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Handouts for the wealthy don’t stop many of these people from condemning the poor.

May 22, 2013 in Class War, Economy, Hunger, Local, Poverty, The Rich


Just on the heels of my own local government giving away almost a million dollars in tax revenue and taxpayer money to wealthy businesses and elite areas of my community last night,  I read of similar antics carried out yesterday in the US House of Representatives.  This is the kind of “democracy” you get when voters stay home.

Think Progress reported that Rep. Stephen Fincher ranted against food aid for poor Americans included in the Farm Bill during last week’s House Agricultural Committee debate.  Specifically, Fincher accused the government of stealing “other people’s money.  Funding for he Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has already been decimated in both the House and Senate versions the Farm Bill, cutting off nearly 2 million working families, children and seniors from food assistance.

But for many like Fincher, they have a double standard going for the values.  Margaret Heffernan would call it “willful blindness.”  For you see, while Fincher interprets food assistance for the needy as “stealing,” he has supported a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years.

You see, Rep. Fincher is the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in Tennessee history.  USDA data collected in the EWG’s 2013 farm subside database shows that Fincher collected a staggering $3.48 million in “our” money from 1999 to 2012.

Read all the Details.  Rep Fincher even thumped the Bible to make his points as to why the poor deserve nothing.

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    Tonight on the Ed Show we meet the man who recorded Romney’s 47% comment

    March 13, 2013 in Class War, Labor Struggles, The Rich, Wall Street

    On HuffPost this morning, in an article titled “How Bill clinton Inspired the 47 percent Filmmaker“, the author compared Bill Clinton’s behavior to that of entitled Mr. Romney. The man, who tended bar for a company that catered to a high-end clientele, had previously worked at a fundraiser at a home where Clinton spoke. After Clinton addressed guests, the man recalled, the former president came back to the kitchen and thanked the staff, the waiters, the bartenders, the busboys, and everyone else involved in putting the event together. He shook hands, took photos, signed autographs, and praised the meal — all characteristic of the former president.

    The man took his camera to the Romney fundraiser in hopes to get a photo with Romney but it didn’t turn out that way since Romney didn’t come back to the kitchen to thank the staff after the dinner.

    I don’t think that it is  Bill Clinton who should be thanked. His mother no doubt raised him to be kind and appreciative to everyone, regardless their station in life and to acknowledge their contributions. Perhaps it’s a southern mother thing. Perhaps its a poor mother thing. I don’t know but my mom who was not wealthy either and who was also southern raised me to be that way too.

    Romney, with his life of privilege, obviously was not taught these values–or if so he didn’t take them to heart.

    Where was the media and the public outrage in 2000 when George Bush II committed an even larger class faux pas than the 47% comment–and publicly AND got away with it!

    Junior Bush was quoted during one of his speeches saying the “have-mores” are his kind of people. I’m really amazed that comment did not have the same devastating impact on his career as did Romney’s 47% comment. It was not made at an exclusive fund-raiser. It was made at a public event.

    Bush made the comment in October 2000 at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, “This is an impressive crowd. The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base”.

    Was the USA asleep? This was in October, before the election and this was a public speech–not one to a closed off group like the one where Romney made his comment.

    Where was the media on this one? Most of us read about it after the election in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, but of course by then it was way past the hour of midnight and the USA coach was already a pumpkin rotting in the dust of Iraq.

    My Theory Regarding the Lack of Outrage in 2000: Junior’s class related comment regarding the “have-mores” was made before the Wall Street Bank Bailout and before Occupy Wall Street.

    The year 2000 was pre-Occupy Wall Street.   The overwhelming majority of Americans were still laboring under the false assumption that the USA is a classless Democracy.

    I can remember in 2008, during the days when I still watched all the MSNBC political talk show hosts, watching Chris Matthews get all bristled up and indignant when one of his guests suggested that what was happening here in the USA is a class war.  I can remember even my liberal friends not wanting to even hint around the edges that the USA is not a democracy but a plutocracy in 2004 and many of them even so still in 2008 resisting this notion of class in the USA.  The bailout of the Wall Street “too big to fail” banks began to erode this false notion of a “classless democracy” here in the USA.   Then in September of 2011 with the foundation of Occupy Wall Street and all its subsequent activities, the American public is much more aware and sensitive to issues of class in our society.  However they still have a way to go before things can change for the better for most of us.

    There is one major connection to class and the continued economic mess in our nation that the majority of Americans still have not made.  However, I believe this connection is coming soon–within five years.

    The majority of people that we send to Washington DC and to our State legislatures are members of the investor class. Until we stop sending this class to “represent” us, NOTHING will change.  They are not representative of the interests of the majority of Americans.  Furthermore, all of the mainstream media pundits are also members of the investor class.  They are not representative of the interests of the majority of Americans.  They tell us what the investor class politicians want us to hear.  It is totally irrelevant if their are so-called liberal or conservative.  They all dance to the same Wall Street piper.

