I would find it amusing were it not so appalling that people support the idea that the struggles between Democrats and Republicans are simply matters of belief. These problems are a matter of facts. Republicans ran on a platform of jobs and the economy. Since taking office in January the Republican led House of Representatives has rallied behind social issue after social issue while doing everything in their power to make sure taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans were kept at record lows.
It is a fact that corporations are sitting on some of the largest stockpiles of cash in American history. It is a fact that the wealthiest 4% of Americans have an effective tax rate lower than the 1950s and lower than the vast majority of their fellow citizens today. It is a fact that those who the Republicans have deemed “job creators” are doing very, very well despite the perceived economic climate when, in fact, very few jobs have been created. It is also a fact that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will only worsen our economic climate. In fact, the Republicans (who I will remind you controlled the White House and both houses in Congress for six years) raised the debt ceiling ten times. Ten times they raised it, and now they are playing politics with the one time when it looks imperative that we raise it again.
The Suffering American People
The fact is most Americans are suffering. Why aren’t our Republican friends worried about tax breaks for the 90%? Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Why aren’t our Republican friends talking about improving America’s infrastructure? We are paying 20-40% to export our goods to countries like India and China, while only charging them 2-4% to import them to America. Why aren’t our Republican friends concerned about trade inequity?
Rep. Jared Polis actually proposed legalizing and taxing online gambling and marijuana as a solution. Why aren’t all solutions being considered? Why do we have to have things one way or the other? Why can’t we have spending cuts AND tax increases? Surely if one of these solutions will get us out of our current financial situation, utilizing all of them will get us out faster.
While it is not a fact, I think that both parties have failed us. Unfortunately we do not have a strong 3rd party. Until we do we must vote for the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. If you take out your own long held political beliefs, look at the facts, remember that social issues are not really in the realm of a limited government, and vote for who actually has a plan and agenda to help you, then you will very clearly know who falls into the “greater of the two evils” category.
Happy Earth day everyone! I hope that you are enjoying a gorgeous day as I am here today. I hope to see these continue throughout the season and years to come! It is up to each one of us to do our part to be responsible environmental stewards of planet earth. We each need to insure the future of our beautiful planet so that our children and our children’s children can enjoy the world we have today.
To do this we all must become environmentally aware and make changes in our own lives as well as help to facilitate environmental awareness in those around us. We all can take both small and large steps to insure our future and our own security in a greener, more secure world.
Make no mistake, this is incredibly important and is about both our quality of life and the security of our lives. We must find ways to become self-sustaining in our energy consumption. This total environmental solution is not going to be one miracle cure. Our only hope stems from everyone working harder to conserve, to become more efficient, and come together to find solutions to the massive and irrefutable crisis we now face.
The Climate Crisis
Global warming and climate change are huge factors in our overall health of our planet. The rate at which the CO2 levels are climbing in our world is astonishing. The correlations between these rises in CO2 and worldwide temperature changes and the impact of these changes point to massive, but avoidable disasters, but only if we act now. We must act swiftly to insure we have the best chance of limiting these disasters. Should we take decisive and strong action it is possible for us to avoid the most dire and deadly of the environmental disasters that are predicted should we hold too our current course.
Our energy consumption is America is huge and we struggle to keep up. We have an outdated and straining infrastructure. We depend entirely too much on energy sources that are not only finite they are quickly running low. We must upgrade and modernize our energy infrastructure to have any hope to sustain the growth rate that we all currently enjoy. We must strive for new, sustainable and low impact energy solutions. We must also up the cost of wasteful and carbon heavy forms of energy production. We have the technology to move forward but we will not see this motion until incentives are given to those to move in the right direction.
Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials
The bottom line is that we have every reason to push ourselves and each other to do whatever we as a people can. We as a people need to band together and stop squabbling over the small things and get America on the right track to energy independence and an overall carbon reduction. The people know how to do this. The people can get this done. The problem is that the politico in this country is using our very future as bargaining chips for their petty squabbles. They are literally sacrificing your safety, security and future for their own personal immediate gains.
