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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.


Via John Cashon, Michael Charney
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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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The federal ‘structuring’ laws are smurfin’ ridiculous

The federal ‘structuring’ laws are smurfin’ ridiculous | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Be careful when filling out that deposit slip. You could be committing a felony.
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Why you should really start doing more things alone

Why you should really start doing more things alone | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
We're all leaving a lot of happiness on the table.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Self-imposed oppression of behavior occurs for those that cannot go out into life without a friend. There is a certain freedom in aloneness.

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BREAKING: Tennessee Legislature Repeals Common Core

BREAKING: Tennessee Legislature Repeals Common Core | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
NASHVILLE, April 21, 2015– Yesterday, in a bipartisan vote, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted unanimously (97:0) to repeal Common Core. Today,

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The Rich Are Not Entitled to Bankrupt the United States

The Rich Are Not Entitled to Bankrupt the United States | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The real threat is the array of entitlements demanded by the very rich.
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House Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill - US News

House Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill - US News | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Critics of previous cybersecurity bills included Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Schiff, who has characterized the privacy provisions of past bills as inadequate, opened debate Wednesday by announcing his support the legislation in the hope that it could prevent future attacks on U.S. networks.


Congress has been pressured to address cybersecurity after numerous companies suffered data breaches last year, including at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Target Corp., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and health insurer Anthem .

“At some point, we need to stop just hearing about cyber attacks that steal our most valuable trade secrets and our most private information, and actually do something to stop them,” Schiff said.

Privacy protections in the bill are stronger than in previous efforts, he said, while adding that improvements still needed to be made to make sure companies are not given too much immunity if they share unnecessary customer data or if they fail to act on leads about hacker threats.

“We need to further clarify that our liability protection only extends to those who act – or fail to act – reasonably,” he said.

The White House also supported the House bill on Tuesday, signaling President Barack Obama would sign the legislation, but the White House also wants changes made. Along with calling for limits on the collection and sharing of unnecessary consumer data, the administration said giving companies too much legal protection for failing to protect consumer privacy or to act on hacker threat data “may weaken cybersecurity writ large.”
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

I don't mind companies protecting their own interest as long as it doesn't undermine our private interest. Sounds like they want a free pass on their "oops" sorry that happened mistake or deliberate  mass data scoops to save time and just happened to catch your personal business and info but don't hold this company accountable..

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Bill Would Make ‘Policing For Profit’ Ticket Schemes a Federal Civil Rights Violation

Bill Would Make ‘Policing For Profit’ Ticket Schemes a Federal Civil Rights Violation | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Police departments all over the United States are raking in the money from average citizens. These aren't hardened criminals, they are every-day people
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Walker's Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts

Walker's Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Two court cases this week will decide the future of Wisconsin campaign finance law.
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Obama and Republicans Agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … Unfortunately

Obama and Republicans Agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … Unfortunately | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The agreement is little more than enhanced corporation power branded as free trade. And it’s making for some very odd alliances.
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Man Dies After Cops Break His Neck, Sever His Spine, Bruise His Brain, Snap His Leg, And Crush His Larynx

Man Dies After Cops Break His Neck, Sever His Spine, Bruise His Brain, Snap His Leg, And Crush His Larynx | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A man who was viciously attacked last week by Baltimore cops, seemingly for no reason other than being in a ‘high crime area’, has lost his struggle for life in hospital.
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Rob Duke's curator insight, April 21, 4:07 PM

Probably Federal Prison in the future for these cops....

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Obama Would Sign Compromise Iran Bill As It Stands, White House Says

Obama Would Sign Compromise Iran Bill As It Stands, White House Says | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the measure, which would give Congress say over negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
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The House Republican Budget Plan Destroys Medicare and Makes Health Care Unaffordable for Beneficiaries

The House Republican Budget Plan Destroys Medicare and Makes Health Care Unaffordable for Beneficiaries | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015, H. Con. Res. 96, introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), was passed by the House of Representatives on April 10, 2014. It would end traditional Medicare, make it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors, and increase health care costs for both current and future retirees. The House Republican budget ends traditional Medicare and achieves savings for the federal government by shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries.
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Stop this secret trade agreement that would censor the Internet.

Stop this secret trade agreement that would censor the Internet. | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Congress is pushing legislation right now that would 'Fast Track' the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Watch it please! Share fast and ring state reps phones off the wall…….This is a big one and really matters! In Mississippi at least the recent newsletter from Wicker says he loves this and wants to support Obama to cut this deal fast. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a "big business" and rich person private club and includes (ALEC) members from our Elected Officials will be behind their big money donors on this so will the Rove PAC money receivers because big oil money runs thick to those officials.

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Man unwittingly attends Obama roundtable

Man unwittingly attends Obama roundtable | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The employee thought he would be sitting in the audience at a news conference.
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My Struggle With the Last Great Taboo: Admitting My Salary - Wired

My Struggle With the Last Great Taboo: Admitting My Salary - Wired | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Using the hashtag #talkpay, people are tweeting about how much money they make—a radical thing to do in a culture that treats disclosing your salary as the ultimate taboo.
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The American Legislative Exchange Council: A Primer On The Premier Right-Wing Corporate Lawmaking Shop | Political Correction

The American Legislative Exchange Council: A Primer On The Premier Right-Wing Corporate Lawmaking Shop | Political Correction | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

Excerpt: But read THE FULL ARTICLE.

percent of ALEC's annual revenues." [Justice.org, May 2010, emphasis added]

ALEC Is A Secretive Organization. As reported by NPR: "Much about ALEC is private. It does not disclose how it spends its money or who gives it to them. ALEC rarely grants interviews. [Senior policy director Michael] Bowman won't even say which legislators are members." [NPR.org, 10/29/10]

ALEC Provides Ready-Made Pieces Of Law To Legislators Who "Often Have No Staff To Do Independent Research." As reported by Mother Jones:

With more than 2,400 state lawmakers as members -- roughly one third of the nation's total -- ALEC is a year-round clearinghouse for business-friendly legislation. Its nine task forces, each composed of legislators and representatives from private industry, sit down together to draft model bills on issues ranging from agriculture to school vouchers, which are then introduced in state legislatures across the country.

