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The New Corporate World Order

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Posted on Apr 20, 2011
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Barack Obama at the birthplace of General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., in January. The president was showcasing a new GE deal with India and announcing a restructured presidential advisory board headed by GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt that focuses on increasing employment and competitiveness.

By Robert Scheer

The debate over Republicans’ insistence on continued tax breaks for the superrich and the corporations they run should come to a screeching halt with the report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal headlined “Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad.” Those tax breaks over the past decade, leaving some corporations such as General Electric to pay no taxes at all, were supposed to lead to job creation, but just the opposite has occurred. As the WSJ put it, the multinational companies “cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million, new data from the U.S. Commerce Department show.”

General Electric, which was bailed out by taxpayers and which stored so much of its profit abroad that it paid no taxes for the past two years, was forced to tighten up, but while cutting its foreign workforce by 1,000 it cut a far more severe 28,000 in the United States. Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, recently appointed by President Barack Obama as his chief outside economic adviser, admits that this does not involve poorly paid work that Americans don’t want, but instead prime jobs: “We’ve globalized around markets, not cheap labor. The era of globalization around cheap labor is over. Today we go to China, we go to India, because that’s where the customers are.”

There is a bitter irony in that statement given that consumer purchasing power is down in the U.S. thanks to the devastating collapse of a housing bubble GE Capital fed with suspect mortgage financing that provided the company with well over half of its profits before the crash. The loss of well-paying jobs at multinationals like GE to other nations—54 percent of the GE workforce is foreign—exacerbates the plight of U.S. consumers while making the foreign customers even more attractive.

Of course it will be argued that multinational corporations have the right to arrange their business as they see fit in order to maximize profit. But if that is the case, do beleaguered American taxpayers have to foot the bill? When those corporations run into trouble overseas because of financial hustles or hostile locals and need the diplomatic and military might of the U.S. government to protect their interests abroad, it is again the U.S. taxpayer who must pay to maintain this new world order. It is an order, as we see with three current wars and a military budget that rivals Cold War highs, that is contributing mightily to the U.S. government debt. More than half of all discretionary spending, the dollars that the Republicans in Congress now want to take out of needed domestic programs, is accounted for by defense spending. That defense spending to support a massive network of military bases and deployed weapons and troops is key to establishing an order in which the interests of American corporations are attended to. If the companies don’t feel that way, let them operate under the flag of Liberia or the Cayman Islands.

No less important than U.S. military muscle is the power of the American government to construct and enforce a worldwide trade and finance structure to the advantage of U.S.-based multinational corporations. That is why the companies spend so much money lobbying Congress on matters ranging from regional trade agreements to international banking regulations. It is precisely the impact of trade agreements like NAFTA that has facilitated the erosion of well-paying jobs. And it was the deregulation of international banking standards, led by the U.S. Treasury Department under the past five presidents, that created the conditions for the recent disastrous housing and banking meltdown.

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Big government, the devil that Republicans love to inveigh against, is big precisely because it is so active in so many costly ways in serving the interests of our biggest corporations. Corporate lobbyists attest with their every breath that big government and big business are bedmates in a bountiful venture that impoverishes the rest of us. It is time to admit that we are, in practice if not surface appearance, close to the Chinese communist model of state-sponsored capitalism that sacrifices the interests of ordinary workers, be they in the public or private sector, for the exorbitant profits of the superrich. It is the corporations that need big government to protect their interests, and one would hope they would be willing to pay for the services that their government so faithfully renders to make them obscenely wealthy as it studiously ignores the well-being of the rest of us.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By ardee, April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, April 25 at 9:10 am

Gee, under Eisenhower the top rates approached or surpassed 90%, and the nation seemed to flourish. I would suspect that many would flock to invest in GE who made 16 billion in profit and paid no taxes whatsoever, but that doesn’t make it right, or even sound fiscal policy.

The majority of folks, at least here I suspect, see right through your increasingly infantile one liners..But please, dont stop, we all need the laugh.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 25, 2011 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, - “You are mistaken to think that low rates somehow “spawn” investment.”

-

Please invest in the United States.  The U.S. will take only a meager $.90 of every dollar you earn.

I’m sure the capital will flood in. wink

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By Leefeller, April 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, it is not present now or gone? May have been my laptops problem, am on a different computer now and it is not there.

One question I have is what happened to the rest of Chomsky’s pages? Oops, different thread.

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By Lafayette, April 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Wisdom from beyond the grave:

The excessive hoarding of riches by some denies them to the majority and thus the very wealth that is accumulated generates poverty.

John-Paul II

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By Lafayette, April 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Lf: Lafayette, your last few posts have had a small “my yahoo” logo in them?

Very curious. The logo does not show up when I read the posts on my computer.

If coincident with a link in the post it could be due to the fact that I sometimes host info-graphics on Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo. But that is the only connection I can think of that is plausibly working in the background.

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By Lafayette, April 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

SERVILITY

GRYM: Why would anyone invest in the United States with a promise to take $.90 of every dollar they invest?

That’s 90% taxation of all earned income. The capital gains tax should should also be treated as unearned income and not separately. It too deserves a heavy tax rate.

You are mistaken to think that low rates somehow “spawn” investment. This is Rabid Right Rhetoric. There is no evidence of such being the case. High or low taxes, investors seek a return on their money. Taxes are just the price to enter the speculative game.

As I said, the ROI Mentality will cause people to invest anyway, regardless of the taxation rates applied. What else should they do with their money? Throw it out the window?

Differentiating tax rates (as applied to capital gains) could be beneficial for channeling investments into the right areas - like renewable energy. But taxing them at ridiculously low rates has only two effects:
* It shifts the burden of National Debt maintenance downwards to the lower classes.
* It produces a Plutocrat Class that harks back to times when mankind did not know any better and allowed such a distortion of political and economic power dominate people into servility.

In the latter regard, it was very much like the slavery circumstances that led the US into the Civil War. In the former, it is selfishly unfair.

Neither situation listed above is consonant with our purported goals, as a society, of “freedom” or “well-being”.

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By ardee, April 24, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Lafayette

Just a note of thanks for making GRYM’s position ludicrous and forcing him into a defense that further weakens his suppositions. His latest effort is really no effort at all…Once again thanks and keep up the good work.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 24, 2011 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,- “They (billionaires) are an accident of history and with inheritance taxes at 95%, they too will disappear over time.

-

So, in the name of Income Fairness at home, you wish to put the United States at a devastating disadvantage in a global market.  I fear your intention is to cause the U.S. to fail or, you’re not thinking globally. - You should care a great deal that India produced more billionaires than did the United States over the past five years.

Let’s go back to that 90% capital gains tax you propose.  Why would anyone invest in the United States with a promise to take $.90 of every dollar they invest?

The United States cannot compete without foreign investment.  With a capital gains tax at $.90 for every dollar of investment they can do better in Uruguay. - As a direct result Uruguay’s employment will skyrocket as quickly as the unemployment rate in the United States.

-

If you look deeper you’ll find that while the top income-tax rate was 90% in the 1950’s, the real mean average tax paid was 6%.  It’s more than twice that today with a marginal income-tax rate a great deal lower.

The idle Rich:  I am willing to bet Oprah Winfrey hasn’t stuffed her billions into a VERY LARGE mattress.

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By Leefeller, April 24, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, good suggestions, though from what I understand of No Child left behind it was doomed to be handicapped by the rules used to judge it. One good point about NC Left Behind, its name has a tendency to gourd the Rightly Tighties.

FYI: Lafayette, your last few posts have had a small “my yahoo” logo in them?

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By Lafayette, April 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

ACCIDENT OF HISTORY

GRYM: Tax anyone at 90% and people around the globe will invest in Uzbekistan.

The 90% Marginal Income Tax was applied during an entire decade (1950/1960) and did not effect FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) one bit.

Corporations/individuals will invest where markets are strongest and per capita income is highest. Meaning America.

And who cares how many billionaires there are in India? That’s India’s problem.

What is important in America at present is Income Fairness not the megalomaniac super-rich. They are an accident of history and with inheritance taxes at 95%, they too will disappear over time.

RECKLESS RONNNIE

We let Reckless Ronnie Reagan, manipulated by the Rabid Right, get away with Bloody Murder of the American Middle Class - who now support the burden for paying the National Debt brought about by excesses (in domestic consumption and foreign wars).

MY POINT

Higher Marginal Income and Capital Gains taxes will not mean fewer millionaires but fewer billionaires. Who needs them, anyway? They can’t spend their excess riches, so it simply accumulates in Asset Management accounts.

Capital Investment will continue as before because they are locked into an ROI mentality. What else can they do with the money? The Economic Utility (in terms of contributing to Consumption, which creates jobs) on their marginal income is zero. As it is, for the most part, they are investing abroad, which helps create jobs in Bangalore not Boston.

We, the sheeple, however, will be Much Better Off, with Public Services that are - finally - world class and not that of a Banana Republic.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, - “Put income and capital gains taxes back up to where they were in 1950/1960 (90%) above a threshold of $10M.”

-

When places like India produce more billionaires than does the United States you just assured a flight of capital out of the U.S. like the world has never seen. 

Let’s test drive that 90% capital gains tax and see how it sells in a global market.  “Please, please invest your money in the United States.  We’ll only take $.90 of every dollar you invest.”

Tax anyone at 90% and people around the globe will invest in Uzbekistan. 

As an ancillary; that great rushing sound you’ll hear will be the unemployment rate rising to near 20%.

-

This type of “progressive agenda” will do nothing but cut he jugular of the American Economy.

FYI:  In the 1950’s, when the income-tax rate was 90%, the wealthiest paid, on average, 6% income tax.  At 30% today’s wealthiest individuals pay more than twice that.

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Yes starting somewhere would be a good idea, so why not here? The peoples budget? 

I like the progressive ideas and may be one myself, but I am also a realist, far as I can tell we do not live in a progressive world, so reality may be prudent.

One thing, if we ended all the wars as the Peoples Budget suggests,  unemployment would be much higher then it is now, and profits would be lost for opportunists of war, which seems to be what matters most to the profiteers and the politician, possibly since WWI; maybe even the Civil War. 

War is money, Peoples rights and Unions are not!

