Category Archives: Bill Clinton

Robert Reich cuts through the bs…

When the video, from his Countdown appearance tonight,(alert, its at the bottom of this post) is available I will post it…until then, here is RR’s post from his blog today on the topic of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and how full of shit the rightwing nutters are on this issue:

The economy is slouching backward because consumers can’t and won’t spend enough to revive it. Congress is about to recess for the summer without doing anything to fill the gap. And it looks like the only issue it will be debating when it returns is who, if anyone, should pay more taxes next year – just the very rich, everyone, or no one? The cuts enacted by George W. Bush will expire in January, and with midterm election pending in November we’re about to be treated to months of tax demagoguery.

Here’s a guide to the perplexed.

From a strictly economic standpoint – as if economics had anything to do with this – it makes sense to preserve the Bush tax cuts at least through 2011 for the middle class. There’s no way consumers – who comprise 70 percent of the economy – will start buying again if their federal income taxes rise while they’re still struggling to repay their debts, they can’t borrow more, can no longer use their homes as ATMs, and they’re worried about keeping their jobs.

But the same logic doesn’t apply to people at the top, earning over $250K, who represent roughly 2 percent of tax filers. Restoring their marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend. (During the Clinton years the economy created 22 million net new jobs and unemployment dropped to 4 percent.)

But restoring those top marginal tax rates will help bring down the long-term debt, pulling in almost a trillion dollars of revenues over next ten years. That’s not nearly enough to make a major dent in the nation’s projected deficits, but it’s not chicken feed either. It would at least signal to financial markets we’re serious about cutting that long-term deficit – and the rest of us will chip in when the economy strengthens.

So-called supply-side economists don’t like raising taxes on anyone, of course, and argue that raising them on the well-off will slow economic growth. They say people at the top will have less incentive to work hard, invest, and invent.

Unfortunately for supply-siders, history has proven them wrong again and again. During almost three decades spanning 1951 to 1980, when America’s top marginal tax rate was between 70 and 92 percent, the nation’s average annual growth was 3.7 percent. But between 1983 and start of the Great Recession, when the top rate was far lower – ranging between 35 and 39 percent – the economy grew an average of just 3 percent per year. Supply-siders are fond of claiming that Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cuts caused the 1980s economic boom. In fact, that boom followed Reagan’s 1982 tax increase. The 1990s boom likewise was not the result of a tax cut; it came in the wake of Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

A final reason for allowing the Bush tax cut to expire for people at the top is the most basic of all. Although Wall Street’s excesses were the proximate cause of the Great Recession, its fundamental cause lay in the nation’s widening inequality. For many years, most of the gains of economic growth in America have been going to the top – leaving the nation’s vast middle class with a shrinking portion of total income. (In the 1970s, the top 1 percent received 8 to 9 percent of total income, but thereafter income concentrated so rapidly that by 2007 the top received 23.5 percent of the total.) The only way most Americans could continue to buy most of what they produced was by borrowing. But now that the debt bubble has burst – as it inevitably would – the underlying problem has reemerged.

Why make it worse? George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cut was a huge windfall for the wealthy. About 40 percent of its benefits went to the tiny sliver of Americans earning over $500,000. So rather than debate whether to end the Bush tax cuts for the top and restore the top marginal tax rates to where they were under Bill Clinton, we should be debating whether to raise the highest marginal tax rate higher than it was under Bill Clinton and use the proceeds to give the middle class a permanent tax cut.

I’m not suggesting this, mind you, but just to get the debate started: How about restoring the top rate to where it was under John F. Kennedy (76 percent), or under Dwight Eisenhower (91 percent)?

I really never re-post someone else’s entire work. But Reich makes so much sense, I hope to hell he doesn’t get pissed at me. We have conversed, via email, in the past and he gave me permission to re-post his writings…so I am using that for this specific issue.  I love that man, he breaks it down for yahoo’s like moi to understand.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Beloww is Ezra Klein’ pov on the same fuckery:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

How dumb is the general voting population on this horseshit? Only time will tell…

Advertisements

9th Circuit prohibits logging in National Forest’s


Bush of course overturned a Clinton rule and allowed logging in our National Forest’s. From Jurist:

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a district court ruling reinstating the Roadless Rule, which prohibited the building of roads or the use of roadless lands in National Parks for timber production. The Clinton administration measure was effectively overturned in 2005 by the State Petitions Rule, enacted by the US Department of Agriculture under President George W Bush. The State Petitions Rule allowed governors to petition for Roadless Rule protections, depending on their individual state needs, in lieu of blanket protection. Affirming the ruling, Judge Robert Beezer wrote that the State Petitions Rule violated the National Environmental Policy Act because it was enacted without an environmental impact statement:

In the context of this case, we cannot condone a marked
change in roadless area management without environmental analysis because it was the USDA’s preferred response to an untested district court injunction that was subject to possible reversal in a pending appeal.

As expected, opinions on the ruling varied. The environmental group Earthjustice lauded the ruling, calling it a victory for all citizens who enjoy the outdoors, and for cities that rely on the wilderness for fresh water. The Intermountain Forest Association, a logging industry group, said that it was too early to say definitively what the ruling means .

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was implemented by former president Bill Clinton in 2001 and replaced by the Bush administration in 2005. In March, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a collection of more than 160 bills aimed at preserving federal land as wilderness areas. The Act includes a rule which allows governors to request that regulations on the management of roadless areas be developed to meet the needs of individual states. The Clinton-era rule would have prohibited mining, logging, and road construction in the forests of 38 states and Puerto Rico, totaling more than 58 million acres of land.

Lets hope this holds up when it hits the Supreme Court, which I know it will. The logging folks will not go away quietly.

Bill Clinton’s donor list is out…and it is a doozy.


Read it here (high traffic warning) all 2,922 pages of it. From Politico, some of the highlights..or lowlights depending on your pov:

Josh Gerstein, the of the now-defunct New York Sun, reported from Little Rock, Ark., in 2004: “President Clinton’s new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen. The governments of Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week. … Information about the donors is available to the public on a single touch-screen computer mounted on a wall on the third floor of the recently opened library.”

AP’s Beth Fouhy and Sharon Theimer reported this morning: “Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation has raised at least $41 million from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments that his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, may end up negotiating with as the next secretary of state. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Ark., and charitable efforts to reduce poverty and treat AIDS. Other foreign government givers include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica.”

The story did not point out that the Saudis gave at least $1 million to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Tex., along with elaborate gifts that included gold and silver camels.

The Politico piece also has a list of the top 18 contributors:

Greater than $25,000,000
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
UNITAID

$10,000,001 to $25,000,000
AUSAID
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Stephen L. Bing
COPRESIDA-Secretariado Tecnico
Fred Eychaner
Frank Giustra, Chief Executive Officer, The Radcliffe Foundation
Tom Golisano
The Hunter Foundation
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The ELMA Foundation
Theodore W. Waitt

$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
Government of Norway
Nationale Postcode Loterij
Haim Saban and The Saban Family Foundation
Michael Schumacher
The Wasserman Foundation

It’s a trip m’dear reader…and lots of fall-out (read as shit) will be sure to hit the fan for the rest of the week on the Saudi connections I bet, since Hillary will spend lots of time talking to those folks…bet on it.

Tags:

Dick Gregory apologizes to "The First Black President"

Thank you to the Unapologetic Mexican for having this up on his site.

Hot damn Mr. Gregory..you rock kind sir!

Toni Morrison backs Obama, not Clinton

Ironically, it was Ms. Morrison that dubbed Bill Clinton the “First Black President”:

In an October 1998 essay in The New Yorker, Morrison wrote: “Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black president. Blacker than any actual person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime.

Ms Morrison is a Nobel Prize winning author. I love my irony served up hot and fresh in the morning..don’t you? The NYT has a writeup about her letter to Obama here on their blog page.

Tags: ,