Posts Tagged ‘wealthy


Two Americas


Madame Soph


Been mostly lurking these past few days. Haven’t had many positive words to contribute, so I’ve chosen “praying” over “saying” But something happened last night that I felt I needed to share.

I have lived most of my life in neighborhoods where most of the residents were renters, rather than owners. One area in particular had a helicopter noise issue that was almost unbearable at times. The helicopters would circle overhead endlessly, making the neighborhood feel like a war zone. It got so it was unusual to have a quiet night, and I could relate to that Ice Cube song, “It Was a Good Day.” I would call the local PD and ask what was up and would be told about things like, “there is a fist-fight at a party” or some other minor incident. Finally the phone operator confessed that the city had been given all these helicopters after 911, but the deal was that they had to keep them up in the air for a certain number of hours per month in order to keep them. I commented to her that they flew them over the areas with home renters (also the area with more brown people), rather than home owners, because the rich people fund campaigns and vote and would complain). Her laugh and silence told me that I was correct in my assumption.

Jump to now. I am doing a kind of house-sitting thing for a friend that has landed me in a very affluent suburban community. I have been living here over six months and have never heard helicopters circling, until last night. I heard one overhead going round and round and making an announcement over a loudspeaker. Of course, I assumed they were after some fugitive or something. Nope. The announcer was repeating a male (child’s?) name, along with the words “your family is looking for you. Please get to a phone and dial 911.”

This absolutely floored me! So, in this neighborhood they send out helicopters to find lost neighborhood kids? When I was a kid, the only announcement came from your mom, yelling your name out the front door.

The difference between these two experiences hit me especially in light of recent events. O.k. back to lurking and praying. Thanks to all the TODers for your insightful and informative posts.




Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama returns to the White House from the Los Cabos G-20 Summit, June 20


Sensible people, of course, ignore polls at this point ….. so, I’m sure most of the media will ignore this one:

Bloomberg: Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll … Obama leads Romney 53% to 40% among likely voters …

The survey shows Romney has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48% see him unfavorably – a 17% point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55%, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36% who say the president is more out of touch….

……. Beyond Romney’s low favorability ratings, the poll reflects perceived weaknesses for the Republican challenger both in style and substance. Only 31 percent of likely voters say they’d want to sit next to Romney on a long airplane flight, compared with 57 percent who prefer Obama as a seat mate.

Full article here



Washington Post: The seven Bain Capital founders believed they were so destined to make millions that the young men posed for a photo on the grand marble staircase of Boston’s Copley Place with $10 and $20 bills popping out of their shirt collars, tucked behind their eyeglasses and clutched in their teeth.

… At the 1984 photo shoot, Romney and his partners were celebrating not only their new company but also the ethos of their era …. years later, as Romney pursued the presidency, the photo surfaced on the front page of the Boston Globe, part of the newspaper’s 2007 biographical series about Romney…

“I was stunned when I saw it,” said Graham, who was not in the picture. “I was upset. I thought it was tacky. I thought it was inappropriate. They must’ve done it in a moment of giddiness.”

…. Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic strategist … called it “an iconic image of what could be perceived of greed or a total focus only on the bottom line and making a buck. That’s why it’s so powerful. It’s iconic.”

… The founders came to Bain from different backgrounds, yet they were a homogenous group. Each was white and male, and by 1994, a decade after the company started, there were still no black or Hispanic employees among the 40 professionals and eight support staff members, the Boston Globe reported at the time.

Full article here



Washington Post: Republicans’ emerging problem with Latino voters looks even worse when you factor in the electoral college.

A look at Latino population trends in swing and key red states shows just how ominous the GOP’s future could be if it doesn’t do something about its current struggles with Latino voters.

We noted yesterday that nationwide population and minority voting trends paint a haunting picture for the GOP. But the problem is particularly acute because of the states where Latino growth has been strongest — particularly several key swing states and red states that Democrats are hoping to put in play in the coming elections…..