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By Lafayette, April 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

FOR STARTERS

The Peoples Budget: Instead, it basically just ends the wars, ends the Bush tax cuts, and reduces unemployment.

Well, one must start somewhere, but ending the war and the Bush tax cuts will not reduce, by themselves, unemployment.

Yes, it will accelerates somewhat the economic recovery - but that will only get us back to where we were before. It will not enhance one iota the well-being of the average lower class American. Worse, it preserves the system that has failed us time and again in the past.

A real Progressive Agenda would undertake a number of fundamental change in the way America is run. Some suggestions:
* Put income and capital gains taxes back up to where they were in 1950/1960 (90%) above a threshold of $10M.
* Adopt a Public Option Health Care program for all citizens and start a nationwide construction program for hospitals and clinics, managed by the Dept. of Health. Offer tuition free education for all medical professions in exchange for ten year practice in a National Health System.
* Assure that no child is left behind if they have the capacity to assume postsecondary eduction whether it be vocational, two-year, four-year or advance university degrees. Off tuition subsidies (according to means tests) at state schools.
* Adopt the major Financial reform measures as suggested by the Levin-Corbin Report.
* Establish an alternative Mortgage Lender (to the now defunct Fannie a& Freddie) to offer, as in the past, low-interest rate mortgages by an agency under guarantees by Federal government. Establish creditworthiness controls that are audit and enforce the Truth In Lending Act in all banking or credit institutions.
* For private companies employing above 500 people, allow personal to elect two members to the Board, one of whom will sit on the Compensation Committee.
* Establish a law defining a Labor Contract to be used by all companies employing personnel. The contract will define both employee and employer responsibilities and guarantees.
* Limit total government spending (including deficit maintenance) to some percentage of GDP and permit no budget that is larger than that percentage except in times of recession (to undertake Economic Stimulus Spending)
* Establish a nationwide Value Added Tax shared with the states and make it tax-revenue neutral by lowering low to middle-class income taxes.

And that is just for starters.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 23, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Virginia777,

Will you name the members of this Oligarchy you see so clearly?  Can you at least do that for us?

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

In the grand scheme of things, the racket of war is never looked on as a real component of the problem? Maybe it has something to do with the profit of war?

As the people known as the unwashed masses must keep on footing the bill for getting their own shaft, one could look upon it as a collective form of socialism,

The “Peoples Budget”, appears to be one of the most common sense budgets I have seen,.... which means it will be touted by the bought and paid for Republicans their shrills and benefactors like the Kochers, as socialist Pinko! FYI: Koch this:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/22/969354/-Serious-media-starting-to-warm-to-The-Peoples-Budget

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By Lafayette, April 23, 2011 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

INCOME UNFAIRNESS

RS: It is time to admit that we are, in practice if not surface appearance, close to the Chinese communist model of state-sponsored capitalism that sacrifices the interests of ordinary workers, be they in the public or private sector, for the exorbitant profits of the superrich.

The Chinese model remains one of employing capitalism to make state-owned companies profitable. Estimates vary but perhaps 40 to 50% of all Chinese companies are state owned - down from the high nineties when it shucked itself of Communist Economic Policy.

Is this any different from Private Companies “owning Congress”. Well, yes, it’s the reverse.

But is it effectively any different to the average Chinese or average American given that both countries have identical Gini-coefficients - which is the economists’ measure of Income Fairness. One might wonder ...

The graphic linked shows that America has the highest Income Unfairness of any modern nation and its value is almost identical to China. Which should not be the case for the US, a supposedly “advanced and democratic country” - whilst China has only come out of the stone-age over the past 20 years.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2011 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Hey ardee:

Stop stroking of your huge ego.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Hey woofwoofboy:

Go pop some mental Viagra.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

Nothing as organized??? Corporations are nothing if they are not organized. The fact that they are exerting an inordinate and dangerous amount of control of our Country, is undeniable.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2011 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

“I see nothing as organized as an evil Oligarchy.”

I do.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, - “The economic system as it stands today is is an enormous funnel that takes profits from the Market Economy and channels them through, with minimum deductions for taxation, to a select group of individuals.”

You add; “‘The facts upset you, so you decide willfully to disregard them.”

-

You are always fond of pointing out how I fail to see reality.  Well, I believe I do see what is real.  We simply disagree. - I have also never seen a post from you, directed my way, that did not include some form of insult.  In all the time you have been posting here you will not find one personal insult directed your way.

-

I have never met a man or woman who doesn’t look to mitigate their tax liabilities. 

I believe I see the vast majority of American millionaires (the wealthiest 25%) as they are.  The Plumbers, Farmers, Real estate Agents, Contractors, Bankers, Bakery Shop Owners and Doctors with families, children and mortgages.  I do not see evil there.  I see people who work 12-14 hours a day and, for the most part, pay their taxes.  According to countless studies these same people are generous when it comes to helping others in need.  Anything but evil, cold-hearted and greedy.

I see the world of American Billionaires, holding roughly $4.5 trillion, as Gates, Buffet, Arnault, Ellison, Mittal, Ambani, Walton, Persson, Bezos, Koch, Page, Cosby, Winfrey, Bloomburg, Dell, Soros, Zuckerburg etc, as innovative, dedicated, hard working, MAMMOTH job creating, philanthropic ($Billions), globally competitive, living breathing human beings with families and friends who love them.  Not evil monsters looking to steal from the poorest amongst us.

I see nothing as organized as an evil Oligarchy.  And, interestingly enough, not one individual I have asked can point to the Oligarchy.  When asked the answer never extends past the nefarious Them.

If you know who these people are at apex pulling everyone’s strings I am more than open to learning.

Keep in mind what I wrote at the top.  I have never once insulted you for thinking differently.

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By Jorge X Rodriguez, April 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It could be, of course, that Marx was right, and that unadjusted capitalism and free markets tend to constantly redistribute wealth so that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  But that is a very unstable situation, as history shows: it resulted in World War I, the Great Depression, the fascist and Communist movements, and World War 2.  This was why social welfare programs were instituted after these grand capitalist debacles of 1914-1945.  The fascists and Communists having been defeated or at least stalled, the American ruling class began to cut back on the social programs, which suggests that we are at the beginning of a new cycle of such disasters.

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By swanto sez, April 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

GoRight:

I re-read the “excrement” comment- it wasn’t yours, one
of the kids.

SORRY

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By woofwoofboy, April 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Hey, Grimster, not to keep lashing that dead horse,
but we’re still waiiiiiiiiting for your deeply
pondered, brilliantly phrased response to “9 Things
the Rich Don’t Want you to Know about Taxes.” You
really can’t do it, can you? Performance anxiety? Not
to worry: you’re among friends.  Relax, take a deep
breath, and pop some mental Viagra. Or, hey, maybe
hire one of those “academic-research” firms available
online? Special discount rates for the intellectually
challenged.

[Glances at watch; loud ticking sound on soundtrack]
Geez, we could be here forever, huh?

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By RayLan, April 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez
“You poor thing! Have you tried complaining to the
thought commissar”
Thought has nothing to do with those I choose to ignore.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez, - “who is the pile of excrement? and why do you use such inflammatory language?”

-

Excuse me? Pile of excrement?

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez,

I’m not here arguing a point simply for the sake of it.  Perhaps that’s what you’ve become accustomed to seeing on blogs such as this.  Perhaps you could revisit what I’ve written? 

My intention was not to give a wide-ranging opinion on the entire tax code.  I was not thinking on an argument for or against a progressive tax architecture.  My point was intended to address only one thing.  Those who will inevitably claim that the wealthy pay zero taxes.  It’s simply not true. 

According the the IRS the top 10% of income earners are, today, paying roughly 70% of the monies, derived from Income Tax, into the U.S. Treasury.

-

So far I’ve not seen you attempt to talk with me but past me.  You seem agitated that I failed to address tax issues that you feel passionate about.  In fact your first post directed toward me was rife with the accusation of dishonesty on my part.  And why?  Again, because I failed to consider your point of view prior to knowing what that is.  Understand?

I would be more than happy to start over.

I do believe in an progressive tax structure if that structure is intended to tax the wealthy a larger percentage of their income against middle or lower income earners.  Does that partially answer your question?

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By swanto sez, April 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

GORIGHT:

who is the pile of excrement? and why do you use such
inflammatory language?

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By MarthaA, April 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

bowwowboy, April 22 at 6:47 am,

Thanks for the link.

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By ardee, April 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, April 22 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment


If it weren’t for GRYM, who would you all argue with?

Specious argument alert…..Perhaps Ms. Anarcissie, if this cur were not here we all might conduct more civil and far more interesting discourse…but then again that roadblock to conversation may very well be his purpose here. Aside from the obvious stroking of his huge ego of course.

swanto sez, April 22 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment


GORIGHT:

Your attempts to deflect my comments with a
devolution into personal innuendo is disappointing,

You will learn quickly ,I suggest, that this pile of excrement never responds to links and facts that shred his carefully distorted points, never. That is why he is a pile in the first place.

truedigger3
adree,

I agree with you 100%.  GRYM is a TROLL on a mission to always lie, obfuscate and confuse the unwary. GRYM is an asshole second to none!

Aww c’mon now, he must be second to someone, somewhere. I think you give him far too much
(dis)credit…..

It is a fun little game to post exposures to his deficating on the truth and the real facts and watch him wriggle away to another topic or point or insult. He does it again and again. Others with whom I disagree from time to time show the decency to defend their points, or carry the discussion to new levels of understanding or even compromise. Or staunchly

But this sad little soul can only post tired little untruths, half truths and such and then, when exposed, change the subject immediately or just ignore the facts presented.

I am certain that I have a moss covered rock in my back yard with more intellectual honesty than this turd.

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By Lafayette, April 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

INTO DENIAL

GRYM: No, I do not believe in the redistribution of wealth.  I believe in helping all who are in need while every man and woman should derive remuneration directly from their efforts.

I also do not believe, as is popular here, that the majority of the wealthy obtained their wealth by taking from others.

 
Then either you do not understand or do not want to understand.

The economic system as it stands today is is an enormous funnel that takes profits from the Market Economy and channels them through, with minimum deductions for taxation, to a select group of individuals.

