Lift the Veil on Corporate Money in Politics

corp politcs
Originally published by Bloomberg

America today is very different from the country that fought the Revolutionary War and framed the Constitution. Then, it was a nation of farmers; today, it’s a nation of corporations. Most Americans now work for corporations, the largest of which command resources and money on a scale beyond that of many nations.

Yet when it comes to public issues like jobs, the distribution of wealth or even plain old politics, we still talk as we did 200 years ago. Remarkably, too few citizens discuss the effects of corporate behavior on jobs, health care and the economy, even though corporations affect all of these through their influence on elections and the actions of government.

As President Theodore Roosevelt noted in his first annual message to Congress:

Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions.

The key to doing this is to hold corporations accountable by ensuring that their activities are made visible.

From the end of World War II until about 1980 -- even through the economic travail of the ’70s, as the U.S. faced the Arab oil embargo, rampant inflation, significant growth in foreign competition and the aftermath of the Vietnam War -- it was generally considered normal for large corporations to acknowledge all of their constituencies.

Hey Geeks - Way To Go! You Just Stopped SOPA & PIPA

stopsopaOn January 18th Internet websites shut down, including this one. The simultaneous black out was in protest of two bills before Congress, SOPA and PIPA. On January 20th, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shelved the Senate version of the bill, PIPA, for a floor vote and House Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith just suspended SOPA in committee. SOPA and PIPA are D.O.A.

I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns,” said Lamar Smith, House judiciary chairman and the sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, as he announced the suspension of work on the bill.

Mr Smith’s retreat followed a similar move in the Senate, where majority leader Harry Reid postponed a scheduled vote on the related Protect Intellectual Property Act “in light of recent events.

Some were not happy, such as Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy:

PIPA/SOPA supporter Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), miffed by this sudden turn of events, offers his own statement. “I understand and respect Majority Leader Reid’s decision ... But the day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem.”

Everybody Hates Jack Abramoff

Who doesn't hate Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist who ripped off clients and bought Congress?

Well, we don't. Jack Abramoff is just the one who got caught. One catch in a sea of sharks. Meanwhile the same ole buy your Congress representative techniques are alive and well in Washington D.C. That's why this CBS 60 minutes segment is a must see. Jack spills the beans on how to buy a Congressional representative.


More Stupid Tax Tricks

thumb_computer-dog.jpgNow that corporations have managed to get their glorified offshore outsourcing and tax haven bad trade deals, they are after the next thing, paying no taxes on profits made overseas. It's not enough multinationals made sure patents squeeze out the lone inventor and turned intellectual property into a glorified multinational shell game, they want more. Up next is their corporate tax holiday, complete with up is down lobbyist talking points, all to get yet another corporate giveaway through Congress.

David Cay Johnston calls the propaganda Orwellian:

Political tax talk is becoming Orwellian: Secrecy is Democracy. Auditors Reduce Collections. Tax Cheats Will Be Caught With Fewer Auditors.

The Top 10 Worst Tax Avoidance Corporations

Everybody knows multinational corporations are not paying U.S. taxes. Yet instead of making corporations cough up, our government is busy planning more screw jobs on the U.S. middle class and labor force, all under the guise of reducing spending.

Senator Bernie Sanders is trying to draw attention to the insanity with a top ten list of the worst corporate tax avoiders.


The Administration Double Speak on Jobs & Exports

The most absurd thing is happening. Claiming to push exports, President Obama is planning on pushing a host of policies that are well documented to offshore outsource jobs and displace U.S. workers. On Obama's export council is Verizon, a notorious labor arbitrager. Ford, Disney, Pfizer (another notorious offshore outsourcer of advanced R&D), and Dow Chemical are also appointed.

Business Week:

He’ll have to push new trade agreements, higher quotas for skilled foreign workers, and tougher enforcement of intellectual-property rights.

On what planet, besides a made up one, does someone believe displacing a U.S. worker with a foreign guest worker helps U.S. workers get jobs? Of course firing Americans and replacing them with cheaper labor does not create U.S. jobs for American workers. Evidence of U.S. workforce displacement through global labor arbitrage is overwhelming. The top users of foreign guest worker visas are offshore outsourcers and even the GAO has documented the displacement and wage repression of U.S. workers.

Friday Movie Night - Obama's Deal

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!


Frontline did a documentary on all of the sleazy backroom deals done to pass Obama's Health Care bill.

The White House encouraged Baucus to quietly negotiate deals with the insurance lobby, drug companies and other special interest groups, despite promises to run a different kind of White House.