in today's dollars; AND (2) there were so many deductions/exemptions/shelter that, even for the very rich, they paid that 90% on a much smaller portion of their income.

                    Much, much, much more honest is to look at EFFECTIVE tax rates -- how much each income level actually PAYS in federal income taxes. (That's why the "Buffett Rule" is couched in terms of a 30% EFFECTIVE rate rather than any marginal rate.)  Look at the SECOND chart here, which addresses federal individual income taxes.  The top 1% paid the highest effective rates under Clinton -- even MORE than they did when that top marginal rate was 70%.   Fpr incomes from, say $250,000 to $1 million in today's dollars, Clinton tax rates probably were the highest ever.

                    If you want to have a tax debate, you at least need to stick to facts to have credibility.  

                    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/...

                    If you actually want to look at the effect of high tax rates when you actually try to force people to pay them, look at what happened in France under Mitterand in the 80's. Or you can just wait for deja vu if Francois the fool actually institutes a 75 percent top rate. The current top rate in UK/FRA/GER is about 44-50 percent. We're not really that much lower when you consider the United States has both state and federal income taxes. Take our top 35 percent plus the 9 percent top rate if you are in California and you already hit 44 percent.

                    ----

                    I think at a certain point we could be talking past each other. I believe that the objective of a tax code is to raise revenue while not impeding growth, or more realistically keeping the drag to a minimum. Is that your goal?
                    Or would you prefer just to revert to the 70's when you have these absurd tax rates no one pays and weren't any more effective at raising revenue, but was a boon to Congress so people could lobby them and get a piece of the deduction/credits pie with a little dose of social engineering.

                    P.s. I am waiting for an apology for that smear regarding my moniker. I mean that was a real  sneaky guilt by association tactic.
                    Your about me page on daily kos says that you were involved with SDS.
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    You certainly wouldn't want someone to accuse you of endorsing all of the radical beliefs and rhetoric of Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and the rest of those imbeciles based on your association with that group.
                    Although at least in the case of Messr. Rubin, it seems he had some common sense smacked into him by the 1980's.

                    •  Oh (0+ / 0-)

                      you referred to my view on taxes as right wing.

                      The principle that our tax base should be as broad as possible and raise revenue with relatively lower marginal tax rates was what was proposed and passed in the 1986 tax reform.

                      That proposal was championed by Bill Bradley, , a Democrat and I Think a liberal. Neither Clinton or Obama proposed repealing the 1986 TRA although both have proposals to tinker with it on the margins.

                      So my ideas aren't right-wing they are within the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

                      Your views are more in line with what I would charitably call the "unreconstructed left" and the House Progressive Caucus.

                      The Simpson-Bowles tax proposal would be a good change relative to the status quo. It raises more revenue in a progressive fashion but does it with lower rates.
                      I have problems with some of their other proposals, but their tax proposal is excellent.

        •  How would MB "already" know that? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, basquebob, KenBee

          You've only been here a couple of weeks, you haven't written any diaries, and you've made just over a hundred comments (many of which don't appear to be well-received).

    •  What a crock of shit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, basquebob, Meteor Blades

      Loser liberalism, by implying that all fortunes are created equal, alternately goes too easy on scoundrels and comes down too hard on people who are merely prosperous. Chris Paul is in the one percent, but he's also a kid from a working class background who's spent his entire career being structurally underpaid and victimized by cartels.

      Obama is asking Chris Paul to pay an additional 5% of his $25 million per year income in taxes, so that the sort of programs (like inner city sports programs) that let him get out of poverty can continue.

      He has not spent his entire career being structurally underpaid and victimized by cartels unless you count his college years at Wake Forest. Even there you can argue that his ability to play against high quality competition without making any contractual commitment enhanced his lifetime earnings in a way that free market arrangements would not. The NBA monopoly works primarily to the benefit of players and against fans rather than simply for owners (who also clearly benefit)

      No one - especially not Obama, is suggesting any kind of punitive taxation of successful individuals.

      •  please don't feed the troll.... (0+ / 0-)
      •  I take it you're not an NBA fan (0+ / 0-)
        He has not spent his entire career being structurally underpaid and victimized by cartels unless you count his college years at Wake Forest.
        Even beyond his college years, since if you know NBA collective bargaining deals, you'd know that a salary cap and the maximum salary for younger players does hurt Chris Paul.

        The collective bargaining agreement's salary cap does screw players at the expense of owners.

        ---

        Btw, where did I imply Obama was supporting "punitive tax increases"

        Our current deficit is around 1 trillion . Eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the top 3 percent plus the buffett rule you get 84 billion.

        Now, many on this forum are saying let's go back to 50,60,70,80 percent tax rates to get the rest. That qualifies as punitive to me.

        More importantly, as my comment above notes, it ignores the pre-tax-transfer monopoly that certain firms/groups have.

        Another good example is the dentists cartel.

    •  i note (0+ / 0-)

      nothing in my post has been contradicted i take that as a victory

      •  So you have a high opinion of yourself, wow! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        Let me tell you how this works, no one likes paying higher taxes but soon they will start bitchin about the quality of the services they receive, the condition of the infrastructures they need and the kind of protections they get. That day will come soon enough, if we are not already there, and people will have to decide if they want to live  in a third world like society or in an advanced society. You defend the third world way, O.K., that's your right, but that's not what we here want or advocate. You see that word advocate, it means something.

        And as for this, you:

        Btw, where did I imply Obama was supporting "punitive tax increases"
        True, you did not.

        But then you go and say:

        Now, many on this forum are saying let's go back to 50,60,70,80 percent tax rates to get the rest. That qualifies as punitive to me.
        First, are you being a little disingenious are do you understand how those "50,60,70,80 percent tax rates" worked and work? Second, who are you voting for in November?

        Let me tell you, again, how you loose: coming to the wrong place to make the wrong arguments and advocating for what we believe in this "forum" is the wrong path. We have a fairly wide range of views here but all within the realm of promoting and advancing Democrats and Democratic values, with a capital D. Apparently you haven't figured that out yet. So if you are here to advance or advocate a third way or other parties' ideals, your stay here will be short lived. Good day.

        •  after disingenuous it should be or not are n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Damn, I didn't know America was 3rd world (0+ / 0-)

          in  the 1990's!

          let me tell you how this works, no one likes paying higher taxes but soon they will start bitchin about the quality of the services they receive, the condition of the infrastructures they need and the kind of protections they get. That day will come soon enough, if we are not already there, and people will have to decide if they want to live  in a third world like society
          First, are you being a little disingenious are do you understand how those "50,60,70,80 percent tax rates" worked and work? Second, who are you voting for in November?
          Yes, I do know how they work. They don't. They disrupt the economy, retard growth, and increase tax evasion. For examples, look at France under Mitterand and the Socialist Party in the 1980's It led to inflation and slow economic growth. And you'll see it again if Hollande decides to go through with his 75 percent tax rate.

          I'll be voting for Obama and I am a moderate . I have voted for members of both parties before.

          Now since you got to ask me two questions I get to ask you two.

          Do you accept the simple proposition that high marginal tax rates reduce incentives to work, save, and produce and that they retard economic growth?

          And also, do you realize that is not the Democratic Party of McGovern-Mondale,  but the party of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama?

          The New Democrats won. So you don't get to tell me what being  a Democrat is. Thank you very much.

          •  You mean like the America of the 50s and... (0+ / 0-)

            60s, why compare it to France?  You don't like America? Because, they did work here and they did not disrupt the economy. And are you sure in France it was all taxes? Because you see, I know in America they started cutting taxes, significantly, in the 70s and we know how all that ended by the time Volcker intervened. What was that 18% inflation?

            So no, I don't accept your simple proposition. Guess who else doesn't, Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet, a proven successful investor who knows a thing or two about the economy and incentives, or you? Not a hard choice.

            But look, let's not be disingenuous, anyone that is serious knows that tax policy alone does not determine inflation, growth and other parameters that measure the health of an economy. I would argue what you do with those taxes play a much bigger role. The higher taxes make you want to take your ball home is worn and discredited.

            As Mondale/McGovern, they never got the chance, so all you can do is speculate what kind of Presidents they would have been. I don't play those games, since I find them to be a waste of my time.

    •  MB assumes the Federal government can aid States (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Meteor Blades

      It's implicit in MB's diary, and explicit in nailbender' comment above, that while States may have balanced budget requirements, the Feds can lend a hand.  And that is just why all those Teabagging governors lined up to take Federal block grants in the President's stimulus -- so they could balance their budgets without totally gutting the services people depend upon.

      California's mess was created by hamstringing the ability of the legislature to do their job and raise revenue to match the needs and by not being able to respond to cyclical downturns in the economy by deficit spending.  (An absurd state of affairs for a state whose economy ranks as the 8th largest in the world.)  California stands as the prime example of what the Republican stewardship of government's role in the economy looks like:  a screwed up mess.

