Tag Archives: medicare

If We’re So Broke How Come Billionaire Companies Pay No Taxes?

So, you keep hearing the GOP and the Tea Party types tell us how broke we are. GOP is trying to convince us that taking money from Meals on Wheels, Medicare, Social Security, Planned Parenthood, WIC, Unemployment, etc. in order to pay down the debt and reduce the deficit.

They fought Obama hard demanding he leave George Bush’s tax cut for the wealthiest 2% in the country for another two years. They forced him to make a deal with them so he could actually pass legislation that helps the average American household. Keep in mind, President Obama is the person you have to fear. I mean seriously I’d be scared too if there was a guy in the White House telling the wealthy and the corporations that the free ride they’ve gotten used to since the Supreme Court appointed George Bush to the position of President of The United States.

Before G.W. and his handlers took over the top 2% in the country were paying close to 36% in taxes under Bill Clinton. Refresh your memories if you need to but that helped to create the BUDGET SURPLUS that G.W. quickly squandered away. Problem is he also cut their taxes so low there was no way to replace that, so they cooked the books. The left the cost of the wars and countless other things from the budget, so it didn’t look too bad to Americans.

Then American got a new President. One that told us almost immediately the deficit was actually much higher than reported by the previous administration because they omitted things like the cost of war.

But here we have a list of who has all the money and why the middle class, women, seniors and the poor are now being told it is up to them to share the sacrifice but what about these people?

When do share they begin sharing the sacrifice?

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.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was nice enough to put the list above together for Americans so they can see just who really matters in this country now. It isn’t us folks, it’s them.

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.

Will we sit by and continue allowing the Koch funded Tea Party and GOP to lie to us while bashing the President so they can continue rewarding the wealthiest in this country with the money they are stealing from us?


Florida Elects Governor Engaging in Criminal Activity

Wake Up Florida. You elected a man to run your state that was previously convicted of fraud against the U.S Government and American Taxpayers by defrauding the Medicare System. This man now is in charge of a state that has one of the highest numbers of seniors as residents.

All around the country voters went against their best interests being led to the slaughter with lies, intimidation, fears of ‘spreading their wealth’, fox propoganda and anti-Obama rhetoric. The result is proving to be disastrous for Americans all across the country.

The ones who will end up most in need are the very ones that handed these criminals the reins. Just look at Florida.

Disgusting! FL Teabag Governor Uses Office to Rake in BILLIONS!

This is Part XVI of MY STUPID STATE where I document what happens when a state full of Democrats elect a veto-proof, right-wing legislature along with a teabag, CRIMINAL governor to lead us. (Once again, yes–an actual bona-fide criminal who literally stole from seniors, who subsequently elected him.) This is my documentation of my beloved but idiotic state of Florida’s slow decent into chaos.

How bad can it get? At least we are finally seeing the REAL reason he wanted to be governor. First, let me bring you up to speed with 5 things you need to know:

1. Rick Scott made millions as CEO of Columbia/HCA. Well, technically, he made it through Medicare fraud, but Columbia was the vehicle.

2. After he was kicked out, he used his stolen money to found an urgent-care chain called Solantic. Shocking…Solantic also engaged in multiple, multiple forms of fraud.

3. Scott absolutely hated the health care reform bill. In 2009, he founded a national front group to run ads to tell people just how bad it would be for them. He spend 5 million of his own money just to let us know this…with no ulterior motive whatsoever.

4. He had a COMPLETE lack of interest in anything about Florida–until he suddenly decided to run for office last year. He spent 70 million of his own funds to win it.

5. In case I forgot to mention it. HE. IS. A. F%^&ING. CRIMINAL.

So these facts we well known and available information for voters in Florida BEFORE they went to the polls. Did the ignore it? Not Research?

Yet look closer. From his budget proposal to policies he pushed just last week, we have one BIG reason he is now our governor.

In just four short years in office, Scottie is poised to make such a massive fortune that he could hire a Koch brother to plunge his toilet!

Wait. Isn’t he rich already? He listed his net worth at $219 million when submitting the election forms. That would be plenty for most, but for people like Scott, it is abject poverty when you look at multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers. And for people like that, it is never enough. Its the same reason they fight tooth and nail for extra tax cuts and don’t care if we have to cut every social service, kick every poor, disabled kid, and spit on every teacher to get it.

Right now, it is generous to say that Scott has a “questionable” relationship with Solantic. His co-founder at Solantic vehemenently denies that Scott is involved in day-to-day business. In fact, she said that he no longer takes business calls after he was elected. (I would really f%^#ing hope a governor of a major state wouldn’t also try to run a business, but she thought it was a big concession.)

