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Showing posts tagged politics

The Super-Rich have all the money and pay the least taxes; meanwhile you’re evicted and jobless. WTF??!!

I never cease to be amazed at how frequently the average “Joe the Plumber” conservatives, who are very often low-income or lower-middle class, neglect to see that the folks they are electing are fleecing them daily.

For that matter, most elected officials of both parties, as a matter of course, play the game, participate in the system, and are bought and sold by lobbyists, corporations, and the super rich who fund them. I don’t care how the US Chamber of Commerce report cards are tallied in their favor, the data shows who is taking the most corporate money.  The ones who won’t be bribed will never get elected because they don’t have the money to get off the bench.

In 2010, in The wake of Citizen’s United v. FEC,  Republicans received $190 million, mostly from Multinational Corporations for elections. Democrats received $94.1 million, mostly from Unions, for elections. Amongst major donor organizations,  $160 Million was contributed to the GOP from outside groups, all with Multinational Corporate Ties, and $77.5 million to Democrats from Outside Groups, that not only supported Unions but Environmental Issues, Civil Liberties Issues, click the source link for details.) Public Sector Unions gave Democrats $38 million, or 40% of their total contributions from outside groups.  Source - PragPro   Source 2 - Opensecrets.org

Those people do not give a fuck about how you lost your job and home, whether your kids are hungry, or if your aging mother’s healthcare is cut-off. If they do it is only because they want you to elect them again so that can keep making money while you starve.

They only care about getting rich and staying in power, and they’ll say whatever it takes to push your socially conservative buttons to get you to vote them in again so they can keep fleecing you. I could say just as much about the liberal politicians, who do the same thing, but that’s for another time.

This story captures how disproportionate the distribution of wealth is and how the rich are favored by those in power. And you may have put them there. Wake up and start looking out for your families. Quit allowing yourselves to be manipulated and focus on the real issues of wealth, class, and where all the money is.

I listen to Marketplace on NPR every night on my way home from work.  If APM dislikes me posting this in it’s entirety I’ll take it down, but it’s so short and on target I have to share it all. I’m not profiting and this is commentary, so I’m going with Fair Use.

Tax the Rich - Marketplace - APM

Robert Reich: As Americans get ready to file their taxes, politicians are battling over how much to cut government spending in order to reduce huge deficits. Curiously though, one option for deficit reduction seems to be off the table. That’s to raise taxes on the very rich.

For decades now, America’s top earners have been pulling in a larger and larger share of the nation’s total income. Over the same period though, their tax rates have steadily declined. In the 1950s, the top marginal income tax rate was 91 percent. Now it’s 35 percent. Even when you include deductions and credits, the super-rich are now paying a far lower portion of their incomes in taxes than at any time since World War II.

Meanwhile, capital gains and dividends — a big chunk of their income — were taxed at 35 percent as recently as the late 1980s. Now, they’re taxed at 15 percent. And the estate tax has now vanished for estates under $5 million or $10 million a couple.

If the rich were taxed at the same rates they were taxed a half century ago, they’d be paying some $350 billion more this year in federal taxes. That would be trillions of dollars over the next decade — a major contribution to eliminating the deficit.

Now yes, of course, clever accountants and tax lawyers would find ways around any tax increases, but this was always the case.

The real difference between now and then is the political power of the super-rich is much greater. After all, that’s why their tax rates are so much lower.

But it’s just possible that the devastating budget squeezes in Washington and in state capitals, and the slashing of public services vital to the middle class and the poor, may prompt Americans to look back 50 years — and ask why the super-rich shouldn’t pay the same tax rates now as they did then. Source

Wake up folks. Focus on something besides who someone is having sex with. Quit being distracted by manufactured bullshit entertainment news. Protest about something other than your personal hobby causes. Ahh, who am I kidding? Nothing’s going to happen until enough of you are starving to make it matter to you.

I wish it were otherwise.

 


Taking the Extremist out of the Apocalypse: The Republican Tea Party and their Corporate Benefactors

I have said that I would stay non-political on this blog and just present the stories. I may lose some readers by writing this, but it may not have been the right blog for you anyway.