      •  Seeing that (0+ / 0-)

        California ranks #6 in tax burden among the 50 states, California has more than enough revenue.

        44 states do with much less and don't have fiscal crises every other year.

        But the diary went much beyond federal aid, and I addressed several issues there.

  •  Want to help stop the rabid Right in 2012? (5+ / 0-)

    When @Meteor_Blades writes -

    But replacing local politicians is equally important. Social media and other technological tools have yet to get a full work-out in this realm, the place where we create the deep bench of tomorrow's progressive leaders, the folks we can count on to keep public programs and public workers from getting trashed every time an economic crisis makes it easy. We need to be as attuned to these local and state contests as we are to those that decide who sits in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
    He means call up your local Democratic Party and offer to Volunteer to Walk and Knock in your own neighborhood.  

    You can get campaign literature and maybe even some 'flair' from your County Democratic Party and your PCO (precinct committee officer).

    Do 10 houses. Or do 100. There are about 1100 voters in each precinct, across the nation. We need to knock on as many of those doors as humanly possible between now and November 6th.

    Where to find your PCO or County Party? Start with this great tool from the www.democrats.org website, with your State Party links...

    Get out there, people, and get a little Feets.on.the.Streets action going in your own backyard.

    Remind them of what PBO and the Democratic Party have done for them.

    Remind them the PPACA put 6 million young adults back on their parents Ins.

    Filled in the Part D donut hole for prescriptions under Medicare.

    Stops Ins companies from refusing to cover and ends all lifetime and yearly limits on coverage.

    Requires refunds if the Ins. company spends less than 80% on actual medical care.

    Then remind them of just what the #GOP & #RomneyRyan plan for their mothers and wives and daughters - no abortions AND no contraception.

    No more Pell Grants.

    No Medicare (and ask if they think their Mom can buy insurance for $6,000 a year, because #RomneyRyan thinks so!).

    Best of all, remind them they want to do all of that AND give the richest among us more damned Tax Cuts!

    If we aren't willing to do it, how can we expect anyone else to help us Save our Democracy from the fucking Corporations and their minions?

    This year? Really Participate.

    Do it in your own neighborhood.

    Do it like your own child's life depends upon it, because some times, it does.

    Spread the word, please reTweet these, or copy and post yourself, PLEASE!

    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:44:43 PM PDT

  •  Here's my question... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri

    Can anyone think of a single example of a "small-government" country that is economically successful, has a good educational system and boasts a vibrant middle class? Seems to me that the countries with the smallest, weakest  governments - Haiti, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo - are some of the worst places of all to live. But maybe the Kossack collective wisdom can name some first-world small-gov countries.

    Maybe Switzerland? It has a great mostly-private-sector economy, low taxes, high per-capita income, and extremely low unemployment. BUT - big BUT - although it has a universal-conscription army, the last time that army was mobilized was in 1939. (Switzerland didn't actually go to war then - it mobilized to discourage invasion by Germany. BTW. the universal conscription requirement is just for men, and they're serious about it: if you don't quality for military duty you do some other form of public service.) So because Switzerland  doesn't try to be policeman of the world, its military spending doesn't gobble a huge chunk of its GDP like it does in the US. And, ironically, although Switzerland itself has a relatively small public sector, its economy still benefits greatly from public-sector spending. That's a direct result of its famous neutrality policy, which leads to a huge number of international orgs HQing there.

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:13:06 PM PDT

    •  Right on (0+ / 0-)

      This is the logic they never have to provide.   I hope we continue the momentum from this week to connect the dots of why Government is Good and is what patriots work for!

      The paradoxes are endless.  They dream of returning us to a faux 1950's America that actually had strong progressive taxation!  But really their dream is to make us into Haiti!

  •  Have to connect the dots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    The type of speech that Bill Clinton gave on Wednesday must be expanded to include why failed Republican policies were attempted in the first place and what their end game is.   All of the dots have to be connected explicitly in the public's mind.   After the last 5 years of grassroots political work, I know that people don't understand the political philosophy underlying the debate about public/private sector.   They don't think about why it is important for the public sector to exist and how it figures into a modern democratic government.   Privatizing is not really about the balance sheet at all.  We have to be able to make the argument once again for the public sector and good government and the crucial role it plays in a fair and just society.

    If citizenship is the bond between an individual and their  country,  then a public sector  that works to create more economic security, cure disease, care for the environment, dispense justice, educate our children, and protect us from a variety of harms is the agent of citizenship as well as the epitome of working to form a more perfect Union.