But us libral critics, never satisfied, selfishly insisted he do more to sever the financial relationship with Solantic in order to avoid an obvious conflict of interest.

And in January, our ethical governor FINALLY did. He transfered every bit of his Solantic stock.

Case closed.

I should be happy. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he is somehow still invested in Solantic.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the person he transferred all of the stock to WAS HIS WIFE!

Now, Florida does have an Ethics Commmission. But this underfunded, toothless agency did nothing after three visits from Scott’s legal team. Want a transcript of the meetings under our Sunshine Laws? Too bad. There weren’t any! Whoops. They must have forgot… three times in a row.

Bottom line… Solantic makes money, Rick Scott’s wife makes money, and I’m sure somehow, someway, Rick Scott will get a piece of that.

But our governor wouldn’t be so blatant as to make any policy to funnel money to Solantic? My God, we would have to be some kind of stupid state to overlook something like that.

You be the judge:

1. Solantic primarily deals with people who have high premiums or no insurance. The main competitor for Solantic are publically-funded state clinics run by the FL Dept. of Health. Scott’s budget proposal cuts ALL funding to these clinics!

(Yes, more than one person has pointed out the irony of him wanting pill mills to stay open while completely eliminating clinics that help the poorest Floridians.)

With the elimination of its biggest competitor, SOLANTIC profits will explode.

2. Gov. Scott wants to require ALL RECIPIENTS OF MEDICAID TO JOIN PRIVATE HMOs.

By pure coincidence
, Rick Scott’s wife’s company doesn’t accept Medicaid, but SOLANTIC does accept private Medicaid HMO reimbursments! (ca-ching)

No conflict of interest there.

3. As you learned if you watched Jon Stewart’s hilarious take on Ric Scott last Thursday, the man signed an executive order requiring random drug testing of state employees at least once a quarter along with all applicants for state jobs. He is also pushing the right-wing legislature to use drug test harrassment for another group the GOP hates…welfare recipients.

We are talking hundreds of thousands of Floridians here going to clinics several times a year at least to get these tests. Hey, guess what clinic offers drug testing as a primary service?? Rhymes with MOLE-ANTIC!

4. Biggest one so far. The Palm Beach Post did a great article on this. Although Gov. Mr. Burns hates “Obamacare”, he is gladly lobbying like hell for a massive federal block grant from a state waiver that the Act allows. The article says this type of grant is worth BEEEEELL-IONS.

Slick Rick’s health policy adviser, Michael Cannon, said it would be in the form of health vouchers that consumers can use as cash for direct-pay medical care. This benefits particular clinics where patients like to pay cash.

Clinics like, (wait for it)….SOL….. (OK, I think you get the point now.)

Thankfully, our Florida Commission on Ethics has to decide whether that last one is a conflict of interest. Yes, that commission.

By the way, the commission has 9 members… 5 of which are picked by the governor. So… ya know. Just count on him to do the right thing.

It took me just a few minutes to look a little further on Rick Scott. Politicfacts account of the Columbia/HCA fraud
Was Scott running Columbia/HCA when it found itself at the center of a massive federal investigation? Yes.

Did the company pay a record $1.7 billion in government penalties and fines? Yes, Columbia/HCA paid.

And as we checked in this item, did his former company commit fraud? Yes, it pleaded guilty to fraud charges as part of a settlement.

Of course, the million-dollar question is how much of the blame ultimately falls on Scott? And that’s an answer we can’t provide.

Scott was in charge so he bears some responsibility and has said so. But there has yet to come to light any detail of how much he knew, and when he knew it.

Though that won’t keep us from looking.

McCollum’s campaign, in a statement, said Rick Scott’s former company Columbia/HCA committed fraud. We rate the statement True.

would have enough for me as a voter to have serious reservations about this man.

Did FL voters not know, not care? How did they make such a grave mistake?

Update: Founds this great article also on Governor Rick Scott and his dirty deeds.

14 Felonies Later, Gov Rick Scott Wants Taxpayers to Fund His Clinics

Big daddy is in the house, and he’s cleaning up government fraud and waste by those awful, horrible, lazy, entitled state workers and the welfare bums won’t get away with it anymore! In other words, keep your eye over here, on the state workers and the welfare recipients while Scott dips his hands into the wide-open cookie jar of your tax dollars and just takes what he wants. After Enron, our non-activisty supreme court ruled that enriching oneself at the taxpayers cost is not illegal. So technically, Scott’s theft of the taxpayers to enrich himself is not prosecutable this time around.

