Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the great island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this frigid morning, while you peruse Nantucket Sound above you, as I just strolled up to my loft after retrieving some coffee at the local ‘Cumberland Farms’, the only store open at this ungodly hour of five a.m., with the wind blowing at 20 knots and the temperature in the single digits, brrrrr! Dr. Seuss celebrated his birthday yesterday, 107 years since his birth, making him, if my math is correct, born on March 2, 1904, a year before my grandmother was born, who lived to the ripe old age of 104! Happy Birthday from all of the Red Fish and Blue Fish of Cape Cod and the Islands! To honor the good doctor, I would like to offer a quote from him to also honor the ‘Wisconsin 14′, “I know, up on top, you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom, we too should have RIGHTS!” As the anti-union movement wave, the polar opposite of what is transpiring in the Middle East presently, continues in the “Middle West”, spreading from Wisconsin to Ohio, among other states, who recently sunk to a new low by replacing republican committee members in Ohio, who voted against the cookie cutter REPUBLICORP mantra that is attempting to photocopy the draconian move in Wisconsin against collective bargaining RIGHTS of public employees that act as a bench mark for all labor in this nation. A new poll recently came out detailing the way average real American people view this whole corporate takeover our American society. In a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that came out yesterday, 81% favor raising taxes on millionaire/billionaires, while 68% wish to eliminate the BUSH era tax cuts, and 77% support the concept of collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. What’s more interesting is the fact that 36% in that same poll labeled themselves as republicans, while only 24% defined themselves as democrats. The republican party is desperate, so desperate that they are now fining those brave Wisconsin state senators $100 dollars a day for every day they are AWOL, while taking away their ‘parking priviledges’–what are we, back in junior high school? No need to answer that for it was rhetorical in nature and scope. If the gubernatorial election were held today, 52% of Wisconsinites would vote for the former governor, Barrett, with Walker only gaining 45% of the vote. This is a culture war, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently. It is not about jobs, and it is certainly not the “American people”. It is about the republican agenda, which is namely, deregulating all corporate industry further, while decreasing tax ‘burdens’ on those corporations, keeping taxes low on wealthy individuals, increasing domestic spying, to a largely paranoid right wing (nut) elite group who, like the Wizard in the “Wizard of Oz”, does not want you to see who is actually the “man” behind the famed “curtain” pulling the levers of deceit and runaway GREED, while skewing the tax code to keep the rich, rich and the poor, poorer. It is a culture war because the only real bills the republicans have put forth involve a womans’ right to choose, assault on gay marriage, defunding, even further, public education, lifting bans on the oil companies’ efforts to drill oil in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, by defunding the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as eliminating programs designed to help the most vulnerable in our country, namely the poor, ever increasing, and the elderly, who are sitting ducks to a largely sociopath organization of “men” and some women who are hell bent on taking this country down a path that the generations to follow will comment, “what the hell were they thinking?” The republican party picked the wrong fight on this one. This is what economic populism sounds and feels like and that noise will hum ever louder in the months and years to come, for “WE THE PEOPLE”, will not just stand by idly and allow these thieves, these morally corrupt actors, to simply take a giant dump on the “American people”, at least not without a big FIGHT. Yes, the truisms behind economic populism, like the numbers that they are reacting to, don’t lie and the WILL of the American people is finally finding her voice in the nurses, teachers, firemen, policemen, EMT’s, and the like, showing US all who is the puppet of multinational corporations and who is on the side of the PEOPLE. It’s the essence of what this country was FOUNDED upon. Here’s a fun fact, for every dollar the IRS spends on going after tax cheats, and you know who you are, I’m looking at you David and Charles Koch, as well as Exxon Mobile, they get $10 in return. Yet, the republican,“our main concern is the deficit and run away spending (talking point #405)” party wants to cut $600 million from the IRS. Why, you may ask? Because of corporate loopholes in the tax code that are at the very core of the corruption that exists in this country’s tax/political system, and thus, corporate structure, really all one and the same, save the socially responsible programs that don’t help the corporate bottom lines, cannot be targeted by this revenue ’sales’ source for the federal government. This is the single biggest reason for the giant rift between the haves and the have nots, a rift as wide as the Grand Canyon itself. My friend, a professor at the great Syracuse University, a New York Times contributor, a Pulitzer prize winner in economics, author of the must read and New York Times best selling book, “Free Lunch, how the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense, then stick you with the bill,” and all round good guy, Mr. David Cay