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Posts Tagged ‘George H.W. Bush’

The idea that public school teachers need to go on strike in order to get livable wages and benefits is spreading, much to the dread of the billionaires who control both major political parties.

Early in March 2018, striking West Virginia teachers declared victory with a 5 percent raise and returned to their classrooms. Their organizing and their 13-day strike not only forced the legislature to raise their rock-bottom pay; it backed off corporate-linked education “reformers” on a host of other issues: charter schools, an anti-seniority bill, and preventing payroll deduction of union dues, and the rich who control the corporations that would benefit from these things are not happy state money went to impoverished public school teachers.

Emboldened by the success of the teachers of West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky are now striking, sicking out, rallying, and Facebooking to push officials to raise their salaries and defend their benefits.

Teachers in Oklahoma are set to strike on April 2 if the legislature doesn’t grant a $10,000 raise for teachers and a $5,000 raise for school support staff. It’s been a decade since Oklahoma teachers got their last raise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay for educators there ranks last in the country, with high school teachers averaging $42,460.

Like the case in West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are emboldened by a shortage of qualified educators. “Teachers are fleeing the state,” said Molly Jaynes, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma City. “You can go to Arkansas and make $15,000 more; you can go to Texas and make $20,000 more”—as did Oklahoma’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. The state issues hundreds of emergency certifications every year to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. (It should be pointed out there is a teacher shortage throughout the United States)

Arizona teachers signed up in droves for a new Facebook group, “Arizona Educators United.” Thirty thousand joined in its first 10 days. Teachers there are building a grassroots “Red for Ed” movement, spreading photos of themselves wearing red T-shirts to school every Wednesday and assembling en masse at legislative hearings at the Capitol.

The latest state to join the strike talk is Kentucky, where the fight is about pensions and funding cuts to schools. Having systematically underfunded pensions for over a decade, the legislature is now pushing to cut cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and other employees. Like teachers in 14 other states, Kentucky teachers do not collect Social Security, so they rely entirely on the state pension system.

These four states; Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and West Virginia are dominated by the Republican Party, which is controlled by billionaires. Strong labor unions can often help defeat the billionaires in state and local elections. Keeping the memberships in poverty and financially starving public education has been a political strategy, effectively waging war against children, the poor and the middle class.

On the other hands, the billionaires of the Democratic and Republican parties have to a large degree gutted the tax base of the United States by voting to export tens of millions of US jobs over the last twenty-five years in order to redistribute the massive difference between the old higher wages and benefits of tens of millions of US workers and the new poverty third world wages of the exported jobs.

Democrat politicians such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Wyden and Earl Blumenauer have joined hands with Republicans such as George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and John Boehner to export those jobs, and creating the highest income and wealth inequality in US history.

On the state and local levels, the rich control contracting corporations that feed on useless public projects and services. Giving the teachers raises and higher benefits means that some public money will need to be diverted from those tax guzzling projects to the teachers, which may negatively impact the share prices of corporations.

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How corrupt and sick is an economic and political system designed to churn out billionaires at the expense of everybody else? The top three richest Americans (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans. Is this what an economy is for?

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies has come out with a study on wealth inequality in the United States, which is a function of redistributing income from those who work for a living to the unproductive and idle ultra-rich.

The ultra-rich control both major political parties. So naturally, politicians enact trade policies and legislation that redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Republicans, such as the Bush clan, and Democrats such as the Clinton clan, as well as politicians such as Wall Street’s Senator Ron Wyden, and Congressman Paul Ryan have been instrumental in creating financial inequality. Quite naturally, President Trump wants to make income and wealth inequality worse through his proposed tax cuts for the rich. The repercussions of this inequality will likely be enormous. The last time such inequality occurred resulted in the Great Depression.

Key Findings from the study include:

* The three wealthiest people in the United States — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett — now own more wealth than the entire bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 160 million people or 63 million households.
* America’s top 25 billionaires — a group the size of a major league baseball team’s active roster — together hold $1 trillion in wealth. These 25 have as much wealth as 56 percent of the population, a total 178 million people or 70 million households.
* The billionaires who make up the full Forbes 400 list now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the U.S. population, an estimated 80 million households or 204 million people — more people than the populations of Canada and Mexico combined.
* The median American family has a net worth of $80,000, excluding the family car. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 33 million of these typical American families.
* One in five U.S households, over 19 percent, have zero or negative net worth. “Underwater households” make up an even higher share of households of color. Over 30 percent of black households and 27 percent of Latino households have zero or negative net worth to fall back on.