    And it doesn’t matter which Party is in power.  It doesn’t matter folks.  Multimillionaire corporate Centrist Democrats like John Kerry have much more in common with multimillionaire ultra-conservative Republican Representative John Sensenbrenner (heir to the Kimberly Clark fortune) than they do with you or me.  Look:  in 2006 we elected a Democrat majority in BOTH houses of Congress on a clear mandate to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home by December of 2008.  What did this Democrat majority in both houses do instead?  They continued to approved Bush’s UNFUNDED military appropriations AND before they had been in office even a year, this Democrat majority voted, not to bring troops home as the overwhelming majority of Americans wanted, but to send another 100,000 to Iraq.  We would still have a large military presence in Iraq today if they had not literally kick the US out of their country.

    We don’t have any real job creation program today because this is not how these people make their money.  These people don’t give a damn about job creation because they belong to the investor class.  Labor is an expense to them.  Labor reduces their ROI.  Labor means their dividend checks will be smaller.  If they had their way, they would automate everything and put all people out of work.  All those who live in the Dallas area need to do is look at the George Bush Tollway.  Less than 5 years ago, this tollway supported several hundred jobs.  Today there are no more toll booths.  All those jobs, once handled by people are now automated.  Members of the investor class are not interested in job creation.

    Job creation is not in their best interest.  These people don’t work for a living.  They invest.  Why do you think they hate labor unions so much?  Why do you think the minimum wage has been raised only once in the past 13 years?  Why do you think that the minimum wage, which should be a living wage, is not?

    It’s because of the investor class  from BOTH parties that we continue to send to represent us in Washington DC.

    And nothing is going to change until we start electing people who earn their livings by working represent us in Washington DC.

    Proclaim the Queen!

      Austerity does not work. It is not a solution. Austerity is another name for torture by the rich and powerful.

      March 11, 2013 in Corporate Greed, Poverty, The Rich

      Resistence to Austerity is Intensifying World-Wide

      Austerity is the solution that the rich offer.  It fits right in with their agenda to blame the poor of the world for the economic unbalance that the greed of the rich has created.  Austerity works very well for them because most of the leaders of our government and governments of the world are wealthy investors.  Unlike the majority of the people in the world, their wealth does not come from their weekly or monthly paycheck.  Their wealth comes from their investments and the dividends they receive on a quarterly basis as shareholders–most often, preferred shareholders.  In the USA, that primarily means dividends from the NASDAQ and the NYSE stock exchanges.

      Most of members of Congress and leaders of the world are no better than common racketeers or con artists.Their fortunes have been made off the misfortunes of the people they purport to represent.  Like most people, I don’t begrudge all people who are wealthy. However I do begrudge every single member of Congress who has turned over a fortune these past five years by doing nothing more than sitting on their asses and letting the American economy go to hell while they make millions. And unfortunately, that is what most of them have done.

      From 2008 to the present, as ordinary Americans have been losing their jobs and even homes, our elected officials in Washington DC have been raking in the money, earning from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions–literally–from their Wall Street investments.  For example, from 2008 to 2010, Nancy Pelosi made over $20 million in her investments.  Other Congressional members such as Eric Cantor have “only made” a little over $2 million on their investments–yet Cantor is so helpful in advising his constituents regarding healthcare solutions. During a 2010 healthcare town hall he advised a woman to “seek out a good charity”.  Of course, when pressed for detail regarding specifically what charity, Cantor was at a loss to name even one.

      Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Spain and Greece this week in response to ongoing budget cuts and high unemployment. In Spain, unemployment has passed the five million mark for the first time since records began—attracting widespread criticism over the conservative government’s austerity plans. Similarly, Greece, which has served as a laboratory for austerity enthusiasts, has suffered mass poverty, unemployment and suicide since severe budget cuts were implemented by the government.

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      IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SHORT OF OBSCENE THAT THOSE 10% WHO HAVE 40% OF THE WORLD’S WEALTH ARE DEMANDING THAT THE 90% MAKE DO WITH LESS.  ABSOLUTELY OBSCENE.  WHEN ARE THE MAJORITY GOING TO RISE UP AGAINST THEM?  WHEN?

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        Europe does what the USA won’t do: Caps the salaries of bankers!

        February 28, 2013 in Class War, Economy, Stingy Billionaires, The Rich

        Der Speigel reports that In a bid to address widespread public outrage over greed in the financial sector, European officials have agreed to legislation capping bankers’ bonuses at a maximum of a year’s salary. Great Britain fought to prevent the measure, but failed to rally enough support.

