more demands that the people must make; two new articles: america’s class war and honeywell

16 Apr

‎1. Fifty percent of the Budget in the USA goes to the military!

2. The rich translate economic wealth into political power!

3. The working class and the poor STAGNATE. Their wages never rise even if their productivity increases, due to the rising cost of living and taxation. …

4. The young feel they are alienated from the system.

5. The corporations have sent millions of jobs overseas and imported …products created by slave labor.

‎6. The right-wing own the media, not the leftists! Fox News, NY Times, Wall St. Journal, none of them is leftist.

7. The American people are isolated from one another geographically and economically, and democracy doesn’t seem to be working.

8. Health insurance for all.

9. No more exploitation of illegal workers.

10. Affordable education and the right to unionize for all workers.

NYker

June  8, 2012

America’s Class War

Posted by John  Cassidy

Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right. In seeking to recall Wisconsin  Governor Scott Walker, the public-sector unions and their allies on the  progressive wing of the Democratic Party made a big mistake. “My side picked a  fight they shouldn’t have picked,” Frank told The Hill. “People need to be more strategic  about the fights they pick.” In other places, such as Ohio, Democrats have  successfully campaigned in state legislatures to roll back Republican **anti-union  initiatives. But rather than following such a strategy in Wisconsin, they tried  to drive Walker out of office, alienating independent voters and bringing down  upon themselves a deluge of conservative money.

This overreach may well embolden G.O.P. governors in other states to follow  the Wisconsin example. But the tactical blundering of the anti-Walker forces  shouldn’t be allowed to obscure what is at stake here. Exploiting public  concerns about **debts and deficits that have resulted from an economic downturn  largely brought on by **Wall Street malfeasance, **Republican politicians, backed by  wealthy individuals and corporations, are looking to cripple the unions and  balance local budgets on the backs of **low- and middle-income workers.

In short, it’s a **class conflict. On one side are right-wing billionaires like  the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson,(Las Vegas, NV) who exploit quirks in the  campaign-finance laws and anxiety among taxpayers to further their conservative  agendas, and shadowy corporate-financed organizations, such as the American  Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which helped draft many of  the anti-union bills that Republican statehouses have adopted. On the other side  are teachers, janitors, municipal administrative workers, cops, and firemen.

Over the years, to be sure, some public-sector unions have adopted  restrictive practices and negotiated retirement agreements that can no longer be  sustained. (At a time when New York City is laying off teachers, can it justify  paying retired policemen and firefighters up to two-thirds of their peak  salaries after just twenty years of service? I don’t think so.) But Republicans  like Walker aren’t merely looking for concessions from the unions: they are out  to destroy them.

Americans are famously reluctant to adopt the ********language of class warfare, or  even to acknowledge its existence. In its place, they have embraced the argot  and imagery of individualism: The hardy frontiersman loading his family and his  possessions into a single wagon; the industrious immigrant tending his grocery  store or gas station sixteen hours a day; the spotty post-adolescent hunched  over his laptop trying to create the next Facebook.

And, of course, the Horatio Alger narrative isn’t completely without  foundation. Endowed by nature with fertile land, abundant minerals, and a  hospitable climate, and endowed by its founders with democratic and pragmatic  approach to politics, the United States has for centuries provided a ready  platform for creativity, hard work, and material advancement. From the Irish and  Italians to the Vietnamese and Koreans, successive waves of immigrants have  moved from the city tenement to the suburban subdivision. Even today, many  working-class Mexicans, Haitians, and people of other nationalities are risking  their lives to get here.

But individualism is only part of America’s story: class conflict has always  played a big role, too. The antebellum plantation economy was based on *slavery,  a legally sanctioned form of class warfare in which the workers had no rights.  In the late nineteenth century, the rise of U.S. industrial might was marked by  **bitter, violent labor disputes, such as the great railway strike of 1877 and the  deadly **Homestead Strike of 1892. During the first three-quarters of the  twentieth century, **organized labor made great advances, many of which it has  lost during the past thirty years.**

Even when the economy is growing, there are constant conflicts about who gets  what. The argument of free-market economists that productivity determines wages  and profits is mistaken.** Productivity determines the over-all size of the pie.  How it is distributed depends on a variety of factors, including **relative  bargaining strength, international competition, labor laws, and the results of  elections. Economics and politics aren’t separate spheres. They are two sides of  the same coin, something that is particularly evident in the treatment of  public-sector workers. With taxpayers footing the bill, every labor contract has  political connotations.

