Round 2 of tax cuts for the super wealthy and corporations passed the House. Call your Senators. People power must counter the power of corporations and super wealthy via their political campaign “donations” — which are more like political investments — and damn profitable ones. This will continue and we’ll be on the defensive — responding, reacting and resisting — forever and ever so long as corporations possess inalienable constitutional rights of persons AND as long as money spent in elections is protected as First Amendment free speech. Did I say forever and ever? Yup. Forever and ever. That is until we end it via the We the People Amendment abolishing corporate constitutional rights and money as free speech. So what are we waiting for?
Ohio’s own Rob Portman is among the bunch of GOP Senators who will personally benefit from the inclusion of this nifty provision that was not in either the original House or Senate version of the tax bill. And who was one of the Senators on the conference committee that reconciled both versions in a single one soon to be voted on by both the House and Senate? Why, Rob Portman!
Rob also received a cool $900,000 from real estate industry Political Action Committees (PACs) in the 2016 election cycle. So Rob both helped his political donors (more like investors) AND helped himself at the same time.
Republican Senators Will Save Millions With Special Real-Estate Tax Break
An already horrific tax bill for the working class and those who rely on federal subsidies for medical insurance may get even worse if Sen. Portman and his Republican buddies have their way and reduce the number of years individual tax reductions will last — to pay for more taxes for businesses. Of course, taxes for corporations plummet under this bill and the estate tax, benefiting the super wealthy, would also be drastically reduced in the Senate version (with the first $22 million exempted) and abolished altogether in the House version. Call Portman office today and share your views. 216-522-7095
Below is my unpublished letter submitted to the Times on December 3…
To the Editor,
While the Senate tax bill may be in many ways “a historic tax heist” (NYT 12/2 editorial), it’s quite ordinary in demonstrating the power of corporations and the superrich to influence public policy. The blatancy of the influence on the tax bill was greater than normal, but the process is a very old story that has been so common for so long that it’s hardly newsworthy. The public’s will has been for decades, was on this issue, and will forever continue to be virtually ignored due to the bizarre constitutional doctrines that money in elections is equal to First Amendment “free speech” and that corporations possess constitutional “personhood” rights, including the right to lobby and contribute/invest in elections. Until these never-intended constitutional rights are abolished, as proposed by the We the People Amendment, HJR 48, we will indefinitely experience (and read editorials commenting on) the growing disconnect between public interests and needs and public policies that serve corporate and wealthy interests.
The Senate bill will be voted on this week unless public pressure results in at least 3 Senators opposing it.
Rob Portman from Ohio is one of the Senators who hasn’t yet decided how he will vote. He needs to hear from constituents. Please call both his DC and Ohio offices.
DC: 202-224-3353 | Cleveland: 216-522-7095
1. Maybe the # 1 reason: The bill isn’t a “health care” bill at all, but a tax cut bill
The bill will retain the nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts from the House bill over the next decade. The tax breaks would go primarily to the very wealthy, with 40 percent of savings going to the top 1 percent of earners and 64 percent of savings going to the top 20 percent of earners. The super rich, those earning $100 million a year from investments through stock sales and dividends would no longer have to pay that the Medicare tax that the rest of us pay. Just one example: Republican Party mega donor Sheldon Adelson could see his tax bill cut by about $43 million. Tax cuts will also go to insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.
2. Ending Medicaid as we know it
The bill would roll back Medicaid expansion (affecting 11 million people), cut federal support for the program even more than the House bill, which cut Medicaid by $800 billion. Seventy-five percent of poor children rely on Medicaid. Fifty percent of births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid.
3. Millions left uninsured
The bill is similar to a House measure that would have left 23 million Americans without health insurance. Incidentally, President Trump called the House version “mean.” The bill would allow insurers to not cover essential services — such as emergency services, maternity care, opiod addiction treatment and mental health disorders
4. Less generous subsidies
Those eligible for insurance would receive less generous subsidies. This would negatively effect older consumers with moderate incomes.
5. Secrecy / lack of transparency
The bill was negotiated behind closed doors by 13 Republican male senators. The public, media, and Democrats and most Republicans in Congress had no knowledge of the bill’s contents during the negotiations. There were no public hearings. A government agency hasn’t yet “scored” or determined the cost of the bill, which was also true of the House bill before it was voted on.
Allowing these entities to invest their foreign holdings in US financial
institutions and Treasuries makes a mockery of the whole tax system. If
they want to avoid US taxes, then they must keep all their cash “owned” by
subsidiaries abroad. The larger issue, of course, is the legal
manipulation of shifting money between “separate” corporations whenever
and wherever convenient to avoid taxes. Actual human persons (which don¹t
include corporations) have no such options — not even those with
schizophrenia. They are still a single entity. Not so with corpses. They
can shift and manipulate their corporate “personalities” and
“nationalities” pretty much at will.
We summarize last week’s activities; share upcoming events for next week; and discuss the TPP as a brand new same old story, taking action to protect unemployment insurance in Ohio, the water AND democracy crisis in Flint MI, shedding light on “dark money” nonprofit groups that spend money in federal elections, and a little history on taxing the rich. (Length: 38:09)
We summarize last week’s activities; announce upcoming events for next week; and comment on a recent proposal to Amend the Constitution to end money as speech, proposed legislation to link extending unemployment benefits to massive corporate tax cuts, student loans and housing debt, the “de-dollarization” of other nation’s economies, an article on what antiwar activists should do now following Iraq and Afghanistan and a video by Thom Hartman on “Lincoln Didn’t Fight the Civil War to Free the Corporations”