J. Albrecht: Democrats shouldn't compromise

Democrats have no reason to compromise to solve the fiscal gulch. The fiscal gulch was invented by the Republicans during the past 30 years.

They hate Social Security and Medicare and have since the day those programs became law. But the American people want and need them both, so Republicans came up with the strategy of bankrupting the country by cutting taxes and irresponsible spending (refusing to pay for any of their new programs).

George Bush tried to end Social Security. Paul Ryan proposed, and the House Republicans passed, a budget that did away with Medicare. The Republicans created the debt ceiling crisis, intending to force an end to Social Security and Medicare. Now they want to trade Social Security and Medicare (and ObamaCare) for tax revenue increases — their position all along.

They are offering no compromise. Democrats should accept none.

This is the time to defeat the Republican war on the middle class.

Democrats should accept nothing less than tax rate increases on the rich, at least to the Clinton administration's marginal tax rate of 39.6 percent; no cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but major efforts to curtail the cost of health care (we pay twice as much and receive half the value of health care systems compared to other people in the industrialized world); elimination of all tax deductions/loopholes for corporations and the rich; cuts to the bloated military; elimination of corporate welfare; and the breakup of the largest banks.

Jonathan Albrecht, Dixfield

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Steve  Dosh's picture

J. Albrecht: Democrats shouldn't compromise

Jon , 12.09.12 18:18 hst
You're right Jon ? 
b t w - the reason your Gov. is against health care is that he's got it already
Paid by Mainers

Richard Begin's picture

Democrats shouldn't Comprimise

Well I was somewhat Surprised when I read what Jonathan Albrecht wrote about the discussions going on about how to resolve the So-called Fiscal Cliff.

But here is the Good News we are not to Worry .Thankfully Harry Ried and other will not be relying on Mr Albrecht's Rabid Advice

I am always intrigued when I read remarks like when Mr Albrecht states that it was the Republicans who created this Fiscal Mess.

Jonathan Just how do you know this? Of Course the Silence is Deafening ,Frankly Speaking Poor Jonathan Simply does not under stand the Broader Picture.

Or Perhaps Jonathan's Calculator does not function very well.

Do the Math in the House of Represebntatives the Republicans do have the advantage.I am willing to suggesst tht the Tax on the Wealthy be increased.

I also feel that by Electing [Angus King' to the Senate Maine is greatly positioned to make gradual across the Board change,

In Closing Jonathan please try to retrieve your Common Sense , go to the [Cafe Gloat] and Regain your correct [Comprimising state of Mind

Were Pullng for you.

 's picture

Thanks to everyone who commented

Especially, the Tea Partiers, libertarians, and and other members of the far right.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Nothing here that Mr.

Nothing here that Mr. Albrecht hasn't penned a half dozen times in the past year. Same old, same old.
I guess winning the election wasn't enough for some.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

All readers should sanitize

All readers should sanitize their mind after reading the above letter. Here is your cleanser - http://finance.yahoo.com/news/real-danger-fiscal-cliff-022200390.html

Zack Lenhert's picture

Rand Paul? Really? The

Rand Paul? Really? The Opthamologist who couldn't get board certified so he created his own certification.... I suppose he's also a self-certified expert economist too.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If spending is so good, why

If spending is so good, why don’t countries simply print and spend themselves into prosperity. Isn’t that concept analogous to perpetual motion?

Compared to Obama, Rand Paul is an economic Einstein.

Zack Lenhert's picture

.... I prefer Keynes.

.... I prefer Keynes.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Even under Keynesian

Even under Keynesian economics, there is no tolerance for year-over-year debt spending. That is, structural deficits.

Zack Lenhert's picture

...agreed. We should've been

...agreed. We should've been banking the surpluses left from the Clinton budgets instead of starting two wars without paying for them.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Liberalism is a mental disorder

Yes, Bush spent lots of money. That said when you talk about the Clinton surplus, why do you, like many others do in a similar fashion, conveniently leave out the dot.com bubble collapse in 2000 evaporating the surplus?

Are you simply unaware of that fact or are you trying tell a white lie?

Zack Lenhert's picture

...and why do we still

...and why do we still measure Bush's economic growth and include the housing bubble?... because bubbles are a part of any capitalistic economy.

