Comments

  1. says

    Not at all surprised to see Hoeven on that list, he’s sucking up oil money here, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to pay any taxes on all that lovely oil money.

  2. dhabecker says

    The Hogs have already run up the stock markets in anticipation of a generous bucket of Slop being dumped in their trough. Oh,…sorry, little guy in the back; all that’ s left for you is this rotten apple, called the Bill.

  3. says

    I’m sure pretty soon they’ll pass a “tax holiday” so all the tax dodging companies can pay a minimal percentage and get away with tax fraud. They’ll have all sorts of excuses why this is necessary, but the only real reason is that the people giving them money to get reelected want it to happen. The rest is a smokescreen.

    Apple has $300B in hand. Getting tax breaks will not unleash a wave of hiring and new product developments. If they thought they could hire someone or launch a new product to make more money, they would have done it already.

  4. TheGyre says

    The U.S. system has become an organized criminal enterprise. At its head sits a man the Mafia would be proud of. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess.

  5. Artor says

    @TheGyre
    The Mafia has methods for dealing with incompetent dons, and there’s no don less competent than the Donald.

  6. says

    TheGyre @ 6:

    At its head sits a man the Mafia would be proud of.

    No, I don’t think they’d be proud of the Tiny Tyrant. Quite the opposite.

  7. Ed Seedhouse says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-@8: “I don’t think they’d be proud of the Tiny Tyrant”

    Because the Mafia, at least, have standards…

  8. birgerjohansson says

    The Republicans are merely doing to USA what they did to Kansas.
    And If there are some unpleasant consequences, there will likely be a lag of a few years, and Trump will get a Democrat elected anyway.
    So the Dems will get the blame for the crisis, just as Obama got blamed for the pre-2009 recession fallout.
    From the perspective of the criminal cabal, this is a perfect twofer.

  9. unclefrogy says

    “There are two ideas of government,” William Jennings Bryan declared in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. “There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”

    That was more than three decades before the collapse of the economy in 1929. The crash followed a decade of Republican control of the federal government during which trickle-down policies, including massive tax cuts for the rich, produced the greatest concentration of income in the accounts of the richest 0.01 percent at any time between World War I and 2007 (when trickle-down economics, tax cuts for the hyper-rich, and deregulation again resulted in another economic collapse).

    Yet the plain fact that the trickle-down approach has never worked leaves Republicans unfazed. The GOP has been singing from the Market-is-God hymnal for well over a century, telling us that deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and the concentration of ever more wealth in the bloated accounts of the richest people will result in prosperity for the rest of us. The party is now trying to pass a scam that throws a few crumbs to the middle class (temporarily — millions of middle-class Americans will soon see a tax hike if the bill is enacted) while heaping benefits on the super-rich, multiplying the national debt and endangering the American economy.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/30/im-a-depression-historian-the-gop-tax-bill-is-straight-out-of-1929/

    here we go again. buckle up it will probably be a rough landing

    uncle frogy

  10. says

    But I do trust them, just like I trust conservatives the world over. I trust them completely and utterly – I trust that they will fuck things over, make irreparable damage to everything the touch and then they will (succesfully) blame someone else for the result.

  11. Raucous Indignation says

    Tell all your old racist “loved ones” that their beloved republicans just cut 400 billion out of Medicare to give it to the very richest people. Who of course include George Soros, Bill Gates, the Clintons and Elon Musk. Hopefully they will all either wake up or die from heart attacks and strokes.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    The term “shitweasel” was first used to describe the symbionts in a Stephen King book.
    But those were normally benign, something went wrong with the batch sent to Earth.
    The critters in your senare are more like facehuggers, let down your guard once, and you die in a pile of blood, bone shards and viscera.

  13. VolcanoMan says

    You Americans need a tax system where anyone making over a million dollars is taxed at a rate that increases the lower the median income of the bottom 50% of earners, AFTER TAX (including unemployed and part-time only workers) is. Something that combines such a progressive tax rate with Universal Basic Income. Something like the following scheme (bracket A is for those in the 1 to 50 million dollars income, bracket B for 50 to 100 million dollars, bracket C for 100 million and up). Oh, I really hope this table displays properly for people; it was a real pain in the ass to make, and it previews okay in my browser, but who knows whether it translates to tablets, cell phones and such. Sorry in advance if it sucks:

    Med. income of bottom 50%__Tax bracket A_____Tax bracket B______Tax bracket C____

    ____30,000 USD_______________80%_____________85%_____________90%_______
    ____35,000 USD_______________77%_____________82%_____________87%_______
    ____40,000 USD_______________74%_____________79%_____________84%_______
    ____45,000 USD_______________71%_____________76%_____________81%_______
    ____50,000 USD_______________69%_____________74%_____________79%_______
    ____55,000 USD_______________67%_____________72%_____________77%_______
    ____60,000 USD_______________65%_____________70%_____________75%_______
    ____65,000+ USD______________64%_____________69%_____________74%_______

    I’d also set a minimum legal income for an adult American (employed or not) at 15,000 USD, tax-free (a de facto UBI), which would effectively raise that median number on its own. Furthermore all single Americans making less than 65,000 USD after taxes would get 15,000 USD added to their annual post-tax income as a tax-free supplement, and all American married and common-law couples making a combined 115,000 USD (or less) after taxes would get 25,000 dollars added to their combined income.

    Additionally (as noted), I’d list the highest median income of the bottom 50% of earners in the table at 65,000 USD *AND UP*, therefore, the rich (and corporations, who would have a similar progressive tax structure) would have an incentive for paying their less skilled, poorer employees more, but deliberately inflating the dollar to achieve a higher number would rapidly cease to be beneficial (and if they did so, they would raise their OWN incomes, putting them into higher tax brackets).

    I’m no economist, so maybe there’s a flaw in my plan that can’t be fixed by minor tweaks to the numbers (other than that Republicans would never, EVER impliment it and would fight tooth and nail to keep Democrats from doing so, and other than that Democrats would never EVER even try to impliment it either since they’re bought and paid for by the hyper-rich themselves). Certainly there would have to be steps taken to combat inflation, so that the extra money made by who I’ll refer to as the 99% (those making less than the income thresholds I mentioned, and thus qualifying for the UBI booster) is not rendered worthless by a dollar that is itself worth less under this scheme. There are income ranges where making more money actually results in less money taken home due to the higher tax rate. And (importantly) I have not quantified the tax structure for the under 1,000,000 USD income class. But from what I’ve read on the topic, done right, UBI schemes and high taxes on the rich can actually increase the average economic output of a nation because instead of scrimping and saving money to just survive, people are spending more money. The rich (and the companies they own and operate) get rich and stay rich by offering products and services (well, to be fair, some of them are bankers that abuse the system to make millions); if spending increases, that money is recycled through the companies selling what the 99% is buying. Those companies make more, pay more taxes, and the tax money ends up in the pockets of the 99% who then spend more (a positive feedback loop).

    Tuned correctly, all Americans would benefit from a system like this one, especially since the number of low-skilled jobs are rapidly decreasing. With more money, the 99% will be more able to afford the education/training that would make them into skilled laborers or allow them access to white-collar and tech jobs. It is a well known fact that many big American-owned companies are currently meeting their need for those kind of jobs by outsourcing to inexpensive, skilled overseas workers, and by bringing in immigrants with highly desired skills and knowledge (and it’s not like some of these companies aren’t trying to fill these jobs with American citizens – in many cases, the sad fact is that they simply can’t find enough Americans who are qualified for the jobs that need filling). The true irony of this kind of plan is that it would help to actually accomplish many things Trump has claimed he wants to accomplish, most notably keeping jobs in America and increasing the number of jobs available to Americans, thus decreasing the unemployment rate (the “America First” mantra).

    Whatever the case, my plan beats the current Republican plan, which rides on the flawed logic that if rich people get to keep more of their money, they will use some of that extra cash to innovate, generating jobs for all the good little boys and girls. Nevermind the fact that the low-skilled theoretical jobs will be filled by robots and cheap foreign workers, while the higher-skilled theoretical jobs literally cannot all be filled by Americans since they require education and training that most Americans can no longer afford. This plan is actually BAD for rich people because in order to spend money to buy the new products their magical innovation produces, the 99% will have to take on debt. Not all people will do so, and those who do may never pay what they owe (by going bankrupt, or otherwise defaulting), meaning the 1% will have a bunch of stuff with nobody to buy it. And if there is no projected market for said stuff, there is no reason to invest in the R+D to make it. Therefore, no jobs, no trickle-down, and no economic growth. Everyone loses.

    Note: I apologize if I got the gist of economic theory wrong here. As I said, I’m not an economist, I’m self-taught, and in the course of my research, I have learned that trickle-down economics simply doesn’t work. Economic plans that rely on this concept working hurt everyone in a country, and leave the door open for other, more progressive countries, to fill the void and become leaders in new technological development. As a Canadian, I’d love it if my country did something like what I’ve suggested here, because it would mean a higher standard of living for people including me. But I am truly sad that my American friends are getting fucked in the ass by nutjobs wielding disproven economic theories. It’s not their fault that politicians and the uber-rich are shortsighted douchecanoes!