No wonder he ran for office.

Florida does, however, have an ethics code that supposedly prevents them using their office for private gain. Scott spokespeople led voters to believe that Scott would recuse himself regulatory decisions that might impact his single largest financial holding, Solantic, since he refused to put the stocks in a blind trust.

Speaking of money, those drug tests will cost 2-3 million a year for taxpayers, plus the costs of the inevitable litigation. But it’s worth it, Scott’s administration assures us, for the peace of mind that your tax dollars won’t be paying for some drug addict to have a job.

Again, no need to concern yourself with Scott’s fortunes, as he owns a stake in S&S Family Entertainment as well as having been tied to Fox News via WebMD and Fit TV. Color yourself shocked. You might also like to know that Solantic has been subjected to numerous employment discrimination suits, stemming from an alleged Scott policy of not hiring overweight or elderly people. Also, Scott was once business partners with George W Bush.

And we wonder why things aren’t going well in Florida….

It seems that nosing into private healthcare decisions and playing hall-monitor to state employees is what Republicans do best. Of course, they do this best when they’re using your tax dollars to enrich their cronies and themselves.

If Scott wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he’d issue random drug tests for his doctors and nurses at Solantic, as well as monthly independent audits of the books. We can’t be too careful, after all. We have a known fraudster at the helm in Florida and he’s turning taxpayer money over to his private company. Kinda seems like we better keep an eye on him.

And he’d better keep an eye on his wife.

Wow this is just amazing. Florida better get looking into way of getting rid of this crook. This could be catastrophic for those people. Get with the movement Florida and Recall Rick Scott.


The GOP’s War on The Middle Class, Families and Seniors

During the last election cycle the Republican party again ran on the same old platform. Less Government, lower taxes(for the top 2%), lower deficit, less spending and the claim that only they can create jobs and solve the economic crisis crippling so many Americans. Their opponents were drowned out by the repeated and often wholly dishonest commercials paid for by their new corporate sponsors courtesy of the Supreme Court. What has the GOP spent it’s time on since taking over the house in November?

Well let’s see……….Speaker John Boehner thrilled house Republicans by bringing styrofoam back the Congressional cafeteria and eliminated the use of the bio-degradable products that were in place before. Oh and they’ve spent $1.1 million dollars and an entire week taking turns reading the Constitution aloud for new members.

They’ve called Emergency sessions to de-fund things like National Public Radio.

They’ve secretly been planning a war on the elderly and neediest in our society to pay for the breaks given to the banks, wall street and corporate America. They’ve held numerous press conferences repeatedly telling Americans they are going to have to work longer, give up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid because the debt is just too high.

Yet at the same time Oil Companies were again rewarded with another tax break hidden inside a ‘transportation’ bill. They’ve also spent their time introducing a bill requiring the Internal Revenue Service to police how Americans have paid for their abortions.

All of this in an effort to keep the scale balanced as it has been over the last ten years so the Top 1% can control 42% of our country’s financial wealth.

They’ve demanded cuts to theWomen, Infants and Children Health and Nutrition (WIC) program by $750 million and Head Start by $1 billion.

Also cutting $50 million from a block grant that pays for prenatal healthcare for 2.5 million low-income women and healthcare for 31 million children each year and dedicated countless hours declaring war on women and children by defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting pregnancy prevention funding by 317 million. This is your Pro-Life GOP America.

A recent chart compiled from IRS and Tax Foundation data suggests the rich have been paying fewer taxes as compared to the middle class for over 20 years.

They want 30% cut to the EPA including $1.4 billion from clean water and drinking water and $1.3 billion cut from community health centers taking away primary care from 11 million patients.

Now about those jobs they’ve been working to create with things like eliminating $1 billion in funding for high-speed rail.
How about adding jobs with a cut of $786 million to invest in renewable energy and alternative energy resources.

All when Americans are again footing the bill with enormous gas prices due to Wall Street’s endless speculation game.

Meanwhile always talk of more war, meaning more money for the billionaires and corporations that have been profiting by billions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While having the nerve to demand tax cuts for their wealthy financiers while attempting to frame as cut for all and an increase on the wealthy as an increase on the little guy. The don’t need our help anymore America.

They’ve made their largest profits in the last 18 years in 2010 when just two years earlier former President George W. Bush insisted Americans had to bail out the banks to save themselves. Well, when do WE, the workers get a bail out?