Please then, name me a period of time without some sort of economic bubble... and I will refute your efforts. I have google standing by.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Structural deficits have been

Structural deficits have been around since the days of Woodrow Wilson. Focusing on Bush is an example of not seeing the forest through the trees or an exhibition of partisanship - take your pick.

Zack Lenhert's picture

...and we're supposed to

...and we're supposed to believe that all of sudden the GOP wouldn't run a deficit?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I have a common saying that I

I have a common saying that I frequent post: “Better living through smaller government”.

Notice there is no reference to any political affiliation. That said, GOP took a pledge (looks like they will break it though) to not raise taxes. The Democrats publically stated they want to raise taxes.

Given these are the only two horses in the race, one may give me smaller government, one will give me bigger government. Which horse must I ride?

Zack Lenhert's picture

"GOP took a pledge (looks

"GOP took a pledge (looks like they will break it though) to not raise taxes."

Exactly... notice the pledge isn't to reduce the deficit.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Neither major party is

Neither major party is interested or capable of reducing spending to close or eliminate the deficit. I have to pick my battles, so I fight any tax increase. I consider myself not responsible of the deficits or debt, so I don’t want any part of the solution if there is one (i.e. more taxes). After decades of inaction on reducing the debt, my primary concern is to hang on to the money I earn and the hell with the rest; the cause of the problem is out of my control. After all, no one was looking out for us as they racked these big debts.

Retirement in Costa Rica has its tax benefits :-)

Zack Lenhert's picture

" my primary concern is to

" my primary concern is to hang on to the money I earn and the hell with the rest"

Ouch... The modern GOP platform becomes more clear everyday.

JOANNE MOORE's picture


But that's to be expected from such a bean-counting barbarian.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Let me get this straight. I get up every morning and leave my family for work. I collect my paycheck and cash it.

However, only in Obama’s America I can be called greedy for wanting to keep more of my earnings.

Liberalism is certainly a mental disorder. Tell me again, why should I be concerned about the welfare of thieves like you?

Zack Lenhert's picture

... because I'm not a thief.

... because I'm not a thief. I contribute. You're driving to work on roads that I help pay for. Your rights are protected by a military that I help pay for. Its not "stealing" to expect others that are capable to also contribute.... and before you bring it up, nobody is for welfare abuse. It's there to help those that need it. I'm just as appalled by those that are gaming the system as you, but I don't believe that cutting services for those in need is the answer. I believe there are a lot more saving to be had by cutting corporate welfare, they're rigging the game more than any drug addict or illegal alien ever could.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No matter how you slice it,

No matter how you slice it, no matter how you rationalize it, $0.40 of each dollar spent in the federal government is borrowed. That mean, the federal government spends 40% too much.

Zack Lenhert's picture

I never claimed anything to

I never claimed anything to the contrary. That's why we should raise taxes on those that can most afford it and cut spending.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Expected response from the

Expected response from the greedy.

Zack Lenhert's picture

" my primary concern is to

" my primary concern is to hang on to the money I earn and the hell with the rest"

Who here is the greedy one?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

It is my money after all. I

It is my money after all. I give 5-10% to charity yearly, which is my own choice not the federal government’s. Is that being greedy?

Those who want more of what I have are the greedy ones. Remember, I did trade my time for this money, so I did pay for it’ it was not FREE.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Self-interest is in the DNA.

Moreover, we should face the fact that every individual behaves in their own self-interest whether they want to admit it or not; it is part of our DNA; the survival instinct. That said, those who cannot save on their own accord have no choice to buy into the collectivist philosophy in order to advance their own self-interest.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Wow, good thing that I’m a

Wow, good thing that I’m a libertarian instead of a GOP member – don’t assume.

Zack Lenhert's picture

...my bad.

...my bad.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No problem. **it happens.

No problem. **it happens.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

What you are proposing is an

What you are proposing is an unchallenged democratic parity. Just look to states and city governments like California and New York respectively to see how that concept is working.

Yep, still on the road to bankruptcy - must be tied to Bush somehow???

On opposing parity is, well, supposed to oppose; you should get used to it.

Zack Lenhert's picture

Both of those states pay more

Both of those states pay more into the federal coffers than they receive, which can't be said for most of the "red" states.

