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Why Washington Is Broken

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I'd just saw the movie "Heist Who Stole the American Dream" and it was a very informative documentary. 

Heist Who Stole the American Dream: Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy. The collapse of the U.S. economy is the result of conscious choices made over thirty five years by a small group: leaders of corporations and their elected allies, and the biggest lobbying interest in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To these individuals, the collapse is not a catastrophe, but rather the planned outcome of their long, patient work. For the rest of the country, it is merely the biggest heist in American history.

Also I saw "Who Stole the American Dream?" on youtube.

Published on Sep 14, 2012
Who Stole the American Dream?

The promise of a prosperous middle-class life with decent work, rising living standards, and the potential for a better future has long been the foundation of the American dream. But as America continues to struggle to recover from the Great Recession, it has become clear that the middle class is in jeopardy -- and many of the policies of the last 40 years are to blame.

Examining the political, legislative, and corporate choices that have pushed the middle class to the brink, Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning journalist, producer, and bestselling author Hedrick Smith details the story of this demise. In his new book, Who Stole the American Dream?, Mr. Smith analyzes how "pro-business" policies dismantled the previous American social contract and tells the stories of the people who have been left behind. To reclaim the promise of a thriving middle class, Mr. Smith proposes a "domestic Marshall Plan" based on infrastructure investment, a program to spur the revival of manufacturing, corporate tax reform, and renewed support of our key social insurance programs.

Mr. Smith will be joined in this discussion by Sherle R. Schwenninger, director of the Economic Growth and American Strategy programs at New America.


Featured Speakers
Hedrick Smith
Author, Who Stole the American Dream?
Producer and Correspondent, PBS
Former Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times

Sherle R. Schwenninger
Director, Economic Growth Program and American Strategy Program, New America Foundation

also, Hedrick Smith Answers Your Questions

Fiscal Cliff Is Latest Symptom of Unfair Redistricting

On the surface, it looks as though the American electorate deliberately split power between Democrats and Republicans and created gridlock. House Speaker John Boehner’s rejection of President Obama’s bid to raise income tax rates on the wealthy rests on the continuing Republican majority in the House and the claim that House Republicans won a mandate from American voters in November to keep all the current tax rates in place.

But that’s false. Republicans did not win an electoral mandate. In fact, they lost the popular vote for the House of Representatives. More Americans voted this year for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans and yet the GOP wound up with the House majority. That happened once before—in 1996.

By the Associated Press unofficial vote tally, Democratic candidates for the House won a million more votes than Republicans—56,056,564  to 55,028,230—and yet the Republicans got a House majority, 234 to 201.

Most of us know that what mostly stacks the deck is the gerrymandering of congressional districts. After the 2010 Census and the 2010 elections, Republicans controlled the most state legislatures and governors’ mansions and that gave them the power to draw district lines in their own favor.

As we learned in high school history, Gov. Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts pioneered the practice of manipulating the boundaries of congressional districts for partisan advantage in 1812. Since then we’ve passively ignored how this partisan tactic distorts the way Congress writes our laws. But in the past few decades, gerrymandering has become so egregious that it undermines the credibility of House elections.

Right now, this stacked election deck threatens to have pernicious consequences for the winners and losers in Washington’s fiscal civil war. Gerrymandering also makes reaching political compromise much harder, because it makes it more difficult for moderates to win elections, and moderates have historically often been the key to congressional compromise...

I saw these statistics on This Week.  This is a big reason why things are so divisive.  Well, one of many. 

It's just 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, Wall Street and Wall Street 2, repeat.

It appears revenue raised through raising tax rates on the wealthy are being handed back out through pork projects.  Do we really need to help out NASCAR?  What's funny is that many NASCAR fans would say the government shouldn't be spending tax money on healthcare.  I mean, you're suppose to take care of yourself, right?  Well, don't spend tax money, unless it is something you want.


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