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Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

The Republicans are proposing helping the already super rich with tax cuts they don’t need, and spending that will only help the super rich., such as the increase in military spending. Currently, the United States spends more on military spending than the next twenty-five largest nations in terms of military spending, and twenty-four of these are US allies. The budget proposal is all about serving a large slice of the 0.01 percent that control the Republican Party, as well as 2/3’s of the Democratic Party. It’s all about redistributing government spending from those in need to those who don’t need anything.

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Knowing the truth can set you free. Knowledge of the forces that constrain you is the first step toward achieving freedom. Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre and bought off mouths and minds.

So here’s economic myths numbers four and five.

4. Myth: Free trade is good, but only if you’re rich.
Fact: International income redistribution agreements are falsely marketed as free trade agreements. These agreements are perhaps the biggest reason why the 99 percent receive only 66 percent of the income created in the United States nowadays, compared to 8 percent.

5. Myth: The United States is a democracy in which all the people are represented.
Fact: The United States is a plutocracy, which is a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. At times in the past, the USA has had a national government that represented most of the people, but never all of the people. When this has occurred the rich only received 8 percent of national income. Today the rich steal 36 percent of the total national income.

In other words, income distribution is solely linked to political power. Whosoever has the gold makes the rules.

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The war on the middle class began in 1981 with a well orchestrated anti-labor union message spread throughout all aspects of the national news media. It was a full frontal assault. It still is.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “As a broad attack on unions continues, with Republican politicians leading efforts to eliminate unions or weaken them in Illinois and Wisconsin, Missouri and West Virginia, and county-by-county in Kentucky, it’s wise to think about what’s at stake. We now know what happens when employers hold most of the cards and employee power is diminished: profits and CEO pay skyrocket, and worker pay flat lines.

It is no coincidence that, as the Figure (above) shows, the share of income going to the broad middle class began to fall as union membership and power were reduced. The middle 60 percent of families depend primarily on wages for their income, so as the unions’ ability to raise wages diminished, so did the ability of middle class families to earn a fair share of the nation’s growing income. Research has shown that as unions were less able to establish wage standards the wages of nonunion workers in the same occupations and sectors were also reduced. Politicians who care about the middle class should be looking for ways to help workers gain access to collective bargaining and restore union strength. They certainly ought not weaken them further and limit or forbid collective bargaining.”

International income redistribution agreements, falsely marketed as free trade agreements, have been the primary tool used by corporate CEOs in their war against labor unions. These agreements allowed US corporations to export nearly 30 million jobs between 1990 and 2010, and millions more since then. See Exporting Jobs–Global Intersection. Millions of these were labor union jobs.

When a job is exported the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. The citizens who lose their jobs might wind up with unemployment insurance, if they’re lucky.

This is one of the reasons why Thomas Piketty is able to write in his international best seller Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century that the US has the greatest mal-distribution of labor income of any nation in the history of the world. CEO pay has skyrocketed in large measure because they are able to ship millions of jobs overseas and redistribute part of the proceeds into their own pockets.

This is also why the 1 percent have gotten wealthier over the last thirty years. Currently, the 1 percent steal a little over 36 percent of all the income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1978. At the current rate of growth, the 1 percent will steal about 40 percent of the total income produced in the USA by next year.

The economic and political strategy of the 1 percent has been quite sound; destroy the middle class by shipping jobs overseas, while simultaneously attacking labor unions at home. That’s why there is such a vicious assault on public employee labor unions, and such a large push to give Fast Track Authority to President Obama, so that he can sign the Trans Pacific Partnership into law when it is introduced into congressional debate. This is the largest income and political power redistribution scam in US history, and it is falsely being labeled a free trade agreement.

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Why does President Obama want congress to grant him Fast Track Authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership? Why do Wall Street Senators like Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden want the president to have these things?

Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO, tells you in the video above it’s above shipping jobs overseas and lowering wages. He’s correct, and incorrect.

More precisely, the president wants Fast Track Authority in order to limit senate debate on the issue of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam of all time, falsely labeled as a free trade agreement.  The TPP will ship millions of jobs overseas and lower wages here at home, but it will do so to redistribute the difference between the old higher wages here and the new super lower wages overseas to the 1 percent via higher share prices, rising profits and soaring dividends.

That should tell you who the president and Ron Wyden really represents in the white house (Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffett, massive hedge funds, etc….) and who Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell represents (Goldman Sachs, Koch brothers, and massive hedge funds).

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Editorial by Brian Schweitzer

Ever since I wrote the opinion piece on the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity that recently appeared in several Montana newspapers (for example, the February 19 Billings Gazette:Brian Switzer on the Koch Brothers in Montana , I’ve heard from a lot of friends and acquaintances in Montana and other states. Folks were as astonished as I was at the amount of government subsidies the Koch brothers receive from one ranch in one state while they hired 11 staffers to keep healthcare from people in Montana. And others have pointed out that the former state director of AFP, former state Senator Joe Balyeat, happily received generous government-paid healthcare.

