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View Diary: Riding a populist wave toward 2014 (224 comments)

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  •  Economic populism is still most important (91+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to keep up the pressure to raise taxes on the wealthy and on big corporations shirking their responsiblities.

    Democrats need to re-embrace Keynesian economics, not just in proposals that will sink like a trace, either.  They need to fight for Federally-funded jobs programs as hard as Republicans fight for the NRA.

    Most importantly, Democrats need to resist calls from all quarters, including the White House, to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.  If they don't do this diligently, then "populist" is a label they will flush down the drain.

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:51:39 PM PST

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    •  IDK if we can pull it off though. (10+ / 0-)

      We have an uphill battle convincing the millionaires in Congress to raise taxes on themselves.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:55:19 PM PST

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      •  Democrats can afford to be populists (53+ / 0-)

        ... as long as it doesn't inconvenience the ruling class.  Obama missed a once-in-a-generation chance to take Wall Street down a few pegs, and of course he didn't even try.  What was his reward?  Wall Street lining up for Mitt Romney.

        There's little political upside for Democrats in not attacking the greedy super-rich or sticking up for the little guy in really tangible ways.  Doing so is what would really build them into a generational majority party, as they were after the New Deal.  When will we see a Federal campaign for a living wage, or card check, or two years of free college?  Thinking big would pay big rewards, but they don't seem to be there yet.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:00:01 PM PST

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        •  Clearly, they're NOT there yet, (21+ / 0-)

          and unlikely to BE there in time before 2014 to usher in the populist wave envisioned by our kossian overlord.

          We've got a president talking tough on the debt ceiling (as if that were where the battle's going to be waged). Meantime, he's the guy who engineered the sequester sword, effectively blocked the GOP from sheathing it, and is bound and determined to use it to justify the "necessity" to compromise on spending during the Fiscal Cliff II cage match.

          We've got ol' Glass Jaw Harry apparently working overtime to fashion a compromise on the filibuster reform which will render reform anything but. Oh, and Harry, staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and recipient of campaign cash from his buds at the NRA, is concern trolling that he just doesn't see how a renewal of the AWB can possibly get through the Senate.

          We've got Nancy Pelosi, until recently, touting chained CPI, then laughably proclaiming she was just testing the opposition.

          This is the party leadership.

          Re 2014? Here's what I posted a while back:

          In my view, there is but one hope for retaking the House and retaining majority in the Senate in 2014. The progressive members of the Congress must break with the president's economic policies and take their case directly to the American people. That case is budget fairness and economic empowerment. And that case can me made by educating the voters about, and drumming up support for, the Congressional Progressive Caucus' "Budget for All."

          The CPC budget embodies the principles that the American people already support by substantial majorities - they just don't know the proposed budget exists and that anyone is fighting for its enactment. Show the voters it's the Democrats (real Democrats) who are fighting for it, and we can win in 2014, in spite of Obama's efforts to implement austerity.

          I believe this even more strongly now. It's time for every Congresscritter who is serious about progressive reform of our corrupted system to start playing hardball, even if it means fighting against our own leadership.

          Wear it proud. Wear it loud. Outlaw concealed carry. That gun hidden under your coat won't deter shit.

          by WisePiper on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:37:00 PM PST

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        •  risky (0+ / 0-)

          Attracting unmitigated ire of political money is risky.
          Winning relies on electoral "earthquake"/tsunami, etc. It's very black and white.

          ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

          by in on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:02:55 AM PST

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        •  So you missed that CFPB thingy and the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shrike, sethtriggs, Davui

          first regulations passed during a Democratic administration, and the DOJ prosecutions that are sending fraudsters to jail?  You missed the changes to TARP that resulted in a very high very fast payback rate, resulting in a very low ultimate cost to taxpayers?  What is it about "strongest regulations since FDR" that offends you?  Aren't you really just furious that Americans ignored the excesses of the financial industries, that both Carter and Clinton complied with Wall Street and no one noticed until comfortable white guys lost jobs and homes?

          Where was the OWS movement when POC, women, Jews, were the victims?  Where was the outrage when police brutality to gays, women, blacks was commonplace?  Where is the outrage about rape on reservations?  

          Lining Banksters up against the wall and shooting them for doing what initially benefitted the ruling white male class is vengeance, not a fight for a level playing field.  Thank God Obama isn't willing to destroy the economy in order to purify it.  We have what we have, our job is to work on practical ways to make it fairer, not succumb to the new 1% a revolution would bring.  See Russia, post "fall".

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:59:53 AM PST

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          •  Too Big To Fail Banks and High-Flying Financiers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            destroyed the economy.

            Obama's Administration missed a golden opportunity to rebuild it on firmer ground.

            The story as it seems to be shaping up now in the reporting is that Geithner spearheaded the conservative and fairly libertarian approach to dealing with the banking and investment community - that there were advisors who disagreed - but Geithner won out in those debates.  He's also one of the few economic policy advisors involved who is still at the White House, FWIW.

            Those financial institutions still pose a great threat to our economy.  Little has changed in the structural sense.  A repeat of the collapse of 2008 is still very possible.

            And Chris Dodd for all he did to shield the banking and finance industry from real reform, is not sitting pretty on Wall Street as he had planned.  He's gone on to head up the MPAA which isn't a bad job, but definitely isn't the payback he had expected for his efforts on behalf of the Wall Street one-percenters.

            The folks over in Obama land apparently also feel a bit betrayed having worked so hard to protect them from a rightfully angry public.  Live and learn.

