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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 7692 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #510 on: November 21, 2017, 02:18:56 pm »
Republicans are PROUD of Giving HANDOUTS to their Rich Crook Donors 

Social Security Works

November 21, 2017


Since his college years, Paul Ryan has been fantasizing about cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Now, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has featured Social Security Works’ very own Alex Lawson, Nancy Altman and Jasmine Jefferson in an important video to break down Paul Ryan and the Koch brothers’ long game to destroy our earned benefits.

https://secure.actblue.co.../donate/ssw2017membership
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #511 on: November 21, 2017, 02:58:11 pm »
Donald Trump loses white supporter after his racist attack on black NFL star Marshawn Lynch
Bill Palmer

Updated: 1:34 am EST Tue Nov 21, 2017



http://www.palmerreport.c...arshawn-white-trump/6143/

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #512 on: November 27, 2017, 08:01:54 pm »
The United States Government is No Different from a Fascist Government


Given the merger of state and corporate power that is our government today, how are we any different from fascist governments?
Thom Hartmann Nov. 24, 2017 2:00 pm





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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #513 on: November 28, 2017, 02:55:25 pm »

THIS IS WHAT DICTATORS DO

President Trump is stuffing the government full of reliable cronies.

Not far from the White House, the building that is supposed to be the permanent home of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is nearly complete. This is assuming that, under the rule of the president*, and congressional majorities steeped in the politics and policies that made him inevitable, and a Supreme Court sliding toward a solid majority derived from that very same brand of modern conservatism, anything in our politics can be said to be permanent.

The CFPB is now in the middle of a signifying political bloodbath, the ramifications of which go far beyond the survival of that newly hatched institution, although its survival is important enough, especially to the citizens who got back some of the $12 billion the CFPB clawed away from the voracious tentacles of the swindlers in the financial services sector, where the business plan usually includes fraud. CNN surveys the terrain as the whole thing moves to court.

    Lawyers for Leandra English, whom Cordray named the effective acting director when he resigned on Friday, filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to halt the appointment of Mulvaney, who serves as head of the Office of Management and Budget and is also named in the lawsuit. Both Mulvaney and English were present at the CFBP Monday morning. Mulvaney was given full access to the CFPB director's office with "full cooperation" from its staff, a senior White House official told CNN, adding that the OMB director brought doughnuts for his new staff. English, according to a source familiar with the matter, also was present at the bureau Monday morning, but it was not immediately clear if she and Mulvaney interacted. English's move marks a stunning turn of events at the agency, which was created after the financial crisis to protect consumers and keep an eye on Wall Street. While serving in Congress, Mulvaney voted in favor of killing the bureau, arguing it has too much power and issues unduly harsh regulations, and he has worked alongside Trump to roll back some of the agency's rules.

According to the legislation that set up the CFPB, English has the proper claim to the office. This is because the CFPB deliberately was set up to be as independent as possible from presidential political influence—in short, to keep people like this president* from installing a crony like Mick Mulvaney in the job of shredding the agency he’s supposed to be running. This argument insists that English should run the CFPB until the president* nominates, and the Senate confirms, a proper successor to Cordray. Mulvaney’s case is based on something called the Vacancy Reform Act of 1998, which obviously predates the law establishing the CFPB.

In this matter, the current president* again is behaving in a manner quite typical of recent Republican presidents. This is how the last Republican administration played scandalous shenanigans with the Department of Justice. This is why the Reagan administration stuck people like James Watt in at Interior, and Silent Sam Pierce in at HUD. The only difference is that one of the people behind this president*, Steve Bannon, the last heir to House Harkonnen, hung a high-falutin’ think-tank name on this traditional conservative vandalism: “deconstructing the administrative state.”

The way you know that the president* is acting in this matter very much in keeping with current conservative ideology is that our current conservatives have lined up staunchly behind him. For example, Senator Tom Cotton, the bobblethroated slapdick from Arkansas, is pretending to be smart at the top of his lungs again.

    Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a member of the Banking Committee and longtime critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, called English's lawsuit "just the latest lawless action" by the agency, which he labeled "rogue" and "unconstitutional" in a statement Sunday night. "The President should fire her immediately and anyone who disobeys Director Mulvaney's orders should also be fired summarily," Cotton said. "The Constitution and the law must prevail against the supposed resistance."

“The supposed resistance”? I think ol’ Tom believes that the CFPB is staffed with people in black balaclavas. I’m sure Cotton’s hysteria has nothing at all to do with the $1.5 million that the good folks at opensecrets.org report that his campaign fund has received from the “securities and investment” industries. Come to think of it, before he signed on as the president*’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney was gifted with over 400-large from those same banking interests.
Tom Cotton

(And, before I forget, if Richard Cordray really does run for governor of Ohio next year, Ohio Democratic primary voters would be well within their rights to ask him why he threw his vulnerable agency to the wolves on behalf of his own political ambitions.)