If you do not want to believe the facts presented here, then you obviously are numb to the economic reality that surrounds us.

Of course, that numbness could be willing. The facts upset you, so you decide willfully to disregard them.

This refutation of reality has a psychological significance ...

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By swanto sez, April 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

GORIGHT:

Your attempts to deflect my comments with a
devolution into personal innuendo is disappointing,
as I had thought you might be capable of exchanging
ideas without that crutch.

Nonetheless, I am happy to see that you did admit
that you are an opponent of progressive taxation.
While this explains why you present an incomplete
picture of government revenues, it does not excuse
the attitude you cop of being superior to the
emotionalism you see in others.

Perhaps, if for your own sake only, you would look
into the TOTAL revenue picture, you would understand
more clearly what the majority of folks here feel is
so unfair, and (perhaps) think more highly of your
fellow commentators.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

RayLan,

The ignore list on this Web space is intended for Private Messages only.  Try a third party newsreader.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez

My point was meant to be a simple one concerning income taxes and the majority of the so-called wealthy. - Bakers, Architects, Salesmen, Contractors, Plumbers, Doctors and Plant Managers etc..  Everyday hard working and caring people.

Yes, I failed to address some separate tax issues you feel passionate about.  I think it’s a stretch to label my point of view Cherry Picking simply because I failed to touch on issues you feel are important.

No, I do not believe in the redistribution of wealth.  I believe in helping all who are in need while every man and woman should derive remuneration directly from their efforts.

I also do not believe, as is popular here, that the majority of the wealthy obtained their wealth by taking from others.

-

You have been on this site a very short time. Can I ask that you refrain from jumping in so soon with judging me the one picking fights?  You’ll see that I am one of the more cordial.  From me everyone here will receive what they give.

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By truedigger3, April 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Re: By ardee, April 21 at 11:38 pm
Re: By bowwowboy, April 22 at 6:47 am
 

adree and bowwowboy,

Thank you for the tax links which they were very informative and enlightening.


adree wrote:
“When GE pays zero taxes on about 16 billion in profits, when hedge fund managers pay capital gains on actual income of $600 million instead of income tax the defense of their little stooge, grym, seems even more petty than usual.
I say emphatically that this wretch is not only a damnable liar but a poor citizen of this country as well.”
————————————————

adree,

I agree with you 100%.  GRYM is a TROLL on a mission to always lie, obfuscate and confuse the unwary. GRYM is an asshole second to none!

Report this

By swanto sez, April 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

RAYLAN:

You poor thing! Have you tried complaining to the
thought commissar? Perhaps you should just stick you
head in the sand?

Report this

By anish, April 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never before have I read an article stating so clearly
the nexus between government and big corporations.

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By swanto sez, April 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

GORIGHT:

First of all, please exempt me from the knee-jerk
reflexive pseudo-leftists you are picking a fight
with.

I simply said that if you wish to use data to make
the point that the wealthy pay a high proportion of
the income tax, you should also not narrow that use
to such data that only favors your point of view,
while deliberately ignoring other facts.

You seem to picture yourself as a valiant warrior
championing truth in a wilderness of emotional basket
cases. Thats fine with me, but you MUST, if you want
real credibility, stop cherry-picking the tax
revenues.

Once more, I ask what is the total portion of
government revenues generated by the income tax?

I think you can see where this going? Why should a
grindingly poor citizen pay the same rate of tax on a
telephone connection or Hershey bar as a billionaire?

These questions go back the progressive era when the
income tax was first proposed. The basic question is,
do you or do you not support the idea of re-
distribution of wealth?

As you know, among liberal capitalists, this idea is
an alternative to socialism, while conservative
capitalists believe that it IS socialism.

Let us, for now, avoid a descent into the myriad
shades of gray, and focus on the basic question.

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By RayLan, April 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

I just now discovered the ‘Ignore List’ feature - but it doesn’t seem to work. I still see the posts of those I chose to ignore

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By MarthaA, April 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Here is a hanging solution for cancerous bankers:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27911.htm

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By MarthaA, April 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm, April 22 at 4:22 pm,

Poor Conservative/ Ayn Rand/DLC/PNAC warring angels just made
an innocent mistake, NOT.  http://www.newamericancentury.org/ 

They knew exactly what they were doing, and did it anyway. 
Because they were firmly aware that they were drowning
government assistance in every way for the majority population in
the symbolic bathtub, not only in the United States, but all over
the world, and went about the financial drowning— caught
themselves up in it, then whined their way out of it and have been
lying to the public, that mysterious majority population, who were
forced to save their asses at the expense of their children,
grandchildren, and many generations of great grand children, ever
since.  All people involved need to receive due justice, which
should at least be considerable jail time.

“Ayn Rand is now one of the central intellectual and cultural
inspirations for the base of the Republican Party.“http://www.alternet.org/story/150680/the_truth_about_gop_hero_ayn_rand?page=entire

REPUBLICAN HERO AYN RAND’S PHILOSOPHY

“The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels
and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-egotism, power-
worship and anarcho-capitalism. She opposed all forms of welfare,
unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class,
regulation of industry and government provision for roads or other
infrastructure. She also insisted that law enforcement, defense
and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government,
and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of
economics starkly divided the world into a contest between
“moochers” and “producers,” with the small group making up the
latter generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy, the
successful, and the titans of industry. The “moochers” were more
or less everyone else, leading TNR’s Jonathan Chait to describe
Rand’s thinking as a kind of inverted Marxism. Marx considered
wealth creation to result solely from the labor of the masses, and
viewed the owners of capital and the economic elite to be
parasites feeding off that labor. Rand simply reversed that value
judgment, applying the role of “parasite” to everyday working
people instead. On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in
Rand’s novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and
dynamite oil fields—actions which Rand portrays as admirable and
virtuous fulfillments of the characters’ personal will and desires.
Her early diaries gush with admiration for William Hickman, a serial
killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman showed no
understanding of “the necessity, meaning or importance of other
people,” a trait Rand apparently found quite admirable. For good
measure, Rand dismissed the feminist movement as “false” and
“phony,” denigrated both Arabs and Native Americans as
“savages” (going so far as to say the latter had no rights and that
Europeans were right to take North American lands by force) and
expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on
government programs aimed at educating “subnormal children”
and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told
Mike Wallace in 1953 that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a
virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is
unworthy of love, she meant it.” —Think Progress/AlterNet
April 20, 2011
http://www.alternet.org/story/150680/the_truth_about_gop_hero_ayn_rand?page=entire

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Sorry all, please ignore that last “sentence” in my previous post. Just a scrap that
got accidentally copied. Next time, I’ll look before I leap.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

RayLan,

You make interesting arguments against freedom, individual rights to property, privacy and speech as a means to achieving “social responsibility”.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Bowowboy has taken all the right things from Scheer’s piece, especially the
revelation from Immelt that multi-national corporations, after decades of
growth on the backs of American labor and the stable middle class society this
democracy provided, have decided to move to greener pastures, and now feel
untouchable enough about this to publicly say it.

The destruction of the American middle class is a fait accompli, at least in the
eyes of the corporati. Four decades of neoliberal economic policy have delivered
us to the very edge of the precipice. It may (or may not) be valuable to point
out that both the left and the right were played by the profit-uber-alles crowd.
Progressives were sold on globalization, believing that commerce would be the
music that would sooth the savage souls of communism, tribalism, Islamism
etc. Free-market ideologues like Alan Greeenspan wanted to see their utopia
realized, and foolishly thought that the corporations were their chumps and not
the other way around.

As cities fall into disrepair and bankruptcy, and our citizenry watches their
lifestyles disappear before their eyes, it seems that the best options for young
men born outside of the silver spoonery is to sign their lives over to the military
—sorry, I meant to say the International Corporate Police. There at least, they
can lead adventurous if not fulfilling lives as capitalist enforcers.

And what, pray tell, will you do?

chumpishly thought that it was they who were using the corporations and not
the other way around - funny!

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By RayLan, April 22, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Don’t feed the troll -

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By Go Right Young Man, April 22, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “GRYM provides a useful punching bag.”

-

PRECISELY!  I provide a useful and therapeutic service.

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By Anarcissie, April 22, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

If it weren’t for GRYM, who would you all argue with?  Everything else here—the article and the comments—is pretty old.  Nothing new about it.  GRYM provides a useful punching bag.

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By RayLan, April 22, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

The voracious practices of global unregulated capitalism are by now a boring fact, a commonplace like Spring. To be able to dispute them and even to constantly rail about them requires a mind so blinded by political bias as to be out of touch with everyday realities.
Robert Scheer perhaps is back on this because it has been proven that cutting taxes doesn’t create jobs - a strategy that should have been known to fail from the first, since the tax breaks have been in place all during the recession. D’OH..
The undebatable debate, however, continues. The Rights’ worship of Capitalism without social responsibility pitted against the Left’s ineffectual cry about greed and injustice takes yet another turn.
What has been proven at a higher level is that capitalism is wired for social inequity - it is a a zero-sum game for profiteering literally at the expense of others. As much as it is an efficient wealth-creating machine, it is equally and disturbingly efficient at creating poverty. What will it take before the US realizes this, and like the older countries adopt a more socialistic (oh no.. not that) system?

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By ALAN HIND, April 22, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First paragraph, second to last line should have stated
sanitized not desanitized.

Thanks

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By ardee, April 22, 2011 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Mack, April 22 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

GRYM

“For those who may be new to this site, obviously Manchild and I do not see eye to eye.  I tend to look up into others eyes.  This individual is always looking down. - You all can be the judge.”
—————————————

I assume that you are referring to me.

Nope, its me! The jackwagon honestly believes that his use of schoolyard canard is insulting…well it is actually, but to himself.  I have no doubt that this cretinous propagandist must look up to meet the eye of most of us,. he is actually that low, and he almost certainly lives under a rock.

Welcome aboard the ‘refute falsehoods train’. While some might believe that ignoring this fascist pig and his endless supply of propaganda supporting the status quo and its endless penchant towards atrocities to support grym’s and this nation’s inflated lifestyle, I think lies deserve exposure to the light of day.

