One Percenters

On This Tax Day Remember, While You Paid Your Taxes For The Common Good, These Mega Corporations Betrayed The Nation By Paying Nothing

Smile, Suckers, As The Rich Get Richer. By Kathryn Kranhold The Center for Public Integrity (4/11/19) Taxpayers are scrambling to make last-minute payments due to the Internal Revenue Service in just four days, but many of the country’s largest publicly-held corporations are doing better: They’ve reported they owe absolutely nothing on the billions of dollars in profits they earned last year. At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute…

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Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


Anand Giridharadas: The College Bribery Scandal Is Just A Glimpse Of The Many Ways The Wealthy Rig Society To Their Benefit

When a scandal like this breaks, it’s really important for us to understand that we’ve gone from seeing 0 percent of a system to 0.003 percent of a system, right? There’s so much more here. This is a little biopsy of a world that we happen to get. Democracy Now! (3/15/19) As the fallout continues over the elite college admissions scandal that investigators nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” we speak with journalist Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” His book examines how the so-called elite class of America have worked the system to…


Mike McCabe: A Curtain Rarely Pulled Back On The Number One Political Issue Nobody Wants To Ask Politicians About

  It’s time to ask the question. By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (2/13/19) While running for governor, I took part in close to 50 candidate forums leading up to Wisconsin’s August 2018 primary election. Some were sponsored by interest groups, others by the media or a party organization. Some focused on a single issue. Education. Economic development. Environmental protection. Criminal justice. Agriculture. Racial equality. Transportation. Energy policy. Other forums covered the waterfront, with questions on a variety of subjects. In all those forums combined, participating candidates were asked well over 200 questions.  Three were about money in politics. Never…


Trump & Republicans Provide Comfy Socialism For The Rich & Brutish Capitalism For The Rest Of Us

    By Robert Reich RoberReich.com (2/11/19) “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a…


Just 400 Individuals Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom 150 Million Americans

“Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (2/10/19) As survey data continues to show that raising taxes on the wealthy is extremely popular among the U.S. public, new research by inequality expert and University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman found that the richest 0.00025 percent of the American population now owns more wealth than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent. Zucman, who helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) develop her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal, observed in a working paper (pdf) that “U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen…


Robert Reich: Grotesque Imbalance Is Undermining American Democracy

Let’s Be Clear Who The Real Enemy Is “Over the last four decades, the median wage has barely budged. But the incomes of the richest 0.1% have soared by more than 300% and the incomes of the top 0.001% (the 2,300 richest Americans), by more than 600%. The net worth of the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans almost equals that of the bottom 90% combined.”   — Robert Reich “State Of Disunion: Democrats Must Not Give In To Trump’s Hateful Speech” (2/4/19)  


Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream & Really Popular’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support For Higher Taxes On Rich

Billionaire breakdown ***** “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Jonson Common Dreams (2/4/19) Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more…


SIN: 26 Billionaires Own as Much Wealth As The World’s Poorest 3.8 Billion People Combined

“Inequality is not inevitable, it’s a political choice.”  By Laura Paddison HuffPost (1/21/19) The gap between rich and poor is fracturing society, poisoning politics and fueling public anger, according to a new report from anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam, which found that last year just 26 people owned the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people. This figure is down from 43 the year before. The Public Good or Private Wealth? report, published Sunday, found that the wealth of billionaires has increased by $900 billion in the last year, or $2.5 billion a day. This bonanza has not been felt by…


The Ruling Class Phoney Crusade To Save The World – Without Changing A Thing That Leads To Injustice

  By Anand Giridharadas The Guardian (1/22/19) A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. The same could be said of others around the world. And now many of the people who broke the progress machine are trying to sell us their services as repairmen. When the fruits of change have fallen on the US in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them. For instance, the average pretax income of the top 10th of Americans has doubled since 1980, that of…


‘Corporate Greed At Its Worst’: After Reaping $514 Million From GOP Tax Scam & Billions In Public Subsidies, GM To Fire Nearly 15,000 Workers

  Sweet Deal! By Julia Conley Common Dreams (11/26/18) Tax justice and labor advocates were among those who expressed outrage Monday at the news that General Motors—one of the corporate giants that benefited immensely from the Republican tax plan last year—would cut 15 percent of its workforce, shuttering production facilities in three states as well as Canada to trim costs. The auto maker is closing five plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario, with plans to cut thousands of office jobs in January—slashing a total of 14,700 jobs. The move comes less than a year after the Republican Party pushed through its…