I follow stories on lots of survivalist and financial blogs run by folks who think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and perhaps it is, but I don’t agree with many of their arguments. 

Many of them seem to be heavily influenced by the Tea Party movement and express their anger at the gross expenditures of the federal government. I also see them frequently take up for the wealthy and perpetuate the system that enslaves them while railing against the elite and the NWO. It is a dynamic I don’t understand.

Let me get this straight. You rail against the “elite and NWO”, Wall Street Bankers, the Fed, and everyone else who is rich and in power, and then you take a stand on defending them when it comes to their money? We are being robbed blind and the Republicans lead the charge when it comes to protecting bankers, financiers, and corporate interests.

I am flabbergasted. I cannot understand why those of us who are hurt most by the manipulations of the elitists and super rich continue to perpetuate their survival and enable their tactics by defending them and electing them.

How many of you yelling about Government entitlements are using medical benefits and equipment funded by Medicare/caid?

Early on in Rand Paul’s campaigns

he denounced Medicare as socialized medicine. Then when confronted with reducing Medicare payments to Doctors, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. “Physicians,” he said, “should be allowed to make a comfortable living.”

I get it. You are angry. You don’t like the way things are going, but you’re still buying into the same bullshit and hypocrisy that got us to where we are today.

Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan shared this video of Tea Party commentator Bill Whittle criticizing Michael Moore’s anti-corporate and wealth rhetoric. He also points out that Moore is rich himself, an argument often raised by his opponents.  Before watching the video, read Moore’s response to this criticism when asked about it by Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: But let’s talk about — most people going to see this movie who don’t like you are going to say, you know what? Michael Moore has done pretty well in this capitalist or free market system. You’ve become a fairly rich guy yourself.

MOORE: So, yes. Your point was, I have done well. Yes, for a documentary filmmaker, I have done very well.

MOORE: Isn’t the question better put — and I’m not trying to do your job for you — but wouldn’t the question better be, gee, Mike, you have done so well. Why don’t you just kick back at the lake and enjoy life? Why are you caring about all these people losing their health care and their jobs and all that? You’re not losing yours?

I wonder if there was like a Wolf Blitzer like 200 years ago who asked Thomas Jefferson or John Adams or George Washington, hey, you know, you guys are wealthy landowners. You have benefited from the king’s system. What are you complaining about? What is this revolt all about?

It’s like, sometimes, people, even people who have actually had the good fortune and blessings in life to not have to struggle with worrying about their health care, whether or not it’s going to be here tomorrow or the next week, sometimes, those people actually are willing to take great risks and create sacrifices for themselves, in the hopes that others will have it just as well.

BLITZER: That you have made a lot of money in this free enterprise, capitalist system, and now you’re railing against it.

MOORE: I know. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that amazing, that I actually — I actually, with a high school education, through my hard work and my ideas, have done OK, and then — and that I still want to do these things to help people who have it worse off than I, that I’m actually following through on the religious principles that I was raised with that I will be judged by how I treat the least among us?

I want an economic system that’s run with democratic principles and has a moral and ethical core to it. I want you and I and all the people watching to be able to have a say. And when you say, oh, we get to elect or representatives, well, you and I know the truth of that, that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year on lobbying Congress.

And you and I don’t have that kind of money to spend on that. So, the average person doesn’t get to see the things they would like to see happen. Otherwise, the 75 percent who want universal health care would have universal health care right now.

At the :34 mark in this video the speaker calls the people in the Wisconsin protests “mobs disrupting the legislative process because they didn’t like the outcome”.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

This is the same rhetoric that could be used to discredit any protest. If this hyperbole were used against Tea Party protests you would scream bloody murder. Voltaire said “”I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.”

Wake up! The more you back corporate power and super-rich politicians, the more they laugh at you as you enable them.

At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, saw their compensation grow just 2.1% in the 12 months ended December 2010. Source


Forgive my sarcasm, but by all means, let’s cut my 74 year old Mom’s Medicare and continue to protect the rich 10%.

