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Posts Tagged ‘Political corruption’

In an interview with Anderson Cooper a few weeks ago, United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed raising the top marginal tax rate on the rich to 70 percent on earnings of $10 million and above. Cooper suggested this was radical for our time. Ocasio-Cortez replied, “If that’s what radical means, then call me a radical.” 45 percent of Republican voters and 71 percent of Democrats are Ocasio-Cortez radicals on the subject.

Ocasio-Cortez did add an important qualifier to explain how marginal tax rates work, “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.” That explanation is important because some fools on the right who have their strings pulled by the rich have deliberately used language to try to confuse voters, giving them the impression that tax increase proposals like this would affect most Americans, which they do not; think Fox News, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the Koch Brothers, and the entire corporate news networks.

The poll, conducted by The Hill-HarrisX, found that 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent tax rate on every dollar a person makes above 10 million annually. The poll found the idea cuts across partisan divides, garnering support from 71 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 45 percent of Republicans. Along gender lines, 62 percent of women supported the measure, while 55 percent of men agree the top marginal tax rate should be raised to 70 percent.

The proposal would bring the top marginal tax rate back to where it was in the 1970s when income above $200,000 (the equivalent of $1.3 million in today’s money) was taxed at 70 percent. Ronald Reagan then lowered it in the 80s to 50 percent, and later to 28 percent.

Do not expect the Republican and Democratic Party leadership to support such a proposal, even though the federal deficit is running rampant due to the Trump and Republican Party tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. The leaders of both major parties are guided in establishing public policy solely by whatever cash the rich dole out to them. That means these politicians implement public policy with an eye toward enriching their benefactors at the expense of the 99 percent.

Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the news of the poll in a tweet, naturally, by referencing a decades-old meme, saying to Republicans, “All your base (are) belong to us.”

Americans Support Taxing the Rich–Rolling Stone Magazine

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Reuters reports that “Scuffles broke out on Saturday as around 7,000 “yellow vest” demonstrators marched through Paris in a 10th consecutive weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.”

What the corporate news media does not want you to know is that these folks are protesting because their taxes were raised while the taxes on the rich were simultaneously reduced. This is why French President Macron is known as “The Rich Man’s President” in France.

In the United States, we have a rich man’s political party in the Republican Party, and a rich man’s political party in the Democratic Party. We are easily fooled into believing we have choices, when we do not. Working French people are not so easily fooled.

The demonstrations on January 19th were largely peaceful but Reuters Television reporters said they saw clashes break out late in the afternoon between police and demonstrators, some wearing masks, in Paris’ Invalides district.

Protesters threw firecrackers, bottles and stones at the police who responded with water canon and tear gas to push them back. The police in France estimated 27,000 people took part in the protests around the nation, 7,000 of them in Paris. Ten people have died during the protests.

Reuter, like other corporate news media, claim “The “yellow vest” protests – which make use of fluorescent jackets French motorists are required to carry in their cars – began in November over higher fuel taxes.” The corporate news media do not want you to know that almost simultaneously with the rise in the fuel tax, taxes on the rich were decreased. In other words, working people are paying more in taxes to make up the decline in taxes the rich were paying.

Those fuel taxes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader anti-Macron protest.

December’s demonstrations wreaked some of the worst violence seen in decades in Paris, as rioters burned cars and damaged shops and businesses.

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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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‘He was a grateful man…just not in a good way.’

The citizens of Florida may have dealt President Trump a death blow to any reelection success when they voted yes to Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to 1.5 million former felons. Naturally, this proved to be a great disturbance within the minds of the Republican Party leadership who prefer to reduce the number of people voting, which enhances their opportunities to win, along with electoral fraud, such as rigging voting machines.

According to Vox, “Black people, who are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated, will benefit the most. In 2016, more than 418,000 black people out of a black voting-age population of more than 2.3 million, or 17.9 percent of potential black voters in Florida, had finished sentences but couldn’t vote due to a felony record, according to the Sentencing Project. (Again, this includes some people convicted of murders and felony sex offenses.)”

Donald Trump won the state of Florida on November 8, 2016, with a plurality of 49.0% of the popular vote that included a 1.2% winning margin over Hillary Clinton, who had 47.8% of the vote.

Amendment 4 might very well turn the presidential election to the Democratic candidate, especially if that candidate is Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Jeff Merkley, all of whom are progressive Democrats, the antithesis of such corporate and Wall Stree Democrats as Hillary Clinton and Ron Wyden.


The final word about the election is that it was not a blue wave. Instead, it was a progressive wave against the corruption of both major political parties by the billionaires and major corporations. This suggests that the end of billionaire rule in the United States may be nearing an end, with the restoration of democracy clearly in sight.

The only thing missing is something to provide a big push, such as a major recession, but that is coming. It is just a question of when.

