09 April 2011

I support the People's Party wholeheartedly

I've made reference to this before, but in the wake of the "budget deal" where the Democratic party... yet again... met the minority Rightists who still control our government more than halfway, and, more especially, essentially totally allowed them to set the terms of the negotiations  (i.e, how much, not whether to cut, and where, and whether they got their irrelevant policy blackmails through or not)... I want to reiterate my strong support for the principles of the PEOPLE's PARTY to counterbalance the Tea Party, as succinctly laid out by Robert Reich here.

The People's Party is dedicated to the truth that America is a rich nation - richer by far than any other, richer than it's ever been. The People's Party rejects the claims of plutocrats who want us to believe we can no longer afford to live decently - who are cutting the wages and benefits of most people, attacking unions, and squeezing public budgets. The People's Party will not allow them to turn us against one another - unionized against non-unionized, public employee against private employee, immigrant against native born. Nor will the People's Party allow the privileged and powerful to distract us from the explosive concentration of income and wealth at the top, the decline in taxes paid by the top, and their increasing and untrammeled political power.
We have joined together to reverse these trends and to promote a working people's bill of rights. We are committed to:
1. Increasing the pay and bargaining power of average working people. We'll stop efforts to destroy unions and collective bargaining rights. Protect workers who try to form unions from being fired. Make it easier for workers to form unions through simple up-or-down votes at the workplace.
2. Requiring America's super-rich to pay their fair share. Increase top marginal tax rates and the number of tax brackets at the top. Treat income from capital gains the same as ordinary income. Restore the estate tax. Revoke the citizenship of anyone found to be sheltering income abroad.
3. Protecting and expanding government programs vital to the working middle class and the poor. These include Social Security, K-12 education, Pell Grants for disadvantaged students, public transportation, Medicare and Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
4. Ending corporate welfare and cutting military outlays. Trim defense spending. End special tax subsidies for specific corporations or industries - at both state and federal levels. Cut agricultural subsidies.
5. Saving Social Security while making it more progressive. Exempt the first $20,000 of income from Social Security taxes. Make up the difference - and any need for additional Social Security revenues - by raising the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax.
6. Ending Wall Street's dominance of the economy and preventing any future taxpayer-funded bailout. Break up Wall Street's largest banks and put a cap their size. Link pay on the Street to long-term profits rather than short-term speculation. Subject all financial transactions to a one-tenth of one percent transactions tax.
7. Fully enforcing regulations that protect workers, consumers, small investors, and the environment. Raise penalties on corporations that violate them. Expand enforcement staffs. Provide more private rights of action.
8. Providing affordable health care to all Americans. The new health law isn't enough. We'll fight for a single payer - making Medicare available to all. End fee-for-service and create "accountable-care" organizations that focus on healthy outcomes.
9. Slowing and eventually reversing climate change. We'll fight to limit carbon emissions. Impose a ceiling on emissions or a carbon tax on polluters. Return the revenues from these to the American people, in the form of tax cuts for the working middle class.
10. Getting big money out of politics. We'll fight to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overrule Citizens United v. FEC. Require full disclosure of all contributions for or against any candidate. Provide full public financing for all presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative candidates in all general elections.
 I would add a point 11.

11.  Scaling Back America's Overseas Military Empire. We will examine every aspect of the Constitutional responsibility of the government to protect America. But we will work to scale back unnecessary military procurement and maintenance of overseas forces and bases that are not necessary for that effort. We favor the abolition of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the restoration to the military and previously existent law enforcement agencies the responsibility to keep America safe and enforce the law.

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