BTW... California is making a comeback.

"California's nonpartisan budget analyst says the state now faces a much smaller deficit of $1.9 billion through the end of the next fiscal year and could even see surpluses after that."


MARK GRAVEL's picture

California has been running

California has been running deficits for decades. The projected surplus is a result of the November election tax increase. Rest assured that California will spend it before long and continue to have structural deficits. Moreover, you should consider California’s debt and pension liabilities, which the report fails to factor.

A smaller deficit is just temporary, just follow the bouncing ball.

Zack Lenhert's picture

"The projected surplus is a

"The projected surplus is a result of the November election tax increase."

Hmmm, VERY interesting point... coming from Mark.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I always miss the memo, and I'm wrong most of the time But...

I have an opinion on this whole mess. I feel everyone should just work together, give a little on both sides, and resolve this. One way or another it's going to be solved Jan 1st anyway. No one is going to get everything they want, so just do it.
That being said, I do have some issues regarding Social Security, and Medicare. However you feel about the program, its a part of our lives, and for most of us, it has been for as long as we can remember. I can just barely remember going down and getting my SS card when I started working. I had no idea what it was. Through the better part of thirty five years after that, I remember wondering from time to time, what are all these deductions for SS or Medicare. It was always there, but I really paid little attention to it. That all changed when I was forty eight. That's when I got sick. That was the year I lost the ability to work. No warning no nothing. At that time I did have savings, and quite a bit of various stocks, but hardly enough to survive for the rest of my life. I was always told, right or wrong, that Social Security would be there to assist in retirement. Most people try to attain a level of savings to retire on and SS and Medicare would be there to help, but what happens when you are suddenly faced with the inability to work, and your still twenty years away from your scheduled retirement. It does happen, more often than you would think. I'm using SS and Medicare now. What I receive is based in what I have paid in all my life. I have received statements detailing exactly what and how much I contributed. I still make monthly payments for my health ins. and prescriptions, as well as a supplemental insurance plan to pick up what Medicare doesn't cover. I have been able to change my lifestyle to eeck out a comfortable living on a fraction of my original pay. I'm still ten years or so away from retirement. I don't need Republicans coming in and changing the rules in the middle of the game. I always played by the rules, I expect nothing short of the same from them. If they want to change anything, change it for people retiring in sixty five years from now. Don't mess with it now. I don't need the extra headaches.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Let’s face it Frank, there

Let’s face it Frank, there are many Americans like myself who are damn tired of all the deficit spending. We are tired of paying a disproportional about of the Federal and State tax burden.

There comes a point when a divorce is better than working things out.

Let’s face it. I did not create this mess, and I don’t care to be part of the solution.

Zack Lenhert's picture

There are a lot of things I'm

There are a lot of things I'm tired of paying for with my federal taxes but Medicare and SS aren't in that list.

 's picture

You missed the memo ...

... about the election results. The Republican war on the middle-class is over, replaced by the Democrat war on the middle-class. This tax-the-rich stuff is just smoke and mirrors to smooth the ruffled feathers of the "fairness" zealots. It will not affect the economy by even an appreciable fraction, it will not reduce the deficit, and it certainly will not reduce spending, the root problem.

Nope, don't you Democrats compromise. You'll get your way, and within months, probably weeks, it will be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that the plan has failed, there's an even larger "emergency" than the one we're facing now, and our rulers will announce a "temporary" tax hike on the middle and lower income earners to get us through these upcoming dark days.

With that understanding, the changes coming for 2014 will dwarf those from 2010. So, again, don't you compromise.

RONALD RIML's picture

Sure, Mike, Sure......

Taxing the wealthy won't do a damn thing.

In your dreams.

 's picture

Dream on.

Raise the rate to 100% and, in the course of a year, it will bring in enough to run the federal government for around eight days. So the definition of "high income" will have to get changed downward, squeezing the precious middle class and lower.

I notice you didn't say "high income earner", you said "wealthy". That was a telling Freudian slip. You leftists really want to sink your claws into non-income: 401(k)-s, investments, ... You're not satisfied taxing money once when it was income, you want to tax it again for simply existing. You'll change your tune when they take a bite out of the Riml estate.

