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Big Money in Congress

Lafayette

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THE PROGRESSIVE PROMISE

The web-site "Roll Call" has mounted a (very heavy) site that maintains the financial data regarding 50 of America's richest Congressmen and women. The site-page has a particular name, Wealth of Congress.

What's it worth? Well, one thing for sure: American voters seem to pride themselves in voting for "successful people". Perhaps they are "successful people wanabees"?

Anyway, my point is this. Any such person elected to Congress is going to want to protect "their best interests", not yours. Now, in fact, the poor far outnumber the rich in America. But they are not getting the representation in Congress they deserve. Perhaps they don't vote for the right-candidates? Perhaps they vote for the Right-wing candidates because the BoobTube says they "wash whiter than white"?

Whatever the reason, this is can be noted: We, the sheeple, are not getting the representation we deserve from the Democrat Party. (It's sheer stupidity to expect it from the Replicants and their Party of BigBucks.)

Which is why I keep insisting in this forum that the Left concentrates politically upon the progressive contingent in Congress. That group of people are found in the CPC (Congressional Progressive Caucus). They are all members of the HofR - Bernie was the only Senate member. (Which says a great deal about the Senate, doesn't it?)

In my last count, the CPC in the HofR is only 15% of all the Reps. Their political punch-weight is therefore not that strong. And if it isn't, then that's the fault of who? Look in the mirror!

If nothing else, do read the Progressive Promise. To my mind, it is the only viable means that the Thoughtful Left has in America to change the economic fundamentals by which the "American rich get richer, and the poor can go to hell. Simply, preferably without a whimper ..."

But, you tell me how wrong, wrong, wrong I am ...
___________________
 
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Greenbeard

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The 110th and particularly the 111th Congresses were the most progressive in decades, particularly the House. They raised the minimum wage, made huge strides in health policy, passed large investments in infrastructure and green energy, got financial reform through. The House even passed progressive priorities that ultimately couldn't get a supermajority in the Senate: cap and trade, the DREAM act, the Employee Free Choice Act, a public option. And so on. Pelosi's House was churning out progressive legislation every week.

You know what the secret sauce is to that kind of progress? Getting Democrats elected in red and purple districts. Ask yourself: was the House more progressive when there were dozens of Blue Dogs but Nancy Pelosi had the gavel, or is it more progressive now that all we have left is Reps from safely blue districts but Paul Ryan determines the legislative agenda? The answer should be obvious.

The CPC is a list of fine Democrats, good people. But they're not going anywhere. And neither, at the moment, are there priorities. And the biggest reason is that centrist--and even right-leaning--Democrats in red and swing districts lost their seats to Republicans. It's fashionable on the left to hate on the Democratic party for being big-tent, no doubt--but that big tent is the only thing that's ever going to advance progressive priorities. At the end of the day, purism is regressive.
 

Moderate Right

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To be honest, I would worry more about the bottom tier than the top tier. No wonder Debbie Wasserman Schulz is such a crook. She owes more than she is worth and will sell out to anyone to get ahead.
 

Casper

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THE PROGRESSIVE PROMISE

The web-site "Roll Call" has mounted a (very heavy) site that maintains the financial data regarding 50 of America's richest Congressmen and women. The site-page has a particular name, Wealth of Congress.

What's it worth? Well, one thing for sure: American voters seem to pride themselves in voting for "successful people". Perhaps they are "successful people wanabees"?

Anyway, my point is this. Any such person elected to Congress is going to want to protect "their best interests", not yours. Now, in fact, the poor far outnumber the rich in America. But they are not getting the representation in Congress they deserve. Perhaps they don't vote for the right-candidates? Perhaps they vote for the Right-wing candidates because the BoobTube says they "wash whiter than white"?

Whatever the reason, this is can be noted: We, the sheeple, are not getting the representation we deserve from the Democrat Party. (It's sheer stupidity to expect it from the Replicants and their Party of BigBucks.)

