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In an interview with Anderson Cooper a few weeks ago, United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed raising the top marginal tax rate on the rich to 70 percent on earnings of $10 million and above. Cooper suggested this was radical for our time. Ocasio-Cortez replied, “If that’s what radical means, then call me a radical.” 45 percent of Republican voters and 71 percent of Democrats are Ocasio-Cortez radicals on the subject.

Ocasio-Cortez did add an important qualifier to explain how marginal tax rates work, “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.” That explanation is important because some fools on the right who have their strings pulled by the rich have deliberately used language to try to confuse voters, giving them the impression that tax increase proposals like this would affect most Americans, which they do not; think Fox News, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the Koch Brothers, and the entire corporate news networks.

The poll, conducted by The Hill-HarrisX, found that 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent tax rate on every dollar a person makes above 10 million annually. The poll found the idea cuts across partisan divides, garnering support from 71 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 45 percent of Republicans. Along gender lines, 62 percent of women supported the measure, while 55 percent of men agree the top marginal tax rate should be raised to 70 percent.

The proposal would bring the top marginal tax rate back to where it was in the 1970s when income above $200,000 (the equivalent of $1.3 million in today’s money) was taxed at 70 percent. Ronald Reagan then lowered it in the 80s to 50 percent, and later to 28 percent.

Do not expect the Republican and Democratic Party leadership to support such a proposal, even though the federal deficit is running rampant due to the Trump and Republican Party tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. The leaders of both major parties are guided in establishing public policy solely by whatever cash the rich dole out to them. That means these politicians implement public policy with an eye toward enriching their benefactors at the expense of the 99 percent.

Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the news of the poll in a tweet, naturally, by referencing a decades-old meme, saying to Republicans, “All your base (are) belong to us.”

Americans Support Taxing the Rich–Rolling Stone Magazine

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Reuters reports that “Scuffles broke out on Saturday as around 7,000 “yellow vest” demonstrators marched through Paris in a 10th consecutive weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.”

What the corporate news media does not want you to know is that these folks are protesting because their taxes were raised while the taxes on the rich were simultaneously reduced. This is why French President Macron is known as “The Rich Man’s President” in France.

In the United States, we have a rich man’s political party in the Republican Party, and a rich man’s political party in the Democratic Party. We are easily fooled into believing we have choices, when we do not. Working French people are not so easily fooled.

The demonstrations on January 19th were largely peaceful but Reuters Television reporters said they saw clashes break out late in the afternoon between police and demonstrators, some wearing masks, in Paris’ Invalides district.

Protesters threw firecrackers, bottles and stones at the police who responded with water canon and tear gas to push them back. The police in France estimated 27,000 people took part in the protests around the nation, 7,000 of them in Paris. Ten people have died during the protests.

Reuter, like other corporate news media, claim “The “yellow vest” protests – which make use of fluorescent jackets French motorists are required to carry in their cars – began in November over higher fuel taxes.” The corporate news media do not want you to know that almost simultaneously with the rise in the fuel tax, taxes on the rich were decreased. In other words, working people are paying more in taxes to make up the decline in taxes the rich were paying.

Those fuel taxes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader anti-Macron protest.

December’s demonstrations wreaked some of the worst violence seen in decades in Paris, as rioters burned cars and damaged shops and businesses.

There they go again. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recently suggested the United States should raise the top marginal tax rate on the rich to over 70 percent. Republicans, naturally, have attacked her as being crazy, although all the evidence points toward higher marginal tax rates on the rich produces a stronger United States economy for all citizens, not just the rich ones.

As you can see from the graph above, the higher the tax rate on the rich, the stronger is GNP growth. The same can be said for jobs and wage growth. It can also be pointed out that when the rich have fewer dollars to spend, they have less spare change to bribe politicians with political contributions.

The only crazy people out there on this issue are Republicans, as usual, performing their jobs as lying lap dogs of the rich. As I have been saying for years, there is not a shred of evidence that suggests, as the Republican Party lap dogs proclaim, that lowering taxes on the rich has created a single job, and you can see that from the graph.

There is a ton of evidence in the form of peer-reviewed studies that show AOC is correct.

