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Politics for Dummies: Populist versus Fascist

October 5th, 2017 · General, Politics, Populism, Taxes, Trump

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

We spend a lot of time in this country identifying people and things, like fads and trends. It is not difficult to do because a.) they’re usually pretty insignificant and b.) they last until the next big news event and are forgotten. We are the ultimate “disposable” society. We have very few permanent assumptions and those that we do, are flawed. I’ll give you an example.

For most of the last 35 or so years, our government has run on the economic principle that by lowering taxes, we will increase business activity and therefore increase government revenues in the long run. The majority of American voters accepted this as truth. But it is not. Tax cuts of themselves do not generate greater economic activity leading to greater government revenues. In fact, exactly the opposite happens.

Over the last 35 years, we have gone from an $800 billion national debt to a $19 trillion national debt. This happened even though we cut government spending several times, including about 9 percent across all of government starting in 2013.

The problem with our government and our national debt is that the rich pay less in taxes than any time since the early days of the 20th Century when the robber barons simply plundered society for their own affluence.  This time, it started with Ronald Reagan. A good President in some ways, he was unfortunately the tool of major corporate interests and Conservative millionaires and billionaires. In addition, his wife was their very strong advocate.

Not everyone was fooled. George H W. Bush, an intelligent and well educated man, but crushed in the 1980 Republican campaign by the Reagan propaganda machine, tried to get the facts out to the voters. But they were in the grasp of the Reagan charisma and believed the Reagan fairy tale (which perhaps he also believed.) Listen carefully to what George H. W. Bush says in this one-on-one debate against Reagan.

 

What George Bush said was extremely significant but lost in the gibberish and sloganeering in Reagan’s response, which the people applauded. What Bush was saying was this: Kennedy cut taxes from a top rate of 97% down to 74%. It was a good idea at the time, and cut taxes by $11 billion on the rich. But the net loss in revenue was about $4 billion not an increase. When Kennedy did it the rich were paying too much, and importantly there was no deficit. But at the time that Reagan was proposing it, the budget deficits were just beginning to grow. That meant that Reagan’s plan, which Bush had earlier called “voodoo economics” far from increasing revenues, would cost government $25 billion per year and even more over time. [Read more →]

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Trump Tax Cuts Versus Your Social Security and Medicare

September 29th, 2017 · General, Politics, Populism, Social Security, Taxes

Perhaps it is time for the big battle. Perhaps it is time to have an all-out war against the Titans.

Trump and McConnell, the would be Fascist and the already Neo-Fascist who run the Republican side of politics in this country want to cut your taxes slightly to delude you into thinking that they want to make life better for you.

The foundations and PACs are ready to pour money into tax cuts. Why? No matter which taxes get cut they make money. If corporate taxes go down, they make money. If estate taxes go down, they make money. If top rate taxes go from 39.6%, which they are now, to 35%, in this new “only 3 brackets” scheme of Trump’s, they make big money. And if capital gains rates go down even a fraction of a point, they make millions.

Here is one billionaire. Listen to his thoughts on more tax cuts for the rich.

 

Many wealthy families…people in the top one percent of income and wealth understand that government must have sufficient funds to function, and the largest amount of income must rationally come from those who have most. We all pay the same tax rates at every bracket. But at some point, the vast majority leave off and those at the top of the income ladder, pay a little higher percentage, even though they often pay an amount the turns out to be a much lower percentage. Still, they do pay enormous amounts in reals numbers. Statistically, however, it is never more than 2 bucks for Uncle Sam and 8 bucks they can put in the bank.

Remember also, that in many cases, these are businessmen or families who either built a company that they never expected to be worth billions (like Microsoft or Oracle or Facebook) or those who inherited already large corporations, like Koch Industries. At that top bracket, we allow all kinds of leeway for the super-rich to keep as much as possible. But when cutting taxes affects roads, streets, bridges, or the health of children and the very lives of the frail and elderly, it is time to say…enough tax breaks. We must have enough income to function.

So who are these super-rich who feel that they are over-taxed? Let’s just take one example.  Let’s take one organization called “Restore Our Future.”