Once both houses of Congress are restored to the people, only the corrupted US Supreme Court will remain in the hands of the billionaires and their corporations. The corrupted justices (John Roberts, Brent Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas) will continue to make rulings against the U.S. Constitution whenever the financial interests of the billionaires run up against it, and whenever the interests of the 99 percent may reduce the continued accumulation of wealth, income and political power on the part of the billionaires, and at the expense of the 99.9 percent.

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It’s not quite what you imagine it to be. President Trump is right to shout to the Twitterverse about how its trade deficit with China is costing the United States trillions of dollars and millions of jobs every year.

According to a recent study by the progressive Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which is hated by the conservatives and corporate Democrats alike, “…the growing trade deficit with China…has cost the U.S. millions of jobs throughout the economy since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, a finding validated by numerous studies.”

Of course, EPI did not report a few things that are important to their study, and for our interests. So, as you read through a few of the EPI highlights below, I will make comments here and there in bolded letters. However, let me state there are a few things in this report that are not mentioned, and the corporate news media do not want you to know.

  • The U.S. trade deficit with China does not really exist in the sense that it is a trade deficit between China and the United States. In reality, the trade deficit is really between US corporations that manufacture their goods and services in the U.S.A. and U.S. corporations that have exported U.S. jobs to China and then exported their-made-in-China goods and services to the USA.
  • Another thing not mentioned is that a variety of studies show the export of every 100 manufacturing jobs from the United States results in the loss of an additional 300 to 1700 U.S. jobs.
  • The difference between the old higher wage exported U.S. jobs and the new lower wage Chinese jobs goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires who control both major political parties via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends. Thus, much of the income and wealth inequality of recent history is the deliberately negotiated end result desired by corporate-backed U.S. politicians and U.S. negotiators.
  • Currently, three people (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of US citizens. Much of this is caused by the so-called trade deficit with China.
  • Trade treaties are negotiated so that US corporations can export jobs, as well as create them over there rather than over here, and this also helps to manufacture U.S. income and wealth inequality.
  • Pretty much 100 U.S. billionaires control both major U.S. political parties and quite naturally they have rigged the economy using the corrupted U.S. government, and especially a remarkably corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, which includes two well-known perjurers in Brent Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • In other words, the income and wealth inequality we experience has been caused by the corruption of all three branches of the federal government, which could not have occurred without the complete corruption of the corporate news media.
  • Currently, the 1 percent steal somewhere between 22 to 38 percent of all the income produced in the United States, up from roughly 8 percent in 1980.

Here are a few of the highlights of the recent EPI report:

1. U.S. jobs lost are spread throughout the country but are concentrated in manufacturing, including in industries in which the United States has traditionally held a competitive advantage. Think Nike, Microsoft and Apple.

2. The growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 was responsible for the loss of 3.4 million U.S. jobs, including 1.3 million jobs lost since 2008 (the first full year of the Great Recession, which technically began at the end of 2007). Nearly three-fourths (74.4 percent) of the jobs lost between 2001 and 2017 were in manufacturing (2.5 million manufacturing jobs lost).

3. The growing trade deficit with China has cost jobs in all 50 states and in every congressional district in the United States.

4. The trade deficit in the computer and electronic parts industry grew the most: 1,209,000 jobs were lost in that industry, accounting for 36.0 percent of the 2001–2017 total jobs lost. (Think Dell Computers, Apple, Microsoft and a lot more.)

5. Surging imports of steel, aluminum, and other capital-intensive products threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs in key industries such as primary metals, machinery, and fabricated metal products as well.

6. Global trade in advanced technology products—often discussed as a source of comparative advantage for the United States—is instead dominated by China. This broad category of high-end technology products includes the more advanced elements of the computer and electronic parts industry as well as other sectors such as biotechnology, life sciences, aerospace, and nuclear technology. (This is because Dell, Apple and Microsoft, among many other US high-tech corporations, have exported millions of US jobs to China, or created them there rather than here, and then exported their Chinese made products to the USA.)

7. In 2017, the United States had a $135.4 billion trade deficit in advanced technology products with China, and this deficit was responsible for 36.1 percent of the total U.S.–China goods trade deficit that year. In contrast, the United States had a $24.5 billion trade surplus in advanced technology products with the rest of the world in 2017. (See number six in bolded letters above.)

8. Growing trade deficits are also associated with wage losses (in the USA) not just for manufacturing workers but for all workers economywide who don’t have a college degree.

9. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, growing trade deficits with China reduced the incomes of directly impacted workers by $37 billion per year, and in 2011 alone, growing competition with imports from China and other low wage-countries reduced the wages of all U.S. non–college graduates by a total of $180 billion. Most of that income was redistributed to corporations in the form of higher profits and to workers with college degrees at the very top of the income distribution through higher wages.

The China toll deepens–Economic Policy Institute

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When you vote November 6th for the Republican or Democratic Party candidates for the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, with few exceptions, you will be voting to increase income and wealth inequality in the United States and the world.

