1- We need a massive jobs program in this country and we need to pressure corporations through taxes, fines and even criminal prosecution to invest here in productive activities.
2- We need justice for those who wrecked the economy - why are none of these crooks in prison?
3- Fiscal cliff deal or not we need government policies that reflect the fact that the Democrats won the election and the Democratic constituency is tired of these deals with hostage taking maniacs. Did you know that a majoroty of votes for members of Congress were Democratic votes? If this coutry were a democracy the Republicans would not be in charge of the House of Representatives! We need Democracy, and we need it now!
4- Both parties are getting ready to pull a scam on the American people called "Chained CPI." We can't expect the media to alert us or explain this shell game to us. It will result not only in Social Security cuts, it will cunningly impose stralth tax hikes on working class and middle class Americans. Yes, believe it, they're setting you up for another rip off!
5- Why must the Fed lend 30 billion a month interest free to the banks? Exrend these loans to home owners, renters, small businesses including unemployed seeking to become self employed! REal help for people crushed by student loan debt is possible and needed right now. For a change let's have the money "percolate up" instead of "trickle down!"
6- We could easily cut the military budget massively. Let's stop trying to tell the world how it must behave and start taking care of our own problems!
More Fairness, Less Deficit
Our first three proposals could bring in $329 billion a year; this alone would solve the deficit problem while helping to close the yawning inequality gap.
1. Tax Wall Street: $150 billion per year. A tiny tax on stock and derivatives transactions, which several European countries are on track to adopt, would discourage Wall Street speculation, fill the hole in the deficit left by the Bush tax cuts, and leave plenty left over to fund lots of programs. The National Nurses Union and many other allies are fighting hard for this.
2. Tax Corporations and Stop Tax Haven Abuse: $100 billion per year. The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency coalition has pointed out that one of the main ways that corporations avoid paying taxes is by declaring their profits in overseas tax havens like the Cayman Islands.
3. Tax the Wealthy Fairly: $79 billion per year. Our rigged tax code lets CEOs pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries do (as Warren Buffett keeps pointing out). The proposed Fairness in Taxation Act (HR 1124) would address this by adding five additional tax brackets for incomes over $1 million.
The United States is now off the charts in terms of wealth and income inequality. It doesn’t have to be that way.
These three policy changes would go a long way toward making our society more equal, and that means better health, too. There is a terrific body of global evidence, a lot of it compiled by British researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, that more equal societies are much healthier. People at all income levels live longer; they are more fulfilled; and there is less violence. The United States, a relatively equal society as recently as the 1970s, is now off the charts in terms of wealth and income inequality. It doesn’t have to be that way. Just as we created a more just and vibrant economy and a strong middle class through fair taxes between 1940 and 1980, we can do it again through progressive taxation.
More Green, Less Pollution
The second source of revenue would make the economy more green, a key imperative in a world where the environmental crisis is now as deep as the economic one. We found two simple ways to raise revenues and help save the environment.
4. Tax Pollution: $75 billion per year. A tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels would reduce our dependence on oil while cutting air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases. And, as economist Robert Frank pointed out on August 25 in The New York Times, “News that a carbon tax was coming would create a stampede to develop energy-saving technologies.”
5. End Fossil Fuel Subsidies: $12 billion per year. This call should unite left and right. Why would anyone want to maintain a giant government subsidy to an industry that is the world’s major contributor to fossil-fuel emissions? 350.org has made this a centerpiece of their work. We should be able to win this.
More Savings, Less War
Finally, there are simple ways to cut the military while making the country and the world more secure. More than half of government discretionary spending now goes to the military. Congress has long avoided cuts, in part because they equate military spending with jobs, but IPS has pointed out that almost every other industry employs more workers per dollar than the military. Plus, there is now bipartisan support for two sets of significant cuts.
6. End Military Waste: $109 billion per year. A broad spectrum of experts has found over $100 billion a year in waste that could be eliminated with no sacrifice in security. Three recent commissions, two of them bi-partisan, have recommended roughly $1 trillion in military cuts over 10 years.
7. Close a third of our overseas bases and our Iraq operations: $21 billion per year. Over two decades after the Cold War ended, the United States still maintains roughly 1,000 military installations in other countries. A majority of the President’s own deficit commission, which includes three Republican senators—the National Commission on Financial Responsibility and Reform—backed a proposal to close one third of our overseas military bases.
This plan could help erase the nation’s dangerous social and environmental deficits.
These seven simple steps would raise close to $550 billion a year. They would quickly erase the fiscal deficit and return the country to a healthy budget surplus. There would be hundreds of billions left to invest in key sectors that could make the country more secure, more green, and more equitable: care jobs, green jobs, infrastructure jobs.
In other words, this plan could help erase the nation’s dangerous social and environmental deficits.