imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Obama Team's Deficit Cutting Proposal: Benefit the Few, Harm the Many

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Obama's Robin Hood economics

Obama Team's Deficit Cutting Proposal: Benefit the Few, Harm the Many - by Stephen Lendman

Some background. In his January 27 State of the Union address, Obama announced plans to "freeze government spending for three years," starting in 2011, saying he'd establish a bipartisan fiscal commission by executive order to cut the deficit by imposed austerity. In other words, harm the many by social spending cuts, including Social Security and Medicare, not defense, banker handouts, other corporate favorite subsidies, or the rich.

Then on February 18, a White House press release announced the commission's establishment - a "bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF)," co-chaired by two deficit hawks, former Senator Alan Simpson (R. WY) and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, heading an 18-member team stacked with like-minded members. Their mandate: slash Medicare, Social Security and other social spending. Fiscal austerity for the many, unlimited wealth opportunities for the few, an agenda from hell.

On November 10, New York Times writer Jackie Calmes headlined, "Panel Seeks Social Security Cuts and Tax Increases,' saying:

Obama's commission presented "a politically provocative and economically ambitious package, (igniting) a debate that is likely to grip the country for years." Among others, its proposals include:

-- ending or capping middle class tax breaks, including deductions for home mortgage interest and tax-free employer provided medical insurance;

-- taxing capital gains and dividends the same as ordinary income; long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are currently taxed at 15%;

-- lowering income tax rates dramatically to 9, 15 and 24%, down from six current brackets ranging from 10 - 35% for income over 3,650;

-- slashing corporate tax rates from the top 35% rate to 26%, combined with eliminating some deductions;

-- making permanent the research and development tax credit;

-- making deeper Medicare cuts; increasing Medicaid co-pays; slashing billion from graduate medical education; and enacting "comprehensive tort reform," making it harder for aggrieved patients to file malpractice suits;

-- raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075; reducing cost-of-living increases, now based on annual inflation rates; raising the payroll tax ceiling to 0,000, letting million dollar earners off the hook like now;

-- cutting the federal work force 10% by 2015, adding to the unemployment rolls;

-- raising the federal gasoline tax by 15 cents a gallon and imposing "user fees" on motorists - to have workers fund the federal transportation and highway spending program; and

-- cutting 0 billion in military spending, including administration, inefficiencies, "unnecessary" weapons (likely ones Pentagon brass don't want in lieu of others they won't sacrifice), force contingents on overseas bases, and healthcare benefits for military retirees through enacted premiums and higher co-pays; unmentioned is the Pentagon's open-ended black budget, supplemental Iraq and Afghanistan appropriations, and commitment to continued imperial wars; also that military spending will grow annually, unimpeded;

Overall, by 2020, NCFRF proposes cutting growing deficits by about .8 trillion, half of the expected .7 trillion otherwise incurred.

At the Seoul, South Korea G-20 summit, Obama asked Democrat party leaders to hold off criticizing necessary "tough choices," adding:

"Before anybody starts shooting down proposals, we need to listen, gather up all the facts, and be straight with the American people." What, in fact, he hasn't done on all administration policies since taking office, nor is he doing now, proposing enormous harm to working Americans, while showering benefits on corporate favorites, bankers most of all. Wall Street, in fact, is spending millions of dollars promoting NCFRF's proposal.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, hardly a legitimate rank and file supporter, said the proposal amounts to telling "working Americans to 'Drop Dead'. Especially in these tough economic times, it is unconscionable to be proposing cuts to the critical economic lifelines for working people, Social Security and Medicare."

Even the conservative Americans for Tax Reform expressed criticism, saying:

"It confirms what everyone has known - this commission is merely an excuse to raise net taxes on the American people," ordinary ones, that is.

If approved, in whole or in part, proposed changes will become effective in 2012. Deficit hawks want it accomplished before the 112th Congress convenes in January. Public anger is needed to stop it, a thinly veiled scheme to take from the many for the few, the administration very supportive. Rhetoric aside, coming debate will determine whether congressional Democrats concur. At this point, it's not a done deal. Clearly, however, political sentiment favors cuts on the backs of those least able to afford or contest them, ordinary people always betrayed, Obama again proving more ruthless than Bush.

The Myth of the Social Security Crisis

Ending it is ultimately planned, preceded by benefit cuts and privatization, a scheme based on bogusly claiming future insolvency if remedial action isn't taken. In fact, Social Security sound and secure, the most conservative projections showing all scheduled benefits can be paid for the next 27 years with no structural changes. Saying it's going broke is a lie. Using that excuse for Medicare is another canard. Both programs are fiscally sound if properly administered.



Even by 2100, retiree benefits will be double what current recipients get, with minor or no remedial adjustments. Media reports, however, say otherwise, calling the system in crisis when none whatever exists. For decades, it's been the single most important program keeping seniors and the disabled out of poverty. Eroding or destroying benefits will be catastrophic. That's precisely what's planned, however, Obama in tow with Wall Street, betraying the people who elected him, this among many other ways.