    Also, sorry about the essay; I started typing, and just couldn’t stop. Maybe I should start a blog!

  14. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @VolcanoMan

    As a Canadian, I’d love it if my country did something like what I’ve suggested here, because it would mean a higher standard of living for people including me.

    I had heard that Ontario is experimenting with guaranteed minimum income again! It’ll be super interesting to see how that turns out; Mincome was a pretty good success IMO but happened back in the 70s. (Though hopefully the results don’t sit untouched for thirty years.)

    Exquisite write-up, by the way.

  15. says

    Volcano Man @ 19:

    Maybe I should start a blog!

    You could always apply to start one here!

    send an email to ftbapplications@googlegroups.com, in which you give us this information:

    Name:

    Contact email:

    Do you want your email public?:

    Twitter account, if any:

    Link for donations, if any:

    Links to your current blog, any biographical material, or best examples of your writing in comments or forums or other media:

    Why do you want to write for us?

  16. VolcanoMan says

    @Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Thanks for the compliment; I’m surprised anyone lasted to the end of that! Regarding Mincome, I’m a Manitoban, born and bred, and I never even heard of it until about 4-5 years ago, despite the fact that it was quite successful. Like you, I heard that Ontario is re-visiting it in 2 or 3 small cities, and am super-pumped to see how it goes. With any system like that, the majority of your society is going to have to be sanguine about the fact that a few people will definitely take advantage by not working and trying to live off the UBI, never seeking a job. I think it’s for this reason that nobody seems all that keen to try it, especially in the US. “Money for free” seems somehow contrary to the American Way, even though such a scheme would benefit everyone, even the people who are paying the most into it. Sure it benefits the working and middle classes more, but the way things are going nowadays, incomes are shrinking in the middle class, debt is increasing and jobs are disappearing – I honestly can’t see “business as usual” working for much longer. Countries that fail to act will rapidly fall behind, and quickly find increased political instability plus lower levels of prosocial behavior. Plans like the one I outlined are necessary to save capitalism from itself.

    @Caine

    Thanks, I’ll think about it. I already spend way too much time on the internet, so depending on how my life goes for the next few months, I may or may not always have time to blog. But if I turned some of that time I spend learning and commenting into blogging time, it might work out. I certainly have enough things to say, and a site like this would suit me pretty well.

  17. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @VolcanoMan

    Shit, man, if Mincome was anything to go by, it’ll help more people get jobs, not to mention keep them in a condition that will allow them to hold those jobs for longer without having to take sick leave. When your healthcare is taken care of, and you aren’t as worried about keeping your family fed and clothed, you can invest in better transportation, better equipment, better education… From what little I’ve dug around in, people are still benefiting from what Mincome had given them all those years ago. It’s a real shame that it’s so unknown, and that it took so long for anyone to compile the results.

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    VolcanoMan @25: The first I heard of Mincome was about 5 years ago, in a speech by Conservative senator Hugh Segal. Unfortunately, the speech seems to have disappeared from youtube. But he talks about it in this interview from TV Ontario.

  19. VolcanoMan says

    @Mak, acolyte to Farore

    I know right? If, instead of waiting for money to gradually trickle down to the lowest income levels, governments take steps to do the dreaded “wealth redistribution” that every Republican has nightmares about, all people benefit. And it would actually work pretty good here in Canada because most healthcare is already taken care of, and there is almost nobody around who actually would rather not work (Canadians are conscientious like that). The extra money would almost certainly increase economic grown and prosperity.

    So as I said, I’ll be watching the Ontario experiment carefully. If the results are anywhere near as good as the Dauphin results, hopefully we’ll see more small scale tests leading up to a phased-in large scale implementation (starting with the lowest income brackets and working up) across a province or the whole country (actually, I think it would be a lot more successful at the country level than at the province level because both the costs and the benefits would be averaged out the largest possible number of people). Ontario, Alberta, BC and maybe Quebec are probably the best-placed to do a provincial implementation, since they have the greater tax bases (individual and corporate) plus the greatest number of skilled jobs available. It would take much longer for a provincial UBI to work here in Manitoba because the people gaining the most from the program (the people who make the biggest self-improvements) would actually have good reason to leave the province since high-skilled jobs are not as prevalent here as in other parts of the country and continent – their success therefore wouldn’t be feeding back into the cycle. It would take a few years for companies to recognize that this is a decent place to find people to work for them in technical positions before the benefits would really kick in.

  20. says

    Sadly I only see 3 women on this list of losers. I should not be surprised but I am and this is BS. What a man’s world and mostly white rich men at that. We are a banana republic.

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