  •  if the democrats get control of the house again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, OleHippieChick

    and hold the white house and the senate, they really need to do whatever they can to increase public sector employment, and stop this austerity fetish. ditto for dems at the state level.

    more public employees = lower unemployment = higher tax revenue and lower social welfare costs = improved budget numbers = more money in the public coffers.

    just as economic crisis and austerity creates a vicious cycle that enables conservative attacks on the common good, an expanding economy with shared prosperity creates a virtuous cycle that makes those attacks harder to justify.

    stirling newberry wrote a ton about this back in the day with his "thermidorean cycle" stuff.

    best hopes for a sane second term for obama, and an end to this austerity trap.

  •  Is it only "The Plutocrats?" (0+ / 0-)

    Or "just ate the whole tube of the hair-gel" Rand Paul acolytes and their juvenile Ayn Randian theories?

    Or did the plutocrats reincarnate old Ayn to their own nefarious ends?

    I'm confused.

    Mitt Romney is to Successful Businessman as Serial Rapist is to Successful Ladies Man

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:09:42 PM PDT

  •  Plutocrats don't dream about killing jobs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, blue denim

    They dream about jobs that pay as little as possible.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:03:56 PM PDT

    •  If I may add one word.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      franklyn, blue denim
      Plutocrats don't just dream about killing jobs, they dream about jobs that pay as little as possible.
      After all, outsourcing/offshoring for cheap non-OSHA - non-enviromentally protected labor and work places overseas have their added costs too - transportation, shipping, (publicly) schooled labor force, lack of equivalent to U.S. legal protections etc.
  •  This is why the stimulus had to be tied to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Meteor Blades

    state governments not reducing state workforces.

    Many economists predicted this, and many people suggested the stimulus-state payroll linkage...

    but NOOO

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:07:39 PM PDT

  •  This is another reason (3+ / 0-)

    why the American Jobs Act needs to be passed by Congress. We are not going to have a full recovery until the public sector is adding jobs alongside the private sector. More laid off gov't workers means less people receiving a paycheck, paying taxes and buying products at a local business, which creates less demand for that business, which means few new employees hired at that business. The American Jobs Act would set the stage with a full broad based recovery. That's why I wish the President when he's campaigning, he would mention that he also has an immediate plan to help the recovery. If he keeps reminding voters about the American Jobs Act and why it's important, it will resonate well with voters that he's got both an immediate and long term plans to fix the economy.

  •  Plain English? Fire Sale. Vultures. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, blue denim

    Plus, war on women and minorities (who work in the public sector....)?

    Is this a power grab? To hobble regulators and public-interest providers  and to make Pottersville a reality?

  •  "The Unemployment Rate Without Government Cuts: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekgrulez1, blue denim

    ..7.1%
    Economists View - Monday, September 10, 2012

    The Labor Department’s establishment survey of employers — the jobs count that it bases its payroll figures on — shows that the government has been steadily shedding workers since the crisis struck, with 586,000 fewer jobs than in December 2008. ... But the survey of households that the unemployment rate is based on suggests the government job cuts have been much, much worse.
    [snip]
    The unemployment rate would be far lower if it hadn’t been for those cuts: If there were as many people working in government as there were in December 2008, the unemployment rate in April would have been 7.1%, not 8.1%.
    So the republicans, in order to "prove" that government doesn't create jobs are willing to tank the economy as justification to "drown govt. in a bathtub",  knowingly and willingly fire working people no matter who also gets drowned along the way.

    This austerity crap is not about the debt & deficit.  It's about power - forcing the cost of labor downwards by making people beg for work for less & less pay - disgusting greed is what it is imo

  •  FRED (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Meteor Blades

    Federal Reserve Economic Data is the go to place for the numbers on government employees.

    Besides "all government employees" (civilian) there's data for federal only

    and

    Local govt

    and
    Local govt education

    Not to forget the growth area: "privatized" government workers:

    Although the federal workforce has grown somewhat in recent years, a 2006 study estimated that the “hidden” federal workforce of contractors and grantees grew by more than 50% between 1999 and 2005, when it reportedly included more than 10.5 million jobs in 2005. That figure is almost four times as large as the combined total of all three branches of government and the U.S. Postal Service.
  •  baggers gleefully proclaim: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue denim

    "we are broke!"
    yet they don't flinch when the Ryan budget allocates billions more to the military than the Pentagon asks for.

    Cognitive dissonance much?

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