Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Senator Bernie Sanders 1

"We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy" - By Sen. Bernie Sanders


Sen. Sanders Reacts to Pres. Obama's State of the Union Address


1. At 1 minute and 30 seconds: That chart should be ignored as the title is inaccurate (i.e. "Vulture Capitalism", used by Rick Perry to describe private equity, is being used by MSNBC for ALL business)

Here is a better chart by Bill Moyers:
"In recent years, the rich have seen their wealth grow dramatically while the poor and middle class have basically flatlined. It’s no accident, argue Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their book Winner-Take-All Politics. The infographic below, which draws from Hacker and Pierson’s book, explains how our politicians — on both sides of the isle — fell under the spell of corporate dollars and re-engineered our economic system to favor the wealthy. The dark green line shows the income trajectory for the top 1 percent since 1970, while the light green line shows the bottom 90 percent."...


2. At 2 minutes and 5 seconds: "Clearly in thier hearts and souls, Republicans are there to defend the wealthiest people in this country."

Background information to understand the above comment:

Overview of the Republicans(GOP) by The Colbert Report (backed by news sources)

Overview of "Socialism" by The Colbert Report (backed by news sources)


3. At 3 minutes: "We have to invest in our infrastructure"

IN 2003 "... and this is an economy that's improving! Id hate to see what would happen if our economy was sinking!"...

"You have told the American people that you support a trade policy which is selling them out." ---Rep. Bernard Sanders to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on 7/16/03.

Note: Alan Greenspan supported the idea that it doesn't matter where products are made (as "we have the highest standard of living in the world" -!) Implying that it's OK for jobs to migrate elsewhere....

Related blog posts:

Alan Greenspan, The IMF and The World Bank - Part 1

Alan Greenspan, The IMF and The World Bank - Part 2

... One of the agreements that allowed jobs to leave the country (Gingrich supported this bill) = NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION ACT

"If you look at job creation over the last 20 years in America, you'll notice that we haven't been able to create any jobs in what is called the "tradable sector" of the economy – those jobs that are subject to global competition. The jobs we've created have almost entirely been in industries like health care, government and construction, which are basically local industries shielded from global competition." Fareed Zakaria

Current situation...

"US jobs are still vanishing, as US productivity moves up. And the things we do produce, like fighter jets, are not what your average consumer buys at the store."


4. At 3 minutes 45 seconds: I get nervous when the President talks about working with Republicans "reforming entitlement programs", that means "cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid" (Note: He is referring to the GOP NOT True Republicanism.

Social Security has not added one penny to the deficit because it's funded by the payroll tax which has a 2.5 trillion dollar surplus...

The Social Security con is being promoted through something called an "echo chamber"...

More about the Koch Brothers here

More about echo chambers here and here.


5. 4 minutes: "End these absurd corporate loopholes"

Extract: End Oil Tax Breaks Sen. Sanders pledged Tuesday to introduce legislation that would repeal federal tax breaks and subsidies to the enormously profitable fossil fuel industry, declaring at a Capitol Hill rally that "the most profitable corporations in the world do not need subsidies from the American people," International Business Times, andEnvironment & Energy reported. LINK, LINK

Sanders Statement on Keystone XL Pipeline:

"The president made the correct decision today in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and I will fight to ensure Congress does not overturn the decision.

1. Citizens don't want their property destroyed: "See the land owners and citizens of Nebraska as they voice thier concerns about the Trans Canada XL Pipeline which could affect the protected Sandhills and drinking water supply"

2.The Keystone Pipeline creates ONLY a few temporary jobs (i.e. it's a pipeline... how many people do you need to manage the pipes in your house? None): ‎"The State Department said in a report to Congress yesterday that the pipeline would create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs during the two years needed to build the project, based on labor expenses TransCanada included in its application."

3. On Fracking...

Fracking DID cause ELEVEN earthquakes in Ohio last year

How fracking might have led to an Ohio earthquake

Ohio Earthquake Likely Caused by Fracking Wastewater

I once explained what a depression would be like here. The "stimulus" was badly mismanaged as shown here because of this.

Just so there is no misunderstanding of my position...

"The more money that is invested into a method that will choke us also sets up the next 'too big too fail' companies, since if we get too a point where we have to cut down on carbon release to survive then we have to bail out the companies or face another contraction [although since effective government spending (stimulus) may be too difficult for the US, we may be better off letting them fail when we get to that point.]"

Solutions for the future:

The study conducted the Blue Green Alliance found that policies such as a renewable electricity mandate would provide steady demand for clean energy and put Americans to work building the components needed to make wind turbines, solar panels and other technologies. "There's no question that our big investment in clean energy can lead to the rebirth of American manufacturing," said David Foster, executive director of the alliance. States with the most potential for creating renewable manufacturing jobs include California with an estimated 95,616 jobs, Texas with 60,100 and Illinois with 56,579.

An example of expensive technology and cheap technology.

Ancient and old tech ignored in favor of inefficient new tech

Some ancient technology for a new age

More examples of cheap tech

Information from PBS NOW related to Oil Politics (all links contain videos and transcripts)

A Few Informational Links On Clean Energy


Honourable Mention...

