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About sums it up.

Posted by david52 z5CO (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 10:54

Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains. They eventually accumulate so much of the nation's total income and wealth that the middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going full speed. Most of the middle class's wages keep falling and their major asset - their home - keeps shrinking in value.

Imagine that the richest people in this country use some of their vast wealth to routinely bribe politicians. They get the politicians to cut their taxes so low there's no money to finance important public investments that the middle class depends on - such as schools and roads, or safety nets such as health care for the elderly and poor.

Imagine further that among the richest of these rich are financiers. These financiers have so much power over the rest of the economy they get average taxpayers to bail them out when their bets in the casino called the stock market go bad. They have so much power they even shred regulations intended to limit their power.

These financiers have so much power they force businesses to lay off millions of workers and to reduce the wages and benefits of millions of others, in order to maximize profits and raise share prices - all of which make the financiers even richer, because they own so many of shares of stock and run the casino.

Now, imagine that among the richest of these financiers are people called private-equity managers who buy up companies in order to squeeze even more money out of them by loading them up with debt and firing even more of their employees, and then selling the companies for a fat profit.

Although these private-equity managers don't even risk their own money - they round up investors to buy the target companies � they nonetheless pocket 20 percent of those fat profits.

And because of a loophole in the tax laws, which they created with their political bribes, these private equity managers are allowed to treat their whopping earnings as capital gains, taxed at only 15 percent - even though they themselves made no investment and didn't risk a dime.

Finally, imagine there is a presidential election. One party, called the Republican Party, nominates as its candidate a private-equity manager who has raked in more than $20 million a year and paid only 13.9 percent in taxes - a lower tax rate than many in the middle class.

Yes, I know it sounds far-fetched. But bear with me because the fable gets even wilder. Imagine this candidate and his party come up with a plan to cut the taxes of the rich even more - so millionaires save another $150,000 a year. And their plan cuts everything else the middle class and the poor depend on - Medicare, Medicaid, education, job-training, food stamps, Pell grants, child nutrition, even law enforcement.

What happens next?

There are two endings to this fable. You have to decide which it's to be.

In one ending the private-equity manager candidate gets all his friends and everyone in the Wall Street casino and everyone in every executive suite of big corporations to contribute the largest wad of campaign money ever assembled - beyond your imagination.

The candidate uses the money to run continuous advertisements telling the same big lies over and over, such as "don't tax the wealthy because they create the jobs" and "don't tax corporations or they'll go abroad" and "government is your enemy" and "the other party wants to turn America into a socialist state."

And because big lies told repeatedly start sounding like the truth, the citizens of the country begin to believe them, and they elect the private equity manager president. Then he and his friends turn the country into a plutocracy (which it was starting to become anyway).

But there's another ending. In this one, the candidacy of the private equity manager (and all the money he and his friends use to try to sell their lies) has the opposite effect. It awakens the citizens of the country to what is happening to their economy and their democracy. It ignites a movement among the citizens to take it all back.

The citizens repudiate the private equity manager and everything he stands for, and the party that nominated him. And they begin to recreate an economy that works for everyone and a democracy that's responsive to everyone.

Just a fable, of course. But the ending is up to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


Follow-Up Postings:

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more along the same lines

IN A SEASON OF campaign rallies and million-dollar ad buys, President Bush opted for one decidedly understated ceremony. On October 22, just 11 days before the election, he boarded Air Force One to sign $137 billion in new tax breaks for corporate America, one of the largest industry giveaways in two decades. This was his fifth major tax cut, but this time there was no glad-handing, no photo op - just a one-sentence press release. The president had nothing to brag about. His signature expanded exactly the sort of tax avoidance he had railed against at a campaign rally that morning: "The rich hire lawyers and accountants for a reason when it comes to taxes," Bush had told a roaring audience at a hockey arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. "That's to slip the bill, and stick you with it."

It was an apt description of the vaingloriously named American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Though the law began as an effort to end a $5 billion-a-year corporate tax subsidy that had been declared illegal by the World Trade Organization, it had grown into a hydra-headed beast. The law's principal author, Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), jokingly referred to it as "Miss Piggy" on the House floor. Arizona Senator John McCain decried "the worst example of the influence of special interests that I have ever seen." The president's own Treasury secretary, John Snow, bemoaned the myriad "tax provisions that benefit few taxpayers." Top White House economists protested one new loophole that would cut $3 billion, primarily from the taxes of pharmaceutical and high-tech companies, without yielding "any substantial economic benefits."

