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Old 05-12-2013, 05:47 AM   #901
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http://articles.businessinsider.com/...mputers-robots

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Computers Are Replacing The Middle Class

Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. – Oscar Wilde

An article in The New York Times last week made note of the lower mobility in the work force: “Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe. The mobility gap has been widely discussed in academic circles, but a sour season of mass unemployment and street protests has moved the discussion toward center stage.” So add another to the economic woes; not only unemployment, but less mobility if you are employed.

There is less mobility in the workforce because the computers are not simply displacing jobs, they are taking out the middle. Computers are good at routine cognitive tasks in the middling white-collar range, the desk jobs, the jobs that require keeping track of things, making arithmetic calculations. They are not so good at motor tasks, the blue collar jobs that require coordination, manual dexterity and sense-of-the-world adjustments. Computers can crunch numbers but they can't drive a truck or make up a hotel room. When it comes to computers taking on human tasks, as Steven Parker notes, the hard problems are easy and the easy problems are hard.

Because they take out the middle, it is a lot harder to pursue the American dream by working your way up the ladder. Climbing up rung by rung, you will find a machine staring down. And it won't retire or move up the ladder to make room for you. Once in place, a retirement or promotion is not going to happen, it isn't going to be opening up a spot.

Futurists have seen this coming for along time, sort of. As automation got started, they saw robots taking over the manufacturing tasks and our day-to-day activities (serving us our dinner and the like), leaving people to do other things – leisure activities or getting jobs making the robots. Futurists always get it wrong because they take the present and multiply it by some number to get the future, and they have the essence of the issue wrong here as well.

Although there are robots in industry, the biggest effect of computer technology is in the area no futurist imagined. It is not improving the production of industrial goods, it is supplying the increasing demand for virtual goods. So the picture is not one of producing what we have always produced, but doing it with less labor, it is that we now want things produced that have not been produced in the past, and those things by their nature require less labor. That is, we are meeting the computers halfway by increasing our demand for the very things that they do best.

When God closes one door, He opens another

Ironically, even as they affect a widening of economic classes, robots, computers and automation are answering the bane of the industrial revolution, freeing many from the mind-numbing, routine jobs of the specialized factory floor that Marx reviled against as the source of worker subjugation and alienation. (Along with many of the modern-day clerical equivalents). The problem is that we are not seeing enough new, more productive and satisfying jobs rolling down the pike.

So we might be seeing an end to worker alienation, but we also are seeing an end to work. We have had an axiomatic view that when technology uproots us from jobs it opens up new ones, and the new ones are even better in pay and in job satisfaction. After all, somebody has to make all those robots. It is a comforting thought, but it is not really an axiom, perhaps just a lucky result that has obtained over the course of the industrial age. There was always a West where the workers could go, an expanding population, undeveloped countries, and new products and demand. The same may continue, but it doesn't look like it is.

Which sort of makes sense if we are moving toward living in a virtual world with virtual industry taking on increasing prominence, and with those industries not particularly labor intensive (or for that matter capital intensive – at least nothing like the era of steel and railroads), or not labor intensive for those with motor as opposed to cognitive skills. We aren't thinking too much about this right now. We focus on running out of resources, not on running out of new markets, more specifically new markets – both of new consumers and new products – that bring as many new jobs with them as are being displaced by machines. (Though this is all starting to get attention, for example in recent books by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and by Tyler Cowen).
The Outsourcing Masses


Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/...#ixzz2T4OjKvYZ

Though we are not as unemployed as we might think. We just are not being paid for our work. Much of what we enjoy from our technological progress is a new sort of outsourcing. How much time do you spend on things that are made easier and that you now do for yourself with the help of computers? You do them now because computers have made it possible for you to do them. You take care of your appointments and a lot of the service issues, you get yourself directed via various phone prompts.
You don't employ anyone when you do these things.

The book “The 4-Hour Workweek” suggested, among other things, outsourcing day-to-day tasks to people in India. But the largest area of outsourcing is not to India, Sri Lanka or China. Our jobs are being outsourced to us. The jobs are moving from the producer to the consumer side of the ledger. And some of that work comes in the guise of entertainment. How much of your work is being done as you do your e-mails and surf the web, keep yourselves busy with your apps as you commute to work? So it is not only that computers are replacing workers, they are turning consumers into unpaid workers.

Bifurcation and classes

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. – Karl Marx

Slave and Master for the Romans, Lord and Vassal in Feudal times, Bourgeoisie and Proletariat for the industrial capitalists. What is emerging now? Because computers allow us to lever our creativity and cognitive work in the same way that capital plant allowed those in the industrial revolution to lever their production of real goods, perhaps, as Murray and Hernstein hypothesized when they proclaimed the emergence of a new “cognitive elite”, class division will increasingly be based on education and intelligence.