The Sanders Solution
Racing against an August deadline, the White House and congressional negotiators engaged in rhetorical fencing Wednesday but made no discernable progress on a debt-reduction deal. Meanwhile, more than 78,000 of you so far havesigned a letter by Sen. Bernie Sanders urging President Obama not to capitulate to Republican demands to exclude taxes from the discussion about deficit. "I am concerned about deficit reduction," Sanders said, "but we can do it in a way that does not attack programs that millions and millions of children, elderly, and working families are terribly dependent upon." He laid out several ideas.
1) Repeal Bush-era tax breaks for the top 2 percent of Americans. That would raise at least $700 billion over the next decade. When Bill Clinton was president, taxes were raised on the top 2 percent. What happened?  More than 22 million jobs were created, and Clinton left office with a huge budget surplus. Sanders laid out six other ideas.
2) A 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires and billionaires would raise more than $383 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Tax Committee.  A millionaire's surtax has the support of 81 percent of the American people according to NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
3) The U.S. government is actually rewarding companies that move U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas through loopholes in the tax code known as deferral and foreign source income.  During the last decade, the U.S. lost about 30 percent of its manufacturing jobs and over 50,000 factories have been shut down. If we ended the absurdity of providing tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, the Joint Tax Committee has estimated that we could raise more than $582 billion in revenue over the next ten years. 
4) Ending tax breaks and subsidies for big oil and gas companies would reduce the deficit by more than $40 billion over the next 10 years.  The five largest oil companies in the United States have earned about $1 trillion in profits over the past decade.  Meanwhile, in recent years, some of the very largest oil companies in America like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, as I pointed out earlier, have paid absolutely nothing in Federal income taxes. In fact, some of them have actually gotten a rebate from the IRS.  That has got to stop.

General Information:

This is what an Oligarchy/Plutarchy looks like...

(Image source - Note: The above image is NOT a complete list)

When so few, extremely rich people, are competing for attention from politicians they have to spend big (basic free market competition). This is the result...

Gretchen Morgenson on Industry Influence from on Vimeo.

Moyers talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and columnist Gretchen Morgenson on how money and political clout enable industries to escape regulation and enrich executives at the top.

In short, corporate politicians are kinda like this...

Very few politicians are not serving special interests (i.e. they have a background that often doesn't allow empathy and understanding towards the middle class and the poor)...

Senator Bernie Sanders made a Top 10 list for those interested...

Top Ten Tax Avoiders

[Senator Bernie Sanders] BURLINGTON, Vt., March 27 - While hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether.
With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.
Sanders renewed his call for shared sacrifice after it was reported that General Electric and other major corporations paid no U.S. taxes after posting huge profits. Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.
Sanders compiled a list of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.
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.  (Source: Exxon Mobil's 2009 shareholder report filed with the SEC here.)
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. (Source: here, ProPublica here and Treasuryhere.)
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. (Source: Citizens for Tax Justice hereand The New York Times here.  Note: despite rumors to the contrary, the Times has stood by its story.)
4)      Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.  (Source: See 2009 Chevron annual report here.  Note 15 on page FS-46 of this report shows a U.S. federal income tax liability of $128 million, but that it was able to defer $147 million for a U.S. federal income tax liability of $-19 million)
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. .  (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here and Citizens for Tax Justice here.)
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. (Source: the company's 2009 annual report, pg. 112, here.)
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.  (Source: Bloomberg News here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)
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. (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)
9)      ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2006 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.  (Sources: Profits can be found here.  The deduction can be found on the company's 2010 SEC 10-K report to shareholders on 2009 finances, pg. 127,here)
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.  (Source: The New York Times here)
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. We've got to talk about shared sacrifice."

To understand corporations better you can watch the following documentary...

The Corporation (complete, chapters 1 to 23)...


"Afghanistan A Senate amendment calls for an expedited turnover of military control to the Afghan government. The amendment has the bipartisan support of Sens. Sanders and Rand Paul, the Daily Kos blogged."

David Stockman Trashes Reaganomics, Bush Tax Cuts, And Hank "Incompetent, Reckless" Paulson

WASHINGTON, June 25 - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke out today against legislation that would overhaul the government's wiretapping powers and grant legal immunity to telephone companies that took part in President Bush's eavesdropping program without warrants.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Thursday applauded the decision by the United States and other oil-consuming countries to push down energy prices by releasing 60 million barrels of oil from government reserves.

"I voted against extending the Patriot Act today for the same reason I voted against enacting it in 2001: it gives the government far too much power to spy on innocent United States citizens and provides for very little oversight or disclosure. While we must aggressively pursue international terrorists and all of those who would do us harm, we must do it in a way that protects the Constitution and the civil liberties which make us proud to be Americans."

The Senate on Tuesday rejected a proposal to roll back tax breaks that benefit the largest oil companies. The White House said the country “cannot afford to maintain these wasteful subsidies.” Sen. Bernie Sanders voiced disappointment after the Senate vote. “I voted to end oil company subsidies because we have a $14 trillion national debt, because some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world don’t need tax breaks, because some oil companies pay no federal income taxes, and because we desperately need to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Congress cannot balance the budget on the backs of middle-class working families without asking the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations for shared sacrifice.”

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