Though it calls itself "the nation's largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators," ALEC might better be described as one of the nation's most powerful -- and least known -- corporate lobbies. While other lobbyists focus on the federal government, ALEC gives business a direct hand in writing bills that are considered in state assemblies nationwide. Funded primarily by large corporations, industry groups, and conservative foundations -- including R.J. Reynolds, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute -- the group takes a chain-restaurant approach to public policy, supplying precooked McBills to state lawmakers. Since most legislators are in session only part of the year and often have no staff to do independent research, they're quick to swallow what ALEC serves up. [Mother Jones, September 2002, emphasis added]

ALEC Connects Conservative State Legislators With Corporate Lobbyists. As reported by Fortune: "The organization [ALEC], founded in 1973 and funded mostly by corporations and conservative foundations, exists to bring business-friendly state lawmakers together with lobbyists for corporations, including AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart, and Johnson & Johnson. It drafts model bills related to its goals of free markets and limited government. Issues that ALEC has influenced include Arizona's anti-immigration law, tort reform in Mississippi, and the opposition to Net neutrality. Despite the intimate involvement of lobbyists, ALEC officials insist the organization is not a lobbying group, since it doesn't follow lawmakers to try to advance their bills. Instead, ALEC is a charity, a status it justifies because of its educational mission. The designation allows the group to collect tax-deductible contributions, and it eases lawmaker travel to ALEC events." [Fortune, 1/10/11, emphasis added, internal citations removed]

Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

What/Who is ALEC? Read over this to find out the power this unelected body is asserting over our officials and policy in our nation and by extension through out the globe. SHARE BROADLY! THIS ORGANIZATION IS SHAPING OUR WORLD TO SUIT THEIR OWN DESIGN  WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT. BY THE WAY, THERE ARE AT LEAST 60 MORE, LESS, LARGE GROUPS LIKE ALEC OUT THERE AS WELL. NOT ALL TARGET MAINLY REPUBLICANS.

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What We Know Now - The American Prospect

What We Know Now - The American Prospect | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Twenty-five years after we started the Prospect, the challenges of redressing inequality and reviving democracy are even more urgent.
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WATCH NOW: Lawrence Lessig Makes the Case for an Elizabeth Warren Candidacy

WATCH NOW: Lawrence Lessig Makes the Case for an Elizabeth Warren Candidacy | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
On Monday night Mayday Pac co-founder and Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig made the passionate case for Run Warren Run at "An Evening With Lawrence Lessig In NYC." Check out the full video:  Van Jones also spoke at the event and told the story of the first time he met Elizabeth Warren. Take a look:
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Click on Van Jones talk as well!

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JFK and the Ignorance of Voters | Nomadic Politics

JFK and the Ignorance of Voters | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A Kennedy quote is the basis for this meme about the dangers of ignorance.
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Indigenous People Occupy Brazil's Legislature, Protesting Bill's Violation of Land Rights

Indigenous People Occupy Brazil's Legislature, Protesting Bill's Violation of Land Rights | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Indigenous people were protesting a proposed constitutional amendment they fear could lead to corporate land grabs.
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Obama and Elizabeth Warren Trade Blows on TPP - YouTube

Larry Cohen, President, Communication Workers of America talks with Bill Press about Obama and Elizabeth Warren sharing their disagreement on the TPP. Click ...
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Not good for labor or people's rights!

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Internet.org: delivering poor Internet to poor people - Boing Boing

Internet.org: delivering poor Internet to poor people - Boing Boing | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Boing Boing Internet.org: delivering poor Internet to poor people Boing Boing Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org project bribes corrupt, non-neutral carriers in poor countries to exempt Facebook and other services of its choosing from their data-caps,...
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Debt-free sovereign money for Iceland?

Critical Thinking website for the Free University which grew out of Occupy London and the Bank of Ideas. Truth, lies, myth and reality - exploring commonly held beliefs/perceptions promoted by politicians, media, business and public institutions. If you are alarmed at the current economic turmoil, debt and austerity, growing inequality, wars of aggression, infringement of civil liberties and many other concerns expressed by the occupy movements, this course will develop your understanding of the root causes. The course is aimed at anyone keen to expand their knowledge of how the world works, identify levers for real change and work on solutions.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Published on Sunday, 12 April 2015 11:12

That this article appeared in the Financial Times (FT) is remarkable. The FT is part of the Pearson Group and like the Economist is controlled by the House of Rothschild whose ancestor Meyer Amschel Rothschild stated in 1790:“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”

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One of America's Reddest States Embraced Socialism to Fight Robber Barons and Bankers. Here's Why They Aren't Looking Back - NationofChange

One of America's Reddest States Embraced Socialism to Fight Robber Barons and Bankers. Here's Why They Aren't Looking Back - NationofChange | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
North Dakota has come up with a solution to fight back against Wall Street—embrace socialism. While it might be the reddest state in America, it's ironically the most socialist state. If North Dakota can do it, so can the rest of the states.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Great points on why socialism has a place to some degree in this nation.

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The Weak Link: Winning State Elections

The Weak Link: Winning State Elections | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
This post first appeared Campaign for America’s Future.
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