Cut The Deficit: Raise Taxes On the Rich And Corporations

Digby descibes Joe Biden answering Andrea Mitchell (a/k/a known as Mrs. Alan Greenspan - I think she should have to disclose this whenever she "reports" on economic and financial matters):

The Vice President actually came to the set to be grilled by Mrs Alan Greenspan. Here's her first question: ["]First of all the budget ... and these deficits.. Deficits, red ink as far as the eye can see! [. . .] Have we reached a point where our deficits have become a national security issue?" Joe Biden said no, but it could happen if we don't bring down spending.

(Emphasis supplied.) Here's a thought - Mr. Vice President - why not address the deficit by raising taxes on the rich and on corporations? As it is, if you are going to exempt 80% of the federal budget from cuts or freezes, then "cutting spending" as a way to reduce the deficit is all just empty rhetoric.

Speaking for me only

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    Quite the pathetic state we are in (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:22:19 PM EST
    Those who could easily "sacrifice" the most are asked to the least.

    Jesus would be proud, wingers.

    Micturate down economics (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:28:03 PM EST
    by any other name.

    What's good for General Bullmoose is good for the U.S.A.


    Dadler... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:36:08 PM EST
    you talking about the rich or the government?

    Never mind...same difference.


    Won't even plant a seed (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:43:33 PM EST
    about ever needing to raise taxes. I can only hope he did not weep out loud about the Bush tax cuts that are expiring.

    So, in essence, the deficit wars (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:45:58 PM EST
    will be fought with the blood and sweat of the same people who fight our military wars: those at the middle-to-lower end of the socio-economic strata.

    I say we start a Deficit Draft, and conscript the wealthy to pay for the wars they want other people to fight so they don't have to get their hands dirty.

    [Yeah, like that would actually happen...]

    Well said (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:00:10 PM EST
    And, all things considered, as just a concept as the reasons given for all the other drafts.

    Which is totally utterly... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:08:54 PM EST
    unjust...but at least its an unjust idea whose heart is in the right place!

    Though I cannot imagine how much money the state would piss away if they could cover the deficit via a deficit draft...we'd have 25% of the population in prison and 2 more occupations going or things equally nasty.


    So, you think the more money the (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:29:04 PM EST
    government had, the more likely it would be to use it for putting people in prison and fighting wars?

    Deficit or no deficit, the government always has money for war; the one thing it would not have is more (lame) excuses for why it cannot fund things that would improve the quality of life for millions of people.


    Lets not our kid ourselves Anne... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:34:07 PM EST
    we could give the government a googleplex of dollars every year and they'd still say no soup for the poor in the budget...only bones.  But we'd have more killer drones than we have sky.

    So you're saying basically (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:02:59 PM EST
    that hating and fearing the poor is rooted in human nature?

    Like some sort of Darwinian culling-the-herd instinct?


    No... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:13:04 PM EST
    I'm saying government as we know it is a protection racket for the rich and little more...any money that passes back and forth between country club members and party members is like Thurston Howell transferring funds from one bank to another...only the bare minimum to stave off revolution makes its way down to Gilligan.

    The professor dont get (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:23:41 PM EST
    all that much either. Unless he's developing new strains of anthrax.

    But the Prof has got a house... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    and two cars to placate him.  Even Gilligan has a cot and 2-3 hots so it certainly could be worse...even if it's the same slop everyday and the cot is hell on the back.

    I think that could be true if we allow (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:36:28 PM EST
    this shift to the right, to more conservative government, to continue, which is why I think it is more important than ever that strong liberal voices make noise and refuse to back down ("liberal" because it has punch; "progressive" has manners, and it's time to stop being polite about all of this).

    I think what you already believe exists is the best argument for more partisanship, not less; for more distinction between the two major parties, not less.  We need fewer advocates for corporate America and more advocates for the people, but as long as corporations continue to, and are encouraged and emboldened to, pick up the tab for elections, we are going to drift more and more to being represented by one party: the Corporatist Party, whose slogan will be, "Let them eat cake!"

    Our elections need to be 100% publicly funded; it's the only way I see to giving the people a fighting chance at getting their voice back.


    Sounds good to me... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:44:50 PM EST
    but nobody votes for Kuchinich so the way it is must be the way we want it...or at least it is what we deserve.

    How much is it what people (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:03:38 PM EST
    "want" and how much of it is the result of the "engineering of consent" on the part of those with the power to wield the most influence over what people think?