It is a PAC, actually a super-PAC, an organization designed to put their people into office and keep your people, people like Bernie Sanders for certain, and other like Hillary Clinton..if possible…out of office.  By law, they can spend as much as they can afford.

In 2012 alone…just 2012…they spent $38 million trying to get the Republican nomination for either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. They didn’t succeed. So they gave $13 million to Mitt Romney. But that didn’t succeed. And it didn’t succeed despite the fact that they spent $88.5 million in the campaign AGAINST Barack Obama. [Read more →]

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Income Inequality and Taxation

September 21st, 2017 · Economics, General, Politics, Populism, Taxes

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

What is income inequality and what does it mean to the average person? Does it matter to you or me if someone makes 20 billion dollars a year? Most average people, going through their daily routines, never think about how much someone else makes, only what they themselves earn. So let’s examine the concept of “income inequality” and see whether or not it has any influence on your life. Here’s a video that you may have seen. If you haven’t, it is a reality check on income in America. You may be astonished at what you learn.

Before we go further, let’s make a couple of assumptions. Can we just agree at the outset that no one should be concerned by large  fortunes or how they were earned (or even if inherited )…so long as it was legal? Nor should one worry about how the rich spend their money. The long, relatively proud history of the United States has rewarded independence and initiative and has always considered wealth–if not without envy by some–to be a sign of innovation, persistence and hard work. There is no reason to change those ideals. Let’s concede that we would all like to make a lot of money .

But the term “inequality” does have some inherent implications. It implies unfairness. Does it not imply that there are super-rich but also homeless and foodless among us. What about the idea of enough income among everyone to establish a fully functioning society, equitable to all who live in it?

The famous Austrian political scientist, Frederick Von Hayek would say that there is basically no such thing as being fair when it comes to the economics of large societies. The economic circumstances determine a great deal about who makes how much. If you try to change the economic formula, from free markets to controls–Socialism, for example–the evidence, he maintained, with some validity is that it simply won’t work. Economics dictates income. How much of that income each person should pay in taxes to maintain a working society is the question.

And it is always an extremely difficult personal judgment. In fact, Hayek says, it can’t be done. But he does offer a solution. [Read more →]

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Steve Bannon is no Populist. His own words prove it.

September 14th, 2017 · Fascism, General, Politics, Populism

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

Steve Bannnon is no populist. In the Charlie Rose interview, part of which you can watch below, (although you should read the entire article first) he admits it by telling us that he is a populist and then describing the people with whom he associates. It is as if Goebbels said that he was a populist and then described his friends…Borman, Eichmann, Goering and, oh yes, Hitler. And then as if he went on to describe all their good works, like invading Poland and building small communities called concentration camps.

Charlie Rose quite cleverly lets him go on and on, rambling about his past successes, not realizing that some people are going to point out that all of those efforts were done to destroy the Middle Class, elevate the already elevated incomes of the Super-Right-Wing Rich, and to create lies and exaggerations that would elect Republicans. It is all about money, about getting it and using it to get more.

Bannon starts off talking about meeting with Trump with his mentor, David Bossie who founded Citizens’ United. Bannon says Trump understood the Tea Party, which makes sense, as the Tea Party is funded by his pals, the Right Wing billionaires, several of which are in his Cabinet.

It is not a grass roots movement. It never really was. It was a bunch of totally uninformed and deliberately misinformed citizens, organized by the Koch Brothers’ organization, Americans for Prosperity. The billionaires had decided that universal health care, while good for people, was bad for their tax bills in the long run. So we know that the Tea Party has long been a vehicle for the Right Wing of the Right Wing Republicans to protest against any kind of expenditure that will help the People. It is funded by the Right Wing Super-Rich to stop any spending on policies for the people, like health care.

The idea that either Bannon, or Trump is a populist is ridiculous. Bannon’s career was one of constantly attacking Democrats, who are all progressives and many, like Bernie Sanders, are on the extreme Left. In other words, he attacked politicians who are almost unquestionably themselves on the side of the People.