Further, I think that exposure to truth and refutation of his increasingly clumsy falsehoods force him ever more towards exposing himself for what he is, and that becomes ever more evident as more and more rise to oppose his fairy tale suppositions and his defense of the American Empire, one which increasingly brings hardships home as we exhaust the resources of the rest of the world.

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By bowwowboy, April 22, 2011 at 2:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most authoritative response to GRYM’s deeply touching, stammering profession of faith on behalf of the holy market can be found at here: 

http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/9-things-the-
rich-dont-want-you-to-know-about-taxes/Story?
oid=3971382

(Sorry, I’m bad at links; you’ll have to cut and paste.)

The article is based on—-to introduce a new word into GRYM’s vocabulary—-facts and contains many
corroborative charts and other evidence that totally discredit trollboy’s fantasies. Of course one anticipates a carefully worded, meticulously researched, point-by-point refutation of all nine points contained in the article. It will be like waiting for Godot.

BTW, the Grimster can be counted on to miss the point of this thanks-it’s-been-fun-but-we-gotta-move-on kiss-off from GE’s Jeffrey Immelt: “We’ve globalized around markets, not cheap labor. The era of globalizat­ion around cheap labor is over. Today we go to China, we go to India, because that’s where the customers are.” Meaning, of course, that the primary consumer markets are no longer in the U.S. Guess who’s now going to become a key source of cheap labor? Welcome to the Third World, America.

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By MarthaA, April 22, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Take Action Against Corporations That Paid Less Taxes Than You!

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/04/11/i-just-paid-more-taxes-than-most-of-corporate-america/

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By MarthaA, April 22, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

Most firms pay no income taxes - Congress
Study finds that the majority of domestic and foreign corporations
in the United States avoid paying federal income taxes.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/

10 Mega Corporations that Mostly Paid NO TAXES and are the
Biggest Freeloaders:

http://front.moveon.org/b-which-corporations-are-the-biggest-freeloaders/

Corporations Too Big to Pay Taxes in the United States, But
Receive Welfare, largely compliments of Sen. Bernie Sanders’
“Guide to Corporate Freeloaders” and Moveon.org:

1. Exxon Mobil: Private Profit 2009 ”$19 Billion”
    -  PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare in
    amount of $156 Million compliments of IRS as
    Rebate Check.

2.  Bank of America: Private Profit 2010 ”$4.4
      Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
-  Received Public Welfare
      in amount of $1Trillion compliments of the
      Federal Reserve, then Received more Public Welfare in
      the amount of $1.9 Billion compliments of the
      IRS as a TAX REFUND.

3.  General Electric (GE):  Private Profit 2006
    thru 2010 “$26 Billion” - Avg. $5.02 Billion/year profit
    -  PAID NO TAXES
-  Received Public Welfare in
    amount of $4.1 Billion compliments of the IRS as
    a TAX REFUND, and between 2000 and the present have
    cut their work force in the United States by 1/5th and
    enlarged overseas low wage employment.

4.  Chevron:  Private Profit 2009 ”$10 Billion”
   
-  2010 Received Public Welfare in the amount of
    $19 Million compliments of the IRS.

5.  Boeing:  2010 Private Earnings ”$787
    million” and 2009 “$998 million” -  PAID NO TAXES

    2011 manufacturing new 787 Dreamliner orders in North
    Charleston, S.C. plus Received Pentagon Contract for
    $30 Billion
for 179 Airborne Tankers, then Received
    Public Welfare in amount of $124 Million
    compliments of the IRS as a TAX REFUND.  http://www.fitsnews.com/2010/07/28/boeing-profits-slide/

6.  Valero Energy:  Private Profit 2010 “68
    Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare
    in amount of $157 Million compliments of the
    IRS as TAX REFUND and then received additional Public
    Welfare in the amount of $134 Million 2008 thru
    2010 compliments of IRS TAX BREAKS.

  7. Goldman Sachs:  Private Profit 2008 ”$2.3
    Billion” - PAID only 1.1% TAXES
- Received Public
    Welfare in amount of $800 Billion compliments of
    Federal Reserve and U.S.Treasury Department.

  8. Citigroup:  Private Profit 2010 “over $4
    Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare
    in amount of $2.5 Trillion compliments of
    the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Bailout.

  9.  ConocoPhillips: Private Profit 2007 thru 2009
    ”$16 Billion” - PAID NO TAXES - Received Public
      Welfare in amount of $451 Million Tax Breaks.

10.  Carnival Cruise Lines:  Private Profit 2006 thru
      2010 ”$11 Billion” - PAID only 1.1% TAXES

http://front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Bernie-Sanders-Corporate-Tax-4001.jpg,


http://www.bnet.com/blog/financial-business/why-it-8217s-a-myth-that-the-rich-are-overtaxed/12837

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By MarthaA, April 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

10 Mega Corporations that Mostly Paid NO TAXES and are the
Biggest Freeloaders:

http://front.moveon.org/b-which-corporations-are-the-biggest-freeloaders/

Corporations Too Big to Pay Taxes in the United States, But
Receive Welfare, largely compliments of Sen. Bernie Sanders’
“Guide to Corporate Freeloaders” and Moveon.org:

1. Exxon Mobil: Private Profit 2009 ”$19 Billion”
    -  PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare in
    amount of $156 Million compliments of IRS as
    Rebate Check.

2.  Bank of America: Private Profit 2010 ”$4.4
      Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
-  Received Public Welfare
      in amount of $1Trillion compliments of the
      Federal Reserve, then Received more Public Welfare in
      the amount of $1.9 Billion compliments of the
      IRS as a TAX REFUND.

3.  General Electric (GE):  Private Profit 2006
    thru 2010 “$26 Billion” - Avg. $5.02 Billion/year profit
    -  PAID NO TAXES
-  Received Public Welfare in
    amount of $4.1 Billion compliments of the IRS as
    a TAX REFUND, and between 2000 and the present have
    cut their work force in the United States by 1/5th and
    enlarged overseas low wage employment.

4.  Chevron:  Private Profit 2009 ”$10 Billion”
   
-  2010 Received Public Welfare in the amount of
    $19 Million compliments of the IRS.

5.  Boeing:  2010 Private Earnings ”$787
    million” and 2009 “$998 million” -  PAID NO TAXES

    2011 manufacturing new 787 Dreamliner orders in North
    Charleston, S.C. plus Received Pentagon Contract for
    $30 Billion
for 179 Airborne Tankers, then Received
    Public Welfare in amount of $124 Million
    compliments of the IRS as a TAX REFUND.  http://www.fitsnews.com/2010/07/28/boeing-profits-slide/

6.  Valero Energy:  Private Profit 2010 “68
    Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare
    in amount of $157 Million compliments of the
    IRS as TAX REFUND and then received additional Public
    Welfare in the amount of $134 Million 2008 thru
    2010 compliments of IRS TAX BREAKS.

  7. Goldman Sachs:  Private Profit 2008 ”$2.3
    Billion” - PAID only 1.1% TAXES
- Received Public
    Welfare in amount of $800 Billion compliments of
    Federal Reserve and U.S.Treasury Department.

  8. Citigroup:  Private Profit 2010 “over $4
    Billion” - PAID NO TAXES
- Received Public Welfare
    in amount of $2.5 Trillion compliments of
    the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Bailout.

  9.  ConocoPhillips: Private Profit 2007 thru 2009
    ”$16 Billion” - PAID NO TAXES - Received Public
      Welfare in amount of $451 Million Tax Breaks.

10.  Carnival Cruise Lines:  Private Profit 2006 thru
      2010 ”$11 Billion” - PAID only 1.1% TAXES

http://front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Bernie-Sanders-Corporate-Tax-4001.jpg,


http://www.bnet.com/blog/financial-business/why-it-8217s-a-myth-that-the-rich-are-overtaxed/12837

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By Go Right Young Man, April 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez,

I was making a simple point on the subject of income taxes.  I’m still hoping to mitigate the always constant refrain that the wealthy, for many varied reasons, don’t pay taxes. 

Yes.  The wealthiest 10% of income earners pay roughly 70% of the revenue derived from U.S. Income Taxes.  I wrote that we simply cannot pretend this is not the case.

Which part of this is so horrible for me to point out?  Must I properly hate the well-to-do while sharing IRS data on a blog?  Did I not display the correct amount of disgust, distrust and animosity for hard working plumbers, bakers, doctors, salesmen, plant managers, engineers, architects and union officials? - Those who make up the vast majority of millionaires, and even billionaires, inside the United States?

Why must we always go through this never helpful hyper-drama on the evil crimes and cold-blooded selfishness of a real-estate saleswoman in Connecticut with a mortgage of her own and 2 children headed to college?

-

If I may?  Which parts of my self-righteous name calling has you offended?

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By ardee, April 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

I am fairly certain that the vast majority here understand how full of shite grym happens to be, how malicious, how little he respects truth or his fellow man. Why this is the case one would have to ask his mental health professional. But the upshot is that he is a very little person, probably in every respect.

As to this lingering right wing absurdity that the wealthiest pay more than their fair share, or even equally share the burden, I know we all are not taken in. Below find just one link to exposing our resident junior league Limbaugh-like mouth breather.

http://www.bnet.com/blog/financial-business/why-it-8217s-a-myth-that-the-rich-are-overtaxed/12837

n 2010, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans — who had average annual cash income of $1.2 million — paid a total effective tax rate of 30 percent. Their federal income tax rate was 22.1 percent, while this group’s state/local taxes came in at 7.9 percent.

By comparison, the middle fifth of the population — with average income of $40,700 — paid a total tax rate of 25.1 percent. Although the amount they paid in federal income tax, at 13.9 percent, was lower than for the very rich, they paid significantly more in state and local taxes (click on adjoining to expand, and see bottom for a complete breakdown by income group).

The top 1 percent actually pay less in total taxes than other well-off, if far less affluent, people. The next 4 percent of income earners — who bring in an average of $241,000 per year — paid a total tax rate of 31.3 percent. Same goes for the next income group ($140,000 per year).

The “Buffett” effect: Why the rich don’t pay more in taxes

What does this and related data really mean? First, the idea that the wealthy bear the brunt of paying taxes in the U.S. is a myth. Yes, the top 1 percent pay more in federal income taxes than any other group — somewhere around 38 percent. But as Pulitzer Prize winner and tax expert David Cay Johnston notes, personal income tax accounts for less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of all government taxes. He writes (in a piece I highly encourage anyone looking for a little clarity on this subject to read):


Myth Busting: the rich do NOT pay more into the treasury, en masse than
 
do the middle and lower classes.

