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 This increased tax burden – of about $1000 for a family earning $50,000 per year- should have been replaced by another tax break for working families to prevent a reduction in demand that’s likely to further stall the ailing economy.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to let millions of elderly and disabled people get help at home rather than be placed in institutional care being repealed.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.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail