Sen. Bernie Sanders: a progressive agenda for ALL of us

Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote an excellent article regarding Congress’ responsibility to address two issues very soon: 1) reversing the decline of the middle class and creating jobs WITH LIVING WAGES, and 2) addressing the $1 trillion deficit and $16 trillion national debt in a way that doesn’t cause austerity cuts on the backs of the most vulnerable: seniors, veterans, students, children, the poor and the working poor (i.e. Mitt’s 47 percent).

Today, the top 1 percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent of Americans. In 2010, 93 percent of all new income went to just the top 1 percent. In terms of wealth, the top 1 percent owns 42 percent of the wealth in America while the bottom 60 percent owns just 2.3 percent.

“[In] America today we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth and …the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider.”

In my view, we will not make progress in addressing either the jobs or deficit crisis unless we are prepared to take on the greed of Wall Street and big-money interests who want more and more for themselves at the expense of all Americans. Let’s be clear. Class warfare is being waged in this country. It is being waged by the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adeslon, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and all the others who want to decimate working families in order to make the wealthiest people even wealthier. In this class war that we didn’t start, let’s make sure it is the middle class and working families who win, not the millionaires and billionaires.

In terms of deficit reduction, let us remember that when Bill Clinton left office in January of 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS and we were on track to eliminate the entire national debt by the year 2010.

What happened? How did we go from significant federal budget surpluses to massive deficits? Frankly, it is not that complicated.

President George W. Bush and the so-called “deficit hawks” chose to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but “forgot” to pay for those wars … provided huge tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans … established a Medicare prescription drug program written by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, but they “forgot” to pay for it… Further, as a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, this country was driven into the worst recession since the Great Depression which resulted in a massive reduction in federal revenue. And now … these very same Republican “deficit hawks” want to fix the mess they created by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education, while lowering income tax rates for the wealthy and large corporations…

What can we do?

  1. First, at a time when the effective tax rate for the rich is the lowest in decades, we must repeal the Bush tax breaks for the top 2 percent which will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
  2. Second, we must recognize that Wall Street caused the economic crisis, and that it has a responsibility to reduce the deficit
  3. Third, we have got to prohibit offshore tax shelters. Each and every year, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax revenues due to offshore tax abuses by the wealthy and large corporations…
  4. Fourth, at a time when we have almost tripled military spending since 1997 and spend nearly as much on the military as the rest of the world combined, we must reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon
  5. Fifth, we have got to eliminate tax breaks for companies shipping American jobs overseas

What else? Continue reading…

This is exactly what Joe Biden was saying the other night:

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Citizens United gave billionaires the opportunity to own the United States government

“What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires and the corporations they control: ‘You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government.’” — Bernie Sanders (via humanformat)

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 6.14.2012

WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————

“With how he treated me, is that how he’s going to treat others? You know, if he gets in office is he going to be that way to us little people?” — Dianne Bauer, owner of the Main Street Diner in Council Bluffs, Iowa, regarding Mitt Romney’s use of her diner for a campaign stop (The answer is YES, Dianne, of course that’s how he treats the little people who aren’t immediately being used as a photo-op. lol)

Mitt the Mormon — The uptick in anti-Mormon voter attitudes may come as a surprise to those who predicted Romney’s candidacy would have a mainstreaming effect on his faith. But as University of Sydney scholar David Smith, the paper’s author, writes, just as President Obama’s successful candidacy didn’t put an end to tense race relations in America, Romney’s political assent hasn’t cured the country of anti-Mormonism. In fact, as the data shows, Romney’s rise may have led to increased anxiety about his religion among his natural political opponents. […] Strikingly, the correlation between attitudes about Mormonism and support for Romney is even stronger than political ideology or party identification. Perhaps most potentially distressing to Romney’s campaign is the study’s finding that conservatives who said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon were much more likely to say they were undecided or would not vote at all in a contest between Obama and Romney. Pundits have been predicting for months that anti-Mormon Republicans would stay home in November; this study reaffirms that idea. – Buzzfeed