By sheer numbers ALONE, the middle class provides by far and large, some 90% of the funding for the US treasury.

For every 10,000 middle class taxpayers, there is some one single rich fatty who gets to use lawyers and every tax dodge in the books—and some new ones—to avoid paying taxes.

Think LEONA HELMSLY.


Thus the myth explodes, via a custard pie in the fairy tale kings eye! I am certain that, with a modicum of research every one here can find other sources of the truth of this canard.

When GE pays zero taxes on about 16 billion in profits, when hedge fund managers pay capital gains on actual income of $600 million instead of income tax the defense of their little stooge, grym, seems even more petty than usual.

I say emphatically that this wretch is not only a damnable liar but a poor citizen of this country as well.

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By swanto sez, April 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

As usual, most of the comments do not relate directly
to the article. I found it to be simply more of the
same old, same old.

We have known this for generations.

In addition, I think it was a bit sloppy and
meandering because Mr. Scheer knows exactly what
segment of the bias-sphere he is appealing to, and
can count on a reflexive approval. Or, perhaps, this
situation is actually news to him.

To goright: you make some good points, but your self-
righteous name calling is undermined by wrapping
yourself up in weak documentation.

For example, if we are willing to accept your figures
on income tax (as I am) we must also ask “what
percent of total federal revenue is generated from
income tax?”. What percentage of the TOTAL tax
revenues are paid by the top 1 or 5%? For instance,
does a billionaire pay higher sales tax than Jane or
John Doe? How about that federal line charge on your
telephone bill? etc.. etc…

Moreover, how do these tax payments compare to the
taxes paid in other advanced nations?

I appreciate that you are injecting some fresh air
into a stale bias-sphere, but please don’t get up on
your high horse with so-called “cold facts” that you
know very well present only a partial picture.

Finally, can we presume that when you cite that the
top 1% pays blah de blah percentage of the total
income tax collected, that you posit thios
information with us because you think that
contribution is right and proper?

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By truedigger3, April 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Lafayette, April 21 at 4:35 am

Lafayette wrote:
“How it must disappoint you to learn that mostly all TARP bailouts have been repaid with interest to the US Treasury.”
—————————————————————

Yes, the banks paid the TARP bailouts, but they paid it with money they got from the Federal Reserve Bank for their almost worthless mortgage securities. The Federal Reseve paid the full face value for these securities. In addition, the banks borrowed hundreds of billion of dollars, at almost 0% interest from the Federal Reseve!!.
It all smoke and mirrors and utter bullshitting.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

wink

Did everyone take note of Manchild’s inability to dispute the IRS data I provided and, in stead, reached down into the grab bag of adolescent personal attacks and insults?

This individual either couldn’t take 20 minutes out of his day to research the Internal Revenue Service Web space or, he actually confirmed the numbers but was unable to well-up the courage or honesty to write as much.

The data is solid.

-

For those who may be new to this site, obviously Manchild and I do not see eye to eye.  I tend to look up into others eyes.  This individual is always looking down. - You all can be the judge.

wink

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By ardee, April 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze, April 21 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment


Go right young man - Please show documentation for your statement:

This cretinous right wing parrot will never provide links, his own words affirm that statement. He thinks his words to be gospel I guess and any request for linkage usually engenders a ” I dont do your research” type of nonsense.

My guess would be his sources are so suspect as to instantly cause the sane to reject them. As to his usual right wing crap about the rich paying so much more than we mere mortals…well, stats lie and he does too. We pay payroll taxes they do not, we pay income tax, they clip coupons and get stock options which they pay far, far less than income tax on the proceeds of that sale. One news item recently mentioned a hedge fund manager who made six hundred million dollars and paid only fifteen percent ( capital gains tax) on that income.

The fact that someone who makes tens or hundreds of millions pays more actual dollars in tax of one kind or another than do working folks who struggle along on far, far, far less income is a misleading and stupid argument. The fact that a bus driver or ditch digger pays more in actual percentage of income than do the super rich is the real point. When all taxes are included the poor get screwed and the rich skate.

The fact is that I do not know why dolts like grym post as they do, I dont think this forum important enough to warrant a paid troll so it must be an ego thing. He thinks ,perhaps, that if he defends the selfishly rich they will allow him into the club. I hope so because who in his right mind would want him in ours?

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By Go Right Young Man, April 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Talking point? No. Apology? No. Demonstrative and verifiable Income Tax Data?  Here it is.

Top 1% Income Earners pay 38.02% of all Income Tax
 
Top 5% Income Earners Pay 58.72% of all Income Taxes
 
Top 10% Income Earners Pay 69.94% of all Income Taxes
 
Top 25% Income Earners Pay 86.34% of all Income Taxes
 
Top 50% Income Earners Pay 97.30% of all Income Taxes
 
Bottom 50% Income Earners Pay 2.7% of all Income Taxes

Source: 2009 Internal Revenue Service

-

It’s disheartening that so few people understand the real data behind these numbers.  It’s a sad state of media affairs that so many here seem shocked to learn that the top 10% of income earners pay roughly 70% of the nation’s Welfare, Infrastructure, Medicare, Medicaid, Military Budget, Utility Subsidies, etc. etc..

Should the wealthiest pay more?  Well, that seems to be the question, however, let us not pretend that the wealthiest don’t pay the bulk of income taxes going into the U.S. Treasury. - We cannot solve problems if we fail to understand the problems.

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By Bldng4Jstc, April 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

“... The wealthiest 2% in the United States pay over 40% of all revenue to the U.S. Treasury.  We can’t pretend or imagine that the wealthy pay no taxes.”

Using percentages for 1% from here:
http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/apr/18/michele-bachmann/michele-bachmann-says-top-1-percent-pay-40-percent/?__sf=1303407578

Against revenue numbers from here:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

The top 1% pays 26% of all revenue.  Making the assumption that the next 1% pays half the amount of revenue as the top 1% seems plausible, but I do not know if the tax code on a whole has that sort of corelation.  Please cite numbers as I could not find any.

I think the argument isn’t why the richest people pay such high taxes, but why is their such little wealth in the rest of the population to collect revenue from?  Our income tax code is not THAT progressive and includes individual breaks for the wealthy in business.

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By mrfreeze, April 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Go right young man - Please show documentation for your statement:
“But let us also not lose sight of the facts.  The wealthiest 2% in the United States pay over 40% of all revenue to the U.S. Treasury.  We can’t pretend or imagine that the wealthy pay no taxes.”

This is a talking point, but where is the data to show this to be a fact? What taxes are the rest of the populations NOT paying? And don’t give me that “50% of families pay no income taxes” baloney. Last time I looked, there were taxes EVERYWHERE for everything.

AND, even if you’re statement is partially true, well then, I think the wealthy should pay even more to “protect and defend” their self interests since it would seem that they’re the only Americans worth fighting (and dying for)....right?

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By Go Right Young Man, April 21, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

kalpal, - “So long as this nation permits the sale of legislation insulating the rich and powerful from mandatory contributions to the welfare of this nation, we can expect such actions to continue.”

-

I agree with you.  But let us also not lose sight of the facts.  The wealthiest 2% in the United States pay over 40% of all revenue to the U.S. Treasury.  We can’t pretend or imagine that the wealthy pay no taxes.

-

grokker, - “The planet will never sustain the kind of American lifestyle that globalization wants to foist upon India and China.”

First, the planet does not need to sustain an “American lifestyle”.  And no one is foisting a free market, capitalist, monetary system on China and India.  They choose it.  The arrogance is in believing the United States tells China and India what to do and how to act.  It is precisely that belief which I find so embarrassing.

If not capitalism, what market/monetary system would you suggest in order to lift the most people out of excruciating poverty?  The type of poverty that nearly does not exist in the United States.  The poorest in the United States suffer obesity.  Not the emaciated starvation which exists for several billion souls on the planet.

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By kalpal, April 21, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Lets not kid ourselves that the purchase of legislation which exempts the rich and powerful from paying a large part of the cost of our civilization will somehow be obstructed by the guys who solicit the money, propose legislation composed by lobbyists and profit from it when they leave office by becoming lobbyists themselves.

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By Jimbo in limbo, April 21, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t forget that those good-paying jobs they’re exporting
also don’t have the overhead of health care expenses like
we have in the U.S.  If only we would adopt the universal
health care model, maybe, just maybe, it would be less
expensive to hire American workers.

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By kalpal, April 21, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

So long as this nation permits the sale of legislation insulating the rich and powerful from mandatory contributions to the welfare of this nation, we can expect such actions to continue.

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By grokker, April 21, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Another arrogant “free market” apologist. The planet will never sustain the kind of American lifestyle that globalization wants to foist upon India and China. Corporate capitalism, the type we see today,is inherently unsustainable and requires far too much state intervention, leading ultimately to massive corruption and waste.It might look real rosy now since as you state, it’s feeding and housing millions more, but that will be the extent of their affluence.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 21, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Manchild,

You too seem utterly incapable of concerning yourself with people, events, and conditions beyond U.S. borders. 

-

Right now, as of this writing, China and India are lifting tens of millions of people out of devastating poverty by applying global, capitalist, free market architectures into their economies. - It is both observable and measurable.  Multiples of millions are suffering less in those countries due to capitalism.

Are you able to carry yourself as an adult and make an grownup argument against what I’ve written about India and China without once mentioning the United States?

It’s my opinion you cannot.  I believe you know nothing of India, the worlds largest democracy, or China, the worlds most populace communist country on the planet.

Attempt an adult dialog and show us how China and India are not injecting more capitalist market forces and not growing by leaps and bounds - in effect feeding and housing millions more human beings - because of it.

-

A global context for this thread:

Of the top 50 corporations on the planet 16 are American owned and operated.  It’s impossible to discuss corporations, jobs and taxes without this context.