If any of this touched on a subject you care about I urge you to take action. Share this information with those around you. Discuss our environmental and energy political policies with those around you. Ignore the rhetoric. Dive into the facts for yourself and learn that we are in a dangerous place. We as a people can improve this. We have done it in the past and we can do it now if we want a future. Reach out to your peers, make sure to vote, sign petitions, and contact your legislators to let them know that they need to vote for green energies, they need to stand behind political progress in America towards a more secure, green, sustainable future so we as a people can have a bright and wonderful future.
It boggles the mind and is unsettling and unfair to think about. However, the fact is that the average American will pay more taxes then one of the largest companies in the world. The worst part of all of this is that they are not the exception, but the rule. In fact the corporate tax code in America is so full of tax breaks and loop holes that very few corporations actually pay any taxes. Not only do these multibillion dollar companies barely pay any taxes if any at all, many actually receive huge subsidies and other income from the government (taxpayers).
It is true that America has one of the highest combined tax rates in the world for businesses. But what they fail to tell you is that the American tax code is so full of loopholes that it is doubtful that any company without a dedicated tax department ever pays close to this amount.
The companies that end up getting shafted are the small business owners and entrepreneurs that do not know how to exploit the tax code that we currently have in America.
The company [GE] reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
And while these huge corporations are reaping billions of dollars in profits without having to pay a cent, they are also being paid by the American government, and in some cases billions more per year! And while the tax breaks continue for the wealthiest corporations, so does the lobbying for deregulation and further tax breaks. The wealthiest 2% of Americans force the other 98% of hard working Americans to pay not only their share but the shares owed morally and equitably by the corporations in this country and the wealthiest 2% of Americans!
How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government
How would you feel if your filthy rich uncle sent a limo to your house to pick you up, then the limo took you to the airport and flew you in a private jet across the country where you met your obscenely wealthy uncle for a five star dinner, drinks and after-dinner entertainment, and when the night was over he handed you the bill for the entire trip. Then he told you that you had to pay for all of this right now or he would take your house, close down your business, keep your kids from getting any education and ensure that you spent the rest of your life digging for scraps in a dumpster for a chance for something to eat. What would your reaction be?
I really do hope it is one of anger, disgust and astonishment.
That is exactly what is happening in America right now and we are not even getting the fancy night out! You, me, your mother, sister, aunt and son are being forced to pay for this indulgence. We and our family, friends, and neighbors have lost their homes, their jobs, and hope. Now we have lost our basic, constitutionally granted rights and they’ve been transferred to corporate entities.
This is really what we have come to? We cannot suffer these injustices any longer.
How do they continue? How does such devastation to our well-being happen right under our noses? Much of it is due to the many news organizations that are now owned by these mega conglomerations. Much of the once free press-style news is now gone. Honesty and truth is overwritten by ratings and corporate and political talking heads. The few truly free press sources remaining in America are now under attack by these powerful corporations.
How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics are Selling Out America
This is allowed to continue because time after time the political seats are given to those with powerful corporate influence such as Jeffery Immelt. A leader of President Obama’s Job Creation Task Force, and as CEO of GE, Immelt not only kept GE from paying any US taxes in 2010, he has also managed to cut American jobs and ask thousands of workers for major concessions. The hypocrisy and the blatant disregard for the very people he is supposed to manage is absolutely wrong. How can this in any way actually help the American people to recover from the crisis these corporations put us in?
Let’s start purging these corporate influences out of Washington. Let Washington know we as the American People are paying attention and we are disgusted by how completely we have been taken advantage of. By speaking up, by speaking out and spreading the word that we will no longer sit idly by while we are cheated out of everything we have worked so hard for.
Send a message to Jeffery Immelt and send a message to Washington. We cannot abide this anymore. We must stand up and shout loud that We the People will no longer bend over for any corporate interest.
Join Progressives United in petitioning to have Jeffery Immelt removed from his position. This is not only a call to have him removed but a sign that we can stand unilaterally against corporate corruption and abuse.
News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes — that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.
But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits — and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled — should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.
Remember the debate about the stimulus measures, enacted to prevent our economy from falling into another depression? Those that were against the stimulus didn’t want to add more debt because we would be saddling the next generations with paying it back. Now that we’ve avoided the worst-case economic scenario and are clawing our way out of the recession, the federal government and the states find themselves with billion-dollar budget shortfalls. When the opportunity arose to return more of a tax burden to the wealthiest Americans and close tax loopholes for corporations, our representatives decided they would rather not risk their campaign funding from those corporations and wealthy Americans who want to hang onto every last dollar. So instead of getting more income to pay for the things the government pays for, they have decided to cut education funding. States across the union are having to enact deep cuts in funding for public schools and school programs in order to meet budget shortfalls.