I do need to correct one error in my opinion piece. My calculations on the state and federal grazing subsidies enjoyed by the Koch brothers in Montana were wrong. They were too low. I based the number of cattle on the assumption that during the driest year since 1960, the Koch ranch would have reduced cattle numbers down that year. I gave them the extreme benefit of the doubt, but they actually have 6,500 head, not 2,000 head.

That means the Koch brothers government subsidies, on just one ranch in one state, are actually 225% greater than I had calculated, meaning the government aid to run the Koch ranch in Montana is not 12.5 million bucks, but actually $28 million. My bad.

These government subsidies help pay for the AFP’s “political attack on the moderate wing of House Republicans,” – an attack reported on by Troy Carter of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Joe Carter on the Welfare Queens Known as the Koch Brothers in Montana). Carter says Americans for Prosperity is spending thousands of dollars on radio and TV ads to attack Republican legislators like Representatives “Geraldine Custer of Forsyth, Doc Moore of Missoula, Christy Clark of Choteau, Frank Garner of Kalispell, Jeff Wellborn of Dillon and Tom Berry of Roundup.”

These are good and honest legislators – some of whom I’ve disagreed with quite a bit in the past – but they are independent Montanans who are being pressured by one of the wealthiest families in the world to deny healthcare to Montanans.

This is the same AFP the Koch brothers announced will spend a “staggering” $889 million on the 2016 elections (National Public Radio, Koch Brothers to Spend More Than a Billion Dollars on 2016 Presidential Election) – more than any political party has ever spent during a presidential election year. This secretive fortune will be spent to ensure that you and I pay for the Koch brothers’ government subsidies while the elderly, students, poor people and working families get little-to-squat. In essence, according to a political scientist quoted in the NPR report linked above, the Koch brothers have bought and paid for a new political party run by the ultra-wealthy for the ultra-wealthy.

When the Koch brothers attacked labor unions, some people stood back because they weren’t in a union. When they attacked the poor, some looked the other way because they were middle class. When they attacked the Democrats, some stood aside because they weren’t a Democrat. Now, they are even attacking Republicans in Montana. Montana, let’s stand together and send the Kochs’ money and message back to Kansas, where they belong!

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US Senator Elizabeth Warren and US Congressman Elijah Cummings today announced the launching of the The Middle Class Prosperity Project. Warren pointed out the unequal distribution of income and wealth has been due to the government, which has been rigged (you can say corrupted) to only help the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Warren and Cummings call for reversing some of the inequality which has taken place. Warren pointed out that the government earned over $60 billion in interest from nearly $3 trillion student loans last year, and that this profit subsidizes tax cuts for billionaires. She said that student loans could be renegotiated to reduce the interest rates student pay, and that would help out the middle class. Run! Elizabeth! Run!

Check out the USA Today story by clicking on the link below.

Warren & Cummings: Free the middle class–USA Today

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The top two percent do not pay any social security taxes on any amount of income they earn over $110,000. That’s called a cap on contributions. So a person who earns $110,000 a year pays the exact same amount in social security taxes as people who earn $4 billion a year. Currently, the 1 percent steal over 36 percent of the total income produced in the United States, up from 21 percent in 2009, and 8 percent in 1980. The 1 percent are stealing more of your income via federal legislation, such as Fast Track, free trade agreements, privatization scams, and tax cuts for the rich. the-rigged-game-how-much-do-us-corporations-pay-in-taxes?-well-now-how-much-did-bank-of-america-pay-in-taxes-in-2013-on-profits-of-over-4-billion-in-profits?-and-what-does-fast-track-legislation have to do with this?–JohnHively.wordpress.com

To make the social security trust fund more solvent, and it’s pretty solvent right now, the obvious initial thing to do in order to by-pass the government corruption that has brought about this lopsided and non-market related redistribution of income over the last thirty years is to eliminate the cap on social security tax payments. Let Warren Buffett and the Koch Brothers pay their fair share.

The social security trust fund has a surplus of $2.6 trillion that earns nearly $200 billion a year in revenue. Those figures would go way up if the cap were eliminated. If the 1 percent were stealing only 8 percent of the nation’s income, the surplus would be closer to $4 trillion, and collecting $350 billion a year in interest payments.

Obviously, under current circumstances, as income continues to be redistributed to the 1 percent from the 99 percent, less and less money is paid into the social security trust fund because of the cap. This will bring about the program’s insolvency by roughly the year 2042. Some estimates are 2035 or so. In other words, rising inequality brought about by government policies is jeopardizing the social security program.

