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Good Monday President’s Day 18 February, 2013.  Thanks for listening, participating & ENGAGING w/ IDECLAIR MEDIA, THE IDECLAIR SHOW…

Today:  *Gun violence in America continues.  *We follow up on the incoming & intensely brutal ‘sequester.’  What it means, and what it means to YOU.  *The beginning of some form of accountability from Bank Regulators, and maybe even Wall Street.  Thank you Senator Elizabeth Warren.  


President Obama spoke candidly to students of Hyde Park Academy & America, about his personal challenges re: not having his father as he was growing up.  

It has been reported an 18 year old Janay Mcfarlane, was killed the very day President Obama spoke to Hyde Park Academy students.  Mcfarlane’s sister was standing behind the President.  

“President Obama talks about reducing gun violence, fatherhood at Hyde Park Academy”

Feb 15, 2013

President Obama talks about reducing gun violence, fatherhood at Hyde Park Academy, February 15, 2013

“Janay Mcfarlane Dead: New Mom Shot Just Hours After Sister Attended Obama’s Gun Speech”



The looming ‘sequester’ means massive immediate job losses across the country, devastating cuts across the board, and clear further intensity of already tough times for millions of Americans.  

Below is the MUST WATCH testimony of Obama Cabinet Officials testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the severity of sequester cuts.  

Be sure you listen to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen Harkin brings it REAL RAW RIGHT NOW… for all to hear about America’s ‘misallocation of wealth.’   This is powerful stuff.  Thank you Sen. Harkin!   IDECLAIR IT!~



“FACT SHEET: The “Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now” Act”

“Sequestration will cost 750,000 jobs this year and harm the economy.”

  • “The looming sequester will cost about 750,000 jobs this year alone, according to CBO.
  • CBO estimates that allowing the sequester to go into effect on March 1 will lower economic growth from 2.0% to 1.4% this year, a cut of nearly one-third.
  • Sequestration was included in the Budget Control Act as a deficit reduction mechanism that was so bad that it would encourage a fair and balanced, bipartisan agreement. While we support policy-based spending cuts as part of a balanced approach to deficit reduction, it is a big mistake to allow sequestration to make arbitrary and harmful cuts across-the-board.


Republicans are unwilling to address looming sequestration.

  • Republicans have four times refused to allow a vote on Democratic alternatives to replace the sequester, which is slated to begin in just two weeks.
  • In the 113th Congress, House Republicans have refused to take any action to stop the sequester. In fact, several House Republicans have publicly declared they want the sequester to go into effect, and Senate Republican Leader McConnell announced he will not participate in any negotiations to block it.


“Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now” Act replaces the looming sequester.

  • Rep. Van Hollen’s bill eliminates the sequester for calendar year 2013 entirely while reducing the deficit by more than the amount of the scheduled across-the-board spending cuts. It makes specific policy choices that reduce the deficit in a balanced way, with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases.
  • The bill also calls for a balanced solution to stop the full multi-year sequester.

Every bipartisan group considering our fiscal difficulties has recommended a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

  • Every bipartisan commission has recommended – and the majority of Americans agree – that we should take a balanced, bipartisan approach to reducing the deficit that increases revenue and decreases spending.
  • However, Republicans insist that revenue increases are off the table for further deficit reduction. Instead, they have pushed for a lopsided approach that increases the tax burden on middle-income Americans, shreds the social safety net for vulnerable Americans, and fails to protect Medicare or student loans from sequester for even one year.

Van Hollen bill takes a balanced approach to deficit reduction in the long term.

The “Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now” Act calls for replacing sequestration for all scheduled years with a balanced, bipartisan approach that:

  • Reduces the deficit through both increasing revenues and decreasing spending;
  • does not increase the tax burden on middle-income Americans;
  • promotes economic growth while achieving deficit reduction; and
  • maintains the Medicare guarantee and the social safety net for vulnerable Americans.


Van Hollen bill takes a fair and balanced approach for 2013.

This bill contains specific policy choices – a mixture of spending cuts and revenue increases – to replace the sequester for calendar year 2013.  The savings include the following:


1.     Repeal Subsidies to Big Oil and Gas Companies – In a time of record oil profits and rising prices at the pump, this bill repeals, starting next year, several costly tax incentives that subsidize the “Big 5” major integrated oil companies (e.g., Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and Conoco-Phillips) to do what they would do in any case: produce oil. These subsidies are:

a.    Section 199 deduction for domestic production activities, meant to subsidize the beleaguered manufacturing sector, but which has inadvertently been subsidizing highly lucrative oil production;

b.    “Last-In, First Out” (LIFO) method of inventory accounting that lets oil companies deduct the cost of oil most recently added to inventories (which costs the most when oil prices are rising) from their taxable income; and

c.     “Dual capacity taxpayer” rules that create a subsidy for foreign oil production by allowing oil companies to claim foreign tax credits against royalties paid to foreign governments for the right to extract oil (e.g., a cost of doing business for which a tax deduction rather than a tax credit is more appropriate).


2.     Implement a “Buffett Rule” – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has observed that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary because he receives the bulk of his income in the form of capital gains, which enjoy preferential tax treatment. Starting in 2014, the Buffett Rule is meant to ensure that middle class families will not confront higher effective tax rates than the wealthy. The bill would impose a minimum effective tax rate of 30 percent on adjusted gross incomes above $2 million (and that is phased in for taxpayers with AGI between $1 million and $2 million).

