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Our "shared sacrifice" situation....
The homeownership rate in America, driven down by the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, has reached its lowest level in over a decade. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the homeownership rate was 66.5 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday. The last time that rate was so low was at the end of 1998,...
The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.
C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
Tax rates....including federal, state and local income taxes....
Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century.
All of the above real-life realities are meant as an introduction to this....
President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget will cut several billion dollars from the government’s energy assistance fund for poor people, officials briefed on the subject told National Journal.
The American Gas Association predicts that 3 million Americans eligible for the program won't be able to receive it unless LIHEAP funding stays at its current level.
The White House understands that Americans are skeptical of Obama’s willingness to tackle the estimated $1.5 trillion budget deficit and believes that he must cross a threshold of seriousness in their minds.
In addition to Obama's....Lowering Thermostats For The Poor budget cut, we have this....
The administration will also propose cutting a quarter of the financing for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, saving $125 million.
A third cut is a reduction in the Community Development Block Grant program. The program provides financing for housing,infrastructure and economic development in poor neighborhoods.
But that's not the worst of it....or if you are a conservative, best of it. As Obama's budget director, Jack Lew, outlined these proposed cuts on Sunday, he included this.....
These three examples alone, of course, represent only a small fraction of the scores of cuts the president had to choose, but they reflect the tough calls he had to make.
Let's see if I have this straight. In December Obama was busy, busy making nice with his new Republican overlords. We were told that what happened at the end of December....was a grand and wonderful compromise, the kind of compromise that Americans really wanted to see from their government officials. Working together to maintain the disparity outlined in the above numbers and charts.
In return for an extension of unemployment compensation for a couple of million still-laidoff workers, Obama "compromised" by adding another $4 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years through tax cut extensions. Obama threw in a lower estate tax for the nation's top .3%, I guess, to convince Republican overlords that he was, you know, serious, about wanting to work together with the new Tea-charged House majority.
Of course, now, a couple months later....we are seeing indications of what that Grand Compromise really means.
It means that the Grand Compromise which made the entire Village orgasm in unison, the Grand Compromise which eliminated the "uncertainty" of whether Billionaire Biff can get that new Bentley this year....really means that the coddled poor and the entitlement-sucking seniors in the northeast will have to, you know, "sacrifice", by either turning the thermostat down or buying another couple blankets at the Goodwill.
The Grand Compromise means now that inner city poor must learn how to cope with even less hope or opportunity. The Grand Compromise means that the Great Lakes can just wait a few decades more to be restored....what's the hurry, anyway?
But rest assured.....and as you are clicking that thermostat down a few degress, keep in mind....the Grand Compromise to maintain low taxes for the top 2% was a wonderful example of how stuff can be accomplished in Washington.
Freezing out the 3 million poor and the aged? Well, that's all part of the Grand Compromise too....."tough calls".....but in the end, it's all about the "shared sacrifice." We're all in this together, ya' know.
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