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From the Economic Policy Institute:

This week, the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on a repeal of the federal estate tax. A tax which only effects the top 0.2 percent of households and provides a meaningful check on the growing concentration of wealth in the United States.

Today, the top 1 percent own 42 percent of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 90 percent own just 23 percent. The estate tax, on average, levies a 16.6 percent tax on wealth being passed down from one generation to the next, but only effects estates worth more than $5.4 million for individuals or $10.9 million for married couples. (It should be pointed out that eliminating the tax will also increase income inequality in the USA and political corruption as well, since the 1 percent will have more money to corrupt are already extremely corrupt government.)

Repeal of the estate tax would result in a $3 million average tax cut to the wealthiest 0.2 percent of households and a $269 billion tax revenue shortfall for the federal government over 10 years. To put these figures in perspective, this $269 billion could help pay for the $164 billion federal highway and mass transit trust funds shortfall, President Obama’s $75 billion proposal to provide publicly-funded preschool to low- and moderate-income children, and the president’s $60 billion proposal to provide free community college to nine million students.

In one form or another the estate tax has been around since 1797 and in its current form in our laws since 1916. It was most recently amended in 2001 as part of the Bush tax cuts and again in 2012, lowering the top tax rate from 55% to 40% and raising the estate tax exemption from $675,000 to $5.4 million, greatly narrowing the scope of the tax.

At a time when Congress is slashing the federal budget to the tune of $5 trillion and making devastating cuts to programs such as food stamps, education, Medicare and Medicaid, college aid, job training, medical research and rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, Congress should be looking for ways to generate new income, not cut existing taxable income for the very wealthy.

It should also be pointed out that the principal recipients of government handouts in one form or another are the 1 percent. They steal this money via bribery in one form or another via government subsidies, military spending, forced federal public school testing, keeping the minimum wage artificially low, food stamps for employees of corporations which subsidizes their profits that go to the rich, and many of these corporations are enjoying record profits year after year.

Let congress know you that you are opposed to another welfare program for the rich. Join the Economic Policy Institute by clicking the link below and signing the petition.

Stand with the EPI Policy Center and urge Congress to reject the repeal of the estate tax, which only benefits the top 0.2 percent and ultimately hurts millions of American families through cuts to critical services. Economic Policy Institute

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The magic of the market of goods and services sets neither the lowest wages nor the highest. The corruption of the government is what sets the highest and lowest wages, as well as everything in between. When the government is subsidizing record corporate profits via welfare to corporate employees year after year it’s a good sign government corruption is behind the low wages, whether it’s anti-union labor legislation, legislation that exports US jobs, or immigration policies that lower the wages of US workers whose jobs cannot be exported. This is called income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percetn. The government has rigged the economic and political games against the 99 percent on behalf of the 0.01 percent.

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Editorial by Brian Schweitzer

Ever since I wrote the opinion piece on the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity that recently appeared in several Montana newspapers (for example, the February 19 Billings Gazette:Brian Switzer on the Koch Brothers in Montana , I’ve heard from a lot of friends and acquaintances in Montana and other states. Folks were as astonished as I was at the amount of government subsidies the Koch brothers receive from one ranch in one state while they hired 11 staffers to keep healthcare from people in Montana. And others have pointed out that the former state director of AFP, former state Senator Joe Balyeat, happily received generous government-paid healthcare.

I do need to correct one error in my opinion piece. My calculations on the state and federal grazing subsidies enjoyed by the Koch brothers in Montana were wrong. They were too low. I based the number of cattle on the assumption that during the driest year since 1960, the Koch ranch would have reduced cattle numbers down that year. I gave them the extreme benefit of the doubt, but they actually have 6,500 head, not 2,000 head.

That means the Koch brothers government subsidies, on just one ranch in one state, are actually 225% greater than I had calculated, meaning the government aid to run the Koch ranch in Montana is not 12.5 million bucks, but actually $28 million. My bad.

These government subsidies help pay for the AFP’s “political attack on the moderate wing of House Republicans,” – an attack reported on by Troy Carter of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Joe Carter on the Welfare Queens Known as the Koch Brothers in Montana). Carter says Americans for Prosperity is spending thousands of dollars on radio and TV ads to attack Republican legislators like Representatives “Geraldine Custer of Forsyth, Doc Moore of Missoula, Christy Clark of Choteau, Frank Garner of Kalispell, Jeff Wellborn of Dillon and Tom Berry of Roundup.”

These are good and honest legislators – some of whom I’ve disagreed with quite a bit in the past – but they are independent Montanans who are being pressured by one of the wealthiest families in the world to deny healthcare to Montanans.

This is the same AFP the Koch brothers announced will spend a “staggering” $889 million on the 2016 elections (National Public Radio, Koch Brothers to Spend More Than a Billion Dollars on 2016 Presidential Election) – more than any political party has ever spent during a presidential election year. This secretive fortune will be spent to ensure that you and I pay for the Koch brothers’ government subsidies while the elderly, students, poor people and working families get little-to-squat. In essence, according to a political scientist quoted in the NPR report linked above, the Koch brothers have bought and paid for a new political party run by the ultra-wealthy for the ultra-wealthy.