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We can pretty much see from the graph above what the Trump tax plan does. It raises taxes on those couples earning less than $80,000 a year, and reduces taxes on those earning more, until you get to the million dollar couples.

However, beyond the graph is something more illuminating, and both the liberal and corporate so-called news media won’t mention this because they don’t want you to know.

Income and wealth inequality will increase under Trump’s tax plan. In the United States, the top 1 percent already steal via legislation and trade treaties about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to just 8 percent in 1980. In addition, wealth inequality, already the most unequal in US history, will increase under Trump’s plan.

Do you know why? Because that’s what the Republicans and some Democrats like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden want to do!

Trump’s tax cut proposal will also reduce corporate tax rates, which will, quite naturally, result in higher corporate after-tax profits, which will then be redistributed to rich shareholders and bigwig corporate officers in the form of surging share prices and rising dividends. It will also help bid up the price of corporate bonds since corporations will be able to offer the rich higher rates of return with corporate tax cuts. Trump’s tax plan is really a plan to redistribute more money to himself and rich Democrats and affluent Republicans from the rest of us.

The government will experience greater budget deficits, which will mean reducing federal funds for Social Security, Medicaid, Aid to Needy Children, Food Stamps, etc…while, of course, maintaining or increasing funding for the military (which benefits only the rich).

Trump’s tax plan essentially calls for continued inflating of the current stock market bubble. Historically, the bigger the bubble, the greater will be the shock to the rest of the economy.

Naturally, one can look at the Republican created stock market bubble of the 1920s, and the income and wealth inequality that fueled that bubble, which led directly to the Great Depression. Then there was the Reagan bubble, and after a short blip of a recession in 1991 that cost President George H.W. Bush the presidency, the bubble renewed under the vigorous presidency of Wall Street’s very much owned Bill Clinton.

Under Clinton, there was a tech bubble, a telecommunications bubble (Bill signed the legislation guaranteeing it), a housing bubble (Bill refused to sign the legislation that would have prevented this), and, of course, all of these helped to fuel a stock market bubble (also fueled by exporting jobs to Mexico thanks to Clinton’s NAFTA). When the bubbles burst in 2001, the economy became a shambles.

Sure, the incompetent, corrupt and worst president in US history, President George W. Bush, followed the incompetent and corrupt President Bill Clinton into office, and did some really stupid things, like passing a tax cut for the rich that helped to create negative job growth in his eight years. However, to some degree, the economy under George W never recovered from the Clinton bubbles. It still has not, and likely never will, not without a major shift in political power from the billionaires who control both major political parties to people who will represent working folks, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Trump’s proposed tax cuts for the rich shows who is in control. It isn’t Trump, and it isn’t congress. A handful of billionaires need the bubble to continue to expand. Otherwise, they will lose trillions of imaginary dollars when it bursts, like back in 2008.

The best evidence of this collusion is Trump himself. When Trump was running for president he verbally assaulted in the most vicious of ways Chinese currency manipulation. The president has made certain not to mention this since shortly after he became president. This suggests one or more billionaires grabbed him by the lapels and told him if he mentioned Chinese currency manipulation again the billionaire’s club would take him behind the woodshed and give him a good political beating. Why would they do that?

When the Chinese manipulate their currency, it increases the profits of US corporations that manufacture in China and export those products to the US, and this, as you might suspect, fuels the stock market bubble.

As a senator, former President Obama also viciously attacked Chinese currency manipulation. However, once he became president Obama never mentioned the issue again, at least not in public. This suggests the same billionaires also threatened to take President Obama behind the political woodshed if he ever mentioned the subject again.

This suggests the same billionaires control both major political parties. Or, more than likely, there are two groups of billionaires, each in control over a major political party. However, it also suggests both groups close ranks when they have a common goal, such as making certain the public doesn’t know about how Chinese currency manipulation enriches them at the expense of everybody else, just like Trump’s tax cuts will.