Bannon was part of a group that relentlessly attacked Hillary in particular for her support of human rights, civil rights, jobs, better wages, women’s rights and gay rights, as well as trying to prevent corporations from sending jobs abroad. He didn’t attack either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney who encouraged legislation actually designed to promote sending jobs abroad. In effect, Bannon attacked Hillary for being married to Bill Clinton. He blamed her for her husband’s trade policy, even though she had nothing to do with it, and even though it worked well until provisions were changed, just as was his tax policy and his anti-terrorist protections, after he left office.

Bannon says that he became involved with Trump while making a movie with Dave Bossie, one of the leaders of the ultra-Right Wing CPAC, Conservative Political Action Group. Bannon could often be found at CPAC meetings, along with the Koch Brothers and Rush Limbaugh. Not your basic Populists. Bossie had led the effort to enable the spending of unlimited funds by the richest Right Wingers in the country through Citizens’ United. He was funding a movie that Bannon wrote and directed, called “Generation Zero” in which Bannon blamed the Baby Boomer generation, the victims, not Wall Street, the culprits, for the Great Bush Recession. [Read more →]

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Beware of Presidents (and Congress) Promoting Walls.

September 3rd, 2017 · General, Politics, Populism

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

In Populist Daily we submit information that we think is vitally important for citizens, particularly average citizens. But it is also for busy upper-income citizens to help keep everyone informed. These typical, normal individuals might often  consider themselves Republican.

So, if you are a Republican, (if not, please pass this location on to a Republican) do you consider yourself one who would kick young Mexican or Central American children or students out of the country, as the change in DACA would do? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to kick young people who will become valuable citizens out of the country summarily.  Most of you do think a “wall” beyond what we normally have is foolish. I’ve seen the current wall and it works.

In addition to the so-called Trump wall, as a Republican you may be asked to support another tax cut. It will increase revenues, they say. Well, we’ve had two tax cuts under Reagan and two under Bush II. And the national debt went from $800 billion to $18 trillion. The very wealthy, people who make a million dollars a year or more, and who do pay huge amounts in taxes but a very low percentage of their income, want this tax cut. But they don’t want to say…cut my taxes below ten percent, so they instead talk about something that we all agree on…like the problems of  illegal immigration. They want you to think that you, the upper income, almost-wealthy Americans will benefit from a tax cut too. So they want you on their side. So watch this video to see how they slant the message. It is short.

As you probably understood, this is a robotically created video, one of many being produced now by Right Wing…what we correctly refer to as Neo-Fascists. There are a number of these funded by the same billionaires who have funded the campaigns of so many different Right Wing candidates like Rubio and Cruz and others like the moron Rick Berry who can’t even count to three, until the clown car ultimately fell over and out came Trump.

Did this video make sense to you? Are we “on the brink of collapse?” Are we a “once proud nation?”  Were we under constant attack from–who? Exchange students from Iran or grandmothers from Yemen?  Does “ostrich disorder” hiding one’s head in the sand and ignoring threats more accurately describe Democrat Clinton who had a terrorist czar who warned the next (Republican) administration of the impending attack, or Bush II, who refused to read the report on terrorists and then went to the first tee and said, “now watch this drive.” Two weeks later 19 terrorists killed 3000 Americans. [Read more →]

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Why Republicans Can Be Called Neo-Fascist

August 25th, 2017 · Politics, Populism

By Joseph O’Shaughnessy

The Republican agenda is deeply unpopular. Trump is unpopular. Why then, could a man who is so unpopular now have been elected seven or eight months ago, November of 2016? There is a good reason.

He has often been called a Populist. The fact that he is still called that by many journalists only shows how poor our educational system has become. Trump is no Populist. A Populist would be a man like Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, a Senator who fought against railroads to help poor farmers, or Theodore Roosevelt, who crushed giant corporate mergers that would have allowed them to raise prices through the roof on consumers ( a little like our current cable companies) and oppressed workers even further

Trump is nothing like them. Although we hate to use these names, he is like Hitler or Mussolini, who promised all kinds of good things for the People but then, when in office, joined with industrialists and the military to create a nightmare for everyone. That is not Populism; that is Fascism. We now know for certain that Trump, because of his lies, because of whom he supports, is not a Populist, but a Fascist. He has become the leading Neo-Fascist and–he is PRESIDENT!

