Ralph welcomes William Kleinknecht, author of States of Neglect: How Red-State Leaders Have Failed Their Citizens and Undermined America about how red state governors and legislatures fight culture wars while starving education and health care, empowering polluters, engaging in voter suppression, and neglecting their citizens’ well-being in the interest of cutting taxes for their wealthy donors.
Joe Biden signed into law today the “Inflation Reduction Act” — a package of environmental, health care and tax measures that the administration is trumpeting as one of its crowning legislative achievements. But in reality, it represents a drop in the bucket compared to the scale of social crises workers are facing on multiple fronts.
If Democrats threw out the filibuster today and rapidly passed legislation over the next 8 months as if they gave a damn — as if they were, oh, I don’t know, the Supreme Court — and if they put just what they’re increasing the military budget by into their Build Back Better bill, if they put through with majority votes just those items they were elected on that are favored by significant majorities in the country, they’d have done enough by 6 months from now to not lose those elections. And if they kept going, they’d need never lose an election again. The whole premise of keeping the filibuster around to restrain the Republicans is the plan to go on sucking badly for 6 more months in order to lose — combined with the delusion that Republicans are going to be restrained by something that THEY can and will choose to throw out. The Republicans will certainly plan on never losing an election again. Any elections they can’t win or rig, they can ask the Supreme Court to fix up for them — and hire Al Gore to explain to us that we should sit back and take it.
It is time for an unusual but long overdue revolt by the 150 million tax-with-held taxpayers. I’m not speaking of rates of taxation that the rich and corporations largely avoid because of the gigantic tax escapes, which they grease through Congress. Today I’m hoping to get your dander up by showing how corporatist politicians make you pay for big corporations to come to their corporate welfare-friendly state and make profits.
It is exceedingly rare for a major congressional committee to hold hearings on “corporate greed” leading to corporate profiteering and surging prices on consumer goods. On April 5, 2022, Senate Budget Chairman, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chartered uncensored territory on corporate avarice with a lead witness, former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
The biggest business in America is stealing and defrauding the federal government, Uncle Sam and you the taxpayers. In terms of sheer stolen dollars, the total amount is greater than the annual sales of Amazon and Walmart over the past two years.
We speak to Max Lawson of Oxfam about the ‘Inequality Kills’ report, which details how while 99% of humanity’s income fell, 160 million were pushed into poverty and 1 person died every 4 seconds over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic…the top 10 richest men saw their wealth more than double from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion dollars, a rate of $1.2 billion a day.
On August 8th, Donald Trump took four executive actions on coronavirus relief. One was a memorandum deferring, to the end of the year, payment of the employee portion of the payroll tax for employees making less than $4000 biweekly. (Employer payments had already been deferred in the CARES act.)
When liberal politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders say that we can solve inequality by taxing the rich, they’re trying to make it seem like the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is a legislative dispute instead of a class war. They’re proposing that the interests of the ruling oligarchs can be reconciled with our interests, and that all this will take is a rearrangement of the tax system.
Left Forum 2018: As our demands grow bolder—true full employment, the rebuilding of the social safety net starting with Medicare for All, an overdue green and just transition—so will the naysayers’ inevitable refrain: “How will you pay for it?” Developments in our understanding of monetary theory and the money system has, thankfully, illuminated a path forward out of the trap of austerity: when we understand how money actually works, we know that the obstacles to bold action at a national scale on jobs, healthcare, and climate are political, not economic.