Tag Archives: Corporations

GOP ‘Propaganda’ Not Working: Only 13% Believe Tax Plan Will Help Middle Class

New survey also shows that 60 percent believe the Republican plan will “mainly favor” the rich

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 11-3-2017

Photo: YouTube

For months Republicans and President Donald Trump have worked to convince Americans that massive tax cuts for the top one percent and the largest corporations would somehow primarily benefit the working class, but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll published Friday finds that the public isn’t buying the GOP’s “propaganda.”

Despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) insistence on Thursday that his party’s proposals are geared toward helping “the middle class families in this country who deserve a break,” only 17 percent of Americans believe the GOP tax plan “mainly favors” the middle class, while 60 percent believe their plan would primarily benefit the wealthiest. Continue reading

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Moms’ Group Sounds Alarm Over Worst GOP Bill “You’ve Never Heard Of”

“From car safety to clean air and water, Congress is threatening these lifesaving standards.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-21-2017

The RAA and REINS Act could impact federal agencies’ ability to impose regulations affecting food safety, among other issues that affect Americans. (Photo: Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr/cc)

The environmental group Clean Air Moms Action released a new ad campaign Monday urging voters to fight back against two pending  Republican anti-regulation laws.

The ad is being run in five states where Democratic incumbent senators will be up for re-election in highly-anticipated races in 2018. It features car safety advocate Janette Fennell, who shares a personal story of how an automobile regulation saved her life—the kind of regulation that could be at risk if Congress passes the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. Continue reading

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Corporations Complain Their Taxes So High, But New Study Busts That Myth

Minimum-wage workers can’t afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment, but the GOP thinks it’s massive corporations that need an income boost

By ake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-11-2017

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, corporate profits are “near all-time highs.” Wages for most workers, meanwhile, have been stagnant for decades. (Photo: Jason Hargrove/Flickr/cc)

Corporate profits are up. Wages remain low. And, as always, the richest are angling for ever-lower tax rates.

Only 0.1 percent of full-time workers earning the minimum wage can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in any state in the U.S., but judging by their tax agenda, the Republican Party and President Donald Trump appear to feel it is massive corporations and billionaires—not American workers—who need an income boost. Continue reading

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California Politicians Could Soon be Forced to Wear Logos of Top Corporate Donors

Editorial Note:
This needs to become a national campaign. There is enough support, with 70% of Americans wishing to see Citizens United overturned. Transparency of the politicians voting in state and national congresses is part of the foundation of democracy, not the influx of dark money and votes contrary to constituent benefits.

Written by Carey Wedler. Published December 28, 2015 by AntiMedia.

Popular memes calling for politicians to wear the logos of their corporate sponsors have circulated the internet for years, but the suggestion may soon be a reality for California legislators. In the next week, a potential ballot measure, submitted to the Office of the Attorney General in October, is expected to receive title and summary for the 2016 election, meaning its advocates will be able to collect signatures in order to secure its official place on the ballot. The proposed law would require legislators and candidates to sport the emblems of groups that donate money to their campaigns.

As the advocacy group that launched the measure, California is Not for Sale, muses:
“Imagine this: a California Senator is speaking on the floor and proposes a bill he just drafted that will give oil companies huge tax advantages. Now imagine if on his jacket, he was wearing Chevron, Shell, and BP logos – some of his top ten contributors. Our law will bring this under-the-table-corruption to the surface and expose these politicians who take political contributions in exchange for favors for what they really are: corrupt.” Continue reading

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In Biggest Tax Evasion Scheme of Its Kind, Big Pharma Becomes Behemoth

Mega-merger between pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan could lead to higher drug prices, watchdogs warn

Written by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-23-2015.

The so-called "corporate inversion" would allow Pfizer to profit from a lower corporate tax rate in Allergan's home country of Ireland. (Photo: Chris Potter/flickr/cc)

The so-called “corporate inversion” would allow Pfizer to profit from a lower corporate tax rate in Allergan’s home country of Ireland. (Photo: Chris Potter/flickr/cc)

Big Pharma just became Huge Pharma.

Creating the world’s largest drugmaker—and paving the way for higher pharmaceutical prices—Viagra-maker Pfizer Inc. and Allergan PLC, which manufactures Botox, said Monday that they would merge in a so-called inversion deal worth up to about $155 billion.

The takeover “would be the largest inversion ever,” according to the Wall Street Journal, allowing Pfizer to profit from a lower corporate tax rate in Allergan’s home country of Ireland.

The LA Times reported that the deal “is likely to fuel critics’ concerns that consumers would pay even more for drugs as competition declines among manufacturers, insurers and retailers.”

As Gustav Ando, research director for the business information and consulting company IHS Life Sciences, told the Washington Post: “This merger isn’t meant to benefit patients, it isn’t meant to innovate in any kind of way…and certainly the benefits won’t be passed on to consumers.”

Addressing this aspect of the deal, presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that the merger “would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”

What’s more, Sanders added, “[i]t also would allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas.”

While Pfizer cried poor in an effort to justify the merger—saying the U.S. corporate tax regime was forcing it to compete against foreign rivals “with one hand tied behind our back”—the coalition Americans for Tax Fairness showed earlier this month that the company had in fact “dramatically overstated its corporate tax rates” and was already enjoying a significant competitive advantage over those who pay their fair share.

And a Citizens for Tax Justice report released last month found that Pfizer has a stunning 151 subsidiaries in known foreign tax havens—more than all but five other Fortune 500 corporations.

As U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a speech on corporate tax reform last week, “Only one problem with the over-taxation story: It’s not true. There is a problem with the corporate tax code, but that isn’t it. It’s not that taxes are far too high for giant corporations, as the lobbyists claim. No, the problem is that the revenue generated from corporate taxes is far too low.”

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled new rules aiming to curb tax-lowering inversion deals. But even at the time, analysts said “there was scarce evidence they would stop the biggest inversion of them all, between Pfizer Inc and Allergan Plc.” The Obama administration has said Congressional action is necessary to eliminate corporate inversions for good.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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National Law vs. Natural Laws: Addressing the Kim Davis question

As we follow a national conversation, changes that reflect a deeper shift in the way American law is perceived begin to surface

If we were really to live by natural law, there wouldn’t be any discussion about mining the Grand Canyon or giving away portions of it to multi-national mining operations. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

When Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis was arrested and jailed for contempt of court, a national conversation began. Some declared this was the beginning of the jailing of Christians. Others sided with the ruling from the Supreme Court that removed any restrictions for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Somewhere in the midst of this, we heard Davis’ attorney argue that “natural law” had precedence over “national law” as the basis for the merits of her case. Applied here in a very narrow sense, we now must step back and bring to light what that would actually mean in a nation that, until now, has relied on a legislative system of establishing laws and a judicial system for examining the application of those laws in a civilized society.

Natural Law, used in the legal sense, is defined as:

The unwritten body of universal moral principles that underlie the ethical and legal norms by which human conduct is sometimes evaluated and governed. Natural law is often contrasted with positive     law, which consists of the written rules and regulations enacted by government.”

With this argument of “natural law” in mind, we have to go back to the basic principles laid out for humans when creation took place. Mankind was to be conservators of the earth; preserving, protecting and conserving earth and her resources for future generations. There could be no laws allowing for pollution of air, water or soil. There could be no laws that allowed for the extraction of natural gas, oil, coal, ore, and most precious minerals mined from the earth in the industrial age methods of stripping the earth of everything else in the process.

Natural law would not allow for corporations to be considered people too, in any court of law. Natural law would treat all people, the crowning achievement of the Maker’s creation, as equal without discrimination based on origins, choices or inherent forces. Natural law would remove all borders and fences, all status of “legal” versus “illegal” immigrant and instead react as citizens in the EU have done with the recent refugee crisis. They would treat these people as heroes and provide all basic needs as soon as possible.

Under “natural law,” there is no need for a USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services.  There is no need for war over oil, money or specific land masses. The list goes on.

When our Constitution was written, the founders knew what it was to have state-sponsored religion. They knew humans do not all think, believe or live the same. They knew this was a problem in England and sought to establish this grand experiment in democracy based on an establishment of “National Law” and a system whereby these laws are able to be examined and adjusted as society’s needs changed.

So the argument now of “National Law” as opposed to “natural law” falls flat on its face. It underscores what is really happening here: that when white Christian privileged people are offended, they will go to no limit to cherry-pick scripture for Bible verses to support their arguments. They will rally together for support and ignore the fact that they are trampling on the very Constitution and Bill of Rights that allows for their grandstanding.

If they believe their Bible, they would understand God punishes the sinner; not another individual. They would be horrified to know if their children disobeyed, they are to take them outside the city and stone them to death, if they are to act on Old Testament law.

In the long run, groups or individuals do not get to have their “laws” supersede the Supreme Court. If that were the case, not a single corporation could ever be brought to trial on any charge – ever, after being ruled to be “people” by the Supreme Court. They would simply say they were acting on their beliefs.

So here’s the question: Do you want to live where laws are clearly established so everyone knows and understands them, or do you believe, as those who support Kim Davis do, that we should live in a world where any individual’s interpretation of religious text has more merit than laws or courts?

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UK Doctors Warn TTIP Means Certain Death for Public Healthcare

Physicians say national health service faces lawsuits, bullying, and privatization under contentious trade pact

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published June 23, 2015.

With TTIP negotiations set to continue in July, doctors in the United Kingdom have vowed to fight the deal. (Photo: Alex Proimos/cc/flickr)

With TTIP negotiations set to continue in July, doctors in the United Kingdom have vowed to fight the deal. (Photo: Alex Proimos/cc/flickr)

Doctors in the United Kingdom are warning that passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will mean certain death for the country’s public healthcare system, opening the door for privatization and lawsuits from the United States’ for-profit medical industry.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Liverpool on Tuesday, Dr. Henry McKee of Belfast warned members that “if there is anything resembling an [National Health Service] by the time this treaty is in negotiation, it won’t survive this treaty.”

“The correct motion is to kill this treaty dead, not to tolerate it sneaking in and mugging us,” he added. Continue reading

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There Goes the Neighborhood

By respres (http://www.flickr.com/photos/respres/2539334956/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

By respres [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

About 3 months ago, two properties adjacent to ours were put on the market.

The first house was a foreclosure, currently owned by Fannie Mac. We expect this property to be on the market quite some time, as it has not been updated since the original owner bought it in the early 1960s. We have nicknamed it the squirrel condo, as the 15-foot rotted facia along the roof line has been chewed by the little tree rats, and they have gained access to the attic. We also call it a beehive, as the siding is so damaged and rotten that bees have infested all accessible areas and chase any lawn mower away from their protected territory.

The first time a contractor came to mow this property after it was listed, they damaged our lawn with an eighteen foot arc that cut through our sod and destroyed our lawn up to a foot and a half over the property boundary. We estimate the actual value of this home to be about half the listed price, and pray any potential buyer has the wisdom to have an independent inspector check it over before signing a purchase agreement. We have reported the roof line to the city environmental officer, who is supposed to enforce codes that would require repair.

The other property, an identical house to ours without some of the add-ons this house received, just sold. I met my new neighbors today. Continue reading

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As Bills Advance, Will Grassroots Resistance Finally Overcome Fast Track Push?

Grassroots and labor groups to hold week of action calling on Democratic lawmakers to block secretive trade pact

Under fast track, 'fast' is little more than a euphemism for 'avoid the public, and benefit the fortunate few,' warns Ohio State law professor Margot Kaminski. (Photo: Backbone Campaign/cc/flickr)

Under fast track, ‘fast’ is little more than a euphemism for ‘avoid the public, and benefit the fortunate few,’ warns Ohio State law professor Margot Kaminski. (Photo: Backbone Campaign/cc/flickr)

Written by Lauren McCauley, staff writer for CommonDreams, published April 14, 2015.

Signaling that loud grassroots resistance may be working, congressional Democrats are failing to get behind the White House’s push for unilateral authority over the secretive 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to news reports on Tuesday.

At issue is whether the House will approve a pending bill that would grant President Barack Obama ‘Fast Track’ trade promotion authority, which would allow the White House to bypass Congress and seal the deal on the controversial TPP. Continue reading

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Who Are They Supposed To Represent?

One of the worst kept, and at the same time best kept, secrets in Washington over the last few years has been the negotiations over the Trans Pacific Partnership, commonly referred to as TPP. If you’ve been following what we discuss, the TPP should be very familiar to you by now; it’s one of our favorite subjects to write about.

Trade Ministers from TPP meeting in Vladivostok. Photo by East Asia and Pacific Media Hub U.S. Department of State [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Trade Ministers from TPP meeting in Vladivostok. Photo by East Asia and Pacific Media Hub U.S. Department of State [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve discussed ad nauseum the secrecy that the Obama administration has enshrouded the negotiations with. However, on Monday The Huffington Post ran a story that puts all the other attempts at hiding the details of the TPP from the public to shame. It goes like this: Continue reading

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