Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tax Loopholes, credits, write-offs - an elephant in the room

Jamelle Bouie at The American Prospect:
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nifty chart showing the huge impact of tax expenditures -- credits, loop holes, write-offs, etc. -- on the federal budget. Short story: In terms of overall spending, tax expenditures dwarf virtually everything else, including major entitlement programs:

The Sad But True Story of Wages in America

Economic Policy Institute has it, HERE.

"Where Are The Jobs?"

Media Matters has a very useful, fact-filled, extensive report on "The GOP's Two-Year Campaign Against Job Creation and Economic Growth," documenting the retrograde agenda and nihilism at the center of the Republican strategy to...uh...I don't know...Destroy America?    HERE

Winners (?) and Losers in Madison

Natasha Vargas Cooper, reporting from Madison, in The Atlantic:
"In Wisconsin, despite the biggest protests Madison has seen since the Vietnam War, there is no way getting around the basic fact: The public sector unions lost their toughest fight yet. They may have resisted mightily and sparked a national movement in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which stripped them of most collective bargaining rights, but he was able to sign it into law Friday afternoon, nonetheless. The damage is done...
"Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, the former leader of the Wisconsin GOP, proclaimed Walker's victory a win for the party as a whole. But what happened in Wisconsin wasn't that simple -- for Walker, the GOP or the unions."      
Read her full accounting of the current situation HERE.  It's not an optimistic gloss on the rebirth of Democratic activism, which is why it's a "must read" moving forward.

Leftwinger ruthlessly attacks the Boehner Budget

As noted in today's WaPo op-ed  by modishly progressive, Upper West Side elitist, heiress & editor of The Nation, Katrina Van den Heuvel:
Goldman Sachs projected this month that the deep cuts in domestic programs in the 2010 budget passed by the House could cut our growth rate in half. John McCain's former economic adviser, Mark Zandi, projected a loss of 700,000 jobs.
When will these commies stop picking on poor John Boehner, an honest working man from Ohio, who only wants what's best for America?

At the edges of the horror...

The tragedy - or multiple tragic disasters - unfolding in Japan are, to someone watching from afar,  shocking and beyond comprehension in real human terms.  Today I will be sure to "do something" for disaster relief, relative pittance as that may be, because the need is overwhelming (including my own, to step even a bit out of the spectator stance.)  So I feel awkward posting anything tangentially related to these horrible events here, at least in the context of the issues that focus the blog.  (As he awkwardly proceeds...)