Paul Krugman recently wrote, “Republicans almost universally advocate low taxes on the wealthy, based on the claim that tax cuts at the top will have huge beneficial effects on the economy. This claim rests on research by … well, nobody. There isn’t any body of serious work supporting G.O.P. tax ideas, because the evidence is overwhelmingly against those ideas.”

Reducing taxes on the rich have always reduced gross domestic product, wages, and job creation. It also creates income and wealth inequality since the rich have more income to burn at buying both Republican and Democratic Party lap dogs, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden. These guys have voted time and again to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations-Journal of Economic Perspectives

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist–Columbia Journalism Review

Elizabeth Warren announced yesterday that she was forming an exploratory committee to determine whether or not she should make a run for the United States presidency.

Meanwhile, as of last week, former Wall Street Senator Claire McCaskell has been making the rounds on national television shows to voice complaints against newly elected United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. She does not mention Ocasio-Cortez by name. Claire simply alludes to her existence, and she is very critical of what that existence stands for. As a Senator, McCaskell’s voting record shows she was clearly controlled by Wall Street money. For example, McCaskell successfully co-authored a bill that rolled back regulations on Wall Street investment firms. Ocasio-Cortez is against relaxing regulations against Wall Street.

This suggests the Democratic Party Leadership, which Wall Street controls, is using McCaskell as a high profile figurehead in its attack against the progressive insurgency within the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez is the most visible member of the progressive wing in the US House of Representatives. Elizabeth Warren is another high profile progressive, and perhaps the most anti-Wall Street of the bunch.

Much like Warren, Cortez campaigned on issues such as the $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, free college for all, and the rest of the Bernie Sanders platform. McCaskell was against all those things, all of which would cut into corporate and Wall Street profits if enacted.

McCaskell had the audacity to suggest progressive politics was a vote-losing strategy, and this is why the Democratic Party has been losing elections at all levels of government for over a decade. In reality, more and more grassroots Democratic Party voters realize the party leadership is controlled by Wall Street, and the party has abandoned its progressive past, which is represented by such historic legislation and programs as the New Deal, social security, minimum wages, shared prosperity, etc…. This is why Democrats have lower turnouts and have lost so many elections. The party has not represented working people for four decades. McCaskill is a perfect example of this.

While Missouri citizens voted McCaskell and her Wall Street agenda out of office last November, 68 percent of them voted to increase the state’s minimum wage. The initiative was heavily supported by small business owners.

McCaskell may be voicing her own opinions, but it is just as likely that she is being used by Wall Street controlled Democratic Party leadership as a spearhead in their war against the progressive movement within the Democratic Party. This may not only be the beginning of the war against Ocasio-Cortez, but part of a grander strategy leading up to the conclusion of the 2020 presidential election.

Several progressive Democrats are reportedly looking at that election, which a progressive should easily be able to win if that candidate can get through the Democratic party primary. Besides Warren, Vermont’s U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley have also been mentioned as possible candidates.

Wall Street’s opening shots in the war of words, lies, and smears have likely been launched against the progressive movement with McCaskell’s December tour of news shows. The billionaire owned and controlled corporate news media will close ranks behind Wall Street’s point-of-view, which means it will paint progressives as negatively as possible while attempting to create a false impression of impartiality, just like when Bernie Sanders ran for president against Wall Street’s chosen candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This suggests the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party has begun in earnest and in preparation for the 2020 presidential election. Expect Wall Street’s favorite, Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden, to be the Wall Street Democratic party presidential candidate choice.

As for Elizabeth Warren; she could and should be the first female president of the United States in 2020.

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Caius Rommen was the scientist who invented the GMO potato. GMO stands for genetically modified organism. The GMO potato has been modified to include insecticides and herbicides in them. This way when a bug bites into the potato plant, or worse yet, an underground bug bites into a budding potato, the insecticide inside the potato forces the bug’s stomach to grow until it explodes.

Likewise, a herbicide has been genetically implanted into GMO potatoes. This kills weeds to within three feet of each potato plant.

Quite naturally, you eat the herbicide and the insecticide when you eat the GMO potato. Somehow, at the time of its development, Caius Rommen thought the GMO potato was good for human consumption and health.

