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As President-elect Donald Trump takes office today, January 20, 2017. the Pew Research Center reports “the public has starkly different expectations about which groups in society will gain influence – and those that will lose influence – under his administration.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say wealthy people will gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Just 8% say they will lose influence, while 27% expect the wealthy will not be affected.”

I agree with the 27 percent who say the wealthy will not be affected. The reason is simple. The rich already control both major political parties, and through them, the rich control the federal government, virtually all state governments, and most big city governments, as well as a lot of local governments.

The wealthy are not going to improve upon that score a whole lot under Trump. Control of the legislative process has been the primary means by which the 1 percent has methodically increased its share of wealth and income of the United States year after year for the last thirty-five years.

That’s why the 64 percent who say wealthy people will gain influence are wrong inasmuch as wealthy people have so much power they can’t possibly gain anymore.

The difference is that those rich folks who use the Democratic Party as a vehicle to control the mechanisms of government and to profit via those mechanisms, have lost influence. Think Warren Buffett, George Soros, Bill Gates and other Democratic Party billionaires. Their rivals who control the Republican Party will gain influence at their expense.

Those Republican billionaires include Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump, Charles and David Koch, hedge fund managerz Paul Singer and Robert Mercer, and a lot of other Wall Street investors.

Together, the billionaire Democrats and billionaire Republicans form a kind of good old boy network with some rivalries among them. They also control the media in such a way as to ensure we don’t see this, although it’s pretty obvious.

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A new report by Oxfam.org shows eight people as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of humanity, which is 3.6 billion people. Oxfam is an organizations that monitors income and wealth inequality throughout the world. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are two of those eight richest people.

The folks at Oxfam have figured out why income and wealth inequality continue to grow. They write,

“The gap between rich and poor is far greater than had previously been estimated, with big business and the super-rich fueling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages, and using their power to influence politics.” They’re really saying political power inequality has caused income and wealth inequality.

This is the golden rule in action; he who has the gold makes the rules. In harsher terms, the rich have used their money to corrupt government at all levels and rig the economic game against everybody else. The game has been rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, and in particular, Wall Street. The big banks have held millions of homes off the market in the US in order to drive prices up, and they’ve been quite successful at it. Meanwhile, the US justice department has turned a blind eye to this conspiracy in restraint of trade, even though it is the US Census Bureau that first reported this.

Oxfam suggest five actions they believe can reduce income and wealth inequality, but in reality, these five are not enough. The five are;

  1. Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year.
  2. Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage.
  3. Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work.
  4. Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone.
  5. Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education.                 Click here for the full Oxfam report.

Bernie Sanders and Corporate Taxes
Last week, US Senator Bernie Sanders took to the floor of the senate with a giant poster of a Donald Trump tweet. Sanders challenged the president elect to stand by his promise of no cuts to social security payments, medicare or medicaid. Polls show most US citizens are against cutting back on these programs.

The US could easily expand these programs by simply placing a tariff on goods manufactured abroad by US corporations and then exported to the USA, something Trump also promised to do, and then earmarking those tariff dollars toward Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In the case of social security, there are many more options for expanding social security benefits, which have been deliberately made to languish behind the growth of real inflation. If you earn more than $118,500 per year, you don’t pay social security tax on any income earnings above that number. Simply eliminating this artificial cap would allow the government to significantly raise payments to beneficiaries for decades to come.

Finland is several heads above the United States in public education. They used to be about the same in terms of student testing. Then in the early 1970s, the Finns decided to undergo a massive reconstruction of their educational system. They took off, leaving the US in the dust.

Finland has the highest test scores in the Western world. How’d they do that?

Finland’s students have the western world’s shortest school days and shortest school years. That’s to give kids time to be kids. They’re in school no more than 20 hours a week, and that includes lunch. They’re also among the least tested students in the world. Finland provides a vast social safety net for all families.  Finnish students get almost three times as much recess as US students. All of this is because Finland has a student centered education system. The success of students is the most important thing in the Finnish system.

In the United States, increasing the corporate profits of the publishing industry is the most important thing the US educational system is supposed to do. So most everything in the US K-12 educational system is geared toward testing.

Corporate profits are had with every test a child takes. This is precisely why US students are the most tested in the world, and by a wide margin. However, it gets worse than that. Standards are continuously raised, even if most of the students, or a significant segment of them, fail the current standards. That’s because the higher the standards, the more students fail and need to retake the tests, over and over again, until they pass the tests, or they move up in grade. Every test students are forced to take provides the testing industry with greater profits. But when a sufficient number of students begin to pass the tests, the standards are raised, or the tests are changed, to make them more difficult to pass.

The movement to tie teacher pay to the success of student testing forces teachers to teach to the test. Recess has been massively cut at many public schools. Recess has been eliminated in some. US education is about massive test preparation, and much of the preparation materials comes from the US publishing industry, which increases their profits.

The last thing the people behind US educational reforms want, as well as the corrupt politicians behind them, is an educational system that prepares students to be better citizens and gives them enhanced job skills, although many educators try to do this in what spare time they have to teach this stuff.

The testing industry keeps this farce going by giving campaign contributions and other perks to US politicians, which is precisely why the US educational system typically ranks about thirtieth in the world, and never moves up, and why Finland typically rates in the top five, and is often number one in the world.

In the US, educational reform means redistributing local and state tax dollars to the rich shareholders of the testing industry. Local control of public education means the testing industry might not be able to get away with this theft throughout the US, and this is why the Feds have become more involved in K-12 public education.

In other words, financial corruption guides US government K-12 educational reform, while the needs of students guide educational reforms in Finland.

 

 

20150224_problemThe financial collapse of 2008 was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Give President Obama and his administration credit for saving the economy from the depredations of Wall Street despite massive Republic resistance to resuscitating it, which they did solely for political gain. However, this historically weak recovery masks a startling reality.

Only one perpetrator of Wall Street crimes was ever brought to justice, and he wasn’t a big figure in the massive corruption going on. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders and said, “I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you.”

Only one banker from that era was prosecuted. That was Bernie Madoff, and the only reason he was carted off to prison was because he stole from rich people. And not one other Wall Street criminal executive went to jail after stealing billions via fraud, money laundering of Mexican drug cartel profits, and numerous other crimes. Many became his financial advisers, which meant Obama pursued policies to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent for eight long years.

At all times, Obama refused to bite the hand that funded his past, present and future, as well as funding much of the Republican and Democratic Parties. In other words, Obama was largely, if not completely, in the back pocket of Wall Street as were President Bill Clinton, both President’s Bush, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

Obama operated in a cesspool corruption. He was part of the problem, not the solution.

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There are actions and then there are inaction’s. There is biting the hands that feed you now and in the future, and then there are the decisions one makes to not bite the hands that feed you, now and in the future.

First there was the illegal torture program of President George W. Bush. Bush is the only former US president who couldn’t visit Switzerland and numerous other nations after his terms in office. Bush would be arrested and charged with war crimes should he or several other members of his administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, ever step foot into those nations. Obama called the torturers “patriots” and those who demanded justice “sanctimonious.”

When a judge in Spain began to pursue war crimes charges against Bush, Obama successfully began a diplomatic initiative to quash the charges.

Obama went out of his way to ensure that nobody of political and financial significance suffered the consequences of their actions.

Not one single person was charged with war crimes, torture or murder. Forget US laws, forget the US Constitution, and forget international laws the US had signed on to.

Perhaps Obama decided not to pursue charges, or quash prospective charges, because much of the torture was done by publicly traded corporate contractors. In other words, torture was to a large degree about profits; the more torture victims, the more profits.

Virginia-based CACI Premier Technology corporation is a military contractor that was a major US torturer at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The company made millions upon millions of dollars torturing people on behalf of President George W. Bush.

CACI’s share price hovered around $13 a share when Bush became president. Thanks to the torture contracts the company received from the US government, the share price increased more than five fold to $65+ by the summer of 2005.

No doubt Wall Street liked the torture program a lot because it fed into the pockets of the billionaires and millionaire investors of Wall Street, as well as Wall Streets large investment corporations, and Obama had to protect his financial benefactors, so justice could never be served, otherwise the financial spigot watering, seeding and fertilizing the corruption of government at all levels would have been turned off, and Obama could never have tolerated that.

 

 

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When a U.S. company closes an American plant and builds one overseas, the U.S. tax code allows the expenses incurred in both activities to be written off it’s taxable income.

Under Current US Tax Laws Businesses Are Allowed To Deduct Operating Expenses. Which Include The Cost of Moving Jobs In The U.S.A. Overseas. (Internal Revenue Code)

Companies That Create Jobs In The U.S.A. Should Receive Tax Breaks. Companies That Send American Jobs Overseas Should Not. In fact, US corporations that export jobs overseas should be taxed on any products they export to the USA from their factories overseas, like president-elect Donald Trump promised he would do.

Tell Congress To Stop Using Our Tax Dollars To Fire American Workers

Contact Congress
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/