This point is today the central contradiction in the leftist agenda. For the sake of fairness, you want to treat groups differently. Your dream is a nightmare.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dear Ronald “hate the rich”

Dear Ronald “hate the rich” Riml:

You are correct, taxing the wealthy will not put a dent in the budget deficit nor will it do anything to reduce the national debt. It will serve nothing but satisfy those how have greed and envy.

Let’s say that Obama raises the $1T dollars in new tax revenue over a decade, that is an average of $100B a year when the budget deficit is about $1.3T a year.

I’ll even do the math for you – that still leaves $1.2T in deficit spending per year. There is your proof that taxing the wealthy won’t do a damn thing, except to satisfy your envy, perhaps not even then.

The concentration of greed and envy in the U.S. astounds me!

Zack Lenhert's picture

"deficits don't matter" -

"deficits don't matter" - Dick Cheney

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Wait, I just got off the

Wait, I just got off the phone with Greece- deficits do matter. What is the point of this nonsensical quote? What is your implied meaning?

Zack Lenhert's picture

America is not Greece...

America is not Greece... How're those austerity(spending cuts) measures working out for Europe?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No one said Austerity does

No one said Austerity does not hurt, but it’ll work a hell of a lot better than continued debt spending. Austerity is the inevitable concussion to structural debts no matter how you slice it.

RONALD RIML's picture

You obviously find 'Revenue' too taxing a matter to grasp..

Greed, Greed, Greed..... No one's getting into Mark's pockets......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Liberalism is a mental disorder

Replace "Mark's pockets" with "woman's VJ" to show you how selfish your statement is. No one has a right to a woman's vj, no one has a right to my wallet; it is called rape in both cases when taken with force.

Zack Lenhert's picture

Wow... equating taxes to

Wow... equating taxes to raping a woman. Akin and Mourdock called, they're looking for members for their new club.

RONALD RIML's picture

He's nucking futz like that, Zack.

The Universe revolves around Mark's Lucre.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Adapt to changing times or go

Adapt to changing times or go extinct. I know how hard it is for people of your age to adapt.

The world economy will change; it has changed.

RONALD RIML's picture

We're all going 'Extinct' - And you can't bring it with you.

So don't adore it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I plan to die broke on my own

I plan to die broke on my own accord, not by the tax man. My plan is to start taking from the government as soon as I pay off my homes.

If I cannot get lower taxes, I'll take my refund on the backend.

RONALD RIML's picture

How disrespectful to women everywhere, Mark.

Replace your wallet with your crap-snatch and watch how you'd still squeal like the greedy little piggy you are.

I'd give you about five minutes tops in the 'Bridal Suite' of any jail or prison and you'll be glad to pay more taxes for 'Prison Reform'

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ronald, Your implied threats

Your implied threats do not work on me – not unexpected behavior from law-enforcement.

No, matter how you rationalize it. The money I earn is still my money. That is, the same money you hunger to have and that is the quintessential definition of greed my friend.

RONALD RIML's picture

"Implied threats from Law Enforcement?"

Who is Law Enforcement, Marko Lad???

Do you possibly assume I still am, along with all of your other irrational belief systems that don't match reality? Or are you that paranoid - believing internet personalities present threats to you, as government presents a threat to the property you temporarily possess.

You can't bring it all to the asylum.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I bet you do not like people

I bet you do not like people who stand up to your money grabbing philosophy. Thank god for people like me - we earn the wealth the country enjoys. Eliminate people like me is like eliminating the goose that lays the golden egg; you lose on all axis's.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I should have said ex-law

I should have said ex-law enforcement.

The government assault on the property through taxes is what Obama campaigned on. That said, as long as I am alive, it remains my property. When I die, it becomes the properly of whom I will it.But it never will become the property of someone else.

America's Mr. Right.

Jason Theriault's picture

You both are dumb

This isn't about winning or losing. This is about doing what's best for America. Compromise is what's best, so stop trying to "beat" the other guy, and start working on a solution.

" the changes coming for 2014 will dwarf those from 2010."

Isn't that what you were saying about 2012?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

When is bending over,

When is bending over, grabbing your ankles and spelling “run” three times fast a worthy comprise?

At some point, those of us paying the bills have to stand up and say enough – F-off.

