I don't like corporations because it's too hard to punish the individuals who run them - those who personally ruined so many lives when they made decisions that hurt us; it's difficult to obtain justice and punish them, and send them to jail for their criminal activities. The only way we can exact our "revenge" is to either sue them (which most of the time is almost impossible), or we can hit them where it really hurts the most, in their personal wallets, not their corporate wallets.
The only way we can do that is to collectively use the greatest power we still wield as individual citizens, our vote. We can vote to raise their corporate taxes, but even more specifically, their capital gains taxes...taxing the CEOs and hedge fund mangers and bankers who destroyed our economy and the middle class.
The problem is, the GOP (and by proxy, the Tea Party) wants to reward these people by completely eliminating capital gains taxes entirely. They've been lying to us and telling us it will good for the economy and more jobs can be created. Why would we vote for politicians who only have corporate interests as their primary concern? Which brings me to my next question...
Why is the Tea Party "incorporated"? Could it be that, just like the Republicans (the GOP), they only represent corporate interests? Is that why the Koch brothers bussed them in to the Wisconsin protests? Isn't it true that in fact, it is THEY who are the true "astro-turfers", and not really a "grassroots movement" or the "political activists" or the "government reform advocates" that they claim to be?
While they may have started out that way (with a lot of help from a wealthy CEO named Glenn Beck* back in 2009), since then the Tea Party has become just another corporate tool to influence the masses and public sentiment. The Tea Party has become just another political force representing special interests, not average working people. But I'll bet many of them probably feel in their heart that they still do - - - but they've been corrupted, just like our politicians have. Money and power does that to people too. It's only natural I suppose when sometimes, what was initially a good cause, runs afoul.
* Since his “Restoring Honor” rally, Mr. Beck has lost over a third of his audience on Fox News - mostly younger viewers - and 300 sponsors have ditched him. Fox may not renew his contact again this year.
I refrain from using the expletive "tea-baggers" (like some on the far-left do) because not only do I not categorize a whole group of people in such derogatory terms, but also because I'm polite. And I don't consider myself to be a Socialist either, nor am I anti-government per se. And I'm not a "radical left-wing anarchist" either. I'm just a regular guy who happens to be anti-corporate. I think ALL limited liability corporations who duck personal responsibility and evade the laws should all be dismantled, and many of their officers put in prison. They are not for America's best interests, but just their own.
And the Tea Party supports them.
Now the Tea Party would just have you believe that they only want "smaller government", such as less intrusive governmental regulations (like stricter banking laws), lower taxes (such as those corporate and capital gains taxes on JUST the wealthy), less government spending (for the poor and elderly), and free trade for "a better environment for conducting business" in America (but not necessarily for small "mom-and-pop" businesses, but for the HUGE multi-national corporations that outsource jobs overseas for cheaper labor, destroying the middle-class of America).
Tea Party "patriots"?
And if you read the Tea Party's Mission Statement, one of their 3 core values if free markets."This inherent definitional bias allows many to advocate strong governmental actions that promote corporate power, while advocating against government actions limiting it." Now think of all the free trade agreements that allowed all our jobs to go to Mexico, India, and China (just to name a few), and then let that sink in for a moment.
We have 100 million more people living in America today than we did 40 years ago, so now we also have "bigger government". With a third more people to care for and all the related bureaucracy that's needed to govern the government, it only makes sense. If a corporation doubled in size, would they only need half as many managers to manage twice as many workers?
What is this "smaller government" that the Tea Party and ultra-conservatives are demanding? We ARE the government, all of us, including them. Are they demanding that we enforce population control, or just reduce the size of the bureaucracy that manages us? Or do they really just want to reduce the services that only the poor, sick, and old people need? Hmmmm?
What exactly is this "smaller government" they keep ranting about? Do they even know?
Is the Tea Party demanding that with the naturally occurring proportionate amount of low-income, poor, and unemployed people (that would naturally increase in size and scope with any equally larger population base) that we should just drastically reduce the help and care that the disadvantaged once received? (instead of raising the taxes proportionately to the amount of wealth that the uber-rich has been hoarding over the years?)
It is WE THE PEOPLE who are the government (the rich and the poor alike), so what part of this government does the Tea Party want to reduce or eliminate? Just the greed, waste, abuse, and fraud in our government bureaucracy? I could go along with that. Just like large corporations also have greed, waste, abuse, and fraud. Greed can be found everywhere, not just in government bureaucracy or among the poor, but also inside large corporations and among the very rich.
Greed, waste, abuse, and fraud can also be found in the Tea Party too.
When they say "smaller government", does this mean that those in the Tea Party wouldn't mind waiting in longer lines at the DMV to renew their drivers licenses? Or do they really mean cut off the heat for the elderly and food for poor children?