Almost every industry in America received special favors. The tax cuts included half a billion for shipbuilders Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, $100 million for NASCAR racetrack owners, and $9 million for arrow manufacturers. Importers of Chinese ceiling fans - like Home Depot - got a break, as did energy companies angling to build a natural gas pipeline in Alaska. About $231 million went to reduce the taxes of shopping-mall developers in the states of key House and Senate members. Four Texas companies received special dispensation to shelter their profits in the Caribbean. The law also cut taxes on railroads, coffee roasters, timber firms, and Hollywood studios. General Electric received tax benefits worth more than $1 billion over the next decade.

"From the beginning to the end, this was designed by lobbyists," says C. Eugene Steuerle, codirector of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, who spearheaded corporate tax reform as a member of the Reagan Treasury in 1986. "The only question was whether this was the worst tax bill in our lifetime or the worst tax bill in U.S. history."

WHEN REPUBLICAN leaders took control of the House of Representatives a decade ago, they vowed to end such legislative fiascoes. Unfettered markets rather than government intervention, they proclaimed, would determine Wall Street's winners and losers. In the Contract With America, Republicans promised a return to "fiscal responsibility" and to "end the cycle of scandal and disgrace" by which Democrats pandered to special interests. But far from living up to this rhetoric, the GOP leadership has presided over an explosion of new tax loopholes and pork-barrel spending. "It's worse now than it was under the Democrats," says Stephen Moore, president of the archconservative Club for Growth. "The Democrats invented the game, and Republicans perfected it."

Conservatives in Congress, especially, have seized upon tax policy as a way of doling out favors to supporters while maintaining a facade of "smaller government"; tax breaks boost corporate bottom lines as effectively as pork-barrel expenditures, without requiring the Treasury to cut a check. Since 2000 alone, Wall Street's tax bills have dropped by a third. As a percentage of the gross domestic product, corporate taxes are now at their lowest level in 20 years - and their second-lowest level since the Great Depression. Nearly 95 percent of corporations pay less than 5 percent of their income in taxes. This despite a tax rate that officially stands at 35 percent.

"The corporate income tax bears no relation to income - it's a bunch of special-interest provisions," says Gary Hufbauer, a fellow at the Institute for International Economics and a former tax policy analyst in the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. Corporate America, he says, has gotten the message: Taxation is little more than punishment for not promoting your interests on Capitol Hill. "If you do not lobby," says Hufbauer, "you are going to get taxed." snip

And, of course, if you listen to Grover Norquest, removing these loop holes is the same as a tax increase.

Here is a link that might be useful: Page 2 and 3


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RE: About sums it up.

First, we need to remind ourselves that the average voter seems to have the IQ of a toothpick.

Then maybe we could come up with a workable ending.

This is really a MESS.


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RE: About sums it up.

Imagine? IMAGINE?!!

We don't have to imagine... it's happening as we speak, and it's been happening for quite a while now.

The ending, I'm afraid, will not be pretty either way... the citizens are waking up... some slowly, but in greater and greater numbers.

Some have the IQ of toothpicks, but there are more, I believe, that could be classified as the "sane majority", and they might be on the lower end of middle class, but they're not quite as unintelligent as one might think.

My question is... will there be a lot of bloodshed?


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RE: About sums it up.

Imagine that the middle class have no bread to eat, and the private equity manager/president says to let them eat cake....


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RE: About sums it up.

Exactly. Too much power at the top for too long. It happened in France and in Russia: the underlings took out the Tsar, shot all his family, army mutinied during WW I, and a full-fledged Revolution was underway, burning, looting, all the rest. And look at the state of Russia today.


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RE: About sums it up.

Well, I keep saying... if greed weren't so prevalent, and ethics were MORE prevalent... we wouldn't have all these issues.


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RE: About sums it up.

Maybe if we quit raising everyone to think that "you deserve it," it might be easier to teach them ethics.

We had a discussion yesterday with a DIL. She teaches kindergarten. Somehow or other, there are still schools that don't give failing grades. Every student, no matter how they work or study, gets a good grade. They deserve it. The lazy ones deserve to get the same wonderful grades as those that work hard.