So no jobs have been created, no talk of how these cuts could possibly create jobs, Americans will expected to work longer, give up their retirement, go without health-care, pay enormous gas prices and somehow we’ll all be better off?

It’s a desperate attempt to cripple Americans leaving them strapped for money, angry, desperate and ready for a change. You see they think we’re stupid. They think we won’t notice who it really is that is sticking the knife in their side. They’re desperately counting on us to ignore what they’re up to and accept this is just what it is. They expect we’ll get angry at the guy in the White House and decide to vote him out in 2012. They expect us to roll over and ignore the attack on the middle class, women, children, the elderly and the most in need. They think we’re too stupid to know what they’re up to.

But America is catching on. In several states they are now faced with newly elected, corporate funded Republican governors hell bent and financially obligated to bring the war on Americans right to our front door. States like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and countless others have introduced budgets that eliminate many of the same thing the GOP in D.C. is attempting to dismantle. Many going as far as to attempt to end bargaining rights for the very public servants that maintain our society.

Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers and countless other public employees are under attack in this country. Accused of being free loaders, lazy, slobs, greedy and anything else the GOP talking points may be. Millionaire Rush Limbaugh even called them ‘whiny’ for caring about their rights and fighting for their jobs.

So there you have it folks, the corporations continue to reap huge profits, get big breaks, tax cuts or in some cases pay no tax at all and it’s now up the middle class to carry the burden of running this country.

Within an hour, the rally spontaneously turned into march. Despite lacking a permit or any prior planning, as many as 1,000 people walked the four blocks to the White House--in the middle of the street. From White House, it was onto the Chamber of Commerce building, which is across from the White House on Lafayette Square.

Americans are beginning to fight back. This isn’t your corporate funded tea-party this is a real movement regardless of party of choice or who they voted for.

Protests have popped all across the country in response to the GOP’s continued assault on education, health-care, women, children and the elderly. After weeks of protests against Governor Scott Walker’s mission to destroy collective bargaining in their state, protesters led by Firefighters have begun withdrawing their money from Madison’s M&I Bank upon discovering the bank took bailout funds which it then used to donate to Walker’s campaign for Governor.

Wisconsin resident Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot in the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” landing removed his money from the bank as well. When folks in the Washington D.C. area learned Walker and the WI Senate Republicans were to be awarded at a big D.C. fundraiser hosted by corporate lobbyists for recently ramming through a bill to end bargaining rights for state employees, they came out in droves. The protesters seized the lobby of the building then later marched to The Chamber of Commerce. As of Friday Mach 18th a judge in WI has issued a temporary restraining order against Walker’s bill while determining if the laws were broken in the passing of the bill.

For more information on the GOP class war peruse some of the items below or check out these pages on Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. Check back soon for more on the other states battling the attack.

This Is What Class War Looks Like: A National Campaign, State by State
The wealthiest 5% of Americans control 72% of America’s financial wealth. The bottom 80% control only 7% of the nation’s financial wealth. The richest 400 Americans have more combined wealth than the poorer HALF of all Americans. That means 400 people have more wealth than 150,000,000 people combined. American corporations saw record profits in 2010. Nearly 80% of all economic gains made in the past thirty years have gone to the richest 1%. In the 1970s, the average CEO made 30 times what an hourly worker made. Today, a CEO makes 300 times what an hourly worker makes.

Meanwhile, unemployment remains around 9%. Underemployment is much higher. Wages are stagnant. The cost of necessities like food, gas and healthcare are soaring.

If you were among the beneficiaries of this trend, if you had more financial wealth than 375,000 of your fellow citizens combined, if you made 300 times what one of your hard-working, middle class employees made, and if you saw the everyday struggle that middle-class and working class families go through, and if you were a humane, reasonable human being, your heart would go out to them. You could conclude that it was time to share the wealth. You would conclude that you are not worth more than three hundred of the people whose blood, sweat and tears really make your company successful. No humane, sane, reasonable and compassionate human being could honestly believe they were worth that much more than a fellow American.

Certainly no one who believes that “all men are created equal” could believe such a thing.

Wall Street Front Group President Sneers At Protesters
On Friday, two dozen protesters gathered outside of an event for the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, where U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue gave a lunchtime presentation about the economy.
U.S. Chamber operated as a front group for banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America to kill Wall Street reform.
The local CBS affiliate in St. Louis noted that, while Donohue gave a speech demanding more deregulation of the economy, the protesters outside called for better government oversight of Wall Street.