3.     Refocus farm subsidies – The agriculture safety net must be better targeted, while continuing to help farmers effectively manage risk. Direct payments – made regardless of yields, prices, farm income or size – are difficult to defend in times of record crop yields and prices. ”


* * *  More from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, on a reasonable, sound, & fair approach to budget difficulties below:

“In response to the extreme proposal put forth by Republicans to replace the 2013 Budget Control Act (BCA) sequester, Progressive Caucus Budget Task Force Chairman Mike Honda and Co-Chairs Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva have prepared an alternative plan.

Both the sequester and the Republican plan would result in disastrous cuts to the domestic programs that Americans want protected.  By building from proposals contained in the Budget for All,the Progressive Caucus has released the Fair Budget Fix for All, which would replace the sequester scheduled for 2013 with a collection of proposals favored by the American public including adoption of the Buffett Rule, and elimination of a host of unaffordable, unsustainable tax loopholes that benefit big oil, agri-business, and corporations trying to avoid their true tax liability.   Lastly, the Fair Budget Fix for All would trim down our unnecessary and oversized nuclear arsenal.

This proposal would maintain the important programs that Americans want to preserve, while still addressing the fiscal challenges we face.  Instead, the Republicans ideological proposal would let families go hungry and the banks run wild, while not getting our debt under control.  There is a reasonable and balanced path forward, but at every juncture Republican leadership has opted for extremism over collaboration, pushing our country to the brink of disaster at every turn.

The Fair Budget Fix for All would save $261 billion over the next 10 years by –

·         Adopting the “Buffett Rule;”
·         Eliminating wasteful agriculture subsidies;
·         Ending special preferences, loopholes, and accounting gimmicks for big oil and gas;
·         Reducing spending on outdated, unneeded nuclear weapons and related programs;
·         Closing loopholes that allow certain self-employed individuals to avoid paying their fair share of Medicare payroll taxes;
·         Abolishing the home mortgage interest deduction for vacation homes and yachts; and
·         Ending tax deductibility of advertising junk food to children.

This proposal is a balanced mix of both spending cuts and responsible revenue raisers, similar to the pathway charted by all bipartisan deficit reduction plans and endorsed by economists and budget experts of all political affiliations.  Although Republicans have blocked consideration of this proposal on the House floor, the Progressive Caucus will continue to fight for the priorities that Americans believe in.”


ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has tax & budget proposals (many states have implemented already) that will make the hair on your head stand straight up.  Get a load of this:  

An excerpt of the MUST READ below.

“ALEC Tax and Budget Proposals Would Slash Public Services and Jeopardize Economic Growth”

“Governors and legislatures in numerous states are considering, or have recently enacted, sweeping tax and budget proposals that follow recommendations of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), with potentially adverse consequences for middle- and lower-income families, individuals, and communities across the country.

These policies would cut taxes deeply for wealthy individuals, investors, and corporations; shift tax burdens substantially from well-to-do to middle- and low-income households; and impose strict constitutional or legal limits on revenues or spending that would severely limit states’ ability to provide adequate funds for education, health care, and other priorities, and impair state economic growth.

The specific policies include deep cuts in income taxes, particularly for affluent households and corporations; a repeal of state income and estate taxes; a shift in state revenues from graduated-rate income taxes to sales taxes that are much higher than most states have today; the end of various state-based tax credits for low-income working families; a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) that would impose rigid constitutional limits on state revenues and spending; requirements that state legislatures garner two-thirds or other “super-majority” votes to raise any taxes or fees; and other mechanisms that would reduce the funds available to finance key public services.”


 The beginning of long overdue accountability of Banking Regulators, and Wall St..

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren made her presence exquisitely known on her first appearance on The Senate Banking Committee.  

Thank you Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). 

“Elizabeth Warren EMBARRASSES Bank Regulators At First Hearing”

Feb 14, 2013

“Warren questioned top regulators from the alphabet soup that is the nation’s financial regulatory structure: the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFPB, CFTC, Fed and Treasury. Elizabeth Warren is the truth!!!! show your support

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts had a straightforward question for them: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial? It was a harder question than it seemed.

“We do not have to bring people to trial,” Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of “consent orders,” or settlements.

“I appreciate that you say you don’t have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?” she responded.

“We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our supervisory goals,” Curry offered.

Warner turned to Elisse Walter, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who said that the agency weighs how much it can extract from a bank without taking it to court against the cost of going to trial.

“I appreciate that. That’s what everybody does,” said Warren, a former Harvard law professor. “Can you identify the last time when you took the Wall Street banks to trial?”

“I will have to get back to you with specific information,” Walter said as the audience tittered.

“There are district attorneys and United States attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I’m really concerned that ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big for trial,'” Warren said.

A Warren constituent, open-Internet activist Aaron Swartz, recently committed suicide after being hounded by federal prosecutors who reportedly said they wanted to “make an example” of him. Warren had met and said she admired Swartz and, after he died, expressed her concern by attending his memorial in Washington.

The financial regulators can blame, at least in part, Wall Street lobbyists (along with outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Senate Republicans) for their embarrassing turn at the hearing. Warren would have been on the panel herself representing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, instead of a sitting senator, if her nomination to head the agency hadn’t been thwarted in 2011.”


It’s a big Monday, issues ongoing, and long term impacting.  I thank you for joining us.  

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