If you remember nothing else, remember this. Trump is a fake-populist liar. That makes him a Fascist. Fascists are the opposite of Populists. There is NOTHING Populist about Fascism. It is exactly the opposite. It supports the interests of the rich and powerful in running a country through one political party that dominates, eventually becoming a virtual or real dictatorship. It controls through propaganda, spread in media, often owned or friendly media in which it can control the message. That message, which pretends to the truth and to help the people is always the opposite of what they are planning and doing. The people will eventually discover the truth, as we have about Trump, about what is or is not propaganda. But by then, as now, it is often too late and the tyrant is elected and begins to tighten control.

Now, let’s take the Republican plans, one by one. A full 84% of Americans are against the Republican health care plans. That shouldn’t be surprising. The Republican plan has not changed since the 2010 plan that they announced immediately after Obamacare was signed. [Read more →]

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Create New Unions to Rebuild the Middle Class

August 16th, 2017 · Jobs, Labor, Politics, Populism, Unions

By Joseph O’Shaughnessy

We’ve written about unions here before, about how unions gave us the forty-hour workweek and weekends and pensions and a lifestyle that allowed kids to get started in college. Unions gave us really good health care and job security that was as good as possible in a world where global economics forced many companies to send jobs abroad and enticed many others to do so for outrageous profit.

While trying to save a company and keep some jobs in the U.S. is only human nature, what is not human nature is to send jobs abroad when your company is making money. In Europe, sending jobs abroad simply to make more money for the biggest shareholders doesn’t happen. And why is that? Because in many countries in Europe union participation is about 23%. The United States is supposedly about 10.5 percent but that includes the government unions which are under attack constantly.

The only countries in the OECD, the European Union of advanced countries with union participation and support lower than the U.S. are Turkey and Estonia. The most prosperous countries, from the Netherlands to Denmark to Sweden are all have union participation above 50%, most above 60%.

The reason their jobs don’t go abroad is because those countries provide skilled education and retraining so that they can manufacture products and sell them cost-efficiently. Capitalism thrives on sales. Make something and sell it at a profit. The profit does several key things. It encourages people to invest in the company to get it started. Then, it allows the company to put aside money to grow, to pay bonuses, to improve the size of the company and therefore the profitability and therefore the wages of the workers.

The workers in Europe, because they are strong enough, have actual representation on the boards of corporations. Half of all seats on boards of directors on the largest companies are held for unions. And union workers in Europe therefore have far more benefits, far fewer working hours and far better working conditions. Where do American workers stand now? [Read more →]

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“Tax Cut Fever” Is as Nutty as Trump. Who’s Behind It?

August 5th, 2017 · General, Politics, Populism, Taxes

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

Even the Liberal Media, in the form of the PBS Newshour has touted the success of the economy. Lowest unemployment in decades. Highest stock market ever. You can’t find a home to buy anywhere close to your price. So what is wrong? Why do we need tax cuts? Even if they produced a “stimulus” which they don’t…why do we need them?

We don’t. Nothing is wrong. Not with most of us. And definitely not with the economy. But in Wall Street and among the very rich everywhere, the opportunities to get another million…or, these days….to get another billion easily are topping out.

When you are just putting money into the market at ten million a pop and you only make a return of $300,000 or $400,000 in a week, why, good gracious…the sky is falling. When incomes are so high that investment becomes a parlor game, then currency literally becomes play money to billionaires. So, naturally, not remotely understanding or caring the hardship a tax cut for them will mean for hundreds of millions of other Americans, they stomp their feet and ask for “more.”

So, when everything is already going full speed, how do they make money faster for more and larger planes, boats, castles and private islands? Cut taxes. Let the rich keep ALL their money, they say. With Republicans having no shame whatsoever, feeling that they have no obligation to their constituents and no worry about treating their public office as a right, provided them by the rich, they will eliminate Medicaid for millions of Americans…it’s back to the emergency room for care.

You and I will be expected to get by on bigger deductibles and higher co-pays on Medicare and smaller Social Security checks from which Medicare is deducted.  Republicans want tax cuts for their constituents, the billionaire class (now over 50,000 in this country.)  But, are they more important than whether 50.000 to 100,000 people will die without access to health care as a result of these cuts…needed, the GOP says, so the rich can simply have “more?” [Read more →]

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Obamacare Is Not Collapsing or Spiraling Down. Just Fix It!