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By george szabo, April 21, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Blah Blah Blah, That’s mostly what I hear when any politician speaks….. The
difference between most politicians is that some have a golden shovel for
all the BS they fling. Get over it you lefty pinkos and righty allmighty. the BS will
forever be there. It’s a job for the politicians, they get paid to represent the
more popular, and powerful lobbyists. End of Story. Their pretentious concerns
for the average person are just that—pretensions. Why am I so negative you ask
??? Read these 2 books and you will see how far a “civilization ” can sink
“Hitler’s Willing Executioners” and “Stolen Continents “....  We as a civilization
probably will not change, just our methods for cultural and physical genocide,
of those we deem less important…..

        George—King of the World

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By ALAN HIND, April 21, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of your readers and member’s comments suggest
that they believe that the accumulation of wealth in
few hands is a comparatively recent phenomenon in
America or Britain and Europe (where I hail from).
Currently the Forbes list suggests that there are
about 1200 billionaires in the world who own or at
the very least control 77% of the worlds GDP. This
accumulation of wealth takes time and we as citizens
of the world, whatever our nationality,need to face
up to the truth of our histories, not the myths
perpetuated by the media,demagogic political classes
and the desanitized versions of history force fed to
our school children.

For example you may read in history books that JP
Morgan was a director for several railway lines in
Alabama and Georgia but not that he payed a
substitution fee of $300 to escape military
conscription during the American Civil War as did a
number of other so called notables. JP Morgan’s
wealth accumulation began before the war because as
the son of a banker he had a head start. However how
many realize that after the war began he procured
five thousand defective rifles from an army arsenal
for $3.50 and later sold them to a general for $22
each.( Howard Zinn)

The above dirty dealings have been part and parcel of
the capitalist system for hundreds of years( witness
Tony Blaire’s curtailment of the British fraud squads
corruption investigation of BAE in the name of
national interests) as have the non payment of taxes
by multi national corporations. And they and the
political classes get away with it by invoking
patriotic fervour, racist propaganda or as stated
national self interest.

In school I was taught that Robert Clive otherwise
known as Clive of India was a hero of the well
meaning British Empire which dispensed justice and
civilization to the hoards of natives. When the
reality was he was part of a rapacious system that
stripped the wealth of great parts of the globe, and
if that meant killing natives then so be it, they
were collateral damage.

The above has been happening for hundreds of years
and in modern times, one only has to look at the
vast wealth made by thousands of companies ( British
and American included) in Apartheid South Africa by
the paying of below subsistence wages to black
Africans regulated by that heinous government.The
Burmese people are currently subjected to such
controls by outside interests in collusion with the
generals.

As an American writer once said ” So it goes”

What I say is wake up.

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By Samson, April 21, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

“One problem with your thesis, Presiden Obama is not
a gangster.”

Actually, by now he’s far surpassed Capone in how
much he’s stolen.  If there’s a Chicago gangster hall
of fame, Obama has got to be the leading exhibit.

He’s already stolen billions under the guise of
‘health care reform’ and funneled it off to his
corporate mafia buddies who run the big pharma, HMOs
and Insurance companies.

This is the guy who’s stealing your money every day
to buy worthless bonds from Wall Street for 100% of
the value that Wall Street says they were worth.  Its
called QE2, probably hoping you’ll confuse it with
the ship.

Now, he’s trying to steal all of social security and Medicare for his wall street buddies.

And, we aren’t even talking about the billions the
Pentagon manages to ‘lose’ every year, nor the giant
loads of hot stinking pork that’s the Homeland
Security caper.

Heck, Capone never even dreamed of capers like that.  And by now, I’m sure Obama has killed more people
than Capone ever dreamed of.  Capone was a small time
piker in comparison.  I wonder if they throw a party
when a president kills their 10,000th person or so. 
Of course, Obama is still a bit of a slouch in the
offing people department.  After all, both Clinton
and Dubya killed a million or so Iraqis alone in
their terms.  Obama probably hasn’t reached 100,000
yet.

Like the Clintons before him, Obama will not leave
the White House a poor man.  Like all of Presidents,
he’ll mysteriously be worth tens millions of dollars
more after a few years of working for $200k a year. 
Amazing how money just manifests itself in their
accounts and they always leave the White House rich. 
When was the last time you heard of a poor ex-
President?

Democrats unfortunately appear to be completely blind
to the crimes of their party members.  Even more
strange they seem blind to noticing that Obama let
all the Bush crooks the Dem faithful supposedly hated
get off scott-free.  You think that alone might have
been a hint that something was never right in
Obamaland.

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By Samson, April 21, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Corporations require a ‘charter’ to be granted to
them by the people in order for them to operate. 
These days, that’s pro-forma ... just go to the local
collections dept, aka, the Sec of State’s office, and
pay a small fee and they grant such a charter.

But, the original idea was that the people had the
final say on whether the corporation was a ‘net good’
to the community as a whole.  If the corporation was
‘net bad’, then the people, through the offices of
the state, had the right to ban that corporation from
doing business in their state.

Retake that power, perhaps by a grass-roots campaign
for little known Sec of State offices, and people
could strike a mighty blow.  Picture even one state
saying they are going to review all corporate
charters and strictly enforce the banning of
corporations that pollute in the state, or that rip-
off the citizens of the state?
————————————
The problem with Scheer is that when election time
comes around, he’s always telling people to vote for
the corporate-bought politicians that allow exactly
the things he decries.  It wasn’t long ago he was
urging us to vote for Obama, and to keep the
corporate Dems in charge of Congress. 

To change this, we all have to stop voting for
Scheer’s beloved corporate Democrats.  There’s an
easy rule to remember .... DON’T VOTE FOR CANDIDATES
WITH MONEY.  Doesn’t matter if they are a (D) or an
(R), if their campaign has lots of money, then they
serve money once elected. 

Since money pays for TV, this has an easy conversion
to simply saying you should never vote for the
candidates with the money to buy TV ads.  It doesn’t
matter what the ads say. If they are running the ads,
then the candidate is beholden to whomever paid for
the ads.

We need to learn to vote for broke candidates from
our own neighborhoods who never get on tv and who are
ridiculed by the corporate press.  Then we win.

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By ardee, April 21, 2011 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

On the contrary.  One of the world’s more open, capitalist, free-trade and independent minded small-medium-and large corporate atmospheres has created some of the world’s best fed, educated, housed, affluent, spoiled and whining populations in the planet’s entire human history.

GRYM’s latest fairy tale commentary is quite an enjoyable and amusing distortion of reality and I highly recommend it to any who are in need of a laugh.

Lets, by all means, laugh at the one million lost jobs and the four million family members who have lost their homes. Let us not be critical as our poor are not quite yet as bad off as the poor in those nations we have exploited for centuries.

This cretin claims to be embarrassed, and he well should be, but not at those he claims embarrass him but at his blind ignorance or agendized lies and distortions that make his every post so very reprehensible.

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Stop your carping, John M, and get off the couch.

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Gosh how interesting John M.

One problem with your thesis, Presiden Obama is not a gangster.

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By John M, April 21, 2011 at 1:20 am Link to this comment

Gangster government is always a danger, whoever is in
power

By: Michael Barone 04/12/11 2:29 PM


We have just seen an episode,” I wrote in a May 5,
2009, column in the Washington Examiner, “of Gangster
Government.” The subject of the column was the
Chrysler bankruptcy package that was being hammered
out by White House advisers Steven Rattner and Ron
Bloom. Ordinarily in bankruptcy secured creditors—
those who lent money only on the contractual promise
that if the debt was unpaid they’d get specific
property back—are paid off in full before any payment
goes to unsecured creditors.

But in the case of Chrysler, the Obama administration
insisted that Chrysler’s bondholders, who were
secured creditors, would get only about 29 cents on
the dollar, while United Auto Workers retirees, who
were unsecured creditors, would get about 50 cents on
the dollar. More than that, BarackObama made a point
of referring to the bondholders as “speculators.” And
one of the bondholders’ lawyers claimed that his
client “was directly threatened by the White House in
essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the
deal under threat that the full force of the White
House press corps would destroy its reputation if it
continued to fight.” An odd threat—except that
Rattner is widely known to be one of the best friends
of the publisher of the New York Times.

This was a case of the White House transferring the
property of one group of people to another group to
which it owed political debts. The UAW has long been
one of the Democratic party’s strongest supporters,
and labor unions contributed $400 million to
Democratic campaigns in the 2008 cycle. Those
contributions apparently paid off.

Some may consider this an isolated episode. Others
may point out that it’s possible to identify episodes
of gangster government in previous administrations of
both political parties. But, as I predicted at the
end of my May 2009 column, this was part of a
continuing series, for two reasons.

First, under the Obama administration, the federal
government became intertwined with the private sector
in unprecedented ways. It owns large shares of two
large auto companies and what was one of the nation’s
largest insurance companies. It extended enormous
loans to the nation’s largest banks. The
administration’s defenders can point out, accurately,
that some of these measures were initially taken in
circumstances of financial emergency during the Bush
administration. But that administration was not
responsible for actions taken after January 20, 2009.

The second reason that this administration seems
unusually inclined toward gangster government is the
philosophy of its leader. When asked what he looked
for when choosing a nominee for the Supreme Court,
Barack Obama said he wanted “someone who understands
justice is not just about some abstract legal
theory,” but someone who has “empathy.” In other
words, judges should decide cases so that the right
people win, not according to the rule of law. The
president himself taught law at the University of
Chicago.

But let the facts speak for themselves, as assembled
and presented by my Washington Examiner colleague
David Freddoso. As in his 2008 book, The Case Against
Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda
of the Media’s Favorite Candidate, Freddoso is self-
confessedly not a partisan of the president.  He
understands that people sometimes have good motives
to do bad things.

Gangster government is always a danger, whoever is in
power. It is a greater danger the more government is
deeply enmeshed with the private sector and when its
leaders believe that rules should be bent or ignored
in order to benefit favored constituencies. So thanks
to David Freddoso for providing a report that enables
citizens to decide just how far gangster government
has gone in this administration.

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By John M, April 21, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Gangster government returns: Nice little bank ya got
there . . .
TAGS: bank ceo Chicago dodd gangster government
Michael Barone summers
COMMENTS (0)  SHARE PRINT
By: Michael Barone 04/14/10 3:00 AM
Senior Political Analyst Follow Him @MichaelBarone

BY: ABC, FRED WATKINS/AP FILE PHOTO
Top White House officials have been muscling the big
banks to get them to stop lobbying for changes in
Senator Christopher Dodd’s financial regulation bill.

The meeting included top bank CEOs, including Lloyd
Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan
Chase and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America. Wielding
the muscle were longtime political consultant David
Axelrod and the distinguished economist Larry
Summers. Bloomberg has the story:

During one exchange, executives raised concern over
the administration’s criticism of the industry’s
efforts to influence the bill, according to one
participant. Summers responded by calling on the
industry to cease running ads against the bill and to
stop its lobbyists from trying to insert loopholes in
the legislation, the person said.

In other words, abandon your First Amendment right to
petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Or to put it in Chicago language, Nice little bank ya
got there. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it . .
. .

As I argue in my Examiner column today, the Dodd bill
would actually give the big banks an enormous
competitive advantage by effectively conferring “too
big to fail” status on them. Nevertheless, I still
think the banks are within their rights to lobby for
changes in the Dodd bill—which if it’s drafted as
poorly as the health care bill will contain all
manner of unpleasant and unintended surprises for all
concerned.

But the White House officials are making clear the
character of the new regime they’re trying to impose.
We’re doing you favors, so shut up and take whatever
medicine we prescribe without protest. Last year I
characterized the government’s muscling of secured
creditors and favors to the United Auto Workers in
the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies as
“gangster government.” I predicted there would be
more examples. Here it is.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-
confidential/gangster-government-returns-nice-little-
bank-ya-got-there#ixzz1K8DrRa5q

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

“On the contrary.  One of the world’s more open, capitalist, free-trade and independent minded small-medium-and large corporate atmospheres has created some of the world’s best fed, educated, housed, affluent, spoiled and whining populations in the planet’s entire human history.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Most whining, there I agree with you.

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By Lafayette, April 21, 2011 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

STUDIOUSLY IGNORED?

JM: ...  as it studiously ignores the well-being of the rest of us

C’mon, a wee bit of objectivity please.

Just look at where the gummint spends its money here.

Now look at the ranking on the right of that expenditure pie-chart. Does that show that we, the sheeple, are being “studiously ignored”?

Admittedly, items 6 and 7 on that list can use some adjustment ...

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

I totally agree. We have a New Corporate World Order, nothing less.

They are in charge and we are seeing the repercussions of this. Zero ethics, for one.

But do not blame Obama, the Tea Party is doing that all over the place, and I mean all over. To heap blame on him, coming from the liberal side, is like laying stones on the scales of Justice, and I do not mean the good side.

We are the good side so lets prove it, and take on this New Corporate World Order and say… NOPE!!

No way. We aren’t going there.

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By Lafayette, April 21, 2011 at 12:35 am Link to this comment

THE AUGEAN STABLES

The guarantee means that if a German company fails to repay a German bank, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill.

Yes and there are numerous occasions where the opposite is true. This mechanism is current in international finance.

How it must disappoint you to learn that mostly all TARP bailouts have been repaid with interest to the US Treasury.

Google “TARP repayments”. Stop the unsubstantiated drivel - there’s enough such mindless stupidity in this forum that looks more and more like the Augean Stables.

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By John M, April 21, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

When writers at the Nation start to sound like me

By: Timothy P. Carney 04/20/11 3:51 PM
Senior Political Columnist Follow Him @TPCarney
Because my main beat is the alliance of Big Business
and Big Government that hurts consumers, competitors,
taxpayers, and workers, I often find common ground
with the Left. Corporate welfare gets a bipartisan
embrace in the center, and bipartisan opposition on
the wings.

This article by Robert Scheer in The Nation today is
very liberal, but much of the meat of the piece is
stuff I almost could have written. Here’s one
passage:

Big government, the devil that Republicans love to
inveigh against, is big precisely because it is so
active in so many costly ways in serving the
interests of our biggest corporations. Corporate
lobbyists attest with their every breath that big
government and big business are bedmates in a
bountiful venture that impoverishes the rest of us.

Scheer’s conclusion is the flipside of the same
conclusion I would make:

It is the corporations that need big government to
protect their interests, and one would hope they
would be willing to pay for the services that their
government so faithfully renders to make them
obscenely wealthy as it studiously ignores the well-
being of the rest of us.

I would say, instead, that if particular corporations
benefit so much from Big Government, why don’t we cut
off their help and let them foot the tab?

 

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-
confidential/2011/04/when-writers-nation-start-sound-
me#ixzz1K7xIh8Rg

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By elisalouisa, April 21, 2011 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

How many people do you know who have cancer? Compare this to the number of people you knew who had cancer 20 years ago. My friends and relatives in various locations all agree that this personal statistic shows the number of people who have cancer has increased considerably.

My father had prostrate cancer. His death certificate stated the cause of death as heart failure. How many times is this scenario repeated? Corporations have no intention of searching for the cause of cancer. Fighting the disease is more profitable.

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By John M, April 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

Regulation is for the little guys: Is the Volcker
rule affecting Goldman at all?


By: Timothy P. Carney 04/19/11 5:04 PM
Senior Political Columnist Follow Him @TPCarney
One reason Big Government often helps Big Business is
that Big Business can afford the lawyers to work
itself around regulations. GE can afford 900 tax
specialists to get around our high corporate tax
rates. Mattel can hire up top congressional aides to
get around strict toy inspection laws. And Goldman
Sachs can afford Barney Frank’s top staffer and
Obama’s White House Counsel, Greg Craig.

During the debate over Dodd-Frank, I wrote this:

Another pillar of Obama’s financial reform is the
“Volcker Rule,” which would restrict the trading
banks can do. Blankfein and Cohn, in their letter,
indicate to shareholders that this rule will be no
big deal for them.

The Volcker Rule would bar “proprietary trading” by
Goldman (that is trading simply to benefit Goldman’s
bottom line) but would not restrict dealings “related
to” serving the bank’s clients. But even Goldman’s
most notorious financial dealings, transactions with
failed insurance giant AIG, were client-related,
Goldman told shareholders: “The net risk we were
exposed to,” Blankfein and Cohn wrote, “was
consistent with our role as a market intermediary
rather than a proprietary market participant.”

In other words, almost any deal Goldman would make
could be tied to a client, meaning the Volcker Rule
couldn’t touch Goldman, even if it cramps the style
of smaller, less well-connected banks.

Today the L.A. Times reports this:

Goldman’s first-quarter results, released Tuesday,
show that revenue from the firm’s own investments
rose 39% from the first quarter of 2010, which was
before the Dodd-Frank overhaul was enacted. Those
investments, which Goldman calls “principal
transactions,” accounted for $2.6 billion, or nearly
one-fourth, of total revenue last quarter. They
included private equity and hedge fund transactions
entered into before Dodd-Frank was adopted.

Many analysts have assumed these sorts of
transactions would be barred under the Volcker rule.
But Goldman executives have recently told analysts
that they believe they will be able to continue with
this activity.

And keep this in mind: if Goldman is untouched or
barely touched by this regulation, while its smaller
competitors are hampered—that makes the Volcker
Rule a net gain for Goldman.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-
confidential/2011/04/regulation-little-guys-volcker-
rule-affecting-goldman-all#ixzz1K7vDFtgX

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By John M, April 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

U.S. taxpayers guarantee $2.1b loan to German firms


A federal subsidy program has just announced its
largest ever award: a$2.1 billion loan guarantee to a
German-owned solar power company.-Photos.com
A
federal subsidy program with consistently poor marks
on transparency and accountability has just announced

its largest ever award: a $2.1 billion loan guarantee
to a German-owned solar power company. The Solar
Trust of America, the U.S.-based joint venture of two
German companies, says the subsidized project will
create 1,000 construction jobs and 220 permanent jobs
in the desert where the new solar power plant will be
built. Maybe so, but there are plenty of reasons to
question the efficacy of this government job creation
project—including the fact that the key components
of the plant will be built by robots.

The 2005 energy bill authorized the Department of
Energy to guarantee private bank loans for
“innovative energy technologies.” President Obama’s
2009 stimulus bill expanded the subsidies and removed
the requirement that the beneficiary provide a “down
payment” of sorts to cover the risk. But the program
has consistently received harsh critiques from the
Government Accountability Office and the DOE’s
inspector general.

Federal loan guarantees put the U.S. taxpayer on the
hook if the borrower cannot repay the loan. When it
comes to nascent technologies in economically dicey
industries like energy, default is a serious concern.

“Ability to perform and repay the loan,” was one of
the important things DOE officers sometimes failed to
examine, according to an IG report issued in late
2007. In July 2008, the GAO concluded that “the
Department of Energy was not well positioned to
manage the Program effectively and maintain
accountability,” according to one summary. In early
2009, another IG report noted improvements, but still
found the program lacking “procedures necessary to
estimate potential losses in the event of default.” A
July 2010 GAO report found the program treating
applicants inconsistently.

The latest IG report, issued in March, found
widespread shortcomings in documentation and
transparency. None of the 18 loan guarantees issued
under the program had been properly documented. The
program officers “did not always record the results
of analyses” of loan applications. Program officers
told the IG things about risk management efforts that
clashed with the agency’s written records.

In short, while there’s no hard evidence of clean-
energy loan guarantees being given out haphazardly,
the Department of Energy can’t prove they’re being
approved with proper care, either.

In this context, the department approved a $2.1
billion guarantee for a solar power plant in the
Mojave Desert.

Solar Trust of America is owned 70 percent by German
company Solar Millennium and 30 percent by
Ferrostaal, also of Germany. One of STA’s finance
partners is Deutsche Bank. The guarantee means that
if a German company fails to repay a German bank,
U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill.

STA’s Blythe Solar Power Project in California’s
desert will have no solar panels, but instead uses
large parabola-shaped mirrors to focus the sun’s
energy on a pipe filled with a synthetic oil. The hot
oil is piped to a nearby building where it boils
water, generating steam, which spins a turbine,
generating current.

