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Posts Tagged ‘Mitch McConnell’

The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. So what? Everybody already knew that.

Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here’s how they explain it:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing their business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In other words, the wealthy few determine public policy, while the average American has no power, and very little of it when organized in large numbers.

This is precisely why there is little or no movement in government policy in the non-battle against climate change.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats largely held together in boycotting what they decried as a “sham” vote forced by Republicans on the ambitious Green New Deal. The vote on the procedural motion failed on a 0-57 margin, with 43Democrats voting “present” to protest the GOP tactics. Just three Democrats — Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — broke with their party to vote against the proposal for massive clean energy and infrastructure investments to rapidly slash greenhouse gas emissions and attempt to break economic inequality. The rest voted present, including six presidential candidates who co-sponsored the non-binding resolution S.J. Res. 8. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also joined Republicans in voting no on Tuesday.

Quite naturally, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against the do-nothing representatives of the rich, which can be seen in the video above.

Something else needs to be mentioned. The rich own the news media as much as they own politicians like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, and we the people only get the news and opinions the rich want us to see.

BBC – Oligarchy in Charge of the United States

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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

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The United States Senate Majority leader is a moron and or a liar; his name is Mitch McConnell. Want to know how far we have come from being a nation with many relatively honest politicians to the flaming liars of today? Check out the video below. McConnell rightfully claims the United States yearly debt is rising. This was caused by the Trump/McConnell tax cuts of last year, which mainly went to the rich and their corporations, and starved the US government of funds.

McConnell, however, blames Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In the video below, the late President Ronald Reagan calls it as it is with regard to Social Security. It is not part of the federal budget and does not contribute to the federal deficit.

Think about how far the Republican leadership has come down to where the Senate majority leader feels he needs to lie to the press and people. The Democratic Party leadership is just as guilty. It is all a big game of lies played by the two major political parties and much of the corporate news media.

I should like to point out that President Reagan was not noted as a truth teller, but compared to the corruption we have today in both major political parties, sometimes the former president can be a breath of fresh air.

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Charles Koch wants economic freedom. He has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to reach that end. Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to universities, politicians, think tanks, political action committees, the Federalist Society, and on and on in order to influence public debate on issues dear to himself and his business, Koch Industries. The money has also gone to elect politicians true to his cause. But what does economic freedom mean?

Economic freedom means Koch wants billionaires and their corporations to be able to take people’s property by using the power of government to force property owners to sell their land so that the Koch pipeline, otherwise known as the KXL pipeline, can be laid.

So what if you develop breast or other cancers because of industrial toxins Koch Industries puts in the air, land and water? Let economic freedom ring by letting the market decide the issue.

Child labor laws are an impediment to economic freedom and must be done away with.

Health and safety laws impede the economic freedom of billionaire investors and must be eliminated.

Rivers that are so polluted they catch fire with a match clearly demonstrate economic freedom. Policies must be enacted to ensure this economic freedom, which corporations once had, and which included the rivers and lakes of fires.

Not being able to pollute lakes so badly with industrial waste you can smell them for thirty miles impedes the economic freedom of billionaire investors.

Workers who combine their primary asset (their labor) into labor unions in order to bargain for higher compensation and better working conditions are impediments to economic freedom, but billionaires who combine their primary asset (their billions) into unions (corporations) ensuring they have less competition and greater profit are the most important of economic freedoms.

Koch’s actions demonstrate that he believes billionaires who control the mechanisms of government and both major political parties know what is best for everyone else, especially if their name is Charles Koch while the collective political actions of the woefully ignorant and lesser humans of the 99 percent to have their democratically elected government enact laws governing issues such as the above is frightfully silly.

Koch wants the market, which is regulated by billionaires and their corporations, to determine how polluted our air and water should be rather than allowing the people within a democracy to decide that issue with their votes.

Our current weak Wall Street regulations curb corporate profits and are therefore an impingement on economic freedom according to Koch’s logic. The real logic is that Koch wants Wall Street to have the legal rights to rip off everybody in the 99 percent and redistribute massive amounts of income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. And let the market (Wall Street decides the market rules) decide who the winners and losers will be. The reverse of this, of course, is to have freedom from Wall Street manipulation, and that freedom is something Charles Koch does not want the 99 percent to have.

Income inequality has grown as Koch’s vision as grown. The top 1 percent once received about 8 percent of the total income produced in the USA in 1980, and now they steal anywhere from 24 to 37 percent. That’s what Koch’s economic freedom has brought us. His economic freedom has only been achieved by turning our democracy into a plutocracy, which is a government of, by and for the rich only.

Actions speak louder than words. According to Nancy MacLean, in her book Democracy In Chains, Koch’s well funded proxy army used the threat of “…well-funded primary challenges” to force Republican Party elected officials to do his “…bidding or Lose their seats.” Koch’s well-financed proxy “was pushing out radical right laws ready to bring to the floor in every state through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It was selling those laws through the seemingly independent but centrally funded (by Koch) and operationally linked groups of the State Policy Network. it was leveraging the anger of local Tea Party groups (founded with Koch money) to move the legislative agenda of Americans for Prosperity (funded by Koch) and Freedom Works (funded by Koch). Its state affiliates were energizing voter turnout with deceitful direct mail campaigns. Its elected allies were shutting down the federal government; in effect, using its employees and the millions who rely on it as hostages to get what they otherwise could not-and much, much more.”

Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, himself a wealthy man, once remarked, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Our democracy is in shambles with both major political parties being controlled by concentrated wealth. We’ve been attacked by the Koch brothers, by the major news organizations, and by the billionaires who control the Democratic Party. They are winning this class war because of their financial clout to control politicians, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden, and their financial clout to determine the information we receive from the corporate news media, public and private universities, think tanks, and other sources of information.

The Koch brothers, however, are in the vanguard in waging both class warfare, and war against our United States democracy. The idea that people can limit his economic freedom, and Wall Street’s freedom to plunder and rape the 99 percent, is a horror to him. He does not know that the US government has been created for the common good,” as former President John Adams once wrote, “and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”

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There is a lot of talk out of Republican Party circles about the left and its plots to take away our freedoms, such as our guns. However, this is a lie. The left has been dead for decades. There are no popular parties of communists and socialists. Sure, there are a few remaining members of these old parties, but they are hardly a threat to the status quo. Most of them may be FBI informants anyway.

Nowadays, the left is the old political right on bread and butter issues, the environment, and much more. Remember President Richard Nixon? Over forty years ago he was a hard-line conservative who hated communism but made peace with China, ended the war in Vietnam by withdrawing all US troops, signed legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency, and offered a public option on national health care which was rejected by the Democrats. Nowadays Nixon would be considered politically far to the left. He would be a big letter “COMMUNIST!”

So when we hear talk about the left from say, Fox News, especially on economics and politics, those folks really mean the 99 percent. That’s right! They mean us! In poll after poll the 99 percent want a $15 minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich, an end to free trade agreements that are designed to export millions of US jobs but which benefits the 1 percent almost exclusively, Medicare for all, greater worker and environmental protections, legislation that will strengthen labor unions, and a lot more stuff that would be in interest of the 99 percent, but which would not necessarily be in the interests of the billionaires who control your government, both major political parties, and all of the major news media that keep you blinded to the things the billionaires don’t want you to know about.

So when you hear somebody on television talking about how the left is out to steal your freedoms, like a powerful gang of communists, that really is not true. These groups don’t exist in any serious way. That somebody on television is really out to steal your freedoms by distracting you from the real economic bread and butter issues by focusing your attention on the social issues. That person on the news is a paid employee of the billionaires on the political right. That person has little credibility.

By today’s political right standards, even old arch-conservative Richard Nixon would be a hard-line communist. Nixon was, of course, also a crook who resigned under the very real threat of impeachment. Nowadays, the political servants of the 1 percent can commit all sorts of crimes and get away with it, like torture, waging wars against humanity, and on and on.

Oh my! How things have changed.

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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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Did President Donald Trump get bamboozled by his own Republican Party? Or is he simply a liar and or stupid? One thing is certain. As a so-called billionaire, President Trump received a nice tax cut at my expense as of January 1, 2018.

The Trump tax cuts went into effect on January 1, 2018 and my federal taxes went up. I’m just a middle-class kind of guy with a respectable middle of the road five-figure income.

The federal government took nearly 13 percent of my middle-class income out of every paycheck in 2017. So far in 2018, the federal government, thanks to those lying political miscreants Donald Trump and his Republican Party henchmen, are stealing nearly 18 percent from every one of my paychecks. Now, I am paying 28 percent more in federal taxes while rich folks and their corporations are paying less.

I am earning exactly the same amount of money per week in 2018 as I earned in 2017. So, no, I did not move up to a higher bracket.

That makes it official; I am paying more so the rich and their income generating machines called corporations can pay less. And I’m guessing there are millions of folks like me seeing increases in their federal taxes so that the rich folks can pay less.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes. However, I do not like being sold something with a pack of lies in order to give corporations enjoying record profits quarter after quarter cuts in their taxes and to give billionaires and millionaires tax cuts they don’t need. That is precisely what the Republican Party has engineered with bald-faced lies, as usual.

Let’s face reality head-on. Just about every publicly traded limited liability corporation is a tool of rich folks, giving them the power to earn and steal money from the rest of us, as well as enabling them to corrupt our political and judicial institutions, which has allowed them to screw the rest of us over. That’s something the rich have been doing since 1980. (To see how they have corrupted the US Supreme Court, please hit https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/the-editorial-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-read-corruption-of-the-united-states-supreme-court-what-the-rich-and-their-corporate-so-called-news-media-dont-want-you-to-know/)

The rich, corporations, the Republican Party, and President Donald Trump have redistributed my income into the pockets of the superwealthy. No doubt millions of middle-class Americans are paying more so the rich can pay less. I want to hear about. Please take the poll below.

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