President Obama and Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell want to ensure you and your grandparents live in utter, abject poverty so that the rich can continue to steal more of your grandparents money because they support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest and most sinister international income and political power redistribution scam in the history of the United States, which is falsely labeled a free trade agreement, and which has virtually nothing to do with trade. See the link above for more information of this.

See the link below for more information of the effect of government sponsored inequality on the social security trust fund.

The Effect of Rising Inequality on Social Security–Center for American Progress

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There is a simple reason major US corporations have one of the highest tax rates in the world, and yet, they often pay no taxes, and they often receive billions of dollars in tax rebates from the government on taxes they never paid, as in the case of Bank of America in 2013.

1. By having a large tax rate on paper, the US media propaganda machine, representatives of US corporations, their lobbyists, and their US politicians can argue US corporations have the largest tax liability in the world, and then they will manipulate this lie to generate public support for changes to the corporate tax laws to lower their tax liabilities, which means US corporations will then receive larger tax rebates on taxes they never paid in the future.

2. US corporations enhance their profits with the rebates, which redistributes income from tax payers, i.e. the 99 percent, to the 1 percent. The 99 percent receive less government services by this redistribution, and the 1 percent receive more income. Taxes, coincidentally, are higher on working folks because somebody has to make up the difference between what the government should have in tax revenues, and what the government gives out in tax rebates to the rich. It should be pointed out that any tax rebates on taxes that aren’t even paid is called welfare for the 99 percent, and tax rebates for the 1 percent.

3. The importance of the rebates are massive for publicly traded limited liability corporations, such as Bank of America. The rebate in 2013 increased the bank’s profits by almost 50 percent. That fueled profits to the tune of $1.9 billion in this case, which provided enhanced dividends, as well as surging stock prices to shareholders, and bonuses to important bank officers.

4. Much of those profits, whether actual profits ($4.4 billion), or tax rebates ($1.9 billion), provides more money for Bank of America to purchase politicians of both major political parties, which fuels legislation that further redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, which will then provide more tax rebates at your expense to Bank of America.

5. Fast Track is a current case in point. Fast Track is legislation pending in congress that will turn over congressional international trade authority to the president of the United States, which is something congressional Wall Street Republicans want to do despite their campaign against President Obama’s imperial presidency, which is, coincidentally, something the Republicans have allowed the presidency to become. That’s because the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party (Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, etc….) and the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party (Ron Wyden, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, etc…) are allies when it comes to working on behalf of Wall Street, and against the interests of the American people.

6. Fast Track will limit debate, not allow for any amendments to the looming international income and political redistribution agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and will not allow any filibuster of this income redistribution scam in the senate. In that way, the public will have less time to be informed of the scheme in congress, and it can pass with 50 votes in the senate, since no filibuster will be allowed, and in case of a tie, Vice President Joe Biden will make the decisive vote in favor of TPP. In other words, senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Sharrod Brown, David Vitter etc…. will be unable to filibuster the TPP.

7. We know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. The TPP has almost nothing to do with international trade. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). Bank of America Stands to Gain From This. The bank will be able to steal more money from you with less regulations, which will increase its profits, dividends and share prices, not to mention CEO bonuses. Bank of America is also spending millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of Fast Track and TPP.

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

In other words, the TPP has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s about taking away your money, your voting rights, and giving them to the 1 percent.

TPP, in other words, is designed to put more of your money in the hands of the 1 percent, and this money will be used to corrupt government even more while impoverishing you, and redistributing your future and the future of your children to the 1 percent.

You can rest assured, if Fast Track passes, and the TPP passes with it, profits, as well as the tax rebates Bank of America receives, will become greater, and at your expense.

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Inequality in the United States began with a simple idea; give more money to the rich so they can purchase the favors of government. This was called the Reagan tax cuts. The rich used their money to purchase more tax breaks in the political markets, and that’s exactly what the political area is; a market with buyers and sellers.

When President Franklin Roosevelt pushed for a 90 percent top marginal tax rate, he did it to act as a maximum wage, to save democracy from being purchased by the rich. Reagan let the genie out of the bottle.

Since Reagan, all sorts of legislation has been passed to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, including income redistribution treaties, falsely referred to as trade agreements.

Now President Obama is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution agreement of all time. Since 2009, the rich have stolen 95 percent of all income growth. The TPP will increase this inequality. Wall Street Senator’s Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden are all for the TPP, since they have a history of siding with legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

In other words, Reagan’s tax cuts began rigging the game of economics and politics in favor of the 1 percent.

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The Reagan tax cuts for the rich unleashed a ton of money that corrupted government, which launched the war against the middle class by passing legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as deregulation, privatization scams, and income redistribution treaties. The result is a massive redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, drops in real income for the middle class, the elimination of retirement for a large percentage of the population, the weakening of the social safety net, historically weak job growth, historically non-existent real wage growth, historically weak growth of US Gross Domestic Product, underfunded schools, and on and on.

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