Asked about the massive protests against Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Donohue said that public servants have “over bloated” compensation:

Donohue turned truculent when asked whether events in Wisconsin are weakening unions and the right of workers to collective bargaining. [….] He went on to express his concerns that public sector pensions are “out of control” and that public workers compensation is “over bloated.”

Entitlements and interest payments will equal total government revenue in a little more than 10 years. Meanwhile, cuts to non-security discretionary spending are occurring in a part of the budget with practically zero projected growth as a share of GDP.

Who’s Waging Class Warfare Now?
Why is it that class warfare is only something middle-class liberals are accused of waging?

How can Republicans get away with this when they are so much more effective at actually waging class warfare than the Democrats? How is giving a $400 billion tax break to the top 2% of American incomes and then cutting $60 billion from programs that benefit the poor not class warfare?

Busting middle-class unions in the midwest. Cutting federal programs that primarily benefit the nation’s poor. Refusing to restore reasonable tax rates on the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Those actions sound like class warfare to me?

Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and a number of other billionaires are bankrolling the Republican assault on America’s middle and working classes. When members of the wealthy class use their power and resources to inflict damaging policies on the less wealthy, that’s class warfare that has real impact.

If we hadn’t given tax breaks to the rich for the past 10 years while at the same time doubling “defense” spending, we would not have a budget “crisis” now. Those are facts that cannot be denied by the charged rhetoric of class warfare.

“Reduce capital gains tax rates? — That’s the war cry of the rich in the class war.”
That’s what we should say every time anyone advocates a lower capital gains tax. So far, conservatives have almost monopolized the “class war” meme. Rubbish. They get away with it partly because “capital gains tax” is an arcane enough concept that it makes most people’s eyes glaze over. One of the best tests of whether someone is rich is whether or not he perks up when he hears those words: “capital gains tax”.

Why is that? Because really rich people make most of their money as capital gains. Some of that happens because of gimmicks — tax shelters — that dress up regular income so it gets taxed as capital gains. But a lot, perhaps most of it, is because the usual way to get really rich is to own something that becomes fantastically valuable — something like Microsoft, or the mineral rights to an oil field. It’s perfectly fair to call the increase in value of an asset like that capital gain.

What’s not necessarily fair is to tax that kind of income at a fraction of what you pay on income earned from the sweat of your brow.

Some in GOP grow tired of right wing
Many of the critics are close to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who struggles more each day to keep his majority unified as a three-month spending showdown threatens to spill into April. The House passed $6 billion of spending cuts Tuesday, to bring the total cut to $10 billion.

“Yep, it is surprising,” Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson said of the difficulty convincing hard-liners that the leadership is cutting large amounts of spending. “I mean, this is three weeks; we’re cutting $6 billion. You know? It is surprising. This is the only time in my life where I can cut $6 billion in a three-week period and be called a liberal.”

Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette, an appropriator close to Boehner, said Republicans are seeing a “constant tension” between “the Democratic Party that talks about cuts but doesn’t want to cut anything, and then you have my side, that wants to cut anything that moves.

“That creates this dynamic tension, and you have people in my party that are angry that we are not adding riders, or shutting down the government, things like that, but this is exactly what people expect us to do — find cuts and continue to talk,” LaTourette said.

Other Republicans are quietly complaining that a few bombastic members of their conference who regularly appear on TV create an outsize perception of pressure.

The GOP claims the government is broke; False Motives
In Wisconsin, the Republicans are trying to bust the public service unions, while in Washington they have their sights on bigger game. Using these scare tactics, congressional Republicans want to roll back 80 years of social programs intended to provide a social safety net beneath our capitalist economy. But more than a safety net, these programs are part of our social infrastructure: environmental protection laws, Head Start programs for underprivileged children, Pell grants to send young Americans to college, programs to hire and equip police officers, NPR and the National Endowment for the Arts, national parks, and scores of other programs.

One target offers a particularly vivid example of the GOP scorched-earth policy. The Republicans have hated Planned Parenthood for decades, branding it “America’s largest abortion provider” even though it uses no federal funds to provide that medical procedure. Last month the GOP budget-cutters voted overwhelmingly to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, including its contraception, cancer screening, sex education, and prenatal care programs. Writing at Salon, Rebecca Traister described the GOP war on Planned Parenthood this way: “But this isn’t simply about the question of abortion itself. What … the House of Representatives did today was devalue women’s lives, women’s rights, and women’s ability to participate fully in the democracy.”

