And this one only! I don’t necessarily agree with their tactical maneuvers on this payroll tax extension/long-term unemployment extension bill but, they are absolutely right on insisting a year extension, not the 60 day band-aid the Senate and White House agreed to. We all know, however, the House right-wingers’ rationale is not for the benefit of the 163 million Americans affected by this legislation, but is a way for them to think they are getting one over the President. It has nothing to do with any of these animals in the Tea-Bagger movement in the House trying to show America a bit of compassion. Truth is, based on their first year record of business in the House, they are quite the opposite, uncompassionate, uncaring, and subservient to the “owners”, i.e., Koch brothers, Wall Street, K Street, etc.

Now, to be clear, Speaker Boner did not favor this call for ignoring the affected 163 million people, he probably really wanted what the Senate and President agreed to. After all, Boner has a reputation of not liking to work, particularly after hours!

I go along with the House Republicans on this issue because what the Senate and the White House agreed to do was delay, yet another piece of legislation for political reasons. The President wanted ammunition to accuse the Congress of not acting on a bill that will harm 163 million Americans if not acted on, while the GOP wanted to throw out another case where the President didn’t stick to his word, therefore painting him as a poor leader.

This is just another situation of our dysfunctional government. When there is so much moneyed influence controlling how the country is governed, this is what you get. The pressure on these politicians to kowtow to their financial backers is immense. Go back over the past few years, notice the noncooperative and extreme positions being taken by these people we elect. They used to work in government as our representatives to govern on “our” behalf. When that was the case, compromise was a valuable tool which Americans favored because although some didn’t always get everything they wanted, they understood that something is better than nothing and that over the course of time, the people’s business was generally done in a fair and equitable manner. Now days, it’s strictly “my way or the highway”, being pushed and paid for by outside money, and goes for both parties. Do the unions pony up big for the democrats?, yes, does the world of Corporate America pay up big for the republicans?, yes. It’s a totally corrupt system that has been greatly exasperated by the activist SCOTUS Citizens United ruling, giving corporations carte blanche to spend as much money as they want support candidates, destroy opposing candidates, and put themselves into position of actually calling all of the shots in the governance of this country.

It’s both parties, you know how sick I get when the President, who I support, goes to lavish $38,000 bucks a plate fundraisers on Wall Street and then flies to Bumfuck Nebraska the next day and rails about the evils of Wall Street and Corporate America. They all do it. We no longer have representative government because our government is now a tool to see to it the private sector’s profits keep rising, education, infrastructure, health care, and law and order be damned!

Until America, both liberals and conservatives wake up and see what the “owners” are doing TO us, average American life will continue sliding. Back to the issue at hand, the fight between the House and the Senate on the payroll tax cut/unemployment benefits extension.

A 60 day extension would only serve as a delay for the current battle is, the passage of the bill. The GOP wants to load the bill up with a lot of pork to help pad the pockets of their employers, primarily Big Energy in this instance, while the Democrats simply want a one year extension of the payroll tax cut. A clean, one issue bill is what they want but, the GOP knows they can get more help for their employers by holding a beneficial bill hostage to get what their bosses want. It’s bullshit, and we all know that. Loading up less important bills with gifts for their bosses is fine, but this bill can have a huge direct impact on about 50% of America’s population. The Tea-Baggers might as well be wearing a mask and holding the Senate and White House at gun point!

By passing this bill for one year, with no additions or pork, will free up Congress and the White House to focus on the real job at hand, major tax system overhaul. This is where ALL of the problems with the governance of this country start. It needs to be fixed, and quickly. My solutions…

…The first step needs to be a mechanism to phase out the current system, entirely! Now get to the guts, eliminate all loop holes and deductions except home mortgages and health care assistance. The new personal income tax rates should be waived for those earning less than $25,000 per year. Then we go for a fair and graduated rate structure that has increasing percentage with increasing income, increased on the margins only. By having a fair system, with lower rates, that alone raises revenues by more participants paying in. I do believe there should be a surtax fee for those individuals making over 1 million dollars a year. On the corporate/business side of it, we simply apply a straight graduated rate structure without loopholes. The rates can be much lower than they are today, and the revenues will rise due to the closure of loopholes. The days of business “tax cuts” are over! They have proven to be useless, almost every business, hedge fund manager, surgeon, airline pilot, attorney, et al that has earned these cuts in the past, simply puts them to the their own bottom line. In the future, BUSINESSES ALONE can earn tax credits, by complying with all laws and utilizing the potential of receiving tax credits to be used for capital expenses, expansion, increase in payroll, etc. Currently, they receive tax cuts and don’t perform. This new way of doing business holds the business accountable for monies received from the government.

Lastly, al profits earned by business in the United States will be subject to taxation. Companies can move their production to other countries but, if they are U.S. based, all income shall be subject to taxation. If anybody or business is caught hiding profits in off shore banks or elsewhere in an attempt to avoid paying taxes, will be subject to the taxes owed, heavily fined, and subject to criminal prosecution. If an American company moves out of the country completely, any product or services sold in this country will be subject to tariffs, same as other non-American companies are.

The President should have a proposal such as this ready to turn over to the House and Senate by the end of March, 2012. That will give Congress ample time to work on their versions, go to conference for combining, and then presented back to the White House for signature, possibly by summer’s end. This will keep the politicians at work and not out on the campaign trail.

What I have proposed here is so easy, liberals and conservatives should rally behind my plan. It makes sense for this country. As an addition, I would propose going back to 100% tax funded political campaigns. This takes the money out of the equation, and puts the power of the ballot box back in the hands of Americans. All lobbying activity in DC and state capitals needs to be halted, now, cold turkey. When a person can make 1.6 million dollars for being a historian for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, you know there is incredible corruption there! Thanks for reading today!
Cam Obert



  1. tomobert63 Says:

    This week’s Newsweek has some great quotes about wingnuts by Paul Begala and Martin Amis – not to mention some pithy stuff from Hitchens! I giggled all the way through it. Also delighted to see Ayn Rand getting her comeuppance as a mean, spiteful person – from many sources. Lefties are finally figting back!

  2. your sister Says:

    You are so wrong, little brother. The Senate had already left town when the GOP decided to throw another wrench into the system because all the do is obstruct anything that Obama is for and, in this case, even compromised on. Trust me — this is going to bite the Republicans in their behinds. This move is going to hurt a lot of people — not them — but the unemployed.

    BTW, I also read those fine pieces, Tom, in Newsweek magazine this week. Read about our fave, Christopher Hitchens (I agree with most everything he says EXCEPT his pro-war stance on Iraq) and also read the Paul Begala piece. Newsweek has some great articles. Glad I subscibed and hooked Chris up too.

  3. your sister Says:

    Another BTW, years and years ago, I stood right next to Christopher Hitchens and his son when we are all going to see a movie at Union Station in Washington, D.C. I was struck by how short he was.

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