Americans Spoke Back To Pete Peterson's America Speaks Farce
I don't want to see a real class war in America, where millions and millions of ordinary Americans get pushed so far up against the wall and just get so fed up with being cheated that they finally rise up and start hunting the plutocrats and their whores in the streets and chop them into pieces and feed them to dogs. That can still be averted-- though not by slick plutocratic ploys like Pete Peterson's Austerity Pimp Revue that Digby live-blogged so eloquently this weekend-- at those two links and here.
I'm not suggesting anyone chop up any plutocrats or Wall Street brokers; that's not why I'm suggesting you read the Pete Peterson crap, even if that would be the normal reaction of many people to seeing it. I like this woman's reaction more; she participated in southeast Pennsylvania and she was smart enough to think outside of the Peterson Box, a box designed to give the political elite-- a useless segment of society installed to serve the interest of the plutocrats-- the excuse they would prefer to cut Social Security and Medicare and to push even further the redistribution of wealth away from working people and more towards social parasites.
Yesterday Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign For America's Future, pointed out, as Robin in the video above did, and as Digby did, over the course of the weekend did, that ordinary Americans who attended the sessions were not buying into the reactionary premises and the stacked deck the political elites were offering. Hickey's point, something many participants noticed, was that the whole process was flawed because the slickly presented background material was so flawed. "Peterson," he wrote, "cannot be pleased with the participants' mainly progressive policy choices, which will be presented on June 30 to the Deficit Commission that Peterson encouraged President Obama to create. According to America Speaks' own press release, when a scientifically selected group of participants picked up their electronic voting devices, they overwhelmingly supported proposals to:
• Raise tax rates on corporate income and those earning more than $1 million.
• Reduce military spending by 10 to 15 percent,
• Create a carbon tax and a securities-transaction tax.
That's not what the elites want to hear from us. Remember, we're supposed to pay, through crushing "austerity" programs, the mistakes in handling the economy since 1981 when Reagan kicked into gear an uninterrupted corporatist takeover of the country. It continues today; keep in mind the current stooge's Chief of Staff is a Wall Street puppet who shoved NAFTA down Congress' throat.
I have a modest proposal. How about if we hold off on all this stuff for a minute? Just stop everything for one minute here, and let's try something that makes sense. Everybody pays-- through withholding-- a small payroll tax (FICA) to fund Social Security, providing benefits for retirees, the disabled, and minor children of deceased workers. This is the major portion of income tax for most Americans-- like over 75% of us. But this tax is not paid on any income over $106,800 (gross) and not paid on any income from stocks or bonds. If someone makes $20,000,000 a year they pay the same percentage as someone who makes $20,000 a year: 6.2% on $106,800-- $6,621.60. If a more typical American family with two incomes-- a husband making $53,000 and a wife making $53,000, say-- they pay the same thing as the guy making $20,000,000 a year. If Rchie Rich were paying his fair share ($1,240,000) there would be no crisis, That's why rich people hire lobbyists and buy corrupt politicians-- whether we're talking about virtually the entire GOP, but especially the wheeler-dealers like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Raul Ryan, and Joe Barton, or Democrats like Rahm Emanuel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Blue Dogs and Steny Hoyer who operate just like them-- and whose careers they finance. Let's end the $106,800 cut off on taxes and let the wealthy pay their fair share, see if that works out and then talk about austerity and budget deficits after that.