Romney tells CEOs they deserve more tax cuts, deregulation, and warm tongue baths from DC – Preaching to the converted on lower taxes and less regulation, Republican Mitt Romney courted more than 100 of America’s top chief executives Wednesday demanding government be an ally of enterprise, “not the enemy. Government has to be the partner, the friend, the ally, the supporter of enterprise — not the enemy,” Romney told a gathering of the Business Roundtable, a grouping of executives of leading US firms with some $6 trillion in annual revenue. “Too often, you find yourself facing a government that looks at you like you’re the bad guys,” he said in a 20-minute speech before going into a closed-door discussion with his audience. “I want to change the attitude (in Washington) and encourage the growth of enterprise in this country.”Raw Story

  • Romney Endorses Massive Corporate Tax Giveaway That Failed To Create Jobs In The Past – [At the same CEO roundtable, Romney] called for the repeal of the tax on corporate profits that is levied when those profits are returned (repatriated) to America. Repealing the tax, Romney said, would drive investment in the United States and spur job creation. In the past, however, temporary tax holidays for profits stored overseas have not led to the job creation that proponents promised. Instead of creating jobs, companies used a 2004 repatriation tax holiday to line their executives’ pockets, paying stock dividends and buying back shares. The holiday “didn’t accomplish the stated goals of bringing jobs and investment to the US,” according to former member of President Bush’s Council on Economic Advisers. –  Think Progress

image: 1percenthole

Adelson give $10 million to Romney Super PAC – Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped keep Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential campaign alive during the GOP primaries, is giving $10 million to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, the Wall Street Journal reports. The $10 million donation to the super PAC Restore Our Future appears to be the largest single donation toward Romney’s efforts so far.  – Political Wire

The rise of the megadonors (the end of democracy) –The Adelsons are hardly the only ones taking advantage of the post-Citizens-United free-for-all. But they are blowing all other donors away: Their spending exceeds that of the next six biggest donors. (So far, most major donors are also supporting conservative super-PACs, which are outspending their liberal counterparts by a factor of 7 to 1.) – Mother Jones

John McCain Haz a Sad – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told The Hill that President Obama never made a sincere effort to reach out to him after the 2008 election. He wants us to know he’s not bitter, though – not even a little bit.

How they cheat to win in Michigan – Michigan Republicans passed three bills yesterday to make voting harder. In particular, the legislation makes it harder to run a voter-registration drive. As has been their custom this year, House Republicans passed the legislation under immediate effect over the objections of the minority Democrats. That means the legislation could become law this year instead of waiting until 2013. – Maddow Blog

WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————

“I am telling you, I want you all to pay attention over the next five months and see if they’re offering a single thing that they did not try when they were in charge, because you won’t see it.”President Obama


image: randomactsofchaos

A lampoon of Mitt Romney, by Mitt Romney: “Out of touch” – the video features a highlight reel of the Republican’s gaffes,  a collection of Romney’s missteps, including such comments as “corporations are people,” “I like being able to fire people,” and “I’m also unemployed.”

Sen. Sanders blasts conflicts of interest at the Federal Reserve – Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday explained the importance of ending conflicts of interest at the Federal Reserve, [such as with] Jamie Dimon, the CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, serv[ing] on the New York Fed’s board of directors. “The idea that we don’t have a Fed which is sitting there with knowledgeable, intelligent people who are fighting for the middle class and working families and not just for the profits of the large financial institutions — I mean, to me, that’s just a very simple reform,” Sanders said on Current TV’s Viewpoint. “But at the end of the day, if we are serious about trying to rebuild the middle class of this country, rebuild our manufacturing sector, et cetera, no question we need real Wall Street reform. To get Wall Street reform, we need Fed reform. To get Fed reform, we’ve got to get the bankers off of the regional Feds.” Sanders has introduced the Federal Reserve Independence Act to prohibit banking industry executives from serving as Fed directors. – Raw Story

Millions of old people are benefitting from Obamacare but are voting for Romney anyway – A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services study determined that senior citizens more than any other demographic group of Americans benefit from Obamacare. The law hasn’t even really kicked in fully and yet 14.3 million senior citizens have benefitted from the law’s preventative care provisions. In other words, millions of old people have received free preventative care via Medicare that they wouldn’t have received if Obamacare hadn’t been passed. And so they’re going to vote for the guy who wants to repeal the law. – Bob Cesca

  • CBO Director: Romney’s claim is nonsense — Mitt Romney and many other Republicans commonly claim that President Obama’s health care law is already harming small businesses in the U.S. …Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, called that nonsense. “We don’t think that the health care law is having a significant impact on the economy today,” Elmendorf told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast roundtable Wednesday.  – TPM
  • More Romney nonsense: Obamacare made a small business in Iowa close — Mitt Romney has debuted a new talking point on the campaign trail, arguing Obama is out of touch with the negative impact Obamacare is having on small businesses. …Romney’s claim is based on a local interview Obama gave in Iowa, in which the president was told by a reporter that a local company had closed and was moving jobs to Wisconsin because of Obamacare. [...] It turns out that the company didn’t close because of Obamacare at all, according to a company spokesperson. What’s more, the company sees lack of demand as the key problem — a lack of demand that is partly due to the drive to repeal or modify Obamacare, not to the implementation of the law itself. [...] “We never said health care reform is the reason we’re closing and consolidating that operation,” Schurman said. “We never said it’s the result of the health care reform legislation.” – Greg Sargent

Senate Republicans introduce bill to block Obama Admin’s rule allowing home health workers to earn minimum wage – The Obama administration last year introduced a rule that would extend minimum wage protections to home health workers who, up to that point, had received no guarantee of a livable wage or fair overtime pay. But Senate Republicans are attempting to block the rule from going into effect:  A group of Republican senators on Thursday introduced legislation aimed at blocking the Obama administration’s controversial efforts to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to 2 million in-home care providers through Department of Labor regulations  Think Progress

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney will deliver economic speeches in Ohio today. – Associated Press

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 5.10.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—

BIPARTISANSHIP to the modern Republican: after defeating Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana primary, Richard Mourdock dismissed Lugar’s parting shot.
 
Source: sandandglass

PART OF SEN. RICHARD LUGAR’S searing concession statement — “Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times. Certainly this was understood by President Reagan, who worked with Democrats frequently and showed flexibility that would be ridiculed today — from assenting to tax increases in the 1983 Social Security fix, to compromising on landmark tax reform legislation in 1986, to advancing arms control agreements in his second term. I don’t remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc… If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader…” Ezra Klein

COLIN POWELL: War with Iraq was never debated — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell provides what may be the most authoritative confirmation yet that there was never a considered debate in the George W. Bush White House about whether going to war in Iraq was really a good idea. [...] “By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met — and never would meet — to discuss the decision.” — HuffPo

 
AFTER WEEKS of blaming Obama for rising gas prices, Fox News is asking if the decrease in gas prices may be a bad thing, links the decrease to a weak economy and, again, blames Obama. — Fox News: Rising gas prices were bad. Now falling prices are bad. Both are Obama’s fault

MICHELE BACHANN granted dual Swiss-American citizenship — “Congresswoman Bachmann’s husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978,” said her spokeswoman Becky Rogness said in a statement given to the Politico.com website and other US media…“Recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family,” the spokeswoman said. — Raw Story 

  • BACHMANN HAS ISSUES with the truth — even about this: Her statement that she has been a citizen since 1978 is based off a technicality – at the time of her marriage, automatic citizenship was granted to those who married Swiss citizens. However, Marcus Bachmann, her husband, did not register their marriage with Swiss authorities until this year – meaning that the Swiss government was not aware of it until recently. — Politico
  • AS A CITIZEN OF SWITZERLAND, Bachmann [and her kids] can now partake in a healthcare system that is the envy of the world. It has transparent costs, it is consumer driven, and it provides near universal coverage. It also has an individual mandate: all Swiss citizens are required to purchase basic health insurance. You may recall that the current Supreme Court challenge against Obamacare rests on the contention that its health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. The Swiss mandate seems to only apply to all residents of Switzerland, so Bachmann may be able to get out of it by not living there full time. — The Daily Beast

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

OBAMA: ‘Same sex couples should be able to get married’ — It’s a breakthrough moment for a president who already has a rather impressive record on advancing LGBT rights, and an unexpected step forward for the gay-rights movement. — Steve Benen [image: drunkonstevphen]

  • That isn’t an “impressive” record. It’s AMAZING. That’s what flummoxes me about many activists. Those are real accomplishments, yet we still had folks (Dan Choi, Aravosis, I’m looking at you) flaming the President. …What is listed here are real actions. …But even if Obama had maintained his earlier position on same-sex marriage, he still has done more to advance gay rights than any other President, by a ridiculously wide margin. Faced with a congress more hostile than what Bill Clinton ever faced, he is UNDOING much of the damage inflicted on the gay community by none other than Bill Clinton. — John Cole

THANK President Obama for supporting marriage equality!

~~~

REID DRAWS A LINE on Rolling Back Sequester – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that Senate Democrats would not agree to replace mandated spending cuts unless Republicans agree to a “balanced” approach that asks the wealthy to help pay for it. — Roll Call

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS sees a lesson for the United States in the European elections — “In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.” — Crooks & Liars

FROM PETER ORSZAG, after reporting on new evidence that the incomes of the very rich are far more sensitive to economic growth than in the past: If anything, high-earning households should be the ones most in favor of aggressively boosting the economy in the short run — and not just out of benevolence. Yet I suspect, without definitive proof, that support for additional stimulus declines as one moves up the income scale. — Well, I suspect that he suspects right. I also suspect that the very rich (a) just flatly don’t believe that Keynesian stimulus works, and (b) know for sure that tax cuts will increase their disposable incomes. So it’s Team Austerity for them. Sure, they’ll have to ride out the bad times by letting one of the yacht scrubbers go, but everyone has to make sacrifices, right? — Kevin Drum

image: Austerity Fever | NYTimes

Earth Day: or we could just say ‘screw it’ and hope for a quick Rapture™

via: socialuprooting

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 4.19.2012

————————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

MITT ROMNEY, Who Spent 212 Days Out Of State One Year, Attacks Obama For Vacationing — Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took up a common conservative refrain against the president today, attacking Obama for supposedly vacationing too much. “I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years particularly when the American people are out of work,” Romney said …As of August of last year, when Obama’s vacations briefly dominated the news cycle, George W. Bush had taken almost three times as many vacation days as Obama, and Ronald Reagan had taken almost double the days at similar points in their terms. But the tact is especially odd coming from Romney, who is no stranger to taking leaves while in office. In 2006, his last year as governor of Massachusetts, Romney spent 212 days out of state — more than four days each week, on average — preparing for a presidential run. […] This vacation hypocrisy is nothing new for Romney, though, who attacked Obama last year for going to tony Martha’s Vineyard — even though it turned out Romney would be on the island on the very same day. More importantly, in this day and age, no president is ever out of communication, no matter where in the world they go. So any discussion of Obama’s vacationing is mere distraction and a weak attempt to make a scandal out of nothing.

REPUBLICANS PICK AND CHOOSE THEIR “CHRISTIAN” CONVICTIONS: Boehner to Catholic bishops: Take ‘bigger look’ at Republican budget –Referencing Matthew 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that benefited the least among us. But Boehner, a Catholic, said at a press conference Wednesday the cuts were necessary, despite the impact they may have on the poor.  [...] The House Agriculture Committee approved a measure on Wednesday that would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food stamps, by $133 billion over the next decade. Approximately 2 million individuals would be cut off from the program entirely, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. Another 44 million would see their benefits cut. In a letter to House Committee on Agriculture members, Bishop Stephen Blaire described the proposed cuts to the program as “unjustified and wrong.” “If savings need to be achieved, cuts to agricultural subsidies and direct payments should be considered before cutting anti-hunger programs that help feed poor and vulnerable people,” he continued.

After Demanding Offsets For Payroll Tax Cut, GOP Won’t Offset ‘Small Business’ Tax Cut For Millionaires — Despite calls from some conservative members of the party, GOP leadership won’t demand spending cuts to offset the “small business” tax cut that is being proposed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Politico reports: Several Republican leadership aides say they have no plans to offset the tax cut, which a centerpiece of their agenda during these next two weeks in session. The payroll tax cut, which Republicans did everything to block until it became politically impossible to continue, primarily benefited working class Americans and has real economic benefits. Cantor’s tax cut, on the other hand, is supposedly targeted at small businesses, but will largely aid millionaires like Oprah Winfrey and the owners of professional sports franchises. According to the Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon, the bill gives millionaires an average tax cut of $45,000.

