AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US
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Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

Today's New York Times article titled "Major Companies Push the Limits of a Tax Break" strikes me as a microcosm of the challenges with the federal tax code.

It also reveals something else. It's a marketing strategy called FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - and it's being used by the rich and powerful to protect tax codes which benefit them by making the rest of us afraid to support efforts to change or eliminate those tax loopholes.

The article describes a 90-year old tax code modification supposedly meant to be helpful to farmers and small businesses. When discussing tax codes as "helpful" it's important to always remember that that help comes with a price tag. That "help" means that the government isn't taxing a transaction. That, of course, means less tax revenues into the federal treasury and, like it or not, we will not see our federal debt lowered and our federal budget come closer to balance unless both sides of the ledger - expenses AND revenues - are tackled.

Don't get me wrong. I don't oppose every tax code meant to help businesses, especially small businesses. What I vehemently oppose is what seems to have happened here. It appears from this article that this incentive originally intended to benefit farmers and small businesses was eventually expanded and perverted into something that the likes of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and GE may have abused.

How does that happen and why aren't we capable of doing something about it?

Perhaps this is one possible answer.

Whenever the topic turns to the economy, business, and taxation, we seem to allow the rich and powerful to control the discussion and to set the framework for what to do next. We allow the to do this by employing a strategy those of us in the sales and marketing profession know as FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Here's how it works.

We allow them to manipulate and control us by controlling the discussion mostly through fear and with heavy doses of uncertainty and doubt. Too many of us are easily (and to some degree, justifiably) frightened by the threat of the loss of the most basic thing needed to survive in a modern society; namely and for starters, a job which pays enough (but not always enough) just for food and shelter.

The things that used to signal the arrival into the middle class - higher education, vacations, and even a little free time to pursue interests outside of two or three part-time jobs - are now available and affordable to fewer and fewer people. All this at a time when taxes are at historic lows, regulation on businesses of all types has been progressively shredded over the last 30 years, the wealth gap is wider than it's been since the Gilded Age, and the federal debt keeps ballooning.

When it comes to taxes, the rich and powerful use FUD to make the same argument they always make: the beneficial tax treatment of these "...asset exchanges spur investment and help create jobs." They frame the discussion about raising taxes and doing away with loopholes by saying that if they are taken away there will be less investment and fewer jobs. My response to that argument is pretty consistently this: if that's true then why is unemployment still just under 8% and why isn't the economy growing faster? You rich and powerful people are getting what you want and it's still not enough?

This is overly simplistic, I know, but I still believe it's a valid stance to take in this argument. It's still a legitimate way to tear down and take back the framing they want to use when it comes to the tax code. If tax breaks like this are so great, then why are we in the terrible state we're in and why aren't the rich and powerful investing more into a recovery? 

And when it comes to changing the tax code as a means for helping to reverse the federal government's mounting debt, the discussion must be first and foremost about the sort of code changes like this one that benefit GE and Wells Fargo long before even thinking about code changes such as eliminating mortgage interest deductions.

It's far past the time to end the corporate welfare system. That must begin with changes to the corporate tax codes. They must pay more, not less. Corporations have already proven they'll adapt and, besides, how much more is left for them to outsource overseas? They've refused to do anything except hold us all hostage through fear of job loss while they sit atop record-setting profits.

It's time to call their bluff.

One of the greatest challenges we face for reversing tax codes that benefit only the strong, the wealthy, and the powerful is our ability and willingness to call them out on their FUD strategy and to tell them that, "We're mad as hell and..."Well, you know the rest.

More than that, our elected officials need to know they can't use FUD on us either. If they have the courage to stand up to big money and the power elite, then they need to know that we will stand with them. We need more people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who seem to actually care about the middle class enough to stand up to Wall Street, big corporations, and the infinitesimally small number of wealthy people in America who already have rigged the system far too long and far too much to their advantage.

The wealthy aren't doing anything much to help the rest of us, so why should we keep kowtowing to them and their interests? Let's close tax loopholes that benefit large and wealthy corporations. It's a better place to start than with my home mortgage interest deduction.

Click here to find your Congressional Representative and tell him/her what you think. It's the only way they'll know.

Click here to learn more about and to get involved with Coffee Party USA and the work they're doing to restore our democracy.


