Tag Archive: Laura Flanders

Dec 11 2012

The Real Financial Crisis: Income Disparity and Poverty

Steve Kornacki, MSNBC host sitting in for Chris Hayes on Sunday’s Up with Chris Hayes, discussed the political posturing on fiscal negotiations with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winner and distinguished visiting lecturer at the Syracuse University College of Law; Joan Walsh, MSNBC political analyst, editor at large of Salon.com; Laura Flanders, founder of GritTV; Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress; and Avik Roy, former member of Mitt Romney’s health care policy advisory group, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Unlike the usual talk show, where right wing talking points are rarely challenged, Up pushes back and debunks those memes for the hollow myths and out right lies they are. This panel talks head on how income disparity and poverty are the real financial crisis and the insanity of “shared pain.” Topics about taxes on Wall Street transactions, defense cuts and closing loop holes that only benefit the wealthy were mentioned. You won’t hear that on “Meet the Press” or “ABC’s This Week”.

Heather at Crooks and Liars pointed out the conversation in the second video and responses in the third video to Avik Roy arguing how things are different now that when Bill Clinton was president and the nonsense that the rich already pay too much in taxes. The responses from the panel shredded Roy’s talking points. Here are just some of the comments from the panel:

   DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: The average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans has fallen back to the level of 1966 when Johnson was president, and the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent have gone in today’s dollars from 4 million to 22 million. In 2010, the first year of the recovery, 37 percent of all of the increased income in the entire country went to 15,600 households.

   We have created a privatized system to redistribute upwards and the reason people at the top are sharing a larger share of the income taxes because their incomes are growing at this enormous rate, but their burden is falling. And to suggest we don’t need to raise more revenue by applying it to people who are a success depends on this government, on living in this society, with its rules that make it possible to make that money is just outrageous. It is arguing that we should burden the poor and help the rich.

   […]

   LAURA FLANDERS: No, you’re right. we have 50, 5-0 million Americans living in poverty at this point with food stamp help for many of them. We’ve got 9 million Americans over the age of 50 who are food insecure. One in three of us have no savings whatsoever.

   I mean, you talk the Johnson years, in that period, ’65 to ’73 the war on poverty reduced poverty by 43 percent. We know how to do it. It works. That’s what we should be talking about. We are in a crisis where we’re going to see stimulus. We’re going to see stimulus of poverty and hunger in this country and it’s shameful. And again, going back to ’63, you had more than 60 percent of Americans, I think even in1983, 60 percent of Americans had private pension plans. Now, it’s under 20 percent.

   So these elders that you’re talking about, young people with greater unemployment than ever before. I mean, this is the stuff that we want to be talking about after the last election, children and poverty are exploding.

   JOAN WALSH: And also… we need higher tax rates for the tippy top earners because everybody likes to talk about building the middle class or rebuilding the middle class. Well, the top tax rate that the middle class we in the ’40s,’ 50s and ’60s. The top marginal rate was in the 90’s. I’m not saying you should go back to that, but you can’t say at 37 percent.

Dec 06 2010

Ann Wright: WikiLeaks and Accountability

Mary Ann Wright is a former United States Army colonel and retired official of the U.S. State Department, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. (wikipedia)

“We were told as diplomats, ‘Don’t ever put anything in a cable you wouldn’t want on the front page of a newspaper.’ It shows that they’re a lot of arrogant people, that the system itself wasn’t checking itself,” says Wright of the latest documents released from WikiLeaks.  Meanwhile, several of the diplomatic cables released depict possibly illegal actions by the U.S. government, and Wright notes that the chances of anyone being held accountable are slim.

Ann Wright joined Laura Flanders of GritTV to discuss the latest releases from WikiLeaks, what they tell us about the U.S. Government and Defense and State departments, and what should happen, but probably won’t, to the people implicated therein.


GritTV.org

Although WikiLeaks has had problems since the latest release with hacking, denial of service attacks, web hosts closing their sites down, and domain name registrars pulling their domain name, you can always get to their site by navigating to any of the WikiLeaks mirror sites listed at wikileaks.info:  

Nov 03 2010

LIVE Election Night Coverage with Laura Flanders & Amy Goodman

Burned out on corporate media election coverage? Frustrated by ABC’s choice of Andrew Breitbart as a commentator? Watch the returns roll in with GRITtv and Free Speech TV instead. November 2nd, from 8PM to 2AM EST, right here on our site or on Free Speech TV on DISH Network and DIRECTv.

Laura will be co-anchoring here in New York with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, and Thom Hartmann, David Sirota, Gloria Neal and Marc Steiner will host around the country. The historic coverage will feature analysis and commentary from social activists, community organizers and thought leaders, including Herb Boyd, Rosa Clemente, Jim Hightower and John Nichols. There will also be correspondents’ reports from The Nation, Mother Jones and Yes Magazine and special guest appearances by NAACP’s Ben Jealous, filmmaker Michael Moore, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb and many more.

Join the conversation! Chat with us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/grittv) or tweet at us on Twitter using hashtag #FSVote–and send your questions for our guests using hashtag #FSTVQ.

from GRITtv

Oct 29 2010

Heckuva Job, Mr. Obama…

This past Wednesday “Barack Obama was a guest on The Daily Show, thereby becoming the first sitting president to appear as Jon Stewart’s guest. (In July, Obama became the first sitting president ever to appear on The View.) In the half-hour-long interview, Stewart quizzed his grizzled guest about health-care reform, the financial crisis, and the midterm elections.”

“Stewart’s most combative query concerned National Economic Council director Larry Summers-in particular, Obama’s hiring thereof. ‘We can’t expect different results with the same people,’ Stewart said, referring to Summers’s previous stint as treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. He continued, ‘Larry Summers … that seems like the exact same person.’ Obama, inadvertently quoting his imminently quotable predecessor, replied, ‘Larry Summers did a heckuva job.’ Stewart, somewhat shocked, advised him, ‘You don’t wanna use that phrase…'”

This morning at GRITtv Laura Flanders talked with journalist and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, who reminds that “Summers was the chief architect of Clinton-era policies that created the economic crisis in the first place, and that Obama’s appointment of him to get us out of it was never going to result in anything but more money being thrown at Wall Street.”



An Obit For Our Hopes – GRITtv, October 29, 2010

It’s no wonder that there is now so much irrepressible enthusiasm among the liberals and independents and progressives who tipped the balance in the democrats favor in 2006 and in 2008 to get out and vote for democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.