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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2014-01-05 19:53:37)


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  • Mass Sunni Uprising in Iraq: Sectarian Blowback of 2003 U.S. Invasion (Cole on Democracy Now!)
    • I think Tony Blair is mostly right. The US invasion had an impact of course, but short of rigging elections and/or assassinating prominent Shiite politicians, the US could not have done much to prevent all this sectarian conflict.

  • Obama Era a new Gilded Age, with Rich Getting Richer, Poor Poorer
    • And here is Business Insider's take on each quintile's effective tax rates: link to

      I'd like to see how that changes the "after tax income" of the poorest 20% of Americans. After factoring in those local/state taxes, which are agreed to be "regressive" it's unlikely the bottom 20% have a 9.3% after-tax income per year. Still, I doubt the rich are gaining ground after all taxes are said and done.

    • I just cannot buy this argument. The rich pay huge sums in taxes. The IRS data doesn't lie, or of it does, we have a massive conspiracy that's been going on for decades. Most of those taxes go downwards towards the poor.

      Take a look at page 6 of this Congressional Budget Office report: link to

      Excerpt: "Government transfers increase income in all groups,
      but those increases, both in dollars and as a percent-
      age of market income, are larger for groups with
      lower market income"

      It then goes on to say:
      "Because of taxes and transfers, the after-tax income
      distribution is a little more equal than the market
      income distribution. In 2010, households in the
      highest income quintile received 57.9 percent of mar-
      ket income and 47.2 percent of after-tax income... and households in the bottom three
      quintiles received larger shares of after-tax income
      than market income—with the largest difference for
      households in the lowest quintile, which received
      2.3 percent of market income and 9.3 percent of
      after-tax income."

      The bottom 20% of Americans only make 2.3% of yearly income in the US, but after wealth-redistribution policies take effect, they get 9.3%.

      A lot of that after-tax income is surely Social Security recycling money back to the now low-income, old people who paid into it when they were younger and with higher incomes. But at the end of the day, I doubt most of that 7% gain in income for the bottom 20% is all just money recycling back to once-rich-and-young-but-now-poor-and-old people.

    • I don't think it's fair to blame Obama about growing wealth inequality either. He has tried to increase taxes on the rich but the GOP stopped him.

      Looking at the big picture, I think leftists should consider abandoning wealth redistribution policies. I feel that pursuing these policies angers the right-wing to such an extent that they refuse to compromise on other issues, such as foreign policy and climate change. They see leftists essentially as thieves, not to be trusted on anything after that point.

      I saw a 2012 exit poll at Fox News that showed that 45% of the top 2% income earners in the US voted for Obama. 55% did the same in 2008. So there are plenty of rich Democrats who can donate their money to the poor if they so choose. Why force the Republican rich to do the same? By and large, wealthy people got rich legally and without force involved.

      I also wonder if Democrat wealth redistribution policies helps suppress criticism from the poor regarding foreign policy, NSA spying and so on.

  • 17% of Americans Support Afghanistan War: CNN (Video of the Day)
    • "and two-thirds said that they didn’t think the war had not been worth fighting."

      Hi Juan, I think this is a typo. I think you meant to write something like: "Two-thirds of those questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post poll said the war has not been worth fighting" as it is in the CNN link

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