By Robert Reich
Former secretary of labor and author
The superrich are getting a larger and larger portion of national income and wealth yet paying a smaller and smaller portion of government revenues. Federal, state, and local budgets would be in much better shape if the superrich would pay their fair share. In the current budget debate, we’ve got to increase taxes on the superrich.
We’re the richest nation in the world—richer than we’ve ever been—and to think that we can’t afford to fix our roads, teach our kids, and provide early-childhood education is a scandal.
Greed and Poverty
By Cornel West
Professor, author, and Democratic intellectual
I'm full of unbelievable anger. I'm an angry black man! What I'm angry about? There's too much greed at the top and too much poverty at the bottom—that’s a double outrage.
The biggest lies are that free markets are self-corrective, that individuals are rich because they're smart, and that somehow America became great because of economic growth as opposed to the moral courage of the citizens of all colors to fight for freedom. We need a democratic awakening. We need organizing, mobilizing.
Ludicrous Budget Cuts
By David Sirota
Author, columnist, and radio host
With our effective corporate tax rate among the lowest in the industrialized world, there’s plenty of room to raise taxes in a targeted way so as to avoid threatening the overall economy. That would raise the much-needed revenues to replenish public coffers, thereby preventing future budget cuts.
Despite the twin phenomena of ultra-low taxes and super-painful budget cuts, we are still somehow not having a national discussion about tax increases. Instead, we are watching politicians double down on budget austerity while avoiding any serious conversation about raising public revenues—and some of those politicians are proposing even more tax reductions.
That, of course, gets to what this fiscal insanity is really about at every level: a political sleight of hand designed to prevent the wealthy from having to contribute even a little more to the common good.
Junk Food for Kids
By Ann Cooper
The Renegade Lunch Lady and founder of Lunchbox.org
I'm most pissed off about the highly processed, unhealthy food in America's schools. There's a real lack of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains, and I think that's having a long-term, deleterious effect on our children's health and will continue to do so. Because of budget cuts, states are cutting back on K–12 education.
By Paul Rogat Loeb
Author of Soul of a Citizen
Following the weather is beginning to feel like revisiting the biblical plagues.
But the media has buried their voices, giving near-equal “point/counterpoint” credence to a handful of deniers promoted by Exxon, the coal companies, and the Koch brothers.
The antidote is courage. And as Egypt and Tunisia remind us, courage is contagious. We need to act and speak out in every conceivable way and demand that our leaders do the same. We need to engage new allies, like religious evangelicals who’ve recently spoken out to defend “God’s creation” and unions that link tackling this ultimate issue to renewing American jobs. We need to voice our outrage at those risking our future for greed. Here’s hoping the mounting disasters will finally teach us to turn off the Weather Channel and begin taking action.
Assault on Access to Birth Control for Women
By Cecile Richards
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
The country is out of work. Families are struggling to make ends meet. Health-care costs are skyrocketing. And all that politicians can focus on is trying to take away women's access to birth control.