Sunday, May 24, 2015

TPP makes Obama a Dino

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (a business lobbying group) claims they are "the world's largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. They all share one thing in common — they count on the Chamber to be their voice in Washington, D.C."

But in reality, the number of their members is probably closer to 200,000 — and nowhere close to the 3 million they claim. Just like the Business Roundtable, this lobbying firm mostly represents the interests of BIG businesses — the same ones who support the proposed TTP trade agreement and are paid millions of dollars by large corporations (much like the CEOs on Wall Street).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fox News and the Republicans like to argue that 96% of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's members are small business owners; but what they also deliberately fail to mention is that only 11% of all small American businesses actually belongs to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (and that these "small businesses" are usually hedge funds, private equity firms, etc.)

Small businesses, on average, pay a higher "effective" tax rate than the BIGGEST businesses do because BIG businesses can afford to lobby our Congress for specific loopholes in the tax code that mostly favors them — that's why we have over 17,000 pages in the tax code. It's mostly loopholes for the very well-connected who rub elbows with Washington politicos. The owners of a mom-and-pop grocery store have no such access to Congress.

The Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012, sponsored by then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), would have slashed taxes on the adjusted gross income of as many as 22 million small businesses — those with fewer than 500 employees — by as much as 20 percent for one year (and would have also added billions to the deficit).

At the time, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) had said, "Congressional Republicans, once again today, will stand with small business across the nation." But he neglected to mention what type of small businesses they're REALLY standing for (e.g. hedge funds, private equity firms, etc.) Democrats complained that the GOP bill would have provided tax breaks whether companies hire additional employees or not, including to firms that fire workers. They said its beneficiaries would also include lobbyists, lawyers and pornography businesses.

The GOP is perfectly willing to destroy the tax base — forcing more cuts in the budget to "starve the beasts"just to make the very rich a lot richer — when if fact, the ultra-rich already have too much. But the GOP will give tax cuts to low-paid workers and small businesses, but ONLY if the super-duper rich ALSO benefits from more generous tax cuts — and to Hell with infrastructure or Social Security (or anything else, except for maybe defense spending) — just so long as the mega-rich aren't taxed any more than they already are (which is already less as a percentage of their income than the poor are now taxed).

Now we have Obama, who unlike Senators Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, is not at all "progressive", but is more like Hillary Clinton — a "Third Way" pro-corporate Democrat (or a "moderate" Republican). We know this for a fact because of the way Obama has been pushing for the TPP trade agreement. Here's a list of those that Obama is working for (and guess what, YOU are not on the list.) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and every other business group and corporation on that list is who Obama is REALLY representing, not average working Americans. So that makes Obama more of a Republican than a Democrat — a Dino — a Democrat in name only.

For the last two years the stock markets have been breaking all-time record-highs for billionaires and corporate America, but Obama and the GOP Congress continues to allow Americans to struggle with the lingering effects of the Great Recession — while at the same time, trying to make the rich richer as the poor get poorer.

Yeah, Obama "talked the talk", but he's no FDR.

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