When the economy stops growing, the distributional conflict intensifies, and  the outcome can go either way. In the Great Depression, F.D.R. pushed through  the **Wagner Act, which gave workers the legal right to found unions and bargain  collectively**. During the postwar decades, partly thanks to the negotiating clout  of the trade unions, many ordinary Americans with no great education did so well  that they stopped thinking of themselves as working class; with their houses in  the suburbs and their cars, they believed they had joined the prosperous “middle  class.” Class conflict was a thing of the past.

That didn’t last very long. In the early nineteen-eighties, during another  economic slump, Ronald Reagan fired the striking air-traffic controllers,  launching what has turned out to be *****a thirty-year onslaught on trade unions and  workers’ prerogatives. Under successive administrations, labor laws were  weakened, and those that remained on the books were no longer vigilantly  enforced. Union membership fell sharply—from twenty per cent of the labor force,  in 1983, to twelve per cent, in 2011. (In the private sector, the decline has  been even more precipitous.)

Not entirely coincidentally, ****inequality rose and wage growth started to lag  behind productivity growth. The share of over-all income that goes to wages and  other forms of employee compensation began to fall. In 1990, according to  calculations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about sixty-three per cent of  over-all income went to wages and employee benefits. By the middle of last year,  the figure had fallen to fifty-eight per cent—the lowest level in many decades.

Commensurate with the decline in labor’s share of income, the share of  **capital taken by owners has gone up. To be sure, many of these “capitalist” beneficiaries are themselves workers who have invested in stocks through their  retirement accounts and personal portfolios.

But the richest **five per cent of  households, who own about ** seventy per cent of the country’s financial wealth,  have reaped most of the gains. And the top **one per cent, which owns about **forty  per cent of over-all financial wealth, has benefitted most of all.

It is in this context that the Koch Brothers, Shelly Adelson, and their  agents in the G.O.P. are engaged in their latest anti-union crusade. The  long-term goal is reduce public-sector unions to the same subjugated state as  their counterparts in the private sector. On Tuesday, with an assist from their  enemies, they won a big battle. But the war goes on.

Photograph by Seth Perlman/AP Photo.

Keywords Charles Koch; David Koch; Sheldon Adelson; unions

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/06/wisconsin-scott-walker-class-war.html#ixzz1xBI2DdCH

——————————————————————

 

————-

Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’

Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. He is the co-author of four books and a frequent commentator on polls for National Public Radio.

Updated October 27, 2011, 12:01 PM

The American public is beginning to take notice of the Occupy movement. The Pew Research Center’s polling this week finds a growing number of people paying attention to news about the movement. And the Gallup Poll found that among the minority of its respondents who are paying very close attention to the story, there is significantly more approval than disapproval of the Occupy movement’s goals.

The public has come to see government policies as catering to the rich and powerful.

This may well be an indicator of how a broader slice of the public comes to view the movement, given the climate of opinion about the issues being raised. Three themes in the data suggest that the public may respond positively to the goals of the Occupy movement, but not necessarily its tactics.

First, fundamental views about economic inequality are long standing. Over the past two decades we have found a very large majority of respondents agreeing with the statement that “this is a country in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

**And, since the late 1980s, a growing number of citizens have begun to see the U.S. as a nation divided into two groups: the “haves” and the “have nots.”

Secondly, the public has come to see government policies as catering to the rich and powerful. A forthcoming Pew Research Center report will show large majorities saying that while the government does not do enough for both the middle class and poor people, two in three think it does too much for the wealthy. Unlike the Republican Party, President Obama is not seen by most as catering to the rich. However, just 29 percent of respondents think the president is doing more to help the “have-nots” than to help the “haves.”

The third factor is of course the economic climate. Anxiety about economic conditions, and jobs in particular, puts the whole question of fairness front and center for the average American. The public expressed strong disapproval of bank bailouts and auto bailouts, as well as coming to the aid of home owners who took on mortgages they could not afford.

Little wonder that even in an anti-government era, a large majority approved of the financial regulation legislation of 2009. And today the public looks at Wall Street and questions its contribution. Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) say that Wall Street hurts the U.S. economy more than it helps, while 38 percent say it helps more than hurts. (The remaining 15 percent offer no opinion.)

A Deep Well of Discontent

Jerrold M. Post

Jerrold M. Post is  the director of the political psychology program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He is the co-author (with Robert Robins) of “Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred.”

Updated October 19, 2011,  1:16 PM

In its inchoate form, the Occupy Wall Street movement expresses a discontent with economic and social inequality. The spread of the movement has been remarkable, clearly finding this discontent to be widespread: by last Saturday, the protests included tens of thousands of demonstrators in 78 countries.

Where this movement goes will depend on whether healing leadership can mobilize the forces to reform governments.

But as yet, there is no agenda, no fixed demands, and assuredly no organization to this now undirected mass movement of protest. Elias Canetti, the Nobel laureate who wrote “Crowds and Power,” likened the spread of a mass movement to a forest fire or a flood that becomes ever more powerful and difficult to control. Similarly, in “The True Believer,” the longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote in the 1940s about the ability of hate-mongering leaders like Hitler to “manipulate the slime of discontented selves,” a vivid contrast to the healing leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.

Where this will go is as yet unclear. The movement has been likened to the Arab Spring, and there are similarities. When a citizen journalist posted his cellphone photo of a despairing Tunisian vegetable peddler setting himself afire, the photo went viral. This, like the idea of occupying Wall Street, also tapped into widespread discontent. The Occupy movement has spread through modern technology, but it is calling for reform, not revolution.

In both cases, the forces unleashed are powerful. And the voices of protest are being heard. Where this movement goes — how it channels the strong current of discontent — will depend upon whether healing leadership can mobilize these forces to reform governments to respond to the needs of all their people.

———————————————————————————-

Published on Thursday, June 7, 2012 by Common Dreams

Is Occupy Wall Street Dead?

The movement has gone from hibernation to invisible, but can rebirth still flourish summer and beyond?

– Common Dreams staff

“Most of the social scientists who are at all like me – unsentimental leftists – … think this movement is over,” says Harvard University professor Theda Skocpol, speaking to Reuters about the grassroots ‘Occupy’ movement that began in Manhattan last fall and sparked nationwide encampments of public spaces and opened a long-ignored dialogue about income inequality and unaddressed Wall Street malfeasance.

(Adbusters: Peter Leeman) The guffaws of OWS activists and organizers can already be heard as the news that a Harvard professor has called the movement null and void.

But even Adbusters, the ‘culture-jamming’ magazine that help spawn the original Wall Street occupation, says that things have changed dramatically for the movement. “Our movement is living through a painful rebirth…” began its frontpage essay this week, and then quoted a Zuccoti park regular who declared, “We are facing a nauseating poverty of ideas.”

Bill Dobbs, a member of Occupy New York’s press team, challenged Skocpol’s view, explaining to Reuters that he compares the OWS struggle to that of America’s civil rights movement – long and uphill, with broad goals to radically alter American society. The first step, he said, has been to re-animate America’s long-dormant spirit of social activism.

Adbuster’s prescription: flash encampments. But is that enough?

The questions, however unpleasant for some, remain: what now for Occupy? What now for those who still believe in the causes of the movement, but are perplexed on how best to move it forward?

*  *  *

Reuters: Can Occupy Wall Street survive?

–=——————————————————-

In 2007, Wall Street’s five biggest firms — (defunct) Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs,(defunct) …  Lehman Brothers,(part of Bank of America now) Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley — paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.
That’s $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns. Those 2007 bonuses were paid, even though the **shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about **$74 billion in stock declines — their worst year since 2002.
If split equally among the approximately 186,000 workers at the former Big Five Houses, that bonus money means an average of *$201,500 per person — more than four times the $48,201 median household income in the U.S. last year.
 
