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More and more Republican senators are moving away from the very rightwing Grover Norquist and his pledge to never raise taxes. It is way past time raise taxes, especially the capital gains rate on the rich. Raise rates. Close loopholes.  Focus on those who make more than $250,000 a year.

As we’ve said in this space before, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid must not be cut. There are so many reasons – these programs are amongst the most effective ever in the history of the American government. If Social Security and Medicare were cut, the least poor demographic in America could revert to the poorest demographic in America. Were Medicaid to be cut, low income seniors like my father could lose their care and even their housing.

If the so-called grand bargain between the Republicans and Democrats include cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would make our nation’s shame of inequality even worse.

My friend Scott Marshall has a great idea to narrow our shameful inequality: raise the minimum wage. It is time to raise the minimum wage. There simply is no good argument against it. It doesn’t close businesses or drive away business. It puts more money in the hands of people who will spend it immediately, benefiting all of us including business. It is the righteous thing to do. It is part of the solution to narrow our growing inequality.


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.
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Comment Preferences

  •  This "Fiscle Cliff" nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, George3

    has been quite effective in squashing any movement on this, or even talking about it.

    Hopefully the minimum wage can enter the dialog next session.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:33:29 AM PST

  •  Presume that our currency is a measure of value (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, George3

    certified and issued by our federal government to make it credible. Then, having accepted that premise, ask why it is that currency is first issued to banks (by the Federal Reserve) so that then it can be borrowed by the Treasury to fund the goods and services not covered by the taxes the federal government collects. Not to mention that a goodly chunk just slides into the hedge funds and other speculative financial enterprise never to see the light of day again.
    Fact is that, although our revenue collection system is geared towards capturing currency as it moves, purely financial transactions don't get taxed and corporations are further exempt by having to take a cut of any profit they make. Lose money and nothing goes to the feds.

    So, in addition to the question of why the Congress has set up the Fed as a middleman, there's the further question why the tax code is rigged to only attach corporate profits, while it claims a percentage of everything individuals earn.

    Ah, the Congress.  Now, why would the Congress, which has been tasked with managing the currency and can issue an infinite amount want to pretend that it's got nothing to do with anything at all? Why, instead of just depriving the elderly of their pensions and the medically needy of care, are they now promising austerity for all?

    Let's say all employers are obligated to pay wages sufficient to sustain workers and rear their progeny.  That would reduce the need for subsidies significantly. If the Congress wanted that, wouldn't it make sense to just make sure there's enough money circulating to cover it all, instead of requisitioning dollars and then claiming there's not enough?
    There's obviously no will, so there's no way.

    We have a Constitution.  That Constitution sets up a public corporation to do what we, the people, want done. Because, the fact is that, when you want something done, you either do it yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. And, if they don't, you hire someone else. Our public corporations are organized in recognition that nobody can be forced to do what s/he doesn't want to do. It's only misbehavior, not non-behavior, that we can do anything about.
    The problem is that incompetents can't do anything on their own.  So, they have to persuade others to do for them. Which is OK, unless such people are allowed to run the public corporations that are supposed to do things. We need a better Congress.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:42:46 AM PST

  •  A higher Min wage=more FICA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, George3

    Widespread job creation (blocked by the GOP) means more FICA.

    In a nutshell, the SS trustees, in the low cost scenario say the trust fund will not be depleted thru 2090.... and 2 of the major factors that make that happen is job creation and wage growth.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:09:27 AM PST

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