Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Dec. 19, 2012 is ARTSTRIKE — a day of action to share powerful art and music that can convince our friends that more cuts and tax breaks aren’t the answer. Artists from across the country have come together to make their voices heard. It couldn't come at a more urgent time, as Washington, D.C. nears a deal that would slash Social Security and raises taxes on the poor and middle class. Check out a few of my favorites below, and help me share them far and wide. music that can convince our friends that more cuts and tax breaks aren’t the answer. Artists from across the country have come together to make their voices heard. It couldn't come at a more urgent time, as Washington, D.C. nears a deal that would slash Social Security and raises taxes on the poor and middle class. Check out a few of my favorites below, and help me share them far and wide. 

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Without deal, unemployment checks stop Dec. 29

Without deal, unemployment checks stop Dec. 29:'
Paul Davidson, USA Today, 12/17/12

"...About 2.1 million Americans will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 29, leaving many on the brink of poverty, if Washington doesn't renew them as part of a deal on the package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

An additional 930,000 people will run out of unemployment insurance in early 2013 when their 26 weeks, give or take, of state benefits end, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Although the issue is far less publicized than other parts of the fiscal cliff, such as income-tax increases and entitlement reform, an abrupt cutoff of benefits would have a far more dramatic impact on the well-being of millions of Americans."

Read rest of article

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We're Not Broke!!

We're not broke, we're not broke! We're being played for chumps. There's no "fiscal crisis." There is, however, a Destructive Political Opportunity in arguing about the so-called "fiscal crisis." 

The real crisis is the jobs and unemployment crisis. For every 1 million people that go back to work THE FEDERAL DEFICIT GOES DOWN BY $54 BILLION.

TIght labor markets -- low unemployment -- is the key for working people. MASS UNEMPLOYMENT drives down wages. If wages go up, the budget balance for Medicare and Social Security looks much better.

[30 second economic teach-in] Live better, cut the crap.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why Austerity Economics Hurts Low-Wage Workers the Most

by Robert Reich, 12/5/12

Cross posted from

"... What does the drama in Washington over the “fiscal cliff” have to do with strikes and work stoppages among America’s lowest-paid workers at Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza?"

"Everything.  Jobs are slowly returning to America, but most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that seven out of 10 growth occupations over the next decade will be low-wage — like serving customers at big-box retailers and fast-food chains."

"That’s why the median wage keeps dropping, especially for the 80 percent of the workforce that’s paid by the hour..."

 Read rest of article

See Robert Reich's Slideshow for his new book, Beyond Outrage

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The Forgotten Millions

The Forgotten Millions -

By Paul Krugman, 12/6/12
"...Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.  It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff."

"In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff..."

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Dude, Where's My Job?

If you're feeling frustrated by getting caught up in the austerity-deficit-obsession framing of the Right, Center, and Neo-Liberal-Left, don't feel bad.

You're the victim of a corporate scam, funded by the ill-gotten gains of private equity billionaire Pete Peterson, who has been generously investing in media and think tank generation of deficit hysteria, through his tax-exempt (!) foundation.

Meanwhile, the former CEO of Blackstone group pays the bargain-basement 15% tax rate on carried interest that is the relatively exclusive privilege of America's richest families and hedge fund managers.   The guy ran around leaving a trail of smashed union jobs and corporate wreckage.

We were idiots to let him get away with this, but we are insane if we treat him as a source of authority for dealing with the severe unemployment crisis this country is facing.  You know the old saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....

Criticizing a "Fiscal Summit" that Peterson organized, Bob Kuttner of the American Prospect pointed out the irony of involving Peterson's hand-picked experts -- Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin -- to pontificate about how to fix the economy they wrecked.
If the orgy of financial deregulation that led to the crash had two prime sponsors, the Democratic one was Rubin and the Republican one was Greenspan. Inviting these characters to a fiscal summit to devise a way out of the crisis is like inviting arsonists to design a seminar on fire prevention.
Peterson himself, who underwrites the work of the foundation with a billion dollar gift, made his money as one of America’s private-equity moguls. Private equity companies have been among main offenders in the world of shadow banking that helped cause the collapse, and are now lobbying against tough financial reform and regulation.
So, the next time you see Peterson, or David Walker, or one of these "Fix the Debt CEOs" running around barking economic orders, turn on your crap detector.  You want to fix the Debt, Mr. Corporate CEO?  Shut up and pay your fair share, and quit gouging the public and gouging workers with your lavish tax breaks, corporate welfare and union-smashing schemes. 

As Malcolm X said, "...Ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok!"

Cross-posted from the Campaign for America's Future

What You Need To Know About Peter G. Peterson

What's Behind His Big-Money Campaign On The Federal Deficit

Related Topics:
Peter G. Peterson is an American businessman who was CEO of several prominent companies such as Bell & Howell and Lehman Brothers before founding the private equity firm Blackstone Group. He is currently most well-known for being the founder and principal financier of his Peter G. Peterson Foundation, that claims their mission is to "increase public awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerate action on them." He also served as Secretary of Commerce under President Richard Nixon.
He has been called the most influential billionaire in politics due to his spreading of his wealth throughout the political spectrum to reduce the debt.

Our Take on Peter G. Peterson

These "Fix the Debt" CEOs are the same CEOs that crashed our economy, took their bonuses, and ran, leaving the rest of America to clean up their mess. Although their calls for bipartisan cooperation hit all the right notes to the American public, we believe that the push to get a lower corporate tax rate from a bipartisan solution is the ulterior motive of these CEOs. Peterson himself has contributed almost half a billion dollars to his foundation that pushes for the reform of programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Peterson has not limited his donations to one party, but rather built a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. His efforts are complimented by his online news service, The Fiscal Times, which supports the Peterson-funded groups in his vision.

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