Fat Cat CEOs And Their Conservative Servants
In the fight for capital investment, CEOs invest in themselves rather than their companies. No wonder there is a major disparity of income. The workers on the factory floor take pay cuts and furloughs; CEOS take that savings and put it in their pockets.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal,;

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the biggest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate CEO pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

When we speak to conservatives, they will tell you that those tax breaks create jobs. They will tell you that the “savings” in taxes will be used to hire more people, build new factories, buy more supplies or increase the pay of existing workers.

It seems to me that the CEOs are taking those tax breaks and shoving them in their own pockets. Profits in corporate America are at an 18 year high, yet many working class people are taking pay cuts. The Republicans do not talk about the disparity of income in this country, because they don’t care about it. In fact, it is their policies that have caused it.

Republicans Set Out To Impoverish Real America Though Shared Sacrifice
Americans are beginning to understand that Republicans want everyone to share in the sacrifices except the wealthy and corporations. Conservatives traditionally force minorities to make sacrifices, but they have broadened the scope to include the poor, elderly, children, and now working-class families in an effort to spread the pain evenly. For one thing, sacrifice means giving something up voluntarily and sharing denotes all parties giving equally. Republicans are forcing 98% of Americans to give up services their tax dollars pay for, but they are not asking the wealthy or corporations to make any sacrifices whatsoever.

In Congress, Republicans are finding it difficult to force Americans to sacrifice for corporations and the wealthy because the Senate and White House are controlled by Democrats. In Republican controlled states though, governors and legislatures are forcing the masses to sacrifice everything to ensure corporations receive all the tax dollars and control of the government. Republicans are not using subterfuge and deceit to hand over control to corporations, and in many cases, Republican governors are flaunting the fact that they are giving corporations a free ride while forcing everyone else to make bigger sacrifices.

In many Republican controlled states that are facing budget deficits, governors have proposed funding cuts to education, law enforcement, and aid programs for the poor and elderly in an effort to reduce budget shortfalls. The same states are experiencing depressed tax revenues so they increased taxes on the poor, retirees, public employees, and the middle class. With all the spending cuts, added tax revenue, and shared sacrifice by 98% of the population, states should be on the road to recovery, but any savings or added revenue is being doled out to corporations to perpetuate the shortfalls. To add insult to injury, Republicans argue that the spending cuts, elimination of services, and corporate entitlements will create jobs as they lay off thousands of employees.


WI Seniors Think Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Medicare Plan is Nuts

“That guys nuts. He is crazy. They’re nuts. He’s a multi-millionaire and he doesn’t give a damn about us.”


Follow the Money: GOP and Tea Party…Bought, Sold, Pawned and Owned

The supporters of the Tea Party are being duped. Duped by Billionaires no less. Bilionaires bent on taking over the US Government by eliminating the very programs so many supporting the Tea Party depend on. So on Thursday Sept 16th President Obama spoke of this very fact at a Fundraiser for Dick Blumenthal (D-CT). He touched on the reality of the who really funds the Tea Party and other falsely labeled ‘grass roots movements’.

This is something the majority of the mainstream media has yet to do yet deserves the full attention of Americans. Wealthy billionaires like Rupert Murdoch (FOX), and brothers Charles and David Koch are spending millions of dollars in an effort to dismantle the US Government and further their pro-corporate agendas. These are the very people paying people like Sarah Palin,
Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich and the like to muck up the water and confuse the average voter. Paid to tap into the fears and frustrations of Americans while convincing them to support the destruction of the very government that provides them protection as a citizen.

Here the President points out to those in attendance just where all the money and outrage is coming from and just what they have in mind for Americans if we continue to allow a corporate takeover of our government:
That’s what they’re offering the American people — a future that looks just like the past, one where special interests get free reign to play by their own rules and where middle-class families are left to fend for themselves.

Now, that’s not a future I accept for the United States of America. That is not a future that Dick Blumenthal accepts for the United States of America.

This is a tough election season. People are hurting and they are understandably frustrated. And a lot of them are scared. And a lot of them are anxious. And that means that even when people don’t have ideas, if they’ve got enough money behind them, they may be able to convince some folks that, you know what, just cast a protest vote, throw the bums out. That’s a mentality that has an appeal. And you can’t blame folks for feeling that way sometime. But that’s not a future for our country, a country that’s more divided, that’s more unequal, that’s less dynamic, where we’re falling behind in everything from investment in infrastructure to investment in R&D. That’s not a vision for the future.

And if that’s not a future you accept for this nation, if that’s not the future you want for your kids and for your grandkids, then we are asking you for help in this election.

