Tag Archives: taxes

Yeah Nevada, Way To Go

Yeah Nevada, Way To Go
by
David Schlecht

Congratulations Nevada, you just might have a chance of pulling yourselves out of the quagmire you find yourselves in. You voted against the Austerity presidential candidate.

Rather than dragging America down to your level, you’ve elected to put the country on a different path than yours.

Now, if you can just make those same decisions on your local elections and get the failed policies out of office.

This is not a political issue, this is an economic issue. You didn’t get were you are by following the mistaken policies of just one party.

But, it looks like Nevada is waking up.

We need to stop letting the elites, the leeches, ride free on our backs. It’s time the rich started paying their fair share. Did you know Microsoft is incorporated in Nevada rather than Washington so they don’t have to pay taxes? So who pays for the infrastructure that they use? You and I do, and the people of Washington. Does Microsoft? No.

This, Nevada, is the reason our state is in such sad shape. The rich get a free ride and the expenses fall on the backs of the true small businesses and on the rest of us tax payers.

We give tax breaks to the mines and other multinational corporations and expect the Nevada taxpayer to pick up the tab.

No more!

It’s time we started expecting the billionaires to pay for the 90% of our state’s expenses that they incur. It’s time their taxes paid for the roads their employees travel, and the roads their trucks use to deliver goods and provide them a profit. It’s time they paid for the court systems and all the other infrastructure they are using and expecting us to cover.

Yeah Nevada, it looks like you’re starting to wake up.

Fiscal Cliff and Spending Cuts

Fiscal Cliff and Spending Cuts

Matthew K.

What does it mean, fiscal cliff?

It sounds pretty scary, like the end of the world or something. But, in reality, it is nothing so drastic or scary. The term is just a marketing term to fool you into thinking emergency measures are needed. So what’s the worst that will happen when we reach the cliff. Nothing. Got that? Nothing.

But, if we all get scared by the hype and think that drastic cuts are necessary, then, yes indeed, bad things will happen, and the effects will be felt for years to come.

Don’t get me wrong, we can’t just sit on our hands. We have to address the mess this country is in and this is the time to do it.

So, what spending cuts should we do?

To start with, no country has ever, EVER cut its way to prosperity. You might want to ponder that for a moment.

So if the solution isn’t to cut, then what do we do?

We do the same thing we did before when we were in debt to the tune of 125% of GDP, which is much worse than we are today. What we did then was we created jobs programs, we invested in infrastructure, we created the GI Bill that sent people to college for free.

That’s what we need to do this time. We need to do what has been proven to work.

But we still need to look at trimming our budget as well. We need to trim the things that aren’t investments in our country and our economy. We need to stop giving money and tax breaks to the rich and the multinational corporations.

This brings us to the real question. What is spending and what is an investment?

You already know the answer to that. If you go out and treat yourself to a nice hundred-dollar steak dinner, that’s spending that is gone the moment you pay for it. But, an investment, like money in the bank, is there for all time, bringing in more money every day.

Spending for a country is the same. If it’s not bringing in a return on investment, it’s spending. The biggest spending we do as a country is spend on our military. We spend more than the rest of the world combined.

And what sort of return do we get on all those bombs dropped? All those missiles fired? Nothing. We are spending, like a short term steak dinner, on almost every dollar we spend on the military.

Money spent on free education is an investment that returns money to our coffers for the entire lifetime of the student. How about social programs like social security? It has been shown that every dollar invested in the people of a country through social programs like Social Security and Medicare are returned at a rate of $1.27 for every dollar invested. That, my friends, is what’s called an investment.

We need to face this fiscal cliff as an opportunity to stop the big dinner spending spree of the military and move that money into investing in our people and in our roads and bridges and our future as a country.

 

Saving Money on Medicare to Help Fund Obamacare

Saving Money on Medicare to Help Fund Obamacare
by
David Schlecht

You have probably already seen countless negative political ads informing the voters that one candidate or another voted to take money away from Medicare, some ads even say they stole money from Medicare.

And, where did this stolen money go? According to the ads, it went to pay for Obamacare which no one wants.

You were all warned that this was coming. The lies are coming so fast and furious that they can’t even be debunked fast enough.

No one voted to take money out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. In fact, if you still have a few brain cells left, you will remember that we all wanted to fix our broken health care system. Well, now it’s on the path to being fixed and the ads are all telling us that no one wanted this.

Say what? Are they really expecting all of us to be so gosh-darned ignorant that we won’t remember what a mess Obamacare is cleaning up? Do they really believe that we want the old broken health care system back? They’re flat out wrong. We remember and we’re glad for the benefits that Obamacare brings and we’re not stupid.

So, where does this lie come from?