But there is more to it than simply who runs an agency that the Republicans and their donor classes hate. Even Ronald Reagan wasn’t bold enough to pick a member of his White House staff as Secretary of the Interior. Mulvaney is still the director of the Office of Management and Budget, as important a sub-Cabinet job as there is. Even for this job, he’s painfully unqualified, being basically a garden-variety Tea Party hack with no grounding in economics beyond whatever he last read in a mass email from Heritage.

Now, he’s supposed to run two vital financial agencies at once, including one that he’s already called a “sick, sad joke,” and we’re supposed to buy this as normal? This is what dictators do. They stuff the government full of reliable cronies whose interests are detached utterly from the people they’re supposed to serve. That’s how billions of dollars in mineral rights from impoverished little countries end up in banks in Switzerland and the Caymans. They’re always good at deconstructing things, the dictators are. It’s one of their only real talents.


http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a13937211/cfpb-mulvaney-trump/



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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #514 on: November 29, 2017, 06:46:55 pm »

Trump is Finished | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ


GQ
Published on Nov 27, 2017

Quote
And thus my work here is done
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #515 on: November 30, 2017, 09:30:58 pm »
The Resistance Report: November 27th, 2017


Inequality Media Civic Action

Published on Nov 28, 2017

Tonight: the Trump-Republican tax abomination, and how we can stop it.

Agelbert NOTE: This is what happens in the next decade if this abomination of a tax SCAM goes through.



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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #516 on: December 01, 2017, 04:46:49 pm »
US President Donald Trump has addressed US news media reports on the imminent departure of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state without clearly confirming or denying them.

The rumours, which had been present for months, grew louder when the New York Times newspaper reported, citing senior administration officials, on Thursday that Trump intended to replace Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the CIA chief, in the coming months.

"He's here. Rex is here," Trump said in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday.

In a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: "As the president just said, 'Rex is here.'

"There are no personnel announcements at this time.

"Secretary Tillerson continues to lead the State Department, and the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump's administration."

Tillerson, a former executive for the energy company Exxon, took office on February 1.

Trump and Tillerson are believed to have disagreed on a number of foreign policy issues, including the regional blockade of Qatar.
Controversial remarks

Pompeo, a former Congressman from Kansas, is a controversial figure. He told Congress in 2013 that the silence from Muslim leaders on acts of violence committed by violent "extremists" was "deafening".

"Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow," Pompeo said.

The reports came a day after Trump retweeted a series of videos deemed Islamophobic from UK-based Britain First, a far-right nationalist group.

Britain First has held "Christian patrols" in predominantly Muslim areas of UK cities.

Jayda Fransen, the group's deputy leader, has been convicted of religiously aggravated harassment for accosting a British Muslim mother of four for wearing a hijab.

"I think the world has come to expect a certain level of anti-immigrant and Islamophobic tint from this administration. Pompeo in the state department would continue this trend," Corey Saylor, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' chief Islamophobia expert, told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

Regarding Pompeo's rumoured move from the CIA to the state department, Saylor said: "each position gives him different ways to advance the administration's troublesome agenda".

Saylor pointed to previous actions by Pompeo, including his retweeting of a blog post that called Raj Goyle, a former political opponent of Indian descent, a "turban topper". Pompeo later apologised for the retweet.

Pompeo's campaign later used a hoarding encouraging voters to "Vote American" by voting for Pompeo over Goyle.

Saylor said these actions could have a negative impact on his tentative role as secretary of state, the highest diplomatic position in the US government.

"When you're trying to negotiate with countries that are our allies, with the type of background and things he's said in the past, I think that starts things off on a completely different level than those who have been able to separate violent extremism from the religion of Islam," Saylor concluded.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/trump-replace-rex-tillerson-mike-pompeo-report-171130174219545.html

the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump's administration."

And THEY complain about fake news. They are the primary dispensers of fake news.

I think Tillerson is more powerful than the Kochroaches like Pompeo (and Trump).

This move probably spells curtains for Trump, no matter how much in line the Kochroaches are with the rest of Big Oil & Gas. Tillerson is not a nice guy and knows exactly how to get people that are in the way. He is an old hand at skullduggery.



« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 05:51:10 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #517 on: December 01, 2017, 10:58:44 pm »
I do not think the "shift to the right in the general population" is anything but a Koch bought-and-paid for media (false) perception. When honest polls have been done, the fact is that that the general population of the USA favors Socialism in government, not profit over people and planet Capitalism. Deliberately targeted voter disenfranchisement and undemocratic gerrymandering has more to do with getting Kochroachs "elected" to State and Federal government positions than anything else.