More here




Washington Post: The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday.

The report, prepared by Senate Democrats and reviewed by nonpartisan tax experts, marks the first attempt to quantify the trade-offs inherent in the GOP tax package, which would replace the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent.

…. The net result: Married couples in that income range would pay an additional $2,700 annually to the Internal Revenue Service, on top of the tax increases that are scheduled to hit every American household when the George W. Bush-era cuts expire at the end of the year.

Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.

Full article here



Denver Post: First lady Michelle Obama will speak in Colorado today as part of an outreach campaign aimed at grassroots supporters.

…. she will start the two-stop state tour at Arapahoe High School in Centennial at 10:30 a.m. and will then travel to the Creative Arts Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo around 1:40 p.m.


Thanks Jovie


Morning everyone 😉



David Nakamura (Washington Post): President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.

… Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.

Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.

Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.

…. The President is scheduled to visit a high school in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday and to travel to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Friday to tout the plan.

Full article here


Steve Benen: …. the Obama administration’s approach to financing is heartening – there’s been all kinds of scuttlebutt about the White House proposing regressive policies to pay for the jobs bill, and the rumors were wrong. The president and his team are pushing the better – and incidentally, more popular – financing option.

And the more the GOP opposes this approach, the more Obama will pose the options the way he did on Thursday night:

“Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both.

Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both.

….These are real choices that we’ve got to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close. And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.”

Full post here




the tale of two townhalls … poor paul ryan


which half of the bridge won’t get built?



Clay Bennett

St Louis Post-Dispatch: …  Paul Ryan’s plan offers a big bouquet to wealthy Americans, cutting their tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent; eliminating the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends. The richest 1 percent, who already take in nearly a quarter of American income and control almost 40 percent of all forms of wealth, would see their taxes cut in half. The average tax cut for millionaires would be about $500,000 a year.

The burden of the Ryan plan would be born by the shrinking middle class, which would lose its single biggest tax break, the deduction for home mortgages; and the elderly, who would see their Medicare health coverage effectively eliminated. Medicare for those already age 55 or older would be left alone (for political reasons) but younger Americans, as they become eligible, would get vouchers to purchase care on insurance exchanges …He would turn Medicaid, which pays for medical care for the poor, into a block grant program, letting states spend it as they wish.

Mr. Ryan’s bill is a potpourri of crackpot Republican ideas – a “business consumption tax” that is effectively a value-added (sales) tax that falls most heavily on the poor and middle class; the discredited trickle-down nonsense of Reaganomics;  “flat” (or at least flat-ish) tax rates and the shredding of the social services safety net. Defense spending would not be cut. Spending on veterans’ health care would be.

….Clearly spending must be cut. But it must be done fairly, in combination with new revenue generated from those who can afford it, and without imposing heavier burdens on those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

…House GOP negotiators are held hostage by 87 freshmen zealots; the White House is holding out for short-term fixes in the probably vain hope that adults will gather and talk seriously about the long term.

The government may have to grind to a halt before that can happen. That, and public outrage over the Ryan plan, may play right into Mr. Obama’s hands.

Full article here


There’s another great post here on Ryan’s plan by PM Carpenter (Thank you Ladyhawke)


poor steve

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): The other day, the Associated Press reported that House Republicans were going easy on their own budgets for staff and salaries even as they hack away at the budgets of many federal agencies.

Along these lines, constituents in Arkansas’ third district recently had a question for their new Congressman, freshman GOP Rep. Steve Womack. If Republicans are cutting the budget, why not cut proportionally into their own salaries and benefits, too? A local Arkansas paper reports that Womack gave his constituents an interesting answer:

More than one person asked Womack, during and right after the public meeting at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale, why members of Congress couldn’t trim their own salary and health benefits as part of the many other domestic programs facing cuts.

Womack responded … “My income is $174,000 a year. I do make a sizable amount, more than many people in this room, but I am not a wealthy person.”

Full article here







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June 2023