Obama did, in fact, save seven hundred billion dollars in Medicare by cutting the middle man, for profit corporations, out of the system. Obama also cut deals with the health care providers to help reduce costs.

So, there is no loss incurred by Medicare, only a savings. And that savings is being used to help cover other people who wouldn’t otherwise have insurance.

In other words, we’re getting more in return for our investment.

Got that? We’re saving money and the Republicans are lying trying to make it look like someone voted to take money away from Medicare services.

The Republican Lie Machine is just getting geared up. Get ready.

And, when you’re sick and tired of these ads expecting you to be stupid enough to believe them, then consider donating a couple bucks to the candidate that is being lied about.

Fixing America’s Economy

Fixing America’s Economy
by
Waylin

There is a fix for America’s current financial, political, education, and health industry disasters.

Any addict hoping for recovery must first admit what the problems are. America must wake up to the cause of our current problems and admit that they are problems that needs addressing.

In all the cases mentioned above, there is one primary underlying addiction that is perpetuating the disaster. For those who are willing to take the time to look at our history, it is obvious that we had a handle on these problems for the most part of the past 100 years. We had the world’s best education systems, we had the world’s best medical, we had the world’s leading economy.

But, looking back at the 1920’s and you will see that, like today, this wasn’t true. They were the unregulated “Roaring 20s” but it lead directly into the world’s worst Depression of all time. What have we been doing right since the 1920’s and what are we no longer doing right, today?

The answer is capitalism, or more accurately, unrestrained greed.

We used to have the world’s best education system. But, then we started getting stingy with our education dollars, and today we want to give a big slice of the education dollars to billionaires in the way of privatized schools and vouchers.  The most successful countries in the world today, have a tax rate almost double what we have in America and aren’t afraid to spend it on education.

Got that? Double.

Why don’t we have higher taxes? Because greed has taken control of our country. Unrestrained Capitalism has us believing that it’s in our best interest to abandon all the things that made America strong over the past 100 years: unions, education dollars, regulations, taxes.

When you hear the term “free markets” it is code words for taking away what little restraints we still have on greedy capitalists.

America used to have laws that said insurance companies must be non-profit as well as our hospitals. We’ve abandoned those regulations and look where it’s gotten us. The medical industry is working diligently to restrict the number of doctors we have in America.  Why? Well, for greed, and nothing more. Fewer doctors means higher profits for doctors.

Now, all you Fox zombies, just hold on. I’m not saying we need to do away with capitalism, I am saying we need to get back to the days when we weren’t afraid to regulate it. Regulations are our friends.

Since the days of Reagan, our politicians are afraid to break up the big monopolies. They even express interest in advancing them, if they’re a Republican, and they’re too afraid to do anything if they’re a Democrat.

Our capitalism is running amock and we have to regain control of it. But, that will be impossible until we come to admit that we have a problem. Like a typical addict, we have to admit we have a problem before we can fix it.

The 99% Movement is succeeding at bringing this to our attention, but the greedy capitalist are doing their best to discredit the movement. We have to all wake up and realize that the greedy corporate news sources are dead set on preventing us from taking back control of our country. It’s time to turn off the broadcast television and time to admit we have a problem. The problem is unrestrained capitalism and therein lies the fix.

Who Owns the Deficit

Who Owns the Deficit
Dave Speck

So we hear the republican chanting over and over how the sky is falling if we don’t balance the budget, even if it means we have to take food out of the mouths of our elderly and sick and weak and poor. The world will end. Why all the noise?

The Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling 18 times during Reagan’s administration. Got that? 18 times. During that time Reagan increased our nation’s deficit by three trillion dollars, more than all the previous presidents combined.

Where did all that money go? It went to tax breaks for the rich, mostly. That and to the military budget and his failed Star Wars program.

Then, along came Clinton and he balanced the budget and had a surplus that would have paid off the deficit in 10 years.

Where did all this money come from? Clinton ended “Welfare as we know it.” In other words, he stole it from the poor. He also raised taxes on the wealthy a couple percentage points.

Then, Bush added almost five trillion dollars to the deficit and the republican voted seven times to raise the debt ceiling.

Where did all that money go? Tax breaks for the rich and two illegal wars.

Then the economy crashed, as it always does when you lower taxes on the rich, and Bush pushed through another trillion dollars to the banker crooks.

Now, Obama wants to add a small fraction to the debt, less than 8%, and the Republicans are threatening to bring the entire country down unless we take more money from the poor.

Do you see any sort of pattern here? The republicans ran up almost all of the 10 trillion dollar debt and they don’t want to pay for it. They want the poor and the weak and the elderly and the sick to pay for their big party.

The republicans and the rich have been living large for the past 30 years at our expense and now they want you and me to pay for the bill.