But although a bifurcation is occurring in jobs, the opposite is occurring in consumption. Granted those on the lower rungs spend more of their income on the consumption of real goods than do those on the top rungs. And the share of income on goods that by nature are in limited supply, like land, wine and art, even social status, is obviously greater for the top rungs than for the lower. But for both, consumption is increasingly oriented toward virtual goods – consuming YouTube videos, tweets and social networks, games and reality TV shows. These take little in terms of labor – or for that matter, capital – to produce.
And the labor that is required is largely supplied by us as the consumers. Another instance of outsourcing.
And one notable area of consumption that by definition differentiates the classes, that of conspicuous consumption, is going by the wayside. Yes, I believe we are seeing the twilight of the era of conspicuous consumption. Not that Gucci and Chanel are going to go out of business, but for most people that sort of status statement is increasingly becoming irrelevant. No matter what you are wearing and driving, a far better picture of you and your status is just a few clicks away. You don't have to drive a Ferrari to let everyone know you are rich and successful. If you are driving a Ferrari, what it will convey is that you – who as everyone who cares to Google you knows is running a hedge fund and is worth tons of money – must like a Ferrari.

Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/...#ixzz2T4OpzFsL

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Old 05-14-2013, 11:04 AM   #902
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Feds create more low wage jobs than Walmart(Hell) and McDonald's combined.


http://www.nbcnews.com/business/fede...mart-1C9910466

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Old 05-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #903
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Wall Street is literally writing laws

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:08 PM   #904
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Since their is no Infrastructure thread I will post this here

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...nfrastructure/

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Washington Bridge Collapse Another Sign That America’s Infrastructure Is In Bad Shape

On Thursday evening, an Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed, sending two cars into the water and injuring three people. So far no fatalities have been reported. Authorities don’t yet know what caused the collapse.

Another bridge also collapsed in Texas on Thursday after catching fire. The fire burned too hot for firefighters to put out, so they let it burn. It was a railway bridge over the Colorado river and repairing it could cost $10 million.
The bridge in Washington was listed as “functionally obsolete,” which does not mean it was considered structurally deficient or unsafe, but rather that it was built to standards that are no longer used and may have had inadequate lane widths or vertical clearance. As Yahoo! News reported, the bridge was built in 1955 and had a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100, “well below the statewide average rating of 80.”

Unfortunately, these bridge collapses are not isolated incidents. There are 759 bridges in the state that have a lower sufficiency rating than the one that fell apart. More than 350 bridges in Washington are considered structurally deficient, meaning they require repair or replacement of a component, although are not necessarily considered in danger of collapse. More than 1,500 are considered functionally obsolete.
You would think in times that the economy is slow and the infrastructure is crumbling they would come up with an infrastructure improvement program(which for the sake of argument Obama has been pushing for years but the House and Senate never passes anything)

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:39 PM   #905
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They're saying that the reason the bridge collapsed is from an oversized truck hitting one of the main pylons.


California is upgrading its highways through an improvement program.

Problem is, with the debt and deficit so high, and States going broke, increased spending on public works projects can potentially do more harm than good.

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #906
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They're saying that the reason the bridge collapsed is from an oversized truck hitting one of the main pylons.

California is upgrading its highways through an improvement program.

Problem is, with the debt and deficit so high, and States going broke, increased spending on public works projects can potentially do more harm than good.
Eisenhower claimed a good infrastructure is a matter of national security, so I say take money from the defense budget and put it into rebuilding bridges and roads.

If nothing else having people work on infrastructure will improve the employment situation.

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Old 05-25-2013, 12:17 AM   #907
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Part of the reasoning behind the interstate highway system was to move military vehicles efficiently.

I was told in school that it's a requirement that at least one mile of the highway be straight at certain intervals so planes can land.

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Old 05-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #908
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Problem is, with the debt and deficit so high, and States going broke, increased spending on public works projects can potentially do more harm than good.
Two things that are wrong with that argument:

1. If you're neck deep in recession, the only thing you can do is pursue an expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. When aggregate demand is in the slumps, you need the government to kickstart the economy because the private sector is too timid to do anything about it, because otherwise American corporations wouldn't have stashed more than $1.3 trillion in idle liquid assets overseas. The high unemployment only makes things worse because people fear losing their jobs and this gives more bargaining power to employers, putting further downward pressure on wages. At a time like this, belt-tightening is pro-cyclical and only makes things worse. Just ask the Latin American and East-Asian countries how it helped them during their own financial crisis in the 80s and 90s.

