Progress Kentucky, in partnership with The Action, held their first direct action in support of middle class tax cuts by targeting Senator Mitch McConnell at his house with "fiscal cliff caroling".
Progress Kentucky is a different kind of Super PAC: a grassroots movement that will use traditional media, new media, and direct action to hold Senator Mitch McConnell accountable for his failed record.
President Barack Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday urged House Republicans to extend the middle class income tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses without delay, and made clear that a balanced approach to deficit reduction means that they -- and we all know this means John Boehner -- must agree to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates.
The Democratic-controlled Senate has approved the measure, but Obama said House Republicans have "put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans." Obama supports a plan to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000.
"Now, Congress can avoid all this by passing a law that prevents a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. That means 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime. Even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. And families everywhere would enjoy some peace of mind."
"The Senate has already done their part. Now we’re just waiting for Republicans in the House to do the same thing. But so far, they’ve put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans. If we want to protect the middle class, then the math just doesn’t work."
While Mr. Speaker mulls this all over, he might want to keep in mind that a new poll released Friday revealed that 48 percent of Americans trust Obama to come up with solutions to current economic problems, compared to just 32 percent who trust congressional Republicans to do the same. So come January, if that majority of Americans see their taxes raised, they certainly won't forget it the next time they head to the polls.
"We can and should do more than just extend middle class tax cuts. I stand ready to work with Republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit – a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it. And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year."
Mr. President, I really wish you would stop giving away benefits for the people who need them the most. The Republican congress would just as soon hit you over the head with the silver tray that you're trying to hand over those entitlement cuts on.
"But if we’re serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy – and if we’re serious about protecting middle-class families – then we’re also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates. That’s one principle I won’t compromise on."
Here's the problem, the GOP does not care about anyone but America's wealthy few, -- we all know this -- isn't it time everyone let John Boehner know what they think of his obstruction? If you haven't contacted him yet, light up his phones on Monday morning.
President Obama speaks to the American people from a busy factory floor in Pennsylvania about the urgent need to pass the middle class tax cuts, which will give families and businesses preparing for the holidays the certainty they need going into the New Year. Democrats and Republicans must come together to pass one thing that everyone agrees on—extending income tax cuts for 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses, and there is no reason to wait. The President urges Congress to take action to help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
"It’s unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans. And if you agree with me, then I could use your help. Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K."
This is the third straight week that President Obama takes his case for middle-class tax cuts, and tax hikes on the rich, straight to the American people in his weekly address.
"The most pressing decision has to do with your taxes. See, at the end of the year, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire. And there are two things that can happen.
First, if Congress does nothing, every family will see their income taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle class family of four will see their income taxes rise by $2,200. We can’t let that happen. Our families can’t afford it, and neither can our economy.
The second option is better. Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. Everybody. That means that 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up at all. And even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their incomes."
That's right, Congress can do that right now this very moment...if they felt like it.
"The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. Democrats in the House are ready to do the same thing. And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way."
Obama finished his weekly address with a direct call to action, and makes clear exactly how much money is at stake:
"Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K."
NEW statistics show an ever-more-startling divergence between the fortunes of the wealthy and everybody else — and the desperate need to address this wrenching problem. Even in a country that sometimes seems inured to income inequality, these takeaways are truly stunning.
In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.
Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37 percent of these additional earnings went to just the top 0.01 percent, a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. These fortunate few saw their incomes rise by 21.5 percent.
The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089, had an 11.6 percent increase in income.
A comparison between the Clinton era (Remember all the jobs, the prosperity...*sigh.*), the Bush "recovery," *cough* and today is even more sobering:
As a result, the top 1 percent has done progressively better in each economic recovery of the past two decades. In the Clinton era expansion, 45 percent of the total income gains went to the top 1 percent; in the Bush recovery, the figure was 65 percent; now it is 93 percent.
The Wall Street executive continues by blasting House Republicans and their "unsavory stew" of highly regressive tax cuts, and large, unspecified reductions in discretionary spending. The GOP just isn't catching on.