What would you say about a political party that does this? What would you say about a party that is willing to crash our economy if they don’t get their way on everything? We’re in this mess because of the tax breaks to the rich and the republicans are saying they will destroy the country if we don’t give more tax breaks to the rich.

What party does big business own?

US Debt per GDP

 

Where Nevada’s Revenue Comes From

Where Nevada’s Revenue Comes From
by
David Schlecht

Here is a graph of Nevada’s Revenue stream. Check it out. While looking at it, remember that Nevada comes in dead last in almost every area that matters, from health to intelligence to poverty.

Where Nevada's Revenue Comes From

Take a look at the slice of the pie that is the largest – sales tax. Sales tax is one of the most regressive types of tax because it affects the poor and middle class the most.

So, in Nevada, we see an example of what it’s like when the rich are not expected to pay their fair share. Do you see any income tax on the wealthy? Any taxes on billion dollar bankers? Any taxes on billion dollar mines? No? Me neither.

So the rich get a free ride and the poor and middle class are saddled with everything.

Well, Nevada, how is that working for you? Does it attract business having no income tax? No, I guess not.

When will you ever learn, Nevada?

But the bigger question is what on earth are we doing trying to bring the rest of the country down to Nevada’s level by following their tax structure and giving the billionaires a free ride while expecting the poor and middle class to work for less and carry a greater portion of the cost?

When will America ever learn? It’s time to throw out the failed Republican policies. We’ve been here before, America, it was called the Great Depression and it didn’t work so well back then.

The Demise of the Democratic Party

The Demise of the Democratic Party
by
David Schlecht

The billionaires and multinational corporations own the Republican party and they are doing everything they can to destroy the Democratic party, everything from destroying Acorn, who helped register real Americans, and helped them get out and vote, to attacking trial lawyers, the only legal profession to donate to the Democratic party, and they’re even trying to destroy the workers, the unions, and the middle class.

But, the Democratic party has held together because it is the only true party that represents the people, it represents the poor, the underprivileged, the working class, the average American.

No, all the underhanded and deceitful attacks won’t destroy the Democratic party as quickly as they will destroy themselves.

The Democratic party is losing touch with its base and is abandoning the progressive principles that have made the party strong. Today’s Democratic party is partly owned by blue dog democrats (aka corporate democrats), partly controlled by conservatives who support anti-American principles like indefinite imprisonment without trial, support giving tax breaks to the billionaires and then cutting services for the poor to pay for them.

No, the liars and billionaires won’t destroy the Democratic party. The Democratic party will destroy themselves if they can’t get back to their progressive roots and get back to representing the people.

Want to see the Democratic party strong, again? Stop the free trade disasters, increase services for the people, and demand fair taxes on the rich.

Anything less will make this a single-party country. Sure, they’ll keep both the names so as to fool the fools but it’ll be the same old party no matter if it’s Democrat of Republican.

How can we Americans save our country? Get out there and get active. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Call and write your representatives, write letters to the newspapers, and more than anything else, turn off your network news. The only news that is trustworthy is locally owned.

Time is running out, America.

Who Owns Them


Who Owns Them
Matthew K.

By now everyone knows about how the governor of Wisconsin betrayed his people and rather than negotiating with his voters and finding solutions to the shortfall he caused by the tax giveaways to corporations and billionaires, he sold out to the billionaires. Well, I should say everyone except the poor naive viewers of Fox. I wouldn’t expect them to know anything about how corrupt the Republicans are.

Governor Scott Walker took what he thought was a direct call from the billionaire who put him into office with his multi-million dollar contribution, David Koch. Imagine a governor taking a call from a billionaire when he won’t even negotiate with his state’s employees.

This was so disgusting that the majority of his state has lost confidence in him and the country is horrified at the blatant ownership of our elected official. He’ll take a direct call from his billionaire owner but not from his people.

In poll after poll, Americans are disgusted with this. Well, again, poll after poll as long as it’s not on Fox which doesn’t even cover this. Got that? America despises a candidate who is a prostitute for billionaires. You know, like oil billionaires like the Koch brothers?

Well, it’s not just Walker. It’s much worse than that. Check out this article showing that the entire GOP in the House of Representatives has voted to protect the tax breaks for the oil billionaires. Got that? 100% of the GOP in the House voted against America and for the oil billionaires.

Sure, some fools on the corrupt Right will say, oh, it’s not just them, there was a democrat in there somewhere so it’s okay if 100% of the Republicans are scum.

Well, you know what? He’d be right. It’s okay so let’s just all forget about it and let the billionaires take over our country. We don’t need unions. We don’t need a middle class. Let the billionaires decide what’s best for us.