Jason Theriault's picture

I love it

Taxes are at historic lows, but it still too much? How about this - pay the same tax rate the greatest generation paid, the generation that built America into a superpower, and then you can complain.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Taxes did not build America

Taxes did not build America post WWII. The fact is that all of America’s manufacturing competitors were destroyed in the war – Japan, Germany, Europe, ..., etc. Fast forward to today where those aforementioned countries complete with America in addition to many countries on the Asian continent; global trade has leveled the playing field. America no longer has protected markets.

One needs only to look at tax rates during the Carter administration compared to economic grow. Ronald Reagan significantly reduced marginal tax rates and government revenue increased greatly along with GDP growth – how come?

People frequently try to associate Clinton administration tax rates to prosperity; however, those same people fail to factor in tax revenue increases were largely due to the dot.com bubble that coincidentally burst in 2000, the first year of the Bush administration.

In summary, you are proposing a faulty cause/effect argument. Just think if more taxing and spending builds robust economies, how come the planet is not rolling in wealth? The answer is because it does not.

In closing, lower tax rates for the wealth is simply rebalancing a previous imbalance - a correction.

Zack Lenhert's picture

It's outstanding that in your

It's outstanding that in your arguments regarding taxes, higher tax rates during times of prosperity are NEVER part of the equation, but when tax rates are lowered they all of a sudden become THE REASON for prosperity. You can't have it both ways.

Tax rates of the highest earners have little actual effect on the economy.

From the NON-PARTISAN Congressional Research Service -

"Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it
is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the
1970s; today it is 15%. The real GDP growth rate averaged 4.2% and real per capita GDP
increased annually by 2.4% in the 1950s. In the 2000s, the average real GDP growth rate was
1.7% and real per capita GDP increased annually by less than 1%. There is not conclusive
evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the
top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax
rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top
tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top
of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families
increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009
recession. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with
regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how
the economic pie is sliced. "


MARK GRAVEL's picture

What you are saying is that

What you are saying is that people’s behavior doesn’t change due to tax policy. One just has to look to Costco as proof otherwise.

Zack Lenhert's picture

no... that's not what I'm

no... that's not what I'm saying.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You do know the pie is not a

You do know the pie is not a fixed size, correct?

Moreover, just because someone has a bigger piece of pie than you does not mean you have the right to walkover and take bites from it.

Zack Lenhert's picture

I realize the "pie" size

I realize the "pie" size isn't absolute. What gives anyone the right to fix the tax structure so they ALWAYS get a bigger slice?

Claiming that low taxes on the wealthy is just a ploy to get the wealthy a bigger slice of economic growth. It does nothing to actually grow the economy, as shown in the study of the NON-PARTISAN study.

If you take issue with the studies results, you'll have to take it up with the Congressional Research Services.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

IRS tax data does not lie.

IRS tax data does not lie. The more well to do pay the majority of federal taxes, period. You are knocking down a strawman when you point to a few that pay taxes at dividend rates.

America's Mr. Right

Zack Lenhert's picture

"You are knocking down a

"You are knocking down a strawman when you point to a few that pay taxes at dividend rates" ... Where did I do that? Who here is creating strawmen?

"The more well to do pay the majority of federal taxes, period." I don't dispute that, but would like to point out that "the more well to do" also control a majority of this nation's wealth. They also have been disproportionately benefiting from America's recovery.

Dividends and capital gains are also usually considered UNEARNED income. Kinda like how Mitt made millions of dollars in 2011 but was telling voters he was "unemployed". It's going to be hard to convince people that the wealthy have more money than the middle class because "they work harder".

RONALD RIML's picture

Your face is covered in Pie.

And sadly, you're not in the least embarrassed.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I would be embarrassed to

I would be embarrassed to think I have any claim on your slice of pie (i.e. home, savings, .., etc.), otherwise my embarrassment is non-existence.

I don’t envy when someone has a bigger slice of pie than I have. Instead, I study them to learn how to bake me a bigger slice.

Zack Lenhert's picture

...you should start a super

...you should start a super PAC and hire some lobbyists.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Correction: complete -

complete - compete

Zack Lenhert's picture

I think it's silly that

I think it's silly that someone "disagreed" with your correction.


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