Archive for banks

Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
Rich

JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, left, and Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein leave the White House in Washington in 2009 following a meeting between chief executives and President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The repost.us service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on BillMoyers.com

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

If Corporations Are People Too, Why Do They Get Taxed Differently Than People?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

We the Corporations

Perhaps the easiest way to put the argument to bed as to whether or not "corporations are people, too, my friend," is to pass a clarification law stipulating that corporations are in deed people. (I know, it's crazy and we know they aren't, but let's for a moment say they are.) What would the next step be?

Well, for starters, we would have no, repeat no, federal deficit and individual taxes would drop precipitously. Why? Because PEOPLE don't get the advantages and tax loopholes of the Federal Corporate Tax Rate that allows them to skate on their tax obligations to this country. They would just pay the federal individual tax payer rate, like all of us "people," which they will then be.

Gone would be all those corporate write-offs, jets, yachts, huge parties and outings. Those huge offices and off-shore holding accounts. We could say bye-bye to tax credits for sending business overseas. If individuals don't get those benefits, either will the new "individuals." Oh, and too big to fail? That's gonna be gone too as no individual is too big to fail.

So what are we talking about when when we start saying that corporations are people too? We're talking about the entire rehauling of big business and a simplification of the tax laws. When they start paying their individual taxes they can start enjoying the individual freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.

If they want free speech they won't need Citizen's United. As people, they will have that. If they want freedom of religious beliefs as in the two cases approaching the Supreme Court, then as individuals they will have that. But with those rights, come restrictions and penalties -- including jail and fines for abuses.

Think about how quickly the national debt would turn into a surplus (promoting tax rebates and lower individual rates) if corporations paid their "people" tax rates, not corporate tax rates. In 2012, the following companies paid either ZERO federal taxes or actually got REBATES from the government - Wall Street Journal:

tax avoidance corporations

  • General Motors
  • Verizon
  • Ceasar's Palace
  • Prudential Insurance
  • Ameren
  • Lear Jets
  • American Airlines
  • JC Penny
  • Boeing
  • General Electric

Think about it for a moment. Is something wrong with this picture? Why should companies have all the benefits that people have, but not the responsibilities? People pay their fair share in order to enjoy a fair voice and be protected under the laws.

So big companies, you want to be treated like people, act like it.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Who's Asinine?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

asnine

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word "asinine" is"  "extremely or utterly foolish."

Pretty clear, if you ask me. I'll know something's asinine when I see it. And I have. So has Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. And what he's pushing right now is legislation to protect us from continuing to allow asinine behavior on Wall Street. Here's what happened according to a letter sent to me by The Other 98%, a liberal group:

Last year, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon announced his company’s most recent gamble had lost big: $9 BILLION of depositors’ money. Right after leading a crusade against Wall Street reform in Congress that would have guarded against big banks riskiest bets. Dimon’s excuse? “We were stupid.”

But it gets a LOT worse: while that was happening, Jamie Dimon was a member of the New York Federal Reserve Board of Directors, in charge of policing Wall Street - in other words, megabank executives like Dimon are regulating themselves at the Federal Reserve.

Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders is introducing legislation that would make it illegal for bankers to regulate themselves. It's plain, simple and only difficult if you let the GOP obfuscate this. Letting Wall Street patrol Wall Street is, as Merriam-Webster would say, asinine. We can do better. A lot better. Let's finally get our financial system in order. From that will come true protections and prosperity. If there's anyone who needs guidance, it's the dictators that run the financial institutions. Stop them. Back Bernie's proposal. Let your Senator and congressman know.

Don't know who to write to: Click here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

These folks work for you, not the other way around. Let them know what you want them to do. They're not smart enough to figure that out -- or haven't you noticed by now?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Where Does the U.S. Stand on Corruption List?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

culture of corruption

Down with corruption. We don't allow it here in the US. It's forbidden in our very constitution.