        Starting in 2014, banks in the European Union must limit bonus payments for their employees. After some 10 months of tough negotiations, top European officials agreed late on Wednesday in Brussels to cap bonuses at a maximum of one year’s base salary.

        “For the first time in the history of EU financial market regulation, we will cap bankers’ bonuses,” said the European Parliament’s head negotiator, Austria’s Othmar Karas, in a statement. “The essence is that from 2014, European banks will have to set aside more money to be more stable and concentrate on their core business, namely financing the real economy, that of small and medium-sized enterprises and jobs.”

        The bonus cap was part of a package of financial laws hammered out between EU officials, the European Commission and representatives of the 27 member states in negotiations led by Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan. The goal is to prevent bankers from taking excessive risks, which can shake the financial Industry.

        But bankers, being the pigs that we know them to be have managed to finagle wiggle room.  European Parliament and member states must still formally approve the compromise, which would allow banks to grant bonuses of twice employees’ fixed salary only if the majority of their shareholders approved.   Still even this compromise is likely to cramp the bankers greed because shareholders are as greedy as they are.

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          Centrist Politics defined: STATUS QUO for the rich!

          December 28, 2012 in Class War, Economy, The Rich

          I just read a piece in Huffington Post  titled “112th Congress Set to be the most unproductive since 1940s.”

          The comments were all left or right: either blaming Democrats or blaming Republicans.  All are wrong.  The do-nothing Congress has little to do with political party and everything to do with the investor class, centrist politics and maintaining the status quo.

          Centrist politics are about more of the same. It is what works for the investor class and does not work for the majority. Status Quo is what those to the right of center want even more of and what those to the left of center and who care about democratic government want less of.

          The majority of those that we elect to congress belong to the investor class. They are there to protect and grow their own personal wealth and personal stock portfolios.
          Look at their records for increased personal net worth from 2008 to 2010. THEY DO NOTHING BECAUSE DOING NOTHING MAKES THE MOST MONEY FOR THEM.  Ask John Cantor, ask Mitch McConnell. Even ask Nancy Pelosi.

          The LAST thing any of these people want is ANY movement to the left of center and toward more democracy.

          CENTRIST POLITICS = STATUS QUO.  If you want more of the same, then continue to vote for investor class politicians and you’ll get more centrist Wall Street politics and .more status quo.

          Centrist politics is often presented as the “sensible” path, as an “alternative to extremes”.  This is one of the biggest pieces of propaganda sold to the American people. Centrist politics stands for nothing more than maintaining status quo for the ruling class.  It has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with oligarchy.

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            Policy of the Texas Legislature: “Keep the people dumb and barefoot by giving public education funds to profitable Wall Street Corporations.”

            December 4, 2012 in Class War, Corporations, Education, Poverty, Taxes and Economy, The Rich

            Photo 1935 Library of Congress

            The Texas Legislature, like many Republican led state legislatures, has misplaced priorities:  corporate welfare above all else

            To help balance its budget last year, Texas cut public education spending by $5.4 billion — a significant decrease considering that it already ranked 11th from the bottom among all states in per-pupil financing. Yet highly profitable companies like Dow Chemical and Texas Instruments continue to enjoy hefty discounts on their school tax bills through one of the state’s economic development programs.

            After all, that $5.4 billion can be put to better use for Texas expansive corporate welfare programs.  Under Mr. Perry, Texas gives out more of the incentives than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found. Texas justifies its largess by pointing out that it is home to half of all the private sector jobs created over the last decade nationwide.

            However, there are a few minor details that the braggarts neglect to point out:

            • the state has the third-highest proportion of hourly jobs paying at or below minimum wage.
            • despite its low level of unemployment, Texas has the 11th-highest poverty rate among state

            Dale Craymer, president of the Texas Tax Payers and Research Association asks an important question:  ”Where does economic development end and corporate welfare begin?”

            Most of us in Texas believe that our state government crossed that line in the sand years ago.

            The two Perry corporate welfare programs that some Texas lawmakers have referred to as “legalized theft”  are the Texas Enterprise Fund and Emerging Technology Fund. These are the funds that gobble up state funds for those “frivolous” extras such as public education.

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            For more detail on the Texas Enterprise Fund:  Texans for Public Justice Report http://info.tpj.org/watchyourassets/enterprise2/index

            For more detail on Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund:  more than $16 million from the tech fund had been awarded to companies with investors or officers who were large campaign donors in Perry’s gubernatorial races. Also, the newspaper revealed that the governor approved a $4.5 million award to a company founded by a major Perry campaign donor, David G. Nance, despite the company’s failure to win the endorsement of a regional screening board.

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              Remember: Those “bargains” are not worth it when you consider the total cost of them.

              November 23, 2012 in Class War, Corporations, Economy, Stingy Billionaires, Taxes and Economy, The Rich

              ONLY YOU AND I CAN STOP THE CYCLE OF POVERTY THAT THE RICH HAVE BEGUN.  But make no mistake, we can stop this cycle.

