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Democrats in Congress are Fighting for the Rich in Their Opposition to the GOP's 401(k) Cut Proposal

Democrats should demand an end to taxation of Social Security benefits

Not only can they, but when Social Security was established in 1936, and until 1984, the benefits were tax free under law, supported by several court rulings. But in 1983 during the first term of President Ronald Reagan, Democrats in Congress struck a deal with the White House to "save" Social Security by both raising the payroll tax and by taxing retiree benefits. It was and remains a huge hit on the elderly and disabled which has severely diminished the program's ability to prevent poverty among the elderly. You think you're going to get $1500 per month in benefits in retirement -- a typical worker's benefit -- and then they take away 10% or more of it, leaving it at just a net $1350 a month.

Fixing that ripoff is the kind of demand a real progressive party would be making -- one that the whole nation would applaud and vote for candidates calling for that kind of real reform.

But don't expect the Democratic Party to take such a position. It's just too radical for them.

Meanwhile the elephant in this room -- and I don't mean the GOP mascot -- is military spending. The whole reason that Republicans (and Democrats before them) have not been able to reform the American tax system is that there's this huge $1.3 trillion military spending bill each year (that's counting supplemental allocations for current wars, interest on the debt for prior wars, as well as veterans benefits, and "intelligence" spending, including on the National Security Agency's massive spying program). That $1.3 trillion figure, by the way, larger than the next 10 countries' military spending combined, is approximately equal to the total amount of tax revenue the US government collects in a year.

Let's note that most of that spending is being justified as necessary because of the so-called War on Terror, and yet, with all that spending the US cannot extract itself from a doomed 16-year-and-running war in Afghanistan, one of the poorest if not the poorest nation in the world, and cannot prevent a lone Uzbek immigrant from renting a truck and mowing down eight cyclists on a bikeway in Manhattan.

Again, any real progressive party, which the Democrats are clearly not, would be calling for massive cuts in US military spending, which could go to funding both needed services, infrastructure repairs and upgrades, support for the Social Security system, and yes, even significant tax cuts for the middle-class.

Instead, since we have almost no real progressives in Congress, and since the Democratic Party establishment is working to prevent any real progressives from unseating the corporate shills already in office, we'll have sham debates over this GOP tax bill, which will probably eventually be passed in some form sooner or later, no doubt with some Democratic support.

And Republicans will end up by default gaining seats in Congress next year, and returning Trump to office along with even more Republicans in Congress in 2020.

story | by Dr. Radut