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AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US
GOP News, Libertarian news, Democratic News, World News and Reflections of Trends & Events that impact Austerity, Oppression or Progression of Societies.
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Rex Tillerson Schools Marco Rubio over Saudi Arabia after Questioned on Cuba Policy at Hearing

[full section] Senator Marco Rubio vs Donald Trump's Secretary of State Pick Rex Tillerson at Confirmation Hearing 1/11/2017
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Very interesting dodgeball game Tillerson plays!  He gives no hint of how he will view any daily world events. This will be like confirming a man locked in a locked black box no one can see into....He answers nothing critical does that we he knows nothing? Does he think the American public & Rubio are too stupid to comprehend his response or doe he even respect those he seeks to represent enough to offer a serious answer rather than a dodge?  Perhaps he should have just sent a tweet rather than show up that said something like "I'll answer your questions if I feel like it after you confirm me".
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Moscow’s power players toast President Trump

Moscow’s power players toast President Trump | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Champagne and smiles as a Russia-friendly populist becomes America’s leader
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Russia welcomes the end of American Global influence as Trump moves to put America first and pull out of internationally commitments unless they pay America for the service.
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The NYTimes takes an in-depth look at Trump's attempts to do business in Russia. Read it here:

The NYTimes takes an in-depth look at Trump's attempts to do business in Russia. Read it here: | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Donald J. Trump, and eventually his children, repeatedly sought business in Russia as far back as 1987, in a variety of ventures. But none got off the ground.

Via shahriyar Gourgi
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Mnuchin Calls for Boosting IRS Despite House Plan to Streamline

Mnuchin Calls for Boosting IRS Despite House Plan to Streamline | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin said one of his priorities if confirmed would be to increase staff and modernize technology at the Internal Revenue Service -- a move that Republicans who control the agency’s budget may reject.
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George Soros, Mastercard to partner to aid migrants, refugees

George Soros, Mastercard to partner to aid migrants, refugees | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Billionaire investor George Soros will partner with Mastercard Inc on a venture they said could help migrants, refugees and others struggling within their communities worldwide to improve their economic and social status.
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Partnerships Pave the Way for our Collective Roadmap

Partnerships Pave the Way for our Collective Roadmap | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Showing remarkable consensus in a period of uncertainty and of questioning the multilateral system, last year our global leaders adopted the mos
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Trump's Education Pick Seems Unfamiliar With This Federal Education Law

Trump's Education Pick Seems Unfamiliar With This Federal Education Law | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Sens. Tim Kaine and Maggie Hassan were beside themselves at her confirmation hearing during a back-and-forth over students with disabilities.
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Democracy in 2016: all’s well that ends well - SWI swissinfo.ch

Democracy in 2016: all’s well that ends well - SWI swissinfo.ch | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
As a dramatic year for elections and referendums around the world comes to an end, there is little sign of “democracy fatigue”.
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6 ways Ben Carson could screw up fair, affordable housing

6 ways Ben Carson could screw up fair, affordable housing | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
If the nominee for secretary of housing and urban development takes right-wingers’ advice, he could undermine many of HUD’s key programs.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
What is written here is not a given but all those concerns listed here are worth watching as Carson assumes leadership over housing and urban development.
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World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50% | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A new report by Oxfam warns of the growing and dangerous concentration of wealth
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Philanthropy in the Age of Trump: Six Predictions

Philanthropy in the Age of Trump: Six Predictions | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
What does a once-unthinkable Donald J. Trump presidency mean for
philanthropy and the nonprofit sector more broadly? In part, it depends on
where you sit.
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Philanthropy vs. Tyranny: Inside the Open Society Foundations' Biggest Battle Yet

Philanthropy vs. Tyranny: Inside the Open Society Foundations' Biggest Battle Yet | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The winds of history are no longer at the back of George Soros's vast
global foundation. But according to its president, Chris Stone, OSF is in a
stronger position than ever to press the cause of civil society.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
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Checking In at Trump Hotels

Checking In at Trump Hotels | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The man who would be president is also the name behind a string of high-end hotels. Inside his particular brand of luxury.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Excerpt:
The price of admission befits a luxury hotel. The cheapest available room on a July weekend at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York was $563 a night, according to a recent online search. At Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, it was $420 a night. That said, rooms are not always out of reach. For instance, one search turned up rooms at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas for $165 a night.
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Rex Tillerson Shuts Down Marco Rubio Barrage of Questioning

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Confirmation Hearing Follow me on Twitter for latest videos And Live Strea
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FPI Bulletin: Tillerson, Trump, and Putin | Foreign Policy Initiative

FPI Bulletin: Tillerson, Trump, and Putin | Foreign Policy Initiative | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The United States remains the world's indispensable nation -- indispensable to international peace, security, and stability, and indispensable to safe-guarding and advancing the ideals and principles we hold dear.