    A hundred years ago, Hearst said that HE would provide the war. And he meant it.


    The status quo it is not the way (none / 0) (#33)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:46:03 PM EST
    many of us "want it"; nor is it what anybody "deserves" - not the ones who profit nor those who perish.

    Beg to differ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:58:25 PM EST
    it must be what we want and certainly deserve, excluding the selfless very few who devote a majority of their lives to the betterment of mankind in some tangible way.

    The proof is in the vast majority of us not even  lifting a finger one Tuesday a year to try something new.


    kdog, where is your tender mercy? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:27:08 PM EST
    You're saying: everybody must "devote a majority of their lives to the betterment of mankind in some tangible way" in order to prove that they neither want, nor deserve, to be shafted by the military-industrial-corporate complex, et al?

    That's a pretty merciless and unattainable standard isn't it? Furthermore, if we all actually spent the "majority of our lives" in such fanciful, presumably "selfless", service to the greater good, essentially we'd all be monks and nuns and the species would cease to exist.

    In reality, the vast majority of mature adults spend a vast majority of time: doing our best to make a decent and honest living, to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs - while parenting children, taking care of sick and aging parents and helping out our friends and acquaintances and the community at large.

    In other words, the vast majority of ordinary people already spend most waking hours doing something that contributes, directly or indirectly, to the greater good. Believe me, we don't want to be $crewed by a purely self-serving lawless overclass of filthy-rich bankers and their political puppets. And if you considered yourself one of "us" you might be less inclined to think we deserve to be $crewed. Just saying.


    I'm saying the very least... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:23:35 AM EST
    the good decent people you describe who are having a hard enough time getting by in this f*cked up world (you, me, most working Americans) can do is to vote for somebody besides a corporate stooge...and see if it helps.  If we can't even do that we shouldn't be crying "woe is us".

    I do consider myself one of y'all, of course...and I wonder why so many of "us" continue year after year after year to elect and re-elect crooked sob's...when we do that we deserve what we get...I'm sorry.  And I deserve what I get because I ain't doing d*ck except helping friends and family in need when I can, being a good neighbor, and trying not to hurt nobody.  In a perfect world being a good person would be enough...but sun god knows sh*t ain't perfect...we need to get more involved, sh*t get revolutionary...or accept our lot in this nation.


    Wake up! (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:29:38 AM EST
    They're ALL Corporate Stooges.

    They're like the Bloods and the Crips; people choose those crooks who will hurt them less than the other.


    Maybe they all are... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:37:38 AM EST
    even my boy Ralph...but the cats with D's and R's after their name have proven it time and time again...we could at least give a Ralph a shot and then evaluate the situation.

    When 10 Democrats (none / 0) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:48:56 AM EST
    crossed the aisle and voted with the R's forbidding bankruptcy judges from using the "cramdown" provision on "underwater" homes and which would have kept many, many marginal homeowners (and families) in their homes, I gave up.

    Maybe it's just my age......


    I'd like to think that while I am not (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:45:31 PM EST
    necessarily saving the world, I am at least not making it a worse place to be.  We've worked long and hard for what we have, we've managed to produce two children who are good and decent people, we are good neighbors, good friends, have cared and are caring for the older generation.  We are the people who play by the rules, who have taught our children that you do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and we absolutely do not deserve to be ignored, marginalized or saddled with the a disporportionately large share of the burden for the cost of wars we didn't agree with or a massive bailout for corporations that have only learned that the worse their behavior, the larger the reward.  We vote and have insilled in our children the ethos of fulfilling obligations for the privilege of living in a free society.

    What I and many others are struggling to come to terms with is being abandoned by the institutions and individuals who are supposed to be working for us, and how we can shift the power back to us.

    Publicly-funded elections.  We've just got to do it.


    I can understand that struggle Anne... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:26:24 AM EST
    to discover what you believed in your whole life was a lie...truth, justice, and the American way a lie...that's tough to come to grips with.  But once you see the joint for what it is, and continue to enable the way it is...you deserve the way it is.  

    k (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:58:06 PM EST
    we have a soft law enforcement/military dictatorship
    in place and a populace that, at this point, is practically addicted to sh*tting it's knickers with fear and morbid curiosity about criminals, non-Biblical consciousness expansion, who's shtupping who and TERRORISTS. And the whole thing is
    being constantly reinforced and perpetuated 24-7 on a psychological level by the Pentagon-Law Enforcement-Media p.r mill -- which includes all those fictional cop shows in which Sir Lancelot saves us from all those scary boogie men out there.

