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Gibson writes: "If your boat is sinking, do you blame the bird sitting on the railing, or on the gallons of water spewing from a gaping hole in the floor?"

Gibson: 'The dominant topic in the news media for the next few weeks will be raising the debt ceiling.' (photo: TPM Muckraker)
Gibson: 'The dominant topic in the news media for the next few weeks will be raising the debt ceiling.' (photo: TPM Muckraker)



Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

06 January 13

Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

f your boat is sinking, do you blame the bird sitting on the railing, or on the gallons of water spewing from a gaping hole in the floor?

In Congress' latest "fiscal cliff" deal that supposedly had to be passed in order to avoid economic calamity, we spent $30 billion on extending unemployment benefits for a year, and $205 billion on corporate tax breaks, subsidies and excessive tax loopholes. Most of these Christmas gifts for corporate America are benefiting major, multi-billion-dollar corporations that haven't paid a dime of US income taxes in years, like GE and Boeing. In other words, taxpayers spent six times more on giving free money to companies making record profits than we did to making sure the people who were laid off by these corporations can still feed their families. $205 billion in corporate goodies was okay with Speaker Boehner, but $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief apparently wasn't.

One of the most egregious giveaways included in the New Year's Eve fiscal cliff deal negotiated between Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell is an extension of a loophole that allows corporations to book US profits in overseas, tax-free bank accounts. Today, US companies have up to $2 trillion offshored thanks to loopholes like the one in this deal, at the same time Congress is talking about raising the Medicare eligibility age to avoid a fiscal meltdown. Instead of making us give up the pensions and healthcare that we paid for, why not hold rich companies to the same standards as everyone else when it comes to paying taxes?

The dominant topic in the news media for the next few weeks will be raising the debt ceiling. But what likely won't be talked about is the fact that our debt can be easily taken care of by lowering unemployment. The whole reason the economy is in the tank is because of less demand due to more people spending less money. When more people are working, more people are spending money at local businesses, who will then hire more workers to meet demand, meaning less government money is spent on sending unemployment checks, meaning less debt. It's basic math.

During FDR's administration, the economy was recovering until the neoliberal economists in his White House convinced him that cutting spending and lowering the deficit was a bigger priority than creating jobs, which then led to the recession of 1937-1938. The economic recovery was at its peak when FDR cut the unemployment rate in half, largely through the efforts of the Works Progress Administration from 1935-1943, which provided jobs aimed at revitalizing infrastructure, parks and communities. Adjusted for inflation, the WPA would cost roughly $1.5 trillion today. That seems like a large figure, but we could fund that by simply levying a small sales tax on all Wall Street trading of stocks, bonds, options and futures - just like ordinary Americans pay when purchasing goods and services. Such a financial-transaction tax would generate $150 billion a year, or $1.5 trillion in ten years. Not only would such a program lower the unemployment rate, but the resulting economic boom would largely benefit the 99% of Americans that the latest jobless "recovery" of the last few years left behind.

You can count on the corporate-owned media to make the debate into whether or not we have to give up on Social Security or Medicare, instead of talking about the egregious billions that we're throwing at America's richest corporations, or the high volume of tax-free trading done that really only benefits the top 1% of the top 1%. That's why we have to do everything we can to change the conversation between now and the end of January. The best way to do this is with creative, direct action.

Since the 113th Congress is being sworn in this month, and President Obama's inauguration is set for the 21st, we should organize nationwide actions dubbed as the "Crowning of America's Corporate Welfare Kings." Over the next several weeks, activists can don royal garb, roll out the red carpet, and get members of the House and on record saying that they will support ending corporate welfare and implementing a financial-transaction tax rather than ask us to give up Social Security and Medicare benefits. And if they don't agree to it, we'll know that they side with Wall Street over their own constituents, and make a pledge to vote them out of office in the next election cycle. An action could even be as simple as pointing a cell phone camera at a member of Congress and asking them to take a position on the record.

We don't have to make the same mistake of letting the politicians and the media set the tone for debate like we did in the last debt ceiling debacle. This time, we'll come on loud and strong and let them know we're paying attention. And once we set the tone, we win.


Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+60 # CenTexDem 2013-01-06 10:43
An excellent idea and way to hold members of Congress accountable for their actions. Organizations like MoveOn, etc. should work with one another to make it happen! Please share this article with them.
 
 
-37 # MidwestTom 2013-01-06 11:01
The other trend that is not mentioned is the movement of corporate homes to offshore sites, like the Bahamas, and Switzerland to taxes. Those that move pay US taxes on money earned here, but not on the money earned elsewhere. Wealthy people are leaving California at an increasingly rapid rate. As taxes increase here, the wealthy will start leaving this country. At some point increasing taxes is not the answer. Cutting the size of the military, and eliminating all foreign aid and several bloated Federal agencies would be far more beneficial to the country, than cutting SS or Medicare.

Remember that the Obama administration includes almost nobody with any experience iin a for-profit business.
 
 
+40 # RLF 2013-01-06 11:52
The way to stop this was thought of by the founding fathers...IMPOR T DUTIES! If they can't inport their Chinese crap without paying taxes they will not stop importing because they want access to our market!
 
 
+17 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:22
Quoting RLF:
The way to stop this was thought of by the founding fathers...IMPORT DUTIES! If they can't inport their Chinese crap without paying taxes they will not stop importing because they want access to our market!


All imports should carry a tax equal to 125% of the difference in cost of making it there rather than here. Protective tariffs are used by everyone except us. That's basically because the conservatives in most other countries are not as bat crap crazy as ours.
 
 
+35 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-01-06 12:45
& why should the wealthy be allowed to take it with them? A soft form of Treason: beggaring the nation.
 
 
+9 # wrknight 2013-01-06 12:54
How about the bankers in the administration. They have lots of experience.
 
 
+32 # jon 2013-01-06 13:18
Quoting MidwestTom:
The other trend that is not mentioned is the movement of corporate homes to offshore sites, like the Bahamas, and Switzerland to taxes. Those that move pay US taxes on money earned here, but not on the money earned elsewhere. Wealthy people are leaving California at an increasingly rapid rate. As taxes increase here, the wealthy will start leaving this country. At some point increasing taxes is not the answer. Cutting the size of the military, and eliminating all foreign aid and several bloated Federal agencies would be far more beneficial to the country, than cutting SS or Medicare.

Remember that the Obama administration includes almost nobody with any experience iin a for-profit business.



I have been hearing that companies are leaving California because of taxes since Reagan was governor. If that is true, there should not be a single company left in this state.
 
 
+31 # Sophie 2013-01-06 15:54
"Wealthy people are leaving California at an increasingly rapid rate." Really? I see no shortage of "rich people" in CA, where I live.
You are however, partly correct about "Cutting the size of the military, and eliminating all foreign aid and several bloated Federal agencies (??) would be far more beneficial to the country, than cutting SS or Medicare."
SS and Medicare are NOT "entitlements," as the corporate owned MSM would like Americans to believe. Increasing taxes on the wealthy to Clinton-era levels WOULD benefit the economy.
Trickle-down BS has never worked. America is NOT a "for-profit business"--that is exactly what corporate America wants--to turn this country into an oligarchy, and screw the social safety net for the lower and middle classes-a safety net that employed people have been PAYING INTO their entire working lives. And now, Obama is going to hand it over to the Repugs--just wait for it.
 
 
+19 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:23
Increasing taxes on the rich to Eisenhower levels is a far better idea than Clinton era rates.
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2013-01-07 13:10
Baby steps, darlin, baby steps.
 
 
+3 # Teagarden 2013-01-08 19:13
Don,t have the time.
 
