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Posts Tagged ‘Republican Party’

Income and wealth inequality continues to rise in favor of the richest 0.5 percent in the United States and throughout the world. This is due solely to political corruption, often presented as making common sense. Former President Bill Clinton, who, like his wife, is owned by billionaires, is a perfect example of such political corruption, as much as any RepubliCon party politician, and that political party is the epidemy of corruption.

Twenty-five years ago, Clinton campaigned on an idea for limiting excessive pay for American CEOs by capping the tax deductibility of top executives’ compensation at $1 million, and corporations, not wanting bigger tax bills, might reel in their pay. Under the Clinton backed legislation, corporations couldn’t deduct CEO pay over $1 million unless it was “performance-based.” So stock options and performance-based bonuses became the norm. We were told this was a good thing, but, like many things the US public has been told by its corrupted political and business leaders, as well as the corrupted news media, this was a lie, and most likely a deliberate lie.

This lie has resulted in chief executive officers earning more money in less than an hour as much as their typical employee earns in an entire year. Notice the corruption of both political parties has decided not to rescind Clinton’s legislation that he signed on behalf of the rich and their corporations. Notice Joe Biden, an old, sleazy Wall Street pawn, hasn’t said a word either.

USA Today reported a month or so ago that “Stock options – which are often indicative of CEO performance – are not taxable, however, and as such, are often a preferred form of CEO compensation reported.”

Clinton’s legislation gone bad is one of the reasons why stock buybacks have become so popular with CEOs. 59 percent of corporate profits in recent years has gone toward stock buybacks, according to a story in the Guardian a few months ago. This is an easy way to manipulate stock prices higher and make an extra buck in the process. Corporations buy their own lousy stock, driving the prices higher, and then turn around and gradually sell their stock at the higher prices. Any high school student in the same position as any CEO would do the same since the result is higher CEO compensation.

Of course, CEO’s also drive wages, salaries, and benefits downward in order to increase their own compensation via stock options and bonuses. The result has been unprecedented income and wealth inequality. Thank you RepubliCon Party, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.

According to USA Today’s report, the most overpaid CEOs are:

1. Arthur L. Peck
• Company: The Gap Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $20.8 million (3,566 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,831
• Annual corporate profit: $1.0 billion

2. Ynon Kreiz
• Company: Mattel Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $18.7 million (3,408 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,489
• Annual corporate profit: -$531.0 million

3. Joseph M. Hogan
• Company: Align Technology Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $41.8 million (3,168 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,180
• Annual corporate profit: $400.2 million

4. Kevin P. Clark
• Company: Aptiv PLC
• CEO annual pay: $14.1 million (2,609 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,414
• Annual corporate profit: $1.1 billion

5. Brian R. Niccol
• Company: Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $33.6 million (2,438 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,779
• Annual corporate profit: $176.6 million

For a list of the top thirteen, as well as the full story, click on the link below.

CEO’s Made 1000 Times More Than Their Employees

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In 2018, the world’s billionaires saw their wealth grow by $2.5 billion every day while the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people experienced an 11 drop in their wealth, according to a new report by Oxfam, a charity organization that tracks income and wealth inequality throughout the world.

The report noted the wealth of the rich grew by 12 percent last year. Much of that growth was because the billionaires extracted it from the lower 99 percent using their levers of political and judicial power, having corrupted democratic institutions in most nations of the world, most notably in the United States. So yes, the wealth of the rich grew at the expense of the lower 5O percent of the world’s population and most everybody else.

“Since the global economy collapsed, we have learned nothing—the number of billionaires has nearly doubled, with a new billionaire being minted every other day,” said Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns. “While corporations and the super-rich enjoy lower tax bills, millions of girls around the world have no access to a decent education and women are dying due to a lack of maternal health care.”

In the United States, 30 people hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the population. The Trump/Republican Party tax cuts favoring the wealthy and their corporations predominantly benefit men, who own 50 percent more wealth than women globally and control over 86 percent of corporations.

“The recent US tax law is a master class on how to favor massive corporations and the richest citizens,” O’Brien said. Corporations, coincidently, much like the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, are tools of the rich and are used to tilt the economic, financial and political markets in their favor, and against the interests of the 99 percent.

Globalization is a primary conduit for redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Exporting US jobs via free trade treaties, for example, is a perfect example. Income and wealth are redistributed by these government negotiated treaties as US jobs are exported; the difference between the old higher U.S. wages and benefits and the new poverty wages in third world nations is redistributed to the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends, and surging share prices. The US workers, if they are lucky, might qualify for unemployment insurance for a few months.

