Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shame On You Ali Velshi

09/03/2011 10:47:48 AM PST - After just watching Ali Velshi on CNN this morning I was shocked...absolutely shocked! I had credited Ali Velshi as a man who cared about real people more than corporations - - - and was fair and balanced when discussing the economy. As the senior business correspondent for CNN, I had expected a little more from him after watching his show today.

On Ali's show today they had played an interview that was taped earlier with Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. Afterward, Ali had a panel of three on to discuss Trumka's remarks, one being Stephen Moore, who writes for Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal and is often a "contributor" on Fox News. With Stephen Moore being a Fox News hack, I had more than expected Ali to be fully prepared and ready to counter anything that Moore might have to say. But Ali didn't.

Stephen Moore had said that he had agreed with almost everything Richard Trumka had said, but concluded at the end of his remarks by implying our jobs go to China because they have a 20% corporate tax rate and that the U.S. has a 36% tax rate.

There didn't appear to be any time constraints immediately afterward when Ali had spoken next, but I was shocked that Ali didn't challenge Stephen Moore's last remark about corporate tax rates. Ail said nothing, but just closed the segment before going to commercial. Why didn't Ali debate the tax issue?

And why wasn't Richard Trumka on LIVE with CNN's discussion panel so that a real debate could take place, instead of just remarking after-the-fact about what was said by someone else earlier?

First of all, the standard corporate income tax rate in China is 25%, not 20% as Stephen Moore had argued. It's only 20% for small local businesses. And in China they pay 20% for capital gains; CEOs in America only pay Warren Buffet says, "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."

Secondly, the "effective" corporate tax rate in the U.S. is NOT 36% and is ranked lower than China's. In China there are no tax loopholes for Chinese companies to take advantage of the way there are here in America. Many businesses in the U.S. pay no taxes at all, and the salary of the CEOs is often much more than the corporate taxes they pay. 25 major U.S. corporations last year paid their chief executives more than they paid Uncle Sam in federal income taxes.

Many Chinese businesses operate here in America and are very profitable (and paying corporate U.S. taxes). The issue isn't what taxes American corporations pay, because they pay so much less than they once did. The issue is corporate greed, in that despite earning record profits and executive salaries, corporate entities have an insatiable thirst for ever increasing profits.

A corporation can't NOT grow, they must constantly strive to expand, often by devouring their competitors...such the AT&T's recent attempt to further corner the market with a telecommunication monopoly with T-Mobile. Instead of large corporations paying their workers more, they complain about corporate taxes and labor unions, and still complain even when their CEOs are earning millions every year (and paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries)....but at the same time they just happen to have a little spare cash left over (several billion dollars) to buy out another huge competitor.

"Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Jobs go to China for cheap labor. (Did you see the little "period" after that last statement?) The “Stone of Hope” statue of Dr. King was sculpted in China by a Chinese sculptor out of Chinese granite and shipped to the United States where it was assembled by Chinese workers. Why? Because corporate taxes in the U.S. are too high?

The same is true with the major engineering projects. Chinese firms like the Bay Bridge in Oakland and the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York (among many others) repair our bridge infrastructure. Engineering companies do not get jobs like these without making major contributions (bribes) to political entities.

It’s a shame our political leaders are such whores that they would sell this work to foreigners while the engineering industry in that tri-state area (and elsewhere) is down 60%. For the Chinese to be able to get all this bridge work they must be handing out suitcases full of money.

Is it because we owe the Chinese so much money, and the value of the dollar is down, that we're partially paying them back this way with cheaper dollars? Who knows why this is really happening. It's a damn shame no matter how you look at it.

It's the SMALL businessman (and woman) who feels the squeeze of government regulations and taxes, not the large American-based multi-national corporate conglomerates...they have an army of lawyers and tax accountants to deal with that. The Republicans appeal to small business people to get their votes in general elections, but don't really give a damn about small businesses in general. It's BIG business that the Republicans cater to, the ones who buy out the smaller businesses (creating monopolies and lessening competition), and contribute the most to their political PACs. Small business workers (and all hourly paid employees) have always been better served by the Democrats.