—————————————————————————————————
Last Year’s Big Five Wall Street Bonuses
abcnews.go.com
As the Bush Administration asks for close to a trillion dollars to prevent a worldwide financial cataclysm, here are some numbers you might
 
In the short run, the decision by Bear’s executives to become a leader in this business resulted in huge profits for the firm – and massive paychecks for them. Along with bankers at Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), they were only too happy to capitalize on the **mortgage boom that occurred in the wake of **9-11 when the ** Federal Reserve loosened the money supply.**
— Apparently this is the way things run in the powerhouses of “Capitalism.” source: WIlliam Cohen book, House of Cards
—————————————————————–
06.01.12 – 11:36 PM Warning to US Journalists: Do NOT Ask Difficult Questions of Powerful CEOs
by Jon Queally
Labor journalist Mike Elk on Thursday attended a Capitol Hill conference where he performed the unspeakable act of behaving like a journalist.  During the Q&A portion of a panel discussion, Elk rose to ask a question of Honeywell CEO David Cote, but as Congressional staffers nearby …realized that his question wasn’t a soft-ball about how a young entrepreneur might climb to the heights of corporate America, but a serious question regarding “labor practices and the recent release of radioactive UF6 gas” at a Honeywell uranium facility in Metropolis, Illinois,” the microphone was ripped from Elk’s hands and his questioning cut off.
So much for being a credentialed journalist trying to ask a CEO an uncomfortable question in public.
“I think this whole event of Hill aides literally physically grabbing a credentialed reporter in the basement of the US Capitol Building, a public building, says a lot about how these politicians won’t tolerate being questioned by the press.”   – Mike Elk, labor journalist for In These Times magazine
 Subsequently when he tried to follow up with Honeywell’s Cote in the hallway, as Elk describes, Honeywell’s external communication manager Nick Ferris barricaded him in a side room for several minutes and would not let him leave. Ferris then had the Capitol Police detain Elk for several more minutes, but the police released Elk after he pointed out that it is not a crime for a journalist to follow a CEO down a hallway. “Indeed,” writes Elk in an email describing the episode, “Capitol Police asked me if I wanted to press charges against Ferris for false imprisonment for barricading me in the room.” Elk declined.
 Ironically, or perhaps not, President Obama has a scheduled speech today at Honeywell’s corporate headquarters in Minnesota.  Given the events of yesterday, Elk wondered if it wouldn’t be appropriate for some journalist — given the opportunity — to ask Obama why Honeywell, a top corporate donor to the Democratic Party, has been able to bust unions with such impunity. Perhaps in the President’s presence, the journalist would receive a higher level of respect, if not an adequate answer.
 “I think this whole event of Hill aides literally physically grabbing a credentialed reporter in the basement of the US Capitol Building, a public building, says a lot about how these politicians won’t tolerate being questioned by the press,” Elk said.
(You can see Elk’s reporting on the relationship between Honeywell and the Dept. of Energyhere).
 
=================================================
‘Lost Decade’ for US Middle Class, says Economist
A survey released by Federal Reserve on Monday tells a grim story in numbers what millions of Americans have been feeling in reality for nearly ten years.
 
***”America’s middle class is struggling. **Median incomes are stagnant, while the rich have been getting richer.” ** source: British journal, the Economist.
 
In Minneapolis, a core of occupiers have launched an Occupy Homes campaign that is unique for its edgy tenacity. “What is unusual, in fact utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of the law by these activists,” a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, a U.S. corporation that trades in mortgages, told a local paper. “Over the past week … the city has tossed out protesters and boarded up the house, only to see the demonstrators peel back the boards and use chains, concrete-filled barrels and other obstacles to make it more difficult to carry them away,”

==========================

 
***”America’s Class War,”
 the New Yorker magazine.
 
But the richest five per cent of households, who own about seventy per cent of the country’s financial wealth, have reaped most of the gains. And the top one per cent, which owns about forty per cent of over-all financial wealth, has benefitted most of all.
 