2. If your infrastructure is in terrible shape, then don't expect a full recovery anytime soon because the economy is going to overheat just as things start looking up. Infrastructure is just about the best investment you can make right now, and you are fortunate that America is in need of it.

You don't think about people you owe money to when your own house is about to come crumbling down. Americans should be thankful that (for now at least) their currency is immune to speculative attacks and they can still print that much money without being struck down by the god of hyperinflation. Instead of worrying about public debt and deficits, get your economy back in shape while you still can and while the world still accepts the dollar as its main reserve currency because as soon as the Gulf monetary union launches its own unified currency in a few years and break their dollar peg, things are going to get real ugly real fast.

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:56 PM   #909
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UPDATE: TOP WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR LEAVING POST
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...te-house-post/

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Old 05-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #910
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*waves goodbye*

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Old 05-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #911
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Well, looks like a new round of layoffs have begun

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/30...mployment.html

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Old 05-30-2013, 02:18 PM   #912
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The Fed can't keep continuing the monetary stimulus and everyone including Bernanke now knows it. And no way is the government going to risk more unemployment by increasing inflation expectations, even though unemployment is going to persist anyway. Let things go on as they are and condemn the U.S to a decade-long malaise like the one Japan suffered, inflate the economy at the cost of higher short-term unemployment or impose negative nominal interest rates to jolt the excess bank reserves out of their hole and risk capital flight? Now there's a new macroeconomic trilemma for the next edition of textbooks.

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Old 06-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #913
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http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...t-controversy/

I hope the Republicans can Read polls

Quote:
Of the three major controversies plaguing the Obama administration in recent weeks, the drama surrounding the Internal Revenue Service is the most pressing to U.S. voters in a new survey..................

....But a large majority, 73% to 22%, say improving the economy is a higher priority than these three issues, according to the survey.
My guess is the Republicans will just find a way to tie Job Growth to Obamacare(much like they are trying to do it with the IRS). lol


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Old 06-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #914
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They would have a better chance to tie Job Growth to Obamacare than to the IRS....

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:59 PM   #915
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They would have a better chance to tie Job Growth to Obamacare than to the IRS....
I think the problem is if you tie every issue to repealing Obamacare, it sort of becomes a joke(although I do agree their is a much better link to make with the lack of jobs and Obamacare then the IRS). Personally I am surprised they didn't find that link between Benghazi and repealing Obamacare yet. lol

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #916
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I agree....IMO, if they want to stop Obamacare, then they just need to shut up and not fund it. Many states are already not taking it, the Unions, as of right now, over 40% are not taking it, Dems are turning against it....hell just let it hang itself.

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #917
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http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...t-controversy/

I hope the Republicans can Read polls

My guess is the Republicans will just find a way to tie Job Growth to Obamacare(much like they are trying to do it with the IRS). lol
Obama better get on that then...fast forward nearly 5 years later from 2009.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:02 PM   #918
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Obama better get on that then...fast forward nearly 5 years later from 2009.
I seen Obama propose a few jobs bills but the Republican congress has done absolutely nothing about it. Obama also many times brings upgrading our infrastructure(once again the Republican congress seems more into repealing Obamacare 500 times)

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:12 PM   #919
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Obama had 2 years to do whatever wanted. Shocking how jobs wasn't on his to do list. Obamacare is costing jobs so I see why people want that repealed...as well as the majority of Americans if you want to use polls.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:15 PM   #920
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Obama had 2 years to do whatever wanted. Shocking how jobs wasn't on his to do list. Obamacare is costing jobs so I see why people want that repealed...as well as the majority of Americans if you want to use polls.
You mean the recent poll that says 43% like Obamacare and 54% don't like it but fails to mention 16% of that 54% don't like it because they feel it's NOT liberal enough(meaning close to 60% like healthcare)

As for the jobs bill, there was that Stimulus package that alot of money was put out to create jobs(or even just keep jobs), Obama wanted to put more money into Stimulus but in order for it to get passed(by a Senate that could filibuster it) he had to cut out many things. If you look at the employment situation public sector jobs(ie jobs on the government's tole) have decreased drastically while private sector ones have increased.

As for jobs bills what have we seen on the Republican side trying to create jobs? At least we get lip service from the Democrats that their is a problem, the Republicans are like if we decrease taxes on rich people Jobs will magically start trickling down.


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Old 06-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #921
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CBO sees brighter economy with budget deficit to plunge to $642 billion this year
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2...-budget-office

Because of higher tax revenues and higher payments from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Just goes to show you that tax cuts for the wealthy don't really work.

