Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thom Hartmann: Video: Follow the French on the Millionaire Tax



You want everyone paying their fair share of taxes at all economic levels. Which is one of the reasons why I’m in favor of what I call the Progressive Consumption Tax. Which would accomplish most of that especially by eliminating all the wasteful tax loopholes in the tax system, including corporate welfare. But you don’t want taxes so high on anyone that it discourages people to be productive and successful. And gets them asking the question, “why should I work hard and be productive when Uncle Sam takes most of the money that I make anyway?”

We do not want taxes so high to that point which is what we saw in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with a recession, followed by weak economic and job growth. Similar to what we’ve grown through the last five years. And even though the Great Recession wasn’t a result of taxes being too high, taxes that are too high can play a role in creating recessions with people not having enough money to spend to create strong economic growth. And what we saw as a result in the mid 1960s was a Progressive Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress with Conservative Republican help, is cut taxes across the board for everyone. Which contributed to an economic boom of the mid and late 1960s.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Classic MLB 11: Video: NBC Sports: MLB 1979-All Star Game-National League @ American League: Full Game


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Playing an all-star baseball game at a football stadium. The Kingdome despite being fairly close to the action for baseball and a very loud stadium for both baseball and football, was basically a football stadium, because of its size, sixty-five thousand seats for football. And in the high fifty-thousands for baseball, but this was a great game. Where Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Dave Parker who was a five- tool player up until the mid 1980s, throws out a baserunner from the outfield wall unassisted. Perhaps the best defensive play in MLB All Star game history.
For all the talk about this game being a slugfest with the lineups that both teams had and the stadium they were playing at, this game could’ve been played at Shea Stadium in New York, or Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City. Because this was a pitchers duel with the Americans beating the Nationals 7-6. Which is a high score, but not that high compared with who was hitting for both teams and where they were playing. Goes to show you that great pitching, especially when that great pitching throws hard with control, will beat great hitting. Especially if those great hitters are expecting a big game because of the ballpark that they are playing at.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Young Turks: Video: Cenk Uygur: President Obama Sets Bear Trap, Republicans Walk Right Into It


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The current Republican governing policy is, “if Democrats are for it, we are against it, even if we are for it, or were once in favor of it”. And even offered it in health care reform a perfect example of that where the Affordable Care Act actually has a lot of good conservative ideas like the health care mandate and the health care market place in it. Which is the main reason why there hasn’t been much compromise in Congress between the House and Senate because when Democrats say okay we’ll agree to that, the House GOP just moves the ball further to get more compromises.

Then instead of Republicans saying okay let’s do that, Republicans just move the ball and say well, “if Democrats are willing to give us this, we can get them to give us this as well and hold off on a deal”. The deficit reduction negotiations are a perfect example of this where Democrats have put entitlement reform on the table and what Republicans is do is to say well, “if they will do that, then they’ll take exactly what type of entitlement reform we are interested in”. Like cutting Social Security benefits to future retirees or cutting benefits to current beneficiaries.

The only goal Republicans have right now is absolute power. And to accomplish this, they need to hold onto the House and 2014 and retake the Senate in 2014. To give them a united Republican Congress and to win back the White House in 2016 as well. While hanging onto Congress and the hard right partisan Republicans in the House and Senate have one clear strategy. “If Democrats are for it, it must be a bad idea even if it is our idea. So we are only going to put policies that are as far to the right as possible to get our partisan right-wing base behind us to avoid primary challenges”.

Which leaves us with gridlock when you have the Republican Leadership saying no to anything that the Democratic Leadership especially in the Senate and White House say yes to. Because now Democrats are in a position where they are only negotiating with themselves. Trying to find more moderate members in Congress to go along with some of these more conservative ideas in broader packages, while not losing any of their more, well lets say progressive members. Instead of negotiating with their own caucus’ in the House and Senate, along with Congressional Republicans.



Friday, November 22, 2013

Thom Hartmann: Video: We Are Subsidizing Low Wage Employers!



Here’s an idea. Instead of having taxpayers who mostly work in the middle class be forced to subsidize low-income workers for their food, housing and health care, instead penalize employers who pay their employees so low, that they need to collect public assistance from taxpayers in order to survive. Eat, housing, health care and so-forth, instead of subsidizing low-wages in this country. And tell employers the money we are now paying for Food Assistance, Public Housing and health insurance, they can get that back if they train their low-income workers so they can get a better job even in their company. Or somewhere else and not have to collect from public assistance at all.

What taxpayers are doing now and again mostly in the middle class, is being forced to make up the difference in income that employers do not pay their low-income workforce. Because these low-income workers whether they work or at Wal-Mart, or for a fast food chain, do not make enough money to cover their housing, groceries and health insurance. They have to get that money from taxpayers instead of their employer so they have what they need to survive. Along with the corporate welfare and paying corporations to send their jobs oversees. When these employers have more than enough resources to pay their employees what they need for the basic necessities. Not so they are rich or even middle class, but so they can afford their rent, their groceries and their health insurance.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Daily Beast: Congress: Ben Jacobs: Harry Reid Goes Nuclear on Filibusters

The Daily Beast: Congress: Harry Reid Goes Nuclear on Filibusters 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Just to be perfectly clear, the Senate filibuster on executive and lower judicial nominations, meaning non-Supreme Court appointments to the federal bench have been removed from possible future filibuster challenges. Which means President Barack Obama and any other future president from either party, as long as the rule is in place, will be able to get their executive administration nominees through with just fifty-one votes. And if their party is in the Senate majority and they have a clear majority and their Senate caucus is united, the president will get their non-Supreme Court nominees through all the time.

Unless the president has bipartisan opposition against their appointments and they are clearly unqualified and both sides see that. Which is what happened to President Bush in his second term. But as long as the president has his party behind him or possibly her in the near future, the president Democrat or Republican will get their executive nominees through. Generally speaking I’m against this for both political, but also practical reasons. Because this means in the future if the Republican Party ever figures out how to win back the White House and stops nominating Far-Right Neo-Confederates to run for the Senate in swing states, they’ll get their nominees through all the time.

And that even means some pretty bad ones as President Bush did send up. But under the circumstances Senate Leader Harry Reid did the right thing, because not only were qualified nominees being denied even a vote on the Senate floor, like U.S. Representative Mell Watt, who I believe to serve run the Federal Housing Administration, the first sitting Member of Congress to be blocked because of a Senate filibuster in eighty-years to serve in the Executive Branch, but it was how these nominees have been blocked.

Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Chuck Grassley, the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, probably the lead strategist for the Republicans when it comes to blocking President Obama’s nominees, but it was how they were blocked. With Senate Republicans changing the rules and debate in how they obstruct. The advise and consent tradition in the Senate is pretty simple and clear.

The President nominates people to serve in his administration or to a court. The Senate gets to decide almost always by majority rule whether the nominee is qualified for the job or not. Not whether a particular senator would nominate that person or whether they believe that agency, office or court should exist. Or whether this is the right time to fill that vacancy or not. But whether the nominee is qualified for the job or not. Senate Republicans have gone way past that.

Senate Republicans have changed advise and consent to, “we’ll decide we the minority party in the U.S. Senate when the President of the United States can appoint people to his administration or a court. Based on whether or not we believe that office or agency should even exist or not and if this is the right time to fill that position”. And Senator Grassley has been very clear about this and this was the main argument. That Senate Republicans used to block nominees to the Washington, DC federal court, because they believe that court didn’t need new judges right now.

The hypocrisy in this debate from both sides is pretty clear from both sides. Senate Republicans were against filibustering executive nominees before they were for it. And now Senate Democrats were in favor of filibustering executive nominees before they were against it. Because of how Senate Republicans have changed the rules and their strategy for how they block nominees no longer based on qualifications, but when and if vacancies should be filled or not, Leader Reid didn’t have much of a choice today. Otherwise President Obama wouldn’t be able to fill key offices in the future.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Globalist: Opinion: Bill Hunphrey: "The Problem With Billionaires": Why Tax and Spend Doesn't Work

The Globalist: Opinion: Bill Humphrey: The Problem With Billionaires

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This idea that what America needs to do is just tax the hell out of millionaires and billionaires and use that money to spend more on War on Poverty programs to help the poor, as if fifty-years later that has worked very well, because the ultra-right as Bill Humphrey likes to say, has so much money that they don’t know what to do with that money, but government can come in and spend that money better than the people, and if we just do that we can solve our economic problems, forgetting about the seventeen-trillion dollar national debt and six-hundred billion dollar budget deficit, simply doesn’t work.

But of course if you are a so-called Progressive of today, debt and deficits do not matter. But if that is the case, than why do we need to have such huge tax hikes to fix our economy. Why not just continue to borrow and spend to address our economic problems. I’ve already answered my own question, because debt and deficits do matter. Otherwise this proposal to raise taxes to pay for new government spending, because our beloved U.S. Government knows how to spend this money better than the people, I mean come on who are you trying to fool. Unless the real reason for this huge tax hike is because you just want government to have a lot more money to spend on behalf of the people.

I agree that if you include all the tax breaks, the wealthy in America are under taxed, especially compared with the middle class. But if that is the concern and not just raise new money for the government, you would be interested in tax reform that eliminates most of the tax breaks for the wealthy. And go to a Progressive Consumption Tax system or PCT Progressive Consumption Tax to replace the income tax. And everyone would be able to keep all the money they make except the money that they spend.

A PCT would benefit everyone including low-income people, because you could still keep the Earned Income Tax Credit and this system would be progressive. Lower taxes on basic necessities needed in life. Like food, health care, housing to use as examples. but higher taxes on luxury items. Luxury and sports cars, second homes, yachts, vacations to use as examples. We would tax people based on what they takeout of society including the wealthy. Instead of taxing people based on what they produce for society.

If the idea is to have a country with as many successful people as possible and with as few lets say low-income people as possible, knowing we’ll never have a country that is completely free of poverty, which is just an annoying fact, than you don’t tax people so high that is discourages them to be successful. And instead tax everyone based on what they take out of society. Especially the wealthy who spend a lot of money on things they do not need. And instead of just spending more money on social programs, design those programs so they empower people to be independent and live in freedom. So they do not need public assistance at all to pay their bills.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Classic MLB 11: Video: NBC Sports: MLB 1984-GOW-Detroit Tigers @ Chicago White Sox: Jack Morris No Hitter


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Here’s one example of why Jack Morris should be in the MLB Hall of Fame. Because when he was on, he could be very dominant, because he threw hard and then throw in his devastating forkball and he could fool you. One of the last pitchers especially of his era that you wanted to fall behind, because of his forkball and he wouldn’t need to throw strikes to get you out. The 1984 Detroit Tigers are about as a complete and great baseball team that MLB has had. At least since 1969 when divisional play started. They were very good defensively, had a very good, deep and all around lineup offensively. And had very good pitching, both starting and in the bullpen. And Jack Morris was a big part of that and should get more credit for it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Given the Myth of Ownership, is the Idea of Redistribution Coherent? | Next New Deal

Next New Deal: Opinion: Mike Konczal: Given the Myth of Ownership, is the Idea of Redistribution Coherent? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

We need to get past the idea of whether or not wealth redistribution is a good or bad thing. And just define it instead and layout exactly what wealth redistribution is. Because if we do that, we’ll all know what it is and what it is for and realize that most of us as Americans are actually in favor of wealth redistribution at least in certain forms. And it would be an issue that could bring most of the country together and leave us with at least one issue. That we are united on and lessen some of the political division in the country.

Here’s an example where Progressive economist, professor and blogger Robert Reich and I actually agree on something. Wealth redistribution is anything that government does for the people through taxation. All the roads it pays for is wealth redistribution, the law enforcement it provides the national security it provides, the hospitals it builds, the social insurance programs, everything that it does to benefit the country as a whole is a form of redistribution of wealth.

And to give you an example, the Federal Government taxes Joe and Mary from Buffalo, New York, to build a road in Atlanta, Georgia that benefits Bob and Sally and others in the Atlanta area. Or taxes people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to expand, renovate and build a new military base in Dallas, Texas. That is wealth redistribution and of course Medicare and Social Security are wealth redistribution programs, because they tax today’s workers to benefit today’s retirees. And these are the two most popular things that government does that any politician risks their careers when they talk about changing those programs.

I just gave you the good versions of wealth redistribution that an overwhelming majority of the country supports. With only factions of the Tea Party movement and the Libertarian movement would oppose. And I’ll give you another popular form of wealth redistribution as well that gets to social insurance. You use taxpayer funds to not only help people in need get by in the short-term who for whatever reasons aren’t able to support and take care of themselves because they are out of work. Or lack the skills necessary to get a good job and you use those taxpayer funds to finance a real social insurance system that empowers people in need to get on their two feet. And be able to take care of themselves through education, job training, job experience and finally job placement into a good job. Sort of like property insurance when your home is hit with a disaster and you need money to repair the home. Or buy a new home and you collect from the insurance in order to do that.

Redistribution is sort of an unpopular term in America because thanks to the right-wing and Social Democrats on the Left-Wing, it tends to be viewed in socialistic terms. “You take money from the successful to give to government to take care of the economically unsuccessful. People in America who aren’t for whatever reasons able to take care of themselves. Encouraging people to be dependent on government, while discouraging people to be successful”. That is how right-wingers have successfully stereotyped wealth redistribution in America. And Social Democrats on the Left who actually believe in this form of wealth redistribution have helped the Right out on this by actually being in favor of this.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Classic MLB 11: Video: NBC Sports: MLB 1979-ALCS-Game 2-Anaheim Angeles @ Baltimore Orioles: Full Game


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Game two of the 1979 ALCS being played at the “Outdoor Insane Asylum”, as Baltimore Memorial Stadium was called. As it should’ve been being perhaps the loudest outdoor stadium in pro major league sports in America. Both for baseball and football giving, the Orioles and Colts huge home field advantages especially when they were good. This was a game that the Angels basically had to have, since they only won one game in Anaheim, but failed to get. Different ALCS had the Angels managed to win game two, going back to Anaheim with a split and the momentum and a chance to win two out of three to win the American League Championship. All the Orioles wanted to do in this game, was to win it and go to Anaheim with a shot at clinching the ALCS in game 3.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Peter Beinart: Brown University's Campus Leftists vs. Free Speech: Free Speech vs. Fascism

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Peter Beinart: Brown University's Campus Leftists vs. Free Speech

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress

I hate the term ‘campus Liberals’ to refer to people are supposed to be Liberals even though they aren’t and sound more like Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez supporting and admiring Neo-Communists, than they do Liberals. I’ll get to what I mean by that later, because you simply can’t be a Liberal if you do not believe in free speech period. It would like someone whose a Conservative who doesn’t believe in private enterprise or capitalism. Or a Libertarian whose against the right to privacy and in favor of the War on Drugs. There’s a big reason the first amendment is the first amendment because it is the most important amendment we have and the most important freedom that we as people have.

Take free speech away and you might as well take away democracy and the freedom to assemble and the right to privacy. Because one doesn’t work without the other with people being able to organize and speak their minds even if it offends people on the fascist Left or fascist Right. People who believe they are God (even if they are Atheists) and have all the answers and are right about everything to the point they believe they shouldn’t have any opposition. So if you believe in censorship as a policy and that free speech only applies to people who you agree with, then you are not a Liberal. Just like someone whose against c capitalism and wants the economy to be nationalized is not a Conservative. Or someone whose against the right to privacy and against freedom of choice is not a Libertarian.

The reason the United States Constitution is one of if not the most liberal constitution’s in the world is because of all the freedom it guarantees us over our own lives. Which pisses the hell out of statists on the Left and Right who believe people tend to be stupid. And we need their version of big government to manage our lives for us. It doesn’t guarantee happiness, success or wealth, but provides us with the freedom to gain these things for ourselves in most cases. Our education system fails us in many ways to see that all Americans have the freedom to live in freedom. But under our Constitution we all have the constitutional rights to obtain freedom in America. Including the right to speak and express ourselves and write and organize and assemble.

And we are guaranteed all a certain level of privacy as well and is starts with the First Amendment. And if you do not believe in it, you are not a Liberal, but perhaps a statist. Or fascist, or some type of collectivist that wants everyone to be the same with no individuality. Perhaps you have your foot so far up your ass that you think you’re God with all the answers about what people need to be happy and healthy in life. And that since you are God, you’re not entitled to opposition and the freedom and individuality is not needed in your utopia.

People with egos the size of planets, who lack a solid basis in reality and see themselves as imperfect, have no business trying to govern a free society. And without for people to be themselves, because you want a world where we all think the same and believe in the same things where dissent is not tolerated. So when I hear the term ‘campus Liberal’ and I hear about these so-called Liberals who believe in censoring people they disagree with because it may offend certain groups they believe need their protection, I believe the real meaning of Liberal has disappeared and has been replaced by something else.

I’m not sure if I should laugh or get angry as a Liberal when I hear so-called Liberals take such anti-liberal statist, collectivist and now fascist positions on things. Now not just having to do with the economy, but now our personal affairs and how we can express ourselves. Because these people aren’t Liberals, but instead represent the false negative stereotypes of liberalism. And real sorry class of people who live such sorry lives and don’t have enough to keep themselves busy and make themselves happy. That minding their own business is simply not good enough, that they feel the need to mind other people’s business as well. Especially in an era where Americans are finally seeing what liberalism really is. And not how it has been stereotyped and bashed for forty years.