In case the Tea Party didn't know this, the larger our population base grows, the more beggars and worthless old people we'll also have living amongst us - - - the ratio of these "drags on our economy" also grows in respect to our population.
What exactly does the Tea Party mean by "smaller government"? Less taxes for the rich so that there will be less resources for the poor, elderly, disabled, blind, mentally challenged, homeless, sick, and starving? Is that God's America, the one we "trust in"?
Oh, and where's all that down home good Christian charity you claim to have? Do you really think that enough cash could have been collected in the baskets on Sunday mornings to feed 15 million unemployed Americans? Would the pastors have personally distributed these funds among everybody? Get real!
If the Tea Party just means eliminating congressional earmarks, do they realize that not ALL are waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. Senators represent the citizens of their States to bring federal tax dollars to their communities for other things besides "bridges to nowhere". But I agree, there must be reform here.
I usually think of a starving child with sad eyes living in Africa, India, or Asia - and holding out an empty bowl when I think of people in need. Would the Tea Party accuse that poor child of being lazy and just looking for a free government "hand-out"? Would they deny foreign aide to those children, but at the same time, agree to expand taxpayer-paid oil subsidies worth billions of dollars? Or lower the taxes but raise the salaries for members of Congress like they've always done for themselves?
When they say "smaller government", is the Tea Party advocating for the size of government that we had in 1929 when the Great Depression first started? Or the size of government that we had during our Founding Fathers' time? Just how small should this government (us) be in 2011 with 309 million people now living here?
And what about all those greedy government workers...how much should they earn? Would the teachers be paid $7.25-an-hour, the federal minimum wage? Will the Tea Party send all their children to expensive private schools? Does the Tea Party also want to pay their police and firefighters that too? If so, and if I were them, I wouldn't call 911 the next time I needed a smaller government!
Smaller government. How many Republicans and Tea Party people have elderly parents who busted their asses all their lives and got paid piss-poor wages by their corporate masters, and now rely on Social Security and Medicare to survive? Will the Tea Party cut or reduce their parents "government hand-outs"?
Between the mid-1950s up until the Vietnam War were some of the best days in America's history. From 1954-1963 the highest tax rate was subject to a maximum effective rate limitation equal to 87% of statutory "taxable income." Capital gains taxes were 25% (today they're now 15%, but the GOP now wants them set at 0%). But people kept getting rich, even back in those days, and our nation became the strongest economic and military force than any other country ever had in human history. Really? That's odd, how did that happen? And we didn't even have a Tea Party back in those days!
Today the Republicans (and by proxy, the Tea Party) want to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent, reduce corporate income taxes even more, and completely eliminate the estate and capital gains taxes for the uber-wealthy entirety. If this is allowed to happen, then the Tea Party is right...we WILL need "smaller government". Much smaller.
Cut the budget...cut, cut, cut!
If the Tea Party truly believes that State workers are paid more than they are, then maybe it's not the State workers who have been earning too much, but it is THEY who have been earning far too little all these years. Maybe you too should have joined a labor union with collective bargaining rights instead of always having to beg that corporate stingy boss of yours for a raise. Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? They're all over the place, in every damn corporate boardroom in this country.
This is what the Tea Party considers to be an average American worker's attack on the GOP and their corporate interests (posted by a moderator on the Tea Party Patriots Facebook wall): Wisconsin: Left's war on democracy. Of course it comes from the same propaganda machine as Fox News. The words used in that article to describe labor unions: rogue, hostage, stunt, attack, flee-baggers, illegal, sore-loser party, temper tantrum, danger - just like in my post: The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
But if the Tea Party and GOP leaders still insists on "smaller government" (without raising taxes on the uber-rich), I suggest we start off by laying off all the government sanitation workers in the Tea Party's and GOP's neighborhoods first; and they can live with their own garbage, because they want much "smaller government". Those damn sanitation guys make far too much money anyway, right? So cut the budget! Cut, cut, cut!
And then let's reduce all the Republican congressional wages and benefits to match those of our BIG government's measure of poverty - - - about $10,000 year. Only THEY (the Tea Party whiners) won't be getting any healthcare, food stamps, or welfare either. Because, after all, we need smaller government - - - just so that the uber-rich can have more tax breaks and pay for less "government hand-outs".
In a recent Tea Party Patriots newsletter that I just received in an e-mail, they claim that "95% of the American public wants the deficit reduced" (but they didn't say by how much, or how, or where to reduce or cut the budget). So this could be a little misleading.
And in that same Tea Party newsletter they say "a majority of Americans favor spending cuts over tax hikes". This last part is deliberately and outright misleading in many ways. What the Tea Party newsletter didn't tell me was that most Americans DO prefer tax hikes, but just for the wealthiest 2%. (Why didn't the Tea Party tell me that?)