July 28th, 2017 · Obamacare, Populism

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

The Republicans know that the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare is not “spiraling down” or is it irretrievably flawed.

The fact is that Obamacare worked well and, as we will show, continued to improve…and still does in many, many areas…until Senator Marco Rubio’s amendment in late 2014 to an appropriations bill ended the “corridor payments” a common situation in the insurance business, meaning payments to health insurers in new situations where conditions are not accurate enough from an actuarial standpoint to set rates.

Rubio’s amendment, a vicious political act, with a complete Republican Congress in control, when placed on an appropriations bill, meant that the President, then President Obama, could not stop it. The result was to completely pull the rug out from under insurance companies, not just huge ones making tons of money from Obamacare, but small co-ops who were taking a risk in order to offer hope in the form of affordable health insurance to millions who might otherwise, as we see now, not have health care.

Paul Ryan knows this. He is now fool. But he is the bought-and-paid-for lackey of the Koch Brothers. He is also the go-to guy of choice for Donald Trump on many situations. Ryan will work for anyone who will pay him. And he has done it again…this time…perhaps….to someone’s benefit besides his own. Given the connection between Scott Walker and Ryan and the huge number of anti-labor billionaires in the ALEC group, (the Right Wing American Legislative Exchange Council corporate CEO lobbying organization) it would not be a surprise to learn that the proposed  and welcome Foxcomm factory in Wisconsin was a payoff to keep Ryan in office…because it is going to be very clear soon that he has lied repeatedly about health care. And here is one example:

First of all, Paul Ryan never made a single comment when Rubio cut financial supports for health insurance companies out from under Obamacare. He never said a peep when 20 governors denied Medicaid to millions of Americans. In Virginia, just recently, television networks showed free, charitable clinics being sponsored in the western part of the state, as if we were in some foreign country and it was Doctors without Borders. The former Republican governor of Virginia denied his citizens Medicaid, as did many other Red states. Medicaid for the poor and elderly and homeless was free to these states…100% paid for by Obamacare and yet people like Paul Ryan sat by and said nothing as the Republican governor of Virginia denied care to the most vulnerable of his constituents.  But it need not be this way.  [Read more →]

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How Neo-Fascism works. Take Illinois, for Example.

July 23rd, 2017 · Democracy, Fascism, General, Lobbying, Politics, Populism

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

In Illinois, there is a Republican Governor. And a Democratic legislature, thank God, That Democratic legislature is strong enough to overturn a gubernatorial veto. And it has. But the governor of Illinois, is not your average guy. He is an investment banker, an extremely wealthy man, worth hundreds of millions of dollars,  who has aligned himself with other very wealthy men whom we used to call Reactionaries or Right Wing.

You might be inclined to call our governor, Governor Rauner, of Illinois, a Conservative. And that is what he would like you to call him and it may be true that, at one time, he was a Conservative. But no longer. Conservatives have fought so long and hard for smaller, less service-oriented, less Populist government, that many of them, the richest, have decided merely to buy government.

That is where Conservatism leaves off and propaganda and dogmatic, single-minded, single-party rule begins. And what do we call that kind of rule. Well, it could become monarchy. Or it could be come aristocracy. But in a society where votes elect the rule-makers, it is called Fascism, or a latter-day or “new”–Neo-Fascism.

Neo-Fascism doesn’t put people in concentration camps. It simply creates laws that eliminate certain people from the voting rolls. It doesn’t beat people up in the streets; it simply does not tolerate any opposition or bring any opposing regulation or legislation to a legislature that it controls. It favors the corporations and donors who sponsor the one-party, the Neo-Fascist Party, (100% Republican) that runs that government. It doesn’t say that you can’t have a vote on a Supreme Court Justice. It simply used its total control of Congress to insure that no Supreme Court Nominee can be brought up to Congress for a vote…for an entire year…until a Neo-Fascist Supreme Court Justice can be nominated by an elected Neo-Fascist President.

