Friday, April 8, 2011

The GOP "Think Tanks"

The Overton Window describes a "window" in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on a particular issue. It is named after its originator, Joseph P. Overton, former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. (Glenn Beck named his new "thriller" novel The Overton Window.)

"My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you; and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody - and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody." - Barack Obama to Joe the Plumber (October 12, 2008)

President Obama never "spread the wealth around"; if anything, he further enriched the uber-rich with more tax breaks last year. For the past 30 years it has been the Republicans who have "spread the wealth around"...spreading it to places such as China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc.

Hey Mister John Boehner, where are the jobs that your GOP buddies allowed corporate America to ship overseas?

RAY BUURSMA - "Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs."

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a fervent advocate of privatization - its scholars support outsourcing everything, from public school districts to state prisons. They also back anti-union legislation as well.

RAY BUURSMA - "You bought into the myth that unions are the cause of America’s demise. You didn’t bother to learn America became a world power when union membership was at its peak."

READ: Behind Michigan's "Financial Martial Law": Corporations and Right-Wing Billionaires - The think tank that inspired Gov. Rick Snyder's controversial bill is bankrolled by some of the same donors that funded Wisconsin's attack on unions.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is part of a network of state-based groups associated with the Heritage Foundation, the influential right-wing think tank in Washington.

The Mackinac Center does not disclose its donors but a review of tax records shows that the group's funders include the charitable foundations of the nation's largest corporations and a host of wealthy conservative and libertarian benefactors such as Koch Industries*, Blackwater, and Wal-Mart.

* The Koch brothers fund an array of organizations opposed to unions, including the Mackinaw Center (associated with the Heritage Foundation), Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, and the Reason Foundation.

On their web side the Mackinac Center claims they are a "nonpartisan research and educational institute" and they claim to provide "objective analysis" and claim they are against "government intervention" and claim to be "committed to its independence".

Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center's*  fiscal policy initiative, says the Center is never influenced by its donors: "We are happy to take checks from people who don't agree with us, but they're not the ones sending us money."

* The Mackinac Center claims to be a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3)** of the Internal Revenue Code.

** Defined by the IRS Tax Code: Section 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations. "The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests."

"Nothing in life is free, especially free markets. 'Free' is the user-friendly propaganda code word for 'outsource'." ~ Bud Meyers (April 8, 2011)

The Koch brothers also funds The Tea Party Patriots Inc.* whose mission statement boasts their core value as free markets. The Tea Party Patriots operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

* Defined by the IRS Tax Code: Social Welfare Organizations - 501(c)(4) "An organization that restricts the use of its facilities to employees of selected corporations and their guests is primarily benefiting a private group rather than the community and, therefore, does not qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization."
If I still had a job, I'd wouldn't donate to either of these organizations. Why pay someone to lay you off?

To bring back the Middle-Class in America we only need to do three very simple things:
  1.  (A) Eliminate ALL political contributions by ALL organizations and corporations to stop influencing elections. Only allow one donation (up to $1,000 per one registered voter.) A law in congress MUST be passed to accomplish this, and if necessary, an amendment added to the U.S. Constitution to prohibit doing so. (B) Or have all individual federal tax returns designate $3 per person as political contributions (if they are registered voters) and divide these funds equally between the two major political parties for campaigning.
  2. Have ALL corporations and benefactors of capital gains pay the exact same tax rate on ALL GROSS EARNINGS, the same as individuals - and eliminate ALL tax loopholes with a very simple tax code.
  3. Nationalize the banks (and big oil, and the GOP "Think Tanks"). 
ALSO SEE: Citizens for Tax Justice
* American workers got what they deserved <

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