And this is right?


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RE: About sums it up.

IT truly is a fable...a characterture...Mitt Romeny is Thurston Howell and Paul Ryan Eddie Monster. Then when Mitt slips and reveals his disdain for the masses, they just say oops and he keeps going. I don't know how anyone is believing this.

Agnespuffin, I never heard of a school doing that. They would not be allowable in New York. They have state mandates and teachers need to be able to access students.


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RE: About sums it up.

Maggie, it's been going on down here for about 50 years. There was one year that my boys brought home report cards that contained nothing except a note saying that the teacher enjoyed having them in her class.

Really made the kids want to work hard.


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RE: About sums it up.

Wow...that is crazy!


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RE: About sums it up.

This American Life on NPR had a run-down today of the way things work in DC now--wish I could have heard it all but was in and out of the car today. Hope to catch it soon online.

Here is a link that might be useful: This American Life


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RE: About sums it up.

Posted by maggie2094 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 18:29

IT truly is a fable...a characterture...Mitt Romeny is Thurston Howell and Paul Ryan Eddie Monster.

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And what would Barack Obama be?

Oh, any similar childish comment would be racist, wouldn't it?


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RE: About sums it up.

Well, that depends on what you say, Demi. This is what wiki answers says to the question "Is Barack Obama Arab?"


No. (excuse me, but is every person who has ever lived in Kenya an African? Also, are all Kenyan's African?") His biological father is a Kenyan (of Arabic descent) and his mother is white and from Kansas.

Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side. He is 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side, a great-great grandparent. His ancestors on his father's side were Arab slave traders. They operated under an extended grant from Queen Victoria, who gave them the right to continue the slave trade in exchange for helping the British defeat the Madhi Army in southern Sudan and the Upper Nile region.

As far as I'm concerned this source is as good as NBC, ABC, or any of the other newsies.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Barack_Obama_Arabic#ixzz1rPiFtKJA


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RE: About sums it up.

And your point would be?


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RE: sums it up.

No point at all. Just sharing info. To make a point would imply a discussion, Chase.

Good night now.


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RE: About sums it up.

What a silly play of statistics.


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RE: About sums it up.

Didn't find it silly at all. I had never googled Obama or looked up any info on him...That is interesting that his ancestors were slave traders.
Wonder if he feels like he should always be held
accountable for something his ancestors did that he had no control over since he wasn't alive.
That puts him on the side of millions of white people that are held up all the time for accountability for an action they had nothing to do with.......slavery.
Ironic very ironic. That takes a load off now that I know
Obama is "one of us".


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RE: About sums it up.

You may be 'one of' some in here but you sure as heck are not one of a part of all of us. I'm grateful for that.

What a nasty piece of work you just posted.

Maybe somebody will come back for you and tell us the non-objectionale things you were REALLY saying.

Metaphorially speaking, of course.

To try to help you pretty up the slime you think and then say.

A nasty little soul making a nasty little post.

Now is the time you should start trolling for sympathy. It seeems to make you feel SO very much better, doesn't it!

Nasty.


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RE: knew it would be mylab

mylab did I post something that wasn't true?
Should Obama be held accountable for something he had nothing to do with?
Should I?
Should you?
My post is honest.
What is wrong with asking an honest question?
I was relieved to read he has ancestors who were slave traders.
That puts him in the same situation as lots of other INNOCENT people that had nothing to do with slave trading.
Like my family, thank you very much.
I can't imagine why you thought that was a nasty post.
For me it was a relief of knowledge.
No troller for sympathy here.
Just relief for information.
I'm not anything like you mylab.
I pray that I am never anything like you.


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RE: About sums it up.

Maybe if we quit raising everyone to think that "you deserve it," it might be easier to teach them ethics.

It's because the ethics are initially lacking that they begin to believe they deserve it (pretty uncomfortable, after all, to reflect on the unethical source of one's privilege & wealth). So instead, they make up nonsense names for themselves like "job creators" in order to justify their demand for even greater cuts off the already niggardly sum begrudgingly paid to their country.


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RE: About sums it up.

"That puts him on the side of millions of white people that are held up all the time for accountability for an action they had nothing to do with.......slavery. "

Who does this? Certainly we must all be mindful of how Blacks were treated just as we must always be mindful of the Holocaust and how Jews were treated and the genocide in places like Rwanda.

