A Congressional Research Report (Nov 2012) now supports my study below: http://www.ombwatch.org/12273
BDS believes crucial keys to putting people to work; reducing the federal debt; and reigning in corporatist and super-wealthy greed; include
(Oct 2011): :
1) greatly increasing the progressivity and top marginal federal tax rates to levels seen in past US history. Republicans and bought Democrats spout unsubstantiated rhetoric that this would kill GNP growth and result in massive job loss and recession. I did some searching of historical US data and graphed the top and bottom US federal tax rates along with the annual GNP growth from 1913 to present. Admittedly, there are many factors during that long period not reflected in my graphs, but with the top tax rate spanning from 4% to 94% ,one would expect to see strong support for this near universal assertion.Note the current debate is whether to increase the current top tax rate of 35% back to the earlier 39% before Bush tax cuts. Considering the outrageous claims of doom you would expect to see a very strong negative correlation of GNP growth with top tax rates. Sorry, my data strongly disputes that.See the data below and judge for yourself. Most damning is why this type of data presentation and discussions about interpretation does not dominate political discussion instead of empty rhetoric. I think politicians think the public is too "stupid: to grasp, and its more to their interest and elitist agendas to engage in empty rhetoric ---and why not, it works.
2)Use the increased taxes to reduce the federal deficit and enact a large scale (like FD Roosevelt) public works and social welfare.safety net PERMANENT program. This includes massive infrastructure (probably trllions of $ over time);universal healthcare (single-payer best);universal college education;enhanced social security;and reduction of the 40 hour work week.This goes against the accepted paradigm that only growth will solve our financial dilemma. It ain't going to happen. The world productive capacity of commodity widgets (washers;dryers;furniture;TVs;household goods ....) exceeds the necessity of the peoples in advanced countries like the US; and countries with poorer citizenry are willing to produce and offer them at lower prices than the people of advanced countries.Advanced countries will continue to hold world production (along with the advancing countries like China) of hi-tech goods,but that production doen not require the total US population of workers.Employment in the future will be directed towards what the people need, more social services,healthcare,leisure,and government directed infrastructure that does not provide sufficient profit incentive for private industry to undertake with costs acceptable to society.
3)Increase of inheritance taxes severely on wealthy to prevent an old European type silver-spoon elite.
4) bringing the power to print money (with no federal interest) from the federal reserve to within the government from private banking, so as to eliminate the future concept of federal debt.Of course this has to be done responsibly by any entity that performs the function, but considering the track record of the Federal Reserve, I would rather have the government do it than essentially Wall Street.
5)Cut defense sopending by 75% (or maybe even more!).
Well, that's enough to establish my credentials as a stark raving radical (for now).
6) A social change eliminating the "cachet" of Wall Street.financial/trading activities along with the potential wild profitability, risk, and personal celebrity of practitioners, that has at its root the sole purpose of creating financial profits with no otherwise productive benefit to society. A big challenge! However, a hugely do-able step would seem to be the inplementation of a small tax on trading transactionsm with the objective of severely discouraging the mostly computerized "zillions" of transactions merely for the puropse of attempting to generate "gaming" profits from the "financial system" whose productive purpose is the distribution of capital in support of socially productive activity. This is getting some traction in Europe ,but is widely opposed by "the "elite" financil experts there, here and yep---within the Obama administration.But we can hope---say the soviet union disbanded, and the Berlin wall came down!
7) As an ex-engineer I view these things (government,regulation,laws) as a very complicated social control system with a lot of feedback variables. Generally you have to get all the parameters mostly right before you can expect a smoothly operating system.Tinkering with only a few variables is unlikely to show much improvement in many cases, and could deter efforts to continue or disparage changes already made.Having to do all these changes simultaneously makes it immensely more difficult politically, We need an FDR! visionary, not a mediator (Obama). Maybe the protesters stirring the pot will cause one to rise to the fore.
(eg..lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges--"Calling All Rebels")
4) The major problem with the bailouts was that the government did not require that the bailed out institutions "bail out" their customers they had defrauded into illa-dvised financial obligations.In the case of home mortgages,congress should retroactively put requirements on the bailed out institutions (banks). To those I hear saying that it would be difficult to legally convict the perpetrators of fraud,or to institute retroactive requirements, I say that the Federal Reserve could be used to "pressure" those institutions to comply because banks cannot operate without Federal Reserve functions.(If an individual does not religiously pay his bills on time, it is more difficult,or impossible, to get loans, or only at much higher interest rates.So "bad actors" in the banking industry, should not expect business as usual servicing by the Fed.)I think all subprime or other unqualified mortgages be fixed at the initial mortgage rate for say 10 years (on primary residences only for the initial mortgagee) (retractive to all qualified evictees).For those who still cannot meet their reduced mortgage (say because of loss of their job(s)) the government should offer a second (paid in monthly installments directly to mortgage bank) in the amount of the difference between a reasonable monthly rent and the fixed initial monthly mortgage for say the same 10 years. At any time the "owner" could elect to "payoff"/cancel the second and reassume the mortgage instead of the rental.Also at any time the "owner" could elect to sell the home and payoff the first and second mortgage and keep any profits if there are any.If the home is just too underwater still or the owner just cannot afford, then they could "walk-away", and the bank and the government (second owner) could settle---- the government gets its "investments" before the bank. This obviously punishes the financial institution(s) that manipulated this massive fraud, and those who planned to benefit from it by various crazy financial instruments, helps the homeowners that can reasonably be helped, discourages anything like it in the future, and helps get the economy back on track.This plan would only apply to those mortgages issued prior to the crisis . For those who are able to pay the fraudulent mortgage, they would be offerred to renogitiate the original morgage at current market conditions ,be offerred the same above offer as those who cannot pay their monrhly mortgage,or "walk-away" without owing tha mortgage balance.I think a strong president could press ahead with this against the screaming Congress---and Wall Street and the Federal Reserve. It would be a strong message that the country would not stand for legal fraud, and that all means will be used to assure that the financial industry functions in the interests of the general good..