Well, actually, it’s not okay and it’s not true that both parties are completely owned by big money. Sure, there are a few Democrats who voted for it too. There are a few Democrats owned by big money, too. But not 100%.

100% of the Republicans voted against the best interests of the people, AGAIN! Disgusting!

 

 

The Need for Free Media

The Need for Free Media
by
David Schlecht

I got this in my email this morning. It brings to light a serious problem facing America today, something we need to fix immediately.

Hi,

The Republicans just released their budget proposal, and it zeroes
out funding for both NPR and PBS–the worst proposal in more than a
decade. We need to tell Republicans that cutting off funding was
unacceptable last time they were in charge, and it’s unacceptable now.

I signed a petition to save NPR and PBS. Can you join me at the link
below?

Click Here

Thanks!

This is another shocking example of how the Republican party is against so many of the fundamental principles of our country. The need to protect the free press is one of the most important fundamental principles of America’s freedoms. But, today, we no longer have a free press.

In today’s environment, almost all the news Americans get is biased by multi-billion dollar news corporations and presented by millionaire news casters. This is exactly what our founding fathers didn’t want to have happen.

That is why they put the press in the constitution, the only industry explicitly referenced in the constitution. Still, the Republicans want to do away with the few remaining threads of our free press.

In a time when our information is being purposely polluted, we need to protect the truly impartial news sources that are not influenced by big money or politics. That is why we need news sources that are wholly funded by our taxes and not relying on donations from people and big unethical businesses.

Our free press, such as NPR and PBS, is not perfect and still rely too heavily on big money donations from businesses, but we need to fix it by funding them enough so they aren’t influenced by corruption and we need to vote out any political party that wants to destroy our last chance of a free press.

So, how much money will it cost you, personally, to help fund our free press? The amount is truly pennies each year. So, why would a political party want to save you pennies while expecting you to pay thousands for welfare for the billionaires in tax cuts? Well, you know why.

How Much Social Security Adds to the Budget

How Much Social Security Adds to the Budget – Updated
by
MatthewK

Ever wonder how much Social Security really adds to our nation’s budget?

You might not believe it but it doesn’t add a single cent. Not one red cent.

So, you must be asking yourself, well, why are the Republicans always saying we need to cut it or privatize it. The answer has nothing to do with the budget. Let me explain.

The trust fund for Social security is growing in the trillions of dollars. At first Social Security was paid as it was used. Each generation paid for it’s grandparents. But, as the baby-boomers hit the work force, it was obvious that something was necessary to have money for them when they retire as there would be fewer workers to pay for their generation.

That is why Reagan doubled the tax on the middle class. That’s another truth that you won’t find in the text books but it’s true. The Baby-boomer generation had to pay for their grandparents and for their own retirement. This doubling of your and my taxes has created a huge surplus in the Social Security trust fund. It’s over three trillion dollars today and is expected to be $4.7 trillion in ten years.

After that, the baby-boomers will be drawing down on the trust fund until they’re all gone and so is the trust fund. At that time, we can go back to each generation paying for their grandparents. In other words, we’ll go back to paying as we go.

The Republicans try to scare you by lying about how the trust fund is going broke so Social Security is going broke. It’s just a lie. Get used to them.

Our Social Security trust fund is invested in US government bonds to collect a guaranteed return. The Republicans want you to have to give that money to the bankers, you know, the ones who pay themselves billion dollar bonuses while the investments crash and burn. It doesn’t work so well for 401Ks now does it?

The Republican politicians don’t care if you starve to death after losing your privatized Social Security in the stock market, at least their big banker johns will continue to fund their elections.

Social Security is not going broke. It’s just a right-wing lie like so many others.

Update: Correction – at this date, the trust fund is just under three trillion dollars, not over.

Nevada’s New Governor, Foolish as the Last

Nevada’s New Governor, Foolish as the Last
by
Dave Speck

I just got this in my email from Steven Horsford. It’s a reasonably sane interpretation of Nevada’s disaster of a Governor. Is Nevada flushing down the toilet any hope of saving Nevada from becoming a third-world state?

There are some aspects of the governor’s speech tonight with which I agree: We must work together to pass a balanced budget. We must focus on economic development and put Nevadans back to work.

But tonight Governor Sandoval offered a budget that would gut public education – and our kids’ futures as a result. It would cut our school budgets by more than 14 percent. It would slash colleges by nearly 30 percent.

  • This means laying off literally thousands of teachers and closing entire college campuses.  Worse yet, he proposes to cut our children’s teachers’ pay by more than 10 percent.  That’s just wrong.
  • It means putting our children in classes of 40 students.
  • It means eliminating sports and music, and ending gifted and talented programs.
  • It means we cannot afford real reform to our schools or come even close to a tolerable level of funding for higher education – the engine of a new economy.

In short, this budget would dismantle public education.

I will not accept a budget plan that extinguishes all hope for a new Nevada built on better schools.

I will be looking for the best ideas among my colleagues here at the Legislature – Republicans and Democrats – to produce a balanced budget that leads us forward, not backwards.

This process starts tomorrow morning at 8:30 when we begin our budget hearings. I URGE YOU TO GET INVOLVED BY CONTACTING THE GOVERNOR AND YOUR LEGISLATORS IN THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY IMMEDIATELY.

The future of Nevada depends on you.

Thank you.

Steven

It’s looking pretty bleak, there, Nevada!

Source of Our National Debt

Source of Our National Debt
by
David Schlecht

Did you know that the president of the USA is the source of the country’s budget? Every president proposes a budget and congress takes that proposal and either passes it as is or tweaks it and passes it. Then, the president signs or vetoes the budget. I suppose most everyone reading this blog already knows this.

If congress doesn’t like the budget they can just scrap the whole thing and make their own and the president can veto it.

The budget belongs to the president. This is the opposite of what the constitution says in which it says the House of Representatives is where all budgetary bills originate.

Look at this graph of our nation’s debt over the past century. Tell me which political party is the party of drunk Animal House frat boys?

National debt as function of GDP

What’s of most interest here is how the Republican party is screaming and hollering about tax and spend Democrats when the facts, as always, shows them to be lying hypocrites. Why does anyone still believe the Republican party? Whey does anyone still vote for the party that is shipping our jobs overseas? Come on America, you’re smarter than that.

What did the last ten years of the GOP bring us?

Economy Still Stumbling

Economy Still Stumbling [Updated]
by
David Schlecht

Unemployment in many states is still on the rise. We saw a short glimmer of hope over the holiday season but now we’re back to further and further declines in the economy.

The stock market is improving though, but so what? The stock market doesn’t provide jobs for Americans. In fact, it’s time we quit considering the stock market when remarking on the state of America’s economy. For Americans the things that mean anything when considering the country’s economy is jobs, pay, benefits, and pensions. Also included in evaluating the economy is the state of our social safety net, not the stock market.

All these things affect the economy of Americans. The stock market does not. I know, I know, there many people (one hundredth of of one percent of Americans) who actually make any reasonable money off the stock market but that in no way reflects the state of America’s economy.

This simple difference explains why we haven’t dug ourselves out of the Bush years yet. We’re putting our resources and attention in the wrong things. Did we learn nothing during the last Great Depression? The conservatives are telling us that it was the second world war that got us out of the last Great Depression. Well, now we’re in two and a half wars. Our economy should be the best it’s ever been, right? Well, no, not really. Wars don’t cure depressions. Job do. The stock market doesn’t cure depressions, jobs and benefits and pay do. So when are we going to start addressing these problems?

Want to fix the economy? Here’s how:

  1. Stop with the tax give-aways to the billionaires and multi-national corporations. Put taxes back where they were before Reagan began the destruction of our economy,
  2. Increase the minimum wage to a living wage and keep it there,
  3. Require all major corporations and all multi-national corporations provide substantial pensions to all workers, full time and part time,
  4. Stop the Social Security tax give-away for billionaires. Expect billionaires to pay the same percentage of tax for Social Security that you and I do,
  5. Temporarily create government jobs for Americans (no tax dollars spent on non-American incentives, you know, the bill the Republicans opposed), and
  6. Fix our broken trade policies, get out of NAFTA, GAT, WTO, and all the rest of the trade agreements that are destroying our manufacturing jobs. In other words, protect American jobs.

The nice thing is these don’t have to be done all at once but the more that we enact, the faster our economy will improve.

Now if you see these points brought up over and over in the blogisphere, they must not be rocket science, so why hasn’t our government thought of them? They have, but the big businesses controlling both parties are preventing us from stopping the rape and pillage of America’s economy. Remember, someone is making out like bandits while the rest of us suffer, and those bandits donate to make and break our politicians.

Get involved! Get active. Participate on our political process. Run for the local dog catcher or school board. That does make a difference.

[Update: ] Check out this post at Open Left for an good example of what the economy really means.

Use the Right Words

Use the Right Words
by
David Schlecht

I used to have a college professor who would often say, “you can’t get the right answers if you don’t ask the right questions”.  This couldn’t be more true than it is today with the Right-wing nuts trying to poison our information. When you hear people trying to defend a position using the wrong words, take notice. It generally means that their position is indefensible. It’s called framing. Let’s look at some examples:

From the previous post from Matthew, the MoneyRates quote uses the phrase, “tax burden“. Taxes aren’t a burden, they’re the price we gladly pay to live in a civil society. The nice thing about America’s constitution is we the people can decide we want to be more like Somalia and less like America by lowering our taxes. But, is that really what we want? When you hear “tax burden”, beware of the right wing spin.