Our economy has been broken by the rich using their ill-gotten gains to purchase the favor of politicians and US Supreme Court Justices, either with legalized bribes called campaign contributions, jobs for spouses, and/or their political and judicial actions are guided with a strong belief in class solidarity. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people live in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top. The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis and their fortunes grow by $2.5 billion a day, yet the super-rich and their corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades. The human costs, such as children without teachers, clinics without medicines, are huge. Piecemeal private services punish poor people and benefit the so-called global elites, who should be more accurately known as the global parasites.

“According to the report, “Women suffer the most and are left to fill the gaps in public services with many hours of unpaid care. We need to transform our economies to deliver universal health, education and other public services. To make this possible, the richest people and corporations should pay their fair share of tax. This will drive a dramatic reduction in the gap between rich and poor and between women and men.”

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/bp-public-good-or-private-wealth-210119-en.pdf

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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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It looks as though progressive, anti-Wall Street, pro main street, US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is getting ready to make a run to become the next United States president. She has always been the champion of the 99 percent and the scourge of Wall Street criminals.

Warren recently took a DNA test showing she has a small percentage of native American running in her bloodstream. For years President Trump mocked Warren’s claim “that family lore says I have Cherokee blood in me.” Trump, true to his immaturity, has always ridiculed her by calling her Pocahontas. This suggests the president and his billionaire backers are terrified of her, and the polls show why he should be scared of her.

During the presidential primaries in 2016, Trump was the only man standing in the Republican field, while Bernie Sanders was still running hard against eventual nominee and Wall Street favorite Hilliary Rodham Clinton. Polls showed Clinton consistently beating Trump by 5 to 10 points at the time, Meanwhile, polls showed progressive candidate Sanders wiping out Trump by 10 to 20 points.

This suggests a significant number of Republican voters would have preferred Sanders over Trump.

In the actual election, Clinton beat Trump by four million votes but lost the electoral college and the presidency. Warren would likely defeat Trump by a greater amount than Wall Street Hillary.

Trump’s popularity is running at 41 percent. Warren, assuming she develops name recognition and a funding machine as Sanders did, would likely wipe Trump out.

However, getting out of the primaries will be tough for Warren. For starters, the Wall Street billionaires who control the Democratic Party, and in particular its leadership; the Democratic National Committee (DNC), would do just about anything to stop a progressive candidate such as Warren, Bernie Sanders or Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley from ever winning the Democratic primary. Wall Street billionaires are terrified of Warren because she actually wants to put an end to business as usual, which is largely based on corruption.

Should Warren win the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, her most bitter foes will be Trump, the Republican Party, the DNC, the Koch brothers, and almost every living billionaire, and perhaps every living billionaire.

Not since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt will the forces of corruption be so united against one candidate. Want proof? The reliably DNC ally Huffington Post has run stories two days in a row denigrating Warren releasing her DNA test results. The last thing the billionaires want is a high visibility presidential candidate talking about bread and butter issues such as forty years of stagnant wages, massive income and wealth inequality, as well as political corruption, Supreme court corruption, and Wall Street corruption.

The attacks on Warren will come from all sides. The big boys are utterly terrified of her. This is precisely why both the Huffington Post, the New York Times and CNN, bastions of the DNC and its billionaire backers, have viciously attacked Warren for her DNA test. Let the battle begin.

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On June 11, 2018 PresidentTrump tweeted, “Stock Market up almost 40% since the Election, with 7 Trillion Dollars of U.S. value built throughout the economy. Lowest unemployment rate in many decades, with Black & Hispanic unemployment lowest in History, and Female unemployment lowest in 21 years. Highest confidence ever!”

Besides the obvious grammatical errors, what is wrong with the above tweet?

For starters, while the stock market has gone up since Trump became president, it has also gone down. The Dow reached a peak of $26,616 in January 2018 and dropped a couple thousand dollars into the $23,000 to $25,000 range since then. Most of the major sundry stock market indexes have dropped since January, such as the Standard and Poor 500. The exception to this has been the NASDAQ, which peaked on June 12th and has been falling for the past month.

The Trump tax cuts, in effect, haven’t done squat to bolster the stock market bubbles, though they may have delayed the current stock market bubble from completely imploding. As you can see from the graph above, investors and institutions, such as corporations, are borrowing in greater and greater amounts in order to buy shares, thereby keeping share prices higher than they would otherwise be.

In addition, the Republican/Trump tax cuts haven’t done anything to stimulate the US economy. CNBC reports the vast majority of tax cuts the rich and their corporations have received are going toward stock buybacks, dividends, mergers, and acquisitions. Typically, mergers and acquisitions result in job losses. CNBC expects corporations to spend $2.5 trillion this year on these things, and most of that money is coming from the tax cuts and retained earnings.