A Refreshingly Honest Government Ad — Enjoy The Benefits Of Trickledown Economics

“When we let the rich piss on you and we tell you it’s raining.” The Australien Government has made an ad about the budget and Trickledown Economics – and its surprisingly honest and informative. Link to 2-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Writer Documents The Political & Corporate Pushers Behind America’s Deadly Opioid Epidemic

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/4/18) As a psychotherapist and substance abuse counselor I found the Democracy Now! Friday (6/1/18) broadcast to be one of the best all-in-one package of information on the government-enabled, corporate manipulated opioid epidemic that has claimed some 200,000 Americans and continues to kill and decimate families and communities every day across the nation. If you want a good understanding about the dirty political and economic underpinnings that continues to fuel the crisis take an hour to watch the entire broadcast here. The individual segments are detailed and linked below: Purdue Pharma Knew…


While Millionaires Get Tax Freebies: Baltimore Schools Closed After Outrage Over Widespread Reports Of Frigid Classrooms

  (Editor’s Note: Problems of old, crumbling and even dangerous school buildings is not unique to Baltimore. In a  nation that just approved massive tax cuts for the already wealthy and corporations racking up record profits and, often, evading their responsibilities to the country and workers that make all that wealth possible, far too many of our children don’t have decent schools to go to. Time to take that money back, people! – Mark L. Taylor) By Mary Rose Madden Morning Edition/NPR (1/3/18) Baltimore’s public schools closed Thursday after parents and educators there complained students were enduring frigid classrooms with…


American Capitalism: One-Third Of Americans Can’t Afford Food, Housing Or Health Care

By Alexandra Jacobo Nation of Change (10/12/17) Almost half of Americans struggle to pay there bills, and an astounding one-third of them are at risk of running out of food, not being able to afford a place to live, or not having enough money for health care or medical treatment. In a new survey of financial well-being released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, numbers reflect the diminishing median net worth of an American family, as well as the daily struggles families have with being able to pay for basic living expenses. According to the report: “There is a wide variation in how…


How Privatization Divides & Weakens Us, While Public Institutions Make Us A Better People

For the 1%. By Paul Buchheit Nation of Change (9/25/17) Most people looking to make big money are eager to disparage public systems as inefficient, wasteful, inferior. Many of those people are in a position to starve the public systems of funding, thereby making them less functional, and making the private options look more appealing. But privatization is not the solution, it is the problem. Properly supported public systems serve more people in a more efficient and less costly way. We might begin by looking at FEMA, the underfunded disaster relief program much maligned for its response to Hurricane Katrina in…


Collecting His Pay! After Failing To Prosecute Bankers, Obama Cashes In With Wall $400k Street Speeches

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/18/17) Less than a year has passed since he departed from the White House, and former President Barack Obama has already joined the “well trod and well paid” Wall Street speaking circuit, a decision many argued will negatively impact the Democratic Party’s credibility as it attempts to fashion a message around taking on corporate monopolies, tackling income inequality, and loosening the insurance industry’s control over the American healthcare system. According to a Bloomberg report published Monday, Obama has in the last month delivered two speeches to massive financial firms—Northern Trust Corp and the Carlyle Group—for around $400,000 a pop, and…


Budget-Cutting Austerity Is Not Frugality, It Is Brutality. It Is Violence. It Is Domestic Terrorism By The Ruling Class

Detail from a poster for ‘Russell Brand: Messiah Complex,’ a live recording. By Russell Brand Russell Brand’s Facebook Page (6/16/17) Sometimes there is a news story that has a power that reaches beyond the material facts, even if those facts are in themselves potent. Hillsborough was one. The drowned Syrian toddler another. The discernible reality alludes to a deeper truth and invites us to consider the real meaning. Glenfell is such a story. The image of a burning tower is loaded with significance both modern and ancient. The facts, the deaths, the suffering are in themselves appalling yet the meaning…


Our Rights On The Edge: A Billionaire-Bankrolled ‘Movement’ Close To Calling A Constitutional Convention

By Simon Davis-Cohen   AlterNet (6/14/17) A billionaire-backed “movement” is dangerously close to calling a constitutional convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. If realized, it would be the first constitutional convention since the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which replaced the Articles of Confederation with the U.S. Constitution. After an active start to 2017, proponents are now allegedly seven states away from reaching the needed 34 states (two-thirds) to convene a convention. According to Article V, which lays out all the ways the constitution can be amended, any amendments proposed by the convention would then need to be ratified by 38…


The Politics Of Race, Division & The Real Reason Working-Class Whites Support For Trump Doesn’t Waver

TheCommonerCall.org By Jonathan Capehart The Washington Post (6/6/17) Unlike anyone I’ve read or talked to since the November election, Justin Gest has helped me to really understand why President Trump won white working-class voters and hasn’t thus far lost their support. In the latest episode of “Cape Up,” we discuss the George Mason University professor’s new book, “The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality” “So much of Donald Trump’s politics is symbolic,” Gest explained. “They’re symbolic in the sense that this is what people want to hear and if it doesn’t get done, it’s…


A May Day Call: When Corporations Don’t Take Precautions To Avert Workplace Deaths Executives Must Go To Prison

  By Leo Gerard, President of United Steel Workers AlterNet (4/24/17) Every 12 days, a member of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), or one of their non-union co-workers, is killed on the job. Every 12 days. And it’s been that way for years. These are horrible deaths. Workers are crushed by massive machinery. They drown in vats of chemicals. They’re poisoned by toxic gas, burned by molten metal. The company pays a meaningless fine. Nothing changes. And another worker is killed 11 days later. Of course, it’s not just members of the USW. Nationally, at all workplaces, one employee…


An Alternative Obituary For David Rockefeller

  By Erik Wallenberg The Jacobin (3/31/17) As a child growing up in a mansion on 54th Street in Manhattan, David Rockefeller remembered roller-skating with his siblings down Fifth Avenue trailed by a limousine in case they got tired. Rockefeller and his family, which included billionaires and politicians at all levels of government, spent a lifetime ensconced in this kind of luxury. At the time of his death on March 20, Forbes estimated that the 101-year-old Rockefeller’s investments in real estate, share of family trusts, and other holdings stood at $3.3 billion. The obituaries and tributes waxed nostalgic, giving us…


The New Revolutionaries Are Winning: The Real Radicals Are Not To Be Found Among The Leftists

“Ever since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole library of political literature, some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary, has emphasized this theme. The title  of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about its mental atmosphere, a Freudian fear of defilement by the great unwashed. “But in our globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision of order, stability, and who threatens those…


16th Richest Family In America: The Family Making Billions From The Opioid Epidemic

  Brasscheck TV (4/1/17) Deaths by opioid overdose have surpassed AIDS deaths at the peak of that epidemic. There’s one family that’s made billions from this disaster. The US news media has done a good job of keeping their names out of the news. But Brasscheck is not a member of the mainstream news media. Meet the Sackler family… Richard Sackler, 71, moves among elite circles of scientists, researchers, and investors and rarely speaks at public events. Even photographs of him are difficult to find. The Sackler family, in general, has avoided public discussion of OxyContin or the drug’s role…


Watch: Bernie Sanders Talks ‘Dark Money’ With Journalist Jane Mayer, Who Literally Wrote The Book On It

  Common Dreams Staff (3/30/17) Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday sat down with investigative journalist Jane Mayer to discuss the threat that secretive and undisclosed campaign financing—exemplified by the outsized influence of powerful billionaires like Charles and David Koch—continues to have on U.S. democracy and what should be done to push back. Mayer—author of the 2016 best-seller Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right—recently wrote a feature for The New Yorker in which she detailed the significant role the deep pockets, and bizarre far-right politics, of billionaire Robert Mercer played in President…


What American ‘Deep State’ Politics Is Really All About

“While today’s politicians engage in sonorous generalities about jobs, faith, family, and so forth, once the issues move from the ethereal realm of sloganeering into specific policies, they do not seek to identify with the desires of the majority, except insofar as those desires happen to overlap with the preferences of those who are footing the bill. “Single-payer health care, tax breaks for hedge fund managers, minimum wage policy – on these and a host of other issues, the American public lines up on one side and the wealthy elites on the other. And every time, the position favored by…


Commoner Call Reader Shares Three Good Reads On The Deep State/Wall Street Nexus

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (3/20/17) Is the Deep State a multi-millennias old Conspiracy, or just the latest version of short-term greed and stupidity? Are the main players Reptilian shape–shifters fighting an intergalactic struggle, or a bunch of narcissistic white men and female wannabes using obscene amounts of wealth as a way to keep score? Do simple Business 101 principles about efficiency and letting the market pick winners apply in a rigged system that separates nasty side effects from profit/loss calculations by labeling them external costs; or are they mantras to keep the rest of us from discovering that…