The results for a recent Fox News poll showed that 51% of Americans expect major political uprisings in the U.S. within next 10 years. I predict sooner, when our young people in the U.S. get as disgusted as those in the Middle-East. The middle-aged folks in America (like myself) have already done our fair share of protesting when we were much younger; and I for one can't manage to hit the streets the way I once used to (and the government counts on that). But when the younger generation realizes what's happening, and finally realizes that they're getting screwed and ripped off by their government and corporate America, I hope more than anything else that I'm around to witness that.

I was very disappointed that Ali Velshi didn't challenge Stephen Moore's remarks, and just left his last statement hanging in the air, exposed for the big lie it was. It was there for the whole world to see, and Ali said absolutely nothing. Even on MSNBC their commentators fully admit and discuss their parent company (GE) not paying corporate taxes.

Shame on you Ali! (It almost reminded me of the tale The Emperor's New Clothes.)

I'll close with this post with an email I received from a 99er yesterday and reprinted with permission:

We, the 99ers, have been in a civil dialogue with our elected leaders for well over a year. We have faxed them, e-mailed them, and phoned them. And many of us have gone to their offices and have spoken with them or their staffers personally. Their response to the 99ers has been empty rhetoric and empty hands. The reason they ignore us are many, but one has to realize their constituency is not us, the average voter, but rather the large corporate donors.

If the corporate donors withhold their contributions (bribes) they can't run an effective campaign and are out of office. Our leader's loyalty is to their corporate paymasters and they will let them take down one economic group after another. If anything, we the 99ers are just the latest victims being led to the economic slaughterhouse. The economic elites thrive on our inaction, just like a herd of buffalo with the corporate hunters picking us of off one at a time.

We live in a system where our government no longer protects its people. Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century political philosopher, stated that a government which no longer functions properly will lead to a "war of all against all".

In our present environment the predatory capitalists are having a field day since they are armed with the best lawyers, news media pundits, and goon squads money can buy. They are like a pack wolves in the midst of a flock of sheep. But their good times will come to an end because we are not all sheep. There are sheep dogs in the midst of the flock ready to fight back.

Keep in mind that for every corporate elite, there are 99 of us to take to the streets.

The 99ers have to be willing to push back with non-violent civil disobedience.

If you are not ready to push back, then all I can say is welcome a permanent stay in the permanent state of the underclass.

Joe Stanick


  1. Hey Ali, watch the Documentary "The Corporation"

  2. Bud, it's Ali here.
    Did you listen to my XYZ at the end of the show, in which I called for the President to extend benefits to 99ers? You know my history, yet you get on MY case for something Stephen Moore said? How about the fact that I gave Trumka his OWN segment & didn't make him part of a panel, so he could get the time and space to make his argument, which he did?
    I would have thought given our history you would not take cheap shots at me.

  3. Sorry Ali, it wasn't meant to be a cheap shot. I was just very disappointed that you allowed Moorse's comment go completely unchallenged. I know very well what efforts you made on behalf of the 99ers and I commend you for that. As a matter of fact, for your efforts I dedicated my soon-to-be-released book to you and Ed Schultz:

    If I didn't think so highly of you, I wouldn't have said "shame on you". I was just expressing my frustration that someone like Stephen Moore, who we all know sides with corporations against working and unemployed Americans, was allowed to get away with such a blatant lie.

    On Fox News they always stack their "panels" 2 or 3 to 1 against the Democrats or Progressives in their so-called debates, and rarely do they have a strong representative to oppose them. They always use the same weak debaters, and they always get bullied by the likes of Bill O'Reilly (whereas, I would call him out). The rare exception was when Bill had Jon Stewart on his show. I'd like to see Ed Schultz and Glenn Beck go toe-to-toe as well.

    I watch Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN...and I hang on every word I hear, so if I might have taken that one moment out of context and shined a bad light on you, it wasn't meant to be a put down, but constructive criticism. Sorry, I only meant to "scold", not to insult you.

    When I said I thought you cared for "real" people, I still do...but I don't believe corporations are "real" people, so therefore when I witness something as that, it gets my feathers a little ruffled.

  4. P.S. - And it wasn't just you...I have an issue with Candy Crowley too.

  5. Stephen Moore is as clueless as John Stossell is.

    Keep America At Work