When the Koch brothers attacked labor unions, some people stood back because they weren’t in a union. When they attacked the poor, some looked the other way because they were middle class. When they attacked the Democrats, some stood aside because they weren’t a Democrat. Now, they are even attacking Republicans in Montana. Montana, let’s stand together and send the Kochs’ money and message back to Kansas, where they belong!

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There is a simple reason major US corporations have one of the highest tax rates in the world, and yet, they often pay no taxes, and they often receive billions of dollars in tax rebates from the government on taxes they never paid, as in the case of Bank of America in 2013.

1. By having a large tax rate on paper, the US media propaganda machine, representatives of US corporations, their lobbyists, and their US politicians can argue US corporations have the largest tax liability in the world, and then they will manipulate this lie to generate public support for changes to the corporate tax laws to lower their tax liabilities, which means US corporations will then receive larger tax rebates on taxes they never paid in the future.

2. US corporations enhance their profits with the rebates, which redistributes income from tax payers, i.e. the 99 percent, to the 1 percent. The 99 percent receive less government services by this redistribution, and the 1 percent receive more income. Taxes, coincidentally, are higher on working folks because somebody has to make up the difference between what the government should have in tax revenues, and what the government gives out in tax rebates to the rich. It should be pointed out that any tax rebates on taxes that aren’t even paid is called welfare for the 99 percent, and tax rebates for the 1 percent.

3. The importance of the rebates are massive for publicly traded limited liability corporations, such as Bank of America. The rebate in 2013 increased the bank’s profits by almost 50 percent. That fueled profits to the tune of $1.9 billion in this case, which provided enhanced dividends, as well as surging stock prices to shareholders, and bonuses to important bank officers.

4. Much of those profits, whether actual profits ($4.4 billion), or tax rebates ($1.9 billion), provides more money for Bank of America to purchase politicians of both major political parties, which fuels legislation that further redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, which will then provide more tax rebates at your expense to Bank of America.

5. Fast Track is a current case in point. Fast Track is legislation pending in congress that will turn over congressional international trade authority to the president of the United States, which is something congressional Wall Street Republicans want to do despite their campaign against President Obama’s imperial presidency, which is, coincidentally, something the Republicans have allowed the presidency to become. That’s because the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party (Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, etc….) and the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party (Ron Wyden, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, etc…) are allies when it comes to working on behalf of Wall Street, and against the interests of the American people.

6. Fast Track will limit debate, not allow for any amendments to the looming international income and political redistribution agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and will not allow any filibuster of this income redistribution scam in the senate. In that way, the public will have less time to be informed of the scheme in congress, and it can pass with 50 votes in the senate, since no filibuster will be allowed, and in case of a tie, Vice President Joe Biden will make the decisive vote in favor of TPP. In other words, senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Sharrod Brown, David Vitter etc…. will be unable to filibuster the TPP.

7. We know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. The TPP has almost nothing to do with international trade. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). Bank of America Stands to Gain From This. The bank will be able to steal more money from you with less regulations, which will increase its profits, dividends and share prices, not to mention CEO bonuses. Bank of America is also spending millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of Fast Track and TPP.

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

In other words, the TPP has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s about taking away your money, your voting rights, and giving them to the 1 percent.

TPP, in other words, is designed to put more of your money in the hands of the 1 percent, and this money will be used to corrupt government even more while impoverishing you, and redistributing your future and the future of your children to the 1 percent.

You can rest assured, if Fast Track passes, and the TPP passes with it, profits, as well as the tax rebates Bank of America receives, will become greater, and at your expense.

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Who Are the Laziest Welfare Cheats (Besides the 1 Percent)

Congress and the presidency are owned by corporate welfare, and corporations receive government welfare for what they give to politicians. All that welfare benefits only the 1 percent, and always at the expense of the 99 percent.

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The Koch brothers want to sue Chicago after city officials ruled their company must build enclosures around the mountains of toxic petroleum coke which are blowing cancer-causing dust through local neighborhoods. Koch Industries claims it would be an “economic hardship” to enclose the waste, but apparently they have millions to sue the city.

Chicago Tribune–Koch Brothers Demand Delays

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Rob Walton has avoided paying three million dollars in taxes using a charity. However, it should also be pointed out that the size of his income relies heavily on the public subsidies Walmart employees receive from local, state and federal governments. For example, many Walmart employees survive on food stamps. Many of these people might not be able to survive on just the terrible wages paid by Walmart. Enough might be forced to leave the company which would compel the company to raise its employee compensation. This would cut into Walmart’s profits and dividends, as well as likely push its share prices down.

In other words, Rob Walton’s salary and other compensation would slide downward if not for the generosity of the taxpayers of the 99 percent. So in Rob Walton we have a person who not only does not pay all of his taxes, but he also subsidizes his income at public expense, perhaps to the tune of billions of dollars. In other words, Rob Walton is the ultimate welfare queen.

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