I'm not in disagreement with you here. But the effects are huge. And the Koch chosen torch bearers have managed to put great political power in the hands of Christian conservatives.

I thought for a long time about how Texas could go from Anne Richards as governor to Bush, then Perry, then Abbott....each of them a bigger toady and each of them perfectly successful politically.It didn't quite add up, until I was looking at demographics and I noticed that the Catholics and the Evangelicals together make a majority of voting Texans. And they share the same hot buttons....abortion, prayer in schools, fear of LGBT people, fear of being a victim of crime. They are a bloc.

It's not that they're Christian that bothers me. It's that they're persuaded by the kind of potent Orwellian means that you mentioned...brainwashed, if you will. They are the Koch's rank and file. And they are voting these people in.

And it's the courts too. There was a recent court case here in which the voting districts were examined and (even though they are ALL extremely gerrymandered) the only one found to be in violation was......(drumroll) that of liberal Democrat Lloyd Dogett of Austin.

Sure his district is gerrymandered. The Republicans put al the black people in one district --- his.  Never mind that my representative, the conservative prick Lamar Smith, has a district that cherry picks every middle-class suburban neighborhood from South Austin to San Antonio, and also includes  a nice slice of the rural outlying counties nearby (just in case). He's elected for life.


Yes, the level of corruption is off the charts. And you know how I feel about those so-called "Christians", not just in Texas, but all over the United States. Take any one of those holier than thou "Evangelicals" and quote some Scripture about John the Baptist telling people that if they have two coats, to give one to someone who doesn't have one and he that hath meat, let him do likewise (Luke 3:11), and they will call you a heathen Communist! There is NO "God" but Mammon in the "Christian" organized Church in the USA, period.

But to your more important, and profound, point that so many people are voting against their better interests, let me say that I have wrestled with that all my life. I see people being manipulated, suckered and made fools of, yet they remain stubbornly loyal to the P.T. Barnum bastard from whatever political party that smiles and glad hands them even as he or she lies over and over again. So I see where you are going with this and partially agree.

But there is a limit to the long train of abuses, Eddie. People are not as gullible as Hitler believed (see his quote below).

Psychopaths like Hitler and the Koch Brothers, to name just three, need to believe their clever lies are effective. Orwell brought that up in the book "1984" where the psychopathic government announced the ration of chocolate had been RAISED from 20 grams a week (forgot the measurement - you get the idea) to 15 grams a week... And everybody cheered...

Winston was not impressed. Winston saw through that. Orwell wrote the book because he knew that crap would be pulled on future generations. We are there. It's called "Tax Reform".

Psychopaths like to fool themselves into thinking we "little people" are all masochists and we just ENJOY (and DESERVE) abuse. Furthermore, they think they are DOING US A SERVICE by keeping us from doing whatever our "silly" minds think of doing.

Well, that is BULLSHIT!!!!

You can get away with that ONLY until your LIES are exposed. The Trumps of this world don't want to admit that, even to themselves.

All that Orwellian mindfork is falling apart now. Lamar Smith doesn't want to conserve the environment, the welfare of the people in his district or the right for people he does not  agree with to vote. "Conservative", MY ARSE! That bastard is a REACTIONARY tool of the highest corporate bidder, period!

I think that people all over the USA are realizing that they are being suckered with pretty words like "Freedom" and "Liberty" (and so on) which mean the exact opposite.

It is ironic that Communists are demonized for wanting to "corrupt the language" in order to undermine honest communication and truth (so they can take over the government from those poor innocent lamb Capitalists  ::)), when the Wall Street owned Politicians on the right (and several on the  so-called "left" too) have been the champion Orwellian mindforkers putting all kinds innocuous sounding or peppy euphemisms out there for activity that is actually horrendously exploitive and murderously crooked.

I can give you a LONG list of terms thrown around that, in practice, in the USA, mean the exact opposite of their definition in the dictionary. 

THAT, Eddie, is what has kept people confused and fooled into voting against their best interests. It has not been that they are stupid; it has been that they trusted. I will not blame the victim for what criminals have done.

At any rate, I think that is pretty much over. That is why the Republicans DO NOT WANT the masses to vote. That is why they are moving like greased lightning to gut what is left of our social contract. They ARE in hurry because they KNOW they ARE being exposed.

One more thing: If some "evangelical" tells you that Jesus is coming soon so we "don't have to worry about the environment", tell them they are disobeying Jesus Himself who said you MUST WORK (that includes STEWARDSHIP of the environment, not just giving Scripture tracts on a street corner) while there is daylight, because the day will come when no one can work. And tell them Jesus will spit them from his mouth for being lukewarm cowards without the spine to do what is right!

Tell them that the MAMMON worship they practice in their "prosperity preaching" church is CONDEMNED OVER AND OVER AND OVER in the Bible. And then tell them to have a nice day.   :D

Eddie, maybe I am crazy, but I think this country is hitting rock bottom and, at least spiritually, things will now improve mightily.     
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #518 on: December 02, 2017, 12:34:12 pm »
The Tax Scam Passed the Senate. What Now?

December 2, 2017

Republicans have jammed the Trump Tax Scam through the Senate, by a vote of 51-49. It’s hard to imagine how this bill could be worse: not only does it give massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, it also allows drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, exacerbates growing inequality, and adds $1 trillion to the deficit—which will force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security down the road.

The Tax Scam is not yet law. Republicans have two options for how to get the Tax Scam across the finish line, and then they have to immediately attend to funding the government. Here’s what comes next.

OPTION A: “GO TO CONFERENCE”

Since the House and Senate passed different versions of the Tax Scam, one option for Republicans is to merge them together by “going to conference.” This is where members of the House and Senate are appointed to a conference committee.  The goal is to work out the differences between the bills and put them together into one “conference report” which is then voted on by both the House and Senate.

There are a number of important differences between the two bills, first and foremost the repeal of the individual mandate that was included in the Senate version but not the House. There are also differences between the individual tax rates, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax.

Republicans have all publicly ;)  said they want to go to conference. Going to conference would more closely resemble “regular order” and allow for some review of what is in these bills. That extends the process of passing the Tax Scam by at least two weeks or so, because they have to appoint conferees, come up with the agreement, and then vote on it in both chambers. Given the deep unpopularity of the Tax Scam, it’s likely they’ll try to avoid conference at any cost by instead choosing Option B…

OPTION B: THE HOUSE PASSES THE SENATE BILL—AS IS

To really put the pedal to the metal on finishing the Tax Scam, Republicans can instead have the House pass the version just passed by the Senate. Even though Republicans have all said they want to go to conference, it would save them a ton of time and trouble to go this route instead. If the votes are there in the House to pass the Senate bill, they will.

Look for Speaker Ryan to quietly spend the weekend twisting arms behind the scenes. There is currently a vote scheduled on Monday, December 4 to “instruct conferees” (tell the members of the Conference Committee what to do)—but this could easily be turned into a vote on the Senate bill itself if the votes are there.

TURNING TO GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND DREAM

If Republicans go with Option A, it will mean the conference report on the Tax Scam takes a back seat to next week’s main event: finding a way to fund the government by the December 8 deadline. If they go with Option B, and the bill passes the House, it will mean Congress has finished its work on the Tax Scam.

Either way, our attention now needs to be on funding the government and holding Democrats to their commitment to secure inclusion of the DREAM Act in the funding bill. Democrats have promised for three months that they will use their leverage on the December spending bill to get the DREAM Act done. Now it’s time for them to deliver. Read more and find out how you can help Dreamers at www.dreamerpledge.org.

https://www.trumptaxscam.org/what-now
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #519 on: December 03, 2017, 03:49:05 pm »
https://www.counterpunch....lt-on-the-working-people/

December 1, 2017
Tax Cuts for the Super Rich, Financial Assault on the Working People



by REZA FIYOUZAT

Tax plans are basically pictures of envisioned futures. So, to distill to its essence the tax proposal currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress and promoted by President Trump as something beautiful, we should counter-market it as: Jacking Up the Social Rent for the Working Peoples Act.

Marx described law as the official codification of the status of the lines of battle in the class struggle. For example, if the law dictates that child labor is allowed, capital has won; if specific laws ban such things, those on the side of labor and decency have won the battle. Likewise, if the prevailing law designates wealth accumulated through financial speculation as a separate class of income worth more, compared to earnings through labor (intellectual or physical), finance capital has won the battle. For now, at least.

The Republicans’ intension is very clear: strategic weakening of our side, by chipping away at, by damaging, destroying completely when and where possible, and by taking away as much of the public infrastructure as they can; infrastructure we need for our basic survival in safety. And by doing so, they reduce our ability to put up an effective fight down the line.

On the face of it, the proposed tax plan is marketed as something to help most earners receive some tax cuts. In absolute dollar amounts, however, here are some revealing figures from an article published by the Forbes magazine:

“In dollar terms, 53% of the cuts would go to the top 1% and 30% to the top 0.1% (those with expanded cash income of $3.4 million or more). Put another way, the top 1% would see an average $129,030 tax cut and the top 0.1% would save an average of $722,510, while those in the middle quintile would save an average of $660 per family.”

Clearly, the short-term benefits for most workers (all of which will disappear by 2027 at the latest) are minimal in terms of the extra purchasing power those tax savings can provide. Most likely, the average workers will receive enough extra cash to pay somebody back, on due payments. Meanwhile, the top 0.1% will receive enough tax cuts to cover the costs of servicing and maintaining their yachts for a year.

However, the reduced amounts in tax revenues as a result of the wealth gifted to the rich, amounting to trillions of dollars over the next decade, will necessitate reduced spending on social needs of ordinary people.

In terms of long-term loss of social services, social benefits, as well as the loss of investments in public infrastructure, in safe roads and bridges, to expenditures on basic health and education for working people, all the way to environmental protections, to enforcing workplace and housing safety standards, in all these and myriad other social needs, permanent losses are guaranteed to be enforced as severely as they are currently enforced in Greece; the totality of social loss for the average citizens, over the coming generations, will be certain and will go deep.

Wealth destruction, a necessary component of economic cycles that characterize capitalist ‘development’, does not have to happen in over-dramatic, huge and immensely destructive one-time events, such as wars or market crashes, or long recessions such as the one we’re still recovering from. Wealth destruction can be written into law, to be implemented in slow motion and over long periods of time, aimed at very surgically selected populations; just as the current tax proposal is aiming to do.

The more social services are privatized, the more varied social services will be denied to the most vulnerable. A decent education, good healthcare, safe streets, safe neighborhoods; even basic healthcare, safe food, water or soil for planting; all will be things to be paid for. There will be gradations of all these privatized goods, and an associated rent for every level of quality of goods and services provided.

Another dimension of taxation relates to the recently leaked Paradise Papers, documenting in some detail what has been known for long: international finance has created internationally dispersed centers for cash to be parked safely and away from snatching hands of governments, safe from taxation. As the population constituting the tax base shrinks and is less populated by corporations and the top 1%, it will be more densely populated by the people who earn a living by working.

This amounts to an extra layer of (social) expropriation of surplus from the working classes. In other words, this tax plan, if passed, will be the official codification into law of a higher social rent to be paid by working families. In the same process, the corporations and the top 1%, by the letter of the law, and speaking through their pliable representatives in the U.S. Congress, will give themselves a huge tax break (pay raise) by codifying into law, at a higher valuation, even more of the specific form of income only they cab earn.

***

1) Let’s take a quick look at the historical record of the percentages of taxes paid by the corporations v. individual earners.

The graph below from the Forbes magazine paints a few telling stories:


[Source: Forbes]

To sum up the data in this graph, since about 1944, we the individual taxpayers have steadily paid between 45% and 50% of all income taxes, while the corporations have seen a steady decrease in their tax contributions, from about 40% to 10%. The trend is clear. Corporations are winning the tax battles, and we the workers have been losing consistently, one tax ‘reform’ after another, for the last seven decades.

Another revealing set of figures comes from a chart prepared for a Tax Policy Center analysis, in which we find that the income taxes paid by corporations in 2016, for example, amounted to about 18% of the amount paid by individuals; in other words, for every $100 we chipped in, they put in $18. With Trump’s tax plan, they’ll get to contribute even less, while we’ll have to contribute more (and increasingly more so by 2027).

In the above-mentioned chart prepared by the Tax Policy Center, we also find that the last time corporations paid more income taxes than individuals was the year 1943.

2) Now consider the fact that different types of earnings are subject to different rates of taxation. There are many levels of tax brackets, but there are two types of (legal) earnings, according to the current tax laws: Financial earnings v. wage earnings. Income tax rates for workers range from about 15% to about 40%, while capital gains tax rates start from zero and max out at 20%, or a bit more depending on the investment.

As a September 2017 Bloomberg article summarizes it, “This isn’t some quirk of the U.S. tax code. Politicians have intentionally set tax rates on wages much higher than those on long-term investment returns … Americans with so-called unearned income—qualified dividends and long-term capital gains—get a break. A billionaire investor can pay about the same marginal rate as a $40,000-a-year worker, a fact Warren Buffett has famously lamented.”

The proposed tax plan by the Republicans will not only lower the tax rates on capital gains, it also makes is easier for top earners to qualify more of their earnings for lower rates of taxation.

3) Meanwhile, there are tax havens that are available only to the top 1%. A New York Times series report regarding the leaked Paradise Papers sums up the scale of money hidden from taxation: “The United States loses … close to $70 billion a year in tax revenue due to the shifting of corporate profits to tax havens. That’s close to 20 percent of the corporate tax revenue that is collected each year.”

The descriptions of how multinationals use internationally recognized laws to move cash away from any taxation are various and the readings in The New York Times’ series (including a revealing one on Apple) make for instructive reading.

Just in one example, presented in language (and graphics) easily understood by a layman like me, we learn how in one year Google redirected incomes worth $15.5 billion through Google Ireland Holdings (incorporated in Ireland, but ‘managed’ in Bermuda, where it “employs only a handful of people there.”), thereby completely avoiding any taxation for those billions in earnings. Another egregious culprit is Apple, parking close to $240 billion in earnings overseas.