It is only by never forgetting how awful humans can be to one another that we can stop these horrible atrocities from happening.

....but it seems you are saying something different than that or maybe I simply don't understand what you are saying.


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RE: About sums it up.

I was relieved to read he has ancestors who were slave traders.

Really? Relieved?


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RE: About sums it up.

oh look...Elvis is 100% a birther.

None of those claims are true, of course...and why would anyone enter that query in the first place. Google thosse stats and see how racism is alive and well.

Really truly ugly and just plain weird considering the subject of this post. But, apparantely, all sources are good because you knowww....nbc editing a tape...is that your logic? Unreal.

Demi, don't get your post at all. Why would you be called a racist if you said Obama looks like....looks like who? Funny how you made yourself a victim in one post without anyone responding to you or you even explaining youself. I have seen some funny chaacterures of hte president that accentuate his big smile and ears Why would that be racist. Can you explain?

Reich nails it.


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RE: About sums it up.

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 9:26

Thanks David for the imagines, but there's no need for an imagination when it comes to the rich and powerful who would gladly squeeze every dollar they can out of a nation they care so little about. For when they finally crush the nation into total failure they'll just bid us a fond farewell as they escape the consequences of their actions while in route to their mansions that await them in other nations (where they safe keep all that job creating tax cut monies). Who needs external terrorists when Bin Laden-like Norquists can destroy us from within for personal profit. How does that running warm water feel in the tub? Maybe the toothpicks think that they'll float to the top and it'll only be the government that drowns.


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RE: About sums it up.

Thank you David for the great topic.

I love the toothpick analogy. Thin and it breaks when it comes up against a sturdy narrative.

The Reich Narrative nailed the issue and because The Birther do not have a convincing, legitimate argument they fall back on racism. They get down into the mud and the lowest part of their being, lack of integrity, and the lack of intelligence, and start to look for reasons to hate due to color.

That thin piece of a toothpick weakens as it gets wet and dirty and it becomes even weaker. It even starts to smell as it rots.


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RE: About sums it up.

I am very jealous of anyone that has more than I do.

I wish I could get my hands on some of it.

Hay


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RE: About sums it up.

They hate us because of our freedoms, Hay.


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RE: About sums it up.

Well, I do enjoy a blatant change of subject as well as the next guy.

This tactic has already been rolled out numerous times, and watch for it in the future. Ryan himself lead the charge the other day, when asked to clarify the details of his budget.......

OBAMA !!! OBAMA !!! OBAMA !!!!

Romney, when asked about his position on the Ryan budget .....

OBAMA !!! OBAMA !!! OBAMA !!!!

and so on.

Funny how nobody wants to defend the indefensible, but are clearly willing to elect people who are clearly determined to do just what they say they are going to do. - the indefensible.


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RE: About sums it up.

the candidacy of the private equity manager (and all the money he and his friends use to try to sell their lies) has the opposite effect. It awakens the citizens of the country to what is happening to their economy and their democracy. It ignites a movement among the citizens to take it all back.

While some may react as Reich writes, how many others will reject the private equity manager just because they don't 'like' him or 'trust' him or think he belongs to a cult? Same result - an electoral loss - but without a movement to demand change. This is the more likely outcome.

As far as the nonsense about an Arab and slave-trading heritage, it says more about the believers of this rot than it does about President Obama -- a variation on the birther theme dating to the 2008 election.


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RE: About sums it up.

Marquest has some interesting things to say about the toothpick metaphor that Agnes posted up near the OP.

Agnes, and a bit later, Jodi, likened the intelligence of most voters to toothpicks.

Obama says the majority of voters are women. Ergo, most women have the intelligence of toothpicks.

Later still, Marq, who says he "loves this analogy", has the stupid toothpick get wet and dirty, then stinky as it rots.

Thank goodness Marsh, David, and Hay got onboard. I was getting more confused than usual. ;)


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RE: About sums it up.

Good point Elvis....Since most of the voters are women, then women are responsible for the mess in Washington.

If women have the IQ of a toothpick, what does that say about men...especially those that don't bother to vote?

I'd love to be able to blame the Mess on the menfolk.


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RE: About sums it up.

None of this relates to the summing up. "you did it!" "no, she did it!" no, it's Obama's fault!" "no, the shes' did it!" "no, it's the fault of all the pricky and stinky toothpicks!"


