Don't petition the White House, Use Change.org

Don’t petition the White House, Use Change.org

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

10 corps not paying taxes – no demand = no jobs

Aug 23, 2011 Aaron Krager 2 Comments

The right loves to talk about the half of this country not paying income taxes yet they ignore the large corporations who don’t pay taxes despite massive profits. The bottom half of this country earns less than $50,000 in a household. A family of four living in poverty earns less than $23,000 – there are 43 million people living in poverty. So they try to redefine poverty as so luxury lifestyle full of microwaves, coffee makers and cable television.

These are the people who wash your dishes at restaurants. Who clean the offices at night. The one’s who labor all day long just to come home to a family they hope to provide for. Fox News tries to demonize them while making the rich seem like they are life-givers. They call them job creators as though we are supposed to be thankful to them. Yet they refuse to create these jobs “only they have the power to do.”

Basic logic is forgotten. Consumer demand creates jobs. Not tax cuts, breaks or holidays can create the number of jobs we need. The rich can hire people all they want but there is no point when consumers do not have the money to spend.

D.C. is missing that basic logic right now as well. Just take a look at a release from Senator Bernie Sander’s office. From a nice diary over at Daily Kos.

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.

“We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed,” Sanders said, “but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the poor, young people, the most vulnerable in this country. The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have got to contribute. We’ve got to talk about shared sacrifice.”

Are these companies who pay little to no taxes creating jobs? No. They do employ thousands of people but they are hardly hiring. Instead they are sitting on their wealth because there is so little demand out there. It is maddening to see the spin pervade the beltway narrative.

Instead we argue about the deficit from the standpoint of too much spending. That is the easy route because we have to speak in terms of billions and trillions of dollars. The hard way is to realize the federal government has too be that large if we want to provide for our country’s general welfare and national defense. Ugh.

  • Lava

    yep. this is the villain of the story — the villain we should be talking about. if dems weren’t beholden to them, we would be.

  • Anon

    Aaron,
     
    You are making a strawman argument here. There are plenty of people on the right who are in favor of corporations paying taxes where taxes are due (in fact the vast majority support that, and even moreso by the “evil” Tea party). You are making the mistake of confusing the right’s support of enforcing laws as they are currently written with support for any resulting  inequity that may happen. This is a common mistake, and should be addressed.

    For example, the oft-peddled meme that “Big Oil” has its own tax breaks is innaccurate. They use the same tax breaks that are available for any manufacturing company located the US. The law was written to apply to apply to all manufacturing companies, which oil companies fall under. The law was enacted with the support of both political parties.

    It is possible for the law to be changed to remove oil companies from its jurisdiction, but you would need to go thru the legislation process.  It is ridiculous and destructive  to argue for selective enforcement of laws, which in its operation, is attempted enforcement of outcomes. (If you want to understand why the private sector economy is not growing, start here – anyone with capital understands that the current administration tries to enforce outcomes rather than laws)

    Secondly, you are correct that consumer demand helps create jobs, but you only have part of it. Capital is the most basic and necessary component of economic growth. Unless you expect resulting jobs to be the most menial, and labor intensive jobs, then their must be an initial capital investment made in an enterprise (unless, of course, workers show up with their own forklifts, computers and networks, patents, etc…).

    So how is this capital formed? The most basic explanation is that it is formed by saving. Where is capital stored? Where it is rewarded with a return for its allocation. Is the current US monetary policy of near zero interest rates where capitall will be rewarded a healthy return? Of course not, a zero interest rate policy discourages saving. As a result of this misguided policy, US capital is being used elsewhere. 

    When the prevailing environment in the US becomes one where capital is not looked at as a means for the gov’t to confiscate in order to allocate according to its narrow definition of usefulness, then we will see capital deployed for productive means again. Until then, well, people like Senator Sanders are their own worst enemies. 

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