It is about the
rights of a free people to make their own choices while government
supports the people
Republican or Democrat? Neither.
Get on board! Signed the petition for the
Amendment that gets the Money out of politics
Get started thinking and talk about it now.
The Draft of the Amendment is completed:
Get the Money out of Elections.
Sign the petition now - 1,000,000 + signers will get congress'
"Hang tight, we have a
long way to go" Dylan Ratigan (see
his home page)
for another suggested amendment
Perspective on how we got to The Great
Recession (aka: the New Depression)
of 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011
Players (Most of the players are BIG money, or supported by it):
- The government by and for the wealthy (Democrats and Republicans)
- The Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations
- The Koch Brothers (pronounced coke), and other wealthy extreme right
individuals and corporations - financers of ALEC, The Tea Party,
American's for Prosperity, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and
countless state and national politicians and political
- Grover Norquist - President of Americans for Tax Reform
- American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC). See article
here about Wisconsin - ALEC recommended legislation is being
adopted by almost every state that has achieved Republican
majorities This is supported by the the Koch
- The Tea Party (largely created and promoted by FOX news and
funded by the Koch brothers)
- Republican state legislatures
How we got here to the crash of 2011
- In 1952 the rich paid a maximum tax rate of 92 % (World War
2 and the Korean War were being paid for)
- In the early 1960's the middle class paid about 10% income
taxes. Medicare began on January 1, 1966. The Kennedy
cut the maximum tax rate for the rich to about 60% with the
middle class paying the 10%.
- The decline began when the politicians began giving tax
breaks to big corporations and reducing their effective tax
- In the 1970's the first oil price shock hit America
- In the 1980s the Regan Administration the tax cuts for the
rich and corporations accelerated and extreme right wing
pressure on social programs began.
- In the 1990's the religious right and the far right gained
prominence with the impeachment of the President because he lied
- Wall Street regulation was reduced. It was enacted at
the end of the Clinton Administration. The bill was passed
in the congressional lame duck session and signed by Clinton
just before Bush took office (see below)
- The 2000's Bush years when republicans controlled the
Presidency, the House and the Senate
- The 2007 - 2008 oil shock and price acceleration a wobbling
economy and pushed it over the edge
- The 2010's when the uncompromising Tea Party held the
Congress hostage to their ideology
- By 2010 the wealthy paid an effective tax rate of about 18%, less or the same
as their secretaries.
- By 2010 many major corporations paid no taxes or virtually no
domestic taxes - extremely profitable corporations like GE, Google, Dow
Chemicals, Exxon and the like. The tax code allows
corporations to report their hefty incomes off shore (in foreign
countries with few or no taxes) there-by avoiding taxes in the
All Politicians, more significantly, conservatives are starving
the Government of cash and the American People of employment and
- Deregulation began. Good things - airline fares got
- Hospitals that were not-for-profit became money making
corporations (because of deregulation)
- Some tax rates were again slashed. More interestingly,
there were some tax increases too.
- Regan was know to compromise to get things done
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was passed in
the Clinton Administration and was followed by many other Free
Trade acts (Even continuing in 2011).
- Ross Perot warned
us of the "giant sucking sound" of lost jobs. These free
trade acts were (and are) supported by both Democrats and
- Terrorist attacks on American infrastructure began
- Taxes were increased on the wealthy to balance the budget.
- The Clinton Administration left the country with a
$236 billion dollar surplus at the beginning
of the Bush Administration
- Media deregulation begin. Rich and powerful
corporations were allow to buy up the newspapers, radio, TV.
The 5 major media corporations control almost all markets and
areas. Result - you hear few diverse opinions - most of
these opinions are directed by the 5 corporations. Small
radios stations are programmed by these major corporations
- At the end of the Clinton Administration, Walls Street
deregulation passed eliminating the Glass-Steagall
Act of 1933. Banks, brokerages and insurance companies
were now allowed to enter each others' industries, and
investment banking and commercial banking were no longer
required to be separated. THIS was supported by BOTH
Democrats and Republicans and their rich lobbyists. It was
passed during the lame duck session (after the end of the
election that was won by Bush but before the congress
adjourned.) The elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act let to the
housing industry balloon and subsequent bust in 2007 and 2008.
- Clinton: To paraphrase "Everyone should own a home"
- The deregulation allows banks to give loans backed by the US
Government. If a high risk loan fails the banks don't pay
- the taxpayer does. This change prompted Wall Street to
be careless with our money. Failed loans extract money
from the Government (tax payers) transferring it to Wall Street
- Large scale outsourcing of Tax Payer functions began.
(The military no longer feeds itself - the task is outsourced to
corporations). Paid by taxpayers and owned by rich and well
The Bush Administration:
- Achieved the presidency by dubious deeds of the Republican
party in Florida and the Supreme Court decision (Al Gore actually won the
popular country wide vote)
- Opened the door to of Government management to the religious far right
- 911 - Bush friend Saudi nationals get a free ride out of the country
before being investigated
- Wall Street further deregulated
- Bush: "we want everybody in America to own their own home.
That's what we want."
- Wall Street begin encouraging, creating, selling, and buying-up
mortgages without regard to their soundness knowing that the
TAXPAYER would pay for failures. This frenzy was done
without regard for paper trails and regulations about it.
- The treasury was emptied!