All of this is being done to enhance share prices, which also jacks up CEO compensation. This means the corporate tax cuts are being used to avert a massive popping of the current stock market bubble, which means we’re nearing bear market and recession territory.

All of which suggests the big money boys are throwing good money after bad, like tossing more money into a failing Ponzi scheme, which is kind of what the US stock markets are.

In effect, the Trump/Republicon tax cuts have not stimulated the economy at all, and, as usual, they are destroying jobs. This also means the economy is puttering along based on the actions of former President Barack Obama that saved the nation from the last horrendous Republicon president and his immense and devastating failures. This means the actions of President Trump have nothing to do with the current recovery since his signature legislative achievement is the tax cuts.

The tax cuts have increased the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. As Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist sarcastically wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times, “Good thing we didn’t invest that $1.5 trillion of deficit spending on providing universal daycare, ending all homelessness in the United States, lifting millions of American children out of poverty, and/or making medication-assisted opioid-addiction treatment easily accessible and affordable for all who need it. Clearly, the private sector has allocated that capital much more efficiently.”

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As expected, since the Trump and Republican Party tax cuts were written to benefit the rich and their corporations, only the rich and their corporations are benefiting from them, for the most part. The tax cuts were intended to increase income and wealth inequality in favor of the billionaires and multi-millionaires, and that is precisely what they have done, according to a perusal of a story in the May 11, 2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal (Buybacks Surge, Steadying Market, Wall Street Journal).

The Journal reported “U.S. companies are buying back their shares at a record pace, providing fresh support during a rocky stretch for the stock market when many investors have rushed for the exits. S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings for the first three months of 2018 bought $158 billion of their own stock in the quarter…. About 85% of S&P 500 components (companies which are also known as corporations) have reported so far.”

The Journal reports corporations can do this since the “new tax law” is “freeing up cash.” This is something corporations badly need since total US corporate profits fell during the fourth quarter of 2017. One can be reasonably suspicious that before-tax corporate profits during the first quarter of 2018 might also have fallen, especially since the US and world economies are at the tail end of an economic expansion. Those first quarter statistics are not yet available.

One can be reasonably suspicious that, as I pointed out in a previous story, much of the tax cut money would be used by corporations and the rich to fuel the stock market higher, rather than create jobs building products for which there is no demand.

The S&P 500 peaked at $2853.53 on January 26 of this year. It has been down ever since, influenced to a large degree by the fall in fourth-quarter profits. The Dow also peaked in January and has been down since then. This is likely why investors are fleeing the stock market.

When the Journal reporters write about “investors,” they are not writing about you and me. They are writing about billionaires, multi-millionaires, Wall Street Banks like Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, wealth fund managers, and other financial institutions that invest mostly for rich people.

So corporate managements are buying their own shares and taking them off the market. This is done in order to push share prices higher, which is a simple case of supply and demand. Reduce the supply of shares on the market, and this should jack up prices, so long as no other variables happen to come along. One of which is the decline in corporate profits.

Of course, there is something else CEO’s of corporations are doing to entice investors into the market.

They are taking the savings from tax cuts and offering higher dividends, which are payments made to shareholders. Notice these payments will go mostly to billionaires and millionaires, along with the higher priced shares due to the buybacks.

So the stock market bubble continues thanks to the Trump/Republican tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. Naturally, this only increases income and wealth inequality. Worst yet, with a recession right around the corner, all that money in buybacks and increased dividends is simply throwing good money after bad.

As a final note, I should point out that the Journal reporters (Ben Eisen and Akane Otani) are either stupid, poor reporters, or liars. They write, “The S&P 500 is up only modestly for the year.” Apparently, they do not count the month of January as being part of the year 2018 because that is when the S&P 500 reached its peak value, at least according to Yahoo. On the other hand, they write, “…many analysts believe major indexes would have suffered losses without the support of buybacks.” This is, of course, the purpose of the buybacks.

There is no doubt about the purpose of the tax cuts for the rich; increase income and wealth inequality in their favor and at the expense of the 99 percent. The federal government is now looking at reducing programs for the infirmed, the needy, the elderly, children, and others, in large measure due to the tax cuts. The federal deficit is now growing, thanks to the tax cuts. Fewer taxes collected mean fewer dollars for government programs that benefit anybody except the rich.

The federal government and the United States Federal Reserve Bank will only print up trillions of dollars to save the rich. The rest of us, being cannon fodder for the rich, are expendable.

For more information on this see Breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

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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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