Which is why I keep insisting in this forum that the Left concentrates politically upon the progressive contingent in Congress. That group of people are found in the CPC (Congressional Progressive Caucus). They are all members of the HofR - Bernie was the only Senate member. (Which says a great deal about the Senate, doesn't it?)

In my last count, the CPC in the HofR is only 15% of all the Reps. Their political punch-weight is therefore not that strong. And if it isn't, then that's the fault of who? Look in the mirror!

If nothing else, do read the Progressive Promise. To my mind, it is the only viable means that the Thoughtful Left has in America to change the economic fundamentals by which the "American rich get richer, and the poor can go to hell. Simply, preferably without a whimper ..."

But, you tell me how wrong, wrong, wrong I am ...
___________________

Wow! This is News to you? Really??????
 

Lafayette

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Wow! This is News to you? Really??????

Last time I looked this was an economics "debate forum", not a News-forum.

Got anything to add in the form of a "debate rebuttal"? Because, you see, instead of acting reflexively, in debate one is obliged to put their thinking-cap on ...
____________________
 
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Moderate Right

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Last time I looked this was an economics "debate forum", not a News-forum.

Got anything to add in the form of a "debate rebuttal"? Because, you see, instead of acting reflexively, in debate one is obliged to put their thinking-cap on ...
____________________

That's the trouble. Liberals don't think. Thy only react with emotion and what is in their heart, not in their brains. If it sounds good to them then there is no need to think it through. Just act on it.
 

Lafayette

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WHY?

Thy only react with emotion and what is in their heart, not in their brains

Yes, well this here "liberal" engages mind before opening mouth - an old Chinese saying.

In fact, of all the comments by the Replicant Right on this forum, I'd say your admonition above applies perfectly.

I have yet to see, written here, an ounce of well-formulated reasoning that justifies the massive rip-off incurred by upper-incomes subject to a flat-tax at only 30%. The singular most reason for Income Disparity in American as shown by means of the Gini Coefficient, here:

800px-Gini_since_WWII.svg.png

The US and China share the very same Gini Coefficient (about 45%)!

I'm still waiting for a cogent response from the Right to the question, "Why?" (Aside from the mind-boggling response, "Because we work our asses off for it!!!!)

Wanna have a go at it? Be my guest ... !

--------------------------------
 

Moderate Right

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WHY?



Yes, well this here "liberal" engages mind before opening mouth - an old Chinese saying.

In fact, of all the comments by the Replicant Right on this forum, I'd say your admonition above applies perfectly.

I have yet to see, written here, an ounce of well-formulated reasoning that justifies the massive rip-off incurred by upper-incomes subject to a flat-tax at only 30%. The singular most reason for Income Disparity in American as shown by means of the Gini Coefficient, here:

800px-Gini_since_WWII.svg.png

The US and China share the very same Gini Coefficient (about 45%)!

I'm still waiting for a cogent response from the Right to the question, "Why?" (Aside from the mind-boggling response, "Because we work our asses off for it!!!!)

Wanna have a go at it? Be my guest ... !

--------------------------------

What flat tax of 30% are you talking about? I think you have brought this up a few times and I have no idea what you are even talking about. We don't have a flat tax system at all, let alone some magic number of 30%.
 

Lafayette

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What flat tax of 30% are you talking about? I think you have brought this up a few times and I have no idea what you are even talking about. We don't have a flat tax system at all, let alone some magic number of 30%.

This one:
Total Effective Tax Rates (US) 2014.jpg

In the fifth quintile (10%+5%+4%+1%) the corresponding tax rates are 31.5%, 32.3%, 32.6%, 33.3%. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I call that - for the fifth quintile (upper 20% of income taxation) - a "flat-tax".

Do you ... ?