Johnston, stopped by the “Rachel Maddow Show”, airing every week night at 9 p.m., EST, only on MSNBC, last night and said this about Rachel’s assertion that the argument over the deficit is not just between cutting spending and raising taxes, among other things…enjoy the TRUTH and please above all else, stay thirsty for it my friends, for it, the TRUTH, again, above ALL else, will indeed SET YOU FREE! …and ACTION! R: “Would you cut spending on the IRS if you were interested in bringing down the deficit?” J: “Well, if a lot of your campaign contributors aren’t paying their fair share of taxes, it’s probably pretty smart. It’s called the “Internal Revenue Service”, it’s functionally the sales department of the Federal government. So, if you need more revenue, would you fire the sales people or hamstring them with a bunch of rules, or do what the republicans started in 1995, tell your sales force to go after the working poor and pull back on the rich. It’s like the police chief saying, ‘I want more people on the parking ticket squad and we’re going to shut down the homicide bureau’.’ R: “I am interested in what is being called ‘fiscal policy’ but really accomplishing other goals. I think that’s what we’ve had in Wisconsin, an attack on unions, that’s purportedly justified by the budget, but it’s not actually related to that budget at all, so I guess my question is a) do you think this is the case in Wisconsin? and b) do you think that’s also going on with this, ‘let’s cut corporate tax rates?’ J: “I think this is going on all over this country. I’ve written a number of times about this, a former IRS official, who figured out a way to catch all kinds of tax cheats, using computers, and I was finally told by an official in Kentucky that the governor’s office had sent word that no, they weren’t going to do this because it might CATCH some of those donors to the governor. In New York we have a large amount of tax cheating going on that’s easy to catch involving real estate, the state won’t pursue it. In Wisconsin we have the same thing, the previous administration fired the state corporate auditors, while saying we don’t have enough revenue.” R: “Is there real evidence that cutting corporate tax rates helps the economy?” J: “It’s been ten years since we started with the BUSH tax cuts, it’s been thirty years since REAGAN, but ten years, so what’s happened? The median and average wage in this country in 2010 was smaller than it was in 2000, corporate tax revenues are down more than a third, even though PROFITS are up by 60 percent! Individual tax revenues are down 30 percent, what’s going on here is very clear–we have a policy that does not work! How long do we have to let it go? Do we have to totally break the country, before we recognize this policy (REAGAN/BUSH) DID NOT WORK? George Bush said ‘elect me, I will cut taxes, and you will all become prosperous (beware of false prophets)’. It was very clear, everyone, and he never wavered on that message, well, it’s not working. And a lot of US predicted it wouldn’t work, and we need to recognize we have a failed policy. The bottom 90 percent of people in America today Rachel made less than $300 a year more than they did in 1980. But the top one tenth of the top one percent have seen their average income go from a 1.4 million to almost 6 million dollars. All the gains for the past thirty years have gone to the top one tenth of the one percent, or 300,000 people.” R: ” What were the corporate tax structures in Wisconsin (as Gov. Walker recently gave huge tax breaks to corporations in that state) and why did Governor Walker feel that they needed to be changed?” J: “Here’s what has happened with large corporations, large corporations set themselves up in America just the way they do overseas. So you take your profits in a place like Delaware, where you are not taxed, or Florida, and you put all your costs in a place like Wisconsin. So, in Wisconsin, as in most states, most of the corporate income tax doesn’t come from the big companies, it comes from the ‘mom and pop’ businesses, people who own restaurants, or small hardware stores, maybe car dealers–it doesn’t come from the big national companies and the states are all busy giving away their money. The states are now giving away over 700 billion dollars a year to corporations. Where I live in western New York, one of the counties here just gave Verizon a deal…3.1 million dollars for EACH of 125 jobs they’re creating…and those jobs are going to pay about 50,000 dollars a year. THIS IS CRAZY!” … and cut, print, wrap. Thank you Mr. Johnston, and Rachel for that interview, most enlightening indeed. If you take a close look at corporate PROFITS in this country, say the oil industry, which has seen ONE TRILLION dollars in profits–taking Exxon, Shell, Chevron, bp, and others together–has seen ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in profits over the past decade, yes, when you see that, and then see that we spend 40 billion dollars a year in oil and gas subsidies, forgetting for a moment that the oil and gas industry is destroying MOTHER EARTH, yes, the American tax payer gives big oil 40 billion in subsidies, better known as ‘corporate welfare’, every year, you may find yourself asking the eternal question…”for what?” So that we save jobs or something like that? As it has been pointed out–as the profits of said oil companies went through the roof, the employment number for those same companies went down. So much for that bull$hit jobs argument, huh Luntz? Stay strong Wisconsin 14! WE LOVE YOU here on Cape Cod and the Islands! Have a great day everybody! PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
March 3, 2011
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