Because if you don’t think the stakes are large — and I want you to consider this — right now, all across the country, special interests are planning and running millions of dollars of attack ads against Democratic candidates. Because last year, there was a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United. They’re allowed to spend as much as they want without ever revealing who’s paying for the ads. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Millions of dollars. And the groups are benign-sounding: Americans for Prosperity. Who’s against that? Or Committee for Truth in Politics. Or Americans for Apple Pie. Moms for Motherhood. I made those last two up.

None of them will disclose who’s paying for these ads. You don’t know if it’s a Wall Street bank. You don’t know if it’s a big oil company. You don’t know if it’s an insurance company. You don’t even know if it’s a foreign-controlled entity. In some races, they are spending more money than the candidates. Not here because here the candidate is spending a lot of money.

They’re spending more money than the parties. They want to take Congress back and return to the days where lobbyists wrote the laws. It is the most insidious power grab since the monopolies of the Gilded Age. That’s happening right now. So there’s a lot of talk about populist anger and grassroots. But that’s not what’s driving a lot of these elections.

We tried to fix this, but the leaders of the other party wouldn’t even allow it to come up for a vote. They want to keep the public in the dark. They want to serve the special interests that served them so well over the last 19 months.

We will not let them. We are not about to allow a corporate takeover of our democracy. We’re not about to go back to the days when special interests took advantage of Main Street families. (Applause.) We’re not going to go back to the days when insurance companies wrote the rules that let you languish without health care because you had a preexisting condition. We’re not going to go back to the exact same agenda we had before I took office.

A lot has changed since that last election, but what hasn’t changed is the choice facing this country. It is still fear versus hope. It is still the past versus the future. It is still a choice between sliding backwards and moving forward. That is what this election is about. That’s the choice you will face in November.

Watch The President’s Remarks Here

These are the people trying to take over the United States Government. Wonder where all the Tea Party candidates suddenly came from? Wonder why most of these virtually unknown candidates suddenly are winning races and raking in millions in donations when most Americans are struggling to make ends meet? Where did these people come from? Why do they only appear on Fox News and get away with refusing to do any interviews? Why are they always only on Fox News and why does it appears Fox News provides free campaign air time to these virtual unknowns? Why are all of these newcomers to the political scene all in favor of ending Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, Healthcare and other social programs?

Rachel examines how Billionaires Charles & David Koch & Koch Industries fund AFP, Americans For Prosperity, & the Tea Parties, yet deny it.

David and Charles Koch:
A few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin.Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.”

Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders. The White House has expressed frustration that such sponsors have largely eluded public notice. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said, “What they don’t say is that, in part, this is a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

Koch Brothers funding of a tight knit network of lobbyists, former executives and organizations has created a forceful stream of misinformation that Koch-funded entities produce and disseminate.

Koch Industries is the second largest private company in the U.S., with estimated 2008 revenues of $100 billion. Started as a petroleum business by their father Fred Koch, who was also a founder of the right-wing extremist John Birch Society, Koch Industries has become a diversified enterprise that funds large-scale lobbying and a range of libertarian policy and activist groups that play a significant role in the global warming denial machine.

To New Yorkers who associate the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, it’s startling to learn that the Texas branch of that foundation’s political arm, known simply as Americans for Prosperity, gave its Blogger of the Year Award to an activist who had called President Obama “cokehead in chief.”

An oil company headed by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch has contributed $1 million to the campaign to suspend the state’s landmark climate change law. Flint Hills Resources does not have any oil interests in California but is a big opponent of climate change legislation around the country. On Thursday, the Kansas-based refining and chemicals manufacturer threw its weight behind Proposition 23, the ballot initiative that seeks to suspend California’s greenhouse gas reduction law until the economy improves.

Rupert Murdoch:
The opponents of the proposed Cordoba Initiative Islamic center planned for Lower Manhattan are fond of suggesting, by way of lengthy and often confusing chains of causation and association, that its principal planner, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is connected to terrorism. “The imam has been tied to some shady characters,” Fox Business Channel’s Eric Bolling recently said, “so should we worry that terror dollars could be funding the project?” Blogger Pamela Geller, who has become a regular talking head on cable-news channels to denounce the mosque, has noted Rauf’s involvement with a Malaysian peace group that funded the group that organized the Gaza flotilla under the headline, “Ground Zero Imam Rauf’s ‘Charity’ Funded Genocide Mission.”