Wait a minute, no it's not. There's nothing about it in our constitution, at all. There's nothing about police corruption. Political corruption, Government corruption. Personal corruption, Economic corruption. Why? Maybe our founding fathers were more like Gordon Gekko than Honest Abe.

Greed is good

Because corruption is considered a part of life, it's a given. If you stop to think about it, corruption is a bi-product of greed. It's the thirst for power, money and control. Without corruption there would be no mob. Politicians would be making laws based on our needs and protections, not on money. Without greed, prices would drop dramatically. New products would be on the market as greed wouldn't be able to stop innovations that might make established products outdated and obsolete.

Take the gas combustion engine for automobiles. Replacements are available -- viable options, but greed by the big auto firms are keeping the latest from us and the government is doing it's best to keeping oil business subsidized and prices artificially high.

Drugs for medical cures are maintained at significantly high prices. Pharmaceutical companies receive government subsidies but no piece of the action for giving exclusive rights to certain medicines. Just recently they rescinded their permission (fortunately) to allow our personal human genomes to be copyrighted by a single company so that to run a particular cancer screening test, only that one company could license the test -- and thus keeping it nearly priced out of reach.

I'm sure you all know about this -- but that's not to say copyrights aren't important. I recently wrote a book. It's copyrighted so that I'll make a few pennies on each sale. I'm not giving it away. But I'm also not prohibitied from selling books by some greedy, artificial law that protects everyone from writing a book. We have to reward creativity. Not say only one place can generate books. The same for medicine, and cars, and cookies. Greed is controlling everything around us. It won't go away with wishful thinking, but being aware of it may cause some attention to be placed on the motives of our corrupt government, our congress, our judicial system and our police. Why do I include the police and justice in this condemnation?

Two words: Private Prisons. Bogus arrests lead to greater numbers of  incarcerations. Greater numbers of detainees leads to inflated police promotions. That leads to higher salaries/pensions which in turn leads to even more money in private prison kickbacks.  A few examples of corruption at it's finest.

World corruptions everywhere

So it was with great interest that I read 24/7 Wall Street's article about the most corrupt countries in the world. Of course you have to consider all kinds of criteria such as population, political composition, public vs. private, etc. Before looking at the list, what countries would you figure made the top  ten?

Anti-corruption nonprofit Transparency International has released its 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, which surveyed residents in 107 countries. The world’s corrupt nations differ in many ways. Four are located in Africa, three in Latin America and two in Asia. One in North America. These nations also vary considerably in size and population. Mongolia has just 3.2 million residents, while Mexico, the US, Nigeria and Russia are three of the largest countries on the globe, each with more than 100 million people. Based on the percentage of surveyed residents that reported corruption in the public sector is a very serious problem, these are the world’s most corrupt nations.

Click here to see the most corrupt countries and their criteria.

If you just want the short list, here it is: In order from top to bottom, (drum roll, please) the top ten corrupt countries of the world are:

Liberia, Mongolia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Paraguay, Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, United States.

Damn, we're only number 10. But we did beat out China, North Korea, Eqypt, Cuba, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Jordan, Viet Nam, and numbers of other countries that we've looked down upon for so long, even gone to war with. Oh, and while you look at that list, how many of them are considered socialist? Boy the GOP is always telling us about the dangers of socialism.  Not many in the top ten are socialist. Where's that big red menace?

I guess when you have a bought and paid for Congress like ours, you get noticed -- even if only in every other country in the world. They see us for what we are. We see us a bright star. Maybe we should start looking at the crooks who are running our land. Then we can start addressing the real problems.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cost of Getting Screwed

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Whore house

Ever wonder what the heck they're talking about when you go to buy a house, lease a car, finance some other sort of purchase or get a loan? You're presented with a gobbley-gook of terms, PR, FHMR, HRL, FDR, COFI. But what the heck are they? And what do they mean for me?

