Revenue

AUDIO: Debt Debate Not a Debate At All

— Maz
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UFE's Tim Sullivan joined Andrea Sears on WBAI Pacifica Radio New York to make it clear that the debt standoff in Washington, D.C. has become an exercise in political posturing and brinksmanship, rather than public service.

Sears refers to UFE's recent blog post, "7 Questions on the Debt that Politicians Don't Want Us to Ask," in which we compare various spending priorities to emphasize what Republicans' "no new taxes" approach could mean for ordinary families, and expresses confusion over the focus of the debate in Washington:

"These are things that are not being discussed in Washington. I'm just baffled by this. The country is in terrible shape right now, economically, and yet the debate in Washington is restricted to sloganeering: no new taxes, don't tax the job creators, who haven't created a job since Reagan."

Click here to listen to the interview. (Forward to 6:40 for the interview with Tim Sullivan.)

Seattle RW member Speaks Up on Debt Debate

— Maz
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Tracy Lake can't believe that anyone would be willing to risk the U.S. credit rating.

TRACY LAKE: It's probably the most valued asset we have in a global economy, is the faith in credit of our ability to pay something back. And the fact that we've already purchased goods and services, and now we're deciding whether or not we're going to pay for them is just plain wrong.

KASTE: Lake is a real estate developer and she's worried that a downgrade would raise interest rates and make it harder to get the loans she needs to run her business. Like Carender, she's politically active but she's part of Responsible Wealth, an organization of well-to-do types that want to pay higher taxes.

LAKE: The only right and moral thing is to tax the wealthy, wealthier part of our population.

KASTE: Be completely honest. If you had to pay a higher tax rate, wouldn't that suppress you're productivity as a company, or your ability to employ people?

LAKE: Yes, it would. But I look at it this way: I am where I am because of opportunities afforded me because of our economic structure, because of our culture, because of the freedom and access to education. Wealthy Americans owe this due bill back to our country for the opportunity to earn great sums of money.

Listen to the story and read the full transcript on NPR.org

11 Things the Wealthiest Americans Can Buy for the U.S.

— Shannon M.
11 things

11 Things the Wealthiest Americans Can Buy for the U.S. (that most families can't afford for themselves!).

Download a PDF of "11 Things" (PDF)

Contact comms@faireconomy.org to order high quality printed copies of our infographics.

The Bush Tax Cuts Ten Year Hangover

— Maz
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Ten years ago, the great con known as the Bush tax cuts was signed into law.

We were told that the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration would be better off in the hands of the taxpayers. Those tax breaks were to stimulate the economy, create jobs and lead us all to the American Dream.

Of course, the story of the past decade has been much different:

The lion's share of the tax breaks were stuffed into the pockets of a small percentage of taxpayers. The top 10 percent of earners received 55 percent of the tax benefits; the top 1 percent alone grabbed 38 percent. And, at the tip top of the income scale, the top .01 percent of households snatched an average cut of $520,000, or 450 times the average break for a middle-income family.

The current unemployment rate of 9.1 percent is more than double the rate in the same month a decade ago. In more human terms, 13.7 million people are currently looking for work but can't find a job. But those figures are upwards of 76 percent higher if we include the under-employed and folks discouraged by a still-thin job market.

As for the American dream of white picket fences and a home to call your own, overall home foreclosures were two-and-a-half times above the 2001 rate by the end of 2010. Today, roughly 3.7 million homes are in danger of foreclosure.

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