Round 2 of tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations

More Monahan March pictures

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?

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/03/under-cover-kavanaugh-republicans-passed-huge-tax-cuts-wealthy

#WethePeopleAmendment

#MovetoAmend

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/03/under-cover-kavanaugh-republicans-passed-huge-tax-cuts-wealthy

It’s Up To Us To End The Corporate Monarchy

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https://movetoamend.org/its-us-end-corporate-monarchy

The fascination of the 29 million people in the United States who watched the British Royal Wedding over the weekend transcended the pageantry of the event and star power of the celebrity guests. In part, the interest was also due to trying to understand the current role of the monarchy in British society.

British Kings and Queens no longer possess unlimited authority. Dictating and defining virtually every action within the far-reaching British Empire is history —  British royalty today are mere figureheads, soap opera-like curiosities to many to distract attention from the day-to-day problems of life.

While people in the US are no longer “subjects” to British Kings and Queens following the colonial revolution, it would be a mistake to conclude We the People have authentically assumed ultimate or “sovereign” power to self-rule.

It’s never been true and much less true today as corporations, which at one time possessed only those powers and privileges granted by We the People through corporate charters, have fought in the courts to win constitutional rights.

Corporations increasingly act like monarchs.

These never-intended rights have allowed corporations to capture our government and elected officials. The continual and far-reaching wedding of corporations and politicians takes many forms — most of which don’t make television and aren’t of the feel-good, Camelot variety. Their nuptial offspring have been laws that harm people, communities and the planet — adversely affecting health care, education, jobs, housing, trade, budgets, food, transportation, energy, the environment, taxes, finance, and more.

If We the People are to be real rulers, then we have to end corporate rule.

Move to Amend is the only organization that not only takes on the undemocratic, unjust and unsustainable role of corporate personhood, we do something about it — specifically working for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights.

That’s what our We the People Amendment with its 56 co-sponsors in the House of Represenatives, and hundreds of nationwide resolutions and ballot initiatives, and hundreds of other organizational endorsements are all about.

We seek to end corporate monarchy.

To be legitimately politically independent beyond the reach of corporations, government or big foundations, Move to Amend must be economically independent. We must rely for the vast majority of our funding from people like you — dedicated to ending corporate rule and creating authentic democracy. 

Support Move to Amend. We are still $80,000 short, and we need everyone to pitch in — now! Even better than a one time donation is a pledge to invest in the movement to amend by making your donation monthly.

Royal weddings may be fascinating. But it will take many more than the 100,000 people in the streets who gawked at the royal union to royally volunteer your time, energy and resources to divorce corporations from government and governance.

That’s a disunion worth not only watching, but being a part of! Join us!

Thank you,
Greg Coleridge
Outreach Director, Move to Amend

“Democracy Day” Public Hearing Testimony

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Testimony of Greg Coleridge
5th Annual Democracy Day Public Hearing
Cleveland Heights, Ohio | January 25, 2018

The federal Republican tax measure passed at the end of 2017 wasn’t a bill as much as a reward — to corporations and the super wealthy.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent will receive 34 percent of the corporate tax cut benefit, and the top 20 percent, 70 percent of the benefit. Eliminating the estate tax only benefits those individuals with wealth exceeding $5 million ($10 million for married couples). Eliminating the corporate and reducing the individual alternative minimum tax also benefits only corporations and the super rich.

Republican Rep. Chris Collins stated about the bill: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’” Sen. Lindsey Graham reportedly asserted that if the GOP doesn’t pass the bill, “contributions will stop.” Just 13 days after the tax law was passed, Charles Koch and his wife donated nearly $500,000 to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s joint fundraising committee. This is legalized bribery at its most blatant and sickening form.

So if corporate and individual donors are the winners of the tax bill, who are the losers? The nearly $1.5 trillion increase to the federal deficit will be paid by poor, working and middle class in spending cuts to government programs (including Social Security and Medicare if the Republicans have their way) and tax increases once the very modest tax cuts to the middle class end after eight years. Up to 13 million people also stand to lose their health insurance due to the tax bill/reward. That includes me. I doubt too many of these 13 million were the donors to its Republican supporters. I sure the hell wasn’t.

States and cities are also losers. It will be harder for states and cities to pay their bills. Ending the federal estate tax, reducing individual and corporate taxes and capping federal deductions for state and local taxes will have the double hit of reducing revenue and increasing calls to reduce state and local taxes. I don’t envy any state and local elected official having to deal with these twin challenges.

The rights of corporations and the super wealthy to donate or invest in politics since constitutionally corporations are “persons” and money is “speech” is a major reason for this historic tax heist. But we would be irresponsible here tonight if we did not underline that perversion of the First Amendment by corporations and the super rich is not the only constitutional problem.

Constitutional perversion by corporations claiming “personhood” transcends the First Amendment — and has done so for 130 years. Corporations have claimed 4th Amendment search and seizure rights, 5th Amendment takings rights, 14th Amendment due process and equal protection right — as well as other provisions of the First Amendment beyond the right to speak — including the right not to speak and, thanks to the bizarre Hobby Lobby decision, religious rights. The Commerce and Contracts clauses have also been hijacked to overturn hundreds of democratically enacted laws at the state and local levels.

None of this will ever change is all we do is focus on elections, laws or regulations. I wish it was that easy. It will only chance by changing the foundational governing rules of our nation — by amending the US Constitution, as Move to Amend proposes, to end all never intended corporate constitutional rights and money defined as free speech via the We the People Amendment, H.J.R 48.

In Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying, one can’t believe impossible things.” In response, the Queen countered, “I daresay you haven’t had much practice…When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

The history of social change in this country via social movements has always been about people believing in the impossible and acting on it. The result – depending on external circumstances and internal preparation – was what was seen as impossible in one year or era became inevitable in the next. Every single social change that expanded the rights to human beings in this nation was considered at first impossible.

Move to Amend’s We the People Amendment is inevitable if we are to avoid the complete evaporation of what’s left of our representative democracy. The Republican tax bill is one more ghastly and in your face reality that our government is fundamentally broken and only We the People can fundamentally fix it.

Stand up and fight for Ohio on tax bill, Sen. Portman: PD editorial

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

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/12/stand_up_and_fight_for_ohio_on.html#incart_river_home

Historic Tax Heist letter submission to New York Times

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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.

Greg Coleridge
Outreach Co-Director, Move to Amend Coalition

Corporations and the Super Rich Tax Democracy

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(Photo: Peoples World/flickr/cc)

Trump’s claim that “we are giving them a big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut” is spot on when applied to corporations and the super rich.
by Greg Coleridge

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/30/corporations-and-super-rich-tax-democracy

 

5 Reasons to Oppose Senate Tax Cut/“Health Care” Bill

Senate Health:TaxCut bill

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.

Please call Senator Portman.