On last night’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart skewered these antics as a “dangerous game of guilt by association you can play with almost anybody,” and proceeded to tie Fox News to al-Qaida by connecting Fox News parent News Corp’s second-largest shareholder, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, to the Carlyle Group, which has done business with the bin Laden family, “one of whose sons — obviously I’m not going to say which one — may be anti-American.” But Stewart didn’t need to take all those steps to make the connection: Al-Waleed has directly funded Rauf’s projects to the tune of more than $300,000. If Fox newscasters can darkly suggest “terror dollars” are sluicing into the Islamic center’s coffers via “shady characters,” then are Al-Waleed, and News Corp. leader Rupert Murdoch, by the same logic, also terror stooges?

For anybody still harboring the belief that the Tea Party movement is a grassroots insurgency, you may want to look at where two of the movement’s biggest backers are throwing their cash. Politico’s Ben Smith reports that News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and David Koch, the oil magnate who chairs the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (the Koch-funded astroturf powerhouse behind a lot of Tea Party organizing), each threw a cool $1 million at the Republican Governors Association — hardly a rogue operation, and very much a part of the Republican establishment.

Yes, News Corp.’s software division is funneling money into the pocket of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. Sean Hannity has asked, “Why would we sit down with a mad man like Adolf Jr., Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il?” Perhaps he needs to pose that same question in News Corp.’s executive suite. In fact, I wonder what Fox News personalities think of their boss’ business dealings considering their own thoughts on the North Korean regime

In November 2005, three senior aides to Britain’s royal family noticed odd things happening on their mobile phones. Messages they had never listened to were somehow appearing in their mailboxes as if heard and saved. Equally peculiar were stories that began appearing about Prince William in one of the country’s biggest tabloids, News of the World. The stories were banal enough (Prince William pulled a tendon in his knee, one revealed). But the royal aides were puzzled as to how News of the World had gotten the information, which was known among only a small, discreet circle. They began to suspect that someone was eavesdropping on their private conversations.

As of this summer, five people have filed lawsuits accusing News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s publishing empire that includes News of the World, of breaking into their voice mail. Additional cases are being prepared, including one seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard’s handling of the investigation. The litigation is beginning to expose just how far the hacking went, something that Scotland Yard did not do. In fact, an examination based on police records, court documents and interviews with investigators and reporters shows that Britain’s revered police agency failed to pursue leads suggesting that one of the country’s most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal now owns a 7 percent stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, making him the company’s largest shareholder outside of Murdoch’s own family. Alwaleed is best known for going to Ground Zero after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and personally handing then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani a check for $10 million to help finance relief efforts. Afterwards, Alwaleed released a statement blaming the attacks not on the Saudi airline hijackers, but on U.S. policies in the middle east. As a result, Giuliani returned the prince’s donation, gaining him praise from Fox News for doing so. Now that Alwaleed has a controlling ownership in News Corp., he is gaining influence over Fox News.

Rachel Maddow interviews Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity

Time to wake up people. No one can sit home this November, especially Democrats. Americans are being scammed by the tea party movement and the billionaires behind it. We need all hands on deck to fight the money and influence that is hijacking this country. We can not sit idly by while they pawn our future and fill Congress with a bunch of dangerous kooks.


Now You Know Which 55 Republicans Have Something They Don’t Want You to Have!

Oh what a shame it is that we have so many long term members of government. You remember when it was supposed to be for the people by the people. Those days are now long, long gone it appears. But sunlight is always makes a good disinfectant so luckily more and more of the fungus is drying up in Washington. Seems the public health debate is just one more dose of sunlight on the hypocrisy of the lives of the very people Americans trust to have their back.

On October 22nd, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) released an internal study showing 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” This morning on C-Span, Weiner explained the idea behind the project:

“You have members of Congress thumping their chest how they’re against government health care,” Weiner noted, adding, “and yet when it’s time for them to accept Medicare, they’re like, ‘Sign me up!’’

WEINER: It’s more another way of looking at this debate, this discussion about the public option, to put it in focus. We went, just out of curiosity, looked at how many members of Congress get the public option. And I know a lot of people have said, “Well under the new bill, how many of you members of Congress would choose the public option?”

Well there already is one; it’s called Medicare. We found 55 Republicans and 151 members of Congress are on Medicare right now. So they’re already getting the same type of public option that we’d like people who are without insurance to be able to get. And I guess the purpose of this list was to kind of point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate.

Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).

Better yet here is Weiner confronting is fellow colleagues and challenges the Republicans to Put-Up or Shut-Up on Healthcare.

Doesn’t get much better than this. It’s about time we call them out just for the hypocrites and anti-Americans they are.


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