These tax havens translate into a significant further reduction of the taxable population.

4) Destruction of certain kinds of wealth (owned by middle income, working people) and the demolition of social services (for everybody who earns by working, and the poor) will be the direct result of Trump’s tax plan. That’s the most primary intent of this tax plan.

For an example of how certain kinds of wealth can be destroyed systematically through mere legislation, consider the elimination of deductions on mortgages. Home ownership is marketed as the American Dream. The elimination of deductions on mortgages will naturally result in a higher cost of maintaining a home, thereby reducing the value of the homes owned by individual earners, while making home ownership harder to attain.

Given the fact that most individual homeowners have fixed incomes, increases in the costs of home ownership will result in reduced spending in other areas, which in turn will lead to a dip in aggregate demand. That would result in increasing recessionary pressures, as economists would put it. This is yet another form of wealth destruction that will keep trickling down.

An indirect (maybe intended) benefactor of the increase in home ownership costs is the investor in the rental market. A footnote to the ‘recovery’ in the housing market has been this: most of the houses that were swept up in the last foreclosure catastrophe (brought about by the banks) were … well, bought up mostly by the banks and investors, American and otherwise, at a fraction of the prices those houses had closed for in the original mortgages. Those houses have now moved to the rental side of the housing market. Since the housing crash, mortgages have enjoyed low interest rates, so mortgage payments remain steady, and in fact go down slowly in monthly payments as homeowners pay off their mortgage and as the interest portion goes down steadily.

Rents however have been steadily rising for the past decade, benefiting the corporate investors, who are now collecting more from renters than they would have in mortgage payments from home buyers.

That’s just one example; the wealth destructions intended by this tax plan go further. According to a thorough analysis by Jack Rasmus (CounterPunch, Nov. 13, 2017) the actual amount of budget deficit this tax plan will create over the next ten years is over $4.5 trillion, and not the $1.5 trillion its architects are projecting.

In terms of how much the largest corporations will benefit from all the proposed cuts coming their way, Rasmus’s conclusion, based on a review of available public records, Congressional analyses as well as those by reputable tax analysts, is clear:

“All [the intended benefits] amounts to a total tax cut windfall for US multinational corporations of at least $500 billion, and likely even hundreds of billions of dollars more over the coming decade.”

But, who pays for this windfall for the corporations? Here is a partial list (readers are encouraged to read the full Rasmus article for a more complete list and explanations for each item):

* Reduction of Personal Exemptions and Standard Deductions = $1.6 trillion tax hike for working families over the next decade

* Elimination of Itemized Deductions = $1.3 trillion tax hike for working families over the next decade

* Other major tax hikes on the working families come in the form of:

a) Elimination of Alternative Energy Credits = $12.3 billion a year

b) Elimination of Adoption Credits = $3.8 billion a year

c) Elimination of Flexible Health Savings Accounts and Elderly Dependents Expenses = $540 billion a year

d) Elimination of Education Credits = $65 to $95 billion over the next decade

As the reader can see, the proposed tax plan will nickel and dime the working families, so as to hand over a gigantic amount of public money to the corporations and the top 1% of the earners.

Rasmus further explains that the elimination of just three capital income tax loopholes currently enjoyed by the corporations would have paid for the tax breaks corporations are receiving:

“If Trump-Ryan really wanted to raise taxes, instead of targeting the middle class, they could have easily raised $2 trillion by ending just two other programs: Eliminating the preferential tax rate for long term capital gains taxation … and ending the practice of foregoing all taxation on stocks transferred at death, for which recipients of the stock pay no taxes whatsoever.”

Also, the elimination of corporate tax deductions for payments made into company pensions and health insurance plans would result in another $2.5 trillion in tax revenues. Rasmus asks rhetorically: “Workers don’t get to deduct their contributions to these plans. Why should employers?”

Another instance of two different deductions for the same items, but for two classes of people.

***

The bottom line of the tax proposals making their way through the U.S. Congress is to reduce the value of the type of wealth working people can accumulate. At the same time, the ruling elites aim to reduce even the possibility of the accumulation by others of that lesser type of wealth, in the first place. Corollary to that is a raise given to the value of the type of wealth that only corporations and the top 1% can earn.

We have reached a more savage stage in late capitalism’s development, whereby the capitalist classes have gone boundlessly rabid and are holding entire societies for ransom, from Greece to the U.S., demanding to be paid more as they provide fewer services and protections.

The question for us is: Why should we keep paying? Should we not strike? If ‘strike’, how? There is strike, and there is strike back. What can we do to combat this monstrosity of increasingly higher taxes for working people, minus political representation?