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RE: About sums it up.

demifloyd said:
And what would Barack Obama be?
Oh, any similar childish comment would be racist, wouldn't it?

It is interesting the way that demi and some others injected race as a wedge issue here and seemingly, whenever they can do so for partisan purposes. Here race was not part of the OP but we see the typical NeoSouthern strategy at play here.

It always goes something like this. First, blame the cost of social programs for all of the ills of our economy.
Second, try to obfuscate the main causes of the economic meltdown from 2007 to 2009 with government spending on social programs. Then label social security and medicare as "entitlements" to gin up anger among those who believe that recipients should not be entitled to 'their money."
The final leg of the NeoSouthern strategy. Deny racism while simultaneously complaining that blacks are not worthy or "entitled" to their money. Then throw it up in the face of Democratic leaders and President Obama.

I guess you could not resist playing the race card Demi and others could not resist the birther nonsense.

This election year is already bringing out the worst in some of those on the Right. We do not want to talk about racism unless racism is a issue. In this case the only issue about race is why it is being injected into this conversation.


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re:post error

Sorry. My follow-Up was meant to have been on "Why Parents
Survival Talk".
Obviously it had nothing to do with this post but everything to do with THAT post.
It was in response to jodik remark about "whites catching and caging blacks".


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RE: About sums it up.

Another thoughtful thread derailed and turned into a silly one....


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RE: About sums it up.

Wait! I had to look up "birther". Sounds like they believe a conspiracy theory that certain information provided about the circumstances of Obama's birth are false. That's not the case with me, although I do like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy.

What I was talking was about Obama's race, not his place of birth. So! I am't a "birther".

Now, about that conspiracy theory...anyone read the Manchurian Candidate? (Imagine the "Twilight Zone" theme song playing in the background here.)


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RE: About sums it up.

While some may react as Reich writes, how many others will reject the private equity manager just because they don't 'like' him or 'trust' him or think he belongs to a cult? Same result - an electoral loss - but without a movement to demand change. This is the more likely outcome.

Unfortunately I think you're right, Nancy. They'll question the candidate, but never the system. Why, if there are any problems, he's just a lousy representative of it! Next!


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RE: About sums it up.

Just to straighten out the record, the word I actually used was "SOME"... some is not equated to all or even many. It stands as its own word with its own meaning. If you can't quote someone accurately, why bother to do it, at all?

Just more chum to muddy up the waters, I guess...


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RE: About sums it up.

It is interesting the way that demi and some others injected race as a wedge issue here and seemingly, whenever they can do so for partisan purposes. Here race was not part of the OP but we see the typical NeoSouthern strategy at play here.

I didn't know you were from the south heri? Are you upset that demi beat you to it? A first for everything lol.


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RE: About sums it up.

Posted by maggie2094 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 8:58

Demi, don't get your post at all. Why would you be called a racist if you said Obama looks like....looks like who? Funny how you made yourself a victim in one post without anyone responding to you or you even explaining youself. I have seen some funny chaacterures of hte president that accentuate his big smile and ears Why would that be racist. Can you explain?

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Well, Maggie, it would have been nice if you had just posted the first and last sentences--that you do not get my post at all and would I explain.

Except you didn't.
You accused me of making myself a victim, and I did NOTHING OF THE KIND!

NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING of the kind.

My point was that apparently it's fine and dandy to ridicule Mitt Romney as being Thurston Howell (bumbling millionaire_ and Paul Ryan (obviously) looking like little vampire Eddie Munster, but God help the person that came on here and said that Barack Obama looked like the man on the Uncle Ben's rice package.

Just making a point about political correctness being a one way street, that's all.

NOWHERE did I make myself a victim.

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Posted by heri_cles 10 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 13:28

demifloyd said:
And what would Barack Obama be?
Oh, any similar childish comment would be racist, wouldn't it?

It is interesting the way that demi and some others injected race as a wedge issue here and seemingly, whenever they can do so for partisan purposes. Here race was not part of the OP but we see the typical NeoSouthern strategy at play here.

__

Excuse me, I just spit out my banana creme pie when Heri accused me of "injecting race" into the discussion.

That comment coming from someone I see as obsessed with bringing race into just about every topic, was richer than the pie! :)


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