FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Bi-Partisan Fiscal Scam

by JILL STEIN

As daylight begins to shine on the fiscal cliff deal just passed by Congress, it’s clear the expected bipartisan betrayal has occurred. And even worse, it lays the groundwork for much more to come.

In brief, the deal protects wealthy households earning up to $450,000 annually from tax increases, as it makes Bush tax cuts permanent for 98.5% of Americans. With this provision, Obama broke his promise to raise taxes on those earning over $250,000 per year.

The deal also ended the payroll tax holiday, hitting vulnerable working and middle class families with significant tax increases likely to take further steam out of the economy. This increased tax burden – of about $1000 for a family earning $50,000 per year- should have been replaced by another tax break for working families to prevent a reduction in demand that’s likely to further stall the ailing economy.

The deal also ushered in an additional $205 billion in wasteful corporate tax favors. New racetracks will get tens of millions, Goldman Sachs gets $1.6 billion in tax-free financing for its new massive headquarters, banks get a $9 billion dollar loophole for offshore financing, and U.S. multinationals are allowed to dodge taxes on income earned by foreign subsidiaries – giving them all the more reason to move jobs offshore.

Taking care of ill family members at home was dealt a set-back with a provision in the Affordable Care Act designed to let millions of elderly and disabled people get help at home rather than be placed in institutional care being repealed.

The deal included an urgent renewal of unemployment insurance, though many observers considered this virtually a given. It also deferred the self-inflicted devastation of the ‘sequester’, which would impose $110 billion in across the board domestic and military cuts, but only for two months.

In supporting the bill, President Obama gave away the one bargaining chip – the expiring Bush tax cuts – that he could have used in the upcoming negotiations on spending cuts and the debt ceiling. Not only did Obama get little of substance in return for his only bargaining chip. He actually ceded nearly half the $1 trillion in new revenue that John Boehner agreed to, (getting only $600 billion in tax increases on the wealthy over the next decade).

This lays groundwork for a disaster. Obama has already agreed to 4 trillion in deficit reduction. The revenue side of the deal he just signed generates little more than $600 billion. That means we can expect bipartisan collaboration on more than $3 trillion in cuts going in to the next round of brinksmanship over the debt ceiling. Obama has already indicated his willingness to cut Social Security, Medicare and other health programs. Now, thanks to his early capitulation, the Republicans have all the cards in their hands.
Stay tuned. Our voices are needed more than ever to continue the fight for strong Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid – and for an economy that works for all of us. Once again we’re seeing that real solutions will not be coming from the corporate sponsored political establishment. You can be prouder than ever of your vote against the continued bipartisan sell out. More than ever, we – the people – are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Jill Stein was the Green Party candidate for president.

February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail