Showing posts from December, 2013

The Debt Crisis: Raise Taxes or Cut Spending?

Alan Greenspan once told Congress that the biggest danger we faced was that we might pay off our debt too fast. Today, he is working with the group called “Fix the Debt” to pay off the debt as fast as possible.  So, what changed?

Greenspan flipped sides because America has, among other things, a ballooning debt problem.Part of those problems go back to the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003, both of which were passed by a Republican controlled Senate using reconciliation. Reconciliation is a tool that can be used by the majority party in the U.S. Senate to pass legislation by a simple majority instead of the normally required three-fifths majority.[i]The 2001 tax cuts passed 58-33, when all the Republican senators (with the exception of John McCain, R-Ariz.) were joined by 12 Democrats to pass the measure.[ii]The 2003 tax cuts were passed at a point when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were already underway, followed by Congress passing a Medicare prescription drug benefit to boot. Thos…

Why I Do Not Vote: Part 2 - American Plutocracy

In addition to being a kleptocracy - and perhaps in some ways even because of it - America has also become a plutocracy. A plutocracy is, to borrow Lincoln’s phrase, government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy.American historian Charles A. Beard certainly thought so. In his 1913 book, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, Beard Claimed the U.S. Constitution was written by "a "cohesive" elite seeking to protect its personal property (especially bonds) and economic standing.”[i]
Beard drew his ideas from the Historian Carl L. Becker who, in his work, History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776 (1909) formulated a Progressive interpretation that the American Revolution was, in fact, “two revolutions: one against Britain to obtain home rule, and the other to determine who should rule at home.”[ii]
To Beard, the Philadelphia Convention was a counter-revolution to fighting the British. In effect, Beard ar…