 

 


Read more at the Washington Examiner:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/04/us-
taxpayers-guarantee-21b-loan-german-
firms#ixzz1K7twmn1Y

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By John M, April 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

Green energy subsidies mean billionaires get your
money
COMMENTS (0)  SHARE PRINT
By: Timothy P. Carney 04/20/11 2:18 PM
Senior Political Columnist Follow Him @TPCarney
Do you think our government should take money from
taxpayers and give it to billionaires? Some
billionaires do, as long as they couch it as “green
energy.” Chris Moody at the Daily Caller reports on
an event in DC yesterday:

“This is all the help I want. I want a billion
dollars a year for five years and then kill it,”
[Billionaire T. Boone] Pickens said, describing the
amount of public money he’ll need through tax credits
to get his plan off the ground. “Five billion
dollars….”

“Just give me the money to get it started,” he said
at the Tuesday luncheon. “Give us the direction, Mr.
President and we’ll go in that direction because we
are patriotic and we’re not stupid.”

Ted Turner also wants Obama to give him your money:
Turner recently invested millions in the solar power
business, and wants to see some dough from Uncle Sam
too.
“There does need to be some subsidies,” Turner said
when asked if he could launch his projects with just
private capital.

Turner’s most dizzying statement: “Right now we’re
subsidizing coal and oil big time. Wind and solar and
geothermal are not being subsidized because they were
not here to get in line and get their spot at the
feed trough.”

First of all, wind, solar, and geothermal are being
subsidized. A lot. By a lot of government programs.
Just to name two from the stimulus—grants for
renewable energy developers, and multibillion-dollar
loan guarantees. States are in the game, too.
What’s sad is watching Pickens and Turner, successful
businessmen who made money through voluntary
transactions, begging Obama for handouts. What’s odd
is that this brazen behavior is somehow acceptable. I
wrote about this dynamic on a visit to Ohio last fall
where I saw a bunch of green energy executives on
stage with Gov. Ted Strickland:
the event could be seen as brazen patronage—
Strickland was subsidizing businesses with the tax
dollars and the electricity bills of his
constituents, and the subsidized CEOs were supporting
Strickland’s re-election. It was another glimpse of
the odd new world of “green jobs” in which Democrats
outflank Republicans on the “pro-business” line and
openly give handouts to campaign contributors.
Everything is hunky-dory because it’s green.


Read more at the Washington Examiner:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-
confidential/2011/04/green-energy-subsidies-mean-
billionaires-get-your-money#ixzz1K7tT57va

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By TDoff, April 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm Link to this comment

Oh, for goodness’ sakes. Why all this continued fuss about ‘Corporations Rule!?’ Haven’t we enough problems without worrying about that? And why don’t we take advantage of the situation to solve our economic problems?
Why don’t we put some of our landmarks up for sponsorship bidding, like ball parks? How does the ‘General Electric Statue of Liberty’ sound?
Can you imagine the competitive CEO egos involved in bidding for sponsoring The White House? The Liberty Bell? The Supreme Court? The Congress?
Of course, in order to make sure that the sponsorship money paid went into the U.S. General Fund, we’d have to ensure that if ExxonMobil bought the U.S. Treasury sponsorship rights, for example, the money didn’t go to the current owner, Goldman Sachs. And ditto for the Congress and SCOTUS and the White House.
But those details could be worked out, once we get a Congress in which the parties talk to each other.
Hell, we could even sell advertising on our currency.
‘In the Koch Bros. We Trust’ has a nice ring to it.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, April 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

“Corporate lobbyists attest with their every breath that big government and big business are bedmates in a bountiful venture that impoverishes the rest of us.” - Robert Scheer.

-

On the contrary.  One of the world’s more open, capitalist, free-trade and independent minded small-medium-and large corporate atmospheres has created some of the world’s best fed, educated, housed, affluent, spoiled and whining populations in the planet’s entire human history.

Only those who think first of their own immediate surroundings could ever look on how roughly 5 Billion people on the planet live with so little, and imagine that free-trade capitalism has been suffered upon the poor in the United States.  A place where the poorest amongst us suffer obesity and are, themselves, quite literally, wealthier than 70% of the entire globe’s populations.

-

India and China are two of the few largest populations in the world.  They have each held some of the most impoverished, starved, and suffering on the planet. - To the tune of hundreds of millions of souls.  Right now, as of this writing, China and India are lifting tens of millions of people out of devastating poverty by applying global, capitalist, free market architectures into their economies. - It is both observable and measurable.  Multiples of millions are suffering less in those countries due to capitalism.  Not more.

-

Mr. Scheer is arguing that America’s privately held companies and corporations, all answering to private shareholders (AARP, Teachers Unions, Banks, Public Service Employee Unions, Pensioners, American Investment Firms, City Municipal Bonds, Utility Companies, Airlines etc.,)  have become much too “wealthy”.  They should not compete so freely in a global market.  In fact, Mr. Scheer argues, all of the above should be punished for their combined wealth.

Robert Scheer writes like a spoiled, arrogant, wealthy American who can’t seem to see past his American borders.

I am thoroughly embarrassed.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

ZenBowman, April 21 at 1:13 am,

The government wasn’t nearly this oppressive in
1970 when there were no corporate lobbyists on
K Street in DC.  It is time to be done with K Street
Corporate Lobbyists ruling the government for
corporations to maximize profit at the expense of
the majority population.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

ZenBowman, April 21 at 1:13 am,

The government wasn’t nearly this oppressive in
1970 when there were no corporate lobbyists on
K Street in DC.  It is time to be done with K Street
Corporate Lobbyists ruling the government for
corporations to maximize profit at the expense of
the majority population.

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By ZenBowman, April 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

@entropy2: Well said brother, well said.

The right seeks to take away power from the people and give it to the corporate heads via the government.

The left seeks to take away power from the people and give it to the government directly.

In either case the large part of the wealth created by the people is siphoned off to the ruling class.

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By eric, April 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read that bit over at Alternet about the boys at Yale (tomorrow’s leaders and captains of industry, etc.) running on a sexual abuse rampage.  And I thought to myself ... A young man who abuses women will grow up one day to abuse the world.  At that point I had an “ah-ha!” moment.  I realized (at least in my own mind) that that generation will likely be the generation for which a revolution will sweep the US.  The working and the poor (often one and the same) will be so beat down and degraded in, say, 20 yrs, and the wealthy and powerful (e.g. those little shits at Yale) will be so arrogant and brutal (even compared to today’s standards), that the weight of the system will become so odious and so obnoxious that the people will have no choice but to rise up and put an end to it.  With that, I realized that I really have to start teaching my daughter and preparing her for what is to come.  In short, I may or may not see what I hope to be a Jeffersonian revolution that brings America back to her true purpose in my time—i.e. securing human liberty.  But I feel certain that our children will see an historic revolution in twenty to thirty years that will profoundly change this country and the world, for good or for bad.  Just a thought (for what it’s worth) that I felt like sharing after reading this article ...

ps.  Sadly, the current generation of Americans are too corrupted by consumer culture (i.e., bread and circuses) to participate in any meaningful change.  However, this too will lead to the conditions to which I am referring that will ultimately spark the revolution: simple desperation.

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By frecklefever, April 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

WHAT THE UNPATRIOTICS DO WITH THE MONEY THEY SAVE
BY NOT PAYING TAXES….IS TO PAY LOBBYISTS TO FIX THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM…..SO SOCIOPATHS ARE RUNNING THE
COUNTRY ON MONEY STOLEN FROM THE GOVERNMENT….I
SAY EMPTY THE PRISONS OF MARIJUANA USERS TO MAKE
ROOM FOR THE CORPORATE BOARD MEMBERS AND THEIR
LACKEY CEOS PLUS LOBBYISTS AND A WHOLE LOT OF
POLITICIANS…AND A FEW SUPREME COURT JUSTICES…AND
WHY NOT THROW IN BUSH AND IGOR…

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HarlowMarlowe's avatar

By HarlowMarlowe, April 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

How to Start the REVOLUTION:

1.  STOP paying your taxes: Local, State, Federal

2.  STOP paying your bills:  Electric, Gas, Credit Card, Mortgage,
so-called health care insurance (SCAM of EPIC   PROPORTIONS)

3.  WITHDRAW ALL MONIES FROM BIG BANKS NOW

4.  STOP EVERYTHING and MOVE RAUCOUSLY TO THE STREETS of
WASHINGTON DC

WE MUST STOP THESE CRIMINALS…WE MUST ORGANIZE AND DO
THIS ON THE LARGEST SCALE POSSIBLE.

Can we do it?

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By Morpheus, April 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Have you had enough of this. When you’re ready -

“JOIN THE REVOLUTION”

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”
—-
FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM

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By bowwowboy, April 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Expat has the right idea. At least he has the balls
to see things for what they are rather than what he
needs to pretend they one day might magically become.
Go ahead and keep scooping water off the deck of the
Titanic while singing “Nearer My God to Thee.” The
rest of us will applaud your “courage” while we’re
rowing our lifeboats toward some relatively safe
harbor that hasn’t yet been destroyed by the American
corporocracy (although dying empires try to take down
as many bystanders as possible before going down a
third time). Yeah, I know: that’s a “survivalist
mentality.” How bad does it have to get before what’s
left of your instinct for self-preservation finally
kicks in?

Meanwhile, if you want to show some real courage (as
opposed to symbolic grandstanding), instead of
whining about how unfair it is for “persons” like
Exxon, GE, etc. not to have to pay taxes like the
rest of us, next April 15 submit a letter to the IRS
saying you’ll be happy to pay your fair share as soon
as these assholes do. Scared of that big bad slammer?
Who’s the coward now?

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By lovestospooge, April 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OBAMA….. he’s pissin me off, with this health care
and shit. i just dont like it. he aint nobody he dont
know. he’s just gay as hell!

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By NebraskaRanger, April 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who wants to play COD?

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By brojones, April 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

YES! Indeed; thx Mr. Scheer….

@ Lloyd
Fr Fortune/Propublica piece linked to:

“Samuels said at a tax forum in February that GE needs a tax system that will let it compete effectively with giant, foreign-based multinationals like Mitsubishi, Siemens (SI), and Phillips. However, their effective tax rates for earnings purposes last year were 40%, 31% and 26% respectively, compared with 7% for GE. (GE says its tax rate’s been artificially low the past few years, and will soon rise.)”

OK so it’s not zero but damn near zero…what’s yr point

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