As relates to taxation, two simultaneous demands must be raised. First, and as the left has been advocating for decades, we need to mobilize and agitate for a tax rate that reflects the actual benefits drawn from the infrastructure: Those who benefit the most from the infrastructure must pay the highest tax rates. There has also got to be a minimum tax for the top income earners, and a graded, increasingly higher level of taxation on incomes exceeding a few millions.

Further, the rates of taxation on the rich and the corporations need to be sufficient to provide for healthy levels of support for all necessities of life for all citizens. Top taxation rates for corporations must reflect their incomes and profits, in at least the same proportion as tax rates for workers. The same must apply to rates of taxation on all forms of earning, regardless of whether gained through working or investing. Ideally, there also has to be a maximum income allowed, after which taxation rates should automatically reach 100%, or close to it.

Second, it is not enough to settle on a fair and just apportionment to each class of earners the percentage of taxes that must be paid.

Imagine that the corporations paid 90% of their income in taxes, as did the top 1% of earners; and imagine that people making under $30,000 paid zero in taxes, as corporations and the rich paid all their taxes, with all the loopholes closed. At the same time, imagine that all the extra tax revenues went toward more war making abroad, more R&D into weapons of mass destruction, more surveillance and keeping a close eye on citizens for any signs of dissent; and nothing else. What are the benefits of such a progressive taxation?

On a second front, we must simultaneously organize with the aim to change the public expectations regarding how our taxes are spent, and who decides how taxes are spent. We can, and must, advocate for a tax system in which, as I have been arguing, we the taxpayers directly decide how (at least) 50% of our tax revenues should be spent. How the other half (or less) of tax revenues is to be spent can be decided by the legislative representatives. We can start to organize the move for this initiative at the state level, especially in states in which ballot initiatives are allowed, and, in time, we can persuade progressive leaning candidates to endorse this demand. In the medium term, it is possible to change the public expectations regarding taxation. There are alternatives to the current system.

Trump administration’s visibly vicious attacks have been ongoing from day one. Although lacking any major legislative victories, they have managed to undo plenty of small yet positive measures that had gone into effect during Obama’s eight years in office, especially with regard to environmental regulations. The Republicans have already changed the face of the judiciary at its highest level, and are working their way down the hierarchy. On other fronts, they have depleted the EPA of resources, and have gutted regulations protecting people’s air and water already, and they are not stopping there. As for giving away public goods, they intend to hand the Internet over to giant telecoms, and the schools to private equity firms. In good time, they may even succeed in handing Social Security funds over to the Wall Street.

In terms of long term and long lasting damage, though, the tax proposals they are pushing through the Congress will harm the social fabric on a scale that will take decades to recover from. There will be wealth destruction to equal that of a never-ending war, which this tax plan actually amounts to.
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More articles by:REZA FIYOUZAT


Reza Fiyouzat may be contacted at: rfiyouzat@yahoo.com


RE,
GREAT post!   


Here's more:

 

December 1, 2017

GOP Tax Bill is Even Worse Than We Think

The secretive Senate Republican tax bill is one of the largest wealth transfers to elites in US history, and economist James Henry says its damage to lower-income earners will likely be even worse than thought once its full contents are known

http://therealnews.com/t2...27%20style=%27color:#000;
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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #520 on: December 05, 2017, 12:48:06 pm »
As a conservative , I can appreciate that Trump can be a jerk at times. However, can the liberals give us just one policy of his they think is harmful to America? 

Quote
Matt Mariano, former Software Engineer
Answered Nov 22

Supporting Nazis.

Endorsing pedo phile to keep a senate seat.

Colluding with Russia.Delegitimizing our institutions: media , intelligence justice and state departments.

Requiring religious test for entry into US.

Requiring loyalty test to him.

Using Justice department to target political opponents

Weakening NATO.

Trashing our alliance with Mexico.

Dividing our country.…


Why am I bothering to write this?

https://www.quora.com/As-...ink-is-harmful-to-America

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 02:20:42 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #521 on: December 05, 2017, 02:23:16 pm »
As a conservative , I can appreciate that Trump can be a jerk at times. However, can the liberals give us just one policy of his they think is harmful to America? 

Matt Mariano, former Software Engineer
Answered Nov 22

Supporting Nazis.

Endorsing pedo phile to keep a senate seat.

Colluding with Russia.Delegitimizing our institutions: media , intelligence justice and state departments.

Requiring religious test for entry into US.

Requiring loyalty test to him.

Using Justice department to target political opponents

Weakening NATO.

Trashing our alliance with Mexico.

Dividing our country.…

Why am I bothering to write this?

https://www.quora.com/As-...ink-is-harmful-to-America



The real damage is in denying climate change and in removing any and all environmental protections (which weren't that great to begin with), and giving the Koch's and the other FFer's the green light to drill (and blast) anywhere, anytime.

What has he done that isn't harmful. Nothing.