    At this point, the best we can hope for are incremental victories, the hope for a better day, enlightened discussion and activism that nudges us in the right direction and duck 'n cover from this perfect beast that we've built. And keep your mind free and your heart open.

    Not to put too fine a point on it.


    An excellent summary... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:22:02 PM EST
    of 8 years of my comments jondee.

    And my solution, which is not really a solution at all but a self-preserving surrender, can be best summed up in song.

    Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think


    Here's another song you may appreciate, kdog (none / 0) (#36)
    by cymro on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:41:57 PM EST
    No, Surrender by Justin Currie. Notice the comma in the title.

    Love a music turn-on... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    I'll check it out...gracias!

    Nope .. you can also give up (none / 0) (#38)
    by nyrias on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:19:58 PM EST
    and yield to human nature.

    Do I want the "rich" to pay more taxes? Yes, as long as they are richer than me. Just don't define me as rich.

    Do I want 3 strikes laws? Yes. Some criminal in prison in one who will never bother me. Most Americans are not anywhere close to being affected negatively by this law, so why would they care?

    Plus, most Americans care more about what happen tonight on LOST (yes yes yes .. season premiere finally), than any of the issues you are talking about.

    Give up and you will be less stressful. It is counter productive to stress over situations that is out of your control.


    Making matters still worse, (none / 0) (#13)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:34:20 PM EST
    wars that yield profit for our wealthiest "citizens."

    Oops! That's a dirty little bit we're never supposed to talk about.


    That body armor mogul's (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:44:09 PM EST
    ten million dollar Bat Mitzvah party for his daughter, right in the middle of a war (theoretically) fought for HIM -- and with his sub-par body armor -- pretty much sums a mentality that seems to be all-too-prevalent in this country.

    The ethos is that they benefit us all simply by EXISTING (thank you Ron!) without having to do anything else.


    Where will their money come from? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:39:42 PM EST
    The problem with this mindset to me is that, if the bottom and middle tier are allowed to collapse, what will support the top?

    The rich get rich off the middle class, not the other way around.

    The global rich think in terms of global consumer (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by esmense on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:58:49 PM EST
    markets. Consumer demand is growing in places like India and China -- that's where they see the future.

    Deficit hawk stupidity (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:17:11 PM EST
    I just noticed this from Michael Lind about deficit hawks and the stupid homilies they use about the family budget.

    Today's debate about deficits is the same debate we've heard for decades.  What's worse about the debate we're having today is that heavier spending in certain categories is needed but probably won't happen because of the deficit hawks and their refusal to raise taxes on those who have benefitted from unrealistically low rates and can easily afford to pay higher rates.

    What to say to Mrs. Andrea Mitchell (none / 0) (#43)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:51:11 PM EST
    /Greenspan & other johnny come lately deficit hawks:  Where were you [and your husband] when the deficits were sky-rocketing under GWB?  How come they were not dangerous then?  Perhaps you would prefer that Bill Clinton return to the Fed Govt to help do what he did so well -- eliminate the deficit, which forced Greenspan to confess back then that Clinton had a rare grasp for a politician of the significance of the deficit.  And, where would she/they propose we make cuts that would involve shared sacrifice?

    Or (none / 0) (#50)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:48:22 AM EST
    when deficits were soaring under Reagan and her old man was Fed chairman.  For that matter their crowd was screaming when H W Bush promoted a tiny increase in taxes when confronted with a record deficit.

    Tell me his quote (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:18:17 PM EST
    was actually related to bringing down health costs by passing a health care public option?


    Public Option and Democratic leadership (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:37:05 PM EST
    The Democratic National Committee is defending its decision to spend nearly $500,000 on television ads that, in the process of defending Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for his support of health care reform, took a swipe at a public option for insurance coverage. link

    Another thought... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:59:27 PM EST
    for Biden...get your head outta your arse regarding drug policy and we'd have some savings/new revenues to get the deficit down...your past legislative work is a big part of the problem dude, never mind the rich not properly funding their protection racket.

    Tax cuts for the rich == spending (none / 0) (#11)
    by s5 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:31:47 PM EST
    Maybe that's the framing they're going with. Should be interesting if it is.