Five percent of US pop owns 70 percent of the wealth, acc. to this article.   June 8, 2012  
America’s Class War …   Posted by John Cassidy  
 
 from the New Yorker magazine   Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right. In seeking to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the public-sector unions and their allies on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party made a big mistake. “My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked,” Frank told The Hill. “People need to be more strategic about the fights they pick.” In other places, such as Ohio, Democrats have successfully campaigned in state legislatures to roll back Republican anti-union initiatives. But rather than following such a strategy in Wisconsin, they tried to drive Walker out of office, alienating independent voters and bringing down upon themselves a deluge of conservative money.
 This overreach may well embolden G.O.P. governors in other states to follow the Wisconsin example. But the tactical blundering of the anti-Walker forces shouldn’t be allowed to obscure what is at stake here. Exploiting public concerns about debts and deficits that have resulted from an economic downturn largely brought on by Wall Street malfeasance, Republican politicians, backed by wealthy individuals and corporations, are looking to cripple the unions and balance local budgets on the backs of low- and middle-income workers.
 In short, it’s a class conflict. On one side are right-wing billionaires like the** Koch brothers and ** Sheldon Adelson, who exploit quirks in the campaign-finance laws and anxiety among taxpayers to further their conservative agendas, and shadowy corporate-financed organizations, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which helped draft many of the anti-union bills that Republican statehouses have adopted. On the other side are teachers, janitors, municipal administrative workers, cops, and firemen.
 Over the years, to be sure, some public-sector unions have adopted restrictive practices and negotiated retirement agreements that can no longer be sustained. (At a time when New York City is laying off teachers, can it justify paying retired policemen and firefighters up to two-thirds of their peak salaries after just twenty years of service? I don’t think so.) But Republicans like Walker aren’t merely looking for concessions from the unions: they are out to destroy them.
But individualism is only part of America’s story: class conflict has always played a big role, too. The antebellum plantation economy was based on slavery, a legally sanctioned form of class warfare in which the workers had no rights. In the late nineteenth century, the rise of U.S. industrial might was marked by bitter, violent labor disputes, such as the great railway strike of 1877 and the deadly Homestead Strike of 1892. During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, organized labor made great advances, many of which it has lost during the past thirty years.
 
During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, organized labor made great advances, many of which it has lost during the past thirty years.
 Even when the economy is growing, there are constant conflicts about who gets what. The argument of free-market economists that productivity determines wages and profits is mistaken. Productivity determines the over-all size of the pie. How it is distributed depends on a variety of factors, including relative bargaining strength, international competition, labor laws, and the results of elections. Economics and politics aren’t separate spheres. They are two sides of the same coin, something that is particularly evident in the treatment of public-sector workers. With taxpayers footing the bill, every labor contract has political connotations.
 When the economy stops growing, the distributional conflict intensifies, and the outcome can go either way. In the Great Depression, F.D.R. pushed through the Wagner Act, which gave workers the legal right to found unions and bargain collectively. During the postwar decades, partly thanks to the negotiating clout of the trade unions, many ordinary Americans with no great education did so well that they stopped thinking of themselves as working class; with their houses in the suburbs and their cars, they believed they had joined the prosperous “middle class.” Class conflict was a thing of the past.
 That didn’t last very long. In the early nineteen-eighties, during another economic slump, Ronald Reagan fired the striking air-traffic controllers, launching what has turned out to be a thirty-year onslaught on trade unions and workers’ prerogatives. Under successive administrations, labor laws were weakened, and those that remained on the books were no longer vigilantly enforced. Union membership fell sharply—from twenty per cent of the labor force, in 1983, to twelve per cent, in 2011. (In the private sector, the decline has been even more precipitous.)
Not entirely coincidentally, inequality rose and wage growth started to lag behind productivity growth. The share of over-all income that goes to wages and other forms of employee compensation began to fall. In 1990, according to calculations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about sixty-three per cent of over-all income went to wages and employee benefits. By the middle of last year, the figure had fallen to fifty-eight per cent—the lowest level in many decades.
 
