Sunday, June 24, 2007

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Welcome to the

********TAX THE RICH********

We plan to use ballot initiatives--beginning with the city or county of Los Angeles, California (ultimately nationwide)--to compel the federal government to levy new taxes on the very rich--which they can easily afford--in order to solve our national and global problems--such as a possible Great Depression!--and help build a better future for America and the world.

Let us know--by sending an email to if you want to:

--Offer comments or suggestions;
--Get more information;
--Stay in touch--we'll email you (not more than once a month at least until enough people have signed up for us to start gathering signatures);
--Join our discussion group, online or with meetings;
--Join demonstrations;
--Help us publicize our idea;
--Help gather signatures to get our initiative on the ballot;
--Help register voters and get out the vote once we get on the ballot.

For references to economists who support the principle of taxing the rich, click on "Taxing the Very Rich" in the upper left-hand margin.

***Blogging January 9, 2009:
I fear the country is skating on thin ice with its huge budget deficits. We now project a $1.2 trillion deficit this year--and that is without counting Obama's stimulus plan, which could add $800 billion over two years, but I think they'll find that they need to spend that much this year alone, for a total deficit of $2 trillion this year and trillion-dollar deficits as far into the future as the eye can see.
We're standing at the brink of the $53 trillion entitlement abyss, digging it deeper as fast as we can, and I'm afraid we're going to lose it. Like Germany after WW I, we are saddled with debt we will never be able to repay even if we wanted to, and the whole world can plainly see that we have no intention of ever paying it off. Hyperinflation could keep our economy running for a while but eventually it will result in ruin.
We could still prevent this disaster by heavily taxing the very rich, but I don't think our government is going to do that--our system is so structured as to make it impossible for Congress to levy such taxes, and our movement to tax the rich via ballot initiatives is making no headway; and I fear we are heading for collapse.
But even if our system does collapse, the need to tax the rich will REMAIN--indeed more so than ever, although with the government broken, the ballot initiative process may no longer exist and we will have to resort to other methods, like Robin Hood. So we still need to organize and get active as much as or more than ever.

And even if extreme deficit spending doesn't ruin our economy, we should still massively tax the very rich for three more reasons:
(1) without massively taxing the very rich, we will NEVER obtain ANY of our great objectives of affordable housing, full employment, livable minimum wage ($12/hr), poverty-reduction, direct democracy, or space travel for all (for example, you will notice that in President-elect Obama's giant stimulus package, there is no mention of any of these vital goals);
(2) to avoid burdening future generations with this gigantic debt, and
(3) for real equality, we must level the aristocracy of wealth. Just as we don't want kings and emperors to lord it over us, we want democratic self-rule; so we should not allow the billionaires to be our masters, as they are now, for example as the major shareholders of the corporations, they are our bosses' bosses' bosses.

Obama is also making another big mistake by directing aid--tax cuts--more to the middle class than to the poor. Tax cuts don't help the neediest, who make too little money to pay taxes. We should help the most those who are having the hardest time of it, and that would also be the most efficient way of stimulating the economy.

December 16, 2008:
It is essential that the United States maintain all of our industries, and bring back all those, such as textiles, that we have lost due to foreign competition. We need to have these industries because they give us basic practical knowledge, capabilities, and empowerment and will provide the best job opportunities when the government sets out to create the 10-15 million jobs that unemployed people need. For this reason, I support the general principle of bailing out the auto makers. At this time, it looks as though the Bush administration will do this, even though Congress opposed the bailout; so it may seem like the question is settled. However, I don't think it is; if we bail out "the Big Three" now, we will need to bail them out again next year and probably a couple more times in the future. For this reason, I would like to discuss and propose conditions that we should attach to the future bailouts. Click on "Solving Other National and World Problems" in the upper left-hand margin (the last, bottom entry there).

Another issue I must comment on is the now prevailing view that it is a bad idea to raise taxes in a recession, and therefore when Obama becomes President he should postpone his plan to raise taxes on the very rich. That would be a bad mistake, because it would keep tax revenues low, which would prevent us from spending as much as we must in order to end the recession, poverty, and unemployment, and it would destroy all hopes of even trying to approach balancing the budget, which could cause the economy to spiral hopelessly out of control and bring hyperinflation and chaos. The vital principle to keep in mind, is that while taxing the rich will take their money out of the economy--while in a recession we need to put as much money as possible into the economy--the tax revenues will enable us to put more money into the hands of the poor, the middle class, and the government itself, who by spending it will more than make up for the reduction in the spending ability of the rich. This is because the poor, the lower middle class, and the government are "hot spenders"--needy and eager to rush to spend every dime they get ahold of, while the rich are more apt to hold on to the money, keeping it out of circulation.