    Don't agree with BTD about that (none / 0) (#16)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:44:43 PM EST
    framing: it sounds like the right winger's fear of what socialism is: the idea that your money is the governments.
    Straight up justifications for Progressive taxation are possible; tax cuts=spending is a worse idea than routinely calling Republicans Teabaggers, which is one of the stupidest things I've seen from Democrats in a while.

    tax cuts for the RICH (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:55:47 PM EST
    not just tax cuts.

    Think Bankers.

    Taxing the rich is very popular.


    Right, but you're still saying (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:18:51 PM EST
    that their money belongs to the government.
    Of course I agree with you on policy; I just am skeptical this is the right way to advance said policy.

    You can't tax away this deficit (none / 0) (#24)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:22:33 PM EST
    Personnel taxes are too low (income, capital gains) but corporate taxes are very high compared to the rest of the industrialized world.

    If our tax code was 75% for the richest Americans we wouldn't pay off the deficit.

    So what next?

    Democrats must cut spending across the board.  Military, NASA, crime, Social Security etc...

    Both democrats and republicans are part of the problem.

    Democrats want to raise taxes and spending, republicans want to cut taxes and cut some spending while raising spending in other areas.

    Obama's budget is a farce.  

    Until both parties get serious our entire nation is headed for the problems we're seeing in California and other fiscally unsound states.

    The bottom line is every administration has increased spending.  The only question is did they increase it less or more then the economy grew or tax revenues kept up.

    Bottom line we have to start reducing our spending.  

    This is a bipartisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution.

    Simply raising taxes won't help if spending keeps on rising.

    We're broke.

    A sovereign country is never broke. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by my opinion on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:42:41 PM EST
    Absolutely on the mark (none / 0) (#39)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:25:51 PM EST
    In fact a healthy nation should have debt.

    You might enjoy what Micheal Lind has to say about that subject.


    Lind is an idiot (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by coast on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:25:04 PM EST
    If the government was a business, they wouldn't be able to get a loan.  No bank would lend to a company that has deficit in retained earnings and is projecting to have losses for the next ten years.

    Debt is good and taxes are patriotic.  Please let this be the platform that democrats will run on in 2010.  


    The government is not a business. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 11:25:42 AM EST
    I think the idiot (none / 0) (#49)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:43:04 AM EST
    here are the deficit hawks not Lind.

    Having debt and (none / 0) (#44)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:54:02 PM EST
    having debt that exceeds income and/or ability to repay debt as it becomes due are two different things....

    Do you (none / 0) (#48)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:41:17 AM EST
    have a mortgage on your house?

    Does the amount of the mortgage exceed your income?

    The United States has ample resources to make payments on the debt.

    You should know that.


    If income so ample (none / 0) (#60)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 09:34:31 PM EST
    why are we facing cuts to Social Security, etc? Agreed that right now U.S. can pay debt service, but as debt service increases, other things have to be cut -- or don't they?  It seems to me, that just as individuals may face mortgage payments that exceed their ability to pay at some point, the U.S. may have debt service that exceeds our ability to pay without making cuts somewhere.

    As U.S. has borrowed more & more, the dollar is declining in value, and other countries are using Euros or other markers for currency conversion, quoting commodity prices, etc.  It seems to me that others are concerned about our ability to keep paying -- or would you argue that these developments just political?  


    Correction (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:00:29 AM EST
    The literal corporate "tax rate" is high.  The actual taxes paid by corporate entities in this country, thanks to the uncountable tax breaks and loopholes, is actually LESS than most industrialized countries.

    You can look it up.

    Oh, and stop listening to Rush and Sean and Glenn and the rest. It rots the brain.


    75% for richest won't be enough (2.00 / 0) (#46)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:44:20 PM EST
    Stop confusing us with the facts.

    Sure it will. Tax them down (none / 0) (#51)
    by observed on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 05:54:46 AM EST
    to their shorts, you'll be surprised how salutary that is for the budget.

    When (none / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:51:06 PM EST
    Andrea Mitchell tied the knot with Greenspan NBC should have put her in the back room or out the door.

    The Gordian "knot" should be severed (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:51:04 PM EST
    with a sword as per legend.

    A little math (none / 0) (#30)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:15:48 PM EST
    The deficit is almost exactly the cost of the wars plus the cost of the bailout.  Not that the accounting really works that way, but raw numbers are fun.  Why should the republicans be the only ones who get to throw meaningless statistics around?