 

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President Donald Trump has proposed tax cuts for the rich and corporations, which is another way of saying Trump wants tax cuts for the rich and then more tax cuts for the rich. In other words, the person who will most likely benefit from the Donald Trump tax cuts is billionaire Donald Trump. The 99 percent will get virtually nothing. In other words, Trump’s tax plan is designed to create greater income and wealth inequality in a nation that already has the most income and wealth inequality among the industrialized nations.

You will note in the video above, while they make some good points about Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, the folks at MSNBC fail to mention growing income and wealth inequality because the Wall Street controlled Democratic leadership doesn’t want its station MSNBC to mention it any more than the billionaires who control the Republican Party want their news outlets to mention it. Currently, the rich steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. In addition, the richest 10 percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, a historic and still growing record.

As corporations get tax cuts, much of those tax savings will go to the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging stock prices. The rest of us will suffer the consequences. In addition, of course, corporations will have more money to invest, supposedly to create jobs, as if giving corporations tax cuts will magically increase consumer demand. That’s not likely. So what will they invest in?

Historically, US corporations buy other corporations, especially rivals, when they receive tax cuts or higher profits. This, of course, creates redundancies in a variety of job areas, such as accounting and computer technicians. When mergers occur, employees are the first thing to go in order to eliminate those redundancies. Of course, to help pay for these mergers, income will be redistributed from those who work for a living to the idle rich as US jobs are exported to low-wage nations and the difference between the higher paying US jobs and the new lower wage jobs in China, India and elsewhere will fuel corporate profits, and push up dividends and share prices. This fuels the bank portfolios of the rich, and this obviously creates greater income inequality. That’s what those free trade treaties have been negotiated to do, and Democrats, like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, are not stupid little boys and girls who are ignorant of this fact.

This is one of the reasons why there is not a shred of evidence that supply-side economics, otherwise known as tax cuts for the rich, has ever created a single job, but there is plenty of evidence tax cuts for the rich and corporations have destroyed US jobs. Under President George W. Bush, tax cuts were enacted for the rich, making certain that the growth in jobs and real wages were negative, the only time in US history that has occurred under a single president since Republican Herbert Hoover.

Naturally, there are other things the Republicans are refusing to mention.

Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

There will be an increased federal deficit of $2.5 trillion, which is typical under irresponsible Republican administrations and Congress, just like the Reagan years, and the other twelve years under the Bush presidents. Naturally, cutbacks in federal spending will be proposed.

Republicans and some Democrats will insist the US is not spending a sufficient number of dollars on its military, so that will not be subject to reductions. The US spends more on the military than the next 25 nations combined, 24 of whom are US allies, but clearly, that’s insufficient because US military spending is quite profitable. However, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other less profitable programs that help the politically powerless will be on the table for cuts if Trump’s tax cuts for the rich sails through Congress.

The rich, of course, have stolen just about all real income and wealth increases over the last thirty-five years, thanks to their financial abilities to corrupt both major political parties and the federal government in the process. Naturally, their dirty money has also corrupted most state and city governments. So, obviously, the financial and political deck is completely stacked against the 99 percent.

Luckily, the Democrats in the US Senate will object to this irresponsible behavior because the billionaires of Wall Street who control the party will object to it. That’s the only reason why Democratic senators like Ron Wyden will likely oppose the legislation. Even some Republicans may oppose Trump’s tax plan because it is completely against the national interest, that is if one assumes the citizens of the United States who make up 99 percent of the population are a part of that national interest.

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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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us-income-distribution (1)

How equal should income in the United States be? The corollary question should be, What is an Economy for? Let’s begin with the later question.

In the USA, from 1933 until 1981, the laws and regulations the US government enacted were intended to increase gross domestic product and spur demand so that a vast majority of Americans experienced rising standards of living.

So with that out of the way, we can determine roughly how equal income and wealth distribution should be in the United States. But first, a little lesson. The United States government determines the distribution of income and wealth via legislation and trade treaties. Since 1981, the rich have been in control of our government. He who has the gold makes the rules.

So if a rising economic tide lifts most boats, and gives most everybody a better future, then that’s about what we want.