Their newsletter offered no links to back-up their statements or numbers - or any supposed poll results...they just put their own slant on what they wanted me to think and believe.
So I looked it up: According to a New York Times/CBS News poll the general public's preference for spending cuts dissolves when they are asked about cuts to Medicare and Social Security. And a majority by a large margin said cuts in Pentagon spending was much more preferable. (Oops! Don't big corporations profit from defense spending?)
The Tea Party wants to eliminate our Social Security and Medicare so we will die old, sick, and broke on the street. And the Tea Party will have the Wall Streeters pay ZERO in capital gains taxes to make them all even more rich. And the Tea Party will eliminate programs to feed starving kids...just so we'll have "smaller government".
The Tea Party doesn't just represent average middle-class income hard-working folks who believe in the right to bear arms, strict immigration laws, and "fair" government. I believe in all those things too. And I don't believe most of the Tea Partiers are necessarily racists either. But the Tea Party also represents the big corporations, whether the so-called "members" realize this or not. They might not like BIG government, but they represent the interests of BIG multi-national corporate conglomerates (i.e the Koch brothers).
At all the Tea Party rallies you'll see many of those yellow flags that reads, "Don't Tread On Me", as if it were government tyranny that was oppressing the masses. But tell me, just who exactly is treading on who? Hasn't it really been corporate tyranny that has been keeping us down? The rich have been treading on the working-class for centuries.
The Bail-Outs of 2008-2009 Re-visited (Lest we forget)
The corporate and banking bail-outs were just that, bail-outs. They all went bankrupt, they weren't too big to fail, they really did fail. Only instead of going through the normal federal bankruptcy courts, special provisions were made by our government leaders for them by people at the Federal Reserve, those very people who also used to work for those very same banks, such as Goldman Sachs and AIG.
Essentially, our government leaders allowed the printing of more fiat dollars (maybe not actually printed money, as in physical currency, but in "digital dollars" - as a promissory note, that they just entered as 0's and 1's of binary code into a computer to the credit of all those big banks and corporations.
By "monetizing", this devalued the dollar more, hurting common working Americans. And the Chinese, who hold so much of our debt, weren't very happy either.
And the talk was, that the price of oil was no longer going to be pegged to the U.S. dollar because of this "monetizing", because America had lost her credibility - the once almighty dollar, now like a junk bond. President Obama just said in a news conference today that [paraphrased] "Because of emerging markets such as China, the demand for more oil has driven up the cost." TRANSLATED TO MEAN: "Because of big corporate American factories in China, the cost of your home-heating fuel and gasoline prices are going up, while we also continue to lose more jobs to China." Meanwhile common American taxpayers are forced to pay for HUGE oil subsidies to oil companies that have been making billions of dollars in profits every year...WTF?
And because of the social unrest in Libya, the commodities traders are manipulating the "futures" on the price on a barrel of oil to profit further, never letting a "crisis" go to waste. Meanwhile, Obama also announced that he'll also consider tapping into our national emergency petroleum reserves, which will have to be replaced with ever higher oil prices. So then, tell me again: "What's the big difference between Obama and Bush?"
So long as BIG oil corporations can profit, we'll never see low-cost hydrogen energy!
The banks then got billions of dollars in all this fake "monopoly" money as a loan by the government to pay them (us) back at 0.25% interest while they turned around and loaned it out to big businesses and American consumers for 10.0% to 20.0% interest...hence their higher stock prices and big bonuses (and only paying a 15% capital gains taxes on those, taxes that the GOP now wants to make 0% on capital gains taxes).
While they bought yachts and mansions, we lost jobs and homes.
The corporations and big banks had trillions of dollars on the books with credit-default swaps, but using accounting trickery (mark-to-market rules) to hide all those lost assets that essentially disappeared into thin air. And the taxpayers just refunded them for all their losses, while at the same time, had paid them ever more profits on top of that. And out of gratitude, we saw what the big banks and corporations gave us in return.
After destroying the housing market and the middle class - and putting millions of Americans out of work, now these same banks and corporations want more...to pay less corporate income taxes and to pay no capital gains taxes at all, while at the same time reducing or cutting the national budget that further hurts the very people they had destroyed, those who are now homeless, poor, sick, disabled, unemployed, hungry, and suicidal.
But today the FEDS are telling us that the banks did nothing wrong!
This is who the Republicans and the Tea Party support - the corporations and big banks, those that hid their greed by deceivingly trying to cloak it in American patriotism, and fleecing us like ignorant third-world beggars.
God bless America, but good bye to the American Dream forever.
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