Rommens was director of research at Simplot Plant Sciences from 2000 to 2013 where he led development of the company’s genetically engineered Innate potato. But over time, Rommens started to have serious doubts about his work and worried about potential health risks from eating the GMO potatoes, which are now sold in 4,000 supermarkets in the United States.

Rommens wrote the book, Pandora’s Potatoes, which is about how his enthusiasm for genetic engineering turned into doubt and fear as he realized the hazards the technology can create.

In a recent interview with EcoWatch, Rommens told his story.

“I left my position as team leader at Monsanto,” he said, “to start an independent biotech effort at Simplot. During the 12 years I worked there, I designed a genetically modified potato that I believed was resistant to bruise and late blight, and that could be used to produce French fries that were less colored and less carcinogenic than normal fries.”

In his book, Rommens writes that he silenced genes called RNAi. In his interview, Rommens said, “Silencing is not gene-specific. Any gene with a similar structure to the silencing construct may be silenced as well. It is even possible that the silencing that takes place inside the GM potatoes affects the genes of animals eating these GM potatoes. I am most concerned about bees that don’t eat GM potatoes but may use GM potato pollen to feed their larvae. Based on my assessment of the literature, it appears that the silencing constructs are active in pollen.”

Rommens also wrote that silencing the PPO (polyphenol oxidase, a gene responsible for browning in potatoes) gene increases toxins that accumulate in the GMO potatoes. He admits these toxins are harmful to human health.

Rommens said, “Ex-colleagues of mine had shown that PPO-silencing increases the levels of alpha-aminoadipate by about six-fold. Alpha-aminoadipate is a neurotoxin, and it can also react with sugars to produce advanced glycoxidation products implicated in a variety of diseases.

(A Monsanto GM corn variety, LY038, was found to have high concentrations of alpha-aminoadipate, and an application for its approval in Europe in 2009 was withdrawn after regulators raised safety questions.)

He went on. “Similarly, ex-colleagues had shown that the damaged and bruised tissues of potatoes may accumulate high levels of tyramine, another toxin. Such damaged tissues are normally identified and trimmed, but they are concealed, or partially concealed, and much of it is not trimmed in GM potatoes. Therefore, it seems important that Simplot should determine the full spectrum of possible tyramine levels in their GM potatoes.

Another potential toxin is chaconine-malonyl. There is little known about this compound, but ex-colleagues had shown that it is increased by almost 200 percent upon PPO-silencing. This should probably be investigated.”

Rommens also says the potatoes create additional pathogens, infections and the range in levels of toxins such as alpha-aminoadipate and tyramine.

“It is my experience,” Rommens said, “that genetic engineers are biased and narrow-minded. They may not be able to critically assess their own creations.” Of course, when you are making a ton of money producing toxic garbage for human consumption, it is difficult to think of your product as toxic garbage.

When asked, “What is your perspective on genetic engineering now after your work with the GMO potato and misgivings about it?”

“My concern,” Rommens said, “about genetic engineering is that the absence of unintentional effects can never be guaranteed. It may take dozens of years before these effects reveal themselves, and we should be extremely cautious applying the technology.”

Because GMO food products are loaded with insecticides and herbicides, they reduce the labor necessary to grow the food, making them less expensive to produce, and providing the corporate producers with higher profit margins. And that is why they are on the market.

Bayer owns Monsanto, and along with Syngenta, BSAF, Dupont, and Dow Chemical, these corporations are the big six of the GMO poisons. They are so called because they dominate the agricultural input market, that is, they own the world’s seed, pesticide and biotechnology industries.


When Donald Trump became US president, he set about to undo three things former President Obama had succeeded in doing. That is because many billionaire Republican donors were opposed to Trump, most notably Charles and David Koch, who are heavily invested in the energy industry. Trump did not want enemies inside his own party, and he had plenty of them when he was first elected.

Quite naturally, the Paris Climate Agreement had to go since it is an attack on the oil industry, which primarily, though not exclusively, supports Republicans. Ending world oil dependency and thereby reversing course on global warming means terminating the industry or greatly reducing it. as well as ending or significantly reducing corporate oil profits, share prices, and dividends. In effect, the Paris Climate Agreement is an attack on the billionaires of the Republican Party. That is precisely why Trump pulled the US out of the accord, regardless of the false excuses that came out of his mouth.