 
+14 # BeaDeeBunker 2013-01-06 23:25
Midwest Tom, you've done it again! You have not addressed the question at hand. It is not so much the question of corporate America paying more taxes, as it is 'paying their fair share.' It's not even just paying their fair share; how about at least paying something!
If you increase the rate from 25% to 50%, and you do the math...let's see, 25% of nothing is nothing, and 50% of nothing is still nothing, if my grade school arithmetic is correct!!!
We are talking about 2 trillion dollars here; not chicken feed even among the 'rich.'
To expand on the analogy put forth in the article, if the 'loop hole' is the big hole in the bottom of the boat, then plug the damn hole...don't ask the lake or ocean to please stop pouring through my hole!!!!
Sorry for all the exclamation points, but this illogical, knee jerk reaction to fiscal problems in a so called 'United' country is getting me down. I feel that all the Washington beltway crown and their puppet masters throughout the 'United' States, have gone down Alice's rabbit hole, net up with the Cheshire Cat, and joined it at its Hookah. Mellow, man; this stuff is real smooth.
 
 
+14 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:29
In the 50s and 60s we had our strongest economies, corporations paid 52% of all taxes, the rich paid 91% top marginal rate until Kennedy slashed it to 70%, but increased collections by ending all loopholes which brought in a higher % than Eisenhower's 91%

Now the top marginal rate was 36% and capital gains rates are a bad joke, and corporations pay 8% of taxes. And conservatives think starving old people is more important than fairness.
 
 
+8 # Texan 4 Peace 2013-01-07 00:28
"Foreign aid" is less than 1% of the budget. A lot more wealth flows from the 3rd world to the 1st, than vice versa.
 
 
+6 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:30
Quoting Texan 4 Peace:
"Foreign aid" is less than 1% of the budget. A lot more wealth flows from the 3rd world to the 1st, than vice versa.


And our foreign aid as a % of GNP is the lowest in the 1st world.
 
 
+12 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:19
Nor should it. Government is for the good of the people, business is for fleecing the people. We've had tw0 businessmen presidents and they are among the worst of all presidents, Hoover and Bush II.

Businessmen make the worst politicians.
 
 
+7 # ABen 2013-01-07 09:16
This 'wealthy people and corporations are leaving California because of taxes' line has become a mantra of the anti-tax right wing. However, the data (those pesky facts again) does not seem to support that notion. Perhaps wealthy people and successful businesses are more interested in a highly educated work force, attractive living conditions, and a healthy environment.
 
 
+46 # jky1291 2013-01-06 11:16
Equitable and Logical Program Reform

The majority of working taxpayers in this nation pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on 100% of their income their entire lives to earn the modest benefits of these programs that sustain them when they are no longer able to work. The 2% who vigorously resisted paying less than 7 cents per dollar above $250,000.00 pay these taxes on less than 45% of their income, while those receiving $1,000,000.00 pay on barely more than 11%, and those collecting 10,000,000.00 are taxed on only 1.1% of their income for Social Security and Medicare. To address entitlement reform, eliminating the 99%+ tax break received by the wealthiest 1%er's would essentially eliminate the unfunded liabilities in Social Security and reduce the federal deficit and national debt substantially by equitably funding Medicare. (Social Security and Medicare taxes applied to approximately 1/2 of 1% of Mitt Romney's income.)

The SignOn.org petition below might suggest the solution to many of these problems by providing the greatest detriment to the Republican obstructionists talking points: TRUTH!!!

http://signon.org/sign/equitable-and-logical?source=c.url&r_by=1279693

Add your support to the petition if you agree this is the appropriate means to frame the debate and redirect the discussion.
 
 
+17 # jky1291 2013-01-06 11:44
Equitable and Logical Program Reform

To President Barack Obama, House Representatives , and Senators,

Whereas there is great concern for the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare due to unfunded liabilities, and in consideration of demands for reform to strengthen those programs for future generations, and in consideration of the burden on our budget deficit and national debt due to persistent high unemployment:

Be it proposed that all exemptions of income subject to Social Security and Medicare taxation be immediately eliminated and the $110,100.00 cap on income subject to such taxes be permanently removed, thus equalizing the percentage of income upon which all income brackets are fairly paying to support these programs that benefit all the citizens of our nation.

