Europe United in mourning Vaclav Havel His motto was may love and truth triumph over lies. His example is one to remember in the hard, cold December at the end of 2011, not the best of years. Light a candle. Vaclav Havel – Thank you Your light has dimmed. If your cell phone rings, now no one will answer. All of your causes, like Olympic torches have been passed on, to other barefoot runners. Their footfalls, fade, into the distance. Your death left us all behind, but stronger for your example and life. Your plays and poems call out to the heart and You spoke truth to power at great cost chosing truth over lies All your days you fought for justice; Thank you. Written in Memorium December 18, 2011 cDeborah Sirotkin Butler See also: The power of the powerless
The Senate passed legislation yesterday that adds $8.50/100K to the price of most mortgages in exchange for a brief 60-day extension of the payroll tax. How many members of the 1% depend on Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac when they buy their gated mansions and luxury condos? The message of this robbing-peter-to-pay-paul gesture is primarily symbolic, and the symbolism is awful. A tax on the 1% (million-plus incomes)? Off the table. A tax on the 99% (hidden in mortgage fees)? Across-the-board approval. Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders of Vermont voted “No”. John Kerry joined Scott Brown in voting “Yes”. This should tell us something. Here are some ways we should encourage the 1% to pay their fair share: – Eliminate the capital-gains tax advantage altogether — treat all income the same for tax purposes. – Significantly increase the estate/gift tax rate for estates in excess of $10M. – Impose a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes in excess of $250K/500K (individual/joint). We Democrats should be advocating for these, while painting clear pictures of the benefits this increased revenue will provide for the 99%. My own top three? Health care, publicly-funded college education, and energy/transportation infrastructure.