Trump had to get rid of the Iranian nuclear deal since it allowed Iranian oil back on the world market during Obama’s presidency. This placed downward pressure on the profits, dividends and share prices of the fossil fuel corporations because the increased supply put downward pressure on the prices of all sorts of things we pay for, such as oil and gasoline. The best way for Trump to get oil and gasoline prices moving upward again was simply pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran. Since the USA pulled out, notice the price we pay for gasoline has risen.

By pulling the US out of the nuclear deal using lies and distortions, Trump knowingly and deliberately was redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent via higher oil and gasoline prices. But, the billionaires behind the Republican Party were happier with Trump because of it.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26.5 billion back in 2010. It was his biggest acquisition ever. The railroad is the largest transporter of crude oil in the United States. If the Keystone pipeline is completed, it will compete directly with Buffett’s railroad. The pipeline will transport oil from the Canadian Tar Sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The Republican Koch brothers are heavily invested with the Tar Sands.

Koch Industries is a major player in the Canadian oil market. The Washington Post identified the company in April 2014 as the largest foreign leaseholder of acres of Canadian oil sands.

According to EcoWatch in 2018, “A leaked memorandum published by The Intercept and Documented Investigations shows that a Koch Industries’ donors network, known as the Seminar Network, has taken credit for Donald Trump approving the permits for both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines during the first months of his presidency.” (Click here for the original story.)

Needless to say, Warren Buffett is a big supporter of the Democratic Party and the Koch’s basically control the Republican Party. Buffett’s loss is the Democratic Party’s loss while it is the Koch brothers and Republican Party’s gain.

These political games are being played pitting billionaires against the 99 percent (as well as other billionaires), and the US corporate news media wants to keep you ignorant of these facts.

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, riots continued in France against political corruption. 224 people were arrested and 110 injured for what amounts to protesting against secret deals between politicians and the rich that call for the government to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Your US corporate news media does not want you to know this.

The French government under President Emmanuel Macron reduced taxes on the rich and their corporations while raising taxes on the 99 percent. Macron claimed taxes were raised on petrol, diesel, and other items needed by the 99 percent in order to combat carbon emissions that cause global warming. That, of course, is a complete load of bullshit, but this part of the deal is being reported by the US corporate propaganda machines, known as the corporate news media, but not the other part about taxes being reduced on the rich.

Notice President Macron did not raise tax rates on beef production or offer to end subsidies to this industry to combat carbon emissions. There are more than 200,000 cattle farmers in France, producing 1.5 million tonnes in carcass weight equivalent (CWE) a year, making it Europe’s leading beef producer and the seventh largest in the world. Studies show the beef is among the biggest producers of carbon emissions in the world.

According to a report in the Guardian, “Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock…Remove the artificial support given to the livestock industry and rising prices will…” curb red meat production. “In that way you are having less government intervention in people’s diet and not more.”  (Click here for the Guardian story.)

However, reducing subsidies to French corporate beef manufacturers would be the same as raising taxes on rich shareholders, bondholders, and CEOs, as well as the 99 percent. However, reducing subsidies to the rich was never in the political equation and was likely crafted behind closed doors.

Working people cannot buy secret deals with corrupt politicians. This is simply a fact of life. To get politicians to alter the views created by secret deals to say, redistribute income from the working class to the rich, such as Macron has done, working folks need to take to the streets to voice their displeasure with corrupted politicians and political systems.

Macron has devised a nice scam to enrich his buddies, except the working class of Paris is not buying the lies as readily as US citizens permanently inhale the lies of their politicians and corporate news media, while treating the lies as gospel.

The French president’s corruption seems to have united many on the grassroots right and left in France. BFM TV reported that France’s intelligence services had identified 80 to 120 extreme-right sympathizers at the heart of the violence, while other media claimed tags and logos at the scene suggested extreme leftwing and anarchist organizations were involved.

Macron has done the impossible. He has united more and more citizens on both sides of the political equation with his corruption.

 

 

 

 

 

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