              ____________________________________________________

              Consider the real price of these “Bargains” before you go out shopping today.

              Cheap means the end of the middle-class because cheap means minimum wage jobs, no health care, no pensions.

              Low-cost means paychecks that don’t make it possible for a worker to get through the end of the month without seeing her or his financial debt grow larger.

              Bargains are only beneficial to the Wall Street CEOs and their preferred shareholders who pocket obscene paychecks because hidden behind that “bargain” price is an endless cycle of poverty and despair: to give millions of people “bargains”, CEOs manufacture products in low-wage countries or low-wage factories. Then they pay declining wages or in many cases fire workers.  Then those same workers don’t have enough money to buy much–so they shop at the very low-wage stores that are the engine for the destructive cycle.

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              But here is the truth.  It doesn’t cost any more (certainly not in the long run) to shop at stores other than Walmart or Target.  I know because I’ve been doing it for the past three months.  When you shop at Walmart or Target for your groceries, you rarely buy only groceries.  You wander about their cavernous store and end up purchasing several other nonfood items that would not be available if you shopped at a grocery-only store such as Kroegers or at your local farmer’s market.  I know.  I shopped at Walmart about three times a week for the past 7 years–up until three months ago.

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                Losers don’t get to dictate.

                November 15, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Nation, Politics, The Rich

                The day after Americans voted to reject Mitt Romney’s plan to reduce the deficit on the back of the middle class, Johnny and Mitch insisted that Congress must reduce the deficit on the back of the middle class.

                Sorry fellows, but losers don’t dictate the terms of armistice.

                Not only did voters choose President Obama and his fiscal plan, but they also said in exit interviews that those Bush tax cuts for the rich have gotta go. Here’s what an infamous number – 47 percent – told the exit pollsters about the rich: Anyone earning more than a quarter million should pay more taxes. An additional 13 percent said everyone’s taxes should be raised.

                Furthermore citizens in several states voted to increase their own taxes. Residents of California and Arkansas, San Antonio and Austin voted to pay more in taxes for specific purposes such as education and infrastructure. In Oregon and Florida, voters rejected limits on and elimination of certain taxes.

                SOURCE:  Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers Presidents

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                  Just when we thought the Petraeus/Kelley/Broadwell story couldn’t get sleazier, it did!

                  November 13, 2012 in The Rich

                  Their Cancer Charity Spent Little If Any Money For Fighting the Disease

                  Jill and Scott Kelley, the couple at the center of a scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus, are under even more scrutiny now that the Huffington Post uncovered evidence their cancer charity spent little if any money actually fighting the disease or helping patients. IRS records show the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation started with $157,284 and spent exactly that amount before going bankrupt in 2007. Roughly $43,000 was spent on meals and entertainment, $38,600 on travel, $25,000 on legal fees, and $8,800 on automotive expenses. Another $12,800 was spent on office supplies.

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                    Tackle Tax Havens of the Wall Street Rich

                    December 27, 2011 in The Rich

                    www.tackletaxhavens.com is a global campaign designed to raise public awareness of tax havens: what they are, the damage they do and how we can tackle them together.

                    Taxes are the most efficient and sustainable means of supporting vital public services like education, healthcare, a legal framework, police force, public transport networks, welfare and much, much more.

                    But the wealthy can escape their responsibilities to the societies on which they and their wealth depend – by hiding their money in tax havens.

                    Money laundering is no different from tax evasion practiced by most Wall Street corporations and many members of Congress and the White House Administration.

                    What happens now?

                    A drug dealer gets caught in a police sting and is slapped in jail. Better still – his or her financiers and accountants get charged with money-laundering, and are packed off in disgrace too. Justice is done. Rightly so.

                    But the story doesn’t end there.

                    The drugs money laundering industry is part of a much bigger picture. It is dwarfed by another: the tax evasion industry.

                    Now here’s the rub. The drug money launderers and the tax evaders use exactly the same tax haven scams and tricks as each other. Money laundering and tax evasion are two rails on the very same tracks through the global financial system.

                    But the world has decided to tackle one – and not the other. It has made drugs trafficking a money laundering offence: if you are a financer or accountant or banker and get caught helping a drugs trafficker, you may well go to jail too.

                    But not tax evasion. Even though tax evasion a criminal offence in most countries, it isn’t a money-laundering offence. Tax evaders go to jail. But the wealthy tax haven accountants, lawyers and bankers who helped them commit these crimes? They walk free.

                    The money-launderers and their financiers almost never get caught – there is a failure rate of 99 percent, by some estimates. That’s because we haven’t got serious about tax havens, or about tax evasion.

                    It is time for this to change.

                    Visit www.tackletaxhavens.com to get involved.

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