Furthermore, be it proposed that the Social Security retirement age be returned to 65 years for 2 years in order to simultaneously reduce both the deficit and unemployment through eligibility of more than 2% of the workforce to voluntarily relinquish their jobs to be filled by the unemployed, while massively increasing the economic impact of their Social Security benefits spending from the increased funding resulting from taxing all income brackets equally.

http://signon.org/sign/equitable-and-logical?source=c.url&r_by=1279693
 
 
+34 # wrknight 2013-01-06 11:17
The major problem is that there is no nationally consistent set of rules defining the rights and responsibilitie s for corporations in the U.S. The word corporation never appears in the Constitution and a corporate friendly Supreme Court has taken liberty to grant whatever rights it wishes to corporations.

Given some, but not all the rights of citizenship, it is hard to determine the relationships between corporations, government and citizens. Multinational corporations, in particular, operate as semi-autonomous entities in multiple nations, owing no allegiance to any other than their stockholders who may reside anywhere in the world. Is a corporation which originated in the U.S. but bought out by an Italian holding company with a majority of stockholders in Europe an American corporation?

Multinational corporations have become pseudo- nations in themselves, operating only in the interests of their stockholders, making up their own rules and imposing them on the citizens of the countries in which they operate. Only when the courts come down on them do they yield momentarily in their quest for power and wealth.

We need to define the rights, liberties and responsibilitie s for corporations in a way that the Supreme Court can no longer make up the rules. This will require amending the Constitution - a difficult but not impossible task. But it must be done if we don't want corporations to rule the nation and own all its wealth.
 
 
+18 # jky1291 2013-01-06 11:55
To rein in corporate power only requires that personal immunity of the executives and board of directors is eliminated. Requiring those making the decisions and taking the actions that are destroying our nation to have themselves and their estates held personally responsible and financially liable for the results of their actions on their employees and their communities would end nearly all our problems immediately, as a vast majority of those problems result from corporate irresponsibilit y.
 
 
+25 # Sandy 2013-01-06 11:29
Brilliant. Sharp insight and creative plan. Thank you Carl for giving your parent's generation (me) some hope for our future. A different future is possible, but we gotta fight for it.
 
 
+7 # Martintfre 2013-01-06 11:34
Cur corporate welfare-- excellent Idea.

Let us begin with the biggest welfare queens who cause the greatest amount of problems.
The Democratic and republican parties. They are corporations that abuse their positions of power to grab undue influence and protection from the government to protect their worthless asses and elephants.
No campaign subsidy like the national conventions., No subsidy at the state level where every tax payer is robbed to protect their status at the ballot box.

Monopoly Is the enemy of good management and monopolies always require government protection to last -- end the unjust protection of the political parties and free the people from their grasp!
 
 
+8 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:42
Every Republican falls under that definition, but the Democrats that match that s=description are the blue dog conservatives. The conservatives, not the Democratic party in general are the ones who meet your definition.
 
 
+23 # Working Class 2013-01-06 11:56
All of the comments above have merit; however wrknight’s comment on amending the US Constitution should be first on our agenda. Until we strip corporations of their “personhood” and clearly establish that money is not the same as “speech”, our government will continue to represent corporate interest, rather than yours or mine. As a little kid I learned that if a big kid got to make the rules of the game, the big kid always won. Let’s grab our elected representatives by the lapels and tell them the rules are changing or we will throw them out of the game.
 
 
+25 # Carol R 2013-01-06 12:10
I worked for two years in a country with no reliable government. The wealthy controlled everything. They could bribe a journalist to print anything and cover up murders. The only jobs available were gardner, maid, cook and driver. If a maid was not getting along with a child (many were spoiled) it was easy to find another maid. Libraries, when there was one, didn't lend out books. Schools had no supplies. Water was not available in large parts of the country and was not drinkable. Roads were in horrible shape, when there were roads. The wealthy had gorgeous homes with high walls and often an armed guard outside their walled entrance.

The president of the country, when running for re-election, would order his adversaries on planes and drop them slightly drugged, out of the planes.

In 2010, monetary increases of 93% went to the top 1%. The rest of us averaged $80.00.
 
