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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘Tax the Rich’

Mary Landrieu Slams “Obama-McConnell Plan”

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

“I’m going to argue forcefully for the nonsensicalness and the almost, you know, moral corruptness of that particular policy. . . . This is beyond politics. This is about justice and doing what’s right.”

If we had three hats* we’d tip them all to Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, who today blasted the Republican–Obama plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for another two years. Levees Not War faxed a letter to Senator Landrieu’s office this morning urging her to oppose the deal; we had no idea she was so passionately opposed to the immorality of the giveaway. We salute her forceful statements and hope she will firmly vote “no” when the time comes. Please join us in phoning Senator Landrieu’s office to thank her for her stand against the unfair and unaffordable “Obama-McConnell plan”:

Phone

WDC:  202-224-5824  |  N.O.:  504-589-2427 |  B.R.:  225-389-0395

Fax

WDC:  202-224-9735  |  N.O.:  504-589-4023  |  B.R.:  225-389-0660

*

“It’s what I’m calling the Obama-McConnell plan. We’re going to borrow $46 billion from the poor, from the middle class, from businesses of all sizes basically to give a tax cut to families in America today, that despite the recession, are making over a million dollars. I mean, this is unprecedented. Unprecedented.”

Senator Landrieu was quoted on MSNBC’s The Ed Show Tuesday night as saying that before Obama met with the Republican leadership to work out the tax extension plan he did not meet with the liberal Democrats, the moderate Democrats, or the conservative Democrats. Her remarks were reported by Ryan Grim in the Huffington Post (and on Dec. 8 by TalkingPointsMemo’s Brian Beutler under the title “Landrieu Blasts ‘Obama-McConnell’ Plan for Selling Out Black Voters”: full text below):

Mary Landrieu: ‘Obama-McConnell Plan’ Is ‘Almost Morally Corrupt’

Huffington Post, Dec. 7, 2010 | by Ryan Grim

Sen. Mary Landrieu, a conservative Democratic from Louisiana, lashed out Tuesday at President Obama’s deal with congressional Republicans that allows tax cuts for the wealthy to be extended for two years.

Extending the tax cuts for those making more than a million dollars a year is borderline immoral, Landrieu charged. “I’m going to argue forcefully for the nonsensicalness and the almost, you know, moral corruptness of that particular policy,” said Landrieu, walking into a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats. “This is beyond politics. This is about justice and doing what’s right.”

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Is Barack Obama a “Manchurian Republican”?

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

[ cross-posted at Daily Kos ]

Are you a Manchurian Republican? When we sent money to your campaign and went door-to-door to get out the vote and made phone calls for Obama for America, were we helping elect a (soft) Republican? If not, then prove you’re a Democrat.

Thus begins our latest letter to the president. More riveting excerpts below. We suspect it will get more attention from you, gentle readers, than from the Oval Office.

We posed the Manchurian question in a letter written in frustration after Obama’s failure to stand up firmly against extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%; his silence amid chatter about curtailing or privatizing Social Security and Medicare; his chronic lack of any definite, robust job-creation plan for Main Street (Wall Street’s been taken care of); and, the hottest-burning frustration just now, his repeated capitulations to our Republican tormentors and his . . . captors? Friends? BFFs?

The letter was sent after his post–midterm election summit meeting last week with McConnell and Boehner—the meeting that had been scheduled earlier but was abruptly canceled by the GOP leaders because of unspecified “scheduling conflicts,” a slap in the president’s face. Once the “no compromise” Republicans deigned to meet with the chief executive, he apologized for not having reached out to them more in the past two years. (We don’t know yet whether he crawled in to that meeting on his hands and knees; the White House press office has not replied to our inquiries.) Just the day before the meeting, Obama had announced his cynical decision to freeze federal workers’ pay for the next two years in order to save $5 billion—less than the U.S. spends in Afghanistan every month. Does he not realize that taking away these workers’ income, besides being morally wrong, also reduces their spending power and thus sets the economy back even further? (This is why unemployment benefits are stimulative to the economy generally.) Politically astute, too: what a way to win federal workers’ votes in 2012. What will he do when Republicans actually shut down the government, as they’ve been chattering about doing for months now? Find “common ground”?

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No “Kumbaya” for Billionaires

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

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[ cross-posted at Daily Kos ]

Today when the New York Times reports “Tax Cut Timing Is Proving Problematic for Democrats,” we faxed and mailed the following letter to President Obama and sent similar messages to his economic team (Goolsbee, Bernstein, Elizabeth Warren), along with Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine. We’re sorry to hear the timing’s inconvenient, but our view is that a shortage of tax revenue from the upper 1 and 2 percent tax brackets is “proving problematic” for America: for the unemployed, for the crumbling infrastructure, the public transportation that isn’t being built, the teachers and police who are being laid off, and so on. The richest 1% of Americans now take home almost 24% of income; in the past 30 years more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes has gone to the richest 1% (Nicholas Kristof, “Our Banana Republic”).

Join us in pressing on the White House and congressional Democrats (there are still some left) to do the right thing for America and not extend the Bush tax cuts for the upper 2%. Obama and the Democratic-led 111th Congress passed some 25 tax cuts for the middle class (the “lower 95%”), as he promised he would in 2008, but the Democrats forgot to make sure we knew it. Contact info here. White House phone: 202-456-1111. White House fax: 202-456-2461. Senate. House of Representatives.

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Restore Top Rate to Reagan-era 50%

Dear President Obama:

It has to be you, the President, taking the lead on not extending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. Congressional Democrats won’t move without your lead. Gain the upper hand and the moral high ground by not compromising on this. Speak up, and hold firm. Stay in campaign mode—the G.O.P. surely will.

Economic fairness. It would be unfair to the point of criminal to extend the upper 2% tax cuts when the nation is suffering 10% unemployment, 15 million are unemployed, infrastructure is crumbling, and the richest 1% own almost 24% of income. In the past 30 years more than 4/5 of the total increase in American incomes has gone to the richest 1%.

Political winner. In addition to the moral argument, it is essential politically that Democrats take a stand for the middle class. The G.O.P. is handing you a gift, just as Gingrich did to Clinton over Medicare cuts. Bring it on, G.O.P.—we’re not backing down. Force the Republicans to show who they really care about. You already know that they are not serious about reducing the deficit. Anyway, the more they pay in taxes, the less they’ll have to donate to anti-Obama commercials.

“Compromise” by honoring Reagan. Raise the upper-income rates to the 50% they paid during the Reagan years of 1982–1986. Tell ’em, “You’re always praising Reagan, so if it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for you now.” Honor the Gipper, and pay your share.

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