I found this article about the Tea Party movement in Kentucky, my home state. It’s titled “Tea & Crackers: How Corporate Interests and Republican Insiders Built the Tea Party Monster” and I’m just excerpting the last few paragraphs, but it bears reading in toto.

I think it captures the zeitgeist of the conservative tendency to want to limit government spending, intervention, and taxes, while protecting the corporate wealth interests who continue to rape the working class on a daily basis.

In the Tea Party narrative, victory at the polls means a new American revolution, one that will “take our country back” from everyone they disapprove of. But what they don’t realize is, there’s a catch: This is America, and we have an entrenched oligarchical system in place that insulates us all from any meaningful political change. The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP.
What few elements of the movement aren’t yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it’s only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP’s campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.

This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can’t; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.

Of course, the fact that we’re even sitting here two years after Bush talking about a GOP comeback is a profound testament to two things: One, the American voter’s unmatched ability to forget what happened to him 10 seconds ago, and two, the Republican Party’s incredible recuperative skill and bureaucratic ingenuity.

This is a party that in 2008 was not just beaten but obliterated, with nearly every one of its recognizable leaders reduced to historical-footnote status and pinned with blame for some ghastly political catastrophe. There were literally no healthy bodies left on the bench, but the Republicans managed to get back in the game anyway by plucking an assortment of nativist freaks, village idiots and Internet Hitlers out of thin air and training them into a giant ball of incoherent resentment just in time for the 2010 midterms. They returned to prominence by outdoing Barack Obama at his own game: turning out masses of energized and disciplined supporters on the streets and overwhelming the ballot box with sheer enthusiasm.

The bad news is that the Tea Party’s political outrage is being appropriated, with thanks, by the Goldmans and the BPs of the world. The good news, if you want to look at it that way, is that those interests mostly have us by the balls anyway, no matter who wins on Election Day. That’s the reality; the rest of this is just noise. It’s just that it’s a lot of noise, and there’s no telling when it’s ever going to end.

From Commondreams.org - Tea & Crackers: How Corporate Interests and Republican Insiders Built the Tea Party Monster

Meanwhile the Tea Party continues to be funded by the super rich:

Real Americans are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who.

There’s just one element missing from America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the Wall Street sugar daddies who are bankrolling it and who have been doing so since well before the “death panel” days.

Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch, who owns - among other things - Fox News via it’s parent company, NewsCorp.

The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers really are.

Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond and against the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates ever gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s strategy, they might.

All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” - those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. with a coup d’etat attempt.

And here’s more on the “big money” behind the Tea Party:

According to the nonpartisan website Source Watch, “Reports indicate that the Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement is flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works.” Those two entities are “lobbyist-run think tanks” that are “well funded”, providing logistics and organizing for the TEA Party movement nationwide, ThinkProgress.org has reported.

 Media Matters, a nonpartisan site founded by a conservative, reported that FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family FoundationsMedia Matters reports that the Koch family has given more than $12 million to CSE/FreedomWorks between 1985 and 2002. In addition, Media Matters lists the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune, as having given a total of $2.96 million in funding to FreedomWorks, the major backer of the TEA Party movements.

This is why I started this blog. Survivalists and preppers are pervasively conservative and affiliated with the Tea Party. They encompass large numbers of religious fundamentalists and anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists. On the other side, the liberal “survivalists” are ecologists, organic farmers, and green activists; back to the earth people who think it can all be fixed by changing our lightbulbs, growing local, and using alternative energy.

Where is the moderate in the preparedness movement?  Why is there such polarization? Why are those most oppressed deluded and persuaded by right-wing progaganda into believing that rich corporate power houses will work with their best interests in mind?

I maintain that one can believe that the situation is dire, and prepare appropriately without embracing extremism. That is why I write here. That is why I ever remain the Skeptical Survivalist.

 


newsshit:

Thom Hartmann: Must see! The TRUE story of the Tea Party (by TheBigPictureRT)

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Posted at 12:24am
Reblogged (Video reblogged from newsshit)
Tagged Tea Party Politics history American Revolution

 


 


Posted at 3:11pm
Tagged politics foreign policy