 
+25 # tswhiskers 2013-01-06 12:13
YES, YES, YES. Let Exxon, Big Ag, et al., do without subsidies and start paying some taxes. I know the Reps are just stupid mules on the subject of big money, but I had truly expected much more from Obama and all Dems. Why isn't there a Robin Hood ethic in Congress (you know, rob the rich to help the poor)? Instead the presidency and Congress seem to be run by King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The rich are as absurdly wealthy now as they were in the High Middle Ages. We need a huge overhaul of who gets subsidized by the U.S. govt. Pres. Obama, you want painless cuts in govt. spending? Here's one for sure. Yes, there is waste in govt. but you have to want to look for it! Here's a way to cut billions painlessly. Please, before you decide to cut Soc. Sec. and Medicare (which I'm told are NOT part of the federal budget) cut unnecessary subsidies.
 
 
+17 # Virginia 2013-01-06 12:20
You hit the nail on the head, Carl. There are no great mathematicians in Congress. Nobody does longhand math anymore. It appears nobody investigates statistics - unless a rival calls them on it.

It's like this latest $10 billion settlement deal to be paid for all the fraud caused by the banks. Somebody pulled that number out of their keester. It's not nearly enough to cover 84+ million defective, inflated, fraudulent, rigged LIBOR rate loans. It might cover 30,000 households - there are millions! It's a bad deal and nobody is doing the math.

If they can't mathematically comprehend, or more likely don't want to admit the real numbers - instead of letting the banks off with an unrealistic figure that just sounds good - make the deal apply to everyone who mortgaged during 2003-2008.

The penalty for fraud should be to strip the rigged interest rates away and reduce the principal 35-45%. The inflated appraisals and rigged LIBOR would no longer be a problem and homeowners could begin to find new mortgages without the Ponzi scheme attached. It is a much more balanced and equitable approach - especially for the mathematically challenged.
 
 
+1 # Teagarden 2013-01-08 19:10
Yes this "settlement" with the banks is insulting. But we do not live in a Nation Of Laws where Justice For All is the foundation for a competitive market economy based on the ideals of fair play and meritocracy. No the game has been rigged from the start, from when the Founding Big Daddies refused to end slavery and the genocidal campaigns against the indigenous population of the continent. So it has come down to this: The Banksters and other corporate maniacs will never ger their just comeuppance. We are living under a Plutocratic Oligarchy, a sort of New Corporate Feudalism. The Lords of Banking and Business call the shots. That proof stares us in the face each and every day. This is just another example. What are we going to do about this, is what needs to be discussed.
 
 
+13 # Peace Anonymous 2013-01-06 13:01
Why not solve the entire problem and cut the CIA and defense budget by 90%. You could help the economy and give the world peace in one swoop. And yes it is that simple.
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2013-01-06 13:07
I'm ARITHMETICALLY challenged but pretty good at Math, so let's establish the difference there -Math is the gateway to the future and infinitely creative, Arithmetics is the stodge and tool of entrenched economists and the status-quo who have to cloak their verbiage in deliberately esoteric linguistic gymnastics to bury all comprehension so that they can defend their non-productive jobs.
Most of you obviously understand economics a damn sight better than I do so can argue these points in more knowledgeable detail but what emerges from all this even for a simpleton like y'rs truly is that progressive taxation and it's implementation for the common good is still a remote dream and will be until the average American is educated otherwise, which under the thrall of the owner-media, is as unlikely as Universal Healthcare and massive job-creating infrastructure revitalization.
Otherwise, you are headed for the fully entrenched Corporate State, while it's owners rule from their offshore islands and send their military out to plunder the country and the planet.
Gosh, I needed that!
 
 
+10 # grouchy 2013-01-06 13:13
I love the term "corporate welfare" as it's used here. The problem with the term "welfare" is that the 1% guys and their corporate shills have morphed that term to apply only to the poor of our society. "We will focus the light on those lowlifes so no one will look at what we are up to". Let us paint them who truly deserve the label with that name. And may we broadcast it over and over and over as though we are selling some new brand of detergent!
 
 
-18 # anarchteacher 2013-01-06 13:15
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?
 
 
+21 # leedeegirl 2013-01-06 17:18
Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?


it's not that we don't like Paul's ideas about these things, it's just that there are too many other areas in which he is DEAD WRONG ...
 