NB1: Take a ruler, put it through the mid-point of the horizontal surface of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quintile; and see how it projects onto the fifth quintile. I figure it is around 50%, from the naked eye. And a really 'n truly progressive tax could take even more in taxation.
NB2: Why do I think that upper-income taxation should be so much higher? Because the Taxation Money-pump (as I call it) allows income to progress to Wealth, and (minus Debt) into Net Worth. Which is then handed down dynastically from parents to children.
NB3: I thought we fought a revolution to prevent one class of people (all sucking up to a monarch for their bit) who became a part of a Dynasty of Royals (but without the crowns).
NB4: How do you think Pennsylvania got its name? Penn (the father) was gifted those woods ("sylva" in Latin) by the English King for services rendered.
_________________
 
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Moderate Right

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This one:
View attachment 67203720

In the fifth quintile (10%+5%+4%+1%) the corresponding tax rates are 31.5%, 32.3%, 32.6%, 33.3%. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I call that - for the fifth quintile (upper 20% of income taxation) - a "flat-tax".

Do you ... ?

NB1: Take a ruler, put it through the mid-point of the horizontal surface of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quintile; and see how it projects onto the fifth quintile. I figure it is around 50%, from the naked eye. And a really 'n truly progressive tax could take even more in taxation.
NB2: Why do I think that upper-income taxation should be so much higher? Because the Taxation Money-pump (as I call it) allows income to progress to Wealth, and (minus Debt) into Net Worth. Which is then handed down dynastically from parents to children.
NB3: I thought we fought a revolution to prevent one class of people (all sucking up to a monarch for their bit) who became a part of a Dynasty of Royals (but without the crowns).
NB4: How do you think Pennsylvania got its name? Penn (the father) was gifted those woods ("sylva" in Latin) by the English King for services rendered.
_________________

Just out of curiosity, I'd be interested in knowing your story. Are you and American living in France?
 

Lafayette

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EXECUTION

And the biggest reason is that centrist--and even right-leaning--Democrats in red and swing districts lost their seats to Republicans.

Good post! Thanx!

The CPC already boasts about 15% of the HofR. Let's build on it rather than condemning it. Pelosi is a member, and she's no little-bucks lady.

In politics, you work with what you have, which is rather more rewarding than constantly checking a wish-list.

Let me put it another way. For the US to get to European level of a Social Democracy, where laws are made not in genuflect fashion to BigBusiness preferences, the US has another 20/30 years to go.

We've got to start somewhere, and Bernie has laid the first paving stones on that road. Now, if anyone thinks, as a Dem, "I can do better!", then they are just contributing to the massive-BS that serves to confuse the American Left-of-center voter. If the Left-of-center wants to rise again to the fore, it needs new programs under a Social Democrat umbrella of objectives.

Programs that are easy to understand and executable - not pie-in-the-sky. And for the Dems to be pushed in that direction, then the CPC is where it has to happen. Cuz it aint gonna happin all by itself.

Which, as an ex-Executive, makes me think of the company that had an Excellent Business Plan but failed in what is called "execution of the plan". It simply did not know how to get its act together, even if the words were already written.

Quite simply: To obtain Real Results, then execution of the plan is far more important than its creation But, you can't get started if you don't have a plan ...

WHAT PLAN?

Here's a proposition constrained to only two key objectives:
*A Universal Health Care that covers all Americans and focuses on enhancing life-span by reducing obesity.
*A Post-secondary "skills/competency enhancement" education that is as nearly affordable by all who want one - meaning free for those who haven't the financial resources. It must be focused on the ever evolving skills necessity of the economy, thus making it easier for the kids to find employment upon graduation. Meaning what?
*This: Since the Federal Department of Education has the budget, it determines Base Curriculums (for state-run institutions of higher learning) for which the budget is sufficient to assure that non-priority courses are not funded. (Yes, I know that's hard to do, but we must do it. A plan-of-execution is key to obtaining Business Objectives; so it must be executed only according to its chosen objectives or it gets sidelined all over the place.)

At present, the country has tertiary education of all kinds and all sizes. It's helter-skelter. So, let's leave private-educational institutions alone. State run schools, however, should be Federally subsidized all to a similar set of National Educational Objectives. So as to assure that "nobody drops through the net". (Unless, of course, they want to do so ...)

_________________________
 

Moderate Right

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The root causes of the problem are that in order to get elected you need lots of money, both from yourself and from others. If we don't fix that situation you will never fix the problem. We need campaign finance reform and we need lobbyist reform.
 
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