Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Friday, August 19, 2011

Warren Buffet Wants His Taxes Raised

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A message from CREDO Action:

We hear a lot about "shared sacrifice" and belt-tightening out of Washington, but as billionaire investor Warren Buffett noted on Sunday:
"Our leaders have asked for 'shared sacrifice.' But when they did the asking, they spared me...and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks."1
As complicated as some want to make it, this issue is very simple. In a time of economic crisis, it's both healthy for our democracy and fundamentally fair to ask the super rich to pay more.
Senator Bernie Sanders has a bill to do this and make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has yet to call a vote on it.
One of the main drivers of our federal deficit are the Bush tax cuts, which have driven down tax rates for the wealthiest Americans to the lowest levels we've seen since the 1950s.
Tax rates for the richest Americans have fallen sharply despite the fact that taxing millionaires and billionaires is wildly popular, and the cost of not taxing them extremely high. The Sanders bill alone would bring in an additional $50 billion a year in revenue.
When someone like billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that he and his friends "have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,"2 people pay close attention. And with Washington focused on what to cut and by how much, Mr. Buffett asking for Congress to raise his taxes represents an important opportunity.
This is a rare moment to inject common sense into the debate over budgets and get senators on the record about being for or against record low tax rates enjoyed by billionaires like Mr. Buffett.
With the creation of a new twelve member Super Committee empowered to fast-track through Congress budget-slashing legislation that cannot be amended, it's more important than ever that we pressure our representatives to deal with the crisis caused by their inability to end the Bush tax cuts and bring back rational taxation rates for the richest Americans.
And before the congressional Super Committee issues a draft of its budget plan, we need all senators to go on the record about whether they support or oppose the simple notion that the super rich need to pay their fair share. This will create much needed momentum to help Democrats on the Super Committee hold the line on our demands for revenue increases.
Republican hostage-taking and other deeply undemocratic tactics by members of both parties have left us with a budget process that is broken, and as a result most senators avoid taking a stand on important issues like whether we should raise taxes on the very richest among us.
But in the face of massive budget shortfalls, and with a billionaire like Warren Buffett literally asking for it, there's no excuse for Congress not to vote on taxing millionaires and billionaires.Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager 
1"Stop Coddling the Super-Rich," Warren Buffett, New York Times, Aug. 14,2011.
2Ibid.

And a message from MoveOn.org:

Earlier this week, multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett published a powerful op-ed in The New York Times with a simple message: Tax me!1

Buffett said openly what all of us have been thinking—Washington needs to "stop coddling the super-rich."

The op-ed is already making a huge splash, but we need to make sure Congress can't ignore it. So we're joining with Rebuild the Dream on this petition. We're aiming to get 200,000 people to go on record saying that they stand with Warren Buffett and want the richest Americans to pay their fair share.

If we can get 200,000 signers, we'll deliver the Buffett op-ed, along with your signature, to every member of Congress. 


Here's what the petition says: "I stand with Warren Buffett. It's time for Congress to stop coddling the super-rich and make them pay their fair share."

If you haven't already read it, here's an excerpt from Buffett's op-ed:

Our leaders have asked for "shared sacrifice." But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as "carried interest," thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they'd been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It's nice to have friends in high places.

Pretty powerful stuff, right? Click below to add your name and stand with Warren Buffett:
Thanks for all you do.

  –Daniel, Tate, Peter, Elena, and the rest of the team
  Sources:
  1. "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich," The New York Times, August 14, 2011
  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=263130&id=29985-18623853-IXvB4jx&t=5

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