All true. And yet, despite the high level of intelligence and knowledge of people like Karpatok, K-Dog and Golden Oxen, not a single one of these persons are willing to admit their massive and biosphere/society destroying error in judgement in supporting the election of Trump. So it goes. 

Quote
Proverbs 16King James Version (KJV)

16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #522 on: December 05, 2017, 07:27:35 pm »
Is Alex Azar the Worst Of the Trump Administration? (w/Guest Alex Lawson)


Thom is joined by long time friend of the show Alex Lawson of Social Security Works and We Act Radio, to discuss what may be the worst of the Trump Administration. Alex Azar.

Thom Hartmann Dec. 2, 2017 1:00 pm
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #523 on: December 06, 2017, 03:41:32 pm »
 


Updates on Attacking Science, Astroturfing on Pipelines, and Staffing the Swamp

One of our goals with this roundup is to alert you to upcoming denier threats before they hit the mainstream. Occasionally, great reporting can further illuminate issues we noticed some time ago. With deniers in power, good journalists have been busy digging into these issues even more, so quite a few updates to past roundups are in order.

First up, a new development to something we’ve covered extensively over the past few months: Pruitt’s plans for some red team/blue team nonsense. In a recent interview (from Disney World, for some reason) Pruitt told the Wall Street Journal’s Eli Stokols that he plans to kick off the process in early 2018. Writing this week in Scientific American, climate scientist Ben Santer explains how the peer-review process and scientific norms already function as a red team. Pruitt’s effort, Santer concludes, seeks only to “muddy the waters, to confuse, to delegitimize and devalue decades of well-established science.”

On that same anti-science note, InsideClimate News uses Lamar Smith, he of denying warming even as he watches the Arctic melt, as a case study in a piece published this week on how fossil fuel money shaped the House Science committee. The piece lays out how Smith transformed the committee from a quiet bipartisan group into something that, as Union of Concerned Scientists’ Andrew Rosenberg puts it, has played a role in the“diminishment of science in public policy.” From attacking scientists to politicizing science and championing denial, Smith served his funders well by defending fossil fuels from science.

Buying politicians is one way the industry wields influence. Astroturfing is another. We took a look at some of the fossil fuel industry’s astroturfing operations right before Thanksgiving, and since then more examples have already cropped up.

Kathiann M. Kowalski reports this week for Midwest Energy News on a pro-coal group in Ohio, that clearly serves a fossil fuel agenda, despite keeping its funders secret. Like many astroturfing groups, the organization boasts a typically Orwellian name--the Campaign for American Affordable and Reliable Energy (CAARE)--and has inserted itself into anti-wind farm lawsuits around the state. While the group is far from transparent, Kowalski digs up some clues that lead to fossil fuels. And a quick google of the group’s name shows that back in 2008, industry-friendly “free market” group FreedomWorks launched a campaign with almost the same name.

Slightly more transparent is the pro-pipeline efforts exposed by Huffington Post’s Alexander Kauffman this week. As Kaufman reports, a presentation obtained by HuffPo shows how the American Gas Association has set up a project called “Your Energy” in order to seed arguments, graphics and other propaganda into the public conversation about pipelines. With supposedly local organizations in Connecticut and Virginia, the group’s efforts go to show that the only people who really support pipelines are likely the same ones profiting off of them.

Finally, at this point it’s clear that Trump’s promise to hire “the best people” is just as true as his promise to drain the swamp. But a new analysis from the AP puts a number at how unqualified Trump’s hires have been. Sixty percent of the people Trump has hired for science positions lack an advanced degree in science, according to the AP’s analysis. Sixty percent of Obama’s picks, by contrast, did have advanced degrees. Broken down by agency, the difference is even more stark: while Obama’s Department of Energy had 13 advanced degree appointees, Trump’s has zero.

Reminder: The DoE is responsible for maintaining America’s nuclear fuel for power and weapons, and Rick Perry got a “D” in a class on meats.   

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #524 on: December 08, 2017, 07:50:35 pm »
No amount of controversy around special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s charges, Trump’s apparent obstruction of justice or the subpoena of his personal finances appears to derail the momentum of the radical Republican agenda .


Thom takes your calls on the state of democracy in America, the possibility of resistance under the growing police state and what we can do to keep fighting oligarchy and win. Thanks so much for your calls.

Thom Hartmann Dec. 7, 2017


Thom joins Ebony Land to talk about Republican plans for healthcare, and what we can do to stop them, big money in politics and Alex Azar!

Thom Hartmann Dec. 7, 2017 4:00 pm



Thom joined Ebony Land, the Policy Director for Social Security works to discuss the ongoing battle to save Social Security from Republican efforts. Voter ID laws that affect the elderly, and more.

Thom Hartmann Dec. 7, 2017 4:30 pm




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