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #922
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You mean the recent poll that says 43% like Obamacare and 54% don't like it but fails to mention 16% of that 54% don't like it because they feel it's NOT liberal enough(meaning close to 60% like healthcare)

As for the jobs bill, there was that Stimulus package that alot of money was put out to create jobs(or even just keep jobs), Obama wanted to put more money into Stimulus but in order for it to get passed(by a Senate that could filibuster it) he had to cut out many things. If you look at the employment situation public sector jobs(ie jobs on the government's tole) have decreased drastically while private sector ones have increased.

As for jobs bills what have we seen on the Republican side trying to create jobs? At least we get lip service from the Democrats that their is a problem, the Republicans are like if we decrease taxes on rich people Jobs will magically start trickling down.
haha....they all "like" healthcare. When you see polls that ask the question, do we need healthcare reform, the overwhelming majority is yes. THAT is the poll that is important, you just have those (like myself) that did not feel we needed the sweeping reform that we got. When you are trying to get healthcare for barely 15 million of over 300 million people, and you end up making enormous changes like this, there will be a good number that don't like it. We keep hearing something screwed up every day....everyday it is something new. When AARP, the Unions, and your Senate (where you have the majority) do not want the healthcare you are providing....something is ****ed up. That is simply reality....its not about him not selling it correctly, it is ****ed up legislation. It happens.... I don't think the majority is blaming him for trying, they just don't want this legislation.

I think a more telling percentage is that 42% don't even know that it is the law of the land....no one is going to really have a solid idea of this legislation until 2014. I'm just waiting for that shoe to drop, and see who's ass is kicked by it. : )

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Old 06-03-2013, 05:08 PM   #923
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I seen Obama propose a few jobs bills but the Republican congress has done absolutely nothing about it. Obama also many times brings upgrading our infrastructure(once again the Republican congress seems more into repealing Obamacare 500 times)
Those "jobs bills" were nothing but smaller stimulus bills that were reworded because the public got fed up with the stimuluses. That's essentially what killed those bills because there really was no core difference between Obama's jobs bills and the stimulus bills that passed when his first term started. It's also why I firmly believe that Obama wasn't one bit serious in promoting his jobs bills. He intentionally gave the GOP bills that were just unacceptable to GOP ideology (higher taxes, more stimulus). I believe that instead of trying to get "jobs bills" passed, he just simply wanted the GOP to look bad and he could campaign about the GOP being obstructionist.

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Old 06-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #924
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haha....they all "like" healthcare. When you see polls that ask the question, do we need healthcare reform, the overwhelming majority is yes.
So do you think the 16% that believe Obamacare is not liberal enough are going to vote for the party that wants to repeal Obamacare completely and do nothing to replace it?

The republicans have a better chance winning over a few people in the 43% that do like Obamacare, then the ones in the 16% who don't think it goes far enough(who are probably more likely to vote the Green Party then the Republicans if they aren't gonna vote Democrat)

In terms of healthcare reform I would be more then happy if the Republican party offered legitimate ideas to reform it, but they just constantly want to repeal it for the sake of show.

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Those "jobs bills" were nothing but smaller stimulus bills that were reworded because the public got fed up with the stimuluses. That's essentially what killed those bills because there really was no core difference between Obama's jobs bills and the stimulus bills that passed when his first term started. It's also why I firmly believe that Obama wasn't one bit serious in promoting his jobs bills. He intentionally gave the GOP bills that were just unacceptable to GOP ideology (higher taxes, more stimulus). I believe that instead of trying to get "jobs bills" passed, he just simply wanted the GOP to look bad and he could campaign about the GOP being obstructionist.
Fair enough about the Bills Obama proposed being cynical ploys to show what is more important(ie don't increase taxes on Millionaire by 0.005%) to Republicans, but the fact is he proposed them and they didn't propose anything back.


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Old 06-03-2013, 05:23 PM   #925
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Originally Posted by SV Fan View Post
In terms of healthcare reform I would be more then happy if the Republican party offered legitimate ideas to reform it, but they just constantly want to repeal it for the sake of show.
I think you're really delusional about the motivations of the GOP, while they haven't offered an alternative to Obamacare, their efforts to repeal Obamacare are ideological due to the expansion of government regulation, the increase in taxes, and overall bureaucratic mess that the bill represents. It's not meant for show, they actually want to get rid of the bill because they are genuinely opposed to it. And many members of Congress were elected to do things like that.

Quote:
Fair enough about the Bills Obama proposed being cynical ploys to show what is more important(ie don't increase taxes on Millionaire by 0.005%) to Republicans, but the fact is he proposed them and they didn't propose anything back.
Except they did:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...ive-jobs-bill/

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