 
+19 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-06 17:22
Ron Paul was a hypocrite when it came to small govt. ---for it he said, in ALL cases, EXCEPT WHEN INTERFERING WITH WOMEN'S LIVES AND BODIES.

We already have enough unrepentant misogynists.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2013-01-06 17:44
Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?

Because we -or some of us- looked at his other stances and the were nor so purty; downright Medievalist in places! You have to dig a bit for the full picture sometimes.
 
 
+11 # tishado 2013-01-06 23:29
Quoting leedeegirl:
Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?


it's not that we don't like Paul's ideas about these things, it's just that there are too many other areas in which he is DEAD WRONG ...

Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?

Actually, Ron Paul has only advocated half of that equation. He has been in favor of cutting corporate welfare AND the safety net.
 
 
+11 # BeaDeeBunker 2013-01-07 00:20
Ron Paul plays the game. I don't know where you get your '30 year figure,' but this guy doesn't meet the smell check.
If you go to 'www.washington post.com/.../ro n-paul...corpor ate-welfare.../ gIQAWjEaOP_blog .html' you will see that he talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says he never voted for an earmark, but that does not tell the whole story. When questioned on certain 'earmarks that he did make, his response was that he did so because his voters back home wanting it. He follows that up with the statement that he never actually 'votes' for his own earmark; in fact he votes against it! But, the earmark passes anyway, not by his vote, but by 'others' votes. Neat trick, don't you think? The people back home get the earmark, credit him for it, but his little pick hands are clean. Isn't that special!
He also claims that he wants no taxes at all, but if the law allows him to take a tax break, he says he will take it, and any loophole that is still on the books.

The Washington POST article is full of these 'specific' facts. The article ends with this statement:
"Paul earns three Pinocchios (the highest is 4) for suggesting he never supports government favoritism in the form of subsidies and earmarks."

I think it's safe to say that he should not have been, "savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?"...but rather as a sly fox asking for the job of protecting the hen house.
 
 
+9 # flippancy 2013-01-07 01:36
Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?


Because that wasn't his policy, it was to privatize everything which can only destroy a country. He actually is every one of those things. The only two things he made sense about was war and the Fed. He was utterly, stupidly wrong about EVERYTHING else, including how to raise a rational son. ;>)
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-01-08 12:37
Quoting anarchteacher:
Why is it that Carl Gibson can write an article, "Cut Corporate Welfare, Not the Safety Net," and progressives on this site roundly cheer him for his brilliance but when former congressman (and 2012 presidential candidate) Ron Paul repeatedly advocated this for 30 years, they savagely denounced him as a mean-spirited, miserly old racist or somebody's befuddled dysfunctional uncle?


Since when has Ron Paul been opposed to cutting the safety net? He never has and never will be since it is completely at odds with his type of right-wing, free-market libertarianism.
 
 
-5 # anarchteacher 2013-01-06 13:20
Well, progressives once again you have proven to be Wall Street's "useful idiots." You got exactly what you wanted with Barack Obama, the establishment shill paid for by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. Obama will continue to enhance the corporate welfare-warfare state throughout the remainder of his reign. Workers rights will continue to be eroded. Draconian Military Keynesianism will continue to enslave the nation in debt, bankrupting the middle and underclass. Perpetual war against false-flag terrorism will continue to be waged. Civil liberties will continue to be assaulted.

As Glenn Greenwald recently wrote on this site: “The polices adopted by the Obama administration just over the last couple of years leave no doubt that they are accelerating, not winding down, the war apparatus that has been relentlessly strengthened over the last decade. In the name of the War on Terror, the current president has diluted decades-old Miranda warnings; codified a new scheme of indefinite detention on US soil; plotted to relocate Guantanamo to Illinois; increased secrecy, repression and release-restric tions at the camp; minted a new theory of presidential assassination powers even for US citizens; renewed the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping framework for another five years, as well as the Patriot Act, without a single reform; and just signed into law all new restrictions on the release of indefinitely held detainees.”
 
 
+8 # tishado 2013-01-06 23:32
Isn't it inconsistent to overgeneralize about "you progressives" and then quote progressive Glenn Greenwald to make your point?
 