The current business expansion (the current rising tide) is leaving everybody behind since the 1 percent have been taking 99 percent of all income growth since 2009. Today, that translates into the 1 percent stealing 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. The economy lifted a lot more people upward back in 1980. As a nation, we were all better off then than now.

In four years under President Jimmy Carter, 1977-81, the US gained more than nine million private sector jobs, and with rising average real wage rates. That’s better per year than job growth under President Ronald Reagan and President Bill Clinton. And Carter did this as the US experienced two recessions. In addition, the US gross domestic product was only 40 percent of what the US produces today, and the population was 60 percent of what it is today.

More jobs were created under Jimmy Carter than under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama combined. Under the later two, family income dropped $7,000 a year because they focused (along with Reagan, the first Bush and Bill Clinton) mostly on passing legislation that redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as Wall Street deregulation scams and free trade schemes.

Meanwhile, during the thirteen years under Obama and Bush, out of pocket health care costs soared 85 percent, tuition and fees at colleges and universities rocketed 86 percent, child care costs rose 37 percent, housing jumped 28 percent, and the median net worth of middle class families has fallen 17 percent since 2010.

Yes, 8 percent of all income going to the 1 percent sounds about right, for starters.

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In the video below, President Franklin Roosevelt talked about the powerful wealthy vested interests that had taken over the USA government prior to his election in 1932. FDR proposed and signed into law legislation that curbed the power and influence of those vested interests in government at all levels, including a 90 percent top marginal tax rate. That reduced the influence of corruption in government, by reducing the money the corrupting people possessed.

President Carter was the last president under the old regime of anti-corruption established by FDR, which is why the US government never fired a missile, or a pistol, or dropped a bomb on another nation during his reign, which, coincidentally, is looking better and better every time we look back at it.

The Reagan tax cuts for the rich unleashed the power of the rich to corrupt government, and that is precisely why, as FDR said in 1936, corporate interests now consider the US government to be a “mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money (corporate interests) is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob (organized crime).” Parenthesis mine.

This is why the US government,

1. demands state wide testing, because it’s highly profitable for the publishing industry, and it redistributes income from local and state taxpayers to rich investors of the publishing industry.

2. wages constant war, because it is highly profitable in that it redistributes income from the taxpayers to the rich shareholders of the war industry.

3. gives fewer grants to university students, because it forces college students to take out more student loans, which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wall Street banks purchase the loans, and then issues bonds against the loans to rich investors. Students pay back the loans, but a large portion of their payment goes to the rich bondholders.

4. raised student loan interest rates from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on all new loans a year ago. Republicans and Democratic lawmakers supported this because it forces students to pay more interest to rich investors.

5. negotiates trade treaties, which are nothing more than income redistribution scam. The treaties pave the legal way for corporations to ship and create jobs overseas, and the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower third world pay goes straight into the wallets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, surging dividends and rising share prices.

The list goes on and on. The federal government is totally corrupted to the core, as are many state and local governments. This corruption is the only cause of the income inequality that has occurred in the USA over the last thirty-five years, whereby 1 percent of the population stole 8 percent of the total income produced in the USA when Carter was president, but now rob the rest of us blind by stealing 37 percent of all income produced in the USA. Since President Obama took office, the 1 percent have been stealing 95 percent of all income growth.

That’s why President Carter created on average more jobs per year with rising real wages than every president since him. That’s why Carter was one of the great presidents in US history. The 99 percent earned 92 percent of all income back then, and were able to purchase goods and services in sufficient quantities to create more jobs per year, and with rising real wages every year, than during the reign of any president since then. And that’s precisely why the propaganda machine known as the corporate news media, politicians like Wall Street Senator John McCain, and rich parasites are always putting President Carter down, and call him weak and a bad president, If we look back at the economy of Carter, and his foreign policies, we would call his era the last golden age of the American dream.

Today’s economy is the weakest in history by any measure, including wage and job growth. That’s because the 99 percent now receive only 63 percent of all income in the US. Those people can no longer afford to purchase the goods and services necessary to sustain a strong economy, and those in business and political offices know this is the problem that vexes this economy, but they won’t do anything about it due to the massive corruption.

Excerpt from FDR’s speech:

“For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace‹business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me‹and I welcome their hatred.”

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