So apparently the best thing for our future generations is a bad education for everyone but the elite few who can pay for a private education for their kids.
And education isn’t the only thing that’s suffering. The newspapers are full of cities and towns that are having to cut their police and fire department budgets, with some municipalities doing away with their police and fire protection altogether. All sorts of government services are finding themselves under a microscope, and losing their funding. It’s only when a choking child dies because of an unmanned fire station that people realize the gravity of the situation.
I myself happen to be a fan of things like police and fire protection, libraries, safe roads and bridges, and a good education for all children, not just those lucky few with wealthy parents. And the way we fund those things is with taxes. The entire point of taxation is to spread the burden of paying for the services we all need amongst us all. I can’t pay a teacher’s $30,000 annual salary by myself, but I can have a few bucks deducted from my paycheck, along with my fellow coworkers, to ensure that the kids in my neighborhood are in school and learning and preparing to be productive adults.
My family’s budget is stretched thin. The thought of discretionary income is laughable. But if those of us in the middle are the only ones willing to pay for government services and our children’s education, then I say, quit slashing the budget for services our community needs. Go ahead and tax the %&#* out of us. Maybe we can open our eyes in the next election and elect people who understand the government runs on money, and there are just some things the government has to pay for. And if we’re really lucky, our elected officials will have the guts to ask EVERYONE to pay their fair share.
Does it shock and disgust you that the Democrats in Wisconsin were forced to literally ditch the vote to stop the passage of the anti-union legislation in the senate? It should.
What was shocking? This legislation was introduced as a way to make a not only an attempt to balance the state a budget but also has a veiled attempt to destroy the bargaining power of state employees in their union.
What was so disgusting? It boggles my mind that they have the audacity to look to the teachers, firefighters and police to make major sacrifices when the Republicans themselves will not even concede to allow the tax cuts for the most wealthy (Make over $250,000 a year) in America to expire.
There is something fundamentally wrong asking someone to give up their basic civil rights when you yourself will not agree to a more equitable tax rate.
Find plenty of stories on this amazing turn of events here: Google Search
First we must not, cannot, give up any more of our collective bargaining rights. We as a people must not bow to the politico forces and there strange and often times convincing spin. We as a people must always keep our fundamental rights in the foreground and make decisions based off those first. We are a nation built on, and dependent on, its people. If we fail our people, America will fail.
By the people, for the people.
This constitutionally protected right must be maintained at all costs. Look at what happened with the breaking of the unions for airline pilots. They at one time made good money. Many smart, qualified people pushed hard to get into the field. This gave us an airline industry full of proud, well qualified pilots who did nothing else but focus on being a good quality pilot. This made the flying safer, more secure and attracted high end talent to this important industry.
Now the only pilots that fly are those that do it simply because they love it or did not realize how little they would be paid and how much they would have to work due to the lack of being unionized. Many are forced now to have second jobs and take double shifts just to make ends meet.
Doing that here would do the same thing by gutting the very infrastructure of Wisconsin. Do you really want only the desperate and ignorant to become the next set of teachers, firefighters and police officers? Even those that are willing to work for nothing will likely be forced out of that career due to simple financial requirements to survive. These are the people that should be paid well. They are the ones that keep America strong. Not the other way around.
Besides this argument to retain a strong foundation to our society, it can also be considered illegal and unconstitutional.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Secondly, if the wealthiest 1% of American’s are not willing to give up the massive tax breaks, fighting tooth and nail to retain the inequitable tax breaks, how can they ask the rest of America to make such sacrifices that lead to un employment, losing their homes and even death. So many Americans are already without health insurance, this would just force more there. Some would most certainly die simply because they were unable to afford health insurance.
So they want the people to give up all of these things in exchange for the wealthiest 1% to have a better tax break? That makes me sick. It should make you sick.
The bottom line is I fully support the Democratic Senators of Wisconsin and their unorthodox but effective fighting of this unjust bill. I wish them the best and hope that their actions open the eyes of all of the people in America to the continued assault on our prosperity.