Below are some of the recent statistics on income and wealth inequality from Inequality.com. Wealth are the things that you own, such as homes, cars, stocks, bonds, businesses, etc…. Income is money you have coming in, such as unearned income like dividends and capital gains; while earned income is derived by actually doing something productive, like working at a job or starting and operating a business. Entrepreneurial folks are different from corporate folks inasmuch as the folks who manage corporations are often employees without clues as to how to make the businesses operate efficiently.

I should point out that control of the government via ownership of both major political parties has brought about an unceasing increase in wealth and income inequality in the USA and throughout the world. In other words, political corruption and corruption of the all major corporate news networks have been used to bring about unprecedented income and wealth inequality in the United States and the rest of the world.

Below are some of the most recent findings.

1. Three dynastic wealth families—the Waltons, the Kochs, and the Mars—have seen their wealth increase nearly 6,000 percent since 1982. Meanwhile, median household wealth over the same period went down by 3 percent. Notice they all inherited great wealth. Note that the rich have used their political power to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves.

2. These three wealth dynasties own a combined fortune of $348.7 billion. That’s more than four million times the median wealth of U.S. families. The dynastic wealth of the Walton family grew from $690 million in 1982 (or $1.81 billion in 2018 dollars) to $169.7 billion in 2018, a mind-numbing increase of 9,257 percent.

3. Three individuals—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett—still own more wealth than the bottom half of the country combined.

4. A third of the members of the Forbes 400 own fortunes derived from companies that were founded by earlier generations.

5. The 15 wealthiest multi-generational dynastic families on the Forbes 400 own a combined $618 billion. Their parents or other ancestors founded all of the companies from which their wealth is derived.

6. The Forbes 400 combined own $2.89 trillion dollars, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 64 percent of the United States. It’s also more than the GDP of Britain, the 5th-largest economy in the world. Just 45 individuals own half of this wealth.

7. The median family in the United States owns just over $80,000 in household wealth. The richest person in the United States (and the world), Jeff Bezos, has accumulated a fortune nearly 2 million times that amount.

8. The Bezos fortune expanded by $78.5 billion just in the last year to $160 billion. Even at the recently increased wage of $15/hour, a full-time Amazon worker would need to toil for 2.5 million years to generate this much money.

And so it goes. The entire Republican Party leadership has been bought by the billionaires as well as the entire Democratic Party leadership. In other words, the battle between the Democrats and the Republicans is a battle between billionaires. A few relatively honest major politicians remain in the Democratic Party, but they are not in leadership positions. Think Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, and a few others.

Think Elizabeth Warren for president in 2020.

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A blue wave is supposed to be upon us come November. The Democrats seem poised to possibly take back the US Senate and or the US House of Representatives. This is scaring the crap out of the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee (DNC). A democratic tidal wave may be coming, but it may very well be a progressive wave within the Democratic Party that sweeps the elections come November.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, and who worked as a waitress in her most recent job, beat Wall Street controlled and twenty-year congressional veteran Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district last month.

Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning win came on the back of an unapologetically progressive, grassroots campaign pledging “economic, social, and racial justice” for working-class Americans. “This is the start of a movement,” she tweeted after winning.

Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive campaign, calling for the abolition of ICE, Medicare for all, criminal justice reform, a universal jobs guarantee, and tuition-free college funded by taxes on Wall Street, and this later issue scares the crap out of the billionaires.

Bernie Sanders recently campaigned with Ocasio-Cortez. He wrote of their adventures,

“On Friday, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I went to Kansas and held rallies with two great progressive candidates who are running for Congress. In Wichita, according to local media reports, more than 4,000 people joined us at a rally with James Thompson.

Then in Kansas City, at our rally for Brent Welder, the convention center was so crowded the staff had to remove a wall in the middle while the event was going on to let more people in. These were incredible crowds coming out in more than 100-degree weather to participate in our political revolution. And, yes, this was Kansas where Republicans control almost everything.

There was quite a different event in Columbus, Ohio. Two hundred and fifty wealthy invited Democratic donors and Wall Street insiders came together at a gathering hosted by a real estate billionaire. Why were they there? The headline on an NBC News story tells it all:

“Sanders’ wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here’s how they plan to stop it. Party members and fundraisers gathered for an invitation-only event to figure out how to counteract the rising progressive movement.”

What are they concerned about? That our ideas, such as Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and universities, a $15/hr minimum wage and progressive taxation are now mainstream positions.

Make no mistake about it. The gathering in Columbus was not simply a social event. The corporate Democrats are plotting how to defeat progressives the only way they know how — with big money. But you’ve shown that, together, we can overcome their brand of pay-to-play politics.”

The big money controls the Democratic Party, as Sanders points out above. That money controls the Clintons’, and such politicians as US House Representative Earl Blumenauer and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. The big money boys and girls are scared, not of a November blue wave, but of a progressive blue wave that will sweep them out of the levers of power within the Democratic Party.

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