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Not Everyone's Being Asked to Sacrifice


By John Martin - Posted on 24 February 2011

If you haven't gotten the chance to read the new NYT's profile on Chris Christie, you'll probably find it worth your while. It makes it even clearer that the guy is the most complete Republican candidate out there-- the fiscal austerity, the down-to-earth personality, and the ability to appeal to Tea Partiers and the religious right without alienating too many of the rest of us. Also of some importance-- he's different (when was the last someone of his heft had such a high profile in politics), and new. This guy is the GOP's 2012 version of Obama. 

But I digress. What struck me was a quote near the end of the article from Stephen Sweeney, the president of the New Jersey State Senate, and a Democrat. 

“My politics are union politics,” Sweeney, the Senate president... [and] a union ironworker... “[W]hat I think that public-sector employees have to do is look at what’s going on around them, look at all the pain around them, and understand that no one hates them, but they want them to sacrifice like everyone else. It’s that simple."

The quote might be out of context, but it looks like this big union guy agrees that everyone is sacrificing these days, and so public employee union members should also be prepared to pitch in as well. I agree that the typical public employee gets a sweet deal and probably could afford to give in a little bit on their benefits, but how could anyone say that everyone's been asked to sacrifice for the greater good.

The unsustainable Bush tax cuts continue to this day, and the richest .1% have been laughing as governments throughout the country scramble to make up serious budget shortfalls. So far, this group has been declared untouchable because they're regarded as sacred "job creators." Meanwhile, their personal earnings have gone through the roof over the past 30 years and good-paying middle class jobs are becoming ancient history, quickly.

It's not wrong to ask the super rich to sacrifice, now that everyone else and their mother is doing so. I don't know why the left has been sitting on their hands and letting their leadership let the most privileged get off so easy. If the left had any guts, they'd be finding primary opponents for each and every DINO out there. 

 

 

The unsustainable Bush tax cuts continue to this day, and the richest .1% have been laughing as governments throughout the country scramble to make up serious budget shortfalls.

Heh -- if only that were true. They've been crying along with the rest of us,  somehow feeling that they are being treated unfairly, crocodile tears. Even worse, they don't even realize that they are crocodile tears. They are utterly convinced of their stance on economics.

I am so frustrated that the GOP is villifying the middle class and unions-your policemen, firefighters, teachers-and using them to save the budget shortfalls (often created by dumb moves like tax cuts for the rich!) The union in Wisconsin gave into every demand to help the budget woes and yet the Governor won't quit until the whole union-via destruction of collective bargaining-is busted.

I think there are many alternatives to save these budgets and they need to think outside the box. I hate to think of it, but what about temportary business sponsorship of schools, logos on lockers, in the football stand, etc.-in exhange for financial support? Wouldn't it look good for a business to "save" a teacher or 2, or ensure that classes don't get up to 30 or 40 kids? How about legalizing marajuana in states that are in trouble? Imagine the profits from such a move, including reducing the prison population? Some might think there is danger to that or it is evil in some way, but research shows it would probably be smart to do, and maybe even help address some negative aspects of "the drug war."I'm so sick of the same solutions-always on the backs of the poor and middle class-and never touching the rich who can afford to help the most.

2 Other thoughts:

1.  There’s a mountain of money if we go after tax subsidies for big oil, certainly  a better way to raise revenue but the GOP will have none of it, would rather go after the poor and middle class.

http://transitionvoice.com/2011/02/gop-cut-food-aid-but-keep-oil-subsidies/

 

2.  Change the tax code/get rid of all these loopholes for big companies

GE and Bank of America paid no taxes last year...huh??

http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/20/g-e-and-bank-of-america-paid-no-federal-income-taxes-last-year/

 

At what point do you stop?  The only way public sector unions get bigger comp packages is on the backs of the taxpayer, growing government.  The issue as I have seen it is that a heck of lot of money is spent by unions over the past years to elect friendly Democrats (basically electing their bosses) that have upped benefits as those can be deferred in the budget at least with respect to pensions.  Those bills are coming due.  Perhaps moving from a defined benefit to a defined contribution pension may help as it is the taxpayer that has to pony up any differences now.

It's very easy to say tax the rich but that income is elusive as it is easily sequestered away and doesn't really address the issue at the state level.

I'm all for eliminating subsidies to all not just targeted industries.

National Affairs had an interesting look at public sector unions.

As for GE/BOA not paying taxes that is something they lobbied for in regards to the carryback provision.  Many companies benefitted from that when they paid large sums in previous years then lost a ton of money.  Think your article stated BOA lost a billion in the US in 2009.  

Hope everyone is doing well.

 

 

*******************

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.
F.A. Hayek

Hi MM!!  Believe it or not, I was thinking about you a few days ago, and wondering how you were.  How are things in your world??

Things have been very good - lots of giggles and a big lack of sleep :)

I've popped in on occasion to check in on everyone.  I may stop by more often now that it will be primary season soon and things should get interesting.