If ever a Social Security fix is needed, a simple solution exists. Remove the payroll tax ceiling, taxing all earned income at the same rate. Doing it will dispel insolvency arguments. Improved fairness will also result for a program designed as social insurance, not welfare, as is Medicare, both programs funded by employer/employee payroll tax deductions.

Another equitable solution is also avoided - overhauling the dysfunctional tax system, replacing it with a progressive one, making high earners pay their fair share instead of getting a free ride like today.

Robin Hood Economics

At issue, is ending all social benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, returning America to pre-New Deal days with everyone on their own to survive. At the same time, military budgets keep rising. Greater wealth disparity is planned, and repressive crackdowns will target resisters, both parties committed to regressive changes, no end to imperial harshness, and channeling the nation's resources unfairly, benefitting the few, not the many.

A Final Comment

Whatever National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF) proposals are adopted, more are coming, including from a lesser known group - the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) headed by former Senator Pete Domenici (R. NM) and Alice Rivlin, former Congressional Budget Office director and Clinton Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Established in 2007 by former Senators Howard Baker (R. TN), Tom Daschle (D. SD), Bob Dole (R. KS), and George Mitchell (D. ME), it aims "to develop and promote solutions....that make sense for the nation and can be embraced by both sides of the aisle." Its focused issues include national and homeland security, financial services, transportation, and reducing the nation's deficit. Its recommended spending cuts will be proposed, complementing NCFRF's with more draconian ones, underscoring fear to get them enacted.

In a November 10 press release, BPC "appaud(ed NCFRF's) efforts....to address the nation's serious fiscal problems and hopes they can achieve the commission's support for a viable plan."

A supportive November 10 New York Times editorial also endorsed it titled, "Some Fiscal Reality," saying:

"The draft proposal by the chairmen of President Obama's deficit-reduction commission was a welcome antidote to the low-minded debate that dominated the midterm elections," offering "no credible plans."

"It lays out sensible principles....It puts everything on the table, including tax reform" and spending cuts. "At a time when good ideas are depressingly scarce in the political and economic debate, and bipartisan agreement even scarcer, this is a commendable start."

The editorial ended saying:

"We hoped the Republicans would pause long enough in their gleeful planning of President Obama's final defeat, and the Democrats would stop wringing their hands, long enough to read this important document - and then act on it."

Given decades of distorting and suppressing truth, endorsing imperial wars, supporting wealth and power, backing corporate interests, and disdaining working Americans, the Times' position is unsurprising. It also recommends a value added tax to "spur growth," hitting lower income Americans hardest if enacted.

Hopefully saner voices and public outrage will kill it, sending it to history's dustbin where it belongs, along with neanderthal extremists who proposed it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
The Rich Followers of Satan on Wall St. Waging their Post 9-11 War on The Poor The Rich Wall St. Followers of Satan Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010 at 11:45 PM
...uhh, thank's for the synopsis ,"The Rich..." Wall Street Puppet Monday, Nov. 15, 2010 at 3:04 AM

Local News

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Portland, Oregon N20 8:39PM

Socialism in American English N20 12:04PM

Noske, noskisme réactualisé N20 11:29AM

Oprah Please Stop Selling Dead Animal Pieces N20 3:32AM

Down In Smoke SF N20 12:03AM

Credit Mr. Richard Enos with outstanding penmanship N19 6:08AM

Master list=====47 million american on foodstamp List State plus Federal N18 8:21PM

Cholesterol Medicine Causes Alzheimers N18 7:40PM

Lucifers Banker N18 7:38PM

Paraphysique du scientisme N18 9:19AM

USDA Withholds Names Of Turkey Companies Spreading Salmonella N17 7:51PM

Hebron, Ben-Gurion, and UNESCO N17 6:00PM

What Can Destroy Enclosure? N17 1:47PM

Please Help Mississippians Vote For Mike Espy On Nov 27th N17 7:42AM

The Incredible & Brilliant Work of Dr TOMO SHIBATA N17 5:19AM

October 2018 Honduras Coup update N16 9:22PM

Profit de guerre, guerre de profit N16 11:58AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Seattle N15 7:22PM

Paraphysique du prodrome oukase N15 12:39PM

President Trump: Hurricane Relief Should not Pay Puerto Rico Debt N14 8:54PM

94 Of Rick Scott's, Brian Kemp's, the Mississippi GOP's & Other Republican Campaign Crime N13 9:42PM

30 Of Brian Kemp's Felonious Racist Vote Suppression Crimes N13 8:42PM

Help translation of From Islam To Womanism book on IndieGoGo N13 12:04PM

COP 21, 25, 32, de l'écocide organisé N11 11:45PM

fbi & fmj are ' Lord of the Flies ' N11 8:26PM

Parangon d'une grande infestation N11 12:03AM

Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min N10 10:19PM

OBAMA WERE POW'S LEFTBEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:57PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy