AUGUST 21, 2011 7:26AM

Tax the Poor - an idea whose time has come.

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If you didn’t see Jon Stewart’s summer break sign-off Thursday night, in which he summed up the right’s “class warfare” hysteria over demands that the rich go back to paying the same tax rates they paid during the Clinton boom years, you’ve got to give this two-part clip your eyes for just a couple minutes:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c World of Class Warfare - Warren Buffett vs. Wealthy Conservatives Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on FacebookThe Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cWorld of Class Warfare - The Poor's Free Ride Is Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook


In all this, Stewart makes clear that Fox News is able to lie and bark absurdities because it’s not a news organization but a one-note propaganda machine whose seamlessness would have left George Orwell’s Winston Smith paralyzed in admiration.

But what’s best about Stewart is the way he makes crystal clear that Democrats are engaged in self-censorship. For two weeks now, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have been on a poverty tour, calling for Obama and the Dems to recognize that they’ve been fighting with one arm tied behind their back, to stop limiting their concern only to the “middle class,” and to dare to say the “p” word. When half the country possesses only 2.5 per cent of the country’s wealth, the diminishing middle can choose either to be bodyguards for their overlords or throw their lot in with the poor.

“The poors,” Stewart calls them. Obama needs to recognize that the world economy is shuddering to a halt because the global rich are so focused on wealth protection into a distant future that capitalism can’t find the money to function and grow. The time that his paltry stimulus bought the system has run out. As they did by going after Saddam instead of Al Qaeda, the political class is again setting off weapons of mass distraction—this time, by going after “spending” and the deficit instead of unemployment and the foreclosure crisis.  

The time for muddling through—for saying you can see “both” sides of the argument—is past. Obama is so smart, right? Then he must know this, too. 

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If we can eliminate the bottom 50% of the people, there should be plenty to go around.
The real answer is to eliminate both the bottom 50% AND the top 50% of the people. Let Mother Earth try again......
As a self-styled radical (not the kind recently posted: radicals who support war, torture and genocide), I believe the system is so rotten, that nothing short of tearing the system down and starting over, again, might help.

Perhaps, adherence to the Constitution in the manner we presume the founders intended might be a starting point,because it sure as hell has been a long time since any recent administration has allowed the document to stand in their nefarious ways.

Thanks for being the first to visit, SkyPixie0.
I thought Stewart's bit was funny when I saw it. I stopped laughing this morning when I read that the Republicans (and some Democrats) want to eliminate the payroll tax cut that was instituted last year, a cut that helps the working poor. In summary: ending a tax cut for the very rich = bad, ending a tax cut for the poor = good. It makes my head spin.
I'm shocked! More than 99% of "poor" people -presumably including those freeloaders on welfare-have refrigerators!

No wonder we're so far in debt! These "poor" people live in the lap of luxury while hard working hedge fund managers are getting buy on as little as $100,000,000.00 per year and had to fork over 15% to support these deadbeats. It's just shocking!
This certainly is one of the most under-reported issues. And Stewart has Fox sized up pretty well. It's a propaganda channel outfitted like a real news show.

But there's that old saying that people get the government they deserve. If enough of them stampede to the Republicans everytime they offer tax cuts or decry "big government", this is what you wind up with. Thanks for highlighting the issue Mark.
Why can't they just scrap the tax code and have a flat tax?

Wait, that would make too much sense, something our govt wouldn't touch with a gloved hand.

I agree with you though, we should just gut the system and start over, but that would mean Capital Hill would lose power and they will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

The only way to do that would be a revolution, because we all know voting is pretty much a joke in this country.

Agreed Toritto. A coalition of the poor, the middle classes, and the sizable number of rich who have offered to pay more in taxes, are needed to remedy this, truly, dysfunctional condition.

Thanks for the visit,my friend - Your support is GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks SO much for stopping by, Cranky Cuss. New and infrequent visitors are, especially, appreciated, here.

Jon is a great comedian, but like You, when the humor subsided, I found myself in a deeply reflective mood.

What a dysfunctional society america has become.

Thanks, again, for visiting.
Just came back from Your blog, John, and saw the perennial idiot treating the whole matter as if it were a joke.

That, in itself speaks volumes as to his character, or lack of.

apisa is the major problem blocking meaningful change.

Vermin and cretin like him should be forced to live like the 2% Mr. Stewart refers to.

Thanks,again, for stopping by and thanks for finding the post important enough to reprise
Thank YOU, Abrawang for adding to the discourse. Up until this point, no attention has been played in the roll faux news plays in all this.

Your comments,ALWAYS add additional, oft overlooked attention to details that would otherwise be overlooked, and I, especially, appreciate that.
Thanks for making the time to visit, my SweetLadyJane, especially considering the stresses in Your life, You have made us aware of on Your blog.

I, no longer know the answers, but something MUST be done, or as Toritto pointed out, there will be no recourse, but to take to the streets to demand legitimate grievances be given recourse.

Our prayers are with You in the struggles You are so capably withstanding.
Happened to see that episode. Very well done. The bit about how 700 billion was a drop in the bucket when talking about the rich but a stupidly enormous amount when applied to the poor said everything.

There isn't actual analysis on the other side, just reaching for whatever weapon is handy, regardless of the nature of that weapon. These are people who would shoot you if they didn't think they'd go to prison for it. As Stewart makes clear, there is zero intellectual integrity at Fox. We knew that already, we just can't make ourselves believe just what zero really means. Surely there should be Some integrity, right? I wish.
God bless Jon Stewart!!!! How tragic that even his exasperation doesn't begin to cover the grotesque narcissism and stupidity of the pol, media and corporatist elites. The WAR ON EMPATHY steamrolls onward. 1 out of 4 kids in Calif. goes to bed hungry, but what the hey. THEY ALL GOT THEIRS. Cronyism really rocked for them. Bribe the pols and the rewards just pour in for criminal behavior. I need to carry a vomit bucket around nearly all the time now. [r] libby
Thanks for stopping by KosherSalaami.

Needless to say, I can only get snippets of the evening comedy shows, where the only real news is reported.

The snippets You point to in Your comment lend credence to my first sentence in reply.

I'm happy that You took the time to add them - they enhance the value of my post, and for that, I am VERY grateful.
It HAS become sickening way beyond the theater of the absurd, LibbyLiberalNYC.

You may need a 55 gallon barrel before long.

I'm afraid we've seen, but the tip of the iceberg.

This Sunday at the oil sands protest in D.C.: "The activists are facing charges of failing to obey an order governing protests on the sidewalk, said an official with the U.S. Park Police. The protesters were asked to move and when they refused, they were arrested and taken to the central cell block of the city’s police department.

Officials for Tars Sands Action, the group that has organized the two-week campaign, say police originally assured them protesters would be released after being warned. Instead, they have been charged and held in jail for two nights.

Note that this report comes from Canadian media.

I think we are about to see the beginning of the end.

Thanks for stopping by, LibbyLiberalNYC.
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