Another simple example is the whole question of abortion. Nobody is pro-abortion. Period! Nobody is arguing for abortions. But one side is arguing that there are times when abortions should be protected. This is considered a choice. People want to be able to make a choice if it affects their lives and their health and the health of their family.  So the question is “choice”. The anti-choice crowd knows they lose the argument using the right words to they cheat and use the wrong words to purposely come up with a different answer. They say “pro-life”. Really? Everyone’s pro-life. Well, everyone but most of those who say they are. If you’re pro-life, you’re anti-death so you support free medical, and oppose the death penalty. If you say you’re pro-life to oppose abortion, you are not pro-life, you’re anti-choice.

How about the term “death tax”? Do you know anyone who has signed a check to pay for their taxes after they died? Nah, me neither. Why not? Because there’s no such thing. There is, however, a rich-brat tax. Rich brats who are set to inherit billions of dollars (contrary to the wishes of our founding fathers) have to pay a high income tax (inheritance tax) when they receive the money. That’s not a death tax, that’s a rich brat tax and it should be a progressive tax that goes up to 99% on anything over 100 times the lifetime income of an American worker (worker, not counting the CEOs). That is what our founding fathers envisioned.

The right wing are masters at changing the words so we come up with the wrong answers. Before you start discussing issues with your friends and family, make sure you start out using the right words or you will never come up with the right solutions.

What other words do you hear the right use to get the wrong answers?

Nevada Comes In Last Again

Nevada Comes In Last Again
Matthew K.

Hey Nevadans! Our state has come dead last yet again. Well, actually we came in first place. That’s first place in the WORST place to retire, IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

Here’s why, according to MoneyRates:

No. 1: Nevada
Economic factors: Cost of living is 105 percent of the national average, unemployment is at 14.3 percent, and the average state and local tax burden is 6.6 percent.

Climate: Average monthly temperatures range from 30.43 degrees in January to 71.94 degrees in July.

Crime rate: 3rd in the nation in violent crime, and 13th in property crime.

Life expectancy: 75.8 years.

Reason for low rank: Nevada has the second lowest tax rate in the country, but scored poorly on just about every other criterion. Gambling enthusiasts may disagree, but high crime rates and a dismal economy make Nevada a bad bet for retirees.

Now, sure, we can’t blame all that on ignorant voters. You can’t blame the weather on stupidity. But you can blame every other reason Nevada comes dead last in everything on the way we vote. More importantly, our state is dead last in everything that matters and first in everything we don’t want because WE DON’T VOTE!

Believe it or not, most Nevadans are smart people. If only the majority would start voting.

Since Nevadans don’t spend 5 minutes researching candidates and only a handful of the Palin fanatics and Tea Partiers vote, the state has gone down the toilet. Contrary to what most of the rest of the country thinks, Nevadans aren’t trailer park people. But only the nuts seem to vote. When will we Nevadans wake up and start voting and start learning about politics and start taking our state back and start taking our country back?

But, when we don’t care enough to research the issues and we don’t care enough to get out there and vote every time, we get just what we deserve. We get a state run by nuts making all the wrong decisions.

Information Pollution

Information Pollution
by
David Schlecht

“An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.” Thomas Jefferson

We have multiple posts regarding the emergency caused by the Republicans on the Supreme Court in their attempt to rewrite the constitution (activists judges, they’re called) in the Citizens United v. FEC case. They have made it so that businesses, international corporations, and foreign entities like al Qaeda and the Taliban can spend unlimited money to pollute our elections. The last election was just an example. It was by far the most expensive mid term election in our history and hundreds of millions of dollars was spent on  false propaganda (lies) by corporations around the world and we have no idea who.

All this money slanted the election as money always does.

The University of Maryland has a project that is researching the disinformation in this past election and it is exactly as one would expect. The voters were tragically misinformed. From their research, the following disgusting ignorances were reported.

1. Perceptions of Misleading and False Information – An overwhelming majority of voters said that they encountered misleading or false information in the last election, with a majority saying that this occurred frequently and occurred more frequently than usual.

2. Evidence of Misinformation Among Voters – The poll found strong evidence that voters were substantially misinformed on many of the issues prominent in the election campaign, including the stimulus legislation, the healthcare reform law, TARP, the state of the economy, climate change, campaign contributions by the US Chamber of
Commerce and President Obama’s birthplace. In particular, voters had perceptions about the expert opinion of economists and other scientists that were quite different from actual expert opinion.

3. Variations in Misinformation By Voting Behavior – There were significant differences between those who voted Democratic and Republican in the level of misinformation on various issues that were prominent in the campaign and that respondents said were important in shaping their votes.

4. Variations in Misinformation by Exposure to News Sources Consumers of all sources of media evidenced substantial misinformation, suggesting that false or misleading information is widespread in the general information environment, just as voters say they perceive it to be. In most cases increasing exposure to news sources decreased misinformation; however, for some news sources on some issues, higher levels of exposure increased misinformation.

There is more findings and plenty of detail in the actual document so don’t take my word for it; go out there and find out for yourself.

We Americans need to respect the integrity of our information and start demanding that corporations and so called “think tanks” and so called Fox “news”  quit lying to us. We can’t expect our Democracy to survive if we voters don’t know our hats from a hole in the ground.

Job Creators

Job Creators
by
David Schlecht

Nevada’s Senator, John Ensign, blamed the Democrats for the Republicans opposing the middle class tax cuts by saying:

“Today we witnessed that political stunts are still alive and well on the floor of the United States Senate.  At a time when both sides of the aisle could and should be working together to ensure that we are not raising taxes on Americans during this economic downturn, Democrats are playing games.  By setting arbitrary income limits for tax relief, our nation’s job creators will be forced to suffer under increased taxes; greatly limiting their ability to create jobs for the many unemployed people across our country.  The American people expressed their outrage at this kind of wasteful legislating, but their voices have fallen on deaf ears in the Senate.”

Let’s look at that comment for a moment.

Say you are the CEO of a big corporation and taxes on every dollar over one million dollars was 90%. Would you take lots of money out as income and give 90% to the country? No, probably not. You would probably keep most of the money in the business where you can use it to reduce your taxes by claiming expenses. Keeping the money in the business is like money in the bank. You can take it any time you want.

Now let’s add in a competitor. This makes it even more realistic since most businesses have competitors. If you took your money out of the company (and paid high taxes) and your competitor put his money back in the business, which of you would be going out of business?

So, ask yourself, does it help the economy when people keep their money in their businesses or when they take it out of the company? It seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? The business that is reinvested in becomes more valuable and provides more jobs. The company that takes the money out in profits and taxes hurts the economy by losing jobs.

Let’s play along with this scenario just a bit further. If it is good for the economy to have lower taxes on the rich, then why did lowering the taxes on the rich cause recessions and depressions every time? Remember reading about the roaring 20s? That was a time when the taxes on the super rich were reduced into the 20% range. What happened right after that? The Great Depression. What happened right after Reagan lowered taxes on the super rich? The Reagan Recession and bank failures. What happened when Bush lowered the taxes on the rich? Possibly the second Great Depression in a century. See a graph of top tax rates and compare the dates with 1) the Great Depression and 2) the steady decline of our economy since the 1980s.

If you stick your finger in a light socket and get hurt, would you stick it right back in there? No, probably not. Then why would you vote for a candidate that wants to put the country’s finger right back in that tax-breaks-for-the-rich light socket?

It’s really not that hard to understand.

And one last point. The Republicans have been using and abusing procedures for the past three years trying to obstruct everything the Democrats try to do. They have broken all records for filibustering. That’s how they used procedure abuse to stop this last attempt to fix our broken tax system. They abuse the political system and then go and lie to us about how the Democrats are abusing the system.

Ah, the party of lies. If we want to save our country we’ll have to start pushing back and exposing the lies. After all, ALL the Republican congressmen are chanting the same lies. After all, the lies were tested out on the blind followers before being released to the talking heads.


What is a Fair Tax?

What is a Fair Tax?
by
David Schlecht

Republicans have managed to rewire the meaning of tax to mean something other than what our founding fathers had in mind. America’s forefathers knew what it meant to be taxed into poverty and to be taxed as a penalty. But our forefathers didn’t see America’s taxes to be either of those.

As we can see in the constitution, the idea was that “we the people” would unite to pool our money into common services thereby avoiding greedy or unethical businesses. In other words, the military was a way for you and me to pool our money and create a system that protects us. The idea wasn’t to pool our money and give it to a greedy corporation to protect us. See the difference? A greedy corporation’s main goal is greed but our main need is security. So, it only makes sense that we pool our money to create our own military.

Since, according to the US constitution, the purpose of government is for we the people to provide for the welfare of each other, there are numerous purposes for we the people to unite to create programs that provide for our needs that avoids the pitfalls of greedy corporations. Any service that we decide is so important that we want to ensure its success we make a function of the government.

Let’s say for another example that the health of the nation cannot be ensured by greedy corporations. Greed runs counter to our needs for reliable health care. That is why all the leading countries in the world have ensured health care through the government. That is why America has finally passed health care reform.

The payment we are paying to the greedy corporate insurance companies can some day be shifted into a much smaller tax that we can pay to get better and more reliable health services.

In other words, what we, in a free country, pay is not a tax but an investment in ourselves. We decide to pay $100 in tax rather than $1000 to a greedy corporation that will probably decline our coverage when we need it most.

So, it’s not really a tax. It’s an investment.

Insurance is an easy example of something that you can not trust to a greedy corporation. Let’s say you pay $5,000 per year for all your assorted insurance needs. If you can get the greedy corporation profits out of the equation you could get by with a $2,000 tax increase to cover all your insurance needs and keep the $5,000.

Most of us don’t mind paying less money to have a public education system rather than paying for-profit corporations and hope they provide what we need. Most of us don’t mind paying less money to have police departments rather than private for-profit security companies and we like paying less for reliable fire departments that won’t let our house burn down because they say we didn’t pay or because they cut costs so much they don’t have the right equipment.

Most of us are glad we have taxes that allow all of us to live in a first class country. But there are always going to be freeloaders. There will always be those who want to collect unemployment rather than work, and there are those who want to live in a wonderful country and not pay their fair share of the costs.

This is exactly what our forefathers envisioned when they created a country of the people for the people.

So, what is a fair tax? It is whatever it is you want it to be. If you want to live in a third world country, zero taxes is in order. Our constitution allows for just that. However, if, like our forefathers, you want to live in a wonderful country, you will want to pay the costs to make it happen, and will thereby be saving yourself gobs of money by not paying for greedy corporations for your government services.

Okay, now admit it! Privatizing our government is a really stupid thing to do isn’t it?

There is limit to what we the people can pool our money to buy. We can decide to pool our money for whatever we darned well feel like and it’s exactly what our forefathers wanted. We the People!

I don’t want to pool our money to build cars or air planes. But if it’s important for a first class country, it should be guaranteed by the people, not by a greed-driven corporation.

I can easily think of dozens of services that I would prefer to pay for through fewer taxes than I”m paying for greedy corporations. If we could spend 50% of our income on taxes and get tens or hundreds of times more services for our money, it would be foolish to fear the idea brought by our forefathers, even though some try to scare you away by calling it a scary name like socialism.

Things the GOP Hates – Part 1

Things the GOP Hates – Part 1
by
Captain Jack

I’m quite surprised by the Republican Party for all the things they oppose. One would think that they oppose anything the Democrats want, even if such opposition hurts America. Then, again, maybe there really is reason to oppose these things Democrats are trying to pass thinking it’s for the benefit of America. Let’s take a look at what the GOP hates.

The list of things the GOP opposes is huge and grows every day so deciding where to start leaves countless possibilities. So, I’ll start with things that the GOP has expressed the most opposition to, namely fixing our broken health care system.

The GOP has promised repeatedly that if they get back into power they’ll repeal the health care reform bill. They’ve pledged to, “Repeal the Costly Health Care Takeover of 2010.”

It sickens me to see a major political party in America so steeped in lies. I would have said, “what moron would ever believe that the tax bill is taking over the health care” but seeing all the people who sadly believed the lies about the death panels and believe that Obama’s coming for their guns, I sadly realize that a large number of Americans are successfully deceived by these lies over and over again.

If you are one of the many Republicans who visit this site, please stop and drop me a comment and let me what’s going on inside your head when it comes to this stuff.

Why does anyone believe the lies when it’s proven that the party is lying over and over? Is it easily forgotten each time or does your news media neglect to correct the lies?

America has been trying for many decades to fix our broken health care system. We’ve known it’s broken since the early 1900s. Republican administrations and Democratic administrations have tried repeatedly to fix this mess only to be beaten down by the medical and health care industries.  Now, after all these failed attempts, America has succeeded in a first step at fixing the problem and the same health care and medical industries have convinced many of us how it’s not in our best interests to see this fixed.

So, Republicans, please enlighten me. Why are you so opposed to America fixing our broken health care system? We’re the last industrialized nation to fix the death by greed problems. So, what, exactly, are you so opposed to? The lie of death panels has been cleared up, the lie of it costing more than it saves over the next few years has been debunked. Exactly what is remaining that makes the GOP want to repeal this? Is the problem really just the fact that the Democrats were successful in helping America and the GOP don’t want it to stick?

Is it possible that the Republican voters really don’t want America to fix our broken health care system? I just refuse to believe that.

Now that the health care bill is in effect, how much have your taxes gone up? None? In fact isn’t Obama trying to get the middle class tax cuts to continue? How many death panels have you seen? How much is your health care rationed? None?

Well, then, really, what is the GOP opposed to when it comes to fixing our health care system?