Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, 89, hero of the civil rights movement.
WASHINGTON — In proposing a 5 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year to pay job-creation measures sought by President Obama, Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday escalated efforts to strike a more populist tone and to draw Republicans into a confrontation over how much affluent Americans should pay to help others cope with a struggling economy.
The White House, after dismissing a similar proposal late last year, left the door open to backing the plan. “We are open to different ways of paying for the very important broadly supported measures in the American Jobs Act that would grow the economy and create jobs,” said the press secretary, Jay Carney.
The new plan, devised by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, has a twofold purpose: to draw a sharp contrast with Congressional Republicans, who have dug in against any increases in tax rates, and to quell a revolt brewing among some Democrats who objected to parts of the White House plan.
Mr. Reid said the surtax would raise $445 billion over 10 years, just about the amount needed to pay for the jobs bill, though it appears unlikely it could make it through Congress.
I’d say Republicans should be ashamed of themselves, but I don’t know that they have that capacity:
Swept up in the craze of preventing widespread voter fraud thatdoesn’t actually exist, Tennessee Republicans passed a voter identification law this year that they claimed would put an end to fraud and ensure fair elections. Like similar laws in other states, Tennessee’s version has come under scrutiny from voting rights advocates, civil rights groups like the NAACP and ACLU, and even Democratic senators, who oppose the laws because they will disenfranchise poor, elderly, and minority voters who are less likely to have photo IDs.
The state now has evidence that that will be the case. Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old Chattanooga resident who says she has voted in every election but one since she became eligible to vote, wanted to ensure she’d have the necessary ID to vote in next year’s elections, when Tennessee’s law goes into effect. But when she went to apply for the ID, she was denied, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports:
That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.
“But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.
“I don’t know what difference it makes,” Cooper said.
“You go to the revolution with the revolutionaries you have.”