Cantor ‘Puzzled’ That Obama Would Threaten To Veto The Latest GOP Tax Cut For Millionaires — Due to its non-existent targeting to actual small businesses, the cut would benefit hedge fund managers, wealthy lawyers, professional sports teams, and Oprah’s production company. Despite all this, Cantor is still “puzzled” that President Obama would threaten to veto the bill, which he did yesterday. On CNBC this morning, Cantor accused Obama of not caring about small businesses due to his opposition to the tax giveaway: Well, listen, the President’s now issued a veto threat against the bill, which is kind of puzzling, because the President has continued to say he’s for small business, he’s for the middle class, and yet he’s now denying any help to small businesses, who frankly could use a 20 percent tax cut…

Republicans Give Up The Game: It Was Never About Deficits — The contrast is particularly stark this week: Senate Republicans blocked the Buffett Rule, dismissing its capacity to raise $47 billion over 10 years, while House Republicans are pushing a broad business tax cut that would add $46 billion to the deficit in just one year. On top of that, House committees are now looking for ways to override automatic cuts to defense spending they agreed to last August as a means of enforcing the controversial debt-limit deal. [...] Underlying this story is a broader GOP strategy of using deficits as a cudgel to attack Democrats when they come to power and use legislative leverage to force cuts to federal programs. Democrats yielded to the GOP for the first half of 2011. But small government isn’t synonymous with responsible budgeting, and when Democrats demanded that Republicans look to the other side of the federal ledger to reduce deficits, the GOP implicitly acknowledged that bringing the budget closer to balance wasn’t their real priority. Democrats say they’re still willing to address deficits with the GOP, but only under a more balanced approach. Republicans so far haven’t budged, and many would rather see wholesale changes to the rules of governing than make concessions to grapple seriously with the issue that they put on the national agenda.

RIP DICK CLARK — LET’S MAKE YOUR DEATH INTO A GOP TALKING POINT: GOP lawmaker: Dick Clark should be remembered as model of free enterprise — [House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.)] came to the House floor just a few hours after Clark’s death was reported, and said an ongoing Republican speech about the need to foster small businesses reminded him of the discussions he had with Clark over the years about taxes and free enterprise. “I just want to say that as I listen to your discussion, I was reminded of how he regularly said everyone should pay their fair share of taxes,” Dreier said of Clark. “He said that not too long ago to me. “I said I appreciate that, because he knew he was paying my salary,” Dreier said, adding that he had dinner with Clark just two weeks ago. “He was a believer in the free-enterprise system, he was a believer in encouraging individual initiative and opportunity on a regular basis,” Dreier said. “You guys are here talking about the need for tax fairness and the imperative to ensure that we encourage more people like Dick Clark. I think it’s important for us to remember the wonderful life that this man had.”

—————————————————————-PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

OBAMA TO GOP: Abide By Debt Limit Deal Or Else Face A Government Shutdown — In a major escalation of a slowly building fight over funding the government, the White House has warned House Republicans, in no uncertain terms, that the government will shut down in September if the GOP does not adhere to an agreement they cut with Democrats in August during the standoff over raising the nation’s debt limit. “Until the House of Representatives indicates that it will abide by last summer’s agreement, the President will not be able to sign any appropriations bills,” writes Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, in a letter addressed to congressional appropriators Wednesday. The message is simple: The government will shut down just ahead of the 2012 presidential election if Republicans break faith with the debt limit deal. [TPM]