December 6, 2008:
With 533,000 jobs having vanished last month, our economy is clearly in a major emergency, which will require drastic and extreme measures to solve--namely, massively taxing the very rich in order to support the enormous increase in government spending that will be necessary. Even though it may be a year or two before we can get our initiative on the ballot, we will still need to do this, because this recession or depression won't go away soon. In the Great Depression, for example, the economy shrank for four long years.
Some people think no Great Depression could ever happen again, but they are mistaken. The "welfare state" was supposed to prevent it--for example, today if you lose your job, you can collect unemployment insurance, so that you can still pay the rent and buy groceries and clothes, so those businesses are able to keep going. But Bill Clinton and the Republicans destroyed the last safety net with the "welfare reform" of 1996, so that now, after your unemployment benefits run out, you can only collect Welfare for a few months and then you fall into the Abyss.
Then you can no longer pay the rent or buy anything and so businesses will fail across the board, resulting in more layoffs, poverty, and homelessness, in a vicious downward spiral.
Only vast government spending can save us, and it must be paid for by massive new taxes on the very rich, because otherwise the enormous budget deficits might ultimately drive America into national bankruptcy and/or cause hyperinflation, and even if these things don't happen, the soaring national debt will be a huge burden on future generations.

November 10, 2008:
Soon--now that everyone knows that we are in deep trouble, economically, both nationally and worldwide--I will begin posting near downtown LA. The themes of the 22 different posters I plan to put up at this time are:
*****50 reasons why we must tax the rich MORE:
Redistribute the wealth; Redistribute the power
1-Because we need the money
2-Because they can easily afford it
3-To get back on the right track
6-For full employment
7-To balance the budget
8-To raise the minimum wage to a living wage
9-For universal health coverage
10-For more affordable housing
12-To solve our country's problems
17-To rectify the crazy differences in pay between various jobs
19-To solve the immigration problem
24-For real democracy
27-Because it is fair
28-To save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and pensions in the long run
30-Because it is possible
32-For economic security
35-To solve poverty
36-To recover from the recession
41-To wipe out debt
45-Because we need a trillion dollars a year in new federal revenues
46-Because 1100 billionaires own as much wealth as half the world's people combined earn in a year
48-Because inequality is rising

The rest of the "Fifty reasons" are many items such as supporting the arts, alleviating world poverty, and going back into Space, which are very important but not as urgent as the 22 I have chosen to begin this campaign with.

***Blogging August 30, 2008:
Barack Obama has a mildly progressive domestic economic policy and is worth voting for for that reason only; his foreign policy is terrible but so is McCain's.
But Obama will not be able to achieve even his modest domestic reforms because he will not have enough money--that's where we come in. In order to save the economy, solve our problems, and get the country back on the right track to a better future, we will need a trillion and a half dollars a year in new federal tax revenues--which the very rich can easily afford to pay. Obama will raise taxes on the rich but only by a couple hundred billion dollars a year--totally inadequate for our needs and hopes for progress. The great obstacle is that Congress is controlled by the wealthy and corporations. That is why we the people have to rise up and compel the government to tax the rich and the first method we have for doing this is by using advisory ballot initiatives, which do not have the force of law, but which, when passed in enough cities and states, will manifest the will of the people which Congress ultimately cannot ignore and will have to obey. Large street demonstrations will help compel them to act. Our initiative must also give us the people more say-so in how the new tax revenues should be spent.

***Blogging August 25, 2008:
A proposal:

Halfway between May Day and Memorial Day, which would be Saturday, May 16, 2009:
Let us commemorate the 41st anniversary of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy with a March For Justice in cities nationwide.
Let us demand six great goals for America:
1. End Poverty in America!
2. Full Employment--Create 10 million jobs!
3. Living Wages--Raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour!
4. Universal Health Coverage--single payer!
5. Affordable Housing For All--build 10 million units!
6. Get Out of Iraq and Afghanistan! No War on Iran! Peace with Justice in Mideast!

In Los Angeles, we might march down Wilshire Boulevard, either from the Westwood Federal Building or Westlake/MacArthur Park to the downtown LA Federal Building. Please let me know if you agree with this proposal and I would be very interested in hearing any counterproposals. Of course, it is possible that things may have changed by next year so we may need to change some of these demands. I would especially like to hear from others in the LA area; and, of course, we will also want to have a large march in Washington, DC, as well as in as many other cities as possible!

Roger Skutt
Coalition For Progress



Click on topics of interest in the left-hand margin:
The Coalition For Progress
A Great Future for America and the World
How Much will Progress Cost?
Taxing the Very Rich--Why, How, and How Much
Solving Unemployment and Underemployment
Direct Democracy--All Power to the People!
Electoral Reform--Restructuring the Government
Solving US and World Poverty
SPACE: Humanity's Great Destiny
The Mideast
Solving Other National and World Problems:

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