 
+9 # cafetomo 2013-01-06 13:54
It's that damned bird. Kill it quick.

With the critics dead and buried, All will be well.

Nevermore.
 
 
+14 # DaveM 2013-01-06 13:59
Our "safety net" could be strengthened considerably by making portions of it sustainable. For example: rather than subsidizing someone's rent (often in an apartment owned by some conglomerate that owns many such and gets huge government checks as a result), why not buy them a house? The cost would be less than a rent subsidy over 20 years or less--there are plenty of empty houses in every city in America which are bringing neighborhoods down when they could be sheltering families.

In exchange for a "free" house, any recipient would agree to a lien for the full value for at least 10 years (to keep profiteers out). Furthermore, the homeowner could provide public service by allowing the house to be used as an experimental platform for sustainable energy products, new construction/re modeling techniques, small-scale sustainable food production....y ou can undoubtedly think of others.

Subsidized renters would become local taxpayers, empty houses would be filled, and a wealth of research would be made available to America at a fraction of the cost of....pretty much any government program you can imagine. And it would ultimately pay for itself. Why not give it a try?
 
 
+4 # tishado 2013-01-06 23:52
Quoting DaveM:
Our "safety net" could be strengthened considerably by making portions of it sustainable.

I think you make some good points, but I think the ultimate susatainability would be with full-employment policy, which we do not really pursue. When workers are able to get jobs at livable wages, the safety net is much less of a concern and the specific arrangements are more details. In a context where we do not really have any sort of meaningful jobs policy, all safety net programs will have major distortions and will be unsustainable because they are no longer just back-ups.
 
 
+4 # tabonsell 2013-01-06 20:31
Ending corporate privilege. How novel; I have been promoting that for years.

Unfortunately this article offers no specifics how that is to be accomplished other than make noise. Contact your representative and you only get put on a mailing list to be asked for money. Your offers of solutions will be ignored. Obama is often on TV saying, "if anyone has a better idea, I would like to hear it." But he never listens to better ideas. It takes more intelligence to listen to others than it does to promote your own "genius."

But the answer is out there and has been for more than a year, but has been ignored. The book "Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly" has the program to actually benefit the nation.

It has been brought to the attention of every Democratic Party affiliation in the US. There's no indiction any Democrat has looked at it.

It has been brought to the attention of most progressive organizations, such as MoveOn, with no hint they have looked at the solution.

Like Obama and other politicians and organizations most Americans prefer to dance around the edges of a corrupt system rather than remove the corruption. "Saving America" removes the corruption and politicians should look at it if they care about this nation.
 
 
+2 # Teagarden 2013-01-08 18:51
The truth is that this article has the tail wagging the dog. It does not address the fact that if we really do cut corporate welfare, capitalism will collapse soon after. This is happening anyway, at least it's crumbling. If the Republicans had their way it would collapse.

Our economy had been buoyed by mass credit through credit card debt, by leveraging the ever inflating value of mortgaged homes - and by massive borrowing by governments to pump the money back into the private sector. The term that springs to mind is Ponzi Scheme. But the working people of the USA did not set up the Ponzi Scheme. Big Banks and Big Businesses did. We tend to look at the situation personally and moralistically, something like neither a Lender Nor A Borrower Be, unless you are a bank. Or, pay your own way bub. But because the real-income of working people had declining for years,(the real problem) consumer markets would have become unsustainable. That means the corporate rate of profit would have collapsed unless something was done. Well we now know what was done.

Hold on, though. We cannot return to the glory days of the ninety-fifties because they never existed. After WW2 the economy was sinking back into the depression that had been mitigated by borrowing money, to fight the war. The continuous war economy was invented with the USSR as our dancing partner as a makeshift solution. So was mass credit. So was corporate welfare. Bottom line, the economic system is chronically flawed.
 
 
+1 # tawnybill 2013-01-09 03:54
The IMF has a long reach and does not really recognize borders or countries.
This was a real eye opener video for me from a Canadians point of view on why our fiscal policies were so flawed, (I believe there is a similar video available pertaining to IMF policy in the USA.) see; "Canada our bought and sold out land" here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH7TbObZBmU
 

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