Fascists created a national party that subordinated its members to the will of the “Leader” (Germans called it “Fuhrer.”) Neo-Fascists create health care legislation that will remove between 20 and 30 million people from access to regular health care. The result would be that, statistically, given the current status of health among Americans, between 200,000 and 250,000 people would die, probably in emergency rooms, over the next five years. Fascists made scapegoats of Socialists and Catholics and Jews. Neo-Fascists make fun of Blacks and Hispanics and the poor and the elderly. And, as recently as 2013, portrayed those thrown out of work by the deliberate Bush/Cheney  Stock Market Crash and Great Recession as “lazy,” “worthless,” “unemployable,” or “slackers.”

Neo-Fascists promoted the idea that being over 50 or not having a graduate degree made you “unemployable.”  And that, they say, is your fault. They are now a new category: the “unemployables.” The Bush-imagined “job creators” created jobs only in Asia. So they needed someone to blame, for their tax cuts that resulted in no new jobs, as Bush had promised. So we created the “part-time job” job.  Statistically, anyone employed for a day is considered employed. That way the Neo-Fascists could blame the problem on the people. “What’s the problem?” they could say. “The unemployment rate is under 5 percent!” So why are people on food stamps but have a job? Because they only work 20 to 30 hours a week so that employers don’t have to pay them benefits.  How do these people stay in power with such atrocious economics? [Read more →]

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Now Do You See What We Mean by Republican Neo-Fascists?

July 20th, 2017 · ALEC, Fascism

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

If you’re going to be a good Fascist, here’s what you do.

Divide and Conquer. Find a scapegoat, preferably one with some disadvantage, someone who can’t strike back. Find rich, evil, greedy uncaring, perhaps bigoted, financiers and financial supporters…banks, giant global corporations and large numbers of those with inherited wealth. Align yourself with the military…never miss a parade or a chance to salute the flag, shake hands with common soldiers, get the support of those Generals whom you know believe themselves to be part of the establishment, specifically those who do feel this includes the common man. And whatever you do, do not let the people know that you never served in the military and did all you could to avoid it.

Complain about taxes and about how more and more people are becoming dependent on the government, while you cut taxes on people so rich that they don’t even know how much they pay in taxes or how much they have left. Never stop hiring lackeys who will work for good pay, many very educated but with no ethics or morals. Repeat to them what you want them to say–over and over again. You know. That government doesn’t work. Things should always be “spiraling down” or heading for “chaos” or some point of no return…always keep the people in fear of something.

And when the time comes, and all your propaganda should be delivered at millionaire wages by slovenly, fat, rich, radio hosts, or tough-talking but weak, puny-little weasels, who will hide out in remote studios, or skeletal, hollow-eyed, ranting women commentators, so horrific in aspect that people actually look away when they are talking.  Now the experience of our over 1000 Right Wing radio commentators of this kind, traitors to the people, to whom they tell lies for the oligarchs, tells us that this works. It has its effect upon the ignorant, the stupid, the uncaring, the intellectually lazy, the just plain damned fools and bigots. When this propaganda has had the effect that it has had for the Neo-Fascist Republicans, who are about the business of ruining health care for the next 10 years at least, then, Mr. Fascist leader–you’re ready.   [Read more →]

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Miscellaneous Right Wing Attacks on the People

July 18th, 2017 · Politics, Populism, The Budget

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

There are so many things gone wrong today that we can only list some of them and point out the insanity of the world and the country in which we currently reside.

Hillary Clinton

A survey was recently announced in which more people dislike Hillary Clinton now more than they did during the campaign. Doesn’t this say more about the people who took the survey than it does about a woman who worked her butt off to be top at her high school, then brilliant valedictorian at Wellesley, the most prominent women’s college of her era, then a top student at Yale Law, then a volunteer worker for the rights of poor women and children and blacks in the south, then an advocate for better education for children in Arkansas, then a fighter who humiliated herself before the entire country as she was vilified by hypocritical Republicans, Right Wing Fascists, the health insurance industry and billionaires who do not want to give up another penny so that the poor and the middle class…as they do in every other advanced country…can have affordable health care. She was also, incidentally, along the way, a great Senator and a great Secretary of State. The ONLY reason for her vilification is an all-out campaign by some of the most evil people in this country, who only want to destroy her so that she could never be elected and provide the very thing we are still seeking….rational government and affordable health care. What a bunch of fools Americans are!

