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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

End Bush Tax Cuts

Take Action!This week, you'll be hearing a lot of politicians in Washington DC talk about the Buffett Rule, which if passed would ensure that millionaires pay at least 30 percent in taxes on their income.
But it's important that we be clear that the Buffett Rule is not a substitute for rolling back the Bush tax cuts, which along with disastrous wars of choice, are responsible for the last decade's spike in our national debt.
An editorial in last week's New York Times1 makes the case clearly (emphasis ours):
The Buffett Rule, which would raise an estimated $50 billion over 10 years, would not make an appreciable dent in the deficit or provide a lot more for essential programs. By comparison, letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for taxpayers making more than $250,000 a year, as the president has also called for, would raise $800 billion over 10 years.
Mr. Obama must ensure that the Buffett Rule does not become a substitute for ending those tax cuts.
In recent weeks we have been hearing a lot of disconcerting rhetoric coming out of Washington DC about the need to cut our social safety net under the guise of deficit reduction.
Democratic leaders including President Obama have adopted rightwing talking points about the need for "shared sacrifice"2 and a "grand bargain."3 This is code for raising the retirement age and making brutal cuts to vital programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
There is no need for our leaders to make concessions like these at the beginning of negotiations. In fact history has shown us that such pre-emptive caving leads to disastrous results.
If the Democratic establishment is serious about addressing the national debt and deficit, there is a simple way to do it: letting the Bush tax cuts permanently expire at the end of 2012. Adopting the Buffett Rule alone simply will not cut it.
We're working with our allies at Progressives United, an important new group led by Senator Russ Feingold, to make sure that Democrats get the message loud and clear that we can address our revenue needs by ending the Bush tax cuts and making corporations pay their fair share. In the coming days — leading up to tax day — the President and his Democratic allies in Congress will rally around the "Buffett Rule," tax legislation that aims to get the billionaires and millionaires to more in taxes.4
If the Democrats want to show a genuine commitment to enacting progressive tax policies that will help address the economic injustice in this country, they need to not just pass the Buffett rule, but also make sure to end the Bush tax cuts and make corporations pay their fair share.
Had President Obama decided not to cut a deal with the Republican leadership and extend the low Bush tax rates in December of 2010, additional revenue would already be "flowing into the U.S. Treasury" at a rate of "$11.6 million every hour of every day."5 Generating those revenues by requiring the top 1 percent to pay their fair share as they were doing prior to Bush tax cuts, would have neutralized the beltway clamor for brutal cuts to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the name of reform.
Focusing on the Bush tax cuts isn't only just, it's also smart politics. We don't have to pass a bill through the Republican-controlled House — all we have to do is ensure that Congress doesn't pass a bill that extends the Bush tax cuts past 2012.
More than a decade after they were signed into law, it is clear now that the Bush tax cuts were a huge mistake. Without the implementation of those disastrous cuts, our economy "would have been in much stronger shape to weather all the fiscal storms of the past 10 years and much better prepared for those of the next 10."6 There is absolutely no reason for President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress to repeat that same mistake.
Tell Democratic Leadership: Pass the Buffett Rule, and then end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and make corporations pay their fair share too. Click below to automatically sign the petition.
This is a fight we can win if we are relentless. We need to speak up and lay down our marker today to let the Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House know that we expect them to hold the line against what has turned out to be one of the most disastrous economic policies enacted in our nation's history.
Thank you for fighting to end the Bush tax cuts once and for all.
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Editorial, "Mr. Obama and the 'Buffett Rule'," The New York Times, April 11, 2012.
2 Chris Cillizza, "President Obama to Republicans: Get serious,", April 3, 2012. 3. Brian Beutler, "Progressive Advocacy Group Targets Hoyer Over Potential Entitlement Cuts,", March 1, 2012.
4. Jim Kuhnhenn, "Obama Calls On Congress To Pass 'Buffett Rule' Tax," AP, March 31, 2012.
5. Mattea Kramer, "Super committee: Let Bush tax cuts expire and your work will be done," The Christian Science Monitor, November 2, 2011.
6. Michael Linden & Michael Ettlinger, "The Bush Tax Cuts Are the Disaster that Keeps on Giving," Center for American Progress, June 7, 2011. 

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