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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, April 16, 2010

    Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 255

    On Tax Day this year, CBS reported the following:

    "The American people need to be reminded that 98 percent of Americans got a tax cut last year," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday.

    Reid was referring to the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the stimulus -- essentially, the only Obama policy to really impact people's 2009 tax returns. In fact, tax refunds reached an all-time high this year in part because of the stimulus, the president said in his weekly address on Saturday. Meanwhile, taxes are at their lowest levels in 60 years, according to William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution.

    "The relation between what is said in the tax debate and what is true about tax policy is often quite tenuous," Gale told Hotsheet. "The rise of the Tea Party at at time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand..."

    One third of the Recovery Act was made up of tax credits, the White House emphasizes.

    "No one I've met is looking for a handout," Mr. Obama said in his address Saturday. "And that's not what these tax cuts are. Instead, they're targeted relief to help middle class families weather the storm, to jumpstart our economy, and to bring the fundamentals of the American Dream -- making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home, and raising a family -- back within reach for millions of Americans."

    The credits included:

    * An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit
    * An expansion of the Child Tax Credit
    * For those who work, the Making Work Pay tax credit offered $400 per individual and $800 per couple
    * For those who lost their job, there was a 65 percent tax credit to help cover the cost of health care. The first $2,400 in unemployment benefits went tax-free
    * Up to $2,500 under the American Opportunity Credit for students and parents paying for college tuition
    * $8,000 for first-time home buyers
    * A deduction of state and local taxes paid on a new car
    * Up to $1,500 for home improvements to increase energy efficiency


    And what is Obama proposing for the future:

    Mr. Obama has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples making more than $250,000. That means by the end of this year, Washington is likely to, among other things:

    * Raise the top two income tax brackets from 33 percent to 36 percent, and from 35 percent 39.6 percent
    * Raise the capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent for married filers with incomes above $250,000
    * Raise the tax on dividend income from 15 percent to 20 percent for married filers with incomes above $250,000

    Gerald Prante, a senior economist for the Tax Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan tax research organization, said these tax increases would likely only directly impact about 2 to 3 percent of tax returns.


    So the Republican and Tea Party's whining is just one more set of lies coming from the right wing. I discuss some other aspects of Tea Party misinformation and misrepresentation this week.

    President Obama's reaaction to the Teabagger whining? "You're welcome."

    Meanwhile, a couple of interesting indictments that show another aspect of what is so important about having Democrats in charge since this would never have happened under Bush:

    SEC Charges Goldman Sachs with Defrauding Investors

    Former Blackwater president, 4 Others indicted

    Let's hope justice gets done.

    And I leave you with Obama's weekly address:



    Here is this week's newsletter:

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Meeting the Tea Party

    Why the Teabaggers are Wrong

    And I think in the context of the Teabaggers and other right wing extremism, this should be remembered: Right Wing Violence in America

    Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Brooklyn, NY Focus

    Manhattan, NY Focus

    Queens, NY Focus

    Bronx, NY Focus

    Suffolk County, NY Focus

    Rochester, NY Focus

    New York 19th District Focus: Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties

    NEW YORK STATE FOCUS

    Silicon Valley Area, CA Focus

    San Diego, CA Focus

    Orange County, CA Focus

    California 11th District Focus: San Joaquin, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties

    CALIFORNIA FOCUS

    Austin/Travis County, TX Focus

    Dallas County, TX Focus

    Houston/Harris County, TX Focus

    Texas 10th District Focus: Turn TX-10 Blue

    Texas 21st District Focus: Turn TX-21 Blue

    TEXAS FOCUS

    Sussex County, NJ Focus

    Passaic County, NJ Focus

    Warren County, NJ Focus

    NEW JERSEY FOCUS

    Broward County, FL Focus

    Orange County, FL Focus

    Pinellas County, FL Focus

    FLORIDA FOCUS

    Charlottesville/Albemarle County, VA Foucus

    Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County, VA Focus

    Hanover County, VA Focus

    VIRGINIA FOCUS

    Pennsylvania Focus: Lois Herr for Congress

    Lancaster Co. PA Focus

    PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS

    Illinois Focus: Dan Seals for Congress (IL-10)

    ILLINOIS FOCUS

    Georgia Focus: Regina Thomas for Congress (GA-12)

    Atlanta, GA Focus

    Fayette County, GA Focus

    Coweta County, GA Focus

    GEORGIA FOCUS

    North Carolina Focus: Bill Kennedy for Congress (NC-5)

    North Carolina Focus: NC-5 District Focus (Stokes County, Statesville, Surrey County, Iredell County, Watauga County, Yadkin County)

    NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS

    WISCONSIN FOCUS

    WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS

    MICHIGAN FOCUS

    Boulder County, CO Focus

    Larimer County, CO Focus

    Douglas County, CO Focus

    COLORADO FOCUS

    TENNESSEE FOCUS

    NEVADA FOCUS

    ARIZONA FOCUS

    IOWA FOCUS

    MINNESOTA FOCUS

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