Dumpster, the American President

What has the moron done today, you ask? Today, he beseeched his thimble-brained followers to believe that the Democrats, that these pea-brained voters have excluded from government totally and completely, favoring the toadies of the Right Wing Billionaires, that these same Democrats, not involved in the process at at with Senator McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan and the Neo-Fascists in the House and Senate, were actually somehow partially responsible for the failure of a bill which the Democrats would never vote for in the first place, as it disengages about 24 million people from their health care. Not only is Trump a liar but he thinks that all his dopey followers will believe virtually anything he tells them. But why not? He told Congress to “repeal” Obamacare right now. Don’t wait for new plans, he said. That, of course, would eliminate about 36 million Americans from health care. When you go to your club every weekend and play golf with other Right Wing billionaires, I suppose you have no idea about what is going on in the world anyway.

Senate Budget Cuts Social Security and Medicaid — Trump Lies Again

There is a new budget proposal from Congress, that is, from the Republicans in Congress. As one would imagine, it is a budget by Republicans for Billionaires. [Read more →]

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Don’t play the Trump Distraction Game. Focus on Congress.

July 10th, 2017 · ALEC, Fascism, General, Health Care, Human Rights, International affairs, Medicaid, Medicare, Politics, Populism, Social Security, Taxes, Trump

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

We’re fighting the wrong wars with Donald Trump in particular and with Republicans in general.

It’s not about refugees coming to America. Banning immigrants without documentation from 7 countries, while perhaps wrong in its method, is not the biggest of our problems. In fact, it is not even the biggest problem for them once they are established in this country.

And it’s not about Trump and Putin. To you, right now, they’re irrelevant. You have bigger problems.

Trump, the dolt, the clod, the playground bully, relegated by his father to a military school to control his impulses, has stumbled into something that has some merit. Not for you. Against you.

Think about it. Trump doesn’t want then here at all…any of them–any immigrants really. Because, as he sees it, they cost him money. And guess what? That goes for every American. He thinks we all cost him money. Not make him money–which he could not make at all without us, but…cost him….money. That is how he thinks.

So how does he try to distract us, just as he learned to do in military school and in business school and in his business life? He uses “fake news.” It isn’t an accident that he uses that term. His whole life is fake news. He uses it as a weapon against people in his personal life, his business life and now against  you. Against the American people. [Read more →]

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Billionaires, Taxes and Inequality

July 1st, 2017 · ALEC, General, Politics, Populism, Taxes, Trump, Wall Street

by Joseph O’Shaughnessy

F. Scott Fitzgerald supposedly said to Hemingway: “The Rich are very different from you and me.” And Hemingway is said to have replied: “Yes, they have more money.” They were both right.

Unlike the billionaire, you can’t take a trip to Europe on a private plane or fly your horse (if you could afford one) to Great Britain on a plane for a horse show or visit one of your nine homes to see how things are in that part of the country. You can’t go to sleep at night knowing that almost anything that can happen to you, any sickness, any accident, any misfortune at all…you can afford. Those are all important things and ways in which those with hundreds of millions of dollars vary more and more widely from those of us who live in the nether regions.

But what is rich in 2017? From a purely monetary standpoint, in the United States it probably means being in the income categories above half a million dollars annually in income. Each area of the country is different, but generally speaking this kind of annual income means that one will likely be able to amass wealth. Wealth, or net worth, the difference between what we own and what we owe, is a measure of how well we are able to hang on to income over time. In places like New York City Los Angeles and San Francisco, costs of living are high and pure wealth is more difficult to attain and requires a higher income.

Here’s what we know about income inequality from revenues and taxes. About one percent of taxpayers in the country have incomes of $1.25  million a year on average. It looks like they pay a little over $300,000 in taxes. Of the roughly $1.23 trillion in taxes paid in total by Americans in 2015, the top one percent paid about 23% of it. They should. They earned about 21% of all income. (About 3 million people)  Another 194 million people, or 63% of the population averaged somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 per year and paid less than 6% of all taxes. They should. They made less than 40% of the income while representing nearly two-thirds of the population. But that’s not the whole story.  [Read more →]

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