BERNIE SANDERS: Congress spends day and night worrying about the wealthy — “This country faces enormous problems, the middle-class is declining, poverty is increasing, we’re worried about global warming, we’re worried about health care, we’re worried about education,” he said, “and the American people are looking to Washington and saying, ‘What’s going on? We have enormous problems, and you’re not addressing those problems.’” “One of the reasons that Congress is not addressing those problems is the power of big money in terms of campaign contributions and in terms of lobbying,” Sanders continued. “Working people are trying to keep their heads above water, and here on Capitol Hill all kinds of money is flooding into this institution so that Congress spends day and night worrying about the wealthy and powerful, and forgetting about the middle-class and working families.” He blasted the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which held that limiting corporate campaign spending violated the First Amendment. [...] Sen. Charles Schumer said at the summit that the Citizens United decision was the worst since Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld state laws enacting racial segregation. “Something like 17 people have given half the Republican super PACS half of their money,” he noted. “What is happening to America?”

I BLAME FOX NEWS: The latest Pew poll shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama by a full six points — 50% to 44% — among senior citizens. Ingrates. The president is saving Medicare recipients billions of dollars by closing the Medicare Part-D donut hole, and yet they’re leaning Romney. A new HHS report indicates that 3.6 million Medicare enrollees saved a total of $2.1 billion in 2011 thanks to these ACA provisions. And since the discounts are phased in slowly between 2010 and 2020, the savings will only increase in the future. Old people should be at the top of the pro-Obama roster because of this. After all, if Romney is elected, he’ll repeal the ACA and the donut hole will open up again, meaning senior citizens will have to pay for life-saving prescriptions out of their own fixed-income pockets for a period time every single year. [Bob Cesca]

Same Thing, Both Sides Do It, GOTCHA LIBTARDS! — So apparently, when Obama was a young boy, someone fed him dog meat in Indonesia. Which, according to wingnuts, is exactly the same thing as a grown man making the decision to strap his dog to the roof of the car and terrorize it on a cross country trip. SUCK ON THAT LIBERALS! And of course the WH press corpse is on the job mainstreaming this bullshit.

JOHN BOEHNER YESTERDAY: “This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s economic policies. They’ve not only not helped the economy, they’ve actually made it worse. When you look at his higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control, they’ve scared every businessperson and investor in America.” Speaker Boehner has an odd definition of “worse.” While Boehner talks about Obama’s “higher taxes,” Obama has actually cut taxes. While Boehner said Obama has refused to deal with the debt, Obama offered Boehner a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan that Republicans rejected. While Boehner frets over a “regulatory regime,” Obama has actually created fewer regulations than his Republican predecessor. And then there’s the notion that Obama made the economy “worse.”… [Time for Boehner to update his talking points]

“I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor.”

via: politicalprof

“This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.”— Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senate Budget Committee, Nov. 18, 2011

Plus:

Bernie Sanders: strengthen Social Security, make incomes above $250K a year subject to payroll tax

A forthcoming bill to be proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the only Democratic Socialist in the U.S. Senate, would make incomes above $250,000-a-year subject to the payroll tax, a move he says will make the nation’s most beloved social safety net program, Social Security, significantly stronger. The current payroll tax, which is Social Security’s sole source of funding, only applies to incomes up to $106,800-a-year. Sanders’ bill would not tax incomes between that amount and $250,000-a-year.

Sanders: Strengthen Social Security by taxing large incomes

Sen. Bernie Sanders: #SharedSacrifice

Addendum to my last post: some Dems/Independents ARE actively trying to educate the public on the revenue vs. spending issues. @SenatorSanders, for one:

Sanders: Cutting Medicare is not the answer
(COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: July 7, 2011)

It’s not like they’re creating jobs…

Bernie Sanders has a great idea:

Under Sanders’ legislation, a 5.4 percent tax on income of more than $1 million a year would yield up to $50 billion annually for the U.S. Treasury.

The same legislation would end tax breaks for big oil and gas companies. That provision would yield about $3.5 billion a year in new revenue.

Sanders voted yesterday against a House-passed spending bill that slashed Head Start, Pell grants, community health centers, LIHEAP, the Social Security Administration and many other programs that are vitally important to millions of middle-class families.

“The Republicans wanted to move toward a balanced budget solely on the backs of the middle class and some of the most vulnerable people in this country, but didn’t ask the wealthiest people, who are becoming much wealthier, to contribute one penny in shared sacrifice.”

I don’t think it’s out of line to ask the wealthy to start contributing their fair share.They’ve been raking it in at the expense of everyone else for over a decade.

Here’s exactly what Robert Reich is talking about.