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Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’

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.

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According to Bernie Sanders, “If Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the estate tax is enacted, his family and his cabinet nominees would receive a tax break of up to $9 billion. Repealing the estate tax would only benefit the very, very rich. Meanwhile, these same cabinet members are hell-bent on cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Tax breaks for billionaires, cuts in programs for the elderly, the sick and the poor. Not acceptable. We will fight back.”

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As for Trump’s tax breaks for the rich, it will prove devastating to the US economy. We’re already in the midst of a massive stock market and illegally contrived housing bubble, and those tax cut proposals will simply inflate the bubbles even more, and redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Furthermore, repeal of the estate tax will increase the hold the rich have on the US government, and increase the corruption that permeates that institution like never before.

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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker

People Power Works! More and more people are fed up with the corruption of the Republican and Democratic establishments. Those two establishments have corrupted government at all levels in the United States to such an extent that the US federal government is now the most corrupt in the industrial world, and by a wide margin. And so more people than ever before are taking to the streets and voting against the candidates backed by Wall Street.

In 2016, the grassroots destroyed the plans of Wall Street executives and billionaire investors to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent a number of times.

1. A grassroots campaign turned Bernie Sanders into serious candidate for US presidency, and likely will send him or Elizabeth Warren into the White House in 2020.

2. A tenacious cross-border, cross-sector progressive movement of movements stopped the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) corporate power grab led by Wall Street drones Barack Obama, as well as Wall Street senators Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

3. Indigenous water protectors used nonviolent direct action to interrupt the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Carrier Corporation is moving to Mexico, and laying off hundreds of workers in Indianapolis.

Carrier Corporation is moving more production to Mexico, and laying off hundreds of workers in Indianapolis.

Donald Trump negotiated with United Technology (UT) officials to keep 1000 US jobs from being exported to Mexico. That means, however, that Trump failed to save 1100 other United Technology jobs from being exported to Mexico. Give Trump some credit. He negotiated and won some concessions.

Last year UT announced it would export 2100 jobs to Mexico, and Trump railed about how he would tax the products of any US jobs exporter that manufactured stuff overseas, and then exported their products to the USA. Trump was going to be tough on corporations like UT.

So when push came to shove, tough guy Trump backed down. Trump made a promise to save all of those jobs, and he backed far away. Give him credit, Trump wasn’t as weak-kneed on this issue as President Obama. He saved some of the jobs.

Trump will reportedly give the company tax and regulatory favors that the corporation has sought.

Bernie Sanders wrote,

“Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut. Wow! How’s that for standing up to corporate greed? How’s that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad? In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country.”

This sends a loud and clear signal that any corporation can threaten to export jobs and receive tax cuts that will be paid for by US workers.

Instead of being tough, Trump was pummeled into submission. United Technologies makes billions of US defense contracts. Instead of leveraging that, Trump offered them tax cuts. What a wimp! He had them by the financial scotum with those defense contracts, or through the use of selective tariffs, and Trump fell to his knees with a light verbal body blow. Apparently, taking a dive is Trump’s art of the deal.

So what needs to be done?

Sanders wrote, “If United Technologies or any other company wants to keep outsourcing decent-paying American jobs, those companies must pay an outsourcing tax equal to the amount of money it expects to save by moving factories to Mexico or other low-wage countries. They should not receive federal contracts or other forms of corporate welfare. They must pay back all of the tax breaks and other corporate welfare they have received from the federal government (and state governments, and with interest). And they must not be allowed to reward their executives with stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries. If Donald Trump won’t stand up for America’s working class, we must.”

For more on the story click the link below.

Bernie Sanders: United Technologies Executives Just Showed Corporations How To Beat Donald Trump-Washington Post

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donna-brazile
The Week reports:

The Democratic Party finds itself at a crossroads in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump, and party progressives want to see the “Clinton-corporate wing” of the Democratic establishment purged from the party. That will not likely happen absent an economic crisis.

The Democrats’ power struggle currently centers on who will be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, a seat presently held by embattled interim chair Donna Brazile. That’s right. She’s the person fired from her job at CNN for illegally leaking town hall and televised debate questions to candidate Hillary Clinton. Candidates for the position have rapidly multiplied as too many Washington connections have become a liability.

“There is no question there is a civil war taking place inside the Democratic Party,” said Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks of the post-election climate. “And the progressive side is going to win.” Still, it won’t be an easy fight: The Democratic establishment will “hold on to the party mechanisms until you rip it out of their dying hands,” said Jonathan Tasini, a Bernie Sanders surrogate. “It’s all about power and money and influence for them.”

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tpp-crap

By Arthur Stamolis

No, Trump Didn’t Kill the TPP — Progressives Did

If you read the headlines, Donald Trump’s election has killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The headlines have it wrong.

Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. Assuming we see the fight through to the bitter end, it’s the cross-border, cross-sector, progressive “movement of movements” that will have defeated the TPP.
While overshadowed by Trump’s election, this victory will be one of the biggest wins against concentrated corporate power in our lifetimes, and it holds lessons we should internalize as we steel ourselves for the many challenges we face heading into the Trump years.

Under the banner reading “A New Deal or No Deal,” the first cross-sector demonstration against the TPP in the United States was in June 2010 — a full six years before Trump became the official Republican nominee. Held outside the TPP’s first U.S.-based negotiating round, it featured advocates from the labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, indigenous rights and other social justice movements.

While we didn’t outright oppose the TPP at that time, we warned we would organize against it if it didn’t represent a radical departure from trade deals (of the) past that put corporate interests ahead of working families, public health and the environment.

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It took years of protests at subsequent rounds in Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Maui and elsewhere — coupled with hundreds of other protests in cities and towns across the U.S. and around the world — to slowly, but surely, put the TPP on progressive groups’ radar.

Over that time, first thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and then literally millions of Americans signed letters and petitions urging the Obama administration and Congress to abandon TPP negotiations that gave corporate lobbyists a seat at the table, while keeping the public in the dark.

We were up against Wall Street, Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Pharma, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the President of the United States, the leadership of Congress — in short, we were up against some of the most powerful economic and political interests in human history.
Countless people told us we had no chance of winning. But we persevered. Our allies abroad did yeoman’s work convincing their governments to reject the most draconian proposals from U.S. negotiators — something that dragged out the negotiations for years, giving us all more time to organize.

Together, globally-coordinated progressive coalitions from a host of different countries developed and publicized analyses of the TPP, pushing out leaked texts when our governments refused to tell us what they were proposing in our names, and hacking away week after week against media blackouts, relying heavily on independent media, social media and word-of-mouth to inform the most active elements of the public about the power grab underway.

In the U.S., after reaching out to groups one at a time to pull them into this fight, more than 2,000 organizations had signed statements opposing “fast track” for the TPP by April 2015. This, again, was before Trump had even announced his candidacy.

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An incredibly diverse array of organizations and individual activists were constantly sharing information and strategically coordinating their efforts to pressure key elected officials, such that we built a majority of opposition to the TPP in Congress — despite all the big-money interests fighting hard on the other side.

Check the timeline here. The TPP negotiations concluded in October 2015. The pact could have — and absolutely would have—been approved by Congress as early as February 2016 if the votes were there to pass it. Progressives’ work ensured the votes weren’t there. Keep in mind that there were still twelve major Republican nominees competing for President at that time, with Jeb Bush one of the favorites. Donald Trump had nothing to do with it.

Progressives stopped the thing then, and we pushed a threatened vote back week by week, month by month, until Congress broke for the summer recess. We knew a last-gasp attempt to pass the TPP might come post-election during the “Lame Duck” session of Congress, but we already had the votes lined up and were poised to defeat it should the administration dare bring it forward, regardless of whether Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or anyone else was elected to the White House.

We must remain vigilant to ensure there are no last-second surprises before the end of the year, but for now, it appears the White House has seen the writing on the wall, and has given up trying to finalize the TPP. Let’s make sure we’re not letting Trump steal credit for something he didn’t earn. And let’s especially make sure that the movement of movements is getting the credit it deserves. We’re heading into some very rough years ahead, and people need to be reminded of their power.

As formidable as our opposition is, when we come together across issue areas and geographic borders, we have more power. When we have each others’ backs, we can still win. As for the future of trade policy, even if we’re able to ensure that President Trump keeps his campaign promises and doesn’t dust off the TPP in years to come, and even if we’re able to convince him to abandon the TPP-like Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, his views on what should come next are clearly in no way aligned with our own.

Trump’s vision of internationalism is not one of human rights, worker rights, sustainability and improving standards of living. The President-elect is a man who, among other things, thinks that workers are overpaid, is hostile to unions, denies climate science and embraces authoritarian regimes.

We’ve all got a lot of work to do.

Arthur Stamolis

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berniesanders-wallst

Bernie Sanders said Clinton lost to Donald Trump because the Democratic Party no longer works for working people. It works for Wall Street billionaires. Specifically, Sanders told the Associated Press,

“It is an embarrassment, I think, to the entire Democratic Party that millions of white working-class people decided to vote for Mr. Trump, which suggests that the Democratic message of standing up for working people no longer holds much sway among workers in this country.”

“You cannot be a party which on one hand says we’re in favor of working people, we’re in favor of the needs of young people, but we don’t quite have the courage to take on Wall Street and the billionaire class. People do not believe that. You’ve got to decide which side you’re on.”

US Senator Elizabeth Warren also said of Trump’s win, “There are millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies. They voted for him despite hate. They voted for him out of frustration and anger — and also out of hope that he would bring change.”

Click here for the Bernie Sanders interview with the Associated Press.

Click for Warren’s talk with Politico.com.

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