 Commensurate with the decline in labor’s share of income, the share of capital taken by owners has gone up. To be sure, many of these “capitalist” beneficiaries are themselves workers who have invested in stocks through their retirement accounts and personal portfolios. But the richest five per cent of households, who own about seventy per cent of the country’s financial wealth, have reaped most of the gains. And the top one per cent, which owns about forty per cent of over-all financial wealth, has benefitted most of all.
It is in this context that the Koch Brothers, Shelly Adelson, and their agents in the G.O.P. are engaged in their latest anti-union crusade. The long-term goal is reduce public-sector unions to the same subjugated state as their counterparts in the private sector. On Tuesday, with an assist from their enemies, they won a big battle. But the war goes on.    
\
 
America’s Class War: Billionaires Against the Unions
Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right. In seeking to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the public-sector unions
 
 
Murdoch owns Fox News, Wall St Journal, London Times, Dow Jones and much of the Press. Don’t support these media outlets run by a single corporate entity.
 
UK report says News Corp showed willful blindness on hacking
news.yahoo.com
LONDON (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp showed “willful blindness” about the scale of phone-hacking at its News of the World tabloid, for which
 
Hegel: history is determined by the dialectical evolution of ideas. Institutions fail when the people are driven by new ideas. Marx: historical inevitability, the worker’s will gain sufficient self-consciousness of themselves as a class and will overthrow the system that oppresses them. Hegel wrote, “The free market creates a class caught in poverty.”

 

————
French Are Too Comfortable to Consider Reform
The inconvenient truth is that most of the French are too comfortably off, despite 10 percent unemployment, to countenance radical changes to their way of life.
—————
Wallace, wikipedia:
 In 1943, Wallace made a goodwill tour of Latin America, shoring up support among important allies. His trip proved a success, and helped persuade twelve countries to declare war on Germany. Regarding trade relationships with Latin America, he convinced the BEW to add “labor clauses” to contracts with Latin American producers. These clauses required producers to pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions for their employees and committed the United States to paying for up to half of the required improvements. This met opposition from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Henry Wallace, US Veep. wikipedia
 
//www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/14/states-taxes-poor-most_n_1424386.html?ref=topbar#s869216&title=1_Alabama
US States actually TAX the poor! An outrage.
 
The 10 States Taxing The Poor Most: 24/7 Wall St.
24/7 Wall St.: In an effort to help families work their way out of poverty, most of the United States do not tax the incomes of working-poor families. A handful of states do, however.
 
 
Eliot Spitzer: Obama ‘Has Been On Wall Street’s Side Since Day One’
 
Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post
 
economist Joseph Schumpeter  likened capitalism to creative destruction.
 
A noisy exit
MAN quits firm. Not a huge deal, you’d think, except this is a Goldman Sachs executive called Greg Smith resigning today 

Nuclear power:

 

  • In the one year since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began, the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) has failed to enact any safety mandate for U.S. reactors, an oversight the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says
     
    • Lessons Not Learned:  New Map Shows 120 Million Americans at Nuclear Fallout Risk
      In the one year since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began, the Nuclear

Pareto, Italian economist, wrote that 20 percent of any nation’s population ends up owning 80 percent of the wealth, and 80 percent end up fighting over the remaining 20 percent. He may have been the one to read!

If you thought you heard a starting gun signaling the start of an inspiring democratic campaign season in the United States, you’re ears deceive you. “What’s really happening in 2012,” argues Tim Karr, “Is a transfer of money and power unlike any other in the history of U.S. politics. It’s a process that’s unfolding in corporate boardrooms and corridors of political power, far from public view or …scrutiny.” It’s not democracy in action, it’s a corporate yard sale for and by the 1%. Obama Joins the Democracy Sell Off
  • Democracy, my ass!

     
  • Budget wars: The middle class loses big time
    blogs.reuters.com
    As the budget battle wears on, one thing is clear: not doing anything to cut government debt will be catastrophic. But acting hastily will be even more costly to middle-class Americans.
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