This alphabet soup is the rate at which you're being screwed. Think of it this way -- you go to a whorehouse and there's a schedule. You want a quickie, you want full service, you want a brown bagger (to place over her head) or do you want the works by someone who just stepped out of the pages of Maxim? The bottom line is you're getting screwed. And regulating the rates is the job of Federal Reserve Board, the Madam who runs the whorehouse. The Best Little Whorehouse in the U.S.

So here's a short description of the rate card and what you'll get.

PR - PRIME RATE

The underlying index or benchmark for most credit cards, home equity loans and lines of credit, auto loans, and personal loans. Many small business loans are also indexed to the Prime rate. It's what the bank charges you as a starting out point. But few "Johns" get the house rate, (but it's possible assuming you have good credit). Currently those rates are from mid single digits (teaser rates -- consider it a handjob) to double digits by the time they tack on extras.

FHMR - FIXED HOME MORTGAGE RATE

This is when you're buying a house. On fixed loans, this is the prime rate plus a competitive fee -- your standard, fixed rate for your visit. Maybe it even includes a drink before and a little conversation after -- but today that goes between 4%-6%. More if you're bigger -- yes, size matters here.

HRL - HIGH RISK LOAN

The higher rate a bank charges (prime + additional profit) for riskier loans -- often considered a bribe or "juice" though they call it a "margin" to entice a bank to let you in. It's for people who don't meet stringent qualifying requirements, (like you're dirty and need a shower first). Oftentimes secured through a third party, or private equity firm. You'd expect to pay more for a threesome. The sky's the limit here when you add in your carrying charges. You can often do better with a Shylock.

FDR -FEDERAL DISCOUNT RATE

The primary tool used to influence interest rates and the economy. It's the interest rate at which an eligible financial institution may borrow funds directly from a Federal Reserve bank. Basically it's what the bank pays to borrow the money they loan to you. This is the cut the Madam pays her girls.

COFI - COST OF FUNDS INDEX

Generally used for buying a house with a variable/adjustable interest rate loan. Cost-of-funds index (COFI) reflecting the weighted-average interest rate paid by 11th Federal Home Loan Bank District savings institutions for savings and checking accounts. The 11th district covers Arizona, California and Nevada. Think of this as the going rate you'd pay if you just stopped your car and picked up a local free-lancer or housewife hooker. If it was mutually pleasurable, the rate may come down. It not, it may go up. There's a roll of the dice as well as a roll in the hay involved in this one.

Okay, now you know what these terms mean. Examine your various loans and credit cards and look at what you're paying. Then deduct from that the cost of the Fed borrowing which your institution (madam) is paying, (as of July 2, 2013 it's 0.75%) figure a little something for operating costs (clean sheets) -- (double it to 1.50%). Then toss in some profit - the girls aren't doing it just for their exercise, (double it again to 3.0%). Anything over that is what it's costing you to get screwed.  So, grab yourself... a calculator (get your minds out of the gutter) and figure out if you're getting the quickie, the full service or the Maxim model?

And always remember to bring your protection -- a printout of the current rates so you'll know if and how you're getting "F'd" over.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Video- President's Weekly Address: Congress Should Join the President to Help Responsible Homeowners

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Map: Mitt Romney's holdings in overseas bank accounts

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

 Oh snap:

Via barackobama.com

(click on image to enlarge)

Mitt Romney has invested his money around the world, from the Cayman Islands to Ireland to Australia. We don’t know if he’s using these accounts to avoid paying his fair share in taxes, but we do know that in 2010, Romney’s tax rate was a startlingly low 13.9%. This means Romney pays a lower tax rate than many teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle-class Americans—even a lower rate than most other millionaires.

If elected, Romney’s proposed tax plan would cut tax rates for the wealthy even further—cutting his own taxes and protecting loopholes that he benefits from. At the same time, he opposes the President’s Buffett Rule, which would require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. That’s not right.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare