Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great article. Protects our President by not commenting on the cost of the wars

Notice how Joel doesn't ask the obnoxious question: How is Obama's war economy working for you?

It's okay to talk about taxing the rich because Wall Street understands we aren't serious. We want to avoid embarrassing President Obama so we follow the lead of our Democratic Party coalition partners. When it comes to war and military spending, "mums" the word. We will just pretend military spending has nothing to to with the budgets.

Special Agent Sam Webb, National Chair CPUSA

Tax the Rich: Democrats Introduce Deficit-cutting Bill


According to recent public opinion polls, more than eight in 10 Americans want the rich to pay a fair share to cut the deficit. With Republicans poised to cut everything from Social Security benefits for seniors, to education and food safety inspections, congressional Democrats have introduced a bill that would cut the deficit by $78 billion by creating a new tax on millionaires and billionaires.

In introducing the measure, its author, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of the president's fiscal commission, said, “In the United States today, the richest one percent owns 34 percent of our nation’s wealth – that’s more than the entire bottom 90 percent, who own just 29 percent of the country’s wealth.”

This vast wealth and income inequality needs to be addressed, she said. "It’s time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, which is why I introduced the Fairness in Taxation Act."

"It’s about fairness," she added. "It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it. We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”

According to United for a Fair Economy, the current top tax bracket begins at $373,000 in income and fails to distinguish between the “well off” and billionaires – like the top 20 hedge fund managers whose average income last year was over $1 billion.

According to analysis of the bill, the proposal would create several new tax brackets for income earners between $1 million and $1 billion ranging from 45 percent to 49 percent. The bill would also restore capital gains tax provisions for incomes over $1 million annually.

Aside from 80 percent of Americans, the proposal is getting support from some unlikely sources. Katharine Myers, a millionaire from Pennsylvania whose income comes from royalties from a company her mother started, praised the measure. “I think very wealthy people like me should pay substantially higher taxes, since we have done exceedingly well in the last few decades,” she said. “Our taxpayer-funded government contributed to my success.”

The bill has been cosponsored by both progressive and fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said, “It’s time we treated multi-millionaires the same way we treat working families – by creating a tax bracket to match their income."

“There’s no reason to treat the wealthiest one percent of the country any more specially than anyone else," Grijalva added. "And right now that’s exactly what our tax system is doing."

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters, “The middle class is shrinking and deficits are rising because Republicans are giving a pass to special interests who aren’t paying their fair share. This bill is part of a plan to level the playing field.”

United for a Fair Economy, Citizens for Tax Justice, Citizen Action Illinois, U.S. Action, Campaign for America’s Future, Wealth for the Common Good, and The Agenda Project have all endorsed Schakowsky's bill.

Steve Wamhoff, tax expert from Citizens for Tax Justice, praised the tax bill's progressive character. “Millionaires have benefited disproportionately from the tax cuts enacted over the past decade, so it seems entirely reasonable that they share in the sacrifices needed to get our fiscal house in order.”

“The budget cuts being debated in Washington shamefully require middle class families to pay the price for the recklessness of the Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers who broke our economy,” said Brian Miller, Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy. “Instead of punishing middle class families and de-funding America, the Fairness in Taxation Act asks those who have benefitted so heavily from the economic bounce of Wall Street to share responsibility for getting our nation's finances on track.”

For their part, Republicans have fought to protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires above all other priorities.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Proud to announce the birth of our newest Club

For more information about joining the Pink Pansy Pantie Club of the CPUSA contact:

Daniel Frontino Elash

Special Agent Sam Webb
National Chair, CPUSA

Monday, March 14, 2011

My new policies and new thinking are making tremendous headway

Who would have thunk the son of a Stalinist would ever have written an article like this without mentioning the billions of dollars going for wars.

My new thinking and ideas are paying off. Of course, with the good editors we have even if the funding for these wars had been mentioned in order to embarrass President Barack Obama we could have taken care of that. But, my training is working well.
I'm not all that keen about calling our Wall Street friends, "parasites;" sounds a little to Marxist-Leninist for me. I know one guy, Daniel Elash, who might get his panties in a knot over the use of this term and another who might have to get stronger meds, I just take an Aspirin.

Sam Webb,
Special Agent in charge of the million dollar glass offices

Make Wall Street Pay

With Connecticut facing a record deficit, a statewide coalition of union and community groups has formed to demand that Bank of America (BOA) contribute its fair share to the state's economy. BOA is the largest bank in Connecticut, but has avoided paying taxes to the state, and has a poor record on small business loans and foreclosures.

On March 11, protests were held at BOA branches in five towns. In New Haven, 40 union members and community residents marched into the bank and presented a bill for $2.9 billion owed to the people of Connecticut. One hundred participated in a similar action in Middletown.

Last year, the Wall Street banks paid out $120 billion in total compensation, nearly equal to the record loot they scored two years ago. This is double the amount the Republicans are trying to cut from children, nutrition programs, unemployed, community health centers, heating assistance and other essential programs for the remainder of this year.

A big share of Wall Street loot comes domes from the huge gambling operation run by the financial establishment, where high rollers speculate in stocks, derivatives, mortgage-backed-securities, commodities futures, credit-default-swaps and other high-tech and exotic forms of roulette. A very small tax on these financial transactions would have no effect on legitimate activity, but would help dampen the speculation that played a big part in the financial crisis that is still with us. Such a tax could, conservatively, bring in at least$150 billion per year.

This coming year, every state is facing huge deficits. In Connecticut, we see the results in a wave of layoffs in cities and towns, cuts in state services, tax increases on middle-income working families, and huge sacrifices demanded of state workers. The combined deficits from all the states come to about $120 billion. In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and other states, deficits are being used as an excuse for an all-out attack on workers' rights.

Michael Moore nailed it when he told workers in Madison, Wisconsin that we are not broke. It's just that the money is in the wrong place. The $150 billion that could easily come from a tax on Wall Street gambling -- a tax that would fall entirely on the big banks and the super-rich -- would erase every state deficit, with money left over to help cities and towns. So which will it be -- the students, teachers, homeowners, children, and elderly -- or Bank of America and the rest of Wall Street parasites? Which side are we on?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dispose of Lenin and bring on John Case

Analysis of imperialism needs to be brought up to date

I disagree with much of Emile's article Imperialism 2011: Steps Going Forward.

First, because I do not see what it clarifies about any aspect of the current challenges in bringing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to a close. I do not see how it helps guide our thinking about the implications of the uprisings in North Africa and the Mid-east. I don't see how it helps frame the main questions in addressing the many-sided challenges of globalization. The references to Lenin's pamphlet on Imperialism are entirely uncritical and unhistorical, despite the passage of a century. It's as if time has not passed at all except to make the scripture of Lenin's words more sanctified.

We need a new, 'sacred'-phrase-free, popular understanding of the global democratic revolution, and the strong underlying technological, financial and social transformations of globalization that are fueling its fires. As objective global relationships extend and mature, as both labor AND capital make their journeys to all corners of the earth, so too does global citizenship become an idea that begins to descend from the world of vapors to those of solid ground. Immigration battles can only be peaceably managed by international law, founded on a system of international rights and obligations extending to persons regardless of national origin.

What does Lenin's text on Imperialism say about ending the Afghan war? Is there any practical future of any kind available to the Afghan people that does not include gigantic sums of aid and investment? What is our responsibility for or to the failed states now littering the post-USSR world, many of them relics of cold-war dictatorships, or anti-cold-war-dictatorships? What is meant by "international responsibility"? Is there not some truth to the charge by General Powell that "If you break it, you own it!"? Perhaps "Out Now" is all some need to hear. But this is a "political sidelines" position if you do not have a sober estimate of the consequences of your actions. Even with countries as backward as Afghanistan, there are now links of every description that make it NOT possible for it to remain isolated and lawless, as perhaps it could have in 1916.

It used to be the case that many on the left had grave doubts that arose from anti-democratic allegations against the USSR, but forgave the latter out of recognition of that country's material assistance to anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggles throughout the post-war world. But the political and economic collapse of the USSR meant that there would be NO exceptions, no skipping of capitalist, market-oriented institutions if you want to pursue industrialization, commodity production, and economic growth.

Today, China is the biggest lender to the United States. It seeks the ability to rapidly increase the export of not only its manufactured goods, but also its reserves to investments IN the US. Ultimately, it will succeed in this effort as the force of its accumulated surpluses will be impossible to resist. Who, then, will be the imperialist? I submit many formerly 'imperialist subjects HAVE managed to accumulate substantial surpluses, have ignored IMF "Washington Consensus" policies against strategic industrial policy (an incremental socialism), and now have no interest in undermining the acquisition of new capital assets from virtually any source is they expand the social surplus, nor any destination market. I am not saying there do not remain imperial relations in many aspects of US and Western European foreign policy. But I AM saying its a lot more complicated than it was in 1916, and that the solutions now, must have a more global character than they did in 1916, meaning the content of "anti-imperial" policy is much more dependent on emerging international institutions, and their reflection of the democratic will of affected peoples, than was ever true before.

I want to make it clear John Case speaks for me. This is brilliant. I will pass it on to the designated leader of the democratic people's front our best friend President Barack Obama.

Special Agent Sam Webb

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let's not get carried away but let's note a problem...

Barack Obama is taking some heat for not enforcing affirmative action. I am taking some heat for not mentioning affirmative action.

Affirmative action is a political liability for President Obama. It's even a political liability we must avoid lest we get too far out in front of the masses. It's good enough to mention racism as I have done. Advocating the enforcement of affirmative action from our president would cause him an electoral defeat and then we would lose this great leader of the democratic people's front against racism for peace and social justice.

Please read and study my article for the Party Line.

Special Agent Sam Webb

Black unemployment, working class unity


It is obvious to anyone with eyes to see that the economic crisis has a nationwide reach. Except for the upscale urban neighborhoods and suburbs where the moneyed elite live, nearly everyone and every community is showing the effects.

Unemployment is high officially and still higher unofficially. Factories are shuttered. Infrastructure is in disrepair. Streets and highways are studded with potholes. Community hospitals and clinics are closing their doors. Houses are empty.

If you are a wage or salary earner, tough times are here, and they could get a lot worse if the Republican right in Congress and their corporate boosters have their way.

What isn't so obvious is the uneven impact of the crisis on various sections of the population and country. Nonetheless, it's real.

Take, for instance, the economic conditions of the African American people. According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, Black unemployment rates are uniformly higher than the unemployment rate of white working people.

In St. Louis it is twice as high, in Memphis three times as high, in Los Angeles and Philadelphia 1.7 times as high, in New York and Atlanta metropolitan areas 2.1 times as high, in Baltimore and metropolitan Miami 1.9 times as high and so on.

Interestingly, of the 18 metropolitan areas from which data was gathered the lowest ratio of Black to white unemployment was Detroit where misery has plenty of company. There, Black unemployment was 20.9 percent - the highest of any metropolitan region - and their white counterparts topped off at 13.8 percent.

Overall, the average Black unemployment rate in the study of 18 metropolitan areas was 14.3 percent, while white unemployment was 7.4 percent.

In other words, as bad as the crisis is for the American people of every nationality and race - and it's terrible - it is at the same time exacting extra pain from the African American and other communities of color that are segregated and seem hidden from general view.

Thus general appeals for jobs and relief, for public works jobs programs and for full employment legislative measures have to be combined, as the EPI suggests, with targeted job creation in those communities where the hardship is the most severe.

Such measures are not divisive, as the ideologues of racist division and oppression claim. They are, in fact, at the core of racial justice and working class unity - both of which are cornerstones of any successful struggle against the economic crisis. In the 1930s, it was no accident that the slogan of the unemployed movement, "Black and White, Unite and Fight," was heard where working people gathered to press their demands for jobs and relief.

Millions at that time, locked into a seemingly intractable economic crisis, came to the realization that it was only in their unity that they could win some measure of economic reform.

Isn't that the case today too? Our enemies on the other side of the class divide understand this quite well. It's why the vitriolic racist ideological offensive that came in the wake of the election of Barak Obama shows no sign of subsiding. In fact, the ideological offensive has been accompanied by a coordinated effort to reboot segregationist and discriminatory measures, shamelessly designed to roll back civil rights and cause tensions along racial lines.

But I'm confident that the purveyors of racism and division will be no more successful than our enemies were in the Depression years. More to the point, the election of an African American president two years ago is proof positive that the possibilities of building a united, multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement are enormous.

Carpe diem! The time is now!