*******************

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.
F.A. Hayek

Big lack of sleep????   Do you have some news to share??

yep - beautiful,sweet baby girl is taking up all of my free time

a big blessing as it took a lot of effort, time, and money to get her here but worth every penny and missed sleep :)

**********************************

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. — F.A. Hayek

That explains the time off from here. Or you were tired of the disagreements. (:

Congratulations!

My niece was born in October. Precious kid.

This might also explain the softer stance from you on the Political quiz. lol

 

A bit of both :) 

I find that we have our positions or framework that we view each topic and argue from that point.  Most of the time (and I am guilty as anyone else) we don't stop to consider another view point that disagrees with us as much as we do the ones that do agree.  New Years resolution was to be better about evaluating all sides.  Hence I try to read more middle of the road, policy thoughts than opinion/hype pieces.  I really want to get to the root cause of issues and look for solutions at that point, rather than just continue patching things - at some point you run out of tape, glue, etc.  Long winded answer, I know.  My mom would tell you that I would argue with a rock!

Thanks for the congrats - I'm smitten for sure and congrats to your on your niece!! 

**********************************

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. — F.A. Hayek

Oh Mary, I am SO VERY HAPPY for you!!!  That's actually what I was wondering about when I was thinking of you. ;-)   I was aware that you were trying, and wondering if you had been richly blessed, but didn't want to come out and ask, in case it hadn't happened.

How old is she?  I'm sure she's beautiful.  Enjoy every precious minute.  A baby is worth anything and everything, and they grow up so fact.  Take lots and lots of pictures, and remember....You can't spoil them with too much love!! (That's my grandmotherly advice...lol)

Big congrats, Mary. I don't know if she's your first or your fifth or somewhere in-between, but regardless from one parent to another I'm very happy for you and for your family.

Must be something with women or moms, because I didn't pick up on that hinting. I glanced over it without seeing a second meaning.. Typical guy.... 

(: 

Have you heard this joke:

"A unionized public employee, a tea party member, and a Wall Street CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the tea party member and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!” 

They have common people fighting for table scraps. John said that a few days ago and he was right.

You saying there needs to be more regulation, Brandon? (: 

LOVE IT, Brandon!  That says it all~ 

 

"Peace Cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding."

Albert Einstein

Then the CEO asks the union guy if he can bring some more cookies.

... and that's how the cookie crumbles.

Good one!

 

Obama is anti-business? 

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/28/news/companies/3M_CEO_Obama/index.htm

 

I don't want to sound like a capitalist hating socialist, but big business is on easy street these days. The corporations hate true business with the insane amount of greed at the top, the jobs being shipped overseas to avoid paying fair wages for employees,  the corners they cut to screw their customers, the smaller businesses they destroy/buy out to kill competition, the record profits to people who just got another tax break signed by Obama himself etc. 

Am I crazy? This just seems like bullsh** from another CEO. I'd say that most of the people killing business right now are the millionaires and billionaires who are hoarding their wealth and buying the government to protect their money accumulation even more. They give the top bosses crazy saleries and bonuses while screwing over their lower level employees. 

I don't own a business or anything so maybe I'm out of touch. But I just don't get it. Big business has it made right now, how big of a company is 3M? From the comments in this article  it appears they have other problems in Minnesota they're trying to escape. 

http://comments.startribune.com/comments.php?d=asset_comments&asset_id=117117608&sort=R&section=/business

I'd love to hear your take if you see this, Kim.  Or anyone else. 

 

 

Some of the highest rated comments:

  1.  When the President was sworn in, the stock price at 3M was hovering around $60. Now, it is over $92. Exactly how bad has the President been for your business, George?
  2. The 3M CEO. Didn't the Strib do a recent article on the enviromental damage and still unsettled lawsuits against 3M not to long ago? I guess being held responsible for the damage you cause is bad for business
  3. AWAA....blame Obama because your obscene salary may have a blip? Suck it up and pull yourself up by your bootstarps Mr. Buckley
  4. Really? A super rich white dude is trying to scare us all into giving him more tax breaks? SHOCKER!!!
  5. This POS Buckley has destroyed the work environment at 3M. It used to be a great place to work. But their ANTI EMPLOYEE attitude has made this company less Minnesota friendly. This jerk talks about robin hood but it has been the CEO whose pay has skyrocketed while keeping wages low for the rest of us. Buckley, your anti Minnesota worker attitude should get you fired
  6. Buckley...explain why you moved jobs overseas under the Bush administration? This guy is a real piece of work. Guess making only $14 MILLION in 2009 isn't enough for you? Please retire now!!!
  7. If the business climate is so bad here, why does Minnesota have 21 Fortune 500 companies that reside here? That is 7 more Fortune 500 than the top 10 "most conservative" states in America. South Dakota is offering no taxes for businesses to locate there and companies aren't exactly leaving town. SD by the way, has 0 Fortune 500 companies. This is all just posturing for more gov't handouts. Don't feed the bears or they'll keep coming looking for handouts.
  8. In the 90's 3M did a culling of all senior engineers, chemists, etc... They were forced into early retirement. No issues with performance, no economic crisis, it was just because they earned to much after many years of service to 3M. If 3M makes the decision to move overseas it's because you were planning on doing it anyway and not because the corporate tax went up a few points. As many conservative posters love to mention companies just increase their costs to us the consumer to pay for any tax increase. If you are seriously planning on heading to Mexico then you have already decided on doing it and now you are shamelessly trying to get another tax cut on top of it. Terrible
  9. They move jobs out of the country regardless. Obama is a convenient scapegoat. What does he want, workers who work for $3 - $4 an hour and no benefits? The world was not created just so CEOs and businesses can rape and pillage and government stand idly by
I guess I'm not alone in the thinking that this is just another of the many attempts (that are working) to distract regular people with politics when greed is the big problem right now.  I just saw Brandon's joke in the comment section too. (:

Usually comments at the Strib slightly favor progressive positions although there is usually a sizable conservative component.  This is the first time in a long time where I've seen such a large group against this CEO.  

As mentioned 3M stock has risen over $30 over the past few years, and another comment mentioned that 3M has actually paid less in federal corporate taxes while Obama has been president.  

3M has been a large firm in Minnesota; the business that invented scotch tape and post-it notes.  They also have gotten some bad press in recent years over environmental matters too. 

Yup. I had fun reading through quite a few pages of the comments. It was refreshing. (:
3 M's profit last year was 4.1 billion... they paid 1.7 billion in taxes that would be a rate of 41.5% 
Wow. So the CEO has a point?

In an opinion piece for the Financial Times, White House chief of staff Bill Daley challenged George Buckley's assertion that Obama policies could drive manufacturers overseas.

Daley argued that Obama wants to ease regulations and corporate tax rates as well as boost trade and education.

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

I truly didn't know any Republicans feel the way I (& many family members) do.  We'd stopped calling ourselves Republican, we were so sick of the lies and exaggerations and meanness.

This morning (if I'm lucky I get a bright idea or touch of enlightenment in the morning) while composing some words for a phone call to Pres. Obama I suddenly realized that there just might be Republicans for Obama.

I should have known, and will tell friends & relatives where to find you!

 

Marci, you need to settle in and get comfortable...You've found a political home. ;-)  Please tell others we exist and welcome them.  We have a tough fight ahead.  I honestly feel it's going to be far worse, and uglier, than the 2008 election.

What exactly did Obama do that is anti-business? This is the most corporate-friendly administration ever. Obama meets with them regularly, appoints them to important positions and hasn't raised their taxes by a dime. What more do they want?

Misty, not in imaginary CEO land. And that's what's important. 

Just thought I'd share this for discussion too. 

Social Security offices across U.S. to protest cuts

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/28/AR2011022806314.html

Great points, Steve! I agree 100%. Can you hear me cheering? I don't want to be anti-rich or anti-business but this attitude of "Obama is not doing enough. We're suffering" makes me want to scream and pushes me into a corner of deep frustration of how the rich can be so out of touch. They should be praising Pres. Obama right now. I just don't get it.

As for unions, I think facts will show they have given up much over the years for the good of all. But Walker won't even sit down with them. He is the king I guess. I think the true effort here is to kill unions so that dues are taken out of the equation which will mean less money for Democratic candidates who are friendly to middle class union families. The big corporations could continue to give big to the GOP, see their candidates get elected and allow them to continue to deregulate and screw the consumer. Between that effort and citizens united, that could ensure Republican dominance-even if most of the nation is against what they stand for.

I don't mind that my union dues have gone to candiates like Chuck Schumer who believe in collective bargaining, something I see as supportive of a modest hope to support your family and have some job security. My union has given to Republican candidates too, like Mary Lou Rath, who felt the same way Reagan did-that unions were very American and a great way to ensure growth for the middle class. She was very teacher-friendly and respected what we did.

How can these people sleep at night as they try to make our police men, fire fighters and teachers a big evil force?

Not sure if anyone brought this up, but I thought this was hysterical: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity belong to a broadcasters union! If it's so bad, why don't they opt out?

Private unions are O.K.  It's government unions that are the source of all liberal evil.
Well, they certainly want to make the general term "union" a bad name. Then again, they seem to think public workers are not "real" workers and if our jobs are cut, "so be it." Apparently, the GOP plan would CUT about 700,000 jobs. I guess that's ok with them because public employees just don't count. So much for the jobs they promised.

This is cute. Sarcastically speaking. 

Proposed Texas immigration law contains convenient loophole for ‘the help’ 

Yahoo

Texas has long been a hotbed of controversy on immigration issues. And a proposed immigration bill in the Texas state House is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows. The bill would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.

What the heck is Texas doing here?

Immigration enforcement is solely within the purview of the FEDERAL government (same as foreign policy), unless a state or locality is specifically requested to help with enforcement issues.

I don't believe the Obama administration requested such aid in enforcement.

Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies.

Seriously, it's hard to believe a Republican came up with this scheme.

Well, they certainly want to make the general term "union" a bad name. Then again, they seem to think public workers are not "real" workers and if our jobs are cut, "so be it." Apparently, the GOP plan would CUT about 700,000 jobs. I guess that's ok with them because public employees just don't count letter of recommendation. So much for the jobs they promised.

 

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