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5 reasons why the economy is failing the environment, and humanity

5 reasons why the economy is failing the environment, and humanity | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The global economy treats the stability of Earth as a luxury good. This is a fundamental flaw that threatens humanity. It must change.
Via Demarcio Washington
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Fortress Washington girds for days of anti-Trump protests

Fortress Washington girds for days of anti-Trump protests | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Washington will turn into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday as the U.S. capital braces for more than a quarter-million protesters expected during the Republican's swearing-in.
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Inside the wild, shadowy, and highly lucrative bail industry

Inside the wild, shadowy, and highly lucrative bail industry | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
How $550 and a five-day class gets you the right to stalk, arrest, and shoot people.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
This is about the influence of ALEC and it's members over our bonding system. 
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Read More Updates From Trump Picks' Confirmation Hearings

Read More Updates From Trump Picks' Confirmation Hearings | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Four more people face questions today.
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Barack Obama’s Approval Rating Reaches 60 Percent As He Leaves Office

Barack Obama’s Approval Rating Reaches 60 Percent As He Leaves Office | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
His numbers are the highest they’ve been since early in his first term.
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Is Switzerland’s double-majority system outdated? - SWI swissinfo.ch

Is Switzerland’s double-majority system outdated? - SWI swissinfo.ch | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The political divide between French- and German-speaking Switzerland is fading, while differences between urban and rural areas are intensifying.
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Why Trump’s secretary of state pick shows up in leaked offshore documents

Why Trump’s secretary of state pick shows up in leaked offshore documents | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The leaked documents relate to Rex Tillerson's long-standing business ties in Russia.
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Hollowed Out: Big Donors, Inequality, and the Threat to Civil Society

Hollowed Out: Big Donors, Inequality, and the Threat to Civil Society | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
You're not imagining things: A new report confirms that wealthy donors
really do have a much bigger footprint in the nonprofit world. What does
this growing clout mean for the rest of us?
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Excerpt:
“The growth of inequality is mirrored in philanthropy,” said report co-author Chuck Collins. “As wealth concentrates in fewer hands, so does philanthropic giving and power. We believe this poses considerable risks to both our independent sector and democracy.” These risks are hardly hypothetical. They’ve been playing out for years, as noted earlier, a trend that accounts for a strong tilt of politics and public policy toward the wealthy, as the scholars Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson documented in their book, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. While most accounts of how the wealthy hijacked public policy focus on the role of campaign donors and lobbyists, the role of philanthropy has also been critical. Charitable giving has fueled the rise of a vast national and state infrastructure of policy and advocacy groups on the right that have advanced a range of policies that favor the wealthy, starting with tax cuts and deregulation. In a country where people tend to “bowl alone,” as Robert Putnam famously said, ordinary citizens have failed to respond by financing organizations to defend their economic interests in the halls of power. The unions that once helped do that have long been moribund.
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Open society - Wikipedia

Open society - Wikipedia

Popper's concept of the open society is epistemological rather than political. When Popper wrote The Open Society and its Enemies , he believed that the social sciences had failed to grasp the significance and the nature of fascism and communism because these sciences were based on what he saw to be faulty epistemology.

Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
I keep hearing how bad George Soros is..... I have to admit now the more I read about what he gives money to the more I think his heart is definitely in the right place for society. Sadly, most billionaires are not interested in investing in issues that affect or empower the average person or pitiful person that would offer a them a better chance in life unless it is tied to lining their own pockets and giving them the power to rule. This is an article about history and philosophical ideas.... With the hostile take over of the nation by bringing out all types of haters and high dollar donors (Vois), or their high representatives in industry (Tillerson) by Donald Trump it appears a peculiar type of modern tribalism may win. What do you think? Will Soros be wasting his money by pinning his hopes and his remaining fortune on the average man and woman to make their own wise choices for the future.
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