            •  It has always been so in this country. The (0+ / 0-)

              tension between free markets and reasonable regulation of same are a perpetual see-saw.  This is true in every economy, not just ours.  It's true in communist and socialist countries.  There's no Golden Mean that holds, just the swings over decades.  IOW, we could avoid the extremes if we paid consistent attention, mobilized against loosening regulations, used our united citizen power outside of election years.  No president can overhaul the financial system completely, we prefer it until it hurts us personally.  Then we rage and rail impotently until it benefits us again, and ignore all warning signs until we're hurt again.  We could do it differently in the future.  Will we?  We were more emotionally invested in American Idol than we were in American warmongering during the Bush years. My outlook is not sanguine.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:41:32 PM PST

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      •  it would help if the average progressive would (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        offgrid, Pluto, Calamity Jean

        understand that the only issue for gov spending is inflation.

        Yes, for this reason it would be nice to destroy some of the money at the top.

        But we don't have to wait to collect taxes in order to spend, spending is just a key stroke away.

      •  Loudy support higher taxes on the plutocrats, (2+ / 0-)
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        Dallasdoc, JeffW

        and make sure the electorate knows it in 2014.  Rub it in that Republicans opposed it.  Even if taxes don't get raised, it could help.  

        Clean renewable energy is popular.  Democrats who support it win more often that Democrats who remain silent on the issue.  OTOH, Republicans who talk about renewable energy lose more often than Republicans that remain silent.  Good for us either way.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:33:54 PM PST

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        •  How is that going to work under Obama? (1+ / 0-)
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          He ran twice on raising taxes on those making more than $250K.  In his first term he had large majorities in both houses of Congress.  The Democrats could easily have raised taxes at that time, and they should have done so, along with a number of other measures before embarking on HCR (which became an absolutely ineptly handled fiasco).  Unfortunately, they didn't.  

          Then Obama ran a second time on the same thing.  He got into office and first thing he decided to compromise, failing to achieve his stated goal.  

          Now you expect Dems to run on raising taxes?  Credibly?  

          •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)
            In his first term he had large majorities in both houses of Congress.  
            He had a nice majority in the House, but because of the filibuster needed 60 votes in the Senate.  Al Franken wasn't seated for months, and shortly after he arrived Ted Kennedy died, so Obama had a filibuster-proof majority for a relatively short time.  

            Plus, in my earlier comment I was referring mainly to candidates in House and Senate Democratic primaries and in the general election for Congress.

            Renewable energy brings national global security.     

            by Calamity Jean on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:15:30 AM PST

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    •  economic fairness has not always (11+ / 0-)

      been a value of those at the top of the party, but for the rest of us, it has been the guiding central value since the days of Andrew Jackson, with few interruptions.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:19:44 PM PST

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    •  You do realize (0+ / 0-)

      that raising taxes on the wealthy (or anyone) in a weak economy is an anti-Keynesian proposal, right? Sure, the effects are more deleterious if you raise taxes on the middle- and lower-classes, but why would a self-proclaimed supporter of Keynesian ideas be arguing for higher taxes for anyone now?

      •  nope (5+ / 0-)

        If you raise taxes on the rich and spend that money on building things (with zero added deficit), you get a strong net stimulus.

        It's just math:

        simulus = 1.5n - 0.2n = 1.3n

        where n is the taxes raised from the rich, 1.5 is the spending multiplier (from the IMF report), and the 0.3 is the tax-on-the-rich multiplier (from the fiscal cliff analysis.)

        •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

          and your "math" acknowledges it (it's why you subtract the anti-stimulative effect of tax hikes from the spending multiplier). That government spending is more stimulative than tax breaks is irrelevant. There's no reason why you can't both keep taxes low and spend money to build things, other than a perverse need to deal with deficits in the middle of an economic crisis.

          •  When you raise taxes on the rich (0+ / 0-)

            ...they find loopholes, usually investment and development and growth industries. They'd rather die than see an extra penny go to the government--and they make sure that's what happens.

            Or, to be sure, pass tax hikes that grant deductions for actual job creation.

            There are many ways to accomplish a decent, slow-but-steady growing economy. We know how to do it. The economy was basically stable from 1945 to 1985--when they started de-regulating.

            The real problem is expectations. Wall Street expects a certain amount of growth. Banks are expected to achieve a certain amount of growth that was unthinkable fifty years ago. Certain industries were safe because they grew and profited slower--but safer.

            All that's out the window. Every corporation and company HAS TO GROW at a certain rate, or they 'die'. Expectations.

            "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

            by DaddyO on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:21:07 PM PST

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            •  Bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

              You're just spewing the same old lie about the rich avoiding taxes.  What utter crap.

              If that were the case then why do the rich fight tooth and nail to keep their taxes low.  If they can just use loopholes, why would they even care?  Obviously it does effect them.  

      •  raising taxes on rich can be stimulative (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, Calamity Jean, Dallasdoc

        the government can spend that money more effectively than the rich can.

        for most of our  rich people, this is "extra money" that may well be saved/offshored, not "essential money" that would definitely be spent.

        the real anti-stimulative issue is the end of the payroll tax cut. THAT takes money straight away from people who spend it. I didn't like the tax cut because it destabilized Social Security, but it was stimulative.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:32:01 AM PST

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        •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there are other ways to stimulate the economy, but that doesn't mean that tax hikes (on the rich or anyone else) don't have an anti-stimulative effect. Why exactly do you think that the government needs to fund additional spending with new tax revenues (at least, in our current situation)? Can't we both keep taxes low and spend more?

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