- Gave huge tax cuts - everyone got them - the middle class
gained a couple of hundreds of dollars a year, the rich gained
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS and even millions (none of these tax cuts
were "paid for"). There was no change in spending to
reduce costs in other programs and no sacrifices by anyone
- Two wars were (are being) waged. No sacrifice was
asked to pay for these wars (in dollars or by an equal
opportunity draft that would include the rich kids)
- Capital gains taxes were greatly reduced. If you own a
home or own stocks you probably benefit but many middle class taxpayers
don't. It largely benefits the rich and wealthy.
These tax cuts were not 'paid for'
- Medicare drug benefit created. The program was not
paid for by any other spending cuts or tax change (The program forbids the government
from bargaining for discounts - a gift to the rich drug
companies). Supported by both demos and repubs and the big
money that supports them.
- Vice- President Dick Cheney: "Deficits don't matter"
- The largely Bush appointed conservative Supreme Court rules
that corporations have the same rights as a person allowing rich
corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on influencing
public policy (This ruling came during the Obama era)
- Tax cuts resulted in 8 million or more LOST jobs
- Congressional members began signing Grover Norquist's no tax
pledge. This pledge has become as important to
congressional members than the constitution.
- Outsourcing of Tax Payer supported functions accelerated.
The private Blackwater Group, and ungoverned and unregulated,
has more security personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan than
soldiers. Paid by taxpayers and owned by rich and well
The Obama Administration
- Continues the practice of being financially supported and
advised by the rich corporations and individuals
- The Obama Justice Department: Not a single financier or Wall
Street firm has been jailed or prosecuted for broken regulations
- Compromises too many policies and laws because of a weak Democratic
party and its rich supporters during first 2 years
- Republicans gain control of House of Representatives during
the 2010 election promising jobs, jobs, jobs
- Senate, controlled by Democrats, has not considered or
passed a budget in the entire administration
- Obama tries, tries, and tries to get compromise but
Republicans and some Democrats refuse any compromise
- Tea Party hijacks Congress making adjusting the debt ceiling
an issue that has NOTHING to do with the future (this money had
already been spent - see the Bush administration). This
faction refuses to get anything done by compromise
- The ending of Corporate welfare for corporations (Big oil
and others) was defeated by congress. Grover Norquist's pledge
says this is a tax increase
- Every single
Republican in Congress, both in the House and Senate,
and some Democrats, vote to end Medicare as we
- Republicans introduce or support NO JOBS bills in first
months of their House control
- Republicans in both the Senate and the House state that
their only goal
is to make Obama a one term president - They make no attempt to
govern by compromise or help the country and the American
- Congress talks about jobs but votes
over and over again to cut jobs by spending cuts
- Republicans talk tax cuts and tax cuts and jobs, jobs jobs
but only allows votes on social issues: A woman's health and
legal right to choose, planned parent hood, National Public
Radio, marriage equality, and so on
- The Federal Reserve continues to pay banks interest for
their overnight deposits sent to the reserve. Eliminating
this interest would encourage banks to loan the trillions of
dollars they control to interest paying businesses
- Oil prices are increased by Wall Street speculators.
The administration could end this speculation by enforcing
simple investment rule changes
- Outsourcing of Tax Payer supported functions continue.
State Governments beginning in 2010
- States begin adopting laws recommended by ALEC as follows:
voter rolls by onerous ID requirements and voting options
(eliminating or greatly reduced early, Sunday or absentee voting
. These changes greatly affect most Democratic leaning groups -
the young, students, the poor, racial minorities, (legal) new
immigrant citizens, the sick and elderly
- Slashing education
- Eliminating unions
- Giving tax
breaks to businesses, corporations and the rich
- Increasing taxes on
- Cutting other social programs such as Medicaid
The 2010 elections gave control of the United States House of
Representatives and many state governments to the Republicans and
the Tea Party - America as we know it is now under siege by the
extreme conservative right wing
The Facts about Social Security and Medicare "entitlements"
Social Security is set up as a trust fund - what you pay into it
(with your employers contribution) is to be set aside for future
withdrawals. Thus, the social security trust fund is projected
to be solvent until 2026.
Medicare is also set up to run as a fund - it is
projected to be
solvent until 2016.
The truth is there is no trust, no fund and no money. The
politicians have raided the treasury, they have spent it all
But also the truth is that neither social program needs
to go broke. People continue to pay into these funds
which continually extends them. Further solvency dates can be extended with modest adjustments to
both programs (increase retirement ages, eligibility, and means
testing (if you are rich you don't need these "entitlements")
The news media and politicians say that there must be
modifications to these and other "entitlements" If the wealthy and
corporations pay their fair share the problems would be minimized.
- Be very afraid
if one party (democrats or republicans) gains control
of the Presidency, the House and the Senate (see the Bush
- Generally, republicans are rigid, single minded and unified.
Democrats are more compromising and less single minded - and
less unified. In this environment, I hold my nose and support
the latter. We need compromise to get things done!
Money has corrupted the entire political process, GET THE MONEY
This link from an article in 1879 may give you ideas about the "National Liberal League"
as it existed in the late 19th Century
Quote from Elizabeth Warren -
Democratic candidate for US Senator from Massachusetts
"There here is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.
Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to
be clear. You moved goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid
for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe
in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the
rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands
would come and seize everything at your factory.
Now look. You built a factory and turned into something terrific or
great idea - God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the
underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay
forward for the next kid who comes along." ...Elizabeth Warren