Matt Damon went on a populist hitting streak on Saturday, giving voice to progressive frustration simmering in the nation. Damon, as has been previously reported, spoke at the Save Our Schools March, and afterward, ripped both a reporter who challenged the notion of motivated teachers and a cameraman who insisted 10% of teachers are bad at their jobs. He also took to task Republicans, the Tea Party and what he called the lack of shared sacrifice in both the economy and the just-passed debt ceiling bill.
“I’m so disgusted,” he told a reporter about the protracted negotiations. “I mean, no, I don’t know what you do in the face of that kind of intransigence. So, my heart does go out to the President. He is dealing with a lot.”
Still, despite any sympathy, he was furious with the negotiations’ outcome, as well as the greater thrust of American economic policy. “The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century,” Damon said. “I don’t know what we were paying in the roaring 20′s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes. I’d rather pay for taxes than cut ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American.” (more…)
Charles and David Koch are worth $42 billion and make $13 million every day while vulnerable Americans struggle to afford shelter and groceries. Meet three Florida seniors who rely on Social Security and are fighting back against the Koch brothers attempt to make them homeless. They told the Kochs what’s on their minds. What would you tell the Kochs? Have your say at http://kochbrothersexposed.com(more…)
According to The New York Times, last year General Electric (GE) made over $14.2 billion in profit, but paid NO federal tax. None. In fact, thanks to the millions GE spent lobbying Congress, we American taxpayers actually owed GE $3.2 billion in tax credits.
Now GE is slashing health benefits and retirement benefits for new employees among non-union workers and is expected to push unions to accept similar cutbacks, while its CEO, Jeff Immelt, gets a 100% pay raise.
What’s worse? Immelt now sits as chair of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (Jobs Council), representing corporate America to the President on matters like job creation and corporate taxation. That’s a slap in the face to every hardworking, tax-paying American—especially GE employees.
Media Misreading Midterms: As usual, press urge a move to the right
With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in Tuesday’s midterms, many journalists and pundits were offering a familiar diagnosis (Extra!, 7-8/06; FAIR Media Advisory, 2/3/09): The Democrats had misread their mandate and governed too far to the left. The solution, as always, is for Democrats to move to the right and reclaim “the center.” But this conventional wisdom falls apart under scrutiny.
For months, the problem for Democrats was correctly identified as the “enthusiasm gap”–the idea that the progressive base of the party was not excited about voting. The exit polls from Tuesday’s vote confirm that many Democratic-tending voters failed to show up. How, then, does one square this fact with the idea that Obama and Democrats were pushing policies that were considered too left-wing? If that were the case, then presumably more of those base voters would have voted to support that agenda. It is difficult to fathom how both things could be true. (more…)
Ryan Grim went on MSNBC this afternoon to discuss the Obama administration’s fiscal policy and deficit fears.
Grim appeared to discuss his latest piece, Mayberry Machiavellis: Obama Political Team Handcuffing Recovery, in which he reports on the group of advisers “counseling President Obama to ignore the advice of his economic team and press forward with deficit reduction ahead of job creation.”
Cenk Uygur, guest hosting for Dylan Ratigan, asked Grim why he thought the Obama administration seemed to be adopting a more Republican stance toward the deficit. “It seems like the administration’s political team has bought into the idea that deficit concerns are going to really damage Democrats in the midterm,” Grim said. “That’s the only explanation that I can come up with.” He went on to point that after analyzing the polling data, it’s clear